Can Resistance Help You Identify Soil for Growth?

Can Resistance Help You Identify Soil for Growth?

Perhaps you may discover something by simply noticing your resistance.

Resistance is a concept in ancient traditions like Buddhism and Yoga Philosophy.  Simply being aware of how resistance shows up in the body, when we hear ourselves say no automatically to something we cant or don’t want to do, could be great soil for growth.

I have noticed for a number of months now, that while I love meditating, doing yoga, and even progressive relaxation techniques, none of these practices began without some resistance, feelings of not being worthy of them, and doubt in my ability to develop these practices into a routine. My most recent discovery of a habit or practice I have been avoiding is journaling.  Because of my curiosity, and my self-awareness of resistance, I brought my journal closer to me as a reminder, and remained open to understanding what the opposition to writing was about.  I chose this path, because I have learned that again, I have seen resistance to be one of my greatest teachers and one of the greatest practical supports for any of my colleagues, clients and friends. 


Resistance shows up for many of us in the form of avoidance.  Do you ever notice that they’re are some people you return a phone call quickly to, and others you don’t?  Do you notice discomfort responding to some people more than others?  The resistance and avoidance holds an unknown gem of information inside us, if we are willing to give the feeling a little more attention.  If we were to take notice and reflect on uncomfortable feelings we could then approach our avoidance with more compassion and kindness.  If we bury the text and forget about responding to the person who needs our response, the feeling that we are avoiding may go under cover and hide in the belly or somewhere in our heart as a dull pain.  Instead, notice what happens when you take charge and confront the conflict with the friend and text them back.  Does the pain take a new form or feel different in you abdomen? 

I let go of the resistance to journaling in an instant on the days leading to my father’s eventual passing from stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.  My journal sat near by, I began sobbing inconsolably feeling all the deepest pains of my heart, the constriction of my throat and the tears rising up and out of my body in the form of heat and salt water flowing down my face. 

I grabbed my pen as if it were a life raft and began writing even though I could not see through the running flow of tears.  As I completed 3 pages of emotions coming out of my unconscious mind, I paid no attention to periods, grammar or flow of my writing.  Eventually the storm of emotion stopped and so did my pen.  As I reflected on how the resistance had broken free, I realized that I had a conditioned habit of writing in my journal only when in deep pain. 

Aha, information to be curious about again, perhaps I had unconsciously linked writing to pain, and I avoided doing it as a way of avoiding discomfort. 

As humans, I know we stay doing the same things the way we have always done them to avoid discomfort. I had uncovered a stone of resistance, and have been journaling the past few weeks and discovering I am now journaling gratitude, joy and pain as a new way of being in my writing. 

What is something you notice you resist that is good for you?