Whether it is getting out of bed in the morning, filing our taxes, or going for a run we are bound to experience moments where we simply do not want to do the thing that we are attempting to do. Internal resistance is what we feel when our mind creates a blockage in the flow of energy, and something that can be easy becomes hard, tiring us out before we even begin. These blockages are created when there is an internal struggle between two parts of ourselves and one tells us to go, while another insists that we stay. For instance, our logic might be telling us that it is time to complete that project, but our emotional mind is telling us “I would really rather not”, or maybe it says “I would rather continue to watch Netflix”. Resistance can be deceptive, because it tells us that the thing we are resisting will be painful or exhausting, when it is the resistance itself that depletes our energy. When we understand the nature of resistance we can learn how to transform it, and this is key to unblocking our creative energy and living effortlessly.
Acknowledging our ability to choose opens the door to transforming resistance as it creates the impulse to willingly begin a task. Almost everything is a choice although we may not feel like it is when we do not see any preferable alternatives. Considering why we are doing something and taking responsibility for our actions is very important. We are going to do an experiment, sit quietly for a moment and then say the words “I have to go for a walk”. After repeating these words listen carefully to the sensations in your body and in your emotional state, notice if you feel light or heavy, vibrant or dull, uplifted or depressed. Now, we are going to do it again, but this time, say the words “I choose to go for a walk”, and again take a moment and feel how these words affect your experience.
The difference between the two phrases is simple but the effect can be dramatic. Feeling like we “have to” boxes us in, and can disempower us, or even make us feel numb or lifeless. While remembering that we are choosing our path opens us up, empowers us and can bring us to life. In order to joyfully accomplish our daily tasks, we must align with the energy of choice. When we choose something our will power is engaged and we feel motivated. Conversely when we demand something of ourselves, we direct our attention inwards and try to force ourselves to do the thing, and this internally directed force creates resistance. Instead of using our energy to push at ourselves, we can use it to do the thing that we choose to do. These two approaches may seem similar, but the outcome is very different!
Even when we align with our choices, there are times that we are tired, lack motivation, or our emotional state distracts us from the task at hand. In order to move forward smoothly we must accept our starting point and embrace ourselves in the present moment. This is why, before we begin a task it can be helpful to touch inside of ourselves so that we can understand how we are truly feeling, whether it is sadness, joy, fear, frustration or any other state of being, we can take notice of what is there and use it to fuel our actions. So, instead of trying to override how we feel, we can tune in, feel it, accept it, and carry forward.
Take some time before you begin a new task and think about how you want it to go, using the mind to visualize what you are going to do before you do it. When we attempt to plan while we act, we are multi-tasking, and our energy is split in two directions at once. Using imagery and our feeling senses before acting, can set us up for an easier task. Once we understand our starting point, have chosen where we want to go, and can see where we want to end up, there is only one thing left to do – relax and enjoy the ride. We can now settle in and enjoy being present with the experience of doing.
The only real struggle is within us, and the irony is that we are bound for annihilation when we fight with ourselves, yet this is what so many of us choose. So please, do not fight with how you feel, because you cannot win – we must work together with all the parts of ourselves to succeed. Each of us has a voice of struggle, a voice of wisdom, a voice of logic, a voice of creativity, and a voice of love. It is only when we take care of all the parts of ourselves that we are taken care of. We do not need to remove resistance from our lives, never to be seen again, but rather meet resistance with openness so that we may transform it into our dreams, because where there is resistance there is potential.
Written by Sijie Jessie Zsolt