Resist nothing and you shall receive more than you ever imagined. That's easier said than done, right? Because, our nature as human beings is to move toward pleasure and away from pain. We go for the things, people and situations that please us and avoid those that don’t.
But here’s a little secret. The Universe works in amazing ways if you stop resisting. One of the characteristics of awakened consciousness is to have no preferences. Can you imagine living in a state of mind in which you’re good with everything as it is? Sounds impossible right?
It’s not. You can meditate on having no preferences, and you can meditate on cultivating total acceptance for all that is. When you do this, you’ll begin to experience a feeling of freedom that’s completely liberating. Think of how much more content you’d be if you just stopped resisting. (Learn more in Exploring Aversion.)
Our pets are a wonderful example of a totally accepting little being. All in all, they’re completely accepting of all your little quirks and foibles. And what do they receive? From any sane human being, they get unconditional love, a lifetime of happiness and all their needs met.
Meditation to Curb Resistance
So how do we build our resist-less muscles? We cultivate patience, for starters. And this can be done through our meditation practice; tolerance is also key. And again, a regular meditation practice helps you become a more tolerant human being.
"If you’re irritated by every rub, how will your mirror ever be polished?” -Rumi
As yogis, we want to polish our mirror, so that we can see clearly and experience life just as it is in the present moment. We want our mind to become still, like the deep waters of the sea, as opposed to a wacky traveling circus. From this mental state we can resist less and accept everything. We can be totally at ease in each and every moment – regardless of external circumstances. (Learn about Listening to Your Inner Voice.)
The higher Self doesn’t resist anything. The true self is only a source of peace and love. It’s the ego that has preferences, likes, dislikes, wants, needs and desires. But imagine for a moment what it would feel like to have no preferences at all. You'd be okay with however things go or are. This is one quality of the awakened Self – to have no preferences whatsoever.
Learn to Breathe
Close your eyes and rest in a state of not knowing. Pretend you don’t know anything about anyone or anything. You’re wide open because you simply don’t know. Breathe deeply into this state of not knowing. Doesn’t it feel good? Can’t you just feel yourself letting go of resistance as you do this? (Experience The Freedom in Letting Go.)
The ego loves to control everything, which is why it also resists so many things. But this only gets us into trouble when we find ourselves in the hard places – the places that hurt us and scare us and leave us feeling groundless. There’s a lot we simply don’t have control of, even if we THINK we do. When we rest in our true nature, we know this truth, and we know that there is a place within us that’s indestructible. It can hold everything – even the things we’ve resisted for our entire lives.
Trying to control people, situations, and outcomes is impossible. The more we do it, the crazier we feel. Can we just let go? Can we just allow everything to simply be as it is?
Take another moment and close your eyes. Sit with the thought, “I allow everything to be as it is.” In this state there’s no need to change anything at all. Just allow it all to be – exactly as it is – in this moment. You'll feel yourself relaxing when you do this while a natural state of ease takes over. Sit with this for a moment, and breathe into the freedom and contentment that comes when you allow everything and everyone to be as they are. (Read more in The Practice of Surrender.)
These little practices of resisting less are really important; one day everything will feel like it's falling apart and you'll need this inner strength to overcome your state of overwhelm. One of your loved ones might be diagnosed with cancer, you could be betrayed by your partner or maybe your pet may die. Everything is impermanent. Everything, except your soul and the souls of those beings you love. But when things DO fall apart - if you can practice resting in your awakened state for just a little bit every day - you’ll be able to navigate life’s challenges in a more truthful and peaceful way. You’ll also have a lot more compassion for yourself and others. This is one of the most important characteristics of a yogi. (Read on in How to Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed.)
Resist less and you’ll receive more, more of everything you never knew you needed and yet always knew you did. Life is wondrous – and even more so when we stop controlling, and instead, open to the present moment where everything is actually as it should be. (Learn more in Practicing Aparigraha (Non-Attachment).)