I Can But I Won’t – Dharma

“I can do this, but no thank you I will not.”

I am practicing saying no to activities that I can do but that I do not want to do. Every task, even the familiar and simple, requires a set amount of energy from our energy banks. When we continually say yes we deplete more and more credit, leaving ourselves energetically bankrupt.

Just because I can, does not mean I will. For example, last week I was asked at the last minute to teach an early morning private yoga class. I had the time however my day from 10 am thru 3 pm was stacked with work that had no flexibility. Atlanta traffic plus client expectations meant that I was praying to skip thru the day with punctuality. I realized that taking on this private would add to my subtle anxiety about my day’s task list.

Saying “I can do this but I won’t,” connects me to one of the tenets found in Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient Indian study of the science of life. Our Ojas are our grounding “roots” in our body. They represent our vital, calm energy, similar to the light surrounding the moon. This folk wisdom from ancient Indians emphasizes balance in mind body and spirit.

The Ojas, when strong, provide peaceful vibrancy. When our Ojas are nurtured we experience excellent immunity, sleep, digestion and overall vitality. We nourish our Ojas by recognizing the need for work, relationship and healthy living balance each day. When I say “no thank-you” to extra tasks I am keeping my Ojas intact.

Western science uses the term adrenal fatigue to define too much of anything, even a good thing, leading. Adrenal fatigue leads to excessive cortisol employment and a physically drained existence.

“I can do this, but no thank you I will not” protects me from fizzling and potentially facing this fatigue.

So no to the client, no to picking up photos during rush hour, no to the wine-tasting and no to the extra load of the laundry. I can but I won’t. Reading in bed by 8 pm tonight will nurture my Ojas and cultivate peaceful vibrancy.



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