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Resistance

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Step By Step

   On The Road ...

On The Road ...

Whatever step you choose will take you closer to where you want to be.   … Creative force is the energy necessary to begin a new experience. … Energy is always in motion.  Gregge Tiffen – Life: The Staircase of Many Steps – January, 2008

Happy New Year! The page has turned, and here we are with the blank canvas of a new year to paint. 361 more days to engage in life - to live, to love, to experiment, to learn, to grow - before we complete the cycle of this calendar year.

Traditionally we set goals, make ‘resolutions’ and plans, to start a new year. And, all too often ‘life’ steps in with other ideas. Or, resistance in some form rears its head.

Overwhelm happens when we forget that all we need to do is take a step. Then another and another, continuing on step by step allowing each step to reveal the next.  When we do this moment by moment, day to day we have the potential to make huge progress on our journey.

   The Beauty of Exploration - Hoar Frost on The Palouse - Pullman, Washington

The Beauty of Exploration - Hoar Frost on The Palouse - Pullman, Washington

It’s oh so simple, yet from time to time most of us find ourselves stopped, stuck, resisting anything resembling movement.  For me, that’s the time to remember that my body doesn’t give a hoot about love, life or learning. It sees the new, the adventure, and growth as dangerous threats to its sole concern – survival.

Clever in its ways, the body throws out all manner of reasons to not participate in life.  I’m tired. It doesn’t matter. It’s not worth it. I don’t know how. These are the cloaks my body wears to hide what I’m coming to understand is simply resistance. They are clues that I need to step up, challenge, and command my body to MOVE, to take a step, to be in action.

In responding to these clues I’m strengthening my ability to call forth my will.  It helps me to remember that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with turning on the ignition and that the journey is complete mile by mile. The 2656 mile road that I took in December is a fresh reminder as I look ahead to what I want to accomplish in 2018.

I also find that engaging curiosity counters the lethargy of resistance. The simple shift from ‘I don’t know how’ to ‘I wonder how/what I can learn’ is powerful fuel for moving into action.

As I practice these skills, I notice that the creative force needed to engage in new experiences comes forth more naturally and that a gentle flow of life’s events seems to emerge. Step by step through these events I live, I love, I learn, I grow.

Step by step we can accomplish much in this year that is just beginning. May we each step fully into the energy that is always in motion!

   Almost Home ... Sangres in the Distance

Almost Home ... Sangres in the Distance

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Resistance With LOVE!

  As the snow melts, the gentle flow of Cottonwood Creek comes to the surface.

As the snow melts, the gentle flow of Cottonwood Creek comes to the surface.

Love is long suffering and kind. Suffering does not mean endurance but rather the willingness to permit and allow the kind of person someone is. Love recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom. If I love who I am, then my love for you will include the tolerance to let you be yourself without censure or critique.  Gregge Tiffen (The Numerology of Love – February, 2007)

When fear is used to control us, love is how we rebel. Rivera Sun (The Dandelion Insurrection - http://www.riverasun.com/)

Love is the most potent, powerful force on the planet. It is a characteristic of the Universe. Love’s power can guide us to create a world of peace and plenty. And, as history shows us, love misplaced or misunderstood, begets fear, fighting and scarcity.

In forgetting that we are each created as unique individuals with our own characteristics, strengths, foibles and lessons to learn, what have we lost in terms of awareness of the individual contribution we are each here to make? Have we forgotten that EVERY ONE has THEIR story? That we are all different and we are all the same?  Even, especially perhaps, those with whom we disagree.

Across the ages, right up to this very moment our ignorance has led us to fear the ‘other’ and to engage in cruelties beyond my comprehension. And yet, in quiet, reflective moments I wonder ‘is there a line, some circumstance or event that would provoke me to physical violence?’ I pray that the answer is ‘no’, but I know that I am capable of thinking and speaking harsh words and that I can suddenly find myself in a stream of consciousness that is far afield from recognizing and respecting the individuality of those with whom I disagree. That is especially so when their decisions appear to have the ability to impact my choices, my lifestyle. I noticed that a sort of ‘how dare they …’ attitude is often what spurs me to act. 

Recognizing that this attitude is grounded, not in love, but in fear, led me to begin to explore how to pour love into the acts of resistance I choose to take. After all, why pour gasoline – acting out of fear – on a fire that is already raging? 

I hit the ‘pause’ button on taking action and realized that before joining the crowd in reacting to the latest outrage (of which there are plenty), I need to tend to my heart. It’s important to connect with what I am FOR even as I speak out against those things with which I disagree. What I am FOR is, I believe, grounded in love – justice, human rights, free speech (indeed freedom in all its forms!).  I’m aiming to engage from love.

Whether I’m signing a petition, writing a letter or email, or making a call I’m aiming to take time to infuse it with love. Love that “recognizes individuality and respects individual freedom”. Love that speaks what is true for me in the moment and, hopefully, opens the door for the other to consider. Love that opens me to other points of view – deeply, honestly.

I don’t know all the ways to make this shift, but I’m up for the learning. Whether you’re actively engaged in either ‘side’ of the current political divide or simply observing, I invite you to join me in exploring and experimenting how to pour love into your action.

One by one, let us deepen our love of self so that we can pour love into all that we do.

Give yourself a little treat and enjoy “All You Need Is Love” The Beatles:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsxtImDVMig

   Sunrise lights up the San Juan Mountains across the valley.

Sunrise lights up the San Juan Mountains across the valley.

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The Gift of Resistance (Take 2)

   Will there be snow on the peaks tomorrow?

Will there be snow on the peaks tomorrow?

"Challenge your resistance or resist your challenge."

"You become a part of your own excitement when you recognize that you living your life is you being revealed to you." 

Gregge Tiffen [The Great Pumpkin: Was Charlie Brown Right? – October, 2007]

As often happens I didn’t start this post with the idea of busting a meme, yet in a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious) during our morning walk, I saw that indeed I am challenging the conventional wisdom which says that ‘challenging resistance means doing what it is I/you are resisting’.  Au contraire.

Challenging resistance doesn’t necessarily mean doing something I’m having a reaction to, avoiding, or wanting to run away from.  Rather, it means recognizing my reaction as resistance. That requires being aware of and willing to name what I’m experiencing as resistance, followed by questioning to discover the source of that resistance and what gift it has to offer.

Resistance has crossed my path several in several experiences recently. First was the idea that when I declare that I ‘don’t know’ or don’t have access to the information that would guide me to know, I’m resisting. That’s an idea that I’m still working on.

Then, in a course that I signed up for mostly to earn credits toward renewing my coaching credential next year, although I was intrigued by and thought I ‘should’ (ugh!) do it,  I noticed I was reacting to being taught. ‘I already know this’. This doesn’t apply to me, because I’m (blah, blah, blah). Without an intention to learn, I quickly moved to what I might call arrogant boredom. I grumbled my way through the first two lessons, not taking time to be aware that I was resisting and to reflect on that awareness.

I also found myself reacting to a post from someone I follow on social media. As she pontificated on being beyond about how she’d grown and others who hadn’t (blah, blah, blah), I was turned off, tuned out, and I felt made wrong. More ugh! And with those ‘ughs’, I noticed opportunity to explore and reflect.

Enter reading the booklet that’s the source of this week’s quotes.  I paused, took a breath, named and owned my resistance. As I opened, I allowed the resistance to inform me and to guide me to choose again. In one situation, I’m in the process of shifting my resistance to curiosity and exploring how to incorporate the content on my terms. In the other, I’m simply letting go, declaring that there’s no right/wrong, good/bad, rather understanding that my beliefs are not aligned with the ideas being put forth.

Through recognizing and owning my resistance, I gained new insight into me and discovered the gift of challenging resistance: new knowledge; knowledge that is both useful in the moment and becomes wisdom to carry forward on my sojourn – in this life and beyond.

   Yes!  Morning brings the season's first dusting on the peaks ... and

Yes!  Morning brings the season's first dusting on the peaks ... and

   A cheerful bluebird that reminds me to smile!

A cheerful bluebird that reminds me to smile!

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The Gift of Resistance

Most of us have two lives: the life we live and the life within us.  Between the two stands Resistance.  Steven Pressfield

In Resistance is the gift. Cindy Reinhardt

   A beautiful hike on Spanish Creek in the quiet of morning's beauty.

A beautiful hike on Spanish Creek in the quiet of morning's beauty.

At one time or another most of us have been told (by self or another) to overcome our resistance and ‘just do it’.  Whatever ‘it’ may be, if we’re resisting then certainly it’s something that we ‘should’ (ugh!) do.  Of course, there are times when this is a choice that serves us, moving us ahead toward a goal or keeping us on a favorable path.  But, for any resistance on the surface, there is something deeper to be discovered.

This week I (re)discovered that the more deeply I examine my resistance (in this case with support from my coach), the richer my awareness is.  All too often though, we don’t take that deeper look.  Heck, I wasn’t even aware that I was resisting.  

My pattern, when I do notice my resistance is for my ‘should-o-meter’ to kick in. I automatically tell myself to ‘stop resisting’ and ‘just do it’. After all, that’s how you conquer life, right?

But what about those times when our resistance may have a different message, one accessible only with a bit of digging?  For me this week the message from resistance was 180 degrees from ‘just do it’.  Upon taking a close look, I saw that my resistance was asking me to reassess a business decision. My clue to look deeper came when I noticed that I felt trapped by that decision. It seemed that I had to do it: no choice, no renegotiation, ‘just do it’. Ugh!

What was it that had me feel trapped? Working with my coach (thank you Patrece!), I realized that I had made a decision to essentially trade my personal peace for a short term financial gain.  I would likely suffer (rather than laugh) all the way to the bank. It’s little wonder that I was resisting. The gain wasn’t worth it.

My willingness to look at my resistance to doing a few small actions presented me with the gift of this awareness.  Had I barreled through and ‘just done’ those things, I mostly likely would have created a week of stress. And that would have taken me significant energy to recover from.  In resistance is the gift.

As I began to see the situation from this perspective, a clear course of action revealed itself. I needed to renegotiate a promise with a customer. Surprisingly, I felt no resistance. That path felt much lighter. After some initial reluctance, the customer agreed. This week is unfolding nicely.

I’m not suggesting that there aren’t times when we need to overcome resistance and just get ourselves into action.  I’m sure that I’ll have those from time to time as I continue this sojourn.  Our learning opportunity is one of discernment, of stepping back and taking a look at our resistance to determine whether it is simply lazy, childish avoidance (yes, we do); an underlying fear that it’s time to address; or, as with me this week, it wants my attention for the sake of inviting me to take a deeper look at a choice that I’ve made.

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