Challenged with preparing meals day in and day out? Procrastinating doing the grocery list and defaulting to winging it in the store (…and not getting everything you need)? Putting off preparing the vegetables you bought at the famers market for so long that they go rotten?
Resistance is an internal state of contradictory thoughts or desires. When we experience it, we often make excuses or judgments (!) and give ourselves permission to put the job off.
There will always be things we don’t really want to do, and maybe meal planning, grocery shopping or food prep is simply one of those things for you. Maybe you’ve tried shifting your diet and fall back into the same pattern. Some level of resistance to change is natural; we all experience it, and it’s OK to feel!
Next time you notice some resistance bubbling up try this.
- Pinpoint where you physically feel the resistance. Where is it manifesting in your body? Your tummy, shoulders, or jaw? Are you breathing quickly? Sweating?
- Notice how your heart feels. What emotions are coming up?
- What thoughts are going through your mind? Try to simply observe them. Don’t judge them. Don’t deny them. Don’t add to them. They are there, so get to know them.
- Take a few breaths as you do the above to be calm and stay with the experience. Like you’re breathing through a yoga pose. You may experience discomfort, but you’ll be OK!
- Can you name your resistance? The more you become familiar with the manifestation of it, the easier it is to recognize when it pops up again. The familiarity can give more ease in choosing a helpful next step. (…Hello Again, Veggie Chopping Aversion…)
- Choose your next step intentionally. Calmly recognizing your resistance lessens its hold on you and creates space for an easier follow up action. Maybe you want to do something else first or put new context around it. Let whatever you choose be fine, and congratulate yourself for your real-time awareness. (…Today I will put on my favorite tune and chop not just today’s veg but enough for the rest of the week so I don’t need to deal with you for a while!)
What’s your kinsho? What did you notice? How can you support yourself in the future with your new perception?
“When you feel some resistance … sit with it for a bit. Mindfully explore with a check-in to see if you can gain some insight into the cause. Is there something you can do to address it? See if you can feel the resistance in your body. Many times, we can feel it physically—in our heart, belly, clenched jaw, and other areas where we tend to hold negative emotions like fear and guilt. Try to let go and unclench.
Mindfulness helps us recognize resistance in the moment, relax rather than fight it, choose a direction to go, and take the action needed to overcome the obstacle.
We can choose to do the task with full, complete, 100-percent attention and in doing so remove our mind from the agitating resistance. Don’t push the resistance away; pushing against it often activates it even more. You can acknowledge that it is there and choose to be OK with allowing it to “hang out” while you focus on the task at hand: I don’t want to peel this onion, but I am going to place that thought over on the counter while I focus on this task. I’m going to focus on how smooth the onion’s skin feels, the different colors of the skin, the heaviness of the knife, the sharpness of the blade, the direction of the chopping, the size of the pieces, the smell of the juice…
We could also choose to do the task later and move our emotions into a better place through engaging with something that lights us up. Then we can go back to the task in a more inspired state.
The choice is yours and can be made with a lighter heart once you are aware of the internal resistance dynamics.
The moment you become aware is the moment of choice.”
– excerpt from “Mind to Mouth: A Busy Chick’s Guide to Mindful Mealtime Moments”