Just Say No

Don’t worry, I’m not here to tell you to “Just say no to drugs!”

Let’s dive in to a different topic…

How much of your life has been consumed with pressures to conform to someone else’s wishes? Someone else’s plan? And you gave in because… well, you want people to like you by seeking their approval.

This is part of the human experience: wanting a connection with other people.

Taking a stand against those pressures to conform takes limitless energy and colossal amounts of courage whereas giving in is easy (and expected;) it’s the comfortable thing to do.

But you want to know the real truth? (You know I don’t bullshit you…)

Unless you’re living YOUR truth, you’ll always be unsatisfied.

Comfortably numb coping skillsYou’ll always find there’s a hole in your life that can’t be filled with any vice. No amount of alcohol, junk food, sex, drugs, or other vice can fill that void. And because of that, you’ll be unhappy, discontent and irritable. Endlessly.

But what happens when you start to silence the voices around you and start to listen to your own inner voice? What do you think would happen if you start to sort out the external forces that dictate your path ahead and pay attention instead to the sense of joy and wonder inside of you that has laid silent for so long? Could you follow that sense of wonder and curiosity to find yourself, recreate yourself, into living YOUR purpose once again?

There are countless ways to go about rediscovering (or reinventing) yourself. But it starts by asking yourself on little question over and over:

Why?

Anytime you find yourself unhappy, irritable or agitated, ask yourself in the moment, “Why am I doing this?”

Be curious about the answer. Do not condemn yourself, but use this as a mode of learning more about the authentic YOU.

And then I want to teach you a very powerful word to start using:

No.

Just say NO.

When your curiosity finds out that you’re being influenced by outside forces, then you get to start saying no.

It’s not easy at first. But in time you will get better and relish this practice. Because at the heart of this issue is finding the real and authentic you to be worthy of love, attention and acceptance.

This issue of external forces will creep into most areas of our lives from time to time, and for some more than others. Consider yourself lucky if you grew up believing in yourself as the vibrant, awe-inspiring individual that you are! For the rest of us, here are some areas to consider:

Here are my Top 5 things to Just Say NO to:

1. Say “Fuck No” to other people’s expectations

communication in relationshipsHow many people around you are dictating the path of your life?

It all starts with our family, doesn’t it? Your parents teach you, mold you, protect you, and so they have certain expectations for you. Most parents want the best for their kids. And so it’s natural that the parents have their own ideas of what “the best” looks like for their child. But as the child grows, matures and evolves, do the forces that shaped the now-older-child stop oppressing him/her? Or do the parents encourage the child to be free and go (re)create themselves?

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What patterns from my childhood did I not like?
  • Do they still exist in my adult life?
  • Do I placate my family members?
  • Is it really worth it to appease them if it means you can’t be authentically you?

And what about your group of friends? How much shit do you go along with because they tell you to do it, or because it’s what the friends do, so you go along with it too?

Stop.

You’ve got this thing called intuition. Your gut instincts. You may have lost some of that sense along the way, but it’s still there… if you slow down and listen to it.

If you feel uneasy about some situation, there’s probably a reason why. Stop and listen to that unease. And ask yourself WHY.

Maybe it’s time you start doing what’s best for YOU; not your friends. Not your family.

2. Stop going with the flow, if that flow is not your flow

just say noSociety has its own sense of ‘normalcy.’ It’s much subtler than any pressure from your family or friends, but it’s still incredibly prevalent in our lives. So much so that you don’t even recognize it.

Our current culture says that you should go to school, be pretty / handsome, get a job, get married, have kids and then retire.

Most people go with that flow. And that’s totally fine.

But what if that’s not YOUR flow? What if you want something else? What if you desire a different path in your life?

You would take on the risk of being judged if you went your own way. But thankfully our culture is starting to shift away from this cookie-cutter life design and into a more individualized approach. But it’s been a hard fight to get here.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Did you go to college because you didn’t know what else to do?
  • Are you seeing / Have you seen everyone around you getting married and you feel pressured to get a date already and catch up?
  • Do you have a passion in your life that you feel is not employable? And so you went and got a regular job because that was the “right thing to do”?
  • Do you look to celebrities to see what the latest trends are for style? Do you look to get your friends approval for your style?
  • Do you feel pressured to have a perky booty? A flat stomach? Ripped abs? and, and, and…
  • Who is dictating these desires for you?
  • Is it your need to feel accepted by society? Are you seeking someone’s approval?

Only you can answer those questions for yourself. And I hope you are able to be really honest with yourself.

And then ask yourself this very simple question:

“What makes ME happy?”

3. Say “Fuck No” to the body morphing

What trend shall we keep up with this year? Will it be the Atkins diet, the Southbeach diet, the Keto diet, the blah blah blah diet…?

Should women be skinny, ripped, big butts, small butts, big boobs, perky boobs, blonde hair, pink hair, purple hair…?

Should men be buff, rugged, thighs ripping out of their torn jeans, with a scruffy beard, and a smirk on their smug faces…?

I am all for healthy living, including eating well and exercising, but how much of what we do is because that’s what society wants, and how do we do because that’s what WE as individuals want?

How about instead we all individually ask ourselves:

  • What makes ME feel good?
  • Where am I at MY best?
  • And what can I do to get there?

Healthy, to me, means having a body that does not get in the way of whatever you want to do. It has nothing to do with the shape of your body, and everything to do with how your body functions.

Optimal functionality = healthy body.

It’s that simple.

Fuck everything else.

4. Stop staying silent and not speaking your truth

This one is near and dear to me because I was taught (indirectly,) that I didn’t matter. There were other people in my life growing up that always got their way and so I learned very quickly that my voice didn’t matter.

Too many people are living that.

It’s time to stop staying silent because you do have a voice and you do matter.

If this issue speaks to you, I encourage you to go read THIS article which goes into greater depth on this topic.

A beautiful transformation will begin for you once you start speaking your truth. It’s not one that I can describe for you, or even promise that will come true, because everyone will go through their own changes here. But know this:

Speaking up to voice your own truth will ignite the depths of your soul that have laid dormant for too long. It’s time to speak up and be your true, authentic self.

Why?

Because you are worthy of being seen and you are worthy of being heard.

5. Say “Oh Hell Fuck No” to bad sex

Enough is enough! Stop going through the motions to placate your partner.

If sex is not enjoyable for you, then why are you doing it?

Sex is the most pleasurable experience we have as humans! Well… it should be!!

So first thing first:

  • How well do you know your own body?
  • Can you bring yourself pleasure through touch?
  • Do you know what turns you on sexually?
  • Do you know your erogenous zones?
  • Can you bring yourself to orgasm through masturbation?

If you answered NO to any of those questions, then stop blaming your partner for not bringing you pleasurable sexual experiences. It’s not their fault.

You need to take some time to fully explore your own body. Embrace your sexuality through this exploration. If this is something that makes you uncomfortable, read my article Screw The Taboo.

Once you have gone through the first step of learning how to pleasure your own body, then it’s time to elevate your sexual experiences with your partner(s).

There’s a reason I saved the issue of great sex for last; sexual relationships (the great ones) are all encompassing.

Here’s what I mean:

  1. Stop the expectations. If your partner is placing expectations on you, then there is pressure to perform to their standards. And then you are not free to beautifully express yourself in the erotic acts of sexual play. Say “Fuck No” to expectations.
  2. Stop going with the flow, if that flow is not your flow. Has something been happening in your sexual encounters that does not feel genuine to you? Then…
  3. Say something and speak your truth! This takes tremendous courage in certain circumstances! I find the best thing you can do is have conversations about sex AWAY from the actual sexual encounters. First, because it’s a mood killer. And second, because it’s MUCH easier to talk about wants and needs when there’s no pressure to perform in the moment.
  4. An underlying issue that you need to address before even approaching a partner: your relationship with your own body. If you are embarrassed by your body, then you are not free to be open sexually. If you are hiding something, then you will be holding back in the bedroom.  But when you have achieved a healthy body (a body that can move, and move and MOVE,) you won’t be holding back anymore. There is no more shyness and there are no reservations in the physical union with your lover.

All of this advice leads you to living YOUR truth. Being authentically YOU is what will bring you more satisfaction and contentment then any temporary vice could possibly bring you.

Want to know the irony in all of this?

People gravitate towards others that are authentic. People are drawn to others that freely express themselves and make no apologies about it; people that recognize the value in uniqueness and so don’t judge those around them.

Those show us that we are free to be authentically ourselves too. They pave the way to show us that we can also be authentic and real, even when that doesn’t fit the mold society has created for us.

Be authentically YOU, continue living your truth, and the right people will love you for that.

Peace and love,

-Brandi

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2 thoughts on “Just Say No”

  1. Well written! And thank you for writing it- most people would benefit from taking just 10% of the advice you’ve mentioned above. I’ve talked about the perils of conformity for the last few years to those around me and not everyone sees the damage that it does, both individually and to our society as a whole. While we all conform to a certain degree to live peacefully together, it doesn’t mean we need to be robots who lack individuality.

    I hope that some people take something away from this. Those who need it most probably won’t (heck, those that need it most aren’t here reading your columns or my replies!) but it doesn’t mean they need it any less.

    Best wishes!

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