Practice Series: Take Our No-Apologies Challenge

I'm NOT Sorry  (3)

 

The theme for this month’s practice series is WHOLENESS.

“Sorry, I meant to answer that call,” “Sorry, what did you say?,” “Sorry, let me get out of your way.” I can’t tell you how many times in a day I replace the phrases “excuse me” or “pardon me” with apologizing for myself (and I know I'm not alone—many other women have this tendency). And yet, as someone who works hard not to hurt others, there is very little real reason for those words to escape my lips. 

My frequent apologizing may seem innocuous enough, but I assure you it isn’t. If we speak down to ourselves, if we disregard ourselves in such a manner, it can be detrimental to our own self-worth. Something as simple as owning the space we occupy in this world is vital to our very sense of wholeness. 

What happens after a lifetime of apologizing for the space I take up in this world? I didn’t want to find out. So a few months ago I decided to have a “no apologies” day. It was freeing and challenging and oh so telling. I discovered just how ingrained this habit is for me. And I learned that sometimes I was afraid to take up space even though I knew in my soul that I deserved it.

As we head into a busy month, I'm feeling ready for another no apologies day. Join me in the challenge this week!

Practice: 

  1. First, give yourself a full day to notice how many times you say you’re sorry when you haven’t actually hurt anyone or done anything wrong. Just take note. Don’t judge. It’s okay, we all do it.
  2. Pick a day this week to set aside as your “no apologies day. It may help to put notes around your home or wear something on your body to remind yourself to say “pardon me” or “excuse me” instead.
  3. When the urge to apologize does arise, notice where you feel it in your body. Take a deep breath into that sensation and on your exhale notice any feelings that arise. Do you feel anxious? Sad? Annoyed? 
  4. If you do apologize for no reason, try not to feel bad. Remember, it’s just a practice.  Make the commitment in the moment to try again. Changing a habit takes time. You’re on your way … we’re on our way together.

 

Photo by Leyram Odacrem on Flickr (cc).

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Angelique Lele

About

Angelique is a yoga teacher, actor, and dancer. Though a trapeze accident paralyzed her and landed her in a wheelchair in 2012, she refused to slow down, and she’s been performing again through the world of integrative dance. Named Ms. Wheelchair Minnesota 2015, she's also been working to be an advocate for the disabled community. She dreams of a completely accessible world where the population at large sees those with disabilities as the whole, attractive, powerful, sexual beings we are!


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'Practice Series: Take Our No-Apologies Challenge' have 3 comments

  1. December 11, 2015 @ 1:18 pm Sarah

    Wow, it’s amazing how many times I hear that phrase slip out of my mouth throughout the day! I haven’t done the challenge day yet – so far I’ve just been observing the habit. I say it when I don’t really mean it… it comes out of some basic fear of taking up space. I am looking forward to doing the challenge this weekend!

    Reply

  2. December 14, 2015 @ 7:37 am Maiya

    This is a great practice, I am going to do it — I know I have this habit myself as so many of us do. Thanks Angie!

    Reply

  3. January 5, 2016 @ 10:49 am Penny

    I find when I say “sorry’ instead of “excuse me” I physically change. I can say “excuse me” very upright, while meeting the eye of the person I am speaking to. When I say “sorry”, for basically the same reason, I tend to round my shoulders and become more diminutive. This is a good exercise. I will keep it up.

    Reply


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