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Seattle May Meeting: Finding Your Sustainable Voice

Photos coming soon. (Thanks to Jessica who remembered her camera!)

Topic: How To Speak From Your Inner Sustainable Voice – Finding your green roots can help you speak up, communicate your passion and send out positive no’s.

We had a fairly healthy turnout seeing it was Memorial Day Weekend and many activities were going on around the city and how beautiful the weather was. Thank you everyone for spending a couple hours out of your Saturday to share in our discussions.

Focusing in and around the topic of saying “No” in a positive way, we started out the discussion on the Yes-No-Yes concept by William Ury and the book The Power of a Positive No. While the book itself is not focused on sustainability, we felt it was an appropriate topic for women who have a tendency of agreeing to too many things in their lives. Overcommitting, finding ourselves in situations where our gut was telling us we shouldn’t be there, or not staying on a clear path to what we really need in life – all of these things we can say no to but it ‘s learning how to do it in a positive way. By giving ourselves permission to say no, communicating it well and standing strong in our inner voice, we can show others what is important to us.

The book itself gives an example diagram of a tree (roots-yes, trunk-no, branches-yes). Our interpretation for our discussion was the bottom is rooted in your positive beliefs, the trunk wide with your unwavering policies of what you are unwilling to bend to, and the top branches are the positive outreach you are able extend to others freely and willingly. While the book showed how you can use this for individual issues you need help deciding in your life, we thought it was also a great visual for diagraming all of your sustainable values.

Jocelyn shared how she has deep roots in doing the best for the earth and was having trouble agreeing to spend over-budget trying to buy all organic at her local grocery stores. Her strength (trunk) was solid enough that it lead her to investigate alternatives for her and her family. She found that 21acres and other CSAs allowed her to stay in budget, purchase locally and give her family healthy food. Now she speaks this sustainable voice to others to encourage them to look into these alternatives to see if it can work for them as well.

Karen told us about her experiences as a music teacher . She knew that her roots of music were highly valuable and by insisting on raising her rates to the professional standards, she was able to tell others yes or no more easily because of her new policies. Those who didn’t value her services at the higher rate were not the type of clients that she needed any longer.

Becca related about trying to assist some non-profits who kept asking her for free help but then never heeded her advice. She realized they were overstepping their boundaries and decided to sever the relationship as they had not respected her needs in their relationship.

Jessica talked about her recent experience in trying to volunteer with a group that she was very excited about joining. During the training process she was dismayed with the rigidity which put a halt to her energies. Should she stick with it as she had done most of the hard work or was this a sign of things to come, that something that should be fun and artistic wouldn’t end up how she thought it would be. Using the Yes-No-Yes may bring her some answers to what she can offer them and what she can’t bend to due to her own mental and physical sustainability.

In what ways have you become strong and voiced your inner sustainable voice?

Attending sisters: Jocelyn, Becca, Karen, Gayle, Jessica and Kaytlyn

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