How do you know you have unnecessary resistance in your life? When you have an explanation for everything you’re not doing.
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Here’s what you need to know
Living your life mired in resistance is like living your life in dog (or cat) years. By that I mean it takes exponentially longer to get your life lessons, which delays your progress and your ability to accomplish things, leaving you with much less to show for yourself at the end of the day…except for aging quickly! Some resistance is necessary. Unnecessary resistance is what you create when you refuse to accept and respond to it quickly.
Truth be told, I have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to resistant experiences. I used to have a very combative personality, where everything I wanted to accomplish in my life had to come with some kind of fight. FYI, our personalities are influenced by the level of consciousness that raised us. That’s not a disparaging comment on the parenting we received. It’s simply an acknowledgement of the inner work that’s ours to do now.
I carried this fighting posture into my weight issues where I tried to dominate my weight and beat it into submission. Yet I pushed back against everything I attempted because it was the only way I knew how to be. It never occurred to me I could stop struggling against the wind and have it at my back instead.
- What does resistance sound like? It’s the mischievous taunt you might hear in your head that says “jump” when you’re standing on a tall precipice (e.g. the edge of Niagara Falls). You would never give it credibility or direct your energy to it because you recognize your life would be at stake. Yet when it comes to your day-to-day food choices, you often succumb to it when it says “eat” because you don’t recognize your quality-of-life is at stake.
- What does resistance feel like? If you want to exaggerate what it feels like in your body, take an extra deep breath in and hold it. That immediate tension and stiffness you feel is what resistance does to you internally but in a more subtle and chronic way. If you want a taste of what it feels like when resistance relaxes or leaves your body, you’ll find it at the bottom of a deep exhale.
- When does resistance show up? Any time Ego is at odds with Soul. Resistance exists to teach you how to let Ego subside so you can let Soul emerge. It always points you to the exact growth you need to transcend your struggle. Rather than being an unwelcome experience, it’s actually a gift. Instead of asking “Why does this keep happening?”, ask “What is this reality illustrating for me?” As you unlearn the Ego identity and beliefs that keep the weight here, all resistance eventually evolves into self-respect.
You do what you value not what you say you value. Resistance will exist until you bring yourself into alignment with what you say you value. That’s going to be uncomfortable for you and it will feel like death for Ego. The root of all resistance is fear. Even if you don’t think of yourself as fearful, it’s the unnamed fears that are running your life. You may say you value a bigger life; you may say you value a smaller body. But if you harbour any fears about these, you will resist them.
This is necessary though because the inner work required to address these fears – the discomfort you learn to navigate – will shape and form you into the person you need to be to expedite your progress and truly enjoy your accomplishments.
Here’s what you can practice
When resistance shows up in the form of a misstep, the temptation is often to try to control it so you can have a perfect, untarnished experience. How many times have you restarted your weight loss efforts the next day, or on a Monday, or the beginning of the month? Don’t even get me started about New Year’s resolutions. Part of your discomfort will be learning to be with this messiness so you can keep moving forward. Look for the insight in your less-than-perfect experience and then look for ways to test this insight for yourself as quickly as possible. Insight applied = wisdom.
Maybe your tactic is to ignore what you’re actually feeling and just comply with that less-than-inspiring meal plan you just put in place. But resistance has the stealthiness of Whac-a-Mole – knock it down in one area of your life and it just pops up elsewhere in the form of some passive-aggressiveness, such as passively following your meal plan in front of others but then aggressively chowing down on cheese puffs when you’re alone. Or maybe those cheese puffs are a form of self-soothing. Regardless, your feelings are what guide you to your natural style and rhythm so give them a voice. Better yet, speak them out loud to yourself to make them more real.
For those of you who spend more time in your head than you do taking action, listen up. As long as Ego can keep you in your head, it wins. From this vantage point, making a better food choice or moving your body will always appear harder than it really is. Before you construct your world-class argument for why you have no time to prep a meal or go for a walk but copious hours to escape into Netflix, give yourself the experience of one minute of action but maintain your choice to stop if you want. Putting your mind and body into an experience this way is often enough to break the spell of Ego and you’ll typically find yourself tipping into more action.
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How did it go for you?
Your level of resistance has a direct correlation to the size of the ripple you’re destined to make in the world. Consider it your price of admission. Some of my most frustrating resistance persisted until I developed the vehicles for the best expression of my writing (ie. this website, these Wisdom Bites, the companion podcast). Lemme see now, I think that aged me by about 406 dog (or cat) years.
Consider a life lesson that took you a long time to learn and share it in the Members-Only Comments section below.
Explain how it’s important for you to keep this in mind even today.
Conscious Weight Loss