by Mary Lewis
Think for a moment of all the types of resistance that exist in our lives. How much of your life is spent dealing with this—your resistance to things you consider unpleasant, others’ resistance to you, and listening to the complaints of others as they describe to you in great detail all the things they are resisting? Family conflicts, traffic, the heat, the cold, the uncooperative co-worker, the unreasonable employer, physical pains, unwelcome solicitors, ad infinitum…
When we encounter something unpleasant our first reaction is to push it away. But when we push against something in resistance, it pushes back even more forcefully. All pain and discomfort, whether physical, emotional or mental, thrives on our resistance to it.
Those who live by creating constant trauma and drama are addicted to the rushes of adrenalin this provides. They depend on resistance to survive. Those who attack others fully expect them to go into some kind of defensive resistance against them.
However, just as pain and unpleasantness will meet your resistance with more pain and unpleasantness, it also is true that pain and suffering will diminish if there is no force of resistance against it. Witness various forms of martial arts which teach that power and advantage are not in the strength of resistance but in moving with the motion of attack. This throws the other off balance and shifts the outcome because the expected resistance is not there.
Resistance is much more pervasive in our everyday lives than many people realize. Every waking minute, unless we are flexible and fully immersed in the flow of what exists at the moment, we are either resisting something or pushing for something.
Pushing is a form of resistance as well—an attempt to make something different than it is at that moment. This is why we think life is so hard! About ninety percent of the time we are paddling against the current. And most of that time we don’t even know it is happening, or we think that’s just the way life is supposed to be.
One of the first steps to begin living in peace is to stop our ongoing mental dialogues and be present and accepting of what is at the moment. We spend most of our time in constant thought that focuses on three basic areas: what happened in the past, which no longer exists; what we think is going on now, and our belief systems and judgments about that; and fear of what might happen in some nebulous future that we haven’t yet created.
We expend hours of unnecessary energy planning and working toward things that we think we must do—and must do now. There is never enough time because we haven’t learned how to step outside of time long enough for our inner knowing and life force energy to work for us. It is only when we can clear our minds and reach the timeless space of no thought that we can allow the best things to come to us without so much effort. Admittedly, this takes consistent practice throughout our lives.
A good place to begin is to practice what Eckhart Tolle calls “being the silent observer”, which is another term for developing our awareness. Awareness is important because so much of our thought processes are unconscious. Like the involuntary functions of our body, they are so much an automatic part of us that we don’t pay attention to them.
To develop awareness, we must pay attention to how, what and when we think. When we become aware of our thoughts and how much time we spend in unproductive self-dialogue, we can begin to change those patterns and consciously shift ourselves into the present moment.
Another very powerful technique is to practice breathing, especially when we find ourselves in a stressful situation or when we become aware that our mind is running amok in unproductive thoughts, worry, fear, and self-dialogue.
It isn’t necessary to spend hours of time in formal meditation to shift us into the moment. While meditation can be helpful, the whole point is to use it as a tool to reach the place where we are living our entire life as a meditation. Those who do formal meditation still must learn to shift, integrate, and apply this to their daily lives.
When you are stressed, in physical or emotional pain, in a situation you don’t like, looking for a creative idea, or need to make a decision, get out of your head and simply breathe. Don’t make it hard—just breathe.
Turn your focus to a spot in the center of your solar plexus between your rib cage and navel. Breathe through this spot as though it were your lungs. Softly and gently focus on your breath expanding and contracting from this center until you feel calm and there are no more thoughts.
As your thoughts go and you breathe calming light and energy into this center, you are shifting yourself into the moment and into the space from which the deeper answers, creativity and objective viewpoints emerge.
It will take time, but if you consistently practice these techniques, you eventually will find that your mind is empty of thought until it is needed to complete a specific task.
All great creations come from the heart and the sudden inner insights that can only be found in the timeless space of the moment. This energy can only be accessed in the “now”, when we are neither resisting nor pushing.
Call Mary Lewis at PathFinder (713-154-2185) to learn how energy work can help you move into less resistance and a more balanced state of being.