Resistance

We spend most of our lives resisting, longing for things to change to fit a life we convince ourselves will be the better, more perfect version.  This resistance prevents us from seeing the joy in the everyday things; the things that are simply in the space of now.  

However, there may be unhealthy actions, by you or others, that are occurring in your life.  For this, there is an appropriate way to respond, and it is not necessarily resistance (even if society tells us otherwise).  Resistance in this scenario might actually be condoning, joining, or allowing the hurtful activities.  It could be driven by fear or denial.  You must watch and listen for when your boundaries have been crossed.  You must know that peace is possible.  But only if you take action mindfully. 

(1) MOVE (about 3 minutes)

While standing up, roll a tennis ball or lacrosse ball underneath each of your feet, one at a time. Move it slowly to get into the fascia, or connective tissue. It may be a bit uncomfortable, but our feet are our primary contact point with the ground, and releasing any tightness there can impact pain we may be experiencing in other areas of the body, especially in the ankles or calves.

(2) MEDITATE (about 7 minutes)

After moving, come to a seated position in a chair. Take out a sheet of paper or a blank journal page. Divide the paper into two columns separated by a vertical line: on the one side write down words that represent things you feel resistant toward.  The words could represent people, past events, or ideas.  In the other column, write down the verb or adjective you will use to move past the resistance.  Use a different color for each word if you would like.  

When you are done put your writing instrument down, and sit in your chair with your palms on your knees, and feet firmly planted on the ground. Close your eyes, and using deep, slow breathing, visualize yourself floating with one of the words you wrote. Visualize its color and the bend and arc of the text underneath you. Imagine it is a life raft supporting you through the sea of resistance. Open your eyes when you are ready to release from this space. If you prefer not to do this visualization, simply skip this part of the exercise.

(3) MEDIATE (about 5 minutes)

Turn the page or flip the page over. Free write in response to the question: What am I running from? Do not judge the answers that come up; just write whatever comes up for about five minutes or until you feel comfortable stopping.

Pickett's Charge by Mark Bradford; on exhibit at Hirshorn Museum Nov. 8, 2017 - Nov. 12, 2018, Washington, D.C.

Pickett's Charge by Mark Bradford; on exhibit at Hirshorn Museum Nov. 8, 2017 - Nov. 12, 2018, Washington, D.C.