The Power of "No"
by Michael Mamas
You’ve had it happen many times before. You’re on a roll. You have momentum and your creative juices are flowing. You are dedicated to a cause, empowered with a mission, or moving in a direction that makes you feel alive. Then, suddenly, it happens. Someone tells you, “No.” Your idea is wrong, inappropriate, you’re off base, you have to stop. Immediately, your whole body contracts. You feel betrayed, denied, defied, undermined, made wrong, and the list goes on.
What was happening there? The myriad of possibilities boil down to two categories. The first category: You were manifesting your divinity, your greatness, your wisdom, and your creativity. And then someone tripped you up, right when you were birthing something magnificent.
The second category: Their “No” was valid. You were coming from your identity, your conditioning, your limited relationship with life. What you were doing was, in fact, not in harmony with your true nature. They were providing you with a wakeup call.
Of course, nothing in the relative is absolute. Everything is a dance between your divinity and your identity. Yet, in both cases, your initial reaction to the “No” is usually the same. You feel hurt and negated.
These moments present you with a great opportunity and challenge. Your relationship with what you experience is critical to your growth as a human being. Are you willing to consider both categories, to explore the dance between your divinity and your identity? This is much easier said than done.
As with all of the teachings, understanding this intellectually is a good beginning. And being able to apply it in your daily life is the sublime path of your personal evolution, the path of discernment. Great care must be taken here, for you can justify anything with the intellect. You can take the knowledge and use it to advance yourself and cultivate your awakening to your divinity or you can misuse it as a justification of your identity.
We have explored how you react when “No” is said to you. Now, let’s turn the table. How about when you say, “No,” and put up a block to another person’s flow? What is going on there? Your physiology is like a flywheel. It has a momentum, a groove in which it is fixed, a relationship with the world that permeates your attitude towards everything. Everything that is not in sync with your groove or conditioning will probably be met with your “No.” If that “No” is coming from your conditioning, you will likely be stifling another’s evolutionary creative process and the blossoming of their life, the manifestation of their divinity. However, when your, “No” is coming from your divinity, you can use it to assist the progress of another.
Most of us are familiar with the technique of brainstorming. Everyone is free to think and speak out their thoughts. Ideas are allowed to flow freely. Nothing is negated, so the blossoming of everyone’s inner divinity is nurtured. Through the practice of brainstorming, your relationship with “No” evolves. In time, you learn to use it constructively, not destructively. Brainstorming becomes an art that isn’t limited to meetings where people agree to brainstorm. It becomes a spontaneous and ongoing relationship with life, where different perspectives are nurtured and developed and the truth underlying every notion is respected. The true Power of “No” is an evolutionary tool that turns limitation into liberation.
© Michael Mamas, 7/07