Here is the plain, strange truth: I’m resistant to pretty much everything.
This includes, but is not limited to: things that are good for me, things that I want to do, things that I waited for, things that I chose, things that I planned, things that light me up and fill my soul, things that I love.
As I’ve spent years talking to women about their resistance, I am somewhat comforted by the fact that I’m not alone, and this is common, really common.
The resistance usually feels like this: UGGGGGGGHHHHHHH. I don’t wannaaaaaaaa. UGH. Do I have to? UGGGGHHH… Dammit.
Familiar? Most of the time, I can move through my resistance, but other times, it has stopped me.
There is a part of our brains whose job is to keep us alive. Often called our lizard brain, our amygdala is programmed to keep us alive by keeping us safe, by keeping us the same. Why keep us the same? Because same = safe. If we are not changing, moving, growing, exploring, or risking, nothing bad will happen, right? That’s what Amygdala, we’ll call her Amy for short, believes.
And at the sight or smell of perceived danger, Amy gets to work, often using resistance as a strategy. It’s a quite effective one, after all.
I’ve had two huge breakthroughs recently with resistance and I owe it all to a shift I made in the way I think about my resistance.
Instead of thinking of my resistance as something in front of me, blocking me, something that I need to push through, I moved it over, turned it into something small and predictable next to me, my bratty kid sister, Resistance.
This idea came to me out of nowhere, as many of my best ideas do, while talking with a client, an artist who’d developed quite a resistance to painting, although she is most alive when she paints.
This client is a brilliant artist, yet she hasn’t been making art. For weeks, we have analyzed and dissected her resistance, so that she could understand it and move through it, and made little progress. And then one day recently, the words just popped up and out:
Bring your resistance along, like a bratty kid sister.
We often think we need to move through our resistance and this daunting task actually keeps us stuck.
What if instead of moving through it, we took Resistance’s hand and moved her to our side, to walk with us?
What if we brought her along, knowing she was part of us, part of the experience, not the enemy, not something to annihilate, but more of a traveling partner? A sidekick? Very vocal, but no longer in power. One that might whine and complain the entire time, sure.
Once my client moved her resistance from in front of her to the side of her, guess what? Guess who spent the weekend painting? My brilliant artist client, that’s who.
I’ve been practicing this myself, thinking of my resistance as my bratty kid sister, and wow… what a difference.
I never had a bratty kid sister, but as a girl, I remember having friends with bratty kid sisters, and we were often “stuck” hanging out with them. And we did not let them stop us. We still managed to have fun.
What if you just acknowledged the fact that your bratty kid sister, Resistance, is coming along for the ride?
What if you just took her with you, because you have a life to live, you have risks to take and experiences to experience?
You came here for the ride. For the risk. For the adventure. For the experiences.
Within the last two weeks, I have moved my resistance to the side. My bratty kid sister is no longer in the way, she’s along for the ride.
I have taken up learning the piano, after years of telling myself “it was too late” to learn an instrument.
I have returned to writing fiction and started writing a novel, after years of telling myself writing fiction was not a noble or important enough way to spend my time.
And my muse has been responding. I am inspired and ignited and feeling more creative and joyful than I have in a very long time.
Trust your bratty kid sister, resistance to show up, to be there with you. Don’t let her block you anymore.
Take her hand, move her aside and bring her along for the ride.
Might as well, right? It’s way more fun than staying stuck.