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What Are You Resisting?

November 21, 2016

Do you ever feel like there's never enough time, like you're chasing the day but can't seem to get it all done? Do you wake up in the morning feeling overwhelmed, before you even get out of bed? 

 

I do. Often. 

 

You'd think that after 42 years of living on this planet I'd have figure out how to manage the 24 hours I get every single day. That's 15,330 days of practice! And yet, with every new day, time still manages to elude me.

 

Some people would call that serious stubborn resistance to what is. Others might be less kind and call it straight–up stupidity. For the sake of kindness, I'll go with stubborn.   

 

I've spent most of my life trying to evade time, like a child learning to play hide–and–seek, covering their eyes in plain site, thinking that if they can't see you, you won't see them.

 

If I ignore time, will it just disappear? Apparently not. 

 

I've been rebelling against time, afraid that if I conform to its structure, I'll be sacrificing my freedom – something I cannot bear to live without. 

 

But the more I resist, the more I rebel and push against it, the less freedom I actually have. Mostly because of the emotions that get activated by my resistance – resistance never feels good, and if you're not feeling good, you're not free.

 

Fortunately, we can only bear resistance for so long, eventually, it gets too uncomfortable and we're forced to let go, to surrender, and hopefully change.

 

It has taken me 42 years (did I mention that I'm stubborn) but I'm finally ready to let go. The discomfort has been mounting for the past few weeks; the urgency, anxiety, and overwhelm. Forcing me to listen more deeply, to inquire into where these feelings are coming from, and why. My avoidance of time and structure is no longer working, it's clear to me now that something needs to change.

 

I brought this up at the dinner table last night and my eldest son said, "time exists regardless of your perspective", even though it is "relative to the observer", as Einstein determined. Basically, he was telling me I can't escape time. Leave it to your children to smack you with reality. So if I can't escape time, why not change my relationship to it?

 

Which is the same solution you'd apply to all forms of resistance; let go, and make the necessary changes. Whether they be in attitude, perspective or action, change is a must.

 

I was so determined to maintain my freedom that I couldn't see any other way. Until I was forced to let go. Now, from this new perspective, I can see that a little structure will make the world of difference. Not only liberating me from all the negative emotions that have been amping up as of late, but allowing me to have more control over my daily life, and giving me the opportunity to really harness my full potential. After all, you need some kind of structure to raise a roof.  

 

To those of you who have always valued structure over freedom, this insight will sound obvious. But I challenge all you structured folks out there to look at what you might be resisting in your life. When do you feel uncomfortable?

 

Take a moment to look into your discomfort a little more deeply. What would happen if you changed your perspective on whatever situation is creating or activating the discomfort?  

 

You may not need to liberate yourself with some structure like I do, but I guarantee that there is more freedom waiting for you on the other side of whatever you are resisting.

 

Whatever is causing you to feel uncomfortable is simply bringing awareness to something you need to change.

 

In my case, some simple time management is in order. I need to create some consistent structure, and stick to it. Again, to anyone who thrives on structure this won't sound like much but to the degree that I have been avoiding this (42 years!) I am going to have to muster equal (if not more) effort.

 

Breaking any habit or pattern requires some effort. But don't confuse that with the emotional discomfort of resistance. The difference is that your effort will bring you closer to achieving a goal. Whereas resistance is typically an avoidance of something. 

 

So how do you muster the energy or the will power to make difficult changes in your life? You just do it. You just decide that you no longer want to live with whatever shitty feelings your resistance has been activating in you and you make the fucking change. 

 

Because people, I promise you, it will only get worse.

 

The discomfort doesn't go away. Remember, the discomfort is just a call for your attention, if you ignore it, it will just keep calling and eventually it'll scream at you in ways you never imagined. So just listen, and make the changes before all hell breaks loose. 

 

But make sure that you aren't making changes to avoid something, make whatever changes are necessary to bring you closer to the best version of you, to your most authentic self.   

 

I desire more freedom, financial freedom to be specific. Ironically, the thing I need to change to achieve that is my relationship with structure, which I avoid because I held the belief that it restricted my freedom. I'm letting go of that belief but I need to implement some changes to activate it in my life before I can reap the benefits.

 

I'm going to start with embracing time and following a structured, consistent schedule. It's going to require some great effort on my part because I'll be breaking some really old patterns and habits but it'll get easier over time.

 

I've done this before, with other areas of my life and it always plays–out the same way:

 

  • I resist the change until it gets too uncomfortable 

  • When I can't bear it anymore I let go and look inward

  • Once I have clarity on what I'm resisting I muster the effort to step into something new 

  • Eventually, I either give up, only to bump into the same issue again later in life and start all over again 

  • Or I persevere until I start to see the positive impact of my change in attitude, perspective, or actions.

 

When it comes down to it, I actually love change, most changes are easy for me, I tend to jump in headfirst. But occasionally I bump up against something that I don't want to let go of, even though I know deep down it isn't serving me well. Those changes are hard but once you've experienced the often immeasurable payoff of those difficult changes, it bolsters you for the next time you're confronted with one.

 

And as we all know, change is inevitable, so why not get good at it. 

 

If you're struggling with a change that you know you need to make, if you feel stuck and/or have no idea where to begin, seek help. Reach out to a friend, go to a yoga class to move your energy and possibly shift your perspective, book an appointment with a therapist, a coach, an acupuncturist, an energy healer, do whatever it takes!

 

Make the change. 

 

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