Posted by: joannabrandi | December 21, 2007

Surfacing resistance

When I got to my “Flow” class last night I saw my regular teacher dashing out the door. She had to rush and get one of her children. She must have noticed my dismay (It’s hard to hide anything on my face) and said to me. “It’s okay, Lisa’s teaching.”

Great, I’m thinking, who’s Lisa and what is she teaching? Subs usually teach a different class – yoga, pilates or some combo thereof. “She’s teaching Flow – you’ll like it,” she said as she read my mind (or face) and dashed.

Several “regulars” were leaving, not wanting to stay for a second class without their favorite teacher. I only take one class and so was committed to my workout, no matter who was teaching.

I walked into the studio and was immediately disturbed when asked to turn my mat in the “other” direction. “Uh-oh” my system thought, “This isn’t the same.”

Lisa turned the music on. The volume was much too low, we’re used to LOUD music. She began the first routine. Nice, mellow, but wait! That’s not the next step, it’s different.

It’s at that moment that I jumped out of myself and began to be the “observer” of my behavior. (It’s a really good skill to have.) Look at me, a woman who teaches about change and goes to a class on “flow” unable to flow with the changes, small ones, happening in that class. Hmmm.

An object lesson in resistance! And look at who is resisting. Now that’s a laugh.

So I took the class (once I worked through my resistance I liked it quite a bit) and then took the lessons and talked to a friend about them.

Here’s what I learned: Resistance is natural and even when you know that, it still takes you off guard and impacts you. While focused on the thing that was not happening the way you wanted it to, you’re not focused on finding the joy in the experience.It’s important to surface resistance early and deal with it head on.Being grateful for what is, rather than resentful for what isn’t is the ticket out the uncomfortable place.   Even a grown, aware, intelligent woman still acts like a kid when things don’t go the way she expects them to. (Some things never change.)

Don’t we all just want it the way we want it?

Happy Holidays



  1. Do you realize how on point this is as we head into the holidays, where (to paraphrase you a bit): “Things in our relationships don’t always happen the way we want them to, and we focus on what we don’t have rather than the joy that’s present?” I’ve been struggling with all kinds of resistance; this is a wonderful reminder for my personal and professional life:

    “Being grateful for what is, rather than resentful for what isn’t, is the ticket out of the uncomfortable place.”

    Brilliant! Thank you.

  2. I just read this and had to say, “Amen” on resistance to change. Being in my 50’s and thinking that I have already been there, done that, know this and that….. well, I don’t and changing positions in your work life, changing an attitude that we have had for years or trying to change a dress size, we resist and don’t necessarily think that it is so bad. That “ticket out of the uncomfortable place” sometimes has a very high price, but well worth it!

    Thank you for such great insight!

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