I don’t do yoga because it makes me peaceful. I do yoga because it makes me powerful. I don’t gravitate to the types of yoga where we lie around and feel nothing. I do the types of yoga where I feel a lot. Where I’m challenged on different levels.
That challenge shows up in a lot of different ways. I don’t mean slugging it through “fitness type” yoga classes. I mean mental challenges. I mean things I resist. Poses I resist.
It challenges me to sit still in meditation. It challenges me to do long pranayama sessions. It challenges me to hold long yin hip openers and it challenges me to keep showing up and doing the work every single day.
I resist it. Every single day.
I resist teaching sometimes. I resist the vulnerability of putting myself out there. I resist teaching under challenging circumstances and I certainly resist staying motivated and working hard under the demotivating circumstances of a pandemic.
It was music to my ears the first time I heard my teacher Abbie Galvin say “your feelings are important, you should have them…..but they’re not a good source of measure. You have better tools than that.”
My feelings are important and I trust my gut. But there are other things to consider alongside them.
We’re taught to listen to our hearts and yes feelings are important, but our heart can lead us astray. I listen to my heart but I also listen to my sense of reason. I listen to my pledge that I set to take better care of myself. I listen to the needs of others. Then I find mediation somewhere in the middle.
My feelings resist doing the work, but I’ve learned that resistance is where I should go to grow and that everything I’m seeking is on the other side of resistance.
If I only listened to my feelings, and I ran away from that which I resisted….I wouldn’t show up to work, to write, to teach, to train, to volunteer, or to do the things that challenge me.
There’s a misconception that people who are doing the work, do it out of ease. It’s easy for them to workout, or to start the business or to volunteer. It’s easy for them, not for me.
It’s easy for no one.
Making friends with resistance slowly but surely builds your character. It builds your confidence, but it’s always work. Josie Schweitzer says “you don’t just take out the trash one time…you have to keep doing it.”
So I keep showing up. I keep meeting resistance head on. I put myself out there. I keep doing practices that challenge me and I see the war of art and I accept it as it is.
This world won’t coddle me. Meeting the resistance makes me stronger so I can handle it. So I can handle myself.
Just like dumbbells provide the necessary resistance for muscles to grow, so does mediating your feelings alongside your vision. What does your vision have in store for you? Is it to make art, to help others, to help yourself?
Know that in order to meet your vision, you’ll have to meet resistance head on too. Make friends with it.
Writing prompts on resistance:
What am I resisting?
What’s on the other side of that resistance?
My action steps to take to today to meet that resistance head on
Meet the resistance head on.
With grace and grit,