Yes Moments: No is Not the Anti-Yes

{YES MOMENTS – this week on Rosalilium we have some inspiring Guest Bloggers}

Today we have an old school friend of mine who never ceases to inspire me –

say hi to Jessica!



I am a yes person. Relentlessly opportunistic, positive and adventurous it doesn’t take much for me to have my rubber arm twisted to more yes in life especially as a traveler ever embracing the unknown. That said, it wasn’t until recently that I found the power of ‘yes’ embedded in the austerity of ‘no’.

“No means no” is something my Dad would say to me growing up when I would duly run to mother for a second opinion, pull puppy eyes and have a staunch no reversed in to a yes with Mummy bonus’. Its no wonder I pursued Law as a student. Growing up I’ve embraced the power of positivity and openness and I’ve loved convincing people’s no’s to yes’s and gone on the spontaneous adventures of YES in the spare of the moment.

That said however the most liberating and empowering realisation yet has been to accept the words of my father;┬áno really does mean no.┬áSometimes we need to learn the power of no. It is the word that denies us our desires. The word that blocks us from what we believe to be destiny. The word that brings up an inner frustration that wants to yell “why won’t you let me have my waaaaaaaay!” Well at least that was the case for me as a self-proclaimed yes-addict.

And I am in no way bringing down ‘Yes’. Yes is amazing. Yes rhymes with my name. Yes is what we scream at that momentous climax when nothing else can escape our lips and make as much sense. Yes is all your wishes coming true. And no, from one perspective denies all these wonderful blessings.

As a lady traveler I have had some encounters that aren’t so brilliant of the sexual violation variety. This can happen and through these experiences one finds her inner wild woman in order to kick-ass to said offenders. What I realised most profoundly is that if I could not learn to accept ‘no’ as being ‘no’ then how could I expect equal respect to that word when the tables turned and it was my lips that were uttering that single syllable? No is a boundary. No is a line in the sand. No says “I love you but I can’t always give you what you ask for” and No says “its time for you to accept that you can’t always get what you want”. No is where Yes finally surrenders.


Learning this lesson wasn’t easy. I want openness. I want giving. I want cosmically orgasmic YESness! But what is yes without a no? How do we know these things without knowing what their denial feels like? The boundaries are the best places to play in and the most fun to push, the periphery of existence holds joys and adventure and one day you might find that a line must get drawn and with that wonderful realisation that NO is a place you’ve never fully appreciated before.


Jessica Brookes is an unofficial corporate dropout come belated gap year(s) traveler. She now manages and takes ‘The Shanti Space’ on tour with her while sharing her raw experiences from the road at


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  1. I do think that there is a lot of power in ‘no’ and it doesn’t always have to be negative – sometimes we need to say it. Sometimes it does us good to hear it!

  2. I love the idea of a good “no” making yes more meaningful. And I love Yes Man – the book by Danny Wallace is a big reason I met my husband and we went to see the film in Calgary early on in our relationship (when he lived there and I was considering emigrating).

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