How Resistance Guides My Work

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Sometimes, the hardest part of the work isn’t the work, it’s the resistance.

This is probably true of anything we create. For me right now, that’s Healing Lab, the company I’m starting to research energy healing.

Sometimes I think, “If only I could plow through tasks for eight hours a day, this business would have been up and running months ago.” But I can’t, because each task brings up resistance: The vision that’s big and intimidating, the events I’m afraid no one will like, the fear that none of this will work, that it’ll all be wasted effort.

Each day, more than half my effort goes into working through resistance.

And writing this, I realized: That’s the point of this year. To work through the resistance, to become comfortable sharing the vision and organizing the events and doing the work.

I’ve been focusing on the output (like website, classes, studies) and wishing I could do more of them in a day. But measuring the total number of tasks is the wrong metric, it pushes me toward easier tasks, and pushes me to brush off the resistance rather than addressing it. Much better to measure the number of emotionally difficult tasks I worked through, the insights I had and the amount of resistance I resolved. Harder to measure, but far more important.

(And a possible misinterpretation I want to avoid: It’s still important to finish tasks. Each task brings up resistance. To sit at home, not finishing tasks, just congratulating ourselves for thinking about resistance — that doesn’t actually bring up the resistance we need to work through. This is still about doing the work, it’s just about accepting a slower pace as we work through resistance.)

I’m going to break the fourth wall now. This short post took me four hours to write. But writing it (and the pages of early drafts) caused me to look at my resistance, and my desire to complete more tasks, and to recognize my real work. These sentences were hard because they were part of accepting this process, instead of punishing myself for it. And recognizing that, saying, “That’s what I accomplished today,” I feel much more at peace with the pace of starting this business.

It also has me ask, “Which tasks feel hardest right now?” Because that’s the one with the most resistance. That’s the one to focus on.

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2 Responses to “How Resistance Guides My Work”

  1. Christina says:

    Thanks for this. A timely message from universe.

  2. Julie says:

    Hey Mike, I hope my comment is productive rather than congratulatory, lol :) I get what you mean, there’s a big difference between thinking and doing. Sometimes, I worry I’ve become a person who talks the talk and doesn’t walk the walk. I got home from the grocery store the other day completely depressed because I bought Pepsi and processed foods. I want to change my diet. I don’t feel good, and I’m not being a healthy role model. It’s hard to admit this, but it’s the truth. I almost think I need to switch grocery stores and go to Whole Foods instead.

    I experience resistance around doing laundry, getting a job, and writing the next book. Each of these are hard for different reasons. But every time I fight through the resistance and accomplish something I feel strengthened and courageous. I had a mental picture the other day of a person drawing their sword and cutting through the resistance in order to do the task they want to do. I also use a lot of affirmations to talk myself through these tasks.

    I’ve been looking at various types of retreats, which I don’t know if it’s another way to run away from my responsibilities here, or if I should be running away. I guess in time the path will become clearer. I just feel like I need to make a decision. Like I should know by now who I am and what I want to do. And I suppose it doesn’t have to be one thing. I can have more than one passion. Or maybe I do know, and I’m just scared to declare it and own it.

    First things first, it’s gotten cold here, and I have to get a blanket for the bed. I had to throw out my down comforter a few months ago because I had it for ten years and it was falling apart big time. The sheet was fine during the summer, now it’s not enough! I had trouble sleeping last night. Not good. I like my sleep! :)

    One more thing, about blogging. I often feel like it’s thankless work especially since I don’t allow comments, yet it’s therapeutic and good writing practice. Yes, to write a good post takes a lot of editing which most people don’t realize unless they blog. I got really into blogging this summer and didn’t even go to the pool. I kind of regret that. Next year, more swimming!

    And any relief from my neuropathic pain that I experience is most likely happening because my friend, you might know him, is an energy healer. Can you thank him for me?


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