Day 6 // Resistance: Feel it, don’t feed it

by | Jan 9, 2023 | The Creative Experiment

Feeling resistance to doing things is natural, but it’s our response to those things and the thoughts we have that dictate whether we do them.

But I don’t believe in trying to ‘push through’… instead, I find that it’s much easier to flow with our resistance and accept it as part of the process.

(What’s interesting about this video is that I feel more unprepared than any other video before… and when I was watching it back before posting, I can witness how my expression becomes more ordered as I progress. Probably another lesson in here about starting messy and trusting the process to take you where you need to go!)

Video Transcription

So this is the first video that I’m recording after having two days off since I started it. So it started last week and we’ve just had the weekend and now it’s a Monday. And there’s a couple of interesting things that’s happening right now. The first being that I haven’t really spoken much today so far. Like I said, a brief goodbye to my husband, but then I haven’t used my voice, so I don’t feel like I’ve warmed up.

I don’t think I’m ready necessarily to speak at length on something. But as you know, I’m doing this anyway. That’s the whole point of these videos, is to capture the message, to capture the imperfection, the feeling of being not ready to do something, but doing it anyway. And what the result of that thing is. And the other thing this morning is that I feel like there’s quite a lot that I could talk about as I’ve been getting ready for the day and sort of thinking about this video and what I might say.

I’ve had 1,000,001 ideas careening through my brain and what my usual thing that I would do is that I would probably sit down and order my thoughts. And when I say usually, I mean because I for my own business, I create content and put things out there. And the approach for that is all very strategic. So what I would do is sit down all of my thoughts, see what was the most relevant, what stuck the most, which was easiest to articulate and take it from that process.

But I didn’t want to do that here because like I mentioned, like you’ve probably gathered by now if you’ve been watching these, that’s not the point. But what I will do is start with a little story. And that story is the I have a lot of resistance to taking a shower in the mornings. I’m not a natural morning person and see I’ve got quite long hair.

So I always know that the process is quite a lengthy one to wash, blow dry, all the shenanigans that come with having long hair and having to take a shower. And it sounds really random, but what I find really interesting is and it’s definitely a practice that I’ve developed in multiple areas of my life is the all the resistance that comes up, all of the alternative reasons why not have a shower?

You can just put your hair up. It’s not a big deal. You can shower later, you can do it there, maybe do it then. In the past I would have listened to those stories. And actually when I say in the past, I mean at the time in my life where I thought that I was my thoughts, I didn’t see the separation between who I am and the thoughts that I have.

I thought they were one and the same. So when these thoughts of resistance would come up, I would tend to listen to them. I’d delay washing my hair until a later point. But I always know whenever I wash my hair, I feeling credible. Look, this is a random story. I know, but stick with me here. But since kind of exploring the separate one of my thoughts and my identity and who I am and who my and what my thoughts are, an interesting thing has happened in that I am able to observe all of these stories and I say, Well, I’m able to observe all these narratives and not buy into them.

And again, I’d say even like a year ago, I’d hear these stories and I’d try and stop them from happening. So I’d hear the thoughts of like, Oh, it’s a love affair. Look, you don’t have a call until 2:00 today. No one’s going to see why you bothering washing your hair. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little bit greasy.

And I would try and be like, No, stop thinking that, Becky. You’re going to do it. It’s going to make you feel better. And I would almost try and present this counter-narrative to my brain to try and overcome my default initiative, default narrative. That’s coming up essentially, I told you, I’ve not really warmed up my voice or my thought process yet, But now, further along on this journey, what I’ve been doing is actually not trying to present a counter-narrative and actually letting these stories just play out in my mind, letting these thoughts exist and be there.

But the difference is I’m choosing not to buy into them. And so while my mind can be presenting 1,000,001 reasons why I shouldn’t do something by not buying into them, I actually just let my body take the lead and do the thing anyway.

What I mean by this, by not buying into the stories, the resistance that they’re trying to create, doing the thing doesn’t ever actually materialize. So what my brain might be saying one thing my thoughts might be saying, don’t do this thing, don’t do this thing, don’t do this thing. My body can just get up and get on with it.

And it’s the same in my creative process and my creative practice as well. A lot of the time. Now, where am I in my journey? It’s not that I don’t have these thoughts of resistance, it’s just that I don’t buy into them. But I also still let them be there because what I’ve found is that the more that I try to counteract them and wage this war in my mind of No, don’t think these things, do this instead, come on, convince yourself, come as yourself.

The more I actually give energy in life to that initial story in the first place, as opposed to just letting it be there as a series of thoughts that have arisen from whatever place they arise from and just letting them be there and just carrying on anyway by observing them, but not believing them.

I think there’s a lot that we can take from that and it’s practice and depending on where you are in your relationship to how entangled your thoughts are with your sense of identity and your sense of being, you might listen to this and be like, Becky, what the actual hell are you on about? This makes no sense to me, and that’s fine.

Maybe this is going to just plant an initial seed for you if you are already in that process of separating your thoughts from your identity, you might find that your brain is like, Okay, but how do I do that? How do I not buy into the narrative? How do I let my thoughts be there without having to give them more energy or feed them further?

And the thing is, I don’t actually have an answer for you because I actually think it’s the intention of trying the intention of consistently taking the role of the observer in your mind that allows the how to just take care of itself. So I would invite you if you are in that place of like, okay, but how to actually just not worry about the how in instead just practice taking that role of the observer and playing with how might that look and feel for you?

And one of the mantras that I have a personal mantra whenever I’m experiencing things, emotions or thoughts or triggering emotions within me is to feel it. Don’t feed it, feel the emotion, don’t feed the emotion again with the thoughts. You can see the thoughts, You can hear the thoughts. You don’t have to become the thoughts and you don’t have to feed the thoughts either.

One of the visualizations that I’ve got from one of the guided kind of meditations that I’ve done is often about imagining yourself sat on a riverbank and watching your thoughts flow by. And I always like to think of this as almost for the leaves on the surface of a lake or a river, and each of your thoughts is a leaf that is floating up on that surface.

And you can observe it and you can let it go without becoming the leaf, without having to dive into the water and try and stop the leaves from being there. Because as far as I’ve experienced so far for the majority of the time, thoughts will be there. But we don’t have to become them. We don’t have to buy into them.

And I really noticed this and experienced this as a creative practice when it comes to doing things. I have a lot of resistance around, so I would invite you, I suppose, from this video. Firstly, take whatever you want from it, but an interesting thing to consider might be where are the areas in your life or are the things that you want to do that you are feeling resistance around?

Whether it’s something as simple as taking a shower in the mornings, you often have to force yourself to do it. When I say shower, I told him really about washing your hair, which is the big deal for me. If there is resistance, you have to force yourself into it. Maybe look at how you can let those thoughts of resistance be there without feeding them or buying into them and actually just letting your body take care of it anyway.

Like with these videos, I do feel the initial narrative of you’re not prepared enough, your voice isn’t warmed up enough, your thoughts on order enough to press recall it on this video. Becky. It’s going to be rubbish. Why are you bothering people? Look at to like not enjoy what you’re talking about. There is all these thoughts of resistance, but I just focus on the process of cool.

I make myself a cup of tea, sit down. I open up my recording program. I just the angle of the camera and then I press record. It’s as simple as that. And it can be as simple as that. So with whatever it is that you’re maybe experiencing resistance around doing, what’s the process of getting yourself to the point where you are doing it?

And it’s easy to overthink that too. If the thing itself is complex, what’s the simplest way you can go from where you are now to the act of doing whatever it is that you want to do and just focus on that. Let your body move through the motions and get you to the place where suddenly you’re in it, you are in the shower, or you are in the moment recording your stream of consciousness to share on the internet.

That’s what I want to give to today.

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