What Are You Resisting?
I experience it. And based on recent conversations I know colleagues and friends experience it. How about you?
Last week my husband asked me if I wanted to join him for a short kayak excursion. I responded the same way I do every time he asks. My jaw clenched, my stomach tightened and I froze, unable to speak.
Why do I resist kayaking so much?
- I love the water
- I love spending time in nature and outside
- I love physical activity
In an effort to understand my resistance, and enjoy the weather, I decided to join him.
Lessons on the River
Here is what I noticed with each paddle:
Lesson 1: Basic needs
I fret about basic needs like food, water and bathrooms. Food and water weren’t a problem. We packed snacks and I tucked my water bottle into the kayak. The bathroom? My husband assured me we would find spots along the river to pull over if necessary. He was right.
The Lesson: Before taking a risk, get clarity up front about expectations and care for basic needs to feel settled.
Lesson 2: Confined to a small space
When I sit in my kayak, my legs disappear under the skirt which protects me from getting wet. I don’t like feeling trapped and limited. Yet without choices I had only one option: To pay close attention to my environment and be present.
The Lesson: Sometimes fewer choices provide more focus and less anxiety.
Lesson 3: What if my arms get tired?
In other words, what if I don’t succeed? Kayaking on a Sunday morning isn’t a race. Rest is always an option.
The Lesson: Stop once in a while to regroup, catch your breath and re-energize in order to endure and persevere.
What are you resisting?
When I think about my own resistance I think about how I sometimes resist
- Writing blog posts and articles
- Teaching yoga even though I love it
- Asking for business
- Making time for hobbies
When talking to friends and colleagues they resist
- Starting a blog
- Using social media
- Publishing articles
- Public speaking and sharing their message
- Time for exercise, fun or hobbies
And then I wonder: What am I missing?
If I hadn’t joined my husband on the river, I would have missed so much
- The fish jumping ahead of us as we paddled
- White heron flying so low and close I could hear the whoosh every time they flapped their wings
- Osprey searching for his next meal from high atop his nest
- The sun glistening off the river, providing a sense of peace
- The spray of salt water that cooled my arm every time I lifted my paddle out of the water
- A different perspective
I don’t want to miss out on opportunity by resisting
I realized I could apply the lessons learned on the river to other areas of my life. When I begin to feel resistance, I can check in and get curious:
- Are my my basic needs met?
- Do I feel limited or focused?
- Is it time to regroup and catch my breath?
When I have conversations about resistance with others, one solution holds true:
Step into the resistance for more satisfying results
Even as I write this post I feel the resistance. Is it good enough?
I won’t know until I hit publish.
What do you resist? How have you learned to step into the resistance instead of avoiding it? What lessons have you learned?