Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Resistance to change is such a strange phenomenon. I've decided that I want to improve something in my life--acquire a positive habit, chase a dream--and when the moment to take action arrives, I just don't want to do it.
I know what resistance feels like. It feels like procrastination--like the sudden desire to take a nap, read a book, or call someone who loves to chat when I'm supposed to be doing my thing. I've seen it in others, seen my husband get up to fix a bowl of ice cream and then reach for the newspaper when I've brought up the subject of money. To experience it face to face, however, is the strangest feeling.
Anyone who has children or has cared for children knows about the witching hour. The witching hour happens like clockwork around 6:00 p.m. and is usually characterized by whining, tantrums, and tears in younger children, and dramatic descriptions of gossip, betrayal, broken friendships--followed by whining, stomping, and tears in older children. Everyone is tired, hungry, and cranky. The witching hour is often the lowest point in my day, and I've spent many hours figuring out ways to make it easier. I truly despise those moments, crowded with snarling, squabbling children, dirty dishes, and no dinner prepared.
Then the moment arrives. I've worked hard to take some of the fangs out of the witching hour. Dinner is ready, the kitchen is clean, and all I have to do is run a bath for my youngest because I know that getting her bath out of the way will make things easier. There's just one problem. I. Don't. Want. To. Do. It. I just don't. There's mail to go through, laundry to fold, paperbacks to be read. I've unmasked the resistance yet I hear its siren song pulling me to any task but the one that is most important to me in that moment. What can I do?
I can set my timer for ten minutes and just do it. I can postpone the resistance for ten minutes, and maybe it will go away. If it doesn't, I'll have earned a break for ten minutes, and then I can get back to the task at hand.
Right now, for instance, I have spent my yoga time writing this blog post. Now the desire to practice yoga is strong. I really want to press the round "enter" button on the remote and start the DVD. I know that if I do, I'll put myself 20 minutes behind in my morning routine and end up stressed out and yelling at my children to hurry up, we're running late. So much for the calm of yoga. I'll behave myself, reschedule my yoga practice and get a jump on my morning. Resistance can be mastered.

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