Resistance-What you resist, persists. Sometimes that quote just plain irritates me. The irritation is because it’s so profound in its simplicity. What isn’t simple is the work behind NOT resisting. Resistance is the first step in change, as I’ve discovered and, resistance can show up in many ways.
I’m going to talk about three that I have personal experience with. The first way I resist, and most socially acceptable addiction out there, is by getting into ‘over-doing.’ The second seems like it would support non-resistance, however, ‘figuring it out’ often gets in the way of just allowing something to be what it is. And third, but certainly not least, is this notion or belief that I can ‘push through’ anything, will it away and overcome! So, let me share how these three life patterns, and belief systems that support them, easily tip the balance scales and slip into resisting my life as it is in this moment.
I love to be in movement. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual. As long as I’m moving, I’m doing. And as long as I’m doing, I’m purposeful, alive, vital and worthy of life. WOW! Now there’s a belief system!
When I’m struggling, I get into movement, when I’m in pain, I get into movement, when I’m ‘trying to figure it out, I get into movement. Neuroscience has proven how movement supports cognitive processes so why wouldn’t I want to get into movement? Movement in and of itself is a wonderful thing. Most of us aspire for movement, growth, progress, development, etc. in our lives. But I wonder if that trajectory would be even greater if we allowed ourselves the space to be present to our experiences, our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our body aches and pains and just plain notice what is happening for us.
We need rest, we need processing time, we need space. These needs are just as important as our need for growth and actually support forward momentum. You’ve heard the saying, “Slow down to speed up.” In a recent coaching session with my coach, he asked when we got on the phone how I was doing. My response; “Discombobulated” – a confused mess. He invited me to just sit with it and process. WHAT, are you kidding!!!!
I accepted. For 30 minutes I practiced non-resistance and boy did A LOT come up in regard to resistance. But I’ll tell you, I left that call with a lot of clarity. I will always love my cherished movement. I learned with my coach that I can bring balance by sitting with ‘allowing and noticing’.
Figuring it Out
By nature, I’m a thinker and a strategist. Both of these strengths lend themselves to always trying to figure things out. If I try to figure out the cause of the pain, the mechanics of the pain, I don’t actually have to sit in the pain-even though I’m in pain the whole time! As with the example of pain, I try to figure ‘it’ out so I can think of a strategy to get rid of it or make it better. I rarely take the time to allow it, sit in it, and notice it.
In the workplace, we don’t have time to ‘sit in it’- no, the name of the game is speed, change, agility and hopefully a dynamite strategy that will get us to the outcome more quickly! I wonder, if we allowed time to sit in our complex issues, and notice what is really happening systemically, if we would come up with better solutions and strategies.
You can do this! We will overcome! Be tough! Will it away! I have overcome, I have willed it away, I have been tough in tough situations and all these attributes have supported me in my life journey. Hear me when I say that all three; over-doing, figuring it out and pushing through, have at one time or another helped me survive my life journey.
The pandemic changed my ‘resistance habits!’ Given the limitations of the pandemic, I found myself really not in a position to ‘add’ more and more to my plate. In fact, much was taken off in not being able to run around anymore. And it seemed futile for a while to try to figure things out. 2020 was much too big of a mess to figure out! There was so much out of my control, how could I just push through?
Yes, the limitations of 2020 helped me to stop long enough to look at my life and notice it. Allowing and noticing whatever shows up, how I feel about it, what I believe about it, why it’s important to me, what emotion is surfacing, where’s it living in my body with no judgment, no solution, no direction, just noticing. There is something about just ‘being with.’
I think of a good friend and how we can just be with each other-no expectations, no direction, no judgement, just being. In that process I often discover things about my friend that I love. It’s no different when you sit with yourself and just be with you. On the other side is the opportunity to discover what you may want to create in your new normal.