I may be going out on a limb. I’ve decided to dedicate this post to the beauty of “No,” right here at the home of the amazing Yes Book, which was conceived by the luminous Jill Cooper and co-created by her and a bevy of inestimably gifted writers who write with clarity and conviction about the transforming beauty of Yes.
I’m waving to all of them from my “No” limb, trusting in its strength and resilience. So…here goes.
I’ve worked with countless bright and creative people over the years, and I’ve supported them in learning to trust the wisdom of their hearts and to create lives that reflect who they really are. Time and again I’ve observed that, regardless of how passionate or talented or educated or accomplished they may be, many of my clients are paralyzed by thoughts of inadequacy. Voices of self-doubt and self-criticism taunt them from the sidelines. Sometimes an anxious whisperer, other times a withering fault-finder, these voices of “not enough-ness” can derail even the most heartfelt intention to bring a dream to life.
It is of immense value to learn how to shift our attention away from those voices and focus, instead, on thoughts and circumstances that are comforting, inspiring and empowering. To say a big “Yes!” to our aliveness and our desires to create, experience, and share more and more of who we are.
And yet, sometimes we can only make that shift after we’ve paused to say a firm “No” to the thoughts that confine us, especially the ones that border on self-abuse. But there is an art to the “No.” We can get caught in the trap of berating ourselves for having self-berating thoughts, which is clearly not an effective strategy! As I repeat often to my clients: Self-judgment will never, ever get you where you want to go. You cannot dissolve judgment with more judgment.
That’s where the open heart comes in. The open heart is the silent, soothing “yes” that creates space for us to pause and make a fresh choice. It accepts the presence of unhelpful thoughts without engaging them. It reminds us to bring deep compassion to ourselves and to decide, consciously and powerfully, whether we will invite the hurtful thoughts in, or say a firm “No” and close the door.
The firm “No” to limiting, fearful or abusive thoughts, held with an open heart, is a pivotal awakening point. It allows us to pause and become fully aware of how damaging those habitual thoughts really are, and to realize that we are worthy of being treated far, far better than that. We are worthy of our own respect, compassion and support.
In essence, the “No” to hurtful thoughts is a “Yes” to our true selves. And over time, as we choose again and again to honor ourselves, we find ourselves in a life-affirming flow in which saying “Yes” to life comes more easily and naturally. But if our current experience isn’t yet flowing with ease, chances are we’re entertaining thoughts that have pushed us into crosscurrents with our heart’s desires. Recognizing those thoughts for what they are, and learning to say a firm, open-hearted “No” to them, is an act of reclaiming our power to turn around and get back in the flow.
So if ever you find yourself in a mindstorm of fearful or debilitating thoughts, pause and take a deep breath. And another. Don’t hurry to paste over your stories of limitation with positive thoughts. Take a step back and face those misguided old thoughts in a grounded stance and – to borrow a much-overused phrase from back in the day – Just Say No.
…with the courage and conviction of an open heart.
Author Bio – Suzanne Eder
Suzanne Eder is a world-class teacher, facilitator and mentor, as well as a leading-edge thinker in the fields of consciousness and spirituality. She founded Solid Ground Transformational Life Coaching in 2003 to help people wake up to their magnificence and create lives they truly love. Before that, she co-founded and ran Essential Energetics, a fitness studio for women, and The SEGA Center, a holistic healing center, both of which prepared her for the in-depth client support she now offers through Solid Ground.
Suzanne currently authors an award-winning monthly column in Living.Well Magazine, offering inspired and practical counsel in areas related to personal growth and transformation. She has published a book that’s earned a full 5-star rating on Amazon, 10 Ways to Find Peace Rather Than Panic (When the World Has Gone a Little Crazy). She recently launched her first online course, Love Yourself to Success and Fulfillment, which is endorsed by New York Times best-selling author and self-love guru Anita Moorjani.
All of this experience sits on top of her formal education. Suzanne has degrees in both Accounting and Economics and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Delaware. She started her professional career as a CPA and enjoyed a highly successful corporate career in both Finance and Human Resources.
Seeking a more deeply fulfilling life, Suzanne attended and graduated from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, an intense four-year program in mind-body-spirit health and energy healing, and in 2011 she was initiated by Lola Jones to offer Divine OpeningsTM, an energy-based awakening process which Suzanne sees as a natural evolution of her work as an energy healer and teacher. As her experience with Divine Openings TM deepened, Suzanne was invited to be on Lola's management team. She is currently serving as a mentor in the Divine Openings certification program, and is among the first to be designated as a Divine Openings TM Certified Guide.
Suzanne is known among her clients, students and colleagues as someone who easily bridges the mainstream and the metaphysical. She is deeply intuitive, wise and helpful. She lives what she teaches with integrity and humor and is, in the words of her former coach, best-selling author Tama Kieves, the "real deal.” Learn more about Suzanne and Solid Ground Transformational Life Coaching at www.mysolidground.com.