For many of us, the New Year began with intention setting, bringing with it many expectations and impulses for change and improvement. We wish to let go of what no longer serves and focus on what we would like to invite into our lives. In this process looking at parts of ourselves we would like to express more, experiences we would like to make, restrictions we would like to overcome and so on.
I believe this is a beautiful, powerful way of intention setting, especially when there is no pressure, no attachment to actually making it all happen. Being able to stay light and positive about all the changes we wish to make in our lives, is not exactly easy and it takes many, many reminders.
What often happens when deciding on making a change, it can be as simple as taking better care of myself with a daily practice of meditation, is that we encoutner resistance. Thoughts arise like; I’m not gonna make it anyways, what’s the point of even beginning. I’m not really the type for a daily practice, I have never managed before.
Resistance can be felt as powerlessness and pessimism, and it ultimately reflects our sense of unworthiness. When we begin something and fail, it simply proves what we knew all along, we are not good enough, not capable. Andi f we can`t do it, then we do not deserve to feel better, to live fuller.
So what is this resistance? What makes it so difficult to make a change? Why does our mind play these tricks on us, playing with our sense of self?
When wanting to make a change, we must reprogram ourselves, we must let go of thought patterns that are deeply embedded in our minds. Ultimately the mind tries to protect the status quo. Whatever life we are living, however pleasant or unpleasant it may be, it is what is what we know, what we master, making it safe and predictable. We know our patterns, know what we are good at and what to avoid. This keeps us steady and protects us from serious harm, from failure.
It takes courage and often it takes great pain for us to step out of our pattern. Because what we step into is not the new, it the unknown. It is emptiness. It is uncertainty. It is a void.
In order to make a change the void is unavoidable, or as Sadghuru so clearly put it:
“The only way out, is in”. There is no bridge to cross it there is no jumping over and once in, the New is not yet in sight. Scary business.
Only after stepping consciously into the nothing, allowing the nothing, can we come out on the other side, the New. The nothing is empty, and it has to be so that you can make new experiences, to try out thoughts and or behaviour, you have never tried before.
It will affect not only yourself, but also your surroundings. If you decide to change a pattern of reaction, or simply to make more time for yourself, there will be resistance.
People may be disappointed and hurt. There may be conflicts. You may wish to simply go back to how things were. You may give up, go back to the old ways and squeeze back into the shape you are wanting to leave. When you are again ready or simply too uncomfortable, you will leap again. Again and again until you have enough courage, enough self esteem to stand up for yourself towards whomever or whatever is trying to stop you.
Resistance is a point of direction. It shows us the way to potential, to our longing, to our fears, to all that lies in the shadow. Once safely arrived in the New and looking back on your journey, this same resistance will now feel like an old, wise friend that once helped you to take a closer look.
May there be courage in your heart, to let resistance show you the way.
May you be compassionate with yourself and may failure never keep you from trying again.
Eliza Charu Hermsdorf
Mediator in conflicts & co-founder of DIMA Mallorca