Practice Series: Learning to Say No with Love

Hello friends, old and new. I’m going to get real about saying no. 


Hello friends, old and new. I’m going to get real about saying no. 

If you’re anything like me, over the years you’ve probably understood the concept of saying no and why it’s important—so that you can give your all during the experiences to which you say yes. Essentially, when we say NO to something we truly don’t want to do, we say YES to ourselves.  

That’s powerful.

But if I’m going to be honest, I’ll make the claim that the majority of us are only beginning to understand what we truly want. Our desires themselves have been crafted by society.  

Again, if you’re like me, you’re consistently focusing on what your truest desires actually are. And if you know what they are, you’re consciously seeing how they can be fully expressed in a society that suppresses passions and pleasure. 

So, time and time again, we find ourselves overworked and overbooked, with the best of intentions and things we thought we wanted to do at the time. We look at our calendar and think, where is the time for me?  

That’s what this month’s practice aims to support you in: the art of saying no. 

Keep in mind this is not an absolute, black-and-white kind of art. As we grow and change and comprehend our truest desires, the art of saying no gets more chiseled to honor our full soul’s calling. In the process, each “yes” we say that should have been a “no” contains a potent lesson that can help you get crystal-clear. And when we heed the lessons, life gets more pleasurable. 

A practice to help you say "no":  

  1. Take out your calendar. Look at what you have planned for the next month, starting today. Look at each day.  
  2. Really evaluate: “Do I fully desire to do this? If I don’t, is it something that I can get away with cancelling, without truly hindering my income, family, or friendships? If it isn’t, how can I start to make changes now, so that in the future I don’t feel like I’ll hinder something by saying yes to me instead?”
  3. Remove the items you’d like to cancel from your calendar and take any related actions needed to bring loving closure to them in your life. Notice how it feels in your body to do this and breathe into whatever arises. 

Note: I don’t have children (yet), and I know parents and other caretakers need to approach this subject a bit differently. However, I have an inkling that much of it still applies to you, and I hope this can inspire you to make some changes to more align with your soul’s calling as well. 

YOU are the most important thing you’ll ever do. As I am the most important thing I’ll ever do. How can we start saying YES to ourselves first, so that when we do say yes to anything else, we can show up as the relaxed, joyful, ready-to-experience-life humans we know we are?  

I’d love to know in the comments below: What realizations did you have when looking at your calendar? What changes did you or will you make?  

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Ariella Forstein


Ariella Forstein is a professional songstress and a vocal empowerment coach. You can hear her music and learn about her work at and


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