It’s a day before my birthday, and I’m lost in reflection. Today, only one word comes to my mind, and that is tranquility. I noticed that as I’m getting older, I become much more at peace with myself. There is more desire in my life to have tranquility and silence. It’s almost as if though these things were air to my lungs, air to live, to breathe.

Still, I wasn’t always peaceful and tranquil. I used to have days when I was running on impatience and needed to stay occupied. I prided myself on having a calendar booked to the brim and a never-ending social schedule. During that time, I thought that staying busy was a sublime definition of tremendous success.

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Now, my life is a hundred eighty degrees in the opposite direction. I choose how and with whom I spend my time, and as much as I love exciting events – I have to allocate time for solitude. Because adding a bit of that seclusion is what keeps me grounded. During that time, I get to rest, think, review my plans and ideas, and as a result, I become more creative, focused, and well-rested.

Furthermore, these exclusive “me times,” my invaluable necessities, build integral pieces of the foundation that holds in place everything that might go wrong at any time throughout my life. It’s during a crisis that I go back to those solitary moments to regain strength and retain my sanity. Besides, I realize that if I was running on adrenaline all the time, inevitably, I would self destruct.

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Additionally, I know that being organized and being gentle on myself are the things that allow me to have continuous tranquility. The less stress, the better. Plus, if I maintain good sleeping habits, planned working hours, routine tasks while incorporating “me time,” I relieve myself of unnecessary heartache and anxiety. Consequently, I live a more fulfilled, harmonious life. But all of this requires a certain level of discipline. And I have to practice making that choice every day.

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Moreover, I am proud that I’ve achieved a level of confidence that allows me to graciously know when to say “no.” Which is also an element of taking care of myself and respecting my time. In our society, women are thought to often say “yes.” Some of the messages we heard in childhood were: be pleasant, don’t upset anyone, be agreeable, be kind – basically be a good girl. And while there is nothing wrong with these individual character traits, sometimes we can get lost in the meaning of it all. Basically, saying no doesn’t mean you’re not a nice person. Saying no means you respect yourself, and in return, you respect others.

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Today I firmly resolve that saying no is indeed living a gracious life. Being able to say no is a genuine and honest way to thrive among people. When you say no to someone, you’re not rude; instead, you’re avoiding resentments. Living in bitterness is opposite to peace and tranquility. Why would you want to jeopardize that?

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Women, need to stop obsessing over what other people will think. Do you know what someone thinks of you when your answer is no? They respect you for being decisive, confident, and, most importantly, real. Be brave today, and take a chance at saying the word no. Just make sure you say it in a composed tone of voice. Best no’s come out with a heartfelt smile attached to them. Say no and watch your own personal transformation unravel.

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So there – as I’m about to bite into my decadent birthday cake, followed by Godiva chocolates, I thus conclude my brief chant about tranquility, carving the time for “me time” and saying the word no. All of the things, though not always easy, I was able to slowly attain as part of my personal development.

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And, so I leave you pondering with these thoughts for a little while. Create your own personal tranquility process and watch becoming happy. What? My age, you ask? My friend, I shall not tell you. A small element of practicing tranquility is keeping some things private, and today, my answer to you is a definite but very tender and loving: “no.”

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Photography by Loverna Journey

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