We all face periods of change, upheaval, emotional trauma and illness in our lives with the passing of time. How we approach these experiences will greatly affect their influence upon us. The more resistance we carry the more challenging the experience becomes.
When we do not allow events or circumstances to simply be, instead choosing to deny the presence of something or seeking to ignore or manipulate what may be happening around us we can ultimately be left feeling drained, exhausted and unsupported by life. We ask not what is this experience here to teach me but instead choose to cry in exasperation “why is this happening to me?”
When we travel up stream it can be difficult and tiring. The rapids of turmoil periodically encountered sap our strength as we attempt to paddle against them and consequently we find ourselves too tired to enjoy the pools of calmer water beyond. It is much easier to allow ourselves to flow with the river, not resisting the rapids we encounter along the way, instead choosing to give ourselves completely so that we emerge on the other side much less scathed.
In a world where we are taught to resist change, where we are led to believe that being powerful and in control is key to a happy life, why then are so many of us left feeling bereft and out of control? When we allow ourselves the space to surrender to life and to accept what comes our way, it does not mean we are weak. To surrender takes great strength and courage. To surrender allows us to become an observer of what is happening, a bystander able to asses the situation before reacting and to acknowledge what it can teach us so that we may move forwards into a new phase of being. We are then better able to see the signs and synchronicities rather than missing them in our attempt to remain in control.
This need for control often extends not just to our need to control our own lives but also to those whom we share our days with. When we feel out of control of our own emotions or circumstances, by taking charge of those around us can lead us to believe ourselves to be on top of things. Rather than accepting others in their natural state, we place our ego upon their lives and knowingly or otherwise seek to steer their life in the direction we feel it should head. This enables us to ignore our responsibility to ourselves and our own unresolved issues, instead allowing external forces to shoulder the lessons meant for us. This is particularly true with our children – instead of accepting them for all of their idiosyncrasies, children, in their innocence try to please us, their parents and mentors, thus denying those parts of their inner light that cause us pain and ultimately making life choices that suit the needs of others rather than of themselves. The ramifications this may have upon health long term are significant and is a pattern that has been passed from generation to generation.
It is inevitable that there will be aspects of our life that we find less pleasant. Perhaps we have a job that brings little satisfaction. Maybe there is strife within our family. We believe ourselves to be too fat or too thin, too short or too tall, unsuccessful, unhappy with where we live. There are countless negatives that we find overtaking our thoughts each and every day. The more present these negatives become, the less joy we find in life, the more stress begins to creep in around the edges and the lower our state of health ultimately becomes. We all know that eating well and being active can reduce the risks of heart disease but so too can the way we think and approach life greatly impact upon our health and well being.
The path of least resistance is the path to finding wholeness.
This is not to say that we should therefore sit back and do nothing when difficulty or turmoil is encountered. Neither should we accept aggressive behaviour, toxic environments or abusive situations. There will always be events, happenings or unlooked for health issues arising for this is the nature of existence – life is challenging. But it is how we choose to act in response that will determine how we fare along the way. By acknowledging what has arisen, no matter how painful it may be, we are then able to take appropriate action.
When we draw the focus away from what we feel life should be and instead choose to respond to the situation as it unfolds we are choosing to enable emotional freedom along with a much more supple approach rather than a rigid, defined response. Nature is flexible yet immensely strong, adapting and transforming; so too where we designed to be. When we resist, we expend vast quantities of energy and miss the opportunity for growth.
When we choose to own our life and embrace who we are and the life experiences we have had, when we choose to surrender to that thing which is causing us pain – be it work, relationships, finances or health we become stronger than when we walk the path of resistance. We are able to acknowledge that there will always be some elements of life that are beyond our control. Here the only path of action is to accept the circumstance, look for what it teaches us and allow ourselves the time to explore our emotional response and feelings, allowing them to exist and to sit with these feelings that may arise.
Life is about choices. Almost everything (of course, as mentioned above there will always be events beyond our control) that happens, happens as a result of our choices; our thoughts and our emotional attachments in the moments leading up to the present. The mind is an incredibly powerful tool, so too is the personality as we allow it to exert its will upon our life. When we change the focus of our thoughts from an unconscious stream of negative patterns and begin to bring our awareness to a conscious place of observing this stream we begin to cultivate a healthier relationship with our self, with others and with everything that surrounds us. We begin to be able to acknowledge when we are in a state of resistance and are then able to bring our awareness back to a state of balance where we allow our inner light to rise and direct the focus of our life.
I find it helps sometimes to say to myself “I choose the path of least resistance and invite happiness and wholeness in to my day.” Of course, this is easy to say on days where one has a more positive demeanour but there will always be days where our emotions run away with us and we forget to remain present and aware of our surroundings. Where our worries and our fear waylay us and we forget the soulful approach to living. But each time our attention is drawn back to this conscious state of mind, our strength to overcome our egoic nature increases and we slowly become more aware – of life, the journey and of our purpose here as humans – to experience a physical life in order to enable the growth of our higher heart. And perhaps more importantly, to live a life that teaches us to trust ourselves, our inner wisdom and that infinite capacity to love, without limits, all who walk a while with us in the journey toward enlightened living.