Stef Sifandos

Relational Alchemist, Community Builder & Changemaker

Learn to say NO4-7 min read

…and at times YES… To really say no is one of the most challenging practices.

I was practicing yoga this morning and the Jogan instructed us that she would be coming around to make manual adjustments and them at if anyone was not wanting to be touched to simply raise their right leg as we were in Adho mukha śvānāsana (downward dog).

No one raised their leg and it got me thinking. How often do we speak our truth? How often do we really express how we feel? In a class of 40 people how confident would you be to say no, if you did not want to be adjusted?

Something as simple as honoring our personal space can often be so difficult. We want to be different enough to be noticed (validated, understood, seen), but not too different that we are ostracized or placed in the ‘out group’.

How often do you honor your no for the sake of your own needs and not be attached to what others may think of you or how they may react? In my life I have largely oscillated between either keeping completely quiet and withdrawing when I want to vocalize my truth or if I do express its in an extreme manner.

I am still learning to strike that harmonious balance and not take personally someone’s reaction to my truth – to my no. And to also not take personally if someone says no to me. We feel that sometimes. Our ego’s hurt, we think we are being attached and we revert and regress to often mal-adaptive or compensatory coping strategies developed as a child that are not really effective as an adult.

We come from past wounding and we want to appease the status quo. I spent so much of my life appeasing those I loved and retaliating to those I did not as an outlet for my repressed anger. I justified it in every way possible.

But really, it was because I didn’t value my inner guidance. I couldn’t say no when I needed to and yes when I really wanted to because my self-worth was shot. That was part of my story. Yours may be different, however I urge you to look deep within you and ask yourself:

“Am I truly honoring my needs in this moment, irrespective of what others are doing or not doing?”

One is always glad to be of service.

Stefanos Sifandos

Relational Alchemist, Community Builder & Changemaker

Stef Sifandos

Relational Alchemist, Community Builder & Changemaker

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