It’s Okay To Say “No”

Saying No

Hang on. One more thing.

I want to tell you about saying, “No.”

and being completely uncomfortable
anxious
worried sick
sick to your stomach

that you’ll be seen as
the bad daughter
the ugly sister
the bitchy wife
the “once upon a time” friend

and your insides feel like goo
sloshing around
and you seriously doubt your skin
will hold your innards in

and you think for a moment
about saying, “yes,” and that makes you

tremble and shake

as bile rises from the pit of your stomach to the top of your throat

and you know
you know
you know
you must say, “no”

and so you do
face to face
because over the phone is so uncool

and you tell your father or brother or partner or bestie

you tell him, “no”

and nothing you imagined happening
happens

All that worry
and pacing
and hand wringing
was all for nothing

and you go on

eating dinner

and talking about how cold it is this winter and your plans to be someplace warmer soon.

***

My poem “Saying No” poured out of me from a writing prompt in Laurie Wagner’s Wild Writing. Check out her program. I highly recommend it!

***

Wine After Yoga was a huge success! As so many of you said, “it was the perfect afternoon!”

Huge thanks to Cask and Vine for taking such good care of our group!

Stay tuned for the next Wine After Yoga event!

The Power of Pause

Sometimes it’s half a breath
or a whole breath

sometimes it’s 10 breaths
or a whole day

a week even

pausing gives you time to think
time to respond
time to remember

pausing gives you space
to adjust your schedule
to remind you
that you can’t be
in two places at once

pausing allows you to step back
assess
reassess
and decline politely

pausing creates space
and space creates time

rest deep inside the pause
where there is no hustle
no hurry
no worry

pause. breathe. release.

(Peggy Nolan, The Power of Pause, November 3,2016)

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January Reflections

As January comes to a close I can feel the shift in my soul. Light is returning. Days get longer with every 24 hour rotation. Sometimes the sun feels warm.

I feel the shift in things I’m making. Winter isn’t my focus. We have a bumper crop of babies coming this spring to my husband’s side of the family. I also decided to make for myself. I’m excited about my cushion covers and can’t wait to share them with you.

(The start of my new cushion covers!)

Visit my Etsy Shop

I’m excited about February. I’m heading to Kripalu this weekend for a weekend of intense learning and studying with Stephen Cope.

And the Super Bowl! I’m excited because my team is playing. Go Pats!!

I’ll be partnering up later in February with @teetimegolfblog to make more yoga for golf videos. I’m sooooo excited!! I’m also teaching yoga nidra at Hot Asana Yoga in Hampstead, NH on February 18 at 6pm. If you’re local, you don’t want to miss this awesome class!

And at the end of February I’ll be flying to Washington state to spend some time with my beautiful mom. My daughters will be joining me as well.

How has the first month of 2018 treated you? What are you looking forward to in February?

Wishing you all Peace, love, and prosperity in February!!

What If Your Goals Are A Distraction

It’s that time of year again where everyone is planning and goal setting for 2018.

Yearly goals. Quarterly goals. Monthly goals. Daily goals. SMART goals. Financial goals. Personal goals.

I know. I know! Goals we set are goals we get. I’m an overachieving goal setter.

Every once in awhile, when the fog of goal setting clears, I get an image of a silly hamster running round and round…going nowhere fast. And it hits me. I’m the hamster.

There’s a couple of questions I asked myself this time last year:

1. What if my goals are a distraction?

2. What if my goals aren’t really *my*goals?

3. What would happen if I didn’t make any goals?

Trust me, I hear the sound of nails on a chalk board when I ask myself these questions. I also get slightly nauseous and a little bit anxious.

I’ve been taught so much about setting goals and why goals are so important to get ahead…to succeed.

Where exactly is ahead? What exactly do I need to be ahead of? What was I chasing? And why was it so elusive and vague?

I’ve spent the better part of this year answering my own questions.

I began 2017 without setting any particular goal. I decided to go with the flow and see where I ended up. Not haphazardly. It was a rather purposeful decision. And to be honest, probably the best and most productive decision I’ve made in a long time.

Here’s why:

At the very end of 2016, Rick and I drove to Key West and spent 2 wonderful months there. We rented a house on Rockland Key (mile marker 9) and while we were there, we came to a profound, life altering conclusion…we did not miss our stuff.

We drove down with a small trailer that had our motorcycle, clothes, my yarn and art supplies, and a few kitchen items. We didn’t miss what we left behind.

About half way through our 2 month stay, we made the decision to get rid of our stuff and sell our home.

We put a plan in place. We decided when we wanted to put the house on the market and we worked the calendar backward from there. We had a very short window to make small repairs and clear out the crap that had been sitting in our basement and garage for years.

We also went to Ireland for 10 days and then to Utah for 6 days. When all was said and done, our house went on the market on the Friday before Memorial Day.

Our desire was an offer for full asking price and no contingencies.

2 1/2 days later, we had an offer for full asking price and no contingencies. We gratefully accepted.

Now it was our turn to find a place. Rick and I had what I call a “whiteboard session.” We met for 2 hours in front of my whiteboard wall and wrote down all our MUSTS. Or what we like to call our “non-negotiables.”

We wrote down everything our new place must have. We wrote down every town we’d be willing to relocate to. We wrote down the dollar value we were willing to expend each month. We also wrote down what we wanted to save. We wrote down that we were willing to take out a small mortgage if we *had* to. What we wanted, more than anything, was to be able to pay cash.

After we wrote it all down, we left it there for 2 days. And then I erased it. We didn’t share what we wrote down with anyone.

Within 48 hours of erasing the board, my father sent me a link for a home his agent was about to list. I had goose bumps all over. It was everything we wrote down that was a must, it was in our same town, and we could pay cash for it outright.

The only catch that both of us had to get over in a big hurry was that it’s a double wide in a “garden home” community.

We went from 1600 sq. feet to 1400 square feet. We went from 2 floors to 1. We went from no master bathroom to a gorgeous master bathroom. We went from closed off spaces to a wide open, cathedral ceiling, spacious living area. We went from having a basement and 2 garage (or as my husband says, a very expensive storage unit) to having a parking spot big enough for both our vehicles and right now, a covered motorcycle.

We went from $1710 a month in living expenses (mortgage + condo fee) to $510 in lot rent. We’re pocketing $1200 a month because we have no mortgage. We have a 6.5 year ROI on our home.

Part of our Key West plan also included buying an RV so we could spend the winter in 2018 at the naval base, where military retirees and active duty can stay for $14 per day. We’re pushing this part off a year so we can finish remodeling our new place.

We’ve been nesting in our new place since August 1, 2017.

I honestly don’t think we’d be here if I had set goals the way I have all my adult life. This is where going with the flow took us. Awareness, being present, noticing, witnessing without judgment led us to a life transforming change.

Goal setting, the way I had been goal setting my whole life, turned out to be my biggest distraction from my Heart’s deepest desires. Goal setting kept me trapped on the hamster wheel, chasing after success and tilting at windmills.

In fact, goal setting kept my long time desire for financial freedom just out of reach.

I got out of my own way long enough for the Universe to work her magic.

Nobody owns us anymore. Not my job. Not our mortgage lender. Nobody.

Going into 2018, I’m not setting any goals or making New Year’s resolutions. I’m going with the flow again and I’m excited to see what shows up.

What about you? How are you approaching the New Year?

How I Uncomplicated My Life (and you can, too)

The more you complicate your life the more complicated your life becomes.

For a long, long time, I was the Queen of Complication. And it practically suffocated me.

5 ways in which I complicated my own life and how I uncomplicated it:

1. Clutter. Yup. From knick knacks to gobs of “important papers” I thought I needed to keep. Including somewhere between 600-1,000 books that needed important shelf space and quite frankly, became a huge weight every time I moved.

2. Taking on other people’s problems. For some reason I thought I had to either fix them, solve them, or hang on to them as if they were my own.

3. Financially stretching myself too thin. I once had $28,000 in credit card debt, a car payment, and a mortgage. Dreadful place to be.

4. Over committing myself. ‘nuf said.

5. Pursuing and chasing after what other people said I *should* be doing.

These were the 5 biggest ways I complicated my life. I was drowning in busy-ness and debt. I felt like a hamster in the proverbial wheel….going nowhere fast.

So, how did I uncomplicate my life?

1. I threw out or donated the clutter. And I make it a point to declutter at least every 6 weeks. Yup. Just purged a stack of those *important* papers, threw out old and broken Christmas ornaments and lights. And let me tell you how much I love my Kindle. (I still have about 50 resource books that have *keeper* status)

2. I learned how to differentiate between my problems and your problems and I don’t take on your problems anymore. Mine are enough.

3. It took a few years but I paid off *all* my credit card debt and paid off 2 car loans early. 5 months ago, my husband and I sold our home and *right sized.* We paid cash for our new home and no longer have a mortgage or any debt. Whew. Such a fantastically freeing feeling.

4. I learned a very important word…NO. And I know how and when to use it.

5. I stopped chasing after the nonsense. And there’s a lot of it floating around out there. I’ve created the life I want. Not the life the world keeps trying to shove down my throat.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live a complicated life. The choice is yours. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll have to reach that boiling point when you’ve declared…ENOUGH.

I jumped off the crazy train. You can, too.

xxoo

Peggy Nolan