Committing to the land of “No”.

What a powerful little word – no. Say it with me now, NO. Short, abrupt, it transcends nearly every language. Everyone knows its meaning and it can never be confused with pansy wansy “maybe later,” “not really,” “not sure yet,” “let me think about it,” “I’ll get back to you”…shall I go on? To know, “no” and use it often is empowering and can change the course of a life forever. Below are 5 little gifts of “kNOwledge I received this year. And if you are interested in reading my other lessons from 2011 click here.

31 ) NO lives in the land of trust. This is a big one folks, so hang with me. First let’s meet our little friend living in the land of commitment her name is “Yes.” “Yes” is very accommodating to others. She enjoys seeing others smile when she enters the room. Although she carries on her back packs far too heavy for her petite frame, she continues to load it heavier and heavier as she goes about her day. Yes is a consummate performer, juggling promises judiciously higher and higher as she continues along her journey. At the end of each day, Yes collapses on her bed seeking rest and renewal in her tiny vessel to Dreamland knowing that the next day will bring about “more” in the land of commitment.

Yes implies an oath of duty, an agreement of action, a promise to the heart, but reverse that answer and a whole other level of commitment emerges, called trust. Often difficult for others to understand “No“ lives in this land of trust. She honors her own needs and wishes before others. Her desires and intuition lead her decisions and those closest to her either accept them and “trust” her, or they abandon her searching for Yes.

Throughout this year, I’ve learned that often times No is my most loving and compassionate companion. She honors me! And by listening to her I have  discovered other trusted companions along this journey of life. And isn’t that what its all really about?

32 ) NO demands respect. See above

33 ) No one can effectively describe the worthiness of another. Believe me I’ve tried this one. I’ve asked dear friends and trusted colleagues to describe my worthiness. What I am really good at? What do I see or do that amazes them? What are my blind spots to my worthiness? Well, let me fill in a little secret I learned this year…no one really liked to answer that. And no one could answer those questions more effectively than ourselves anyway. If we stop looking from the outside in, and begin looking at our more intimate selves our worthiness will rise up and say hello.

34 ) NO creates story. When someone replies “no” it automatically begs us to answer Why? There begins the story.

35 ) No material object is more valuable than peace. A philosopher once said “Success is not having much, but wanting little.” I know as I look upon my life and what I will someday leave behind for my family and friends, material possessions will have nothing to do with it. Peace will be the only thing I take with me and the most precious gift I pass along.