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Do you feel like you’re rocking your life? Are you happy with where you are, the results you are getting, what you are accomplishing, the things you are giving your time and energy to? Do you feel mostly centered and peaceful? If you have intentions or goals, are you making progress toward them? Or do you find yourself in resistance to doing the things that you know would help you feel happier, more energized, accomplished, successful, good about yourself, calmer, in alignment, on purpose, and like a Jedi Master Rock Star?
And how do you react to that resistance? Do you beat yourself up about not doing whatever it is you’re not doing? I know I do.
If your answer is a big “Hell yeah!” then you’re in the right blog – this here is a meeting of the Resistance Resistance. And before we begin, let me give a heads-up here – if you are someone who (omg, I’m on a roll – I almost said, “is in resistance to”) objects to the occasional use of cusswords, please feel free to stop reading here, because I am probably not your teacher. My style is irreverently reverent and spiritually sassy, and my language unapologetically shades to the colorful side of earthy – so just fyi.
So, wtf is up with our resistance to doing stuff that’s good for us?
Whether it is engaging in exercising, meditation or spiritual practice, eating healthy nourishing food, expressing gratitude, clearing our spaces of stuff we will never use or fit into again, forgiving people we are holding in judgment, paying off our debt and gaining control of our finances, even when we’ve done these things before and can recall feeling all of the planets aligning and hearing the music of the spheres and sworn that this time we were going to keep it this way, dammit… we persist in resisting.
If we are not doing what we want to be doing with our lives, or are in situations or relationships we do not want to be in, we resist taking the action that could move us into an improved experience. We remain in unhappy circumstances, jobs, marriages, blaming other people and making excuses for why we can’t change anything.
Or perhaps it’s the BIG dreams – the bucket list stuff, living our passion, making right livelihood out of what we love, taking on some huge endeavor, challenging ourselves to ride some rocket of our hearts desire into the stratosphere – and we are sabotaging our own efforts (that’s my own conditioned self’s particular jam.)
Resistance takes a lot of forms. We distract ourselves with excuses about things that take precedence, or time we don’t have. We allow shiny objects and immediate gratification to be the boss of us. We prioritize unconsciously. We let our time to be sucked away by the vampires of social media or tv or electronic addiction, or get tangled up in thoughts about the past or anxiety about the future and wander around lost down that pit of despair.
Why do we experience all of this resistance?
It is because of fear – but it may not be the fear of what you think.
Our ego minds, or conditioned selves, have a very specific agenda for us. That part of our mind, which wants to be in control of us at all times, depends on us feeling bad about, well, everything. It is invested in us seeing ourselves as less-than, failing, not good enough; comparing ourselves unfavorably to others, feeling like frauds, thinking we don’t know what we’re doing, and generally being losers in at least one if not many area(s) of our lives. That’s what that internal critic is constantly telling us.
But the ego does not really believe that we are failures, or losers. That’s just its Wizard of Oz, man-behind-the-curtain fake-out to keep us from reaching for the highest and best in ourselves.
It is actually terrified that we will succeed, achieve, love ourselves, be empowered, feel amazing, live on purpose, be in alignment, recognize the truth of who we are, shine our light, recognize our Divinity, rock our joy, and ultimately that we will realize that it is full of sh*t, or as
A Course in Miracles puts it more poetically,
“Perceive any part of the ego’s thought system as wholly insane, wholly delusional, and wholly undesirable, and you have correctly evaluated all of it.”
One of the things that we often seem to have the most resistance to, and yet in my mind is the genesis of all of the rest of our resistance, (the piece de la resistance?) having the power to most significantly change our experience, is being committed to a spiritual practice. Making time to begin the day aligned with Spirit, centered in love, trusting that we are making a connection and being communicated with, and allowing the light of the intuitive guidance we receive to inform our doings in the world has a better shot at helping us overcome our resistance than the ego’s mindless rushing around like a crazy person, completely unconscious, unintentional, and disconnected – which just keeps us in it but not looking at it.
Whether meditation, or contemplative reading or journaling, or gratitude, or prayer, or whatever our practice is – if we are resisting investing time in our relationship with the Divine, the conditioned self or ego mind is happy to spend that time for us in resistance of something – or possibly everything – in our lives that makes us feel good.
As students of A Course in Miracles, our resistance often shows up in the way in which we practice – or don’t practice – the Course.
Like… we forget our daily Workbook lesson that we read 15 minutes ago.
Or we don’t remember that everyone is our brother, a reflection of ourselves, and a Divine being created by God – especially those bros that are pissing us off – and we think we have the right to judge them, believing that we, rather than Spirit, know what they should do, be or say.
Or we have complete amnesia that we ourselves are extensions of pure light and love, whole and innocent, the breath of Spirit – and we criticize and condemn ourselves, and feel guilty and bad and not good enough.
Or we resist the practice of forgiveness – you know, that one certain thing we can engage in to undo the ego mind and return our awareness to our true identity, our authentic self. Forgiveness is the process by which A Course in Miracles teaches us to reverse the ego mind’s belief that we are separate from our Creator and one another – small, limited, powerless and afraid. In resisting forgiveness, we prevent our return to sanity and the reclamation of our infinite, limitless wholeness and perfection that has temporarily escaped our awareness.
Basically, we resist love.
The ego mind or conditioned self is always coming from a place of fear, and it needs us to be afraid too. Conversely, the authentic self -that which is the truth of us, our beingness as a beloved creation of the Divine – is always coming from a place of love. They literally do not speak the same language, but they are both always speaking to us.
So what is the ego so afraid of that it would need to cause us to constantly undermine ourselves with resistance?
It is afraid that we will withdraw our allegiance to it. Our true understanding that the ego or conditioned self has no real power over us except that which we give to it would mean that its existence, and its ability to control us, is threatened. Fighting for its own survival is kind of a gigantic uber-motivator for the ego to therefore resist our recognition of that by throwing poo at us in hopes of derailing us. This poo includes sabotaging our efforts with fun activities like distraction, zoning out, forgetting, time mismanagement, procrastination, confusion, mistakes, deciding not to go for that big dream because it’s too expensive, we’re too old, we’re out of shape, it’s ridiculous to even think about, and the rest of its ongoing narrative of self-doubt, undermining, second-guessing, and inner bully and mean-girl tactics.
The only thing keeping that part of our minds alive, btw, is our fear-based determination not to let go of it, believing that it still has something to offer us. It tricks us into thinking that without it our lives would be terrible.
As A Course in Miracles states,
“You think that without the ego all would be chaos. Yet I assure you that without the ego, all would be love.”
If we insisted on adopting love’s agenda, and made the decision in every moment to choose love instead of fear – we would not be in resistance. If we jumped in every day with both feet determined to live from a place of trust, of forgiveness, in communion with our guidance from Spirit, navigating by love – knowing that a wisdom greater than our own is at work in our minds, guiding our thoughts, intentions, words and actions – there would be no fear, and no reason to resist.Forgive yourself for being in resistance. Click To Tweet
That is our ego mind’s greatest fear.
A Course in Miracles teaches us that the practice of forgiveness shifts our perception from fear to love. When we find ourselves in resistance, the most helpful thing we can do is forgive ourselves for not doing whatever we aren’t doing. In doing this, we are forgiving ourselves for the original mistake of believing that we have separated from Spirit. That is the only thing we need to forgive – it is merely represented by all of the other seeming things we are resisting doing.
I have been engaging in this kind of forgiveness myself lately. What I am noticing is that when I instead turn toward my true identity as my authentic self, when I acknowledge and embrace my holiness, when I prioritize my relationship with the God of my understanding, when I allow my Divinity to express into the world in the form of forgiving everything and everyone that disturbs my peace, including my resistance – my experience transforms.
Forgiveness – of self, of others, of circumstances and situations, of whatever we are holding responsible in our minds for love-blocking us – is our release. The result is that we feel the energy moving, we are inspired to take action toward our intentions, to move in the direction of where we want to go, to complete tasks related to things we want to get done, and in my own case – to stop making such a f*cking big deal out of whatever it is I am avoiding and just DO it already. We open to Spirit’s guidance, and become filled with a sense of well-being, of feeling good, of peace of mind. We have the experience of being in the flow, living on purpose, in alignment with who we really are – being who we came here to be and doing what we came here to do.
Thank you, my Comrades in Love, for attending my meeting of the Resistance Resistance today! I hope that this post helped you in some way to consider resisting your own resistance, and allowing yourself to move in the direction that Spirit is calling you to go. If so, please leave me a comment below. I LOVE hearing from you and I read every one.
As A Course in Miracles reminds us,
“For the little spark that holds the great rays within it is also visible, and this spark cannot be limited long to littleness.”
I love you without resistance.
Rev Kelly Russell,
Transformational Life Coach & Teacher of A Course in Miracles
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This is so powerful for me to hear! Thanks for this message, it really struck a cord with me…Taking care of myself by eating better and exercising more is so very important and I often find myself putting it in a place of low priority in my life. I’m going to have to do some serious soul searching and ask myself “why am I resisting this?” when I push off going to the gym or am tempted to eat something that my body doesn’t want or need to be healthy and feel at best. I’ve always put it in the place of failure in my mind, never thought of it as resistance.Wow…
Hi Barbara! Thanks for writing. Yes, your ego mind would definitely want you to
put it’s resistance in the category of your failure, rather than you seeing it for what it is – a block to expressing self-love. ❤️
Thanks Kelly! That was really helpful!!! Yes, yes, yes. All of the above!! So well said. THANK YOU!!
This is very refreshing…It helps greatly to uncover the truth of so many things that block the way..Thank you for exposing my ego habit and now it can be dealt with….Wow….For a woman who wanted to resist giving this message for all of us… your delivery is of excellence ….I recieve it with gratitude. Thank you
Thank you for receiving so willingly, Donna!
You have a true gift of conceptual writing, that I absolutely love, admire and respect! You rock em!
Thank you Cindy! I am just the messenger, but I’m happy to hear the message is resonating. ❤️
Simplemente maravilloso, gracias Kelly, justamente estoy experimentando resistencia, pero ahora con esta aportación tuya, cambia la visión por completo
Gracias, con amor
Very timely message indeed! The way forward is often not obvious because the wall of resistance blocks our vision of our true Selves. I am finally moving into a place where I am learning to recognize resistance as shiny objects of distraction. I am trying to aid my partner in making his way through the murkiness, seeking awareness of Self to embrace the Light. He knows resistance is deeply embedded from years of conditioning and he understands the ego wants to keep it hidden. The tricky part is identifying resistance which seems “normal” because it has been established for so long. Sometimes we have to step into trust and just embrace the unknown by telling ourselves to allow our barriers to fall away, not really knowing what they are, but expressing our willingness to open up and relax our resistance enough for rays of Light to enter in and assist us in breaking down those dense walls that have existed for so long. This takes courage and faith; to follow what we understand is Spirit calling us, to open up to the Love and Light that we know is inside, to find our true Selves.
Well said, Denise! Can I get an amen? It is so true that our resistance aka fear becomes sort of fossilized in our minds from sheer force of habit. That is why it takes a conscious undoing by making consistent effort to change the thinking that keeps us in resistance. Thanks for writing. 😊
Seriously can I love you anymore, Kelly? I think so but man o man this was such a perfect calling out of the resistance and sabotage we let the egoic mind do all day long. Right before watching this I said yes without even being asked to something I have resisted for a long time. So YES is a huge part of banishing the resistance. Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us students and teachers.
I love you
Thank you, Becky! You rock YES like a boss! ❤️
HI Kelly and thank you so much for your continued inspirational blogs. I rarely focus on forgiving myself particularly around this profound resistance I feel at times to live a bigger more public teaching life. Just as I started to listen to you, I got up and totally distracted myself by doing some laundry, cleaning windows, etc. when I returned it was hard to stay engaged on what you were saying and writing, but I did. I do have a daily practice which will now include time spent in self forgiveness. I am anticipating powerful results. You rock!! Jane
Hi Jane! Thank you for resisting your resistance! Perhaps you may be being called to something greater – “a bigger, more public teaching life.”? which your ego mind would probably rather keep you distracted from with laundry! I encourage you to have a dialogue with Spirit about that. As the Course’s Manual for Teachers tells us, In practicing forgiveness of others and self (same thing) you are already a teacher of God. 😊
I am doing the workbook lessons. There have been times l have had to force myself to do them and times l have stopped for a few days. I tell myself what a crappy student l am. Now l am on lesson 98. These last lessons have lifted me up and l feel safe and healed and whole.
Thank you for talks like this that pull us forward and tell us we all have struggles, even gifted teachers like yourself. You are amazing and l thank you.
Hi Katy! Thanks for writing – all we bros are in this together, and we all experience the ego mind trying to do battle with our spirit. Good for you for allowing it to move through you – the first time I did the workbook it took me 3 years! 😂
Kelly-wow and wow again. I so love and appreciate you! You don’t shy away from the “tough stuff!” More importantly, you are able to share ways to really make significant shifts in thinking that can have such powerful results!! So glad you are in my life and that I get to see you soon!
Hi Deb! Thanks for your lovely comment, Deb! I’m ridiculously glad about that too! Yay! ❤️
You rocked it Kelly!
Unbelievable! I was going through my email this morning . Your caption jumped out and clicked on your link. Amazing! I needed to read this today and God brought this to my attention. I have been resistant and thank you for writing about it, I was attracted too by the way you put it out there! Have a resistant day!
Hi Andrea! I am so glad you found it helpful!
Thanks for that. Just what i needed today. Getting motivated has been difficult since my Mum passed last year and now there’s still bills and stuff to store and my only brother lives in the U. S. A. Not in the U. K. Like me. Plus I’m waiting for cataract surgery which is early for 55 but there it is. So job hunting is difficult. Also a musician and finding practice hard which i used to do every day, even after work and while caring for Mum until last September. Thanks. I need to get moving
Hi Julian! Sometimes resistance can take us over when the stuff of the world feels overwhelming and paralyzing. Yet when we forgive ourselves and our circumstances and ask Spirit to lift us out of it, thecresukts can be truly miraculous. Thanks for writing.
Thank you Kelly, you have a way with words that I ❤❤❤
I allow my Divinity to express into the world in the form of forgiving everything and everyone that disturbs my peace, including my resistance
My favorite part….. thank you
Truly helpful post Kelly. I am becoming more aware of how subtle our ego is in this big area of resistance. Beginning to appreciate the continuous opportunity to forgive myself as an ongoing practice…much gentler and more loving!
Hi kelly thankyou for summing up my current experiences so eloquently! My question is what does forgiveness look and sound like? I find it incredibly difficult and am in strong resistance to receiving love from within- what is self love – in practical terms? I.e I know i am willing to forgive myself for being confused and low and unjoyful – i recognise I’m.just scared and doubtful and feeling low in confidence because my ego is wreaking havoc with the intentional de programming I’m participating in – i’m.nor sure though how I forgive – Is it a statement? a feeling? A willingness? a choice? I’m.finding it damn tricky to access the language and conceptualise the things like non judgement and forgiveness – what does forgiving and not judging towards myself look like in tangible means? Could say ‘ even though I’m shitting my pants, confused and worrying I choose to love these aspects of myself.. Despite feeling angry and frustrated about xyz I am willing to love all of me.. Despite feeling lost i know I am full of divine love n light.. I forgive mysekf for attacking mysekf.. But they feel like words with no feeling.. How to find some congruence between feeling and thought and actually shifting this shit? ? 🙏🌈