Archives for posts with tag: resistance

Many years ago I overheard my Chi Gung teacher speaking with a person in my class between sets. He explained that we can learn how to let go of all kinds of resistance in our energy field and consciousness by paying attention to the body. He said that many unconscious feelings are held in the body and that they can be held in different parts of it. He said that sometimes when we allow ourselves to become aware of this tension in the body it can tell us something about our own feelings. By going into and letting the resistance in a part of our body relax and unwind itself, we can also let go of emotions that get stored there. He said it might just be a little feeling in the back, the hips, the shoulders, or even a toe….all of this had something to tell us and teach us about letting go.

By letting things go like this, you can unwind all sorts of unconscious emotional material. It can be surprising how much that we hold onto. I have found that the more I do this work the more aware I become of still smaller elements in my body/mind landscape. It can lead to greater and greater clarity and a state of inner peace. I can also attest that if this process happens quickly, like it did with me during kundalini, the landscape is changed so quickly that it can even be bewildering sometimes. So, I suggest that you take this kind of work slowly and be easy on yourself.

When you can see that you are the source of all of your feelings, then you are one giant leap closer to taking responsibility for how you have thus far arranged your own inner emotional landscape.

 

Everything that we feel is not the result of what others have done to us but is instead how we have reacted to events in our lives. Buddha had something to say about this, and it is sage advice. No one makes you feel a certain way. No one. When you can see that you are the source of all of your feelings then you are one giant leap closer to taking responsibility for how you have thus far arranged your own inner emotional landscape. This is not always easy to do, especially in a time when people are increasingly wanting to have the world to conform to their own feelings instead of just being an adult and understanding how we each make choices ever day about how we feel and respond to the world. Being able to develop this honesty about how we feel (and that we feel) what is happening is the second big leap in work of this kind. Be easy on yourself, but be honest and be responsible.

When you feel resistance in your body, the first step is to observe it. It can sometimes manifest as physical pain. Instead of resisting it, try going into it. It wont hurt you. Explore it with your intuitive faculties. How does it feel? Why is it that you are holding tension there? Try breathing deeply and slowly and then imagining that your own breath is filling that tense hard space in you. Depending on how tense or how resistant the area is, you might need to do this a number of times. As you breath, imagine warmth going into that location. Imagine that your breath is being sent there, that it is opening up that area. Relax. Give yourself this moment to simply explore. What things that you do help to limit or soften the tension in your body, this pain or feeling of resistance? Often you will reach a place where you realize that the tension was in fact in your mind, being fed into a part of your body in a way that sent a message to tighten. Over time, this location can begin to hurt because of how recursive this feedback loop can become. A back can develop significant pain, hips might hurt, leg muscles might remain chronically painful or fatigued. In some cases, stretching gently can help, but in others, merely recognizing the feeling that is feeding the resistance is enough to short-circuit the feedback to that location in the body. Always, bringing awareness helps to limit the problems, but this is just a first step. If you can stop your mind after you reach the problem area and let your mind go blank, you will actually be in a much better position to intuit the problem.

Albert Einstein, who learned how to cultivate this form of intuition in his life described it precisely this way. He said that as long as his mind was busy with the problem, he would not find an answer, but once he let his mind go blank, the answer would just come to him. It turns out that this is what yogi’s and yogini’s do also. It is a cornerstone state for resolving all sorts of challenges in life.

By having a few encounters with how this method works, you can apply it to a broad range of other issues in your life, including things far-afield of our topic here.

There is a hazard in going about this in too much of a rational way because if you do, you will tend to draw on previous experience, whereas this approach I am describing to you now is the opposite. It requires your mind to go blank. Imagine that you mind needs this silence in order to pick up the deeper messages which will arise through your consciousness, for surely this is how they do. By having a few encounters with how this method works, you can apply it to a broad range of other issues in your life, including things far-afield of our topic here. As a Westerner, you probably have been taught to always have a busy mind. This is one big problem many of us have, which is that we tend not to cultivate more nuanced forms of awareness as our busy monkey-minds steal the show. There is a great benefit in allowing your mind to go quiet and to slowly learn how to cultivate this state of mind. In fact, all meditation practices have this as one of their chief goals. By quieting the mind you can more readily get to the substratum of awareness, to the Essential Self which tends to lie just below the surface. When you do this, it is much easier to delve into these problem areas and see them for what they are. It always requires some degree of discipline, courage, and self honesty.

Are your shoulders tight? Is your solar plexus hard as a rock? Do your knees hurt? In some cases, you might have some issues with your physiology because of an injury or something that comes to your through your genetic line. That can sometimes be separate from what you hold in a center, like say, your knees. And yet, the knees can go on to hold tension that is more than merely how you have been gifted in your physiology. There is a lot that we do with feelings of vulnerability to further impact a part of the body. It is worth noting what part is purely physiological and what part might be exacerbated effects of emotion or tension in that area. I once had a shoulder in jury that I made worse because of my protecting it too much. The shoulder joint literally froze in place, hard as a rock from inactivity. I had to learn to open up the injured shoulder and not be afraid to move it and allow it to work as it had before the injury. In time, I found that I was able to bring more flexibility to it than it had prior to the injury itself, which was an unexpected bonus.

It sounds cointer-intuitive, but many reflexologists and energy healers have found that certain parts of the body tend to be areas where quite specific feelings can get trapped. Have had self-esteem? Your root and your sacral region might need some attention. Is your willpower off or is it too strong? That could very well be an issue in the solar plexus. Feelings of being a victim? Goodness, your heart might need some work. If you take on too much of others’ stuff, you might find your shoulders literally tightening up with shoulder and upper back issues plaguing you.

The more you do this work the more you will find yourself letting go of age-old problems.

It is helpful to have a good body worker who can help to loosen those areas up, the open the energy channels so the old stuff can go and new growth and healing can take its place. The more you do this work the more you will find yourself letting go of age-old problems. If you find yourself going back to an issue in your past over and over, this itself is a stuck emotion and it will almost always have its compliment in the body somewhere. It is actually pretty amazing how much we can become aware of this stuck material if you take the time to slow down, get quiet, and then begin to listen and pay attention in a meditative way to what your body is telling you. In some cases, you might not be able to get to the source of the problem yourself. You might know that there is something likely stuck in a certain spot, but you have no idea how to let it go. Despite everything that you try, it just hangs on. This is where an energy worker can often help. Whether that person does acupuncture, acupressure, reiki, cranio-sacral, or similar types of energy work, someone who is practiced in energy work often will have the intuitive abilities to get to the problem in order to provide you with relief. It is my experience that truly great energy workers are rare, so you will want to look around and ask people about their experience.

It is really quite a revelatory experience when you can feel the emotional energy move out of the body. It normally never comes back, which is a great relief, too. 

With practice, you can use meditation as a way to take a quick inventory of your body state and see what is coming up for you. We are human, so we are prone to holding onto things, obsessing about something that upset us or not being able to let go of something as far back as childhood. We have lost the ability that most other mammals have for “shaking off” the tension or past emotion or trauma. This is why I recommend for really sticky issues a healing modality called TRE. If you use this term to search my blog you will find a number of posts on this method. It is actually quite simple to do on your own and has been shown to relieve symptoms of PTSD, and if done more intensively, it can eliminate the trauma stored in the body for good! It is really quite a revelatory experience when you can feel the emotional energy move out of the body. It normally never comes back, which is a great relief, too.

As you replace old negative self-talk with more positive thoughts, your whole outlook can begin to change.

While mulling this post, a quote came up on my social media feed in a group that I am part of. It was a person describing how one day they realized that they were free to feel anyway that they wanted about themselves. They described this feeling as being able to become like a butterfly, free from being tied down to old thoughts and feelings. One day this person suddenly felt free to feel fantastic about themselves, and so his life changed after that, forever. He now lives his life considering that he is this marvelous creature with so much good in himself that this now fills him with joy and wonder instead of being hemmed in and feeling bad about himself. This is a really great way to treat yourself, which is a form of self love. If you don’t love yourself, how can anyone hope to do similarly? Plus, you will feel really great as a result of shifting this way. For some of you, you might need some practice, but go easy on yourself. As you replace old negative self-talk with more positive thoughts, your whole outlook can begin to change. Aren’t you worth it? My best of luck to you…

In the work of awakening, the great stumbling blocks we encounter are the things we resist. And what you resist is what persists.

The road to wholeness and happiness is in the singular awareness that no matter what troubles you in your life, it all comes down to an inner resistance deep within. It does not seem that way when we get upset by the events and people in our lives that upset us, but what’s unsettling you is an inability to see and respond to things as they are. When you are able to see things as they are, without your own inner dialog running, you can much more easily accept that things are happening not to unseat you from your bliss, but that you are resisting the world as it is. You probably wont change the world, but you can change yourself, which is what inspires others to want to change, and many people all doing this in their own back yards helps to sow seeds of change. People have their own reasons for doing what they do that most often has nothing at all to do with you, but is more a story all their own. When you can honestly give them real space to be, resistance ends and we can accept that none of what upsets us is personal. We choose to be hurt. We choose to be angry. Most often, we don’t want to take responsibility for how we feel in each moment, though. This is resistance. Expect the feeling to persist many times each day. Or you can let it go. Was it really so important to your ego. Really?

All the great teachers taught how important it was to chang the mind. Even Jesus did so. Jesus is often thought to have used the word “repent” as the key term for shifting the tide, but he (along with John the Baptist) actually used the word Metanoia, which means to change ones mind. Call it a translational error, but if you ask me, its a significant clarification that really casts more of Jesus teaching in a new light. But I digress. The point is that all of the great teacher saw, experienced, and knew that we all have a capacity to remove thinking of one kind much the same way a mask of thinking or believing is removed (often with the effect of revealing a deeper layer of being and thinking that’s more original to our nature in the process).

So I ask you, how do you see things differently? It is all in how you choose to see it—the power is in your mind! Choose a different conclusion, choose a different assumption. It only seems hard if you have never tried.

How many times did you have something happen where you assumed an outcome that was completely wrong once you learned more about it later? We make all kinds of assumptions that are based more on who we are rather than how things are in the world. I have seen myself do this more times than I care to admit. But I do learn from them when they happen. It’s done by reflecting on events from the past and assuming the events are following the same pattern, but nothing is ever quite the way we think it is, especially from the past and how we have responded to it emotionally as we color it the way it suits us.

Now what if you could rewind the tape and assume differently using a whole different mindset? Maybe you try not to judge anything until you speak to the people involved, or until you check your messages, or gather more information. All of this behavior I’m describing says nothing about the world, it’s only saying something about you. Maybe you have been on the receiving end of similar assumptions before. Maybe you know what it’s like to have someone do that, completely convinced of the utterly fallacious script running in their heads, right? So change it on your end and it will be one less person doing this. Your greatest gift is who you are. What kind of you do you want to be?

I was once told a dream this guy had. It illustrates resistance and acceptance so well. In the dream, my friend would encounter werewolves. This dream would happen over and over. It bugged him. These werewolves would show up as these slobbering wild men who would transform into these beasts, menacing and chasing him all night long. It was really getting old and he needed a solution to this nighttime delimna.

One night my friend was in his dream and he saw these men coming through the woods. They had just transformed and came rushing up at him. The chief werewolf got up in his face. He was still wearing, of all things, his sunglasses! As my friend looked closely, he could see his reflection in the glasses. What he saw surprised him; he could see that he too was a werewolf! He could see his own teeth gleaming in the reflection as the other werewolf smiled with a grimacing set of teeth. My friend, realizing all of this, gave a chuckle and took off with the pack, howling and running like the wild things that they were. Oh, and after that, my friend no longer had another werewolf dream.

I can’t speak for him, but I think one thing is clear; our dreamer was resisting something about himself which morphed into fear and scary dreams about an aspect of himself he had been resisting. Once he accepted it, he integrated it into himself, making it a conscious (rather than subconscious) part of himself. Maybe he was afraid of what it might mean if he was a werewolf. But instead, accepting it freed him of fear and the trouble it caused and he saw these werewolves were all just out having a grand old time. He learned, I think, that what he resisted wasn’t about what he thought at all. He integrated or accepted it, and thus was free.

So for our dreamer it might have been fear of his wild side. For you, it might be something else. It could be any sort of fear that drives you…and very often these issues come down to fear of some kind. A fearless person is calm, gentle, easy in themselves. They dont jump to conclusions. Maybe you fear a seemingly thoughtless person. But let me ask; if they are being thoughtless, how could it be that they are being this way just to upset little old you? Let it be, give it acceptance, maybe see that it was in you all along, and you will see it all melt or fall away like a house of cards. It means being willing to change your mind, to change how you see it. Then, poof, like magic, it evaporates and any negative charge it had is gone because you changed it. This is the essence of all clearing of the consciousness to help reveal the true self shining within. And this self is more free to express itself. Energy moves more freely when you are not so resistant to an aspect of yourself that remains unhealed. You are, afterall, a conduit for an energy that was called “the water of life.”

“Be like water, my friend.” —Bruce Lee

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