Alignment and the Art of Saying No

Aug 30, 2016

How to Say No |

Going through your Third-LIfe Alignment requires a woman to become exquisitely good at saying no.


No to the things, people, and activities that don’t feel good anymore.

No to the trappings of a life that isn’t yours.

No to anything – anything – that simply isn’t working for you and serving your ability to live in alignment with your values, your desires and your potential.

Here are a few ways to say no, when the word no itself might not feel right.


  1. That’s not for me, thanks.
  2. I’d rather not.
  3. Thanks, but not right now.
  4. I don’t think I’m the best person to ask.  Have you tried….?
  5. This is not a good time for me / my family.
  6. I’ve been working on doing some reprioritizing, and I’ve decided to stop….
  7. I’d love to help, but perhaps in a lesser capacity.  Is there something else I could do?
  8. That doesn’t really feel like “me.”
  9. I think I’ll pass.
  10. I don’t think I’d be able to give that my best effort; I wouldn’t feel good about saying yes to that right now.
  11. I’m going to focus my energy elsewhere, thanks.
  12. I’m really trying to simplify my life right now, and so I’ve decided not to add anything else to my schedule / life / plate at this time.
  13. That sounds amazing, but I’m not going to be able to.
  14. I wish I could.
  15. I’ve got a lot on the go right now; anything more would be too much for me.
  16. I’m learning how to say no to some things in my life.  I’m going to practice that right now…no!
  17. No, thank you.
  18. That sounds like it might be a right fit for (so and so).
  19. Wow, what a great opportunity / idea / question.  I wonder who you could get to join you / help you out / do that?
  20. Nope.  Naw.  No.

Your turn!

Do you ever have a hard time saying no?

What are some ways to say no that have worked for you?

The Becoming Podcast has been on a short hiatus while I focus on writing my book, but oh what a comeback episode I have for you!

This month, I spoke to Toko-pa Turner, who many of you may know as the unofficial patron saint of many of my circles and gatherings because of the sheer number of times I’ve quoted from the wisdom of her book, Belonging.

Toko-pa is a Canadian author, teacher, and dreamworker. Blending the mystical teachings of Sufism in which she was raised with a Jungian approach to dreams, she founded The Dream School in 2001, from which thousands of students have graduated. She is the author of the award-winning book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home, which explores the themes of exile and belonging through the lens of dreams, mythology, and nature. This book has resonated for readers worldwide, and has been translated into 10 different languages so far. Her work focuses on the relationship between psyche and nature, and how to follow our inner wisdom to meet with the social, psychological, and ecological challenges of our time.

Here’s some of what Toko-pa and I talk about in this episode:

> The dream that changed Toko-pa’s life, causing her to question her career and, ultimately, her identity

> How we can court our dreams to support us during times of radical transformation – and the reasons so many of us have a hard time remembering and working with what shows up in our dreamscape

> Toko-pa’s perspective on the message of Belonging after the divisiveness our society has experienced in the years since it was published

> What happened for both Toko-pa and I when we fell out of belonging from the ideologies of the “wellness world”

> How to build community when you’re under-resourced

> “The Big Lie” when it comes to belonging, and how we can reclaim a sense of belonging to the greater family of things, as Mary Oliver so famously wrote

Listen to the episode on iTunes


Show Notes

Toko-pa’s Website

Belonging:  Remembering Ourselves Home, Toko-pa’s book

The David Abram video about animism mentioned in the interview

Toko-pa’s self-guided program, Dream Drops

Companion, the program that accompanies Belonging


Also, while you’re at it, if you enjoy The Becoming Podcast, I would be so grateful if you would rate and review, and even subscribe to it on iTunes.  That goes a long way to helping more and more people find and benefit from hearing these interviews!  Thank you so much!