Befriending Resistance

Have you ever woken up to your to-do list and found yourself dragging your feet?

Have you ever felt like your body was filled with lead and actually doing the items on your list was harder than pushing a boulder uphill?

Have you ever forced yourself to do them all anyway, and ended up feeling exhausted, doing less-than-awesome work, and feeling downright horrible?

Nah. That’s probably never happened to you.

It has, however, happened to me! At least a few times each month, I experience this phenomenon we call resistance.

I used to beat myself up and feel guilt for even experiencing it, and then push myself through to the finish line with dogged determination. I used to think that if I forced myself to work through resistance, I’d get over it. I used to completely ignore my body whenever it had the lead-filled feeling.

It’s REALLY hard to ignore your body when your hoo-ha is on fire, your bladder is spasming, you have terrible gas all the time, and your knees throb.

Which is, of course, the point.

My body got seriously tired of me ignoring it. And after several years of learning how to listen to it, I now have a different reaction to the lead-filled feeling. I realize it means I need to stop. Now. Check-in. Breathe. Ask my body what it needs. Listen. Obey.

Resistance tells us to stop. If we honor that, we learn something important.

Like: It’s time to rest. I need more singing in my life. My body wants to sleep more this week. I feel like taking up dancing. I never did write that book I meant to write. I need to connect with a friend. This project is big, and I need help. I need to learn to delegate. That idea isn’t right for this project/moment/year. I need a date with my spouse. I need to play in the park with my kids. Time to shift my priorities. Today is not a creative day. Today is not a working day. I need to breathe deeply more often. Etc.

Whatever the message is, it’s something we need to hear. So resistance comes up to make us stop, listen, and learn. Which is why overriding the resistance is not helpful. It’s okay if it doesn’t all get done today. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. It’s just plain okay.

Stop.

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