What is your first reaction when you hear the word "No" ?
Is it a cringing? A pang? A sadness or sense of rejection? Loss of confidence?
Or is it a sense of excitement and empowerment? Possibility? An opportunity for something else?
I've always had a hard time with the word no, hearing it and speaking it. I grew up as a people pleaser, an enabler of sorts. Yes sir, yes ma'am, yes mom and dad, yes world even if it hurts me. I did not have any sense of boundaries or even the feeling that it was ok to have boundaries.
Hearing no was hard too. I was very lucky as a child and was afforded all of the opportunities I wanted. I really didn't hear no that often, so when I did, it came as a shock.
Image by Charles Gollob
This August I participated in two minimalist experiments.
One was to get rid of physical objects as a game, the mins game; The other project was practicing a Buy-Nothing month.
The premise of the mins game is that you get rid of the same amount of objects as is the number that day. For example, on August 1st you would get rid of one object, on August 2nd two objects and so on, throughout the course of the month. My partner originally invited me to do this with him.
I was really excited about the idea, I host clothing swaps all of the time but this was more, this would challenge me. It went really well for the first few days. We both set our items aside and asked each other about it daily. I got a little more excited and started purging things ahead of time, keeping track of my number. Matt petered out after the first week. I made it well into the 20’s (I’m past day 24 and still slowly culling). We were on the road a lot last month so it made it hard to keep up at the end.