We start where we resist
From "The inwarders Podcast" serie n°15, available on all major podcast apps and providers or listen via: https://www.theinwarders.com/podcast
In this new serie, Annabelle shares the first steps she has used over years of coaching practice with her clients to release resistances. So anyone looking for sustainable peace and contentment can try them out.
First step – define that what you are looking for matches what is offered:
It is hard to define the type of coaching I do. Most of the time, I say, people come to me after they tried everything else and it didn’t work. That’s how I ended up going inward myself.
What I do is not about helping clients to reach their objectives. Of course there is nothing wrong with that. It is best to contact a business or personal coach. What I do might end up helping in those spaces, but that’s not the main purpose.
When people come to me, they are not looking to get something specific. That’s why it is difficult to define what we are looking for. It’s the intuition there should be more to life than what we are currently experiencing. A realization that we are unhappy no matter what we succeed at or how much we accumulated in our life. That’s when I reached out to Mikan in the first place.
Basically, I define it as “when the ticking the boxes phase is over”. When we have done this enough, we are just looking for peace and happiness. Sometimes we have ticked the boxes, sometimes we failed at it. But we did it enough to know that’s going nowhere. It never gives a long term relief or sense of profound happiness.
It is unlikely that people will spend time going inward if they haven’t gone through some challenging times. At least, that’s never been my experience, for myself or others. But who knows?
Once that is defined and agreed on, we can start the process of letting go of our resistances.
Second step – we start where we resist, by identifying the experience we try to avoid:
We all encounter challenges in our life. So that’s exactly where we start when I have my first meeting or conversation with a new client. We are looking at his/her resistances.
My experience is that’s it is best to start with something relatively easy. To get the technics first before we move on to something major. Also, this process doesn’t create further resistance. That would be counter-productive.
So basically, it looks like: “yesterday, this person did this or that”, “I cannot stand this or that”, or “this event shouldn’t have happened”. Etc.
Then, we dig into why we are resisting those event or what that person did or said.
My experience shows that we resist what I define as “reality” because it creates a thought, feeling or body sensation (usually a mixture of all three) that is unpleasant.
It is a 3 stages process:
First, there is a reality: by reality I mean something we can impartially observe. This event occurred, this person said or did something. It already occurred. Or we are fighting the non-occurrence of an event that we feel should have happened. In that case, the reality is the absence of something.
Second, that reality creates a strong and unpleasant reaction (a mix of thoughts, feelings and so on).
Third, because we do not want to go through that experience of thinking, feeling and so on, we resist reality. It creates tension in our mind, our body and whatever we end up saying or doing is contaminated by that energy.
All our problems come from that resistance.
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about something that did not happen in our reality. It works the same. Something should have happened, in reality it didn’t. We resist.
Similarly when we fear something could happen. The reality is it didn’t. We resist the feeling of fear it could happen. In all of those examples, the process works the same.
Now, it is important not to get stuck in the story. When we try to avoid the thoughts, feelings and sensations, we create an appealing story that tells us we are right to resist. The story is the narrative we build in our minds to validate our resistance.
The more momentum the story gets, usually by repeating itself over time with different people and situations, the more difficult it gets to spot and free ourselves from that resistance.
Once that has been identified, we move to the next step.
Third step - we embrace the experience we resisted in the first place:
Once we have identify why we resist what we resist, we just go through the experience.
If the experience wasn’t unpleasant we wouldn’t have resisted it in the first place. That’s exactly why people are reluctant to do that type of work. Until we reach a point where the pain of not doing it override the pain of the experience we tried so hard to avoid.
There is no other way. Strangely enough, when we experience it fully, we realize it wasn’t that bad.
My experience is that only few heavy patterns with tremendous momentum are hard to get through and might require several attempts. Otherwise, it is not that bad. We end up thinking we should have started earlier!
Four step – we release the energy:
Once the experience is experienced, whatever thoughts, feelings or sensations we resisted, it dissolves. Energy is relieved. The life energy we were using to resist life. The more life goes to an opposite direction of what we want, the more energy we have to deploy to counter-balance it.
All of us have noticed it doesn’t always go our way. The energy you are using to work harder to get back on the tracks you think you should be on…doing something else, with someone else… that’s energy.
If you haven’t physically released energy, that’s not processed. Some patterns can be quite strong and require further attempts. It comes with practice. If we keep at it, soon or later, it will be released. It helps to be patient and loving towards ourselves. At least, that’s what we are aiming for.
When we walk through those steps and physically experience the benefits, it is no longer necessary to convince us this is the way forward to sustainable peace and contentment. I believe in another serie I shared I personally prefer to use the word contentment versus happiness as happiness is so much associated with getting what we want, but I also use the word happiness because that’s what we usually are looking for at the beginning of the path. That’s the word that comes first to our mind.
My understanding is that this path can be followed alone. That’s why I share those steps with you today. But my personal experience shows that often we get stuck in our stories and cannot easily identify what experience we need to accept.
In that case, or if you wish to speed up that ‘letting go” process, it is best to work with a coach that has a relevant experience in that space. You are welcome to contact me. There is a free trial session designed to figure out if that’s suitable to you.
You can find out more on my website at www.theinwarders.com/coaching.
You can also contact Mikan van Zanten at www.iammikan.com.
It is important to find the right person with whom we can open up to make that process as smooth as possible. It doesn’t have to be painful or difficult. It can also be fun and pleasant!