We never Anticipate Resistance

We had an interesting question in the Awakening Coaching Training online course last week that I wanted to share with you.  I think it is something we can all really learn from.

The week before, we had all started to experiment with some simple practices that are part of Awakening Coaching.  Students in the training do this so they familiarize themselves with practices that they might then want to share with their coaching clients later. These were really simple practices: like every few hours stop for 30 seconds and notice what’s happening in your body, thoughts and feelings. Another one was to take five minutes a day where you devote yourself to completely listening to another person without internal or external distraction. These are very simple practices that are very easy to do, and that require very little time.

One brave and very honest man in the course wrote to me and said he was amazed at how much resistance he encountered in trying to do these practices. Consciously he really wanted to do them.  He saw the benefit, he had the time, it was all green lights.  But when it came time to do them, he noticed that his mind came up with all kinds of excuses and reasons why it was not possible.

We never really anticipate resistance.  It sneaks up on us unexpectedly and takes us completely by surprise.  With every new student and client that comes to Awakening Coaching, the first question is always “What is your deeper longing?”  We bring no censorship, no judgment about what that question brings.  Somebody might say to “fully merge with the light,” or “to be one with all that is.”  Someone else will say to “be a great mother to my children.”  Someone else might say to “run my company with impeccability.”  By “longing” we mean any strong impulse that is coming directly from your essence rather than  conditioned by outside forces.

Over so many years of working with people I have discovered that the more you tap into your true and deepest longing, the stronger the resistance will be. Surprising, isn’t it?  Here is a really simple example.  When I was around 14, some interesting changes started happening in my lower part of my body, and suddenly girls were magically transformed from strange creatures who played hopscotch and liked dolls to gorgeous, sensuous, mysterious creatures of great beauty.  Sometimes I would “kinda fancy” a girl: which meant that she seemed okay-ish and it might be fun. Then it was incredibly easy to approach her, ask her casually for a date, and let things go where they would.  Just a few times during my teenage years I met a girl I really, really, really, really liked. You get the picture?  I mean, I went weak at the knees every time she came by. Then it became incredibly difficult to approach her. Sometimes it would take me months to get the courage.  You see?  The deeper the longing, the stronger the resistance.

When it comes to the really deep things: like awakening to your true nature, fully giving the love that is in your heart or discovering and giving your unique gift, the longing becomes incredibly strong.  These are really “the deepest longings.”  So it is not surprising that when we turn our attention to the deepest longing, we also encounter the deepest resistance.

Learning how to anticipate resistance, to integrate it, and to understand where it arises from, is probably the most important key to becoming a whole, loving, sane, conscious human being. 

I’ve made a video for you about how we never anticipate resistance, You can watch it here.


All the best

Arjuna Ardagh

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5 Responses to “We never Anticipate Resistance”

  1. Evelyne October 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm // Reply

    This is an AhHa moment for me, as I am really resistant to my “Coaching Career”, yet I have no problem talking or listening to people casually an accompishing the same.


  2. Jeannine October 2, 2012 at 4:11 pm // Reply

    What a timely post! I have a regular journaling practice that is part of my awakening process, and part of that practice is asking questions of the “deeper self” about what is really best for me. Like the gentleman above, the conscious level really wants to follow the guidance, then I notice a very strong “NO, I WON’T DO IT!” arises. I love what you say about the deeper longing bringing up a deeper resistance. The dear small self is scared to death, after all. Awakening means it’s no longer in charge. My inner guide says to smile and open my heart to this resistance and be very, very gentle, don’t force anything, be curious, offer this part a soft attention. I’ve never been one for this killing the ego thing that’s been put out there. Good grief, that would scare any ego to death. Love is the answer to everything!

    Thanks again! Jeannine


  3. Alana October 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm // Reply

    Thank you, Arjuna.This is a valuable topic. I have called these “patterns of disruption” or “disconnections”and at times “sabatours” and and can trace them back to even..my birth when mother died then. They came unexpectedly…yes, no warning. And at times when one has built up such good, helpful things a crushing comes,then collapse, then


  4. Justin October 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm // Reply

    Thank you Arjuna! This article (and video) really resonated with me, and you’ve given me a fresh outlook on resistance.



  5. Joshua Tilghman March 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    This is interesting to ponder. I used to notice that whenever I longed to do something, but couldn’t because of the current situation, when the time finally came I always felt too drained. As you stated, the more I longed for it the more a resistance popped up to participating in it when the time was right.

    It was never like this as a child. This made me realize that the resistance is also self-created.


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