Today I want to let you in on a little secret I recently discovered. And to be honest, I was blown away with the results.
My secret is recognizing resistance in your daily life and then letting it go.
Because if we’re honest with each other, there are a lot of things in life we resistance, from doing the workout we know we should do to making dinner or cleaning the house, we’re resisting tasks at work or even our children.
And it makes life hard. Really tough! It leaves us tired and exhausted. It sucks our energy.
That said when I recognize my resistance and I let it go or lean into it, then life gets easier (yes, Sheryl Sandberg you have a point :-)). Each of us has the option to flow through the day or getting stuck.
You wonder what I mean with resistance?
For instance, after a long time break of exercising and running, I started recently to go running in the mornings again. And many days it’s just damn hard, let’s be honest here. It feels difficult, and I feel unfit and unmotivated. What I realized after a few of this challenging runs is that while I do them because I know they’re right for me, and I know I feel good afterward, I didn’t enjoy the run itself. All changed when I realized I resisted the run. I did it for the benefit as mentioned above but couldn’t enjoy the run itself. When I realized I resist, I decided to let go of it, to enjoy the run and also just said, if this gets to hard I can stop. But then there was no need to stop. I enjoyed the run, and that made me feel even better.
Another scenario where I’m hitting resistance is very often at home, doing all these mundane house tasks, like doing the dishes, cleaning, and also preparing another dinner for the family. I resist, I don’t want to do it and yes a part of me feels like that refusing whiny child “I don’t want to do it!” Stamping on the floor. Again when I lean in my resistance, I feel I have options and can ask questions like – does it need to get done and if yes, I just do it, put music on and get it done, instead of constantly thinking I don’t want to do it.
We even resist our children
And I’m sure you have been there with your children. When my son get’s angry or is frustrated to feel reistance comes almost natural. We want to change the situation, we don’t want our child to feel and behave that way. Maybe we even take it personally. And then we get angry, we reist the situation we want to change it and that makes us angry frustrated or depleted. When you lean in, and let go of the reisitance you realize that the situation is jiust what it is. Your child is having some strong emotions. It has nothing to do with you. Letting go of resistance you stay detached and can help your child with compassion through his emotions and feelings. And once this scenario is over you both move on. Without this lingering resentment or annoyance.
Sounds great, I know, that said doing it in the midst of a tantrum is a different story.
Of course work is another place where all of us have felt resistance. There is or was a task we just didn’t want to do. We pushed it off until the last minute and threatened doing it, yet it consumed a lot of space in our mind.
Letting go of resistnace, the task can get done without the heavy emotional attachement and that makes life so much easier.
I actually think that that saying start with your most important and challenging task first thing in the morning comes from that exeprince. First of all in the morning after a restful night we have most energy, that means we can tackle a challenging task. With or without letting go of resistance. During the day this gets more challengeing. But I believe tackling your most challengeing task and letting go of the resistnace will set you up for a great day ahead.
Try it out.
This sounds great, right? Yet, most of us will not do the work required. Because the truth is, it’s hard. In the process of realizing I resist and then letting go, I feel like a baby that learns to walk. I get up do it a few times with success and then fall again. And have to get up again. Sometimes I don’t catch myself being resist, othertimes I’m not able to let go of resisting and feel stuck in my thoughts.
That said, I truly believe it’s like with everything else, it get’s easier the more we practice. It’s all about taking one step at the time. And when you do it feels good. Imagine you let go today of your resistnace and do that exercise you would have liked to, or move through a challenge with your child with ease.
What I found that helps let go of resistance is indeed planning. Yes, I know I love planning (read more in my blog post about weekly planning) but hear me out. If you plan (and I don’t mean you need to plan every minute of your day – at least not if you don’t want to), you take some of the resistance out of your day. For example, you plan your dinners for a week. You just check your meal plan and then do what you intended. Then resistance doesn’t even show up.
I have seen it again and again with mothers, if they put something in the calnedat that they wanted to do like contacting a new friend, going to the playgroung or decluttering there house. They just did it, because they planned it. Resistance often steps to the side with a plan and it’s easier to focus on how you feel afterwards.
Ready to try it, look throughout your day when you feel something is challenging and see if this is resistance knocking at your door.
Hugs,Kisses and Chocolate, Cathleen
PS: Curious? Do you want some help to let go of resistance? Join us in the Roots & Wings Circle starting June 20th, where we dive deep into Self-Care, Play and Parenting, and working with resistance will be part of it.