Monday, July 9, 2012

Motivational Monday

(John Porter)

It amazes me how the word 'no' is so small yet so powerful. It is fraught with tension and problems and discord, but it's also full of opportunity to change, to grow, to discover, to explore. I've learned over the last few years that the more I say 'no' to other people and to unhealthy (mentally, physically, emotionally) situations, the more I'm actually saying 'yes' to me. I'm saying 'yes' to my dreams, to my goals, to my priorities, to my body, to my health and well-being.  

It's far from being easy. I don't enjoy hurting other people, of causing pain or anger. Before I say 'no' to something, I try to look at all the angles, take everything into consideration, devise a compromise, something, anything to ease the gush of guilt that usually comes with it. But I keep saying 'no' anyway. I have to. It sounds extremely selfish and, I suppose, in a way it is. But I've only got one shot at this amazing, incredible life and if I don't change, if I don't get stronger, if I don't start swimming, I will drown while never even leaving the shore.   

Don't underestimate your capacity for change. This week, let's all make a change - however small, seemingly silly or difficult - and stick with it in the weeks to come.


  1. Very inspiring! I believe people can change. They just have to want to.

  2. Emily - I think a lot of people want to change or make changes but they're not willing to do the hard work. Or, they don't believe they can do it, are strong enough, smart enough, etc. That's when having supportive and encouraging people around comes in handy. :)

  3. It's a shame when we feel guilty for putting boundaries around what we feel we're able to give of ourselves to others. And I know I've felt it, too. But you're right - we need to put the oxygen masks on ourselves before we assist a fellow passenger. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  4. Mina - great comparison! Unfortunately, other people don't often see it that way. They don't see the boundaries as us trying to keeping ourselves strong and steady - instead, they see our actions as hurtful, etc. If only we all tried to step back and see things from the other side - doesn't mean everyone gets their way, just that maybe more understanding could be had by all.

  5. Hi Madeline,

    That was really inspiring. I struggle with that as well, since I'm a terrible people-pleaser. I like your way of looking at it though as saying "yes" to myself instead of feeling bad about saying "no".

    I'm actually also writing you on behalf of Everyday Fiction, and I hope you won't say "no":). But please feel free to! I'm recording and reading stories for their podcasts, and they've asked me to pick a few stories I loved and ask the author for permission to record them. I absolutely loved your short story "Back Roads" and would love to read it for Everyday Fiction's podcasts. I'm an actor and writer living in Brooklyn with my husband and a growing family. My website is and my email is

    Hope to hear from you!

  6. Izzy - thanks so much for stopping by! And I'll definitely be in touch! :)

  7. thanks. i needed that inspiration. sometimes the only changes we can make are small, but worth trying!

  8. Tara - you're very welcome. It's not always about big, sweeping, drastic changes - the small changes can definitely add up and make a huge difference in the long run.

  9. It took me a long time to believe I could really make changes. There's no doubt that making a small change and sticking with it can lead to much bigger things. Love your challenge for this week. :)

  10. It's funny-- This is the third blog post today that I've read that's about change and I just tweeted about change. I know I need to make some changes in my life--known for a long time. If I don't make my own change, then change will be imposed upon me. Thank you for another prod in the right direction.

    Tossing It Out

  11. Julie - I hear you about it taking a long time to believe enough in yourself/myself to make changes. And, although it's gotten a little easier, it's not as easy I wish it was. :)

    Lee - you're very welcome. The problem with others - or life! - imposing change on us is that it's usually not the change we truly want.

  12. I say no too easily - I struggle to say yes. I'm trying really hard to say yes more often!

    (That makes me sound awful, doesn't it?)

  13. Annalisa - not awful at all! I do think there's a difference between saying 'no' to others, to society for our own reasons, to preserve our strength, our dreams, etc. and saying 'no' to possibilities and opportunities and adventure.