Resistance Archives

You may have set goals that sounded great when you wrote them down but didn’t realize that you’d actually feel guilty accomplishing them. An example is money. If you were to earn significantly more money than your family and friends, how would you respond when they commiserated about not having enough money to buy the things they wanted, things you could easily afford? Would you keep your mouth shut so no one would be jealous? Would you feel guilty that you have it and they don’t?

Woman Wear Hat On Beach

Or if your goal is to have a leisurely lifestyle on the beach, how would you respond when the people around you talked about how difficult their work life is. Would you feel a bit spoiled? Would you feel you should use your energy to make the world a better place? Would you feel you did’t have the right to lay around on the beach while others suffer? Would you fear being judged for being lazy?

One of my goals is to have 8 weeks of vacation a year. That sounds so luxurious and wonderful. This summer, during a 2-month period, we took 3 week-long vacations. I shared our fun on facebook and someone commented, “What’s up with all the vacations?”

I replied explaining that we had to take all our vacation time during those 2 months and that it was actually a hardship to be gone so much in such a short period of time, trying to balance all our responsibilities. Blah de blah, blah, blah. I felt guilty about taking that much vacation and had no idea I felt that way until I was questioned. There’s little chance I’ll accomplish my goal of having 8 weeks if I felt guilty taking three.

When you first set these goals, they sound so exciting. You may have no clue you’d feel guilty until you’re close to achieving them and start getting that sense. Or you may never know and not understand why you’re not accomplishing them.

One way to become aware of the potential of guilt is to look at people who have already achieved your goal. Do you judge wealthy people enjoying the spa as spoiled and self-centered? That’s a clue you wouldn’t feel comfortable achieving that goal.

If there are certain goals you’ve been trying to attain for a long time and feel like you’re hitting a glass ceiling, look inside and see if the potential for guilty is there. As long as it is, you’ll probably never achieve it. But if you identify the guilt and start working through those feelings, you’ll increase your chance of achieving it.

 

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A New Way of Looking at Balance

One way of looking at ourselves is that we are composed of four different aspects:

  1. Physical/Doing
  2. Emotional
  3. Thinking/Planning
  4. Intuitive/Inspiration/Spiritual

I’ve noticed that one cause of stuckness is repeatedly addressing an issue from one of these aspect at the neglect of the rest. I’ve seen people who were afraid to deal with their emotions try over and over again to address emotional and relational issues from their intellect without making much headway.

I’ve also seen myself do the opposite and get stuck in the emotional aspect. One year my husband was working 80 to 90 hours a week. I passionately oppose that lifestyle. It was tearing me up to see him live like that. I knew staying stuck in those intense emotions every day wasn’t helping me nor the situation. So I hired a Byran Katie counselor. With Byran Katie work, you take something highly emotional and work with it with your intellect. This helps you see it more clearly and have a larger perspective. I went from daily aggravation and despair to being able to detach and focus on my own life.

Sometimes, it’s one aspect that we’re neglecting. I’ve gotten all inspired, which led to great planning and emotionally excitement, but then got distracted by another inspired idea and never got around to actually doing anything about the first idea.

Some people will neglect their physical body because they think they should keep going when what they really need is a rest.

Others will try to stay emotionally positive about a situation, when what they really need is to think about what’s causing their negative emotions and do something it.

Each of these four aspects work beautifully together when balanced. If you’re currently stuck in an area of your life, here’s some question you can ask yourself to begin to return to that working balance:

  • Do I need to take better care of my body?
  • Do I need to take action on something?
  • Do I need to bite the bullet and feel difficult emotions in order to work through my current challenge?
  • Do I need to listen to what my emotions are trying to tell me?
  • Am I habitually doing the same things over and over without thinking through whether it’s still working for me?
  • Do I need inspiration?
  • Do I need to develop spiritual trust in the process of life?

It’s like a puzzle. Keep playing with balancing these aspects until you’ve hit that sweet spot and things begin to flow again.

 

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Is It a Problem or an Opportunity to Upgrade?

Whenever problems crop up in my life, I have two choices on how I look at them. The first is as an irritating problem I resent. When I take this stance, I grumble and spend a lot of energy complaining inside and out. I do the least I can get away with to get that dang irritation out of my life.

The problem with this approach, besides spending a lot of time, energy, and emotion on complaining, is that I’m not motivated to do anything more than fix the issue enough to stop it from irritating me. Which means, there’s a good chance I didn’t really solve the issue, and that I can count on it returning at some point.

The other approach I can take is this problem is really an opportunity to upgrade the area of my life that it’s in. With this view, I’m actually excited about what outcome I can create as I work on resolving it. And I’m focused on creating a real solution, not a temporary fix.

An example of this in my life is a heart-breaking situation with my sister. She has an illness that rears it’s ugly head every couple years. When she gets sick, it’s extreme. Twice she’s almost died. Her illness has become a major crisis in my family’s life.

She’ll get severely ill, be brought to the hospital by ambulance, be taken care of until she’s healthy enough to be released. But when she’s released, she’s not healthy enough to be on her own. She needs constant supervision and support. She can be in this state for months. So far, when she’s gotten this sick, my parents have taken care of her. Her care is so taxing that it has totally worn them out.

Her severe episodes of illness are unpredictable. One year, my parents were out of state, and it looked like she was going to get sick again. My family asked me to drop everything and fly out to help her. Fortunately, she was able to pull through that one without our assistance.

When she gets this sick. It’s devastating emotionally for all of us. We spend quite a bit of time supporting her and each other through these crises.

Recently, my sister had one of these episodes. She’s actually in the hospital now. I decided to address this present crisis as an opportunity to upgrade this area of my life. Unfortunately, I can’t heal her, but what I can do is find another option for her care after she’s released from the hospital. Having a family member do this for weeks or months at a time isn’t working.

Another sibling and I decided to team together to work on this. We’ve found a place my sister can go to where she can stay long enough to recover enough to not need 24-hour care. This will be a major upgrade for her and for us. We’ll know she’s getting the care she needs. We can visit and support her, but we’ll no longer need to go through the extreme stress of trying to take care of someone that ill for months at a time.

If I hadn’t had looked at this situation as an opportunity to upgrade, I would have endured it the same way we have in the past rather than looking for ways to actually improve it.

Hopefully, the problems you’re facing aren’t nearly as devastating, but looking at how you can upgrade the problem area of your life can truly raise the quality of your life.

 

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Where’d That Reluctance Come From?

Have you ever made a decision to do something you were really excited about and just before you were going to do it, you suddenly didn’t want to do it at all? Looking back at some of my best decisions, I’ve noticed that pattern.

I grew up in the Chicago area which wasn’t the best fit for me. At 30, I got introduced to the Southwest and made a decision to move. I had seen lots of people move out west then end up moving back because things didn’t work out. I didn’t want that to happen to me.

One of the problems that caused people to move back was finances. So I changed careers and became a computer programmer. I figured there were computer programming jobs every where so I would have job security no matter where I lived.

Then, I needed to finish a long, drawn-out divorce. Then, I wanted to save money. It was 9 years before I was ready to move.

The funny thing was that when it came time to actually move, I suddenly didn’t want to. I would be moving by myself and leaving my friends and family. Chicago no longer seemed like such a bad place. My whole being didn’t want to make the move.

dread

Fortunately, I had had a similar experience when I moved to London in my mid-20’s. I felt really good about the decision to go. I had everything I needed—a job, a place to live, people I knew there. But right before I moved, I had heard about hardships that people had had who had done a similar move. I felt nauseous for days thinking about it and seriously considered canceling. But instead, I decided to go even though I was feeling a huge amount of dread and reluctance. I based my decision on how I felt when I originally decided to move.

It turned out that the problems I feared would happen in London actually did. But it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Living in England made a significant impact in my outlook on life. I treasure the time I had there.

I made the same type of decision when moving from Chicago to Albuquerque. Even though I felt dread and reluctance, I went forward with my move based on how I felt during those 9 years of dreaming and planning. Moving to Albuquerque was another one of my best decisions. I totally love it here, and it felt like home almost immediately.

Thrilled

So whenever I see that same pattern of getting excited about something and then becoming reluctant right before doing it, I push through the reluctance and end up being thrilled on the other side.

If I had never pushed through the reluctance and, instead, backed out of decisions because of those feelings, I would have been trapped in a never-ending cycle of coming up with great ideas, but never achieving them.

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