There are people out there that really need The Power of No. If someone is on the edge of the abyss, as the authors - James and Claudia - clearly have been, this is the book I would proffer. It’s like an insight into a depressive hell, albeit from my standpoint with a cup of tea and mouth aghast, spilling said tea.
The essence of the Power of No is simply taking control of your life by doing things that you actually want to do, that are valuable to you, as opposed to those tasks we feel encumbered to do. To borrow a lovely phrase from the book, avoid ‘superfluous distraction’, such as watching television or reading the news. Or, since it’s Christmas, spending shitloads of money on stuff you don’t need, on people you don’t like, for a day that means nothing. Shalom! Ha ha This basic tenet of the book (saying no, not the grinch bit) is exceptionally straight forward. It’s then a matter of plucking up the courage to take that first steps. The expansion to this is not giving excuses, not giving reasons or having to lie when invited to participate in something you don’t wish to. You simply say ‘no I can’t make it.’ It’s immediately implementable. What a lovely gift of freedom that is!
Then there’s the next layer to The Power of No, pumping up the tyres of spirituality, of divine whispers, of a divine plan. To quote, 'surrendering in order to live a life directed by divine forces is the ultimate goal of a person whose energy has risen’. For me, this is a bit too stretchy-pants-spirit-animal-finding-yourself-oh-there-you-are type of thing, but each to their own. These sections are reserved for those that trapped in such a dark place that no rhyme or reason or logic can lift you out of your despair, and that somehow feeling God or higher powers have a plan for you will help. Thankfully I am not there, and woe betide those poor bastards that are. Yup, bit of a downer, sorry about that. It can’t all be penis jokes every week, can it? If you have a problem, and no one else can help, and if you can find them, contact the A-Team. Otherwise, try this book.
There are lovely ideas though, some I already possess in my armoury and others I’ve adopted: becoming an ‘ideas generating machine’ where every day you write down ten ideas (quality isn’t important) which I think is great for a start-up and problem-solving mindset; of spending several minutes every day in complete silence, letting your mind catch a breath and letting the tensions of your day wash away; and lastly of letting go of the anger or guilt in things you said ten years ago – these things cannot change, it’s useless and unhelpful to give them any thought.
The last idea the book discussed was being thankful, and that’s something I’ve never lost. And so, for the last post of 2018, a year that I accomplished a dream I’ve had for eleven years, in which I focused on being present, where I read more than I had in years, improved my Spanish and video editing skills (the latter was at level zero, so learning anything was good!) I am extremely grateful: for my friends and family’s unwavering support, intelligence, kindness and compassion, I am delighted and fortunate that you are part of my life. Happy New Year!
Writing and writing...