Today marks the first day of November. Conveniently, it is also World Vegan Day, which brings me to the crux of this blog post which is that I have made a commitment to myself for November to say No. In general, I would say my diet is now 98 or 99% vegan and around the same percentage gluten free. I have come to a point where whenever I eat anything containing animal products, I feel kinda sick. I also know how my mind works – and that is as soon as I or someone else says I cannot do or have something, that is exactly the thought that creeps into my mind.
So I have made a commitment to myself – and now in public to you lovely people – to say NO in November. Is that a cop out? Perhaps. It is a relatively short amount of time which will allow me to remind myself of why I want to be eating in this way, for both internal and external reasons. It feels much less daunting to say “I'm giving up forever” or “I am giving up for a year” (which is what I did with alcohol 6 months ago now). Just a challenge to myself, confident in the knowledge that it will make me more resolved to stick to it 100%.
For me, this has been a lovely reminder of the need to reflect on my personal limits and the things I need to be saying 'no' to. I find this is especially important at times of transition. Reflecting on the things that are and aren't working for us allows us to clear out the bad and make more space to develop the good. Many of the people in my life whom I most admire are constantly defining and redefining their personal limits. When they know exactly where they are at, this opens up space to radiate positivity and compassion into the world.
Vulnerability researcher and multiple TED Talk speaker Brené Brown argues that generosity cannot exist without boundaries. Boundaries, she says, are the key to self love and loving kindness more generally. By defining what is okay and what is not okay, we send a clear message to others about what we expect from others and from ourselves. Watch her in her flow here.
For you, this may be something about diet, it may be something about fitness, your interpersonal relationships or your work/life balance. It might be aspects of all of these.
So this November, let's see the beauty in saying no sometimes. You never know what you could attract as a result.