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Resisting or Allowing? A Simple Choice for Life

By Patrice Robson

"The world offers itself to me in a thousand ways, and I ache with an awareness of how infrequently I am able to receive more than a small fraction of what is offered, of how often I reject what is because I feel it is not good enough." --Oriah Mountain Dreamer

Lately, I'm becoming more and more conscious of two completely different ways of being: resisting and allowing.

By really paying attention to myself, I can sense when I'm in resistance. For me, resistance brings rigidity - my body feels hard, like I'm wearing psychic armour. And I also feel a tightening, a hardness to my mind, like I'm marshalling my mental defences for battle.

Not surprisingly, resistance feels negative. Most times, I'm resentful - although I often don't know what I'm resenting. Sometimes it's rooted in fear. It has a "me against them" kind of attitude.

What has been surprising is that I'm often in resistance when there hasn't been any obvious cause for that kind of reaction. I've discovered that being in resistance is a habit. It's the way I've learned to live - to always be protecting myself against life, even though living this way steals my energy and my joy.

Fortunately, I've discovered the second word: allowing. What is allowing? It's not controlling. It's not forcing things to be my way or even just wishing things were my way. It's letting life be just as it is.

When I'm allowing, I experience a softness in my being. The armour is gone; I feel safe and relaxed. This is where peace, contentment and well-being arise. I'm not at war with life and there's space to enjoy whatever's going on. It feels so good!

I can only get to allowing when I let go of judgment. I need to release my opinions that "things would be better if..." Backing up a bit, I can only get to allowing when I become aware that I'm resisting.

For me, sensing the contrast between resistance and allowing has been an experience of awakening. And it's so simple! All I have to do is pay attention! Am I feeling armoured for battle, angry at the world, even in a very subtle way? Or am I feeling open, soft, comfortable, at ease? If I'm in resistance, I bring my attention to my breathing for a few minutes and this helps ease the tension.

Just becoming aware of the resistance often releases it. And as I practice this awareness, over and over and over again, my experience of life is lightening up. I smile more often and worry much less. It's all I've ever wanted!

Patrice Steen and her partner John Robson offer you tools and paths for meaningful growth through personal development plans at Higher Awarenesss, with online courses, daily email coaching and the free Inner Journey newsletter for personal and spiritual fulfillment.

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