In my effort to keep my fingers on the pulse of online business, I’ve subscribed to possibly hundreds of email lists. Hourly I have emails pouring in from internet marketers, social media experts, business coaches, life coaches, specialty coaches (nonprofit, publishing, etc), authors, copywriters, news, oh, you name it, I get it.

Looking at it all from my current perspective, it seems a bit crazy.

Doesn’t mean I read it all, of course. But I do consume a silly amount. That’s my curious nature.

And that’s aside from my personal mail, mail to/from clients, and other areas that interest me.

Good that I’m hyper-organized, so each mail neatly pops into its own folder.

Today I put the hard brakes on it all.

Say no to everything, so you can say yes to the one thing.

Richie Norton

The one thing? That would be healing.

I’m feeling ‘lo batt’ (as my dear Filipino friends like to call being low on energy), with a low-grade headache moving up from my neck. I figured this was a good occasion to do something that takes time yet is a relatively no-brain task.

I’m not yet finished, but I’m well on my way… unsub, unsub, unsub…

Another reminder to self:

Freedom comes when you learn to let go, creation comes when you learn to say no.

Madonna Ciccone

What did you say NO to today?


  • Good decision.
    There is an information overload that slowly kills us.
    I am from a pre-internet area and I can easily compare the before and after.
    The internet (and what comes with it) brought a lot of good things. The whole world and information is at your fingertips but you should use it wisely. Otherwise you slowly killing yourself in an online virtual world while forgetting to live.
    So I unsubscribed to everything (even on subjects I am passionate about) as I quickly understood that it was pointless to keep up. If I really need information I just google it.
    In fact at this moment you are the only blog I am subscribed to 🙂
    It is beyond me to see, in my opinion, completely stupid vlogs being watched by millions of people.
    I hope that when I semi-retire on my farm I will disconnect/unsubscribe even more from this useless virtual world, connect more with nature, myself and others but in the physical & spiritual world.

    The internet (as a general term) is addictive like drugs, alcohol, coffee, sugar, smoking …
    I successfully got most of those addictions out of my life. I am confident that getting out of the virtual world will also be achievable.

    Saying NO is not something I need to learn. If ever, what I would need to learn is to say YES 🙂
    The danger of saying NO to a lot of things is that you reduce your world so you need to make sure you have a rich internal world if NO comes easily to you.

    It is important to find the right balance between yes and no… but say NO as soon as it becomes a habit, addictive or doesn’t bring you any joy.

    I also believe that serious health issues and/or getting older grounds people, helps them to refocus, force them to take a hard look at their own lives. To see our own finality and wonder how to spend our remaining time on earth.

    As a reminder I often check my poster with “my life in weeks”. It is creepy to watch it being filled up… but it helps me to unsubscribe to a lot of things that don’t really matters.


    Keep unsubscribing and use the free time to heal yourself.

    • A thoughtful answer, Sidney. I adore that you’re here with me and share your thoughts on my musings. And before I forget to say it, honored, truly, that you chose to have me in your virtual space. The hug is returned.

      Yes, balance is indeed what it’s about… balance between YES and NO… and many other things…. a topic I am sure to return to… because what’s put on the weight scale for measuring is often apples and oranges. One NO does not equal one YES. Context matters.

      Much of what you say is a function of aging, yes. Different priorities for different periods of one’s life. Good for you for recognizing and acting on yours.

      Although quite true for others, I don’t feel my circumstances, or age (we’re in the same decade, with me having a few years on you), has forced me to “take a hard look” at my life. Rather, in combination, they have nudged me to reprioritize. I’m still not sure whether I welcome that nudge or not.

      The practical fact is that our bank account does not afford me a relaxing retirement. (And my treatments will hurt financially, too.) So I AM forced by circumstances to put business-building on hold, and I can’t say that makes me (or my honey) feel secure.

      I’ve always lived pretty much in the present, with intention. When asked for my “purpose” in life, I’d say “living it creatively and in the present.” I’ll be sure to write more about this in future, as it’s meaningful to think about.

      So I’d say I’m maybe taking more time to look at ME from a different angle, in a totally new set of circumstances… hopefully in a way that encourages and elicits thought and sharing perspectives in my friends and readers.

      Thank you, Sidney.

      • Definitely we are all different and have different backgrounds. So what is true for one is not for others. So we can’t do sweeping analogies.

        I also believe that living in the present is the best option. The past is the past and you can’t alter it and the future is completely unknown so it is useless to worry about it.

        That being said I always had the future in mind. My brother probably even had/has a better vision of his future.
        We both are well aware what can happen to us when we are 60-70-80-90 years old if ever we get “blessed” with such a long life. As the future is unknown we indeed don’t need to fixate on the bad things that might happen to us… but I would recommend folks our age (in fact any age) to also consider the worst and have a plan B if this happens.

        Getting old is not like the analogy of a beautiful car with scratches that breaks down once in a while among a peaceful landscape.
        It IS frightening to look at reality (as not many of us will be like Warren Buffet or other exceptional old healthy folks). It requires courage to look at reality.
        Most of us will end in a wheelchair or bedridden with degenerative illnesses.

        I am always giving the advice to prepare for the worst. Maybe if life is kind enough you will be happy it didn’t end up as in your worst nightmares.

        I know this isn’t a very uplifting talk for a blog about recovery but you know I am not sugarcoating things. If I am getting too dark you can give me a private pm.

        I have no doubt whatsoever that you will recover well and that after this dark period you will be the old self and getting back on the saddle so to speak.

        But my advice as a friend is once this is all over is to think about your future.
        The Philippines, without some very serious savings, close family nearby and a top insurance is not the best place to get old.
        If I did not have those three, I would without doubt fly back to Belgium where I am sure the “social security system” would take care of me.
        The social security system (except for family ties which are one of the strongest) is not a good one in the Philippines.

        • No need to sugarcoat anything, Sidney. 🙂

          About your last paragraphs, yes, you are right and we were already planning out our return to Canada before the pandemic hit. Now I am obliged, as you say, to complete the treatment program. Then we plan again.

          But I repeat the quote by Joseph Campbell: “You have to be willing to give up the life you planned, and instead, greet the life that is waiting for you.”

  • Saying “no” amps up the signal to noise ratio and makes the communication you do allow become richer and deeper. One of the most rewarding weekends of my life was when I unfriended 850 so-called FB “friends”. So glad you are letting go and focusing on your healing, dear friend. 💜

    • I’m not ready to let go of my 500+ FB friends from around the globe (all of whom I’ve met in person), but I do get it, Lable! And am now returning to my task of unsubbing! Woohoo!

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