Resistance vs. Fear

“Letting go of inner resistance, you often find circumstances change for the better.” – Eckhart Tolle

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via Eckhart Tolle Present Moment Reminders

Letting go of inner resistance changes our circumstances for the better? Doesn’t that really mean “giving in?” If we are resisting something, doesn’t that mean there is a reason for the resistance?

Yes and no. We do need to look at the things we resist. It may mean we need to change our situation, be it a relationship, a job, a lifestyle. The key is recognizing a red flag, a need for change, versus our mind continually going in circles.

Situations where there is abuse involved, verbal, emotional, or physical, require change. Immediate change. It’s important to differentiate between Resistance and Fear. Sometimes we cannot leave those situations immediately due to fear, whether our own or an outside actual threat. That fear is a red flag, our intuition telling us it is not safe.

Fear means your stomach drops. Fear means your hands shake. Fear means you walk on eggshells. Fear is not being yourself, not expressing your thoughts, because of bad consequences.

If you’re not sure which category your situation is, particularly in relationships, take a look at some of these traits.

In those cases, help it needed. A plan is needed. Action is needed. See the sidebar here for resources. Make a Safety Plan.

Creating a plan and taking action will get the mind off of that circular track. Knowing that a bad situation is short term and that you are willing to change it, forwards our thoughts into a new direction. A plan allows us to let go of the repetitiveness and move in a new direction.

Resistance is your mind constantly running. Resistance is looking into something new, but then not doing anything about it.Sometimes our mind just spins. If our life is basically all right, if we are not in a precarious situation, it’s time to sort out the spin from reality.

Our minds crave drama. The ego craves drama. It wants to be the center of attention. So it will create drama when a situation is really okay – okay in the sense of, you’re not in danger. Maybe you are unhappy with your job. All right. Make a plan. Apply for new jobs. Take new classes or training. But if that doesn’t work for you, if you never take those steps, consider why. Is the ego just looking for some attention?

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it…” (A New Earth).

 

In these situations, it’s time to drop the resistance. Accept where things are at the present moment. Decide whether to take action or not. And then, accept again where you are. Slowly, the resistance will fade away.

Letting go of inner resistance, you often find circumstances change for the better

Small Steps. First Steps. And Coffee.

“Whenever you are in a negative state, there is something in you that wants the negativity, that perceives it as pleasurable, or that believes it will get you what you want…If in the midst of negativity you are able to realize, “At this moment, I cam creating suffering for myself,”…It will open up infinite possibilities.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

Resistance. We all experience it. Usually when the alarm clock goes off. When the traffic jams. We resist the Now daily. We don’t want to be in that place, waking up to another workday, sitting behind four thousand other cars in an interminable commute.

Yet…in all of these things, we can find acceptance. We can find peace. Even at that 6 a.m. blare of noise.

So. How do we turn our disdain to. acceptance? Small steps. First step.

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What is good about 6 a.m.? How about that first cup of coffee? What about that sunrise? What about an eager dog waiting to be fed? The few minutes of quiet before everyone else in the house is awake? Traffic jam? More coffee? Time to enjoy the radio show? Your favorite song on your playlist? Sing along with it (see if anyone in the cars next to you catch you singing! Maybe that will brighten their morning too!)

By the way. I’m not that cheery. I’m not. I’m not a morning person. I’m fairly grumpy until that third cup of coffee takes hold. But I’m trying. And coffee is good. 0808160655.jpg

It’s Monday. We can’t change it. We may need to take action and make later plans, but for now, it’s Monday.  Things are as they are. Let’s try to turn our resistance into acceptance.

Hen Love, Acceptance, and Stillness

Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside: it is deep within you…In the stillness of your presence…you can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature…this is the realization of oneness. This is love.

~ Eckhart Tolle, Enlightened Relationships in The Power of Now.

These two. They exemplified Stillness. They portrayed Love. It’s so important for us to remember Stillness in times of stress, to remember Stillness when our thoughts run rampant with fear.

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The hens had a scare last week. These two black Australorp hens are Mean Girl #1 and Mean Girl #2. They were raised together and when we got them, #1 was much more dominant than #2 (hence, the names). Mean Girl #1 is second in the pecking order, and is temporarily first when the dominant hen goes broody. Mean Girl #2 is one of the last in the pecking order. She’s a little slow, has to be shown to her food, won’t go after food on her own.

So what scared the Mean Girls? A black snake had gotten into their coop at night, after the hens had gone to bed. Just a little background – the black snake, non-poisonous good snake -is a regular summertime visitor. He’s on the hunt for a few free eggs, and, for his work in keeping our house mouse-free, we keep him around. If we see him around the coop, usually in the day time, we sweep him away with a broom and he slithers back to his home under the porch.

Last week, though, I heard the chickens squawking, clucking, making all sorts of noise late at night. I heard them from another room, over the sound of the television. That never happens. Chickens are generally catatonic when they sleep. Which is why if they are free-roaming or don’t have a secure coop, they are easy prey for fox, raccoon, and bear. They’re not going wake up until its too late (analogy for many of us in our life lessons?)

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I ran outside (seeing no furry mammal as the problem) and opened the coop to find Mr. Black Snake snuggling awful close with Mean Girl #2 and Brown Chick. It was hen chaos. The rest of the hens literally “flew the coop”** but the two sort of trapped by the snake had some panicked moments. I opened the side panel and, finally, they were able to get out.

Well, Mr. Black Snake was eventually swept out the door and slithered on home. All the hens were spooked and wandered around, refusing to go back in. I left them alone (light on and careful watch out the window) and eventually all but the two Mean Girls went back inside and settled on their roost.

The smaller hen, Mean Girl #2,  was still terrified. She shook. Her tail feathers shook. She burrowed into Mean Girl #1’s side, trying to get under her bigger companion’s wing.** I’ve never been particularly moved by the chickens or been sentimental about them. But these two hens, refusing to leave each others sides was amazing. Mean Girl #1 sat down with her on the edge of the porch. She stayed with her, and let the smaller hen nestle against her. Love. Acceptance. And in the rain, in the darkness, they sat. They stayed together in Stillness.

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**Cliches come alive…”flew the coop” and “under [her] wing”…it really does happen.

 

Disarm: Anthology as Action

Any action is often better than no action. ~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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What happens when you’ve contacted your representatives, signed petitions, argued with people you haven’t seen since high school on Facebook, unfriended said people you haven’t seen since high school on Facebook, followed and tweeted the #filibuster and #goodtrouble sit-in…and it still doesn’t seem like enough?

Disarm, an anthology in the works from Black Heart Magazine, is looking for submissions, including poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. For now, this is the action I will take.

I cannot watch another mass shooting go by and do nothing.

I cannot worry whether a reader, a student, a colleague, a student is going to disagree with me. They might. And, in my neck of the literal woods, they probably will.

I cannot return to teaching in August and practice shelter-in-place drills with my students as if it were normal, to listen to the security presentation about how a piece of paper over the window will prevent a tragedy. Children practice each school year how not to get shot…this should not be the norm. This should not be accepted.

I cannot read the Second Amendment again, and wonder how half a nation and half a Supreme Court misses the words “militia” and “well-regulated.”

I cannot ignore the correlation to domestic violence. Research is needed here. Reporting domestic violence is needed here.

I cannot watch news reports and wait for another round of thoughts and prayers, and no action.

“If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally…” ~ Eckhart Tolle.

I cannot remove myself because this is my home. I love my family, my community, my friends. Yet I cannot accept the current state of things. I cannot accept mass murder. I cannot accept a personal right to bear arms when innocent people are killed en masse. I cannot accept that, as a society, we are desensitized to it.

Some things are Not. Right. Some things need action.

 

Accepting a New Plan

I needed a plan. I was on board with being Present, but I could not imagine a new future. I drew a blank. There were a lot of blank moments. Anything more complicated than, what am I going to have for dinner, was a blank moment. I just couldn’t see it.

“Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

I worked on staying present, accepting things as they were. But it was time for decisions to be made.

I needed to re-think where I was, physically, geographically. I was across the country, two thousand plus miles from my family. Just before the house of cards tumbled down, I had started a new job, primarily based on the idea of having children and working very close to home. That wasn’t going to happen, not anytime soon. And what about the rest?

All of my decisions had been based on a marriage I was no longer in. Did I want to stay where I was? Did I want to move back home? I vacillated. Back and forth. A lot. Much to my supervisor’s…well, I don’t know. Let’s just say I probably tried his patience a few times. Sign the contract? Don’t sign the contract.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up this book: Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain.

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It was what I needed a way to practice looking toward the future. Some way to to take my life in a new direction. It was a little hippy-trippy, I admit, a lot of sitting quietly and meditation involved.

“…use your imagination to create a clear image, idea, or feeling…you wish to manifest.” Shakti Gawain, Creative Visualization

Easier said than done.  It was back to the blank slate. The blank moment. But as I read through the book, that I did not throw against the wall, I realized I was taking it too seriously.

Says Gawain, “When some people first try to visualize, they feel that nothing is happening. The are…trying to hard…stop worrying, relax, and accept what happens naturally for you.”

Oh, ok. This was supposed to be fun. Use your imagination, have fun with it! Over time, I did. The simple exercise of imagining a beautiful place was the first step for me. Nothing more than that, no grand plans or job places. Just imagine a setting where I would like to be.

And I found, my ideal place was not red rock or high desert. It was green and lush…the image came through repeatedly…green, humid, trees, oaks, maples, poplars…and my first step was decided. It was time to head home.

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Acceptance: Speak Out

To complain is always nonacceptance of what it…When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power. So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it.” Eckhart Tolle ~ The Power of Now

Now comes the time to speak out, to take action.

Contact your Senators.

Contact your Representatives.

Sign a Petition

Read about Congressional candidates who are trying to introduce tougher gun laws.

Read about Australia

Read the Second Amendment

 

 

Recognize the Good, Accept the Good

Just as we need to recognize when there is a bad situation, we also need to recognize the good – or what we would label as good – even in during difficult times.

“Bad turns to good through the power of nonresistance.” ~Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth

When we’ve spent the majority of our time in hardships and struggle, it is difficult to believe that things can be good, that we can be happy. Tolle writes about the stories we tell ourselves, the stories our ego is drawn to, our egoic desire toward drama. Our ego is a drama queen. If we can take a moment and observe that occurrence, we realize the situation is as it is, and it is our mind that keeps the drama going.

The first task is to recognize where good exists. Just as we accept difficult challenges with, yes, this sucks, ok get on with it… we need to find those moments of good with an attitude of recognition and acceptance.

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A million years ago, in that past life, when I was moving out of my house, I felt incredibly isolated and alone. My family and close friends were on the other side of the country. I had work colleagues and social acquaintances but few that I felt I could ask for help with moving.  I hesitated for a long time. I was stuck in my own pity party drama. My ego was enjoying feeling sorry for poor, alone, isolated me. Finally, I asked for their help. I didn’t expect much but to my surprise, they did agree to help me move out. One couple brought their trailer. Others carried my boxes (mostly of books). They helped me set up my new rental room and take things to storage.

Of course, this was a difficult day, in the middle of a horrible (such as it was) situation. But there they were. A handful of people who graciously agreed to help me. That was a good thing. I could have chosen to look on that day with negativity. I did, for much of it. But it was time to recognize that these were good people helping me out. And the feeling-sorry-for-myself drama ended. I believe that it was that day that turned acquaintances to friends (well, that and the invention of Facebook) 🙂

Recognize the good. Accept that it is there, somewhere. Many people are willing to help in some way or another. Maybe not all. Maybe not most. But they are there.

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I highly recommend your local Firemen Movers. They helped me on move #2.

Even if you feel like you are alone, call a peace officer. Call a counselor. Call a moving company, if you can afford it.

These are all also people who are willing and able to help.

There is good out there. Even in the midst of struggle and difficulty, recognize that good. In the present moment, accept the good.

 

 

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