07 mrt Why taking the path of least resistance is not a good idea
“Taking the easy road, that is experienced by your smaller self (ego) as taking ‘the path of least resistance’, is actually taking the long road and thus the path of most resistance for your higher self (soul)”
So how does this work?
Say for example a friend calls off a meeting for the third time in a row without giving any explanation. Now she’s your friend and you don’t wanna rock the boat, but deep inside this it doesn’t feel right. Now, if you would listen to your smaller self, taking the easy road would be not to say anything and swallow the uneasy feeling, right? Well, as stated above, this is taking the long road for your higher self. Why, because soon you’ll be in a similar situation, maybe with someone else this time, feeling the same unease again. And until you speak up, you will be provided this potential lesson from the universe. And that may take years for some people.
What actually happens?
Paradoxically what is actually the case is that the ‘easy road’ is the path of most resistance and therefor the long road. Why? Because you’re resisting your own feelings and body sensations in the moment and giving the steering wheel to your brain, a.k.a. your ego, that can only use past experiences as a reference. Your heart and gut tap into a totally different field of knowledge and wisdom that goes beyond the cognitive brain. Some call it intuition. During our upbringing however, we were never taught how to use and trust our own intuition.
Learning how to be with what actually happens
So now you know how this mechanism works and what actually happens, how can you use this to your advantage? Well, the challenge for most people is not to get dragged away by ones emotions or to react in line with them. So, in my experience, the most rewarding practice one can learn to develop, is to increase the space between aan external stimulus (potential trigger) and ones respons to it. When this space is less than a millisecond, then we are more often dealing with a reaction in stead of a respons. Respons comes from the word ‘responsibility’ which basically means ’the ability to respond’ or ’to provide an answer’. Now this answer is more often distorted when emotions come into play. Why? Because emotions are rooted in the past and don’t necessarily say anything about the present. Therefor, an important part of this practice is to be able to merely be with ones emotions. Feel them, reflect on what the actual source of the emotion might be. In stead of riding the emotional wave, just notice the emotion and contemplate on the trigger. This practice in itself increases the space between stimulus and respons.
For our dutch readers I created an eBook with simple and practical guidelines to help you increase the space between stimulus and respons. If you wish to receive an english copy, please let me know in the comments.