Meet and Melt Resistance With (Non) Action

This article appeared in the September 2006 issue of Spirited Solutions’ E-Newsletter.
No one likes to struggle but sometimes our lives are filled with perspiration, not inspiration. We’re working, working, and working some more, but nothing seems to get done and we seem to be going nowhere.

It’s like we’re stopped in traffic on the interstate of our lives. If you’re like me, you’re pounding on that horn, riding the tail of the car in front of you, and using some unsavory or downright ugly language in your impatience to get a move on.

Yet, the engine in your car is still running and things are still in motion, albeit internally. There may be no evidence of external movement, but the internal workings of your car are pretty impressive if you throw the hood up and take a look or slide under the car for a different view. (Don’t try this in traffic, okay??)

My point? Much more is going on and shifting than we are ever aware of, and perhaps we need to sit still for a bit to let it all sink in. Perhaps we need to sacrifice our societal addiction to speed and constant motion, and take a little breather.

When you’ve been relentlessly pounding away at a project or goal, perhaps the best thing you can do when you keep reaching the same obstacle over and over is just sit it out. There’s a reason for resistance—It’s a clear sign that a) we need to change our approach and keep moving in the same direction or b) we need to change direction altogether.

You’ve heard the old adage, “When one door closes, another opens.” That’s swell, but what if you need to forget doors completely and look for a way to tear the walls down or climb up on the roof? What if you need to consider a completely different possibility, one which will be fruitful rather than frustrating?

Resistance is our clue that we need to slow down, reevaluate, reassess, and then take appropriate action. Otherwise, we may push through, running over everything and everyone in our path (including ourselves), not finding what we sought in the first place.

Please remember that doing nothing or waiting is also action! Anyone who has lived through a hurricane will tell you that. You’ve got to wait out the eye and its aftermath—If you start moving too soon, you’ll likely be hurt or even killed.

So the next time you find yourself facing some kind of resistance in your life—you want to make things happen but they just aren’t, you’re unable to overcome your own resistance to something, or someone else is resisting what you’re trying to accomplish—take a breather, go to a safe space, and ask, “What do I need to do to wait this resistance out?” Either the obstacle will melt away on its own and the traffic of your life will start moving again or you’ll think up an alternate route, perhaps even a detour that leads you to an incredible destination you never imagined possible!

“A detour is a straight road that turns on the charm” Albert Brie

“Discoveries are often made by not following instructions, by going off the main road, by trying the untried.” Frank Tyger