Recently, I knew there was a step I needed to take in my life in order to make a change. But I was struggling, I literally felt my insides kicking, fighting up against a huge barrier of resistance.
I have faced resistance before and know how painful it can be. I am also aware that resistance (as a teacher of mine used to say) is a bell ringing for change.
So often, if not every time, when I met resistance and stepped through there was a whole new life waiting on the other side.
I’d seen this in all my clients and students too. Usually, when big resistance arose for them I’d get excited. It’s here! I’d say. Freedom is right around the corner now . . . This thing you were numb to has now woken up. Can you feel the energy of it? Can you see the walls are going up even stronger because they are ready to come down finally?
That’s why they say after breakdowns there are breakthroughs.
However, when you’re in it, like I was in it – it doesn’t seem so exciting. It seems terrifying. It can seem hopeless. It can be exhausting. It can be used to promote shame. Self-judgment or blame can keep you even more in the muck of it.
When I’m at these points I up my meditation practice. Meeting the struggle with silence offers space and new light to enter in.
After one particular sit, I went to my journal and wrote out a list of what I knew to be true to help me with my struggling. And I’d thought I’d also offer this list to you:
1.) It is the struggle itself (not the thing we are struggling with) that causes strife. The first thing to do is relax.
2.) Using effort to fix this or change this, any forcing, any pushing, will only increase the struggle. Let it be all-inclusive.
3.) Allow “what is” to be what it is. Allow “what is” in the past to be what it is. Struggle only happens when you don’t allow “what is” to be what it is or “what was” to be as it was.
4.) Peace and happiness are already here. They exist now. They are the truth of our being. If you’re not feeling happy or at peace, look for where it is. Take your attention off of the “unhappy” or “not at peace” and put it on the places that are “happy” and are “at peace” in the present, right now.
5.) Do not believe your thoughts. They aren’t real. Your mind’s makings are the root of suffering.
6.) Do not try to change anyone else. Allow them the dignity to be who they are as you wish them to do for you. Accept “what is” in them as you wish to be accepted for “what is” in you.
7.) Vulnerability is the only way through. Step toward your feelings. Allow them to gently, lovingly, kindly rise and pass. They are impermanent like everything else. The more you do this the quicker they will pass.
8.) If you allow the pain you will also sense a great happiness along with it. Permission to feel easily brings a great sense of openness and spaciousness that is truly freeing.
9.) The struggle is only a little, empty, insecure feeling. And although emptiness seems terrifying the result is a profound connection to everyone and everything.
10.) You can do this. You’ve done it before. You can do it again. You’re being asked to go to another level in yourself and if you allow it, very quickly you will have even more joy and lightness.
From my heart to yours. May we all be free of suffering!