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Friday, October 19, 2012

On Saying No (To Say Yes)


I was annoyed. The group of kids were screaming, the guy next to me kept accidentally elbowing me in my side as he attempted to change positions 47 times a minute. By the time I got there, I was just about scowling and really confused as to how I got so angry out of nowhere. After arriving and sitting for over an hour, my stomach was doing flip flops. So now, in addition to being angry, I felt loopy and just totally out of it.. yet could not place what was going on. In fact, it took almost another hour before my answer became very clear.

She took one look at my face and asked if I wanted to be there. The first answer came out as a weak, soft sounding 'yes, of course'. And then, moments later, I heard myself saying no. And laughing. And standing up, heading to the door. Luckily, she was really kindhearted and we chatted for a few minutes before I left, where she told me I was right to know the kind of work I was meant for.

You see, a few days ago, I got a call to do some extra work for a big movie filming here in NYC. Sounds fancy, and I had the days free, so I said yes, despite an earlier promise I had made to myself to never do extra work (after doing it once). The reason I had been so annoyed, so angry, so upset was because I was going against myself. I wasn't listening to myself and when my mind can't get through to me, my physical body starts to try. This usually means I get really angry and/or feel really out of it. For other people I know, it can mean having an upset stomach, getting dizzy or exhausted. Everyone has a different reaction to when they're not giving themselves what they need. Literally the second I told her I didn't want to do extra work (I believe I threw in a "not now nor ever!" for enthusiasm) my entire body relaxed and I felt fine, even burst out laughing. I'm pretty sure she thought I was insane at this point, but that's okay.

Here's the whole point of this story: we have to say NO to some things so we can say YES to others.
Want further proof? As soon as I got home, I got a call that I booked a PSA, which I'll be filming tomorrow. The next morning I got another call that I booked a music video that films next week.
I had to say no to doing the type of work that I do not want to do, and honor myself and my goals, in order to make space for other jobs that I want to do! This may sound bananas to you, and that's okay, but I find it to be the truth every time.

Learn how to say no, practice it often. This isn't to say you should be selfish or hurtful to others. Just say no to the things you don't want, so the things you do want are able to find their way into your life. It's okay to skip dinner with the girls if you really want to finish writing another chapter of your novel. It's okay to say no to joining yet another volunteer organization or being in charge of another fundraiser; this does not make you a bad person. It's even okay to say no to a date if you've been really looking forward to having a night at home, just for yourself. Listen to yourself, figure out what you want, act accordingly. And if you need someone to back it up or support you in your choice, you've already got me on your side.

8 comments:

  1. I love this. I think it's very true for most big decisions in life...work, love, daily priorities...you have to say no to the wrong stuff to make room for the right stuff. Case in point: i broke up with a guy a few weeks ago after hemming and hawing a lot about it, and THE NEXT DAY my friend asked to set me up on a date with a guy who i've since been seeing nonstop. I just had to get the wrong stuff out of the way to let something better in! Congrats on booking those jobs! I am totally enchanted by your actress-in-NYC life!

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    1. thank you lady! i love your story, it is SO true! it's like our very own magick to lead us to what we want (yes, i spell magick with a k..) xo

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  2. sometimes i must laugh at how easy life can be and how things just tend to work out in the end. with "easy" i dont mean the saying-no-part, i find it quite difficult to have trust that better things will come if i say no to okay things.
    but as you wrote and also katilda in her comment above - if we dare to listen to what we really want and act accordingly, things will happen that are a bit hard to see as coincidence.
    i remember looking for a room desperately a few years ago. several "okay" flatsharing people invited me to live with them and i really should have accepted one of them as i REALLY needed a room. but i said no. which was a bit crazy, i was close to homeless with a bunch of furniture and belongings piled up under a bridge. you can guess what happened, cant you? :) i found the PERFECT room with the most amazing people last minute. those "no's" got me far.
    completely in love with your blog and as far as i can tell also with the person behind it ;)

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    1. wonderful story! and thank you! i'm glad to hear you did not wind up homeless! and i love that you wrote "if we dare to listen.." - daring is key here! xo

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  3. Cool :D

    XoXo
    http://abudhabifood.blogspot.com

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  4. sometimes life works that way. contradiction crosses path and suddenly things work out. great lessons!

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    1. thank you for your comment! i love the way you put this :) xo

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