Being Real With Resistance
“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.”
It’s the time of year when many of you may be living out your intentions or resolutions for 2018…or perhaps not? If you are someone who makes NY resolutions, or plans serious change at any other time of year, then you will know that there is quite often a big difference between talking about it and doing it. It is easy to romanticize about fulfilling dreams and positive changes, and often a bit less easy to manifest or sustain them.
What you, and everybody else, experiences when things get sticky at some point is resistance. The difference between people who achieve their goals, and those who don’t or get stuck, is that the former are able to deal with the resistance in some way, while the latter allow the resistance to stop them.
Whatever intention you choose for something, you will meet resistance sooner or later. When you put a new intention “out there”, what you are actually attempting is to bring change in the subconscious. What will happen as a result of that is you will then automatically dredge up the old conflicting patterns in the subconscious that have been sitting there for a while. Remember this, as it is important to acknowledge. A new intention or creation will always generate resistance – so remember that is normal! Whether that manifests as doubts, excuses, fears, or second thought, remind yourself it is part of the process of change, and after that it is simply how you deal with it.
Resistance usually presents as an emotion i.e. it’s felt in the body. As no-one really likes uncomfortable feelings and emotions, or at least would prefer to avoid them, then you develop strategies to do exactly that. Here’s a few of them:
- Distracting yourself by doing something (anything?) else
- Saying you’re too busy or don’t have time
- Suppressing or ignoring the resistance – pushing feelings down or away
- Substituting – by feeling hungry, tired, or anything else other than emotion
- Dissociating from the experience –pretending it isn’t happening
- Rationalising or overthinking it– as it takes you away from the body and the emotion
- Procrastinating – putting it off until…???
- Over-somatising – so that you develop a headache, stomach ache rather than the reality of the emotion
- Going into victim mode, which usually means finding a perpetrator and making them responsible rather than owning what’s true
- Being the perpetrator – verbally attacking another to avoid difficult feelings (usually vulnerability, shame or other feelings of inadequacy)
- Rationalising non-ownerships “it didn’t feel right”, “it’s not the right time for me”
Hopefully you are able to acknowledge a few of the strategies above, or your own similar ones, as something that you do. The reason I hope you can identify some of the strategies as being ones that you have used, is because that is the way to start dealing with resistance – owning and accepting it!
Bear in mind that you will have developed some of the strategies above when you were a small child or a teenager; they were survival strategies because the likelihood is that no-one taught you how to deal with emotions and feelings, and they were probably confusing and even a bit scary for you. So, you would have figured out ways or strategies to not feel them. That was fine then, as it was how you survived, however as an adult you need to do much more than survive, and those old coping mechanisms need to shift.
“What you resist, persists” is an abundantly used phrase, and that is because it is true. When you dis-own the resistance then it will continue to re-occur through the same situation or variations of it. As strange as it may sound, experiences want to be experienced. When you resist the resistance, then it stays within your energy field/physicality until it can be expressed. When unexpressed, it can even create more unpleasant on a physical/psychological/emotional nature and ongoing cases of repressed emotions do get stored in the body, and can even turn into heart disease, immune disorders, or cancer when stored log-time.
I often use a definition of the word “e-motion” as being energy in motion. For me, this means that that energy needs to move, and that means moving on from you or moving through you, rather than any of the strategies listed above which do the opposite of that. The process of moving emotions on or through you is one that is controlled by the body, rather than the head and it starts with genuinely experiencing the emotion caused by the resistance.
When you are able to experience resistance/emotions fully, then it will have served its purpose, and is more likely to move through you and then on. Here, is a simple 6 point process to start working with the resistance and the accompanying emotions that come up within you.
- Be still. Then accept and embrace the underlying emotion as situation has caused, and feel it fully as it is. Usually a minute or so is enough.
- Accept and focus on the strategy you would normally employ and feel that. (This may feel a little vaguer, or even similar to the emotion in point 1 and that’s ok.) Nonetheless give yourself permission to feel it and you will. Usually 20-30 seconds or so is enough.
- Three deep breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth
- Try and feel the original emotion again – as per point 1. If it has “gone” then ok, if it has lessened or changed in some way, then feel it fully for a minute or so.
- Repeat point 2 above. If it has no energy in it, then ok, if it has lessened or changed in some way, then continue to feel it or another 20-30 seconds.
- Repeat points 4&5 until you no longer feel the emotion/resistance. And then breathe!
Be mindful that the idea of this is not for you to try and clear the emotion/resistance, though that can happen. The idea is to feel and experience the emotion and the resistance so that it moves through you and releases itself. There is a big difference. The former comes from old programmes that are trying to negate your experiences, and the second is organic and natural. Everything has a life span, including your resistance. It is another “proverb” in the energy world that healing begins with acceptance, and that is what you are doing here, and most specifically with your resistance.
Now, if you are trying to create something new, then it’s useful to bear in mind that resistance will comes in two basic formats. Internal and external resistance. What I have been talking about so far is dealing with the internal, i.e. your feelings, emotions, limiting thoughts etc. The external resistance that you are likely to experience will come in the form of problems, challenges, obstacles etc. that get in the way of your new intention. Again it is important to acknowledge that problems (et al) are a natural part of the process. The fact that they appear in your external world is likely to be a way of your inner resistance manifesting it anyway. The good news is that it is immensely helpful to use exactly the same process for external problems as well. It works. It is possible that the problems will disappear after doing the process. However, what is much more likely that when you do the process and focus on the external problem, feel the emotions/resistance pattern associated with it, and allow that to move through you in the same way, then you will probably feel stronger and better equipped in some way to deal with the problem, and it will become easier to overcome. I.e. you will connect with your resources more easily. In a way, problems are actually quite helpful, as their very appearance lets you know that something is “up” within you.
There’s lot more that I could say about this, however that would convert this newsletter into a book. Where I do want to finish up is by saying that the all parts of the process above are helpful for you:
- An intention for change
- The inner resistance / emotion felt
- The external problem
- The process to deal with the above
And that is because all of these are helping you to learn about you. Liberation comes from engaging with yourself, rather than avoiding yourself. What you might find if you work with the process is that is hugely helpful for you. In the event, though, that it is not moving you along the route from A to wherever you want to go, then it normally means there is a deeper seated pattern within your subconscious. That’s likely to be a core belief. I have talked about these in previous newsletters, and again they are work-throughable. If you need any assistance or guidance, feel free to get in contact with me
Love & blessings