Making Friends With Resistance

Do you encounter resistance? Resistance! This sticky substance that keeps your feet planted, your fingers glued and your tongue tied. It leaves you with inertia, a state of being at rest unless propelled forward (although we are constantly in motion according to quantum physics!). You know it, right? If you said "no", you are free of it. Yippee! You, please go NOW and celebrate! We are joining you at the end of this article! Those of you who are not there yet, you know what I am talking about, right?

I have been feeling resistance to my writing lately. Yes, on the first anniversary of the reflections blog, resistance is still showing up. It is this voice that says, "what does it matter! Who is reading your blog/newsletter, anyway?" Or  "You don't have anything to share this week. Wait for some more juicy stuff next week." And on and on. This is the voice of resistance. It wants to test me. It wants me to show it that I really care about my writing, that I am passionate about it to the extent that I will ignore its' voice. So, it pushes where it hurts most, the delicate points, the no-go zone. It knows exactly where to press the buttons. It pops up unexpectedly, without pre-warning! Just when you are thinking, I have got it down on its knees, it rears its face again. 

And for me, resistance shows up most often in exactly those areas where it matters. Resistance to washing dishes or doing the laundry is something that eventually catches up to you and you know when you are running low on fresh clothing that it is time to finally do the laundry. But how about matters that really matter for your entire life? You know, life purpose and contribution and sense of fulfillment- that kind of thing? How do you know it is time to get your act together? I guess, it also catches up to you. There comes a time when you look at the life you are living and it shows you exactly how far you have come. And when the desire to be somewhere else is strong, the where-you-are-now becomes a source of a new kind of resentment. You know? When we dislike where we are, or are screaming on the top of our lungs about what we don't like about our current life, it is resistance to the NOW of our lives. It is just another type of resistance.

So we can count and share all the different ways resistance shows up for us. The question then arises is why is it there and what to do about it? Ah, great questions to start off with. It seems to me that resistance shows us what matters to us. That important phone call to make, that creative project to start/finish, that blissful place to go to, that joyous event to attend, that inspiring Sunday Reflections to write ;-), that awesome bicycle ride to go on, that legendary memoir to write, that business idea to implement, that self-care action to take, that hour of extra sleep to have, and on and on the list goes. These are the type of important, very important things that we resist. We resist that which is good for us. We resist our own growth and our own success.

So, that is why it is there? Simply to show us what is important? Or perhaps, to show us we are really serious and committed every time we overcome the resistance. Or to inspire our creativity in some amazing way. It is there as a tool for our growth. And there may be many other reasons why it is there. Yet, it is crucial now for us to consider what to do about it:

First, ACKNOWLEDGE IT.

When a child has just tripped and starts to cry, as soon as a parent or older brother or sister comes running to give it their love and attention, the child very soon tends to stop crying. His crying was way louder than how much it hurt! Just like that, resistance is way louder that it actually is hurting us. By running towards it, giving it the love and attention it is asking for, we can help it to fade. So, when you have some resistance showing up, acknowledge it in the best possible way you know how. Just recognize that it is there. Stay with it for a little while, and see it disappear. It can be as simple as saying: "Ah, that looks like resistance!"

Second, THANK IT.

When resistance hits, thank it. There is always a higher purpose for everything. So the resistance has appeared for some higher purpose that you may not know right now. Just trust that it has a role to play in your growth, and for the long run, it is important that you go through it. So just thank it. "Resistance, I thank you for helping me on my journey of growth and prosperity."

Third, RELEASE IT.

After you have acknowledged resistance by becoming aware of it and thanked it for being there, release it. You can do this, for example, by journaling a few lines about the resistance. Write down on paper that can be later destroyed. Just take five or 10 minutes and write without stopping. Write all that wants to come on to the paper. Let the words run. Let them flow on the paper. Stop only when you know that it is time to stop. Then, safely destroy the paper.

Fourth, PRAY FOR IT.

Resistance is your friend. It comes into your life, shows you some life lessons and then disappears. You can send it off with a prayer like this one: "I am sorry for all the moments when I ignored you, resistance. I am sorry for not paying you the attention you wanted. I thank you for being in my life only as long as is needed for my highest good. I love you for your persistence and dedication to my growth and happiness. I am truly grateful to have gotten to know you. May you serve your purpose wherever you go. Thank you and Farewell."

This process of befriending resistance can be beneficial to you and to all those who come in contact with you. So, make friends with resistance. It can be powerful and transformational.

So how does resistance show up for you? What does it look like? What is it trying to tell you? What does if want your attention for? And how does it go away? Share you insights for us all.

Sophia Ojha

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