Yesterday, while waiting one week before giving you the second step of Time-Sculpting 101, I mentioned Peter Bregman, whose 18 Minutes on using time smartly inspired me.

Bregman is the deepest, most thoughtful productivity coach I have read.  His aim is lasting organizational change.  RAISING CLARITY’s aim is unabashedly spiritually directed depth transformation of the inner person and the outer organization.

A Medical Thangka, “Root of Treatment,” by Sangye Gyamtso (Gyurme Dorje) [Public domain, found on Wiki Commons

Our similarities in viewpoint and differences make Bregman, as I wrote yesterday, “my perfect foil.”  He’s written me briefly (already!) to appreciate yesterday’s post, for which I thank you, Peter!  (How we do anything is how we do everything: the fact that Bregman chose to email is both humbling and proof he walks his talk in an era when “I didn’t have time” is accepted as meaning something other than that we didn’t choose to make time.  I encourage my clients simply to state this truth, kindly and directly.  I appreciate how Bregman’s way of thinking helps me explain the ways RAISING CLARITY is different, without competition or invalidation.  Here’s another excerpt from Bregman’s original article* adapted from 18 Minutes which I found so thought-provoking:   “In the face of unlimited options, people often make the wrong choices, like they might do at a buffet. Success often means  limiting our options. Sometimes you have to say no to opportunities that look good, because over  time they add up to one big fat distraction.”  I can’t tell you how grateful I am someone way more famous than me has said this!  What a relief.  Many RAISING CLARITY readers especially need to hear this, if you are a visionary who needs to be more firmly grounded.   A tree’s branches are balanced beneath the Earth by its roots.  We don’t see the roots, but roots are what allow a tree to lift its arms to Heaven. Many of us learn this the hard way.  In this particular example of saying “no,” being strongly, deeply grounded gives you instant recognition when to say no.  RAISING CLARITY teaches understandings and practices that help you cut the corners that sharpen your learning curve.  One understanding we teach is that “no” is a juicy, deeply creative word.  Many loving visionaries say “No” like it’s a bad thing.  “No” is a negation.  That doesn’t make it negative.  In fact, sometimes “no” is my favorite word.  (Sometimes it’s “tea-time.”)  Saying “no” allows us to mean “yes” when we say yes.  According to Neil Douglas-Klotz’s “The Yes and No of
Existence,”** the Arabic word for God, “Allah,” and the Hebrew “Elohim,”  include the words “yes” and “no.”   Saying “No” when you feel it is a spiritual practice that restores balance to too much “Yes.”

Offer No Like You Were Offering Yes.  Say “no” like a gift.  Realize how relieved the other person may be to hear you turning down an option, including one that might involve more from them.  Realize it is a gift to yourself, and to your calling to learn wisely and well to say a sweet and firm “no.”

*Published last year in Spirit magazine and currently unavailable.  Excerpts from 18 Minutes can be found on Peter’s website.

**In The Sufi Book of Life: 99 Pathways of the Heart for the Modern Dervish, page 4.



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