Overcome Resistance Everyday to Fulfill Our Potentials
The other morning, I woke up to the soft tone of my Sleep Cycle alarm. I felt rested and calm. I had a writing topic already in mind. I went downstairs, drunk a glass of lime juice with warm water so my body could begin to detox. I went up, sat down at my desk, openned my notebook and began to write the 3 morning page - a creative exercise I do every single morning. The 3 pages made me felt calmer and opened the flow of words. By the end of the 3rd page, I knew I had a very very good feeling. I got it. I really got it. Finally, today, I am about to write something truly truly good.
I closed the notebook, turned on my laptop, double-clicked the pen icon of Window Live Writer - my favorite blogging software.I wrote the first sentence; it didn't sound quite right. I deleted, rewrote another first sentence, then the second, the third. The 3 sentences looked awkward sitting next to each other. I stared at the big white space below the black letters. My attention couldn't hold; before I knew it, I was already on Facebook checking "how things are going". I did a quick "checking" that I can't even recall now. My monkey mind was running the show. When I realized that I was procrastinating, I returned to the Live Writer. I stared at the blank space once more; my mind was also blank. A whip of hopelessness hit me. I couldn't bear. I stood up and walked away. That's it.
It knocked me out! It knocked me out of my pages and my writing desk! The enemy known to all human beings who want to go something good with their lives, who aspire make good use of their talents, who risk stepping onto the unknown in search of a meaningful change. Standing between us and our fulfilled potentials - that enemy is Resistance.
Resistance spares no one. If you have a functioning brain, you have resistance, even if you were Mahatma Gandhi. It stands in the way when we choose to make a positive change in our life. From adopting a healthy diet to pursing the dream of being a writer, or running campaign to save the whales - resistance stands in the way of whatever we do in order to become a better human being.
I often imagine it as a negative energy field surrounding what we need to do the most. The stronger the resistance we subconsciously felt toward doing something that we know is good, the more important that something is for our growth as a human being in this earth.
Some readers thought that I simply sit down each fine morning, humming a tune - perhaps of What A Wonderful World, smiling blissfully, typing away a beautiful article. I've never had a morning like that. I struggled with resistance every day. The writing isn't difficult, once I've entered my flow. The sitting down to write and the awkward beginning to open the flow are difficult - here is where resistance's lurking - the beginning of something great.
That morning, I kept battling with resistance. I walked away from my desk; I walked back. I took the laptop to the bed to write lying down; I took the laptop back to the desk to write sitting up straight. The writing wouldn't take off. Meanwhile, my monkey mind was desperately monkey. I played about with my phone, my tablet, and everything else I could put my hands on. I was like a sedated creature. Resistance sedated me. I rampaged through the kitchen for some compulsive eating. When we are unhappy with who we are, we tend to hurt ourselves in so many ways. Most pathetically, it hypnotized me into reading about resistance. So, truth be told, I read a short book about resistance. By mid-day, I was exhausted. I felt rotten. I curled up on the bed, my head next to my laptop. I took the last look at the blinking cursor. I closed my eyes.
One hour later, I opened my eyes. I reached for the phone and send a message to my boyfriend Rapha: "Having a tough day here. I couldn't write anything good. I feel disgusted of myself." He texted back: "Take it easy on yourself." I put the phone down. My head was thick and heavy, so was by body. I thought of doing yoga and taking a bath - this might "purify" my mind, make me feel better, and unblock my writing.
I couldn't lie to myself any longer. Yoga or a bath wouldn't help me. The only thing that would help me is to write. The only thing that help me overcome resistance is to face it straight on. I carried myself to the desk; resistance followed. I sat down; resistance sat down next to me. My fingers stroke the keyboard: Shook Shook Shook. I surrendered myself to the sound of writing which I'd known so well...
2 hours or so had passed. I wrote a new article titled "If You Want to Cure Anxiety, Let Go of Negative Assumptions". I did it. I instantly felt lighter, happier. Alive. I'd passed through resistance to meet my flow. That day, I overcame resistance and took one step further to my fulfilled potentials.
A wise person learns from his enemy. Resistance helps us know our True North - our deepest calling, by always pointing South. Nothing else frightens and at the same time enlivens me as much as writing. That’s why I know I must write. Ask yourself what you feel most resisted to. If it is something you know is good, it is exactly your best next challenge.
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.
Next time when resistance kicks you in the stomach, breathe the kick all in. Just stay calm without rationalization. Rationalization is hideous because we are very creative and skilled at rationalize ourselves out of doing our work, in order not to take responsibility. "I'm feeling a little sick. So it's more productive to rest and heal now and come back writing tomorrow." It's one thing to lie to ourselves, it's another thing to believe in our own lies. We know when we lie to ourselves. We just know. When you catch yourself rationalizing out of the responsibility, acknowledge your rationalization. Take responsibility. Accept your battle. Keep on resisting if you must. But as long as you are mindful, you will come to a point when you can’t stand yourself any longer. Then, simply stand up and do your work.
Winston Churchill said "When you are walking through hell, keep walking."
Resistance brings forth hell because it keeps us away from the thing that makes us come alive.