I’m always working on something, it seems. Lately, helpful stuff has been coming to me month by month from an interesting and insightful little book entitled “The Art of Extreme Self Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time” by Cheryl Richardson. Each month, a different aspect of self-care is brought forth to be contemplated and worked with, from self love to creating spaces at home that are nurturing to making pleasure a priority to learning how to say no properly.
I will admit, when I first started working with this book, I thought it was going to be a frothy and saccharine little jaunt. I was wrong. This book has given me some serious things to think about, and I keep going back to it when issues crop up in my life.
Today, I’m thinking about my Absolute No List, which is a list of things I have committed to no longer doing so as to have a more fulfilling and happy life. Here is what my list looks like so far (and a lot of these were taken from Cheryl Richardson’s suggestion list):
I no longer…
– Compromise my needs to keep the peace with anyone.
– Keep anything I don’t love or need.
– Take phone calls or text messages during meals, intimate conversations or other important times.
– Go to work when I’m sick.
– Keep my opinions to myself when they don’t align with those of others in the room.
– Let social norms dictate what I should be interested in.
– Invest time in relationships that aren’t aligned with who I am and who I want to be.
– Finish reading books that lose my interest.
– Feel the need to check my email multiple times a day.
– Eat when I’m not hungry.
– Get caught up in other people’s drama.
– Feel obligation to spend time with family members or friends who choose to live in chaos.
– Feel bad about saying “no” when “no” is what’s best for me.
– Participate in malicious gossip.
I find it hard to remember to stay true to this list, because these behaviors serve a purpose. My life is even harder when I do stay true to my Absolute No List, for this reason: these habits muddy my waters. My real Work is like sunken treasure, and these behaviors kick up enough silt and dirt to obscure my view, keeping me from focusing on what is really important. When I let the silt settle down to the bottom, my real issues can be seen. I can hear them calling to be worked on in the silence and stillness that comes from lessening the extraneous bullshit.
So readers, I’m curious: what would be on your Absolute No List?