THE INTAKE COORDINATOR WAS EXPLAINING THE PROGRAM AND SAID, “IT’S LECTURE STYLE. WE SIT IN A LARGE ROOM, WITH THE BLINDS CLOSED, AND WE LISTEN TO CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTES SPEAK FROM 9AM TO 9PM. COME PREPARED FOR LONG PERIODS OF SITTING, AND DON’T APPROACH HER IN BETWEEN THE SESSIONS.”
Wait, what? Did I hear that correctly? That can’t be right!
“Oh,” I replied. “So…what about group work? Do we have breakout sessions where we share and work with the other participants?”
“No, you’ll be too busy listening,” she said.
I got off the phone with that sinking feeling in my stomach. The one that tells me I needed to undo what I’d already committed to.
I broke up with my favourite author later that day by email. Saying no to her hurt me more than it hurt her, but in the long run, my butt was thankful.
A few weeks later, something interesting happened.
On the same day that my PayPal account notified me that the refunded money was back in the bank, an email dropped into my inbox from one of Marie Forleo’s friends – Laura Belgray – a pretty famous copywriter.
The email was about a writing workshop she was hosting in a castle in Italy, in a tiny town on the edge of the sea. She was bringing together a small group of women (and the token male – there’s always one) to write, and eat Italian food.
My brain started to say things like…
“Now that’s what I’m talking about.”
“You’ve never been to Italy – it’s time!”
“Oh my god, I think I want to go.”
These thoughts were pretty quickly replaced by…
“You can’t fly off to Italy to write with Laura Belgray. Who the f*** do you think you are?”
“How will you pay for that?”
“What will your husband say? What will your mother in law say?”
I sat on it for two days, before I sheepishly bought myself a spot in the workshop.
Extravagant. Luxurious. Show-off.
Somewhere along the way I’ve been taught that to take time for me is selfish.
…That’s it’s not ok to place myself first.
…To follow my heart.
…To spend money on myself.
But here I am writing to you from Italy, and in 1.5 days of this workshop, I can see myself in a new light. I have perspective on who I am and what I want, and that doesn’t feel selfish at all.
Sometimes we have to say no to something that no longer fits to see what else there is. To get to the YES.
Now over to you!
What do you long to do? What do you really want? What can you say no to that might help you find your “YES”?