In a recent class, Sifu (my teacher) discussed resistance when we were practicing “push hands” (an advanced practice in T’ai Chi). He reiterated those words we have all heard before, “When you come in contact with resistance, know it is your own.” Do yourself a favor, and read that sentence again.
How powerful is that statement? To me, it is HUGE! And, I can feel it on many levels in my life. From when I am having a conversation with my daughter and we disagree; attending a yoga class and I feel rather stiff; or when I think my day is going one way, and it takes a detour.
I could continue my list and I am sure you could add to it. After we recognize it’s our own resistance, the question then becomes, how do we flow with it? (Notice, I didn’t say “handle it.”) In T’ai Chi we a taught to either yield, neutralize, or redirect. I believe those are powerful ways of allowing your chi to flow.
For example, let’s say you’re having a heated conversation with a loved one, you can continue it by wanting to get your point across, or you could yield and let it go. Let them know you have heard them, and continue the conversation at a later time, when you both have had time to regroup.
You could neutralize, and have empathy for your loved one who is sharing their feelings. Remember, we cannot control another person’s feelings, we can only control our action (which is preferred more than a reaction).
Redirect the conversation to a more neutral ground, let them know you heard them and appreciate their side of the story, then begin a more heartfelt conversation, or redirect your physical body somewhere else.
So, the next time resistance shows up for you, remember it is your own and choose to act rather than react.