One of the first words you learn as a child is no. A simple word that sets a personal boundary. It's ironic that a word used freely as a child seems so difficult to say as an adult. When we absolutely must say no we ungracefully add a list of reasons why.

Why can't we say no?

Maybe saying yes makes us feel like a stand out employee, a supportive friend or all-star parent? Or maybe we say yes just to fill the need to be "busy", accomplishing "stuff". Please don't ask for a definition of "busy" or "stuff". I get caught here often and its embarrassing what falls into these categories.

I spent an hour on the phone with a frustrated employee on Thursday night. Nine little incidents that turned out less then perfect the last few weeks were leaving her feeling like a big ("ugly") failure.

Or was that the problem?

Could a few small situations really cause this much frustration?

The conversation turned to her workload and how much rest and time for herself was happening. She was saying yes to more then she could accomplish well. She was forgetful, exhausted and frumpy. I had noticed and when issues would popped up they felt heavy enough to dissolve her.

When we fill our lives to the brim we often suffer personally. Not to mention the people around us affected by our exhaustion, shortness and frazzled panic over daily life. It's. Not. Pretty.

As a photographer I recommend a full week of at least 8 hour sleeps to my clients before a session. I can see the exhaustion on their faces and in their photos without proper beauty rest.

Give yourself a little grace to take time for the things that make you feel beautiful. We all have endless demands but life really can wait for you to refresh. Leave the guilt at the door and return at your best.

Thoughts about saying no was inspired by my friends who take time to refresh and be real. Who live well and extend grace to themselves and others. You know who you are and you are so inspiring.

P.S. I want to share some photos from one of this young lady's recently styled sessions for Charming In Love, that I think are perfect. Don't let the little stuff get to you and leave you feeling like a big "ugly" failure. Celebrate your successes and push forward. xo- Laura