I know. Ignoring your feelings? Really???
Isn’t it self love about honouring how we feel? To get out of our head and follow what feels good, in each moment?
Yes, absolutely it is.
BUT, it’s also often true that self care can look like the very thing you DO NOT FEEL like doing, in that moment.
Do you ever think “My brain is telling me that this thing is going to make me feel better, but I actually don’t feeeeeel like doing it?
Yep. Sometimes self care can be utterly confusing.
You see, the ego has this extremely well honed skill of making us FEEL like we would rather be anywhere else in the world than facing the very thing that will create the movement, growth, healing and expansion of our truest self, because the ego is perfectly happy staying exactly where it is. In control. Keeping you SAFE!
(STUCK = SAFE, as far as the ego can see).
What I’ve noticed, is that we are taught to expect and recognise resistance showing up when we take a leap in our work, our life path, or relationships with others …stretching the comfort zones and ‘pushing’ ourselves to some extent for our own growth can feel really empowering and exciting!
But self care is supposed to feel good, relaxing, fun or deeply nourishing! So it’s easy to think we are doing something wrong when it doesn’t. So I think it’s really important to acknowledge that resistance can show up in our self care journey TOO! Resistance can show up every single time you do something to move forward, create movement, expand, heal, grow, learn or RISE in ANY area of our lives, even subtly.
Usually we have a story that goes along with this.
Mine is “I don’t have time”
When I do make the time to meditate, do yoga, cook nourishing food, journal, skin brush, walk in nature, rest etc etc.. I still have to battle the little voice that tells me I should be doing something more ‘productive’. Honestly, that persuasive voice, that irresistible urge to pull away from the thing that you KNEW a few days ago was really going to be a most beautiful gift to yourself, an act of self love that felt SO RIGHT….?
THAT is the ego in it’s genius zone.
Yep, ego is just so damn good at keeping us stuck where we are.. it convinces us that we don’t feel like it, so it must not be for us, when usually the opposite is true! Those things that we resist the hardest are often the things that hold the most potential for us.
‘The cave you fear to enter hold the treasure you seek’ – Joseph Cambell
So yes, of course we must honour our feelings, but we don’t always need to listen very intently or act on them. Sometimes the most self loving thing we can do is simply ignoring them. Feeling the “I don’t want tooooo” and doing it anyway.
So how can you know when it’s resistance?
Lets take yoga as an example.
- At other times, (when your not heading for the mat) yoga keeps calling you. You believe in the benefits. You keep thinking of how good it would be for your tight, tired body.
- You admire others, even feel slightly envious of those who seem to easily bring it into their lives.
- It keeps popping up on your news feed/conversations
- When you do make it to the mat, you suddenly feel pulled to your to do list, you think of something important you need to do, or you feel tired/ bored / restless / irritated / hungry. (how convenient!)
- You hear yourself telling others you wish you had the time/money/energy/space/equipment for it.
- You don’t understand why you don’t WANT to do it! (Because you do want to, you just don’t want to.. but really you do).
Thankfully, once we recognise the story for what it is.. (ego in his zone of genius) we can begin to let it go, slowly we are able to be present, and then really truly ENJOY the acts of self care we have been resisting.
It’s a practice, sometimes you do have to force your but out the door for that run, or force yourself to choose the coconut water over the coffee. It’s ok for self love not to feel like a warm embrace all the time. It’s about CHOOSING to act lovingly to yourself even if you don’t really feel like it. Just the recognition of the story and the resistance alone helps us to let go of it. And it will likely keep showing up.. eventually you learnt to just bring it along for the ride.
“Oh hello resistance, what a surprise (NOT!) we’re doing yoga today, come or don’t come, but it’s happening!”
I believe what is super important is never to punish or berate yourself for your resistance showing up. Remember your ego has the best of intentions in keeping you ‘safe’. Just recognise it for what it is. Practice having compassion, light heartedness and good humour about it. Self care is not a race, its a life long practice and learning to be firm but gentle with your resistance is a part of the journey.
It can also be incredibly helpful, to have someone holding you accountable to your own intentions for self care. This is something I love doing for my coaching clients. Sometimes that’s simply holding the space for them to remember why they chose to take better care of themselves and remind them of how they can do that. Or, giving them that gentle nudge away from the story and excuses and towards their own deeper goals. I have their back even when they forget to have their own.
Share with me in the comments below, WHEN and HOW does your resistance show up?
What story does it tell you about why you don’t want to or can’t do what you intended?
Much love to you beautiful people,