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A New Approach to Resistance

Oct 12, 2017

A New Approach to Resistance

When something happens in your life that you don’t like – do you find your initial response is to change it, fix it, shame it, ignore it, push it away, judge it, or run from it?

I learned something this weekend that will forever change the way I see resistance.

And I invite you to try it on in your life too.

The next time you encounter resistance, what if you imagined it like a small child throwing a tantrum? Instead of fighting with or against this resistance, you choose to respond in an entirely different way.

Instead, choose to:

  • Sit with it
  • Be next to it
  • Be with it
  • Let it be what it is
  • Love it

What if in doing this, the resistance began to change shape and move in a new direction?

I just returned from a very impactful “Unstoppable” conference.  They led us through a visualization imagining where we felt resistance in the body, and what I experienced surprised me.

During the visualization, this is what I saw…

I saw my 8-year-old self – sad, alone, afraid, hiding and slumped over her knees.  My immediate reaction was to run in to fix her, change her, and make her better.  Instead, I just noticed. Over time, I moved closer and eventually sat beside her.  Separate but together we existed.  In time, my attention turned to something different.  I laid down on the floor next to her and opened my laptop.  I began creating something of my own.  From the corner of my eye, I noticed her stir and then look up.  Her attention turned as she became more and more interested in what I was doing.  Next thing I knew she was over my shoulder engaged in what I was doing with great curiosity.

What I learned…

  • It was freeing to actually be present with something so uncomfortable without having to change it or make it better.
  • It was grounding to be in the midst of strong negative emotion without feeling the heavy impact.
  • Resistance met with resistance, anger, and judgment grows the very thing we don’t want.
  • Simply being with the feeling is what allowed it to move away and transform into something better.

The next time you find resistance in your path consider a different approach.

Maybe resistance is there not to make our lives more difficult or challenging, but to stretch us and shape us into a bigger version of who we know ourselves to be.

Be on the lookout for this month’s Behind the Scenes audio where we explore deeper the idea of Being with and Moving through Resistance.

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