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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Obstacles: Friend or Foe?

Obstacles

You know you’re in complete and total alignment when you see random shit posted on social media by friends who may or may not know what’s going on inside your head and the only thing you can think is “damn straight!”

No doubt I made the right decision to quit. To quit being in my own way. To quit tilting at the well-intentioned voices of other people. To quit and follow my own path.

Is it any wonder I’m seeing signs everywhere? Especially when one of my very favoritest writing instructors, Laurie Wagner, (who probably knows more about me than I do) posts a poem by her friend and poet, Alison Luterman about obstacles, which I’m sharing with you because – fashizzle bat fans – this poem made me think, “Wow, I could have had a V-8.” Dope slap included.

Because Even the Word Obstacle is an Obstacle

Try to love everything that gets in your way:
the Chinese women in flowered bathing caps
murmuring together in Mandarin, doing leg exercises in your lane
while you execute thirty-six furious laps,
one for every item on your to-do list.
The heavy-bellied man who goes thrashing through the water
like a horse with a harpoon stuck in its side,
whose breathless tsunamis rock you from your course.
Teachers all. Learn to be small
and swim through obstacles like a minnow
without grudges or memory. Dart
toward your goal, sperm to egg. Thinking Obstacle
is another obstacle. Try to love the teenage girl
idly lounging against the ladder, showing off her new tattoo:
Cette vie est la mienne, This life is mine,
in thick blue-black letters on her ivory instep.
Be glad shell have that to look at all her life,
and keep going, keep going. Swim by an uncle
in the lane next to yours who is teaching his nephew
how to hold his breath underwater,
even though kids aren’t allowed at this hour. Someday,
years from now, this boy
who is kicking and flailing in the exact place
you want to touch and turn
will be a young man, at a wedding on a boat
raising his champagne glass in a toast
when a huge wave hits, washing everyone overboard.
He’ll come up coughing and spitting like he is now,
but he’ll come up like a cork,
alive. So your moment
of impatience must bow in service to a larger story,
because if something is in your way it is
going your way, the way
of all beings; towards darkness, towards light.

***

Wow. I don’t think I’ll look at obstacles in the same way ever again. Considering I tend to think of myself as my biggest obstacle and in my own way most of the time…I’m in my own way or I’m going my own way.

Holy sweetness. Talk about having an a-ha moment before I even had my coffee.

What about you? Does this change how you see obstacles? Let me know!

PS: Don’t forget to check out Alison’s latest poems on her website 😉