November Begins with NO

musings Nov 01, 2018

A couple weeks back I sent out a newsletter that claimed three of my favorite holidays are this week: Halloween, my daughter birthday (also 10/31) plus Day of the Dead.

But in my enthusiasm I forgot the fourth:

November first, the first day of
"November begins with No."

My friend Juju was the one who introduced this phrase to me. And every year the first day of November feels like an inhale of oxygen after you've been holding your breath too long. 

Here in California we don't get seasons in the same way as the rest of the country so I  need an intervention at this time. Something to say- Hey, woah there Nellie, it's not summer any more slooooooooooow down, come inside, put your feet up. It's still pretty outside and I'm still wearing flip flops so the turn of the calendar has to  be my cue.

"Wait, what does November Begins with No - even mean?" my hubby asked this morning in the face of my enthusiasm. "No to EVERYTHING!" I said, throwing out my hands out in glee. (He may or may not have escaped quickly to the other room with his coffee.)

Really it means saying no to the places you should have been saying no to all along so that you can make some room for the important yeses. You know, those yes things that you've been saying were "the most important thing" if only you would get to them.

Sometimes my yes arises immediately in the vacuum of my nos. Sometimes I just sit happily (or uncomfortably) in my nos for the month.

Usually in practice this means saying no to social engagements that don't nourish me, even if you might hurt some feelings. But it also means saying no to numbing out with stupid things.  For example I love to say no to deserts that aren't pumpkin pie and replacing my instagram scrolling with a satisfying practice like 8 minutes a day of painting.  (I brought back my Time Bender course just for this purpose!)

What permission would you feel if you let yourself believe that November starts with No?


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