Have you ever said yes when really you meant to say no?

Or vice versa, said no when really you meant to say yes?

How much did that decision cost you? Emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually, financially?

We learn how to use these two very powerful words growing up, shaped by those around us, and never really getting to understand the true depth of their meaning.

The use of yes and no are rooted in our fundamental need to be loved and accepted, however, they have been so distorted over time we actually have a pretty fu**ked up sense of how to use them in a healthy way and balanced way.

As women, we know this all too well.

We blindly accept more responsibility, when we are already overburdened.

We may open our legs to please the other, feeling that it is somehow our duty or the ‘right’ thing to do.

We commit to things we feel are expected of us so we can keep the peace, help others or be ‘seen’ in the right light.

We choose to stay in a relationship when we really want to get the hell out.

We deny ourselves what we really want because we have learned to sacrifice our own needs for others.

We despondently accept the status quo because we feel we have no choice.

We agree because we want to please everyone and don’t want to be rejected.

And all these decisions are rooted in our conditioning, and our distorted sense of responsibility, of what is expected of us without thinking about the consequences or how it will ultimately affect us or those around us in the long run.

Growing up, I had a strong sense of saying no, especially around motherhood. Having had a very traumatic entry into the world, then later being left by my biological mother at the age of 2, and knowing the history in my family of mothers leaving their children the imprint was created. This was further emphasised on the bridge of menarche when my parents got a divorce and having to experience life within a single-parent family.

I knew I didn’t want to have children, however, the more I fought this, the more motherhood came knocking at my door. Until one day, it was too late.

I said no to motherhood, deciding to terminate and even while I was there waiting to go under I knew I wanted to say yes, to have the child. But I couldn’t say so because I was immobilised through fear, scared I too would have a traumatic birth and then later abandon my own child, and repeat history. Scared because I was afraid of anything happening to my partner that would leave me as a single mum. I couldn’t voice my needs, so I stayed quiet and went ahead.

This decision cost me dearly, seriously affected my mental and emotional stability and ignited a deterioration in my menstrual health which led to a diagnosis of PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). All because I said no instead of yes!

We can all pinpoint a moment in our lives where our decision to say yes or no when really we meant the other has had a massive impact on our lives.

How different would your life be if you had known how to voice your needs through that one simple, or not so simple word?

Every time we choose to opt for the opposite of what we really mean and want is another day lost to us, and all those days can potentially add up to months, years, even decades of suffering and the suppression of our true nature.

We become more attuned to the fear, and the emotions that arise with it. The frustration and anger, the resentment and passive aggression. The guilt and shame, regret and loss. The jealousy and envy, the sadness and grief.

Through my own journey with yes and no, I have come to learn what it means to take responsibility for the decisions we make. To not be defined by them, but to face and own them so we can understand what was behind them and how to ultimately say what we mean.

As a Shadow Work Coach, exploring the why behind the yes and no decisions is a journey my clients embark upon through Shadow Walking, especially in the 9-mth Intensive, as to do so, means they will have to dig deep and be fully present in the body so they can access the many layers of their subconscious and unconscious minds.

Being in the body, they have no choice but to feel their way through, connecting and engaging with all their emotions so they can explore these deeper truths and unravel the tangled threads that resulted in them saying the opposite.

In doing so they are able to find their true north, how that feels, and what it triggers in them when they exercise it so they can remove any blockages that prevent them from voicing the yes or the no that feels right for them without living in fear of potential consequences projected by others.

Engaging with our true north naturally activates our deep sense of trust and responsibility, the foundation blocks of our personal power. To be strong and courageous in making conscious decisions and speaking them from the heart and not from our conditioning and flawed beliefs and behaviours changes the weave and sets a new blueprint for those following in our wake.

This is why responisibility has become one of my own core values, not only in my life but in my business, enabling me to stand behind every decision I make with integrity and honesty. For if we cannot show up like this in every aspect of our lives, how can we really expect to effect change in on an individual and collective level?

What has been your experience with yes and no decisions, and how have they influenced your life? Leave a comment below…I would love to hear from you!