Say NO with Love. Hurray, #LoveSparks a Festival!

I’m sorry, but no. Nope. No way. No how. Can’t. Won’t. Don’t even ask. My apologies. How about next week? How about never?

I’m thrilled that in less than a week we will be afire with love as the Love Sparks Blogging Festival begins on February 14. Please come and join, share, comment, ponder, smooch, live it up in the love fest. For details click here.

In the meantime, I’ve been so in the love zone that I’ve accidentally over committed myself in every direction. So exciting, so wonderful….so exhausting! And even though I’ve spent the last four+ years learning to regulate my energy, rest a great deal, pace myself, have powerful boundaries, what can I say

…I’m human and I forget.

I become so excited by the life in me and around me that I zoom off in every thrilling direction until gravity reminds me I must come home to here, must live here on this planet and care for the whole of me—today, and I can’t put this off for some distant time in the non-existent future. So I just spent the last half an hour before bed saying NO to as many things as I could possibly take off my plate for the coming week (apologies all around to all of you who just heard the two letter word from me!).

Not easy, but with practice, NO is not too hard. If I can do it, you can do it.

This weekend I’m co-teaching (with my favorite hip hop poet and playwright Aaron Jafferis) the course Rock Your Body, Speak Your Mind to twenty+ teenagers as part of the Vermont Governor’s Weekend Institute. We are going to teach them how to say NO and how to say YES and how to ask for what they want and SAY WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY and then put it to rhythm and perform it!

Saying NO is an act of love. It may not feel like it to those on the receiving end of our NO, but it is. At least this is possible. It is an act of love to ourselves when we acknowledge our limitations and express our needs. And for those closest to us, when they can trust we will say NO when we need to say NO, it means they can trust when we say YES. This not only creates clarity in relationship, this is intimacy.

So here it is. Dr. Cox shows us how to gracefully decline:

Talk to me about NO in the comments. Is it love?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tonio February 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

ironically, NO is a powerful affirmation when used honestly and humbly, and as you taught me many years ago with great love and almost as much patience it is indeed a powerful declaration of interpersonal intimacy, even when it appears to be moving in the opposite direction.
This journey of love has been particularly delicious and broad and deep in its scope.
NO sometimes opens the door to a greater YES. And, NO can = YES, when we can see beyond our smaller personal agenda.
I’m Excited to see you again, soon, if the gods don’t say NO.
with infinite radiant love to you and to all


Jasmine February 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

The gods never say NO. They say YES. In our adorable ignorance we often hear this as NO and argue with the gods and stomp our feet and rail to the heavens! To which the gods again say, YES. They leave it up to us to dish out the NOs.


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