FIGHTING VERSUS FLOWING
RESISTANCE VERSUS ACCEPTANCE
I was on the final 15 minutes of my hour spin bike workout, doing intervals. There’s a point of non-resistance that has to be reached to get through those final intervals when the legs are burning and the level of fatigue makes you want to resist. A coach once said, “Your legs should be burning–let ’em”.
There’s a point where you have to give up and surrender the battle to get the last few sets of intervals done successfully.
It’s acceptance. The lungs are on fire and so are the legs and you’re pushing through to the end but if you fight this or resist it, you just can’t do it–you quit.
Today I thought about how this is just like life. I mean, on the bike you accept it, the “what is” of legs burning and the like and if you accept then the work is so much easier and you’re less likely to give up. Or said another way what you ‘do’ give up is the resistance to ‘what is’–the burn or breathlessness or whatever.
When you give up the resistance and let the mind participate with the body, allowing the merging and accepting the fact that ‘yeah, it’s what it is, until it isn’t anymore’, THAT is so liberating, especially in those final moments.
Those hour long interval workouts are like the last moments of a race. What really counts is what you do at the end when you have to dig deep and get to the finish line, especially when total exhaustion is so close.
When life becomes a crisis in some way and let’s face it, life presents challenges and if we deny this we are not living on this planet I think. At those times do we surrender? Or do we fight it? Do we want to deny what’s happening and thereby struggle against it?
We make life harder for ourselves if we struggle. I make the last 15 minutes of my workout harder if I struggle against.
This applies across the board or that’s my position in writing this. No matter what life presents us with at any given time (and sometimes life is like those last 15 minutes of an hour long interval workout at the gym–rough!)…. point is that if we feel like we have to battle it or take a position of struggling against it, we find it’s all so much harder.
So many times in life we think something shouldn’t be what it is.
We deny reality or fight against how things ‘are’ and use all kinds of tactics to deny reality somehow. It’s exhausting.
We can make this comparison with the Christian way of thinking about life being a struggle against a devil and having to fight the evil–this kind of mentality.
Another way of thinking is to simply not think–but what I really mean is allowing whatever ‘it is’ to be what ‘it is’ without the judgment.
Judgment is the christian way of dealing with life I think which comes from an idea of an ideal perfected state that we all must strive for but know we will never achieve (because they tell us that in their dogma), rather than the opposite which is giving up that fight and becoming free.
Does that mean that we don’t try to be better humans or that we stop doing our best? That’s not what I’m saying.
I’m talking about not beating one’s self up because of ‘what is’ or what isn’t during any given moment. I’m writing here about not struggling against it or making the self wrong somehow in the process.
The last 15 minutes of intervals my legs burn and I’m breathless–it’s part of life at that moment and I accept that and don’t fight against it or resist it.
When anything in happens in life, I can draw from that ability to accept what is actually happening without judgment or without making myself or Life Itself wrong. It is, after all, what is.
When my legs are burning, I don’t attach to the feeling–I let them burn.
When I’m right on the edge of breathlessness, I let it be and don’t fight against the feeling.
If I grunt or groan or tense my muscles or make a face, it’s only making it harder to simply flow with ‘what is’ in that moment. Life is like that. Life ‘is’ and there’s a certain amount of being okay with it and not judging it but simply noticing it that is very freeing, liberating.
Someone thinks a lot during meditation time. No need to fight that. Simply notice it without assigning a meaning or beating self up in any way.
Someone feels angry. I’m not saying to act the anger out and of course we shouldn’t totally repress it but one way to handle it is to notice it as simply being ‘what is’ in that moment. Or maybe for the whole day the feeling is there. In noticing it one is standing outside of it and this juxtaposition is causing separation from it emotionally.
Just like “the leg’s are burning, let ’em” that happen during my workout. It is what is and nothing last forever! ‘It is’ until it isn’t anymore and the less we can attach to it and the more we simply notice it without emotion or resistance, the realization comes clearly that nothing last forever. That’s the nature of reality: impermanence.
And impermanence is a blessing.
Acceptance of ‘what is’ in any moment is liberating and elevating.
Judgment of what is in any moment is attachment and suffering.
That’s one difference between Christianity and Buddhism although there are many good similarities as we all know.
Acceptance is surrender and surrender is Divine!
Just my two cents, hoping to have expressed this in a way that’s understandable.