Greet resistance as an old friend. It’s an opportunity to move you closer to who you authentically are.
I’ve noticed a lot of resistance recently, particularly around taking time to slow down, and specifically sitting down to do my daily meditation. And again this morning, I was feeling it. The idea of sitting down to meditate felt almost completely impossible. Despite me knowing that it is what enables me to feel some grounding for the rest of the day.
Resistance can take many forms – inertia, laziness, confusion, emotional displacement (taking it out on your partner/flatmate etc), and intellectualisation (a favourite of mine!), just to name a few.
So what is resistance?
Resistance is a necessarily force – when you greet it as an old friend, and learn to work with it, instead of allowing it to rule your world, resistance is an incredible opportunity to move you closer to who you authentically are. When you meet resistance, it’s an indication that the current patterns/thoughts/behaviours/mindset are no longer serving you and it’s time to change.
So resistance is what helps you grow. But in order to do so, you need to learn to work with it.
What to do when resistance comes up?
· Acknowledge it and name what you are experiencing – "I am experiencing resistance" – remember resistance can also come up in the form of resisting to do nothing and resisting just 'being'.
· Identify – is your resistance arising from a place of fear? Are you able to name what you are running from by avoiding taking the action? Are you able to see that it’s a smart way for your ego to try to defend something (eg – I don’t need to meditate, I am zen enough or it’s a waste of time)?
· Ask yourself, what is your deepest driving desire for taking that action? How does it relate to the bigger picture of the life you are creating? This is not about trying to find excuses to defend the ego, but on the contrary trying to tap into the pure desire/motivation for you to take that action. Like for me it looks like – "my meditation practice enables me to practice observing my mind, which helps me live from a less reactive place, and thus live a life more aligned with deepest desires".
· If you’re still feeling resistance (as the above step is one that will take commitment and practice), apply the 5mins rule – just commit to doing that thing for 5 mins (or even less), when you give yourself permission to do less, it often opens up possibilities for more. This ended up being the longest meditation I have done in a long time.
· Notice the difference in your how you feel and carry that with you.
So next time you meet resistance again, greet it as an old friend.
How does resistance show up for you? Post your comments below!