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Embrace Resistance to Transform Your Life

Not getting the traction you want? Putting in a ton of effort but don’t have the results to show for it? You can do one of two things…

You can continue to push and frustrate yourself to no end, or you can be thankful for the contrast you’re having.

Why in the world would you feel gratitude for something you don’t want? Well, because it’s an invitation to pivot and move in a better direction.

You see, when you experience resistance and are not getting what you want, it’s either a sign that you’re headed the wrong way or are focused on the wrong thing.

So how do you know?

Just stop and notice any resistance, and get curious. Ask yourself what’s the right direction for you to go, and then listen for the answer. You might get the answer immediately from that voice or whisper in your mind, or it can come in a few days through something a friend says, a post you read on social media or even a message in a commercial you hear on t.v.

The key is to keep your eyes, ears and heart open and notice how you feel. Getting excited about something or feeling inspired or even seeing a slight boost in your energy level are all signs that that is a good direction to head towards.

We’ve all been told to trust our gut, because deep down you know what’s best for you. You just need to listen and pay attention to how you feel. Best-selling author Dr. Joe Dispenza says that your body knows more than your brain, so pay attention to that sudden chill you feel in your shoulders or that spark that causes you to sit up a little taller. These are signs to guide you to what’s in your best interest.

But there’s something to be said about the resistance we sometimes feel in our bodies, too. What I love about resistance, even though it’s not fun at the time, is that if you can embrace it and lean in to it, you can transform your life.

In fact, some of our greatest lessons and biggest opportunities for growth happen in the discomfort; in what we naturally want to resist because it doesn’t feel good. Motivational speaker Lisa Nichols has said that sometimes the things we need to learn are wrapped in sandpaper. It doesn’t feel good, but that’s how we grow into the next best version of ourselves.

We see this to be true even in nature. A lotus rises above its murky conditions in lakes and ponds as it pushes its way to the surface of the water and begins to open up one petal at a time. A butterfly needs to go through a similar struggle in order to emerge from its cocoon. It’s the resistance that a butterfly experiences that causes its wings fill up with the fluid from its body so that it can eventually fly.

We’re given the same opportunity to rise when we experience circumstances that are not the most desirable. Trust that you are just where you need to be and are receiving support to get to your next level.

Recently, I was invited to a business networking event. But shortly after it started, I realized that it was not about networking; it turned out to be a grief group. I immediately felt I was in the wrong place and should probably leave, but I couldn’t. I sat uncomfortably among the small circle of women while the speaker began sharing her story. About three minutes into her talk, I found myself resisting the flood of emotions that were bubbling up to the surface and the tears that were settling in my eyes. I waited as long as I could before having to sniff and wipe my cheeks and nose.

Listening to her talk about losing some of the closest people in her life triggered a sadness and regret that I didn’t realize was still inside of me. Then she got to the pivot point in her story and shared that it was when she chose to embrace the pain that her life changed. Suddenly, she found her passion to help others, which opened her up to using her greatest gifts through which she allowed herself to shine.

When we are looking to start over – whether that’s turning a passion into a business, switching careers or starting a new relationship – we tend to drag our painful regrets with us where there is no longer a place for them. The hardest part about these transitions in life is that you get a taste of something new and delicious, but it’s like the plate is being held just out of your reach because of all the old baggage you bring without even realizing it.

This experience was a great reminder that you can’t fully step into your new life when you are holding so tightly to the memories of the past. Actually, you stunt your growth and evolution when you don’t shed those earlier versions of yourself; the versions of you when you didn’t know better.

Living in “should’ve” and “could’ve” dims your light and makes for a rough transition.

What if everything you label as a regret and all that you resist is actually perfect because it made you who you are today?

The woman who led this grief group and shared her journey from pain to passion compared our lives to a tapestry. Everything that happens in your life is part of your personal tapestry, and you get to choose to appreciate those deep regrets as just a piece of thread woven into the design. Then when you step back and look at the whole picture, you realize that all the threads were necessary in order to create the beautiful picture and that each knot in the back needs to be there.

Your regrets and the things you resist also make up those knots that hold the picture together. If you were to remove even one knot from the back, the entire picture would fall apart. We become stronger through struggle, and it’s a part of your whole story. When you can embrace the resistance and feel appreciative for it, your life transforms because you are better equipped with wings to fly.

So trust that you are being given exactly what you need so that you can grow, even if it doesn’t feel good. When you lean into the discomfort and accept the struggle, you eventually get to the other side. And sometimes what’s waiting for you is even better than you could’ve imagined!