Resistance is a neutral energy force. In the physical realm, this force can be transformed like electricity to heat; political resistance struggling for the liberation of a country; the immune system fighting bacteria and virus; or the body getting stronger through physical training.
In the same way, on the spiritual and emotional level, resistance can help us to get stronger, adopt discipline and good habits. Whenever we investigate the invisible realm, we encounter additional resistance from the ego or the unconscious mind. It is the age-old struggle between good and evil which has never been resolved.
Since Abraham Maslow suggested the hierarchy of human needs, many philosophers and New Age thinkers have introduced us to find awareness and human enlightenment. What the ancient teachers like Jesus, Buddha, and Confucius have taught long time ago has come now into a new lime light. We know that we cannot solve the human problems by focusing on our physical existence alone. In fact, in his book The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz describes this process as opposites:
“When you are solving a problem, you are taking action to have something go away: the problem. When you are creating, you are taking action to have something come into being: the creation. Notice the intentions of these actions are opposites.”
“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”~ Albert Einstein (German-American Physicist 1879-1955)
The meaning of resistance comes from the Latin words re – back and sistere – to stand.
It is in our human nature to follow the path of least resistance. Resistance wants you to take it easy, be ordinary or mediocre. Without a fight, the ego is taking us down a road of low accomplishment. Although many great artists, musicians, architects, writers, actors, athletes and other accomplished professionals learn the principles of the creative process by developing exceptional skills to further their careers, they often don’t apply them to their personal lives.
What are the principles of the creative process which allow us to follow the path of least resistance?
Most of us are taught by our parents and families the “right way.” Every family and culture has certain traditions, none better or worse than the other, only different. As children, we respond to the adults in our lives by doing it “their way.” Most of us have been raised to solve problems and to react to circumstances; very few of us learned to be truly be creative which, according to Robert Fritz is the opposite of problem solving.
In fact, if you listen to the media, the politicians, the medicine researchers, the finance people, the natural resource scientists, etc.; all they explain is the problems. As long as we look at the external circumstances, we will never find the solutions. Hasn’t the law of attraction taught us anything?
Following the path of least resistance is not surrender. According to Robert Fritz, surrender is only another form of willpower. It is the passive approach of trying to control everything. “Going with the flow” is a form of giving up. Eckhard Tolle in his book “The New Earth” explains surrender as a form of yielding which means inner acceptance of what is. He insists that when you surrender internally, a new dimension of consciousness opens up. Certainly, when you begin your journey of “least resistance” or any path of self-improvement, you will experience a battle between your ego and the rest of the world.
“Overcoming Resistance With Persistence” (What we resist persists)
I was again reminded of the power of resistance by reading a blog by Gene Anger. Gene writes about six traps of resistance. The first one is judgment, followed by forcing change, being on unconscious auto-pilot, suppressing thoughts and emotions, duality of the mind and lastly, believing our own thoughts. His conclusion is similar to Louise Hay in her book “You Can Heal Your Life.” Louise dedicates a whole chapter on resistance to change. She starts out with: ”Awareness is the First Step in Healing or Changing.”
"There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become."
How do we recognize resistance?
* Absentmindedness – living either in the past or projecting yourself into the future. Regretting what happened and worrying too much about what could happen.
* Assumptions – being prejudiced about others; nobody understands me; nobody else does it; I don’t want to bother them.
* Denial – there is nothing wrong with me; it’s not my fault, etc.
* Disconnection – feeling lonely and isolated creates stress; without motivation for reconnecting it can lead to illness and disease.
* Excuses – there all kinds of clues to recognize excuses: changing the subject, being late, refusing to pay attention, etc.
* FEAR – this is the mother of them all: fear of the unknown
* Give Away the Power – THEY – whoever they are, wouldn’t let me change, it’s all their fault, it’s my upbringing, my religion, etc.
* Impatience – we are all here to learn lessons and to grow spiritually. Development takes time. It is in the journey that we learn, understand and eventually change and grow.
* Indecisiveness – the inability to make a decision; wavering back and forth between one choice and another; stems from distrust of the self or doubting to make good decisions.
* Negative Beliefs – it has never been done; it wouldn’t work for me; it’s too much work, etc.
* Procrastination – unworthiness is the underlying cause for delaying things; laziness can often be overcome by appreciating oneself.
* Self-criticism – be kind to yourself; beating yourself up, will only reinforce resistance.
* Stubborness – being difficult, unbendable and headstrong; unable or unwilling to forgive.
While I was contemplating about the resistance, I watched some programs on PBS where Dr. Wayne Dyer was talking about the Power of Intention, and the next night he was on with “Excuses Begone.” In these programs Dr. Dyer explains the ways he overcame resistance of the ego.
How do we overcome resistance?
* Adopt new beliefs - beliefs are formed by accepting statements as true or real, based on an opinion one has formed. Through investigating these statements and opinion you can change your belief about it.
“Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy.
Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience
of their lives and create a meaning that dis-empowers them
or one that can literally save their lives.”
~ Anthony Robbins
* Ask open-ended questions: how, what, when, where, why? By questioning your mind, you challenge your thought patterns and avoid your mind not believing positive affirmations. Rather your brain will look everywhere for an answer for “Why am I so healthy, so happy, so rich, etc.?” Noah St. John calls these questions “afformations.”
* Avoid head-on confrontation – it not only prevents defensiveness but it circumvents the ego. With strategies of kindness and understanding, cooperation can be achieved.
* Awareness - being in a state of consciousness, seeing and perceiving things from the inside and understanding them.
* Belief in yourself – “Being in life” with yourself, finding your own identity, and living by it will give you confidence.
* Dream BIG
* Embrace Wholeness - we need to stop trying to tinker with what is broken and instead take the time to envision better ways of operating.
* Focus on core values and principles (see next blot 6-27-11)
* Get into the flow, also called synchronicity, or letting go.* Live in the present moment, there is no resistance in the NOW.
* Overcome ignorance by learning new skills, study new subjects, and face prejudice. Ignorance is lack of knowledge, education, and awareness.
* Willingness to change - change your paradigms
In the next blog (next week) I will explain more about core values and universal principles. As humans we were given Free Will by our creator. Unlike animals which are directed by instinct, men have to develop and grow through physical experiences. If we are only driven by our physical desires and instincts, we can never develop our full potential. Therefore, I want to explore more about core values and universal principles to live by.