How to manage from happiness when resistance strikes

by | Sep 2, 2013

resistance_9-3-13Last week I wrote that moods and emotions are infallible barometers of the quality of our thinking. When we are experiencing the innate wellbeing that is our default setting, our thinking is creative, resourceful, wise. When we are temporarily cut off from our innate wellbeing, our thinking is recursive and constrained. That being so, I said that the wisest way to live, not to mention grow a business, is to lean into wellbeing. To manage from happiness.

But what if you’re experiencing a massive case of resistance?

What if there’s something you really need to do–pay your bills, ask a client for money they owe you, write a blog post–but it makes you tense and unhappy? What the heck do you do then? Do you walk away from your responsibilities?

After all, the bill collector isn’t going to stop asking for money just because you are courting enlightenment.

It’s not about the bills, the client, or the blog post

It’s important to understand that neither bills, clients, blog posts, nor any other aspect of business can make us tense and unhappy. None of those things have the power to alter our wellbeing one whit. That means they cannot be the cause of our resistance. The only thing with that power is thought. It’s always and only our thinking in the moment that creates our experience.

When we realize this, we can step back a bit. Knowing that we are responding to thought, not circumstances, we can choose not to engage with the lower quality thinking that is producing our tension and unhappiness. Notice: we exercise our free will to not engage with lower quality thinking. That is not the same as choosing not to engage with the task at hand, because it isn’t (and never can be) the task that is causing stress.

In short, we don’t have to resist resistance.

Take paying bills, for example

Let’s say you get tense thinking about paying bills. You think about financial problems you’ve had in the past. You worry about what could happen if you pay your bills now and then need money for an unexpected expense later. You start worrying about where the money is going to come from next week or next month or next year. Your thoughts gather momentum, and before long you are wrapped around the axle, spinning out a truly uncomfortable reality.

This kind of resistance doesn’t mean that you should stop dealing with the bills. The bills are not and cannot be the cause of your resistance. It simply means that, for that moment, you are experiencing lower quality thought. Your level of consciousness–your awareness of innate wellbeing and connection with Source–has taken a nosedive. It’s temporary. It’s impersonal. And it’s really good to notice. If you leave it alone, your thinking will self-correct, restoring you to a state of greater equanimity and wellbeing.

Meanwhile, you may do a variety of things. Understanding that bills don’t have the power to make you tense, realizing that resistance is only a response to your thinking, you might go ahead and work through the bills. You might feel discomfort, but you won’t be particularly impressed with it, because you know it’s just a reaction to thought. Because you aren’t buying into or resisting your thinking, you are free to go about your business one step at a time.

Alternatively, you might set the bills aside and turn to something else while your thinking settles. Then, when you are back in touch with your innate wellbeing, you can return to paying the bills. There’s no set formula for how to deal with resistance. What’s important is to understand that it’s never the bills that are the problem. Bills simply can’t make you tense and unhappy. It doesn’t work that way.

Welcome to the freedom to be uncomfortable

As I write this I see an intriguing implication: when we understand that our feelings are always and only a reaction to thought, we are free to be uncomfortable. Because we can experience difficult feelings without taking them personally, having such feelings doesn’t close down possibilities. Whether it’s paying the bills or accepting a speaking invitation, we stay engaged with life because there is nothing–not even fear itself–to fear.

Coaching from the Inside Out

If you’d like to create more from a place of happiness and wholeness, check out my coaching page. If it resonates, let’s talk and see if we are a fit.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already seen it, I invite you to watch the video of a Google Hangout on Air I did recently with bestselling author Michael Neill. In it we explore the implications of the inside out understanding, especially for those of us who are self-employed.

The video is about an hour long. We recorded it in a Google Hangout, and the first minute and 53 seconds are Molly and Michael (and Bolivia the Wonder Cat) setting up the Hangout. You are welcome to watch that but, if you’d rather get right to the conversation, fast forward to the 1:53 mark.

Click the link below to get to the video:

Photo credit: ethan john via Flickr.