I have been reading of late about the Law of Non-Resistance. I have also noticed the theme of moving past resistance coming up with my current coaching clients. Here’s the deal: When we put pressure on ourselves to do what we ultimately want to do, we create resistance. When we think we need to do it perfectly, we create resistance. When there is some part of us we think we need to hide from people, we create resistance.
In his chapter on non-resistance, Raymond Holliwell uses the analogy of a river. He talks about how the river has a commitment to flowing where it needs to flow to eventually make its way to the ocean. When obstacles get in its way, it doesn’t fight them. It simply accepts that they are there and quickly makes its way around them. It wastes no energy on trying to fight them, or figure out why they are there, or “muscle through” them. It accepts and flows.
What if you applied this same principle to your life?
What if, in the moment you noticed you were putting pressure on yourself to, let’s say, be super-creative, right now, on the spot. That resistance you are creating for yourself is like a boulder in the river. As soon as you accept the resistance (e.g. think, “wow, I see that I am really putting pressure on myself to be creative.”) and flow around it according to your bigger commitment (e.g. “what if there were no pressure to be creative, then how would I be?”), you will see yourself moving effortless in line with your true commitment (e.g. “to express my real feelings with my art, not some perfect version of myself.”)
In an old Mad Men episode I saw recently, Don gives Peggy a piece of copywriting advice. “Think about it really hard, and then let it go and the idea will come to you.” Thus it is with resistance – pay attention to it, then let it go, and the next step will flow. The biggest obstacles, or forms or resistance, I see people face in their business and their lives (myself included!) come in the forms we create for ourselves. In the pressure we put on ourselves to be “on.”
To have a “sweet spot” life, with a business in which you can continue to create new, powerful products and services with ease, it is critical to give up the resistance. Does it mean it won’t come up? No. I faced it just this week as I prepare to bring on a new assistant in my business, and really wanted to do it “right.” But each time you give up an internal resistance within yourself, your business will grow. Your happiness and fulfillment will grow. Your level of peace will grow. The less you feel you need to put on a “hat” to do your job, or perform in your relationship, the more you will be like the river – committed, powerful, and free.
I’ll leave you with a poem by Maya Angelou. I may have shared it before, but it applies again today. (It applies to you men as well as the women):
A woman in harmony with her spirit [in your Sweet Spot]
is like a river flowing…
She goes where she will without pretense
And arrives at her destination,
prepared to be fully herself
and only herself.