A small stone is thrust into your hand. You put it automatically into your pocket, where it settles into the others. You don’t really know the color or hue the stone possesses, but you do know its weight. It’s not too heavy, but at times, especially when added to all the other things in your pocket, it weighs quite a bit.

What is this small stone which, when handed to you, you automatically keep? I use this stone as a metaphor for that thing you feel obligated to say yes to, that thing you “should” do. And yet, does putting the stone in your pocket, carrying its weight with all the rest, truly serve you?

I challenge you gently to look at this stone fully and carefully before saying yes to carrying its weight. What color is it? Does the stone fill you with some joy? Is it strictly obligation to carry it? Be intentional about this stone. Whether it goes in your pocket or not, noticing is the first step to keeping those stones that serve you and kindly saying no to those that don’t.