Decoding Resistance – 3 Steps to Stop Avoiding Change

It’s January 8th and we are a week into the new year.   Those of us who have created resolutions or who have decided to make some changes this year have probably had a great week!  Lots of energy to get into the gym, eat healthy, and do that thing you resolved to do in 2017.

There are a few things that I resolved to do differently this year.  My goals/resolutions are all geared toward feeling my core desired feelings of: pleasure, love, abundance, ease & creativity.   I set goals based on making sure I felt my core desired feelings - through both the process of working toward my goals, but also once I achieve the goals.

This week has been great!  I have gone to bed every night excited to wake up the next day.  I have been on track with my weekly goals, and have already noticed that I feel good.

Yet...

I can feel it sneaking in.

Resistance.  

A feeling I know all too well.

The feeling when I have so much to do, I don’t know where to begin, so I don’t.

The feeling when I’d rather just drink another cup of coffee and scroll Facebook.

The feeling when I don’t want to do that practice... again.

The feeling when I’d rather just eat a big bowl of pretzels instead of preparing myself a meal.

In her book, The Desire Map, Danielle Laporte addresses resistance:

Ever wonder why you feel oh-so-good two days into a new workout regime only to succumb to lethargy, low self esteem, and a bagful of Fritos two weeks later?  Everything was going to well! You were in it to win it - for real this time”

So what went wrong?

Yes!!

What went wrong?

Thankfully, there is an explanation - that is backed by science.   Danielle describes what is happening through the lens of sport  pscyhologist, Todd Herman.

When you enact a significantly positive lifestyle change (new fitness practice, breaking off a toxic relationship, taking on a new job), your brain temporarily floods your body will feel-good neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine.  It’s your brain’s way of giving you a high five.

Haha!   I can totally relate to this!  Those first few days where you stick to it, and you feel like:  this is the time you will do that thing for REAL!  It feels easy this time, and you’re going to get through it!

Then, 

in a cruel-but-necessary act of nature, the party train grinds to a halt.  Your neurotransmitters collapse back to their normal output levels (and thank goodness, because otherwise you would go crazy, in a literal, clinical sense).  And like a rushing river that dries up to a trickle, the rah-rah ferocity dissipates.

Resistance.  

My husband is great for spotting this stage in the game for me.   He points out (and I will admit in a rather annoying-but-totally-loving-and-it’s-only-annoying-because-he-is-RIGHT kind of way) that I am at that point- where it slides.  That if I don’t just keep on keeping on,  I’ll fall back into old patterns.

Old patterns are easy.  Comfortable.  

But, if I LIKED being that way - I wouldn’t want to change.  I wouldn’t set goals, or resolve to do things differently.  Especially this year, when my goals aren’t determined by any outside expectations of how or who I should be. They are goals firmly rooted in FEELING GOOD.  Feeling good through the process, feeling good at the end point.

Danielle points out that our cells are absolutely LOVING this change.  They want it.   Our spirit wants this change.  The resistance is a coping mechanism - a protective mechanism.   What if this new habit, this new way of being, isn’t safe?

And you can love that about your brain.   It wants to keep you safe.   But, your heart and your spirit know better.  They know that this change, this movement, is good.  It’s want you want.  It feels good.

“Your body is just going through a change, and you’re interpreting it as either positive or negative.   Really, what you should do is get excited about it.   The change that needs to happen in order for your new habits to to take form is taking hold.  It’s taking hold inside your body,” says Todd

Danielle calls resistance, “an awkward growth spurt"

Growth.  

Danielle and Todd suggest a few ways to move past resistance and I’ve taken those tools and adapted them to fit into how I roll, Goddess style.

BREATHE

When you feel it, move it.   Notice the feelings of resistance in your mind, and BREATHE them into your body.  Breathe to get present.   Breathe to feel better.

FEEL

Feel the resistance in your body.   Can you describe it? Can you feel it shifting when you start to relate to it with words.   What emotions arise for you.   Feel into the emotions of resistance, then orient yourself toward a positive, feel good emotion.   Instead of saying, “I don’t want to feel fat, lazy, numb, angry...,” say, “I DESIRE to feel beautiful, pleasure, ease, love... etc” .  Do some practices that move positive vibrations through your body like dancing, or having an orgasm.

RELAX

Relax.   Recalibrate if you need to.   Maybe you need to do less?  Maybe you took on too much?  Maybe a little bit of self care is all you need to feel good again.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Give your cells the love & appreciation they deserve for WANTING to change.  Trust that if you just keep on, keeping on (maybe with a slight course correction if needed) you can continue to move toward your goals & resolutions.

It takes about 21 days to establish  a solid habit or pattern.   Remember that, the first few weeks are going to be the hardest. Then, it’ll get easier.

Resistance will happen.  

Even months, or years down the road.

Move through Breathe, Feel and Relax to determine if the resistance is because you are doing too much, or if you simply just need to lean into it a bit, feel your way through, and then orient yourself toward  your DESIRES.

You get to decide how you feel.   You get to decide what happens to you. 

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