Let me explain.

For some the struggle is viscerally real, to say yes—to emphatically declare YES—when everything in you is saying no.

For some the struggle is just as real, to say no—to emphatically declare NO—when everything in you is saying yes.

This goes far beyond what we’ve all heard, that every no is a yes. Of course, but that’s kindergarten.

As a Capricorn sun, I’m deeply ambitious and determined, hard work is my middle name.

If not for my determination and ambition, I certainly would not have completed my Mechanical Engineering Degree nor would I have gone on to work as an R&D Engineer for Boeing.

The list is long and if not for the determination and ambition, dedication, discipline, and devotion to the goals I’ve set for myself, I probably would not have attained half of the so-called accomplishments of my life.

Saying yes, when everything in me is saying no, is a space I’ve come to master through countless grueling life challenges. The truth is, it's far easier for me to say yes than it is to say no, especially when faced with seemingly insurmountable ambitions, especially those that appear to be in service to my vision. Hence the resolve symbolized by the ram climbing the near vertical face.

I have a tendency and fortunately can now notice—as a means to separate myself—from how fucking hard I push myself (and often times those around me). How easy it is for me to say yes, again and again, and again!

The truth is, every yes has a cost as does every no.

Saying yes to a dinner out is easy, saying yes to do the 108 days of the Master Fast, in 2016, that was a bit more difficult, especially in the moments when everything, including my body, was screaming, begging, praying for me to give up and say No.

Yet, I said yes, every day, every minute, every second, because of my deep inner resolve.

It's this inner resolve that keeps me committed to healing myself of diabetes. I’m unattached but committed.

This resolve has served me and yet it has become the very thing that holds me back.

These days I’m learning to be gentle with myself. To declare and stand in my no, when my most natural impulse is to say Yes.

This isn’t as easy as it sounds, for when even contemplating a no, I immediately come face to face with resistance itself. I now notice the meaning my mind fabricates as I dance with the possibility of saying no.

“You’re weak. You’re uncommitted and you’re undisciplined. You think life is easy?! It’s not, why would you go to bed “early" when you can stay up all night, isn’t that your way?! Come on, stop being [fill in the blank]…"

This is the sort of storyline I work to temper—or simply notice—when broaching NO!

Today I said no to an opportunity presented to me. As I contemplated my no, the fires raged, nearly decimating my tender self who wanted nothing more than for me to say no—and for me to stand in that no.

I danced with my, yes, and she nearly lured me in.

Who, if not the one beyond the story, could defend myself, my innermost self, from the sexy and tantalizing story presented by my ego? In my case characterized by the Capricornian elements, I’ve shared?

I sat outside with grandfather tobacco, in the form of ha'pe. I offered my prayer, "give me the awareness to know the difference between resistance and power."

Grandfather delivered the insight I needed.

The journey to this insight was challenging, but in the end, I held my no.

I felt called to declare my no. I said no out loud, over and over again, turning up the dial on my inner resolve.

"No is no…and yes you’re right, I am uncommitted, undisciplined, unambitious, and everything else you’re teasing me into resisting."

The truth is, the resistance isn’t in saying no, the resistance is in the unwillingness and the resistance to be the very traits I would need to be, in order to allow myself to be the me who owns and stands in his no.

Fortunately, I know that I’m all the qualities my resistance would attempt to have me believe that I’m not.

Years of deep inner shadow work and integration for the win.

Sorry ego, you lose.

Was it challenging to say no? Absolutely, but well worth the reward.

I win. We win.

My six year old is happy.

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