Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just Say No...Not So Fast!

Today's Thought:
At age two, we say no a lot. Adults train us to say no a lot less. Then we spend our adult lives learning to say no a lot more. Good plan.

The ChipperMuse Extra:
Today's thought is highly ironic, don't you think? We call that age the "Terrible" twos for a reason. Two-year-olds start learning that they can say no, and they apply this new knowledge at every opportunity. Who can blame them? It's the verbal equivalent of banging pots together to make noise (or music, depending on your definition of noise and music)... Both practices are entertaining, satisfying, and cathartic.

NO is a powerful word, and we must learn to use it wisely and well. It sets boundaries in our life, and boundaries enable us to take care of ourselves and have healthy relationships with others. (Thanks again to author Christina Katz at for prompting a discussion on boundaries.) The essense of a boundary is to make clear to everyone, including ourselves, the areas that are a "Yes, come in" and the areas that are a "No, stay out!"

We all need the words yes and no to live a healthy, happy life. And we must act on our yes and no when life demands it. Sorry, world, that you can't always get what you want. (Didn't the Stones sing about that? Mick Jagger, the voice of wisdom and reason.)

It's especially important to let your yes be YES and let your no be NO when you are a writer, or any sort of creative person, for that matter. If you say yes too often and to the wrong people, you will get drained. Suddenly, your creativity and your time get spent (or should I say wasted?) on solving problems caused by problem people instead of being used effectively to further your art.

It's even important to say no to friends and family sometimes, so that you can get your artistic work done. That can be hard.

But it's necessary. And you can balance out each no with a wisely chosen yes at the right time. Your friends and family will know that you love them and want to spend time with them each time you say yes to them. And if they love and respect you, they'll respect your no when you use it. Trust me, healthy people can handle your no just fine...because they're healthy.

The people who can't handle no from you...not ever...are probably people you don't want to invest much time and energy into. These people are not healthy, and it's not your job to fix them. Instead, I recommend that you say yes to the people who love you even when you say no, and you'll be a lot happier, a lot healthier, and a lot more productive in your artistic endeavors. I know I am.

So let me end this post by just saying...NO!

(Just joking around. I feel like a two-year-old, and it's wonderful. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.)

Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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