For me, learning to say "no" is an ongoing journey. I recall numerous instances where my boundaries were disregarded and where I felt I had to defend them.
Saying "no" left an unpleasant sensation in my stomach area, negative emotions of guilt and shame, that I made someone else feel bad. That I was not the well-adjusted woman or girl, I thought the world had told me to be.
Engaging in self-empowerment methods made me realize that saying "no" goes beyond using a word—it's about understanding my needs and feelings, accepting who I am, and not rejecting others but prioritizing myself.
As a woman and mother, saying "no" is crucial for self-reliance, and it doesn't require being mean or aggressive. Knowing our feelings allows better communication, and those who care about us will accept and not love us any less.
Taking care of my needs enables me to better care for my daughter, respecting her boundaries and those of my partner and friends.
Balancing family and personal desires brought challenges. I dove into self-engagement through Pranayama and art therapy and co-found Samaṇa with my brother Ben.
It's incredibly powerful to KNOW that I CAN respect and accept my needs & emotions!