Coaching Corner Spring 2017 with Sue Van Raes

Reveal Your Resistance

By: Sue Van Raes

It is the time of year when every part of us begins to turn towards the light of spring. A lot of transformation is occurring – the season’s new growth, the fresh spring greens pushing through the earth’s thawing surface, the natural cleansing of our bodies as we emerge into spring.

The vibration of spring is the newness and birth of life. Energy draws up and out from deep within the earth. We begin to expand, clear, and free up stagnant energy in our bodies and our minds.

The senses wake up and we begin ANEW.

The liver is the dominant organ of spring, cleansing and clearing the stored excess we have housed during the colder days and nights of winter. This could be physical body weight, toxicity, or inflammation. We may also store emotional expressions – primarily anger, irritation and angst are said to be stored in the liver. Although most of us enjoy the shift from winter to spring, just like we see reflected in nature, we may have to overcome a common experience in ourselves: Resistance.

Similar to the seed’s potential energy pushing through rock and dirt to find the light of day, we may need to push through some more stubborn layers within ourselves to expand into our fullness.

I have learned a lot about my resistance in the past few years. The times I would rather not follow through, not go, not try. There are tasks that make me uncomfortable, and elaborate ways in which I avoid them for weeks at a time. There are excuses I automatically jump to in order to avoid pushing myself into something new, and most importantly, there is what happens when I break through to the other side.

In fact, resistance has become an important teacher for me.

Resistance helps me find my edge. It offers me a new way. It shows me where I am limiting myself or where I get stuck. So, I befriended resistance. 

Often, we repeat our old behaviors out of fear. We don’t know what is coming, so our minds choose something with which we are already familiar.

Looking our resistance in the eye can give us a chance to inquire into why it is arising:

  • Fear of failure
  • Vulnerability
  • Shame
  • Avoiding feelings we would rather not feel
  • Engaging in a limiting belief
  • Believing the stories that our mind tells us (that we are not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough)
  • Being uncomfortable with change or something new

Our obstacles can show us a new way of doing things, or a new plan for the future. In many spiritual traditions, or from the yogic perspective, when we meet our resistance, a new element is needed. The way ahead is blocked for a reason, and until you find the key element, the obstacle will remain in place or even grow. The key element may be a new idea, a new feeling, a new attitude, a new intention or a new piece of information.

Acknowledging the fear of unfamiliar ways, new beginnings, and the releasing of the old is strong medicine when looking ahead at the beginning of a season. When you loosen your grip on these old ways and open yourself to possibility, a comforting sense of freedom and lightness emerges. Resistance can guide our way.

When you notice your resistance arise, pause, and ask yourself: “Why?”

Remember, on the other side of resistance are qualities such as freedom, expansion, breakthrough, trust, openness, blossoming potential, personal power, satisfaction and love. The steppingstones to our dreams and desires begin with slow and steady footholds, inner listening and attention to our inner landscape, a strong vision, and daily practice.

Resistance will always show up to challenge our strength and refine our commitment, and when embraced, we can and will move mountains.

As you begin to reveal what it is you are seeking this spring – the process your intentions are leading you through and calling you to explore, you may want to look your resistance straight in her eyes and make friends. Hone your female intuition, dance with your darkness and fear, and let your obstacles show you the way home.

 
Reflections

The following steps will help you begin a dialogue with your inner self, your intuition, and your deepest yearning.

Our resistance shrinks when it is acknowledged. Its sneaky presence and its trickster approach shrivel up when our light is shone upon it. Some of our resistance is internal, mental, and habitual, while some is external, financial, earthly and even beyond our control.

  • Sit down and take a few breaths to prepare for this exercise.
  • Think about your life and ask yourself the following: What are my biggest resistances (feelings, habits, attitudes, beliefs) towards fulfilling my intentions this spring?
  • Write them down.
  • How strong is each of those resistances from 1-10? Write this down beside each item as well.

Take some time to get super honest and real about this. We looked at many of the reasons for resistance above and how subtle, or even subconscious they can be. Some of them are hard to admit to ourselves, and some are surely hard to admit to others, but remember, we all experience resistance in one way or another, and we must practice acknowledging them before we can let them go.

  • Move some energy through your body and your palate to create freedom, self-love and pleasure.
  • Follow either of both of the following cleansing spring recipes for a gentle detox.

Alkalizing Broth

Alkaline broth is nature’s vegetable medicine made into a tasty cleansing gentle detoxification for you. Your cells will thank you greatly.

The Goods: 

2 potatoes

4 carrots

4 stalks of celery (with leaves)

2 leeks

2 onions (or more in the fall)

5 cloves garlic (optional)

2 beets

1 full head of Swiss chard (or another leafy green)

Buy organic and local as much as you can. If you are on a tight budget, the potatoes and greens are the most important to get organic.

The Method:

Aside from the onion and garlic, do not peel, just clean well or soak. Chop all ingredients.

The smaller the chopping, the more nutrients and essence will be released into the broth. (If you have a Cuisinart or other food processor, this is incredible. Use to chop into small pieces.)

In a stainless steal pot (no aluminum), place all chopped vegetables with 1-1/2 quarts of water. Add any herbs and spices you like, such as cumin, paprika, cayenne, basil, oregano, and many others…

Cover and bring to a boil for about ½ hour. Let stand for another ½ hour. Strain through a colander and drink only the both.  Compost away the veggies, as by this point all the nutrients have gone into the broth and there are none left in the pulp.

“Maca-rama” Spring Detox Smoothie

Each of these delightful spring ingredients was hand chosen to gently support your liver and adrenals in building strength and vitality to support your body, mind and soul. Enjoy.

The Goods:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 cup broccoli sprouts

5 oz. vanilla protein powder

2 tbsp. maca root powder

1 tsp. flax seeds

12 oz. coconut water

The Method:

Toss all ingredients in a blender. Blend for 30-45 seconds until mixture is smooth. Pour into a jar and enjoy!

Sue is the founder of Boulder Nutrition, local yoga instructor, and retreat facilitator. Sue founded, Boulder Nutrition in 2003, and teaches a combination of yoga, nutrition and food psychology in her practice.
Sue leads both individual programs, and on-going women’s groups and retreats both locally and internationally.
Sue’s insight on nutrition and food psychology has been featured in numerous publications, including People Magazine, Natural Solutions Magazine, and Elephant Journal.
Sue’s mission is to help heal the feminine through food, mind-body connection and pleasure.
Check out her book Health Wise, and her new ORIGINAL online course – Eat.Pray.Yoga. For Women.