Dear friend Resistance : Six tips to help you push through (lovingly!)

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At 33, I have incarnated quite a few times in this life already. I’ve shed my skin, old patterns and outdated beliefs and evolved. I’ve grown from the inside out.

And, I plan on continuing to do this my whole life.

In fact, right now, I feel the tingle of change: I’m asking questions I’ve never asked before, I’m seeking a fresh perspective, I’m going deeper, getting more frustrated, gaining clarity, striving for quiet (a great challenge for me!), and creating space to sense things.

From a physiological perspective we know that we grow, our bodies (inside and out) change numerous times over our lifetime, even our brains develop over different stages of childhood and adolescence. Our skin regenerates every seven years and we have the ability to create new neural pathways in our brains right through our lifetime. We grow emotionally with our new relationships, in our careers, as new mums or dads, when battling dis-ease or heartache. Most of that change is unconscious in a way, it just happens. It doesn’t take a lot of intentional effort on our part. Our bodily instincts and innate wisdom are quite freaking amazing!

So, when we actually sense a call for change, like there is something bigger, better, bolder or more real out there for us.. we feel pulled to consciously seek, consciously tweak and consciously challenge ourselves to shed the old and unleash the new. It is like being re-born in a way. It’s more conscious, we often need to do some work.

This change can create that nervous, fidgety, sweaty, electricity running through our bodies. We want to leap forward with gusto, but we want to pull back at the same time.

That call for growth expansion, learning our deepest truths, peeling back the layers of our misperceptions, embracing our connectedness and awesomeness… that my friends, is our soul food!

The thing is for most of us, along with the tingles and edge-teetering, our dear friend resistance is likely rock up and say hello. This resistance can show up in all sorts of ways including, but not limited to: our inner negative chatterbox, as senses in our body (anxiety or excitement…), external resistance in the form of our lovers, our friends, our family, our jobs, our culture and media (and what is apparently normal & ok).

Resistance can make our desire, and ultimate need, for growth incredibly challenging.

When I was 19 I read my first self-help book: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. It’s a really great starting point to understand our personal power. This was the beginning of my truly conscious effort to shift my perceptions about life, about myself and about the authority and creativity I hold over my life.

It was my earliest understanding that: life doesn’t just happen to me. I am a creator. I have power over my life. I always have a choice.

As I began to read this book and start to question my own misperception I was excited to say the least, it resonated so deeply and I felt that with these tools I was ready to fly! But, of course, before I launched any of my newfound amazing-ness my Ego, Fear and negative self-talk hollered at me:

 “Who are you to think you are to deserve more?” // “You’re not good enough.” // “You’re not pretty/cool enough.” //  “You’re not intelligent enough.” // “You’re not creative enough.”

 You get the point.

 That inner conflict can make growth really, really hard.

I met resistance from my then-boyfriend because, well, my growth meant I was ready tolet go of that relationship. I was ready to begin working on loving myself and respecting myself and to be honest, to stop accepting disrespect and humiliating experiences from anyone.

But still, loving someone (even when you know the relationship isn’t working for you), hearing them plead with you, getting cuddles, promise things that you are desiring (which will unlikely eventuate) can make moving forward, growing and being steadfast with your decision really, really hard.

Thankfully my friends and family were far from resistant about this decision to grow. But in other big conscious growth spurts I have met that challenge too. Of course, it’s so very natural. From shutting down conversations I was desperate to have; avoiding certain elephants in the room when all I wanted to do was move through the hurdles, challenging a new direction, new belief or fresh ideas and judging my choices or ideas.

And, that of course is really hard, it is heart breaking and a massive challenge for growth.

Our cultural norms, societal expectations and the media magnification of such play a huge part in cutting us down off our ever-growing so-called ‘perch’. Telling us we aren’t good enough, pretty enough, adventurous enough, brave or strong enough (hello: ladies, you know what I mean!). Drumming in that rubbish – creating us to be fear-laden consumers of their lies.

And, that is freaking hard to break free from when it’s seemingly in our face each and every day.

In the really early days when I would come up against this resistance my first inkling was to give in, or just stay quiet and keep a low profile. I’d feel uncomfortable trying out my new found inner power or self expression, I would feel like I shouldn’t be my authentic new shinny self around certain people, or situations.

 But as the book’s title suggests, I had to just had to: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway!  

After reading that book I felt accountable to myself. I knew more than ever before about my personal power and the choices that I could make. So in tiny steps or sometimes giant leaps I evolved and I grew stronger. Little by little I felt my change was not just something outside of myself, it was me. I owned it. I lived it.

And then I moved on to the next growth phase, which was just as awkward and scary, but of course oh-so-worth it. And this, in my experience, has just kept repeating itself continuing to push me past my comfort zone, feeling that fear…..and is still doing so..

Based on what I have learnt through my journey I’d like to share six insights if you are starting a new phase of growth in your own journey, of feeling that pull but meeting resistance.

+ Take the bigness out of it. When we feel a pull to change; be it by trying out meditation, learning a new exercise, cleaner eating, changing our negative dialogue to a positive one.. whatever it may be we may need to invite a gentler approach to ourselves. 

 Many of us do the: “Starting on Monday, I will stop {insert new habit here}…” routine in our minds before we start a new phase. We start new healthy eating mission on a Monday, and by 3pm we’re nibbling on chocolate, critiquing our shocking sense of fortitude and then basically saying “Stuff it i’ll try again next week!” (or is that just me?!!!).

In Reiki there is a Japanese saying which starts each sentence with “Just for today…”

And really that’s is all it takes. Lots of todays, and we’ve made it to a week of a new habit. And if we falter, cool. Pick up and keep going anyway, learning and growing with our stumbles. 

Love your fear. It isn’t your foe, it’s your loving friend (albeit sometimes annoying) reminding you what you need to work through, telling you “oi love, this is still bringing up stuff for you. And that is a-ok. Let’s work through this.” Simply acknowledge it, listen to it’s insights, then make a choice to work through it.

+ Inner talk – We all have the ability, if not tendency, to allow our inner dialogue to be negative a-hole. This is where a good laugh and a bunch of positive and nourishing affirmations can help.

As an example I like to have a cheeky giggle at myself, or more so at my negative monkey mind. I inwardly say things like: “Oh daarrrling! You have some funny thoughts sometimes!” Then adding my positive affirmations, which cancel out my crappy thoughts.

 + If loved ones, friends or colleagues aren’t accepting or your new way of being, be ok with that. Try not to judge them for not being on the same bandwagon – they are on their own awesome path, don’t try and coerce them if they are genuinely not interested. Just know that for You, you are seeking and living your Truth. You are accepting of change and thrive on it. Everyone is on the path they need to be on.

+ Seek out people who are on the same path as you; be it online (which is a great start) or physical friends, friends of friends, book clubs, yoga centres etc. People who make you feel positive and who will help support you at all times. You will feed off each other and push each other to greater heights!

+  Be kind to yourself. Don’t judge yourself for what may seem like a step backwards, or for judging someone else, or for not understanding something. Just be open and know you are doing the best you can right now, even if its not your best, it’s your best right in this moment. Be ok with that.

I hope this post was helpful!

I would love to know if this has resonated with you. How do you push through your resistance? I invite you to comment below!

PS: Another great read on resistance is Stephen Pressfield’s: The War of Art.

Much love & light to You.! Catherine xox

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