My old friend, Resistance

Ugh. Resistance. Showing up at the worst time. I’ve got things to do, people to serve, transformations to support, and a business to grow.  

And yet, here I am. Not wanting to do anything.

Why is it that when we are making progress towards our dreams and goals that suddenly we can’t do anything?

We are suddenly confused on the next best step.

Or…we want to do everything else BUT what we know we should be doing.  

Or… we don’t want to do anything at all.

Resistance.

In my best-selling book The Beautiful Un-Becoming, I have an entire chapter dedicated to resistance because it is such a big part of our human experience. And yet, we all try to act like it doesn’t happen.

Resistance is a natural response to change. Your ego, which runs the show most of the time, is here to keep you alive and safe. It keeps you safe by whispering self-limiting beliefs and catastrophic stories to keep you frozen, fighting, or running from the change.

But here’s the thing. What we resist, persists. What we allow, shifts.

My coach, Alyssa Nobriga, shared a great visualization last week about our emotions and resistance.

It’s like the beach ball that we keep trying to push down underwater. It takes a lot of energy to hold down, and it always eventually comes back up.

Fighting our emotions is like trying to stop a ripple in the water. When we try to stop it, we just end up creating more waves and ripples. But if we allow it to be, it naturally moves through in its own time.

So how can we move through resistance?

Become aware.

My historic mode of operation would be to do more and get busier because I would eventually move through the resistance and would have gotten a lot done in the meantime. However, because I tried to keep the resistance under water with more stuff, I ended up exhausted and the resistance popped back up in different ways.

I’ve learned the hard way that this approach is not sustainable.

My resistance showed up differently this time in that I literally didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t want to go to class. I didn’t want to do my homework. I didn’t want to reach out for more speaking opportunities. I didn’t want to reach out to potential clients. I didn’t even want to write a blog post or a meditation.

Instead, I wanted to eat popcorn, sour patch kids, and watch movies for the foreseeable future.

Luckily, I recognized this for what it is. Even if it was two weeks of resistance.

I’m realized that I’m at a growth edge. Meaning, I’m going deeper into my own work than I ever have before. I learning how to support my clients at deeper levels than I ever have before. I’m upgrading my way of being in the world in all aspects of my life.

Resistance is just one way in which my ego is trying to protect me. To keep me safe of what is on the other side of this edge that I can’t see, nor so I know what will happen.

I’m aware that is this resistance. But what is the resistance trying to protect me from?

What am I afraid of?

Get Curious.

I spent a lot of time in reflection with myself and I got the support from my coaching team.

I checked in with the feelings and sensations in my body, and I had an open dialog with them to let them to start to understand what was below the resistance. This process can be awkward and uncomfortable, but it reveals a lot.

I’m afraid of what loss might be beyond this point. Will I realize that certain people, places, or things that I hold dear aren’t aligned with me anymore? If so, how can I let them go?

I’m afraid of attracting more haters. Someone always has something to say about everything. And while I’ve had my fair share of people that don’t like me for one reason or another, I’m afraid of how many more I will attract on the other side of this edge.

I’m afraid of attracting people that want to take advantage of me. I love serving people. I love helping people. I’ve learned to maintain healthy boundaries to this point. But will I be able to hold those boundaries the more I put myself out there?

I’m afraid that beyond this point means a lot more hustle and burnout. I lived that way for most of my life and I no longer want to operate that way. Finding balance and inner peace so I could reconnect with my own inner wisdom is one of the reasons I changed careers, and it’s one of the things that I love about my life now.

I know that resisting my feelings, my resistance, and my fears only leads to more of the same. Instead of trying to push them down, aside, or ignore them, I allow myself to be with them.

Allow & accept.

Allowing and accepting our feelings is not something most of us were taught. We’re taught to stuff them down, ignore them, use them to fuel ourselves (I used to motivate myself with fear), or self-medicate so we don’t have to feel them.

But when we allow our feeling to be here and accept them just as they are, they become that ripple of water that resolves and moves through in its own time.

Its when we judge it and add our story to it that it becomes stuck.

As part of my dialog with my own resistance and the feelings beneath it, I let these parts of me know that I see, feel, and hear them. I let these parts of my know that it’s ok to be afraid. I acknowledge that we (all the parts of me) have been doing a lot of hard things. A lot of deep work. I acknowledge that change is hard, even when it is good change.

I remind myself of how far I’ve come, all the hard things that I’ve done in the past, all the growth edges that I’ve “survived” thus far.

Show Compassion.

I move into compassionate self-forgiveness. A tool that I’ve learned from Alyssa.

It goes like this: I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I will have to let go of the people places or things that I hold dear. The truth is that I will always have the people that are aligned with my highest and greatest good in my life.

I forgive myself for buying into the misunderstanding that I will attract more haters beyond this point. The truth is, I will attract a lot more people that I am here to support with my purpose to heal, love, and teach.

After compassionate self-forgiveness, I feel more resourced, grounded, and whole.

Take loving action.

From this place, I can take loving inner and outer actions.

I always start with a loving self-care act for myself. In this instance, I decide that I am going to watch a movie mid-day to relax. I’ve also made an agreement with myself to check in with myself in this manner any time resistance or an inner block comes up. I remind myself of this agreement and thank myself for following through.

For my outer action, I decided to write this blog post and share my experience with others as means to support and serve others on the transformational journey.

I believe it is important to share our wins and celebrate our lessons and growth. Despite the way society tells us we are supposed to perfect in every way, we are beautifully imperfect humans all trying to do our best.

Your turn.

Next time you are coming up against resistance or an inner block, I invite you to try the five steps below to move through with more ease, grace, and compassion.

Five steps for moving through resistance:

  1. Be aware.
  2. Get curious.
  3. Allow & acceptance.
  4. Show compassion.
  5. Take loving action.

Remember, what we resist, persists. What we allow, shifts.

Want support?

As a certified transformational leadership coach, energy healer, and intuitive medium, it is my purpose and passion to help others reclaim their inner peace and reconnect with their inner wisdom so they can create their version of an authentic, inspired life with more grace and courage.

If you are looking for support on your transformational journey, schedule a free 90-minute clarity session with me. These 90 minutes are just for you to explore what you want, what challenges you are facing, and to support you in moving forward.

Stay curious, my friends!

Photo credit: Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Published by Lyndsay K. R. Toensing

Lyndsay Toensing is a certified transformational leadership coach, energy healer, intuitive medium, and best-selling author. She is passionate about empowering high-achievers on their spiritual growth and transformation journey to create an authentic, inspired life.

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