No means no (this has nothing to do with guys)


Have you heard of that story about the Japanese business man who only held important business meetings/proposals over dinner, and depending on how well he digested, he would either agree on the deal or pass on it?

Word is this guy was quite successful.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this whole “listen to your body” thing lately. Mostly because it became unavoidable this past weekend.

I spent the last 3 days in Mount Lebanon at the Wild Woman Fest retreat. One of the best investments I’ve made in my life. When I bought my ticket, I didn’t even look over the whole website or the itinerary. I just knew, in my body, that I needed to be there.


Picture this: 30+ women, on a mountain, doing some heavy soul + spirit work together. Here, let me paint the picture even clearer: on Sunday morning, as we were wrapping up our yoga practice, we all chanted one long “om” together. Literally ONE SECOND after the last “mmm” was heard in the room, the fierce and powerful sound of thunder shook the entire mountain. Shook us to our very core. Not long after, it began to rain.

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I won’t divulge any more details about this weekend. It’s such a precious gem to me that I will selfishly hold on to it without saying any more about it.

But I will say this, as it relates to the “listen to your body” theme I started out with.

During one of our gatherings, I sat with two women, an elder whom I had deeply connected to and come to revere, and a younger woman who, despite her light and love, is not someone whom I deeply connected with, for my own reasons. Anyhow, as I finished sharing what I had to share, the younger woman immediately asked me for my hands so she can hold them and bless me. Instinctively my body said “no”. Without putting any words to it, it simply just did not feel right. But I ignored this warning, and I grudgingly put my hands out. She held them. The whole time I felt myself blocking her and whatever it was she was trying to do.

Thing is, so much energy is exchanged through hands, and in that very vulnerable moment, I simply did not want to touch anyone.

For the rest of the afternoon, any time she was near, I went out of my way to ignore her. She came to sit with the women I was eating with during lunch. I lost my appetite. The whole thing turned sour for me very quickly.

Now, here’s the deal, and here’s what I came to understand soon after. It wasn’t her I was upset with. I was upset with myself, and her presence just reminded me of how I had not honored what was true to me. I had been the one to ignore my intuition, I had been the one that had done something against my pleasure and will. I had been the one to not stand up and voice my truth. In retrospect, I could have gracefully said, “Thank you, but I’m sorry, I’m just not comfortable with that right now.”

Now, I know her intentions were sweet and pure; but that’s besides the point. And I also know that the space we were in was safe; yet that did not stop me from sinking into a bummed out mood. So I can only think of when neither of these things are the case. I can only think of the repercussions of ignoring the “no’s” that my body signals.

The body does not lie. It just don’t. A “no” simply feels uncomfortable. The body withdraws. Stomach tightens. You stop breathing- but not because your breath is taken away in the good way. Ignoring a “no” leads to resentment, anger, and other similar emotions, not to mention the consequences of whatever it is you’re dealing with.

A “yes”? Oh boy, a yes brings an immediate smile to your face. Your chest opens and your shoulders draw back. Sometimes your body jumps up and forward. A “yes” feels exciting and enchanting and quite simply irresistible.

Listen to your body. It never lies.

Speaking of listening to your body, I highly recommend doing so when it comes to Self-Care investments. Whether it’s a body oil or a retreat, check in.

Here’s an exercise to help you practice:

How would it feel to be part of a half-day retreat with 10 women at Rockaway beach? Well, it’s happening, baby, and it’s taking place on August 10th.


I’m co-leading this gathering with my friend Yelimar Rodriguez and we’re calling it Sway, Play & Pray. It’s exactly what it sounds like and then some. All but a few spots have been snagged; we expect to sell out, so if yours is a “yes”, I recommend reserving your seat sooner than later. Email me at mishelixchel@gmail.com.


My name is Mishel Ixchel. I’m Ecuadorian-born &
NYC-bred. Western Mass is currently home, and it's also where I practice + teach the art of
Sacred Self Care.