Routines pt. 4

So, you have a routine that’s working for you. Or maybe several routines that get you throughout your day, or your week. You’re not in a rut, and you’re mindfully going along. The routine’s in place, and now you can avoid any discomfort where your routine is concerned.

Wrong. The discomfort may just be what you want.

If the discomfort is Resistance. As Steven Pressfield said of Resistance, “We experience it as an energy field radiating from work-in-potential. It’s a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work.”

One of the sad things about a routine is that Resistance can use it to discourage us from doing real work. We issue excuses about it not being a part of the routine. We quantify and qualify our responses. We demur.

However, if we’re mindful, and honest, we’ll notice whether or not it’s the work that we need to be doing.

When fear leads

There are times when doing that one thing seems so scary, it’s nearly impossible to take the first step. Fear stopping you in your tracks; leading you away from your goals.

Steven Pressfield calls this the resistance. But it has many names. Practicality. Complacency. Normalcy.

The vast majority of us are just skating by, no more sure of ourselves than any other. What we consider to be normal is that same fear leading all of us.

What happens when you give fear the backseat? What do you do? The truth is, only you can answer that. But I bet you it feels a hell of a lot better than letting fear have control.

Revisiting resistance

I wrote this about two months ago, after diving deep into my yoga practice.

I’m stretching out the muscles in my legs.

As I’m stretching them out, pushing forwards and backwards on my legs, alleviating the tension that builds up, I notice the resistance. Resistance that is met in a forward bend and backward bend. And just as the resistance becomes so terrible, so unbearable, the tension releases. I can feel the muscle actually give way – it sort of vibrates, and then it’s loose.

I think of it as a metaphor for all resistance we face. I don’t push the stretch to the point where the muscle will tear. That would do irreparable harm. But I’m finding the space just past comfortable, where I’m living in the state of discomfort, until the muscle finally gives. The resistance breaks.

You must lean into the points, as Pena Chödrön says.

Over the past few months, reestablishing my yoga practice, I’ve had to remember this more and more.

My first website

Honestly, my first “website” was probably my MySpace account. (Man, that thing is still hanging out in the cyberworld…)

But, I went ahead and published http://www.mikeosowski.com – nearly a full year after buying the domain. Why so long?

Resistance. The desire for perfection. What’s on the site? Very little. Some links to other sites. My acting resume. Photos from some productions, That’s it. Not more than a desktop with three sticky notes on it. But now it’s up.

And, “Good today is better than perfect tomorrow.”

Stretching past resistance

I’m stretching out the muscles in my legs.

As I’m stretching them out, pushing forwards and backwards on my legs, alleviating the tension that builds up, I notice the resistance. Resistance that is met in a forward bend and backward bend. And just as the resistance becomes so terrible, so unbearable, the tension releases. I can feel the muscle actually give way – it sort of vibrates, and then it’s loose.

I think of it as a metaphor for all resistance we face. I don’t push the stretch to the point where the muscle will tear. That would do irreparable harm. But I’m finding the space just past comfortable, where I’m living in the state of discomfort, until the muscle finally gives. The resistance breaks.

You must lean into the points, as Pena Chödrön says.