Do You Say Yes When You Mean No?

The Toltec had an interesting technique they called not-doing. Not-doing does not mean doing nothing. Not-doing is a decision you make to consider the opposite of what you have always been doing. Not-doing can be liberating. Not-doing can give you a refreshing perspective.

All of us, at one time or another if not most of the time, go through life half-asleep with blinders on, propelled by the engine of fear, unaware of our agreements, or caught up in habits born out of someone elseís fear.

Not-doing requires that you not accept as absolute truth all the things you think or say. The next time you feel stressed or react emotionally, listen very carefully to the dialog in your own mind. Is what you are saying to defend your point of view true? Is it really true? Just that little bit of doubt opens another way of looking at things that has very little to do with the intellect.

Do you have habits such as saying yes when we mean no, feeling obligated to act according to someone elseís wishes, staying at a job that holds no promise, or not having the courage to move on in a relationship when itís over?

Not-doing is simply the act of suspending habitual unconscious doing for the purpose of fostering awareness and regaining your balance. Nonstop doing is driven by the language mind. Not-doing is a perspective fostered by your dreaming mind.

In the doing of daily life we are like this and like that. We operate exclusively on the island of what we know. What is, and what we are capable of, are neatly contained without our description of how things are. This description is held together because we defend it, nurture it, and insist we are right, even if it doesnít feel good.

Belief, however, is holistic and contains elements far outside the narrow path carved by rational thought and nonstop action. To harvest the force of belief involves developing the dreaming mind in equal balance with the language mind. Our human being is nourished by balance, never by the imbalance caused by nonstop doing.

Not-doing opens possibilities that exist only outside the island of what you know. Engaging in not-doing considers viewpoints that embrace the opposite of your normal doing as equal and valid complements to what you normally do.

Adapted from BeliefWorks, by Ray Dodd (Hampton Roads, 2006). Copyright (c) 2006 by Ray Dodd. Reprinted by permission of Hampton Roads.
Adapted from BeliefWorks, by Ray Dodd (Hampton Roads, 2006).


Robert O.
Robert O6 years ago

Yes. Because I'm such a giving, mild-mannered person people assume that I'm a yes man. I really need to be more assertive, but then when I am people think I'm just being difficult and selfish even though they know better. They're just pissedthat they can't walk over me andget what they want 100% of the time. Itry to cut toxic people like that out of my life, but it's harder when you work with them or are related to them. Thanks for letting me vent and for the article.

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Miranda R.
Miranda R8 years ago

This is so beautiful and so true.

Nadia Ann
Past Member 8 years ago

I recently came across your Post and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice Post. I will keep visiting this post very often.

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