“I wish I could tell people no,” my friend, Jill said. “But I’m afraid it’s just going to cause more trouble.” How does a Wiccan say no and still protect her relationships?
The answer lives in The Three Aspects of the Goddess. Many of us have heard of the Maiden, Mother and Crone. I’m suggesting here that all three aspects are necessary – not only for our spiritual growth, but also for us to support our relationships at work and with family.
Recently, I heard multiple times in the same week, Wiccans saying, “I don’t have time for my spiritual practice.” With people demanding your time and effort, it can feel almost impossible to have time for your personal, spiritual journey.
Some authors suggest that “saying no” is a prime, time-management tool.
I’ll add that you cannot merely say no. You need to add something kind and conscious to that process.
Three Aspects of the Goddess
We’ll focus on the Three Aspects of the Goddess to help you find more time, so you can improve your own Wiccan practice.
First, you don’t just say no.
I once heard a speech in which the person said, “You could say something like this: ‘I’ll have to say no at this time. My plate is full. Let’s see if we can brainstorm for a moment. Maybe, I know someone who can help you with that.’” The speaker’s point was that you don’t just say no. You also find a way to be helpful.
That’s the essence of the below Three Aspects of the Goddess Elements to Say No Process:
- Maiden (fertility of ideas)
Many times, people can be demanding of your time and efforts when it’s not your duty or job description.
Still, you need to protect the relationship.
This is the time to invoke the Maiden form of the Goddess, known for fertility. Let’s add the thought: fertility in terms of creating new ideas.
When you embody “Maiden energy,” you say things like:
- I hear you. The paperwork is tough. How about I brainstorm with you about when in the shift you can do it?
- I understand. The paperwork is complicated. I realize that at some time (maybe I’m on vacation), you’d need to take care of it. When can we take 15 minutes, and I’ll show you how to do Part One of the paperwork?
This process is about you helping the person think of ways to fulfill the task or request without you.
The Maiden has lots of youthful energy. To guard your own energy, you need to express to the person what you’re willing to do, and more importantly what you’re not willing to do.
Remember, there are things you cannot do for the person you care about. You cannot take their final exam, and you cannot, in their place, arrive on time for work.
I’ve heard Wiccans complain about “where did my energy go?” Guard your own Maiden energy by shifting to helping people do their own tasks.
- Mother (nurture the person to do things)
Embrace and nurture the person. Help the person do things for themselves.
My friend, Jill, at work, puts forth the idea of a rotating schedule for the duty of filling out the paperwork.
Jill discovers that helping the other people learn how to do paperwork gives them a sense of accomplishment that they are growing their skills.
Make sure you nurture (and reinforce) the new behaviors by giving specific praise to another person who is learning new things. Appreciate them and give them good feelings. Celebrate that the person’s skills and experiences have expanded.
My husband’s coach talks about “growing your comfort zone.”
An effective mother does not do all the tasks. She empowers her family to add new skills. The family members “grow their comfort zone.”
- Crone (provide “wisdom with a hug”)
I think of the effective Crone as one who provides wisdom with a hug.
Without a hug or giving a person good feelings, it’s just someone telling another person what to do.
For example, some male individuals say, “I’m a recovering Mr. Fix It.” This is recognizing that we want to avoid just telling someone: “To fix that, you should do _____.”
Wisdom with a hug means “you hold them and their feelings.” And that means you listen.
* * *
In summary, you can create more time for yourself and your spiritual path when you learn to say no and add The Three Aspects of the Goddess. I’m not saying this is easy. It takes practice.
When you’re not running around doing everyone else’s work, you can have time for your personal spiritual practices.
May this process create more peace and joy in your life.
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