Posts Tagged: resistance

Aug 12

Bound and high in the sky or Loose and down to the ground?


I don’t know about you, but I like having my way.  I don’t think I’m that unusual.

Humans are funny like that.  We want what we want when we want it.

We don’t like anything to get between us and where we what to go or have anything hinder us from getting what we want to have.  We don’t want resistance or restriction.

Most people just get irritated because it’s not a big deal.  We don’t tend get to pushy or become too nasty when something stands in our way.

But we can get very angry or nasty!

There are two factors that kick us in the pushy or nasty category.  The two factors that elevate our antagonism or frustration are the level of one’s desire for something plus the level of restriction we feel keeping us from it.

Regardless of the level of restriction, I’m just saying that we would prefer having life without it.

But is having no resistance or restriction what we really want or need?

I think not.

Having resistance is one of the greatest hidden gifts we can receive in life.

Think about it.  Where would your life be today if you never faced any resistance?

What kind of a person would you be?

Resistance is a good thing.  It enhances vs. detracts.  The right restriction or resistance strengthens us as-well-as channels energy to have greatest impact.

For example, the kite would never soar without resistance of the string.

The string allows the kite to catch the air that lifts.  The tether that seemingly restricts is the very thing that allows the kite to fulfill its purpose.

Without something holding the kite back it would never reach its full potential.  It would just drift back to the ground never to fly.

Another example is the balloon.  The helium in the balloon needs the restriction of the rubber to keep its qualities to lift intact.

Reaching the heights would never have been accomplished without the restriction.

It’s so easy to be upset or disgruntled by things that seem to hold us back.  The proper amount of resistance is the very thing that makes us better and creates the success.

When faced with things that seem to hold us back we have one of two choices.  We either channel our energy fighting it, or we channel our energy to align ourselves with the resistance to get the most out of it.

Now I can hear a lot of you yelling at the computer screen with all kinds of examples of where restriction can be a bad thing.

Yes, it’s true.  Too much restriction can be just as bad as too little resistance.

But our natural default is to resist anything that we feel hinders us.  There is much more positive that comes from resistance than negative.

Ciao… see you Monday.

Jul 11

The Path of Least Resistance


Hi there… beautiful picture isn’t it?

You might not see it at first glance, but there’s a lot for us to learn about life from the winding path of a meandering river. 

There is no question that a winding river can be very beautiful.  Interestingly, the river gets all the attention and accolades while all the time it is the terrain that is the sculptor of the river flow. 

The water of a river follows the contours of the land.  The rise and fall of the land creates a path for the river to follow. 

This is key:  It is a path that is predetermined before the water even begins to flow.  The river has no decision or choice as to where it goes or its speed.  All of this is dictated by the surroundings that currently exist.

The water simply flows along the path of least resistance.  It bows in deference to any point of resistance that is stronger and dutifully adjusts course.

Ok, I know that some of you are beginning to hyperventilate because you want to make sure that I not forget the power of water.  Don’t worry… I am not dissing water.

Yes, water can be extremely powerful and destructive, able to move rocks and destroy buildings.  It all depends on the amount and force of the water.  But what I have said earlier still holds true and is the focus of this blog. 

So what’s the learning for us?

Like the natural terrain of land there is also a terrain in life.  The terrain in our lives is based on things like our surroundings, experiences, beliefs.  Therefore, each of us, fairly or unfairly, faces our own distinct life terrain.

Like water… we flow and navigate the unique terrain assigned to us.  But unlike water we can choose what we do when faced with a point of resistance.

“The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs.”

            . – John Dewey

There are always decisions to be made.  Sometimes the choice is easy.  The contour of the land coincides with the life you desire and so you naturally and easily flow with the terrain.  These times where we follow the path of least resistance are joyous… yet all too rare.

Usually we are faced with the harder decision, the pressing against the forces that try to shape our destination. 

The accumulation of these small decisions ultimately make the greatest decision… the decision to let the natural terrain of life determine our path and destination, or do we decide.

There’s a lot to learn from a meandering river.  I hope I am worthy of its lesson.

See you Thursday.

Jul 11

Strength in the Struggle


Wow, as I poke at this word resistance, it continues to take on a variety of shapes and meanings.

In the last blog entry I talked about having resistance to forces that are trying to shape and mold us.  Today we take a look at resistance from the opposite direction.  The resistance we are faced with and feel when we are trying to advance or move forward.


. . I was introduced to a book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.   It is a very interesting read.

Although this book initially targeted creative types who struggle with the blocks that hinder the creative process, the simple universal truths apply to every aspect of our lives.



Pressfield spends a significant portion of the book on the reality of and the struggles we face in life with the constant force of resistance.

The reality is, life has a natural headwind.  Any meaningful movement faces opposition.  Pressfield writes…

“Resistance cannot be seen, touched, heard, or smelled.  But it can be felt.  It’s a repelling force.  It’s negative.  Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.” (page 7)


How true.  I feel resistance every time I write this blog.

I have come to accept that resistance is the nature of life.  I heard someone say one time that the only trouble with life is that it is so constant.

The more powerful reality is that the resistance is felt when moving forward … especially anything noble or good.  It is nice to have this belief validated in The War of Art.

Pressfield says that resistance comes when…

“…any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.  Or, expressed another way, any act that derives from our higher nature instead of our lower.  Any  of these will elicit resistance.” (page 6)


“Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher.  It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually.” (page 17)


Yes, moving forward can be tiring.  But oh the amazing things you see and experience.

This blog was started on the premise that we are made to move… journey.  We are not made to sit, atrophy and rust.  Yes, that is the easier path.  It is downhill and you have tailwinds to make it even more effortless.

I started this blog journey by talking about hearing a voice (no, not the kind of voice you need medications for). A voice beyond where I was, started calling me to more.  I scaled the comfortable walls I had built… peeked over the top … and saw things to do and territory to take.

Nope, it hasn’t been easy.  But when you begin to move, something is released that makes it all worth while.

I don’t know where you currently feel resistance, but you can be assured the resistance is a signal that you’re moving in the right direction.

On Monday I plan on talking about the other alternative… taking the path of least resistance.


Jul 11

Is it really?

Hi, good to see you again.

In the last blog entry we started tackling the last segment of the quote tattooed on the arm of a girl.

This series of blogs started out as a dissection of a quote but now it is turning into a dissection of the meaning of the last word of the quote – RESISTANCE.

I was intrigued by the choice of the word.  My first impression was that rebellion would be the natural word to use.

In the last blog entry I started talking about the difference between the words rebellion vs. resistance.

Yes, some use the term resistance for those who fight for a cause such as the French Resistance during WWII.

The picture is the French Resistance logo.

Side Note: I just have to say it, French Resistance seems like an oxymoron to me… OK, I know, cheap shot, sorry.  Just so you know, I have never claimed to be perfect.


But for our discussion I am looking at these words in their purest form.

Rebellion is active and aggressive in nature … a lashing out … an intentional act of retaliation toward something or someone.

Contrary to its counterpart, resistance originates from a totally different center or frame of reference.

Resistance is a refusal to be impacted or influenced.  It is a strength that prevents an opposing force making an impression on who we are and what we do.  Logic demands that when pushed… push back.

It is not strength to necessarily push back but a solid presence that keeps us anchored, immovable and unimpressionable.

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”

- Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar


In the second blog in this series I talked about the messages and life events that bombard every aspect of our existence.

I said in the June 16, 2011 blog the following…

Messages come from all directions in a multitude of shapes and sizes, subtle to blatant, verbal and non-verbal.

We cannot underestimate the power of messages.  They, in reality, are invisible hands from a variety of sculptors.  These hands shape and form us as people.  This is especially true when we are very young, impressionable and moldable.

In a short period of time the shapes and molds begin to harden us into the people we are… for better… or for worse.


It takes a strong and discerning person to navigate life’s waters.

First a person needs discernment to determine whether the force trying to mold them is good or bad.

Discernment is exactly the right word to use here.

Let’s face it; there are some forces in life that look unfriendly and hurtful when in reality they are strong hands that are preparing us for life.  These are individuals who are more concerned about our character than our comfort.  They love us enough to endure our displeasure as they help us grow.

Unfortunately the opposite is true.  There are forces that seem to bring freedom and enlightenment while leading us down the yellow brick road of promises that lead to things that trap and injure us.

Strength is the power to withstand the negative and minimize any effects.

As I write this my mind bounces around wondering what I am to learn regarding this powerful word – Resistance.

My immediate thoughts go to the things that I have resisted and I am proud of my firm stands.

Then of course I eventually circle around to the areas of my life where I succumbed to the messages and beliefs that have proven poisonous to me.

What insights strike you when you think about our topic – Resistance.

The resistance I talked about today is where one stands against forces that press us.  On Thursday I will talk about resistance we face that keeps us from moving forward.


Jul 11

Rebellion vs. Resistance


Hi there.  It is good to return to some normalcy even though I am a day late with the blog.  My bad.

OK, back to the tattoo quote.  As most of you know I was in the process of dissecting the quote before I got sidetracked a few days ago.

I decided not to re-post the picture of the tattoo as a reminder of the how all of this started.  Even though I have looked at the picture many times I still find it disturbing… repulsive.  If interested in seeing it just scroll down the page.

As a reminder, the quote tattooed to the underarm of a girl was…

“Being told you are a worthless piece of shit and not believing it is a form of resistance.”

In the blogs to this point we broke the quote down this way.

  • “Being told you are…” – the messages that bombard us daily
  • “…a worthless piece of shit…” – the types of messages
  • “…and…” – the decision point of what we do with those messages
  • “…not believing it…” – the decision made


Today we tackle the final part of the quote, “… is a form of resistance.” – the statement made or action taken.

I was very intrigued at the choice of the word Resistance.  There is so much to read into the entire quote but the final word is particularly loaded with meaning for me.

My knee-jerk guess at a choice of the word would be Rebellion vs. Resistance.  I think either word works on one level, but each of them comes from a completely different center of attitude or belief.

Being slammed with the message that I was “…a worthless piece of shit…”, my first inclination is that a person would lash out, act out, fight, and rebel.  Expend tremendous energy to prove otherwise.

In my life I have come to the realization that whatever you expend energy on and attention to, defines the importance of that thing.

Think about it.  What we expend energy on defines its importance.

For example, I heard someone say that the opposite of LOVE is not anger.  The opposite of LOVE is apathy.  Anger has energy… it means that the object of attention has a level of importance worthy of the spew of anger.

Whereas apathy loudly shouts the reality, that the object of attention has no value worthy of energy.

Also, on some level we empower the point of our energy.   This is the problem with certain rebellion and anger.  We end up empowering and giving strength to the very thing we hate.

I personally know some people that believe that they have been wronged (maybe legitimately so) and they spend years in anger and hate trying to make the other person pay for the violation.  The focus of their attention becomes a part of who they are.

The object of their energy has grown more powerful… so powerful that the good they desire and seek for their life is displaced by the object of hate.

This is the powerful reality, extended exertion of energy (good or bad) defines who we are. It’s true.

We expend energy all the time just on living.  But the things that define us are the discretionary things that we expend energy on over a period of time.

Some expend energy on good and noble things because those things improve their life and the lives of those around them.

One can also choose to work hard to displace evil in the world with good.  These are noble endeavors.

Now you can begin to see why the choice of the word resistance was so intriguing.  I will poke at what this means a little more on Monday.