During the summer of 2000, a young, eager girl put on her flip-flops to start her ascent. Armed only with 500ml of water, she and a friend headed off on their 8-hour trek. The girl in this story was in fact me. I was in Honduras, and I was very naive about what I needed to climb the volcano ahead. You see physical fitness will get you so far, but when you start to tire it becomes a mental game. The sole object of this game is to not give in to your RESISTANCE.
Guardian of Your Parameters
Your resistance has learnt what your zone of comfort is and where the parameters are. This overprotective guardian sees its job as to keep you inside those walls. When you have ideas about stepping out, your resistance receives an alarm signal, to which it must defend.
Resistance is part of your identity, of which you have been perfecting since birth. You see your personality is made up of a few different components, some good and some not so good. You have strengths, negative traits and psychological resistance. We all have fear, worry, doubt within us, but how often does it lead you and your decisions in life?
When it Shows up
When you decide to climb a mountain, you are full of excitement towards this goal. The intention then leads to preparing yourself so you can achieve what you set out to do. Yet, no matter how much you have trained, at some point, your mental strength will be tested. When your feet are sore, and your energy is low, what will you do? Will you shut down? Will you become irritable? Will you blame others or, external circumstances? Will you want to throw in the towel? All of these are your resistance kicking in. It has a plethora of tactics up its sleeve which are designed to stop you in your tracks – literally! Until you become aware of it, you will never conquer the inner mountain.
Beyond the Fictitious Wall
We have all experienced events in our lives that have instantly pushed us beyond the fear, doubt and worry. It is as if we saw through it, enough to bypass its hold. So, what is that? What have we engaged with or shed to bring that shift in our thought process? Beyond the wall is a part of us that is full of knowledge, clarity and courage to venture forward.
You know you can bypass your resistance, as you’ve done it before. You just need to see it. Resistance is powerful, and you can not combat it with force or by ignoring it. In martial arts, the first thing that happens, when they enter the Dojo, is for both opponents to face one another. By looking each other in the eye, they are acknowledging that they see one another. This is what you must do with resistance. You must look it in the eye to let it know that you see it. When you truly acknowledge it, you can decide whether you want to keep giving it your energy. It’s as good as pulling the plug; the effect is instant. This takes inner strength, courage and knowing yourself; the good and the bad. Only then can you conquer the internal mountain.
Anji Hallewell, www.hiddenlava.com
A weekend retreat…. taking 10 amazing ladies to Bukit Repin, just north of KL in Janda Baik, Pahang.