What does it mean to say “No”? It means alot of things to alot of people, and has the power to bring up many things for many people on both the giving and receiving ends. What is your relationship to saying no? What is your response when you receive one? We often think saying no is closing off our window of opportunity, yet many times saying no really means saying YES.
Recently, I have been in the space of what it is to say “No”. You see, I am building an Integrative Healing Center here in Philadelphia: it’s an amazing project. Quite frankly, it’s my dream come true. Our center will be the manifestation of our ethos of what Healing is: a place where well-care, gardens, and creativity will dance and play and facilitate community—one of the most essential facets of a healthy and joyous life.
So, in this process of planning and co-creating this center with my incredible partner, Dr.Sarah Cohen (who currently is a Fellow with Dr.Andrew Weil), I have been thinking about what I want to invest my time in now since this is filling up so much of it. We’ve had meetings, envisioning sessions, classes at Wharton for business plan writing, dances with property and real estate agents, and we’re now embarking on the (GASP) writing of the business plan itself…something I’m terribly scared of!
So, a few weeks back, I had a very difficult decision to make: I got asked by my community to curate the Healing Arts workshops at a beloved festival again this year. I love this event, I love the people that create this event; it’s a beautiful music and art weekend camping festival set off the Delaware coast in the grassy farmland….so luscious!!! I was a part of the event for the past 3 years, facilitating workshops or curating them, and it exemplifies my passion for community, creativity, and healing. I wanted to do it again, but my gut said “Don’t do it. You’re going to die of exhaustion if you do.”
I thought about making it work. I thought about how it would help me to have a little more income. And then I thought about how exhausting it was….truly a labor of LOVE. My gut wouldn’t stop telling me it wasn’t the right time.
I thought about saying no…and it scared me to the core. I decided to look deeper into this. Why was I so scared? What if I lose my opportunity to do it again if I say no? What if I am judged? What if I lose the perceived "power" it affords me? What if I don’t get asked to DJ the festival again because I turned this offering down (I’m also a DJ, and I’ve been playing this event since 2009)?
These were all really valid reasons. Or…. were they? Maybe they were valid, but…
Maybe they were all just ego-based fears.
I decided that I had to Say No.I decided that it was finally time to take a risk and be authentic and Say No to something in order to Say YES to something else…
My big BIG dream.
It was hard. It challenged me on so many levels. But it was the best thing to do. In my body, I felt light and free after I decided to say no. In the presence of my “no”, the Sanctuary Healing Arts Space at the festival now has the opportunity to grow through other contributors, and that is indeed special.
Something my dear AMAZING healer & yogi friend, Liana Cameris, always says to me in regards to decision making really kept ringing through my ears during this process. She says:
"See how you feel inside when faced with a decision. If it feels light in your body when you think about it, GO with it; if it feels heavy, perhaps you should pass it up."
Such wise words indeed. Now I have the space and time to commit to my dream of Healing here in this beautiful city of brotherly love….
AND you’ll be seeing me at the festival throwin’ down some Global Beats for your Soul ;)