This space is all about seeking
the moments that cause
'excited chills' and creating a life
that's simple, authentic and beautiful.
Another day, another R word. Resistance. This one definitely deserves its own post. I’m learning so much as I move through this month. There is no need for me to search for each day’s word. They are appearing with no effort. It’s as if they’ve been waiting to be explored. My soul is feeling heard and I love hearing your thoughts when a word resonates deeply with you. It’s a day-maker to read your comments. Thank you.
A little side note: In my recent NOW post, I mentioned my plan to read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. After reading that post, a dear friend urged me to purchase a copy instead of checking it out of the library. Trusting her and her passion for the book, I have done just that. Sitting next to me on my desk is my very own copy of The Power of Now. I’ve been reading it for a few days and wish for an entire afternoon to devour it! While I haven’t finished it yet, I can already tell that I’ll keep this one close forever.
Okay, now back to resistance...
A few years ago, I began using the Headspace app. This amazing meditation app combines founder, Andy Puddicombe’s soothing voice (think Jude Law) and straight-up simple guidance on the valuable practice of meditation.
Early in my Headspace journey, Andy Puddicombe mentioned something about our suffering being caused by us not wanting things to be as they are.
I had to stop and really consider his words at the time.
Surely, he must be mistaken.
Maybe I didn’t hear him correctly. There was no way that my suffering was merely the result of me wanting things to be different.
Or was he dead on? 100% right?
It seemed too simple. I struggled with this reasoning...certain that something else was causing the misery I felt in many areas of my life.
A while later, I read the following quote...
It may look as if the situation is creating suffering, but ultimately this is not so – your resistance is.
There was that message again. Hmm.
Sometimes it takes a few thumps on the head before I actually wake up to a new idea.
I became intrigued by the concept of my resistance being linked to my happiness. Intrigued and a little skeptical. I pondered it with a ‘yes, but that doesn’t apply to the huge, ugly, unfair situation that I’m currently dealing with’ attitude.
The truth of the resistance concept continued to show up to me in brief moments of awareness. Slowly, I began to realize that yes, in fact, it did seem that by wanting a situation to be different, I created the suffering in my life.
I explored some of the common things that make me unhappy or stressed...
Physical pain or illness
I kept trying to find an area or situation where the resistance logic didn’t hold up.
At every turn, when I examined an issue I was having, it became clear that I wanted the situation to be different than it was. And therefore, I was unhappy.
This has been one of the greatest light bulb moments of my entire life...
I AM completely in control of my happiness.
I now realize that my mood, well-being and peace of mind are negatively impacted by my resistance to the circumstances I experience every day.
Awareness is the first step. Once I realize that I’m unhappy, I can look to see what I’m resisting. It’s become a game I play with myself...I feel the grip of my mind being unhappy or stressed and then I look for what I’m resisting.
I ask myself, “What am I wishing would be different?”
In some cases, I can then set out to make things different. In other instances, I have no way of changing a situation...so I’m learning to choose acceptance.
The act of acceptance is powerful.
It diffuses the anger or unhappiness and results in a sense of peace.
It is what it is.
That phrase always bugged me. It seems flip and dismissive. However, I’ve come to see that it speaks volumes. Very accurate volumes.
It is what it is works to remove the emotion and resistance from a situation. There is acceptance is the phrase...we are merely acknowledging the way things are...in the present moment.
This too shall pass.
I've never been a big fan of this quote either. (Obviously, I've harbored serious resistance issues:-) Lately my eyes are wide open to the truth in the message. After I’ve accepted a situation (especially one I cannot change or control), I can use these words to remind myself that this is only temporary. Everything changes...including any yucky, terrible, awful situation I may be feeling stuck in.
A giant shift occurs by simply by being aware of my state of mind and acknowledging my resistance to whatever I’m resisting.
Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is… The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds. ~ Dan Millman, author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior
If you haven’t already experienced this aha moment for yourself, I urge you to read The Power of Now. Or watch The Peaceful Warrior.
Or at the very least...try to open yourself up to the possibility that your are causing your own unhappiness through your resistance to the way things are.
Once you deeply consider this truth...I think you'll have a hard time ignoring your own resistance.
What are you currently resisting?
Thank you so much for following along this month. I hope the words I'm sharing are giving you some food for thought as you move through your current decade.
Simply 50- refining life for the next decade