How do you respond to resistance in your life?
It’s not the first time someone has asked me this question. When the life you have melts off of you like skin on fire, people want to know.
I don’t respond to resistance like a yogi, Jesus, or Buddha teacher. I’m a faint version of spiritual mastery.
But resistance is a practice in which we modify response.
Hard times happen. It’s more important to know what we have to work with.
Below are three highly effective habits to have in hard times. They’re helpers. And Mr. Rogers said to look for those. So.
Can We Keep Calm?
There wouldn’t be all those ‘Keep Calm and…’ signs if we weren’t looking for more inner peace. Am I the only one who believes calm isn’t something I keep? I hope not.
Trying to keep calm is suffocating. But I’ve been prone to keeping my whole life. Composure, control, distance, health, logic.
When I started looking at how to integrate more calmness in my life, I struggled with keeping it, like I always do. I had to respond to this resistance from a different place.
Keeping calm is impossible (hold on). But finding calm is possible every time.
Calmness is a method that might’ve been the original, natural state for our bodies and minds. But the world most of us live in is anything but soothing.
Calm is now wild.
Wild things wilt when kept in a cage.
Wild things live best when they roam free.
What we need to do next might be Mad Hatter or the sanest thing we’ve ever done.
Find the natural habitat of calm and set it free.
Make The Cut
Buddhists say clinging is the root of suffering. This strategy is a knife with a smooth and serrated edge. We must cut ourselves free from the roots threatening to strangle us.
We make more certain cuts on the extra activity we can’t make room for or the food we have an allergy to. A smooth edge cuts clean with a clinical and steady pressure. It’s not fun, but the cut isn’t too close; we’re okay.
But how do we cut through uncertain times? We hold the serrated edge to the meat of our lives and make an intense slash inward to the core. Although, the cuts aren’t as clean.
The most dangerous cut is the hardest to make.
We hesitate. We’re more raw and primal. And unsure.
I’m seldom sure. When my body does frightening things, I’m not sure. I’m not sure when another year passes in isolation.
And yet. There are still cuts to make.
The cuts don’t have to be pretty or clean or even wholehearted. We just have to make them. We don’t have to make anything else.
Everything is already there. But the cut changes the composition.
Work With The Weight Of Resistance
My health coach once asked me, “What if working on your health wasn’t hard? What if it was easy? What would be possible then?”
I had no idea. I’ve always worked hard on everything in hopes life would be kinder, better. That the work would be easier if I didn’t bear down so hard was a novel concept.
We can’t resist our response to significant triggers.
Resisting resistance is like using two magnets of the same pole (magnetic north and south). They have the same force field.
We want our lives to come together. But we need to use an opposing force. We need to work with what’s working against us.
If we’re enraged, we should accept the feeling to move through it. Otherwise, we’re kept longer in a place where everything sounds like a siren.
Everything can become its opposite when we work with the weight of resistance. Hard becomes easy. Heavy becomes light.
These habits are worth the work. Responding to resistance is reconnaissance for what’s essential and nonessential. Hard times happen. But anything can come next.
- Chaos is standard and calm is wild. Calmness isn’t something you keep. It’s what you set free.
- Also, you must cut the roots that strangle you. It’s not impossible. But the most dangerous cuts are the hardest to make. You just have to make them. Everything else is already there.
- For this reason, work with the weight of resistance. What feels counter intuitive doesn’t have to be counterproductive.
The weight of your life can change. Know what you hold. Set down the circumstance and pick your response.