“Half of the troubles of this life can be traced to saying Yes too quickly and not saying No soon enough.” ~ Josh Billings
There is a big sky of Yes above our heads and a deep sea of No beneath our feet. Life happens when they touch. Aliveness, when they honor each other.
To _____ or not to ______. (Fill in the blanks).
If it’s true that our life is a blank, Yes-canvas, and we—the guest artists, it’s also true that if we don’t splash it with Nos, we’ll have no creation. Life is a mix of light and darkness.
Both—Yes and No—are legit words in our life’s dictionary and both can pass for the Yin or the Yang at any given time.
Nothing is written in stone, especially not us. Nothing is definite or final. Everything (everyone) moves. And there’s a time and a place for every opposite and every part of you, unscripted.
As some of us—Rebelle partners in creative crime—were coming to the end of a cycle, after managing our way through a couple of very exhausting (but exciting) first months of life, we thought we’d honor the Nos in our life and give balance another chance.
We passed a chain email around where we each added our No. And it felt good. And right. And liberating.
1. I won’t make an excuse to not exercise. I will do it because my body wants it. I want it. I won’t resist the motion of my body, the squeezing of my organs, the air in my lungs, the heat that will help to burn away a lifetime accumulation of negative habits.
2. I won’t allow negative thoughts implanted by 100 years of solitude take over my tired heart and restless mind. I won’t try to quiet my frail but invincible beauty whispering back at me in the bathroom mirror.
3. I won’t consume anything that isn’t deeply nourishing. My body is the most important tool I have to experience this life. I want to feel as alive as I possibly can. I want to be honest and sincere to my body. I want to deeply experience the intelligence of my body.
4. I won’t give away any more pieces of my heart to those who can’t appreciate or watch after their own. If there’s no home inside their chest, where am I supposed to live? I’d rather be alone with a heart than in heartless company.
5. I won’t look at others with contempt. I’ll acknowledge their presence and refuse to see anything other than their light if for only the moment passing. I’ll acknowledge the mystery of our co-existence. It’s not easy, but we’re all in this together. Right now.
6. I won’t listen to the don’ts, to the can’ts, to the shouldn’ts or even these won’ts. I won’t accept any fate that I have not willingly designed, repaired or restored with my own hands. I won’t agree to anything less than my everything. I won’t just survive, I’ll live fully and abundantly and like this life is mine.
7. I won’t walk the world blindfolded. I won’t close my eyes to the tragedy and the joy of humanity. I’ll try to find a shade of pain in everything, because it tears my soul apart and brings me closer to my fellow, suffering, sentient beings. I’ll also try to find a shade of beauty in everything, because it glues my soul back together and fills it with the “aha” of life and with a warm, liquid, ancient and permanent state of being that can only be defined as Love.
There’s a mighty, invincible and often ignored power of No in each one of us. The positive side of Un-being. The kind of No that not only makes a way for a bigger Yes, but that gives the Yes its contour and its unending possibilities. The most liberating way to declutter your heart.
What are your life-giving Nos? Add your dot to this Yang Manifesto and let’s inversely remind ourselves of our greater Yin.