The refusal to accept or comply with something;
Other things - well, as we are all only human - there are some other things in life we know we are better of resisting but we don't!
But today is not a discussion about being disciplined enough to resist that extra piece of chocolate! Today is about the resistance of things in our life that ultimately result in us not moving forward, not growing, not learning and not simply, allowing things to be.
Today is about the things that are getting in our way!
I visit a chiropractor every other week. He deals with the alignment of the spine and patterns of behaviour and energy in the body. He talks about how the energy in our body is stored and comes from our emotions. It is emotional energy that is often stored in our body - because, let's face it - we don't always deal with the things we probably need to!
Now, I thought after the last few years of working on myself and my mindset, that I was a fairly well-balanced kind of person. To be honest, I think in general, I am! But as life is all about change and growth, often old patterns of thought and behaviour arise and I have to address them again to keep growing and moving forward. As we all do.
Here is the problem! Of late, I have been thinking - Well, I am 44 years old now. Shouldn't I have this stuff figured about by now? Why do I still feel the fear of doing particular things? Why haven't I figured this all out? Why am I not just doing the work I know I need to do?
Now let me say this before continuing - I am fully aware that NONE of these questions are actually productive or empowering. In fact, they do quite the opposite. They assist in redirecting my brain to old thought patterns of - Maybe, I am not good enough.
While I was visiting my chiro last week, I had emotions that came up and because I am feminine, my default is to cry to release the emotions. However, MY response was - this is ridiculous! Why am I crying? I should have this all sorted out!
The response I got -
I do not recall ever having heard this before. So...this little phrase was a bit of an eye-opener and I thought you might be able to resonate with it too.
Don't judge your feelings.
Give yourself permission to feel whatever feelings live below the triggers. Whatever is going on in your life, there are emotions attached. You will have events and moments that trigger your old patterns of response and reaction. Things will annoy you, someone might say something that hits a nerve, you might do something that you are unhappy about doing. The only way to change how we react to these moments is to allow ourselves to feel what we are feeling. To acknowledge the moment and then release it. There are no 'bad' feelings. The feelings you have are simply there to help you get a clue from your past chapters and to see what changes you have made so far and show you how to keep moving forward.
What you resist, persists.
Here is the thing - if we don't give ourselves permission to be okay with the emotions we are experiencing, the pain continues, the emotions persist. They don't go away! We actually have to deal with them! We all know first hand the result of ignoring or pushing down our emotions and not dealing with them. They will continue to rise up. People might use food, alcohol, exercise or a whole other range of behaviours to avoid dealing with emotions but it never works. The mind will continue to focus on them because they have not been acknowledged and the cycle continues. So be kind to yourself and practice the art of acknowledging and letting go.
Acknowledge the Voice in your head!
Resistance to our emotions or doing something we know we are supposed to be doing comes down to the voice in our head. It is the voice that tells you that you can't do something or why you should put something off for another day or procrastinate for another day. It is the voice that helps you to justify the excuses.
The truth is - they are just excuses and we can acknowledge the voices are there in order to stop them. Yes, it can be challenging because it means we have to face our fears. The job of fear is to keep us small, stuck and the same. Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work!
The pain of NOT taking action is worse than the pain of taking action.
Ultimately, we live a life of joy and courage or live a life of regret. The amazing thing is that courage generates more courage! My husband has been constantly saying to me over the last few weeks that you can not steer a parked car! You can turn the wheel but you don't actually go anywhere. You can not change direction, move forward or backwards for that matter! You are stuck! However, once you start to move (taking action), it doesn't matter what direction you are moving in because you can choose to change directions at any time now!
Once you have the courage to acknowledge the resistance you have had, the fear and uncertainty that have arisen, and then allowed courage to take over and take action - you will find more courage to continue on.
Or... you can choose to not take action. You can choose to stay in pain, live in fear of stepping out of the comfort zone and accept the consequence of regret, frustration and judgement now and down the track.
Being mindful of the emotions and parts of our life that we resist against can be challenging and painful. But that's okay. Growth isn't forged via the easy, straight path. The challenges and the pain help us to become who we need to be for ourselves, out family and the world around us.
So here are my top tips and ideas on how to help ourselves and our little humans to become more mindful and aware of resistance.
Understand that resistance is just fear.
Every time an emotion comes up for you, acknowledge it. Don't think that it is something you shouldn't be feeling. Be okay with it. We all experience fear and uncertainty. Most people's lives are driven by the need to be in control and know what is going on. This is especially true for our little humans.
It is so incredibly important that we acknowledge all of their emotions, regardless of what they are. It is so important that we tell them that is okay to feel their feelings. But it is our job to understand that those emotions will show up as resistance and avoidance because of fear and uncertainty.
How Important is it?
Often our resistance to something is in direct relation to how much we love something or someone or how much it means to us. If you didn't love the project or situation that you are feeling fear over, then you wouldn't feel anything. If it didn't matter to you, you wouldn't be resisting as much as you are. So remind yourself to come from a place of love. Open your heart and lean in. The more important something is to our soul and our growth, the more resistance we will feel!
Resistance is your life's compass
You are always going to have a feeling of resistance in different areas of your life. But here is the cool thing - when you feel that resistance, you know you are at a moment of growth! Resistance will point you in the direction you need to go. It will guide you towards the action you need to take.
Yoga - stretching and breathing, great for all humans alike!
Meditation (don't worry, I am getting all weird on you! It's just about focusing on the breath!) Research is showing that your breath has a considerable impact on how your body reacts physiologically to stressful events. So meditation is simply about learning to breathe deeply and allowing your body to be calm.
Journal - this is a great one for kids as well as adults. Journalling is about writing down your thoughts, feelings, emotions without any judgement. As adults, we will become more aware of our patterns as we journal. For kids, it is a great opportunity to help them to understand that it is okay to feel the way they do and it helps with problem-solving. Younger humans can draw if they don't want to write. I highly recommend!
Mindful Colouring - At first when I saw the adult colouring books, I was not completely sold. While I do not actually own one, I see the value in them for allowing your body to sit, be calm and think. If you have ever watched children colour, one of two things happen: they either sit and colour and are quiet and calm or they open up and chat about anything and everything because they are not using their energy to focus on anything else. So this is something you can do together.
Until next week...have a wonderfully mindful week.
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