top of page
  • Writer's pictureSylvia

Being authentic, saying no

Are you ready for a gentle exploration?

You might remember that Dr Gabor Mate* is one of my heroes.

His work on childhood development, the mind-body connection, addiction, trauma, illness, healing and the state of the world in general and the medical system in particular is highly enlightening.

Here's one of his wise nuggets:


"If you don't know how to say no, your body will say it for you

through physical illnesses." Gabor Mate

And here is the exercise I promised you in my last post.

I've come across it at a recent lecture by Gabor and I hope you'll find it as insightful as I do.

This is an invitation to review the previous seven days of your life.

Maybe you want to find a quiet space, make yourself comfortable, get yourself a nice cuppa of something warming or refreshing, maybe you want to light a candle … whatever signals relaxation and me-time to you.

The big recommendation is to NOT judge yourself in any way, but be kind and compassionate with yourself and simply observe the situations that come up.

Ask yourself:

In the previous seven days:

  • Where didn't I say no, although I wanted to say no? (maybe a friend asked to have coffee with you, but you were tired, a co-worker asked you a favour, although you were already working overtime, your partner wanted sex, but you weren't in the mood ...)

  • What was the impact? (maybe you became tired, irritated, resentful, moody, your back started playing up, your muscles tensed up, your tummy grumbled, the headache started …)

  • What was the belief behind my inability to say no? (Again, be really honest with yourself, you don't need to share this with anybody. And you might come up with old beliefs like: I'm not caring enough, I'm a bad person, I feel guilty, I'm selfish …)

  • Where and when did I learn this belief? (probably in childhood, do you also remember the situation? Do you hear the voice that instilled that belief in you?)

  • Who would I be without this belief? (Imagine your world without this belief, even if it's challenging. Trust your answer, it'll come ...)

  • Where am I not saying yes? A yes, that wants to be said but isn't said. (That might be a yes to yourself, your interests and your needs, e.g. you are passionate about something and want to do that or go there, but you are prioritising somebody or something else, putting somebody's needs first, are too busy, too tired, too stressed, too …)

Gabor suggests that with these questions, you'll start recognising your inauthenticity and move automatically towards authenticity.

If you constantly suppress yourself and your needs, you risk losing touch with yourself and might sacrifice your own health and well-being in the long run.


Maybe you want to take twenty minutes a week to do this exercise?

Simply exploring and noticing.

Do you feel you can't do this because you are too busy?

Gabor expressed it fairly brutally:

“What are you saying about yourself? Are you not worth twenty minutes a week? Are you not deserving your own attention?”

Let me know what you think and remember to be kind to yourself. And if you want to find out how you can heal the tension and any aches and pains that might have already manifested while also becoming more resilient, let's have a chat.

You deserve to feel so much better. Natural. Innate. TREmendous.


PS *There's a beautiful documentary about Gabor's work called The Wisdom of Trauma - I've seen it four times and some bits still reduce me to tears. Yes, it's that beautiful! PPS Just so you know - the above link is an affiliate link. If you watch the film through my link, I may get a small commission, but it doesn't change the fee for you. Thanks for supporting this and also my work!

14 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page