The experience of resistance can be a very useful flag. But it’s important to look into it and see where it’s coming from. Is it within us or from around us? Where do we feel it?
If an event arises in life and we have a strong and sustained reaction, we know there is an inner resistance and an emotional charge here to be resolved. For example, someone makes an off-hand comment that dismisses something important to us. Do we roll our eyes or flame up in anger and resentment? The latter shows a past experience is influencing our present. If we’re able to feel into that resistance, we can allow an old experience to release and complete, winding down that point of reactivity.
This doesn’t mean we’ll stop having strong feelings about some things. It just means we can resolve irrational reactivity around them that cloud our perception.
Watch out for the story-making mind that creates “reasons” for not going near our inner resistance or that wants to blame or that wants an explanation for our feelings. We often have complex inner dynamics designed to protect ourselves from being hurt that shield us from our own feelings. This perpetuates our suffering and impedes smooth choices. It can be like a blanket over all our experiences. Releasing emotional energy means feeling the emotions.
This closely relates to karma. Karma is created by unresolved experiences. These create “noise” that can create a blind spot obstructing clear seeing.
This process is much easier if we have a stable inner reference from culturing inner awareness.
On the other hand, if your actions result in resistance from the environment, that can be a flag it’s not the right direction, or it’s not the right time. Say, for example, you’re considering buying a car. You look at models that interest you but have trouble finding the information you need. Things just don’t come easily. Or other people create obstacles.
I’ve found that if we put it down for now but have the background intention to explore it further, you may find new options or avenues soon show up. Or you find out the perfect model will be available next year instead.
By a simple process of experiment and feeling our way into it, we can discover if the signal is telling us it’s not the right direction or not the right time. For example, if it feels right but there are obstacles, we may need to wait and try later.
Karma itself can create some resistance too. Sometimes we’ll need to work though that resistance before we can find out if the event is supported or not. Here there’s a blend. Inner resistance is showing up in outer events. Add in our own reactivity to how things are going and you get a soup.
We can have an inner resistance to an option that is supported while finding outer resistance to other options that are not. Or we’re open to an option but some karma has to be resolved to get things flowing. Or we’re attached to a specific option that’s not being supported when letting go could reveal what is. Again, if we’re catching inner resistance, this is something to release.
At first, this can be a dance of mixed signals. Over time, as we refine perception and clear emotional baggage, the arena becomes clearer. Eventually, we have a reliable compass for steering through life.
It’s also useful to remember that life moves in cycles. We can get the hang of how life is flowing only to have it shift in a new direction.
I’ve long found nature has the tendency to bring options forward when the time is right but not before. So we may not see the right route until we’re on top of it. In the meantime, we may need to take steps towards something we can’t see yet by following what is supported. Perhaps our first step is some savings or planning that can improve our chances later.
As an example, I had an old desire for grad school but had not considered it a current option. My old IT career was no longer being supported, but it wasn’t clear what was. Then various internal and external signals showed a grant program was my best next step. Yet I had to overcome some inner resistance as it meant a major downsize and letting go. Once I started the grant program*, I was immediately told about a compressed Masters program I was unaware of, by a woman I didn’t know and who didn’t know why she was telling me about it. I applied but was told it would take a miracle for everything to come together in time. There was significant hurdles but everything clicked into place and within the month, I was in grad school.
This takes trust, patience, and observation. And action – we have to act to find out what’s working. Then we find right action, right time, and right approach. We recognize life as a constant feedback loop.
Remember that nature works for the common good. It’s not personal. Things happen when it’s the best time for everyone. Sometimes, that means we have to wait. And sometimes, that means events arrive in an onslaught and we do our best to keep up.
Don’t make this a mind game. Resistance is a feeling value. We explore resistance through feel, not concepts.
When resistance arises to our actions, stop for a moment and look. What is being resisted? And where is the resistance? It’s a useful habit to culture. But again, this isn’t about building stories about who we are and what we’re supposed to be doing – that’s mind. It will do that naturally but try not to take it too seriously.
As we get more fine tuned, we’ll get signals or flow that show right action. We’ll be driving along and suddenly find ourselves turning, only to discover it’s time for an unscheduled visit to a friend. Or we avoided a big accident. Or it’s time for grad school.
Life becomes an unfolding adventure rather than a struggle.
* the grant program put me on campus and allowed me to get things done faster for the degree. It would not have worked out had I been back in Canada.