Adam Avenir

If we have little idea of what we really want from our lives…then often the only entrance we have into soul comes from the ability to say a firm no to those things we intuit lead to a loss of vitality. This way is traditionally known as the via negativa, or “negative road.”

The via negativa is the discipline of saying no when we have as yet no clarity about those things to which we can say yes.”

—David Whyte, The Heart Aroused

I used to think there was some great virtue in never quitting anything. It can feel like failure or laziness or letting the people around you down. But what I’ve learned since is that quitting is actually one of the bravest ways we can make room for pursuing the things that are most closely in alignment with who we are.

Even if we don’t know what we want to do instead, sometimes we can’t know until we’ve quit the things that are dragging us down. And what are they going to do, take away your birthday? Life is a whole lot freer than we give it credit for.

Where do you feel the most obligated in your life right now?
What feels scary to even think of quitting?
What’s keeping you from quitting right now?
What would it feel like to quit doing this thing?
What would become possible if you were to quit?

For more on quitting, read a post I wrote about this a while back.

Chapter 16: GoneChapter 17: Michael