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Resistances to changes

In our previous article we started to talk about habits by focusing on one kind of habit: our postures.
If you tried to challenge your posture – as a way to challenge your habits, to prevent physical discomfort or to relieve painful sensations – you may have notice that it is not so easy to bring a change in our routines. Once we are used to do something in a certain way, it becomes an easy, already practiced response to life’s situations. When we try to bring a change, this provokes resistances that makes going back to what is known in the body, effortless: postures but also behaviours, emotions or way to think and to perceive.   Automatically, we tend to respond to situations, even new situations, with what we already know, with what we already practiced. Through automatisms, we don’t need to pay much attention. It allow us to “save” energy and time.

When we intend to bring a change, means to pay more attention again, it may be perceived by our central control system as a waste of energy. Suddenly our mind produces an incredible convincing list of reasons why the change we try to bring is “useless, ineffective, a lost of time and energy”.

This kind of resistances is a manifestation of an ancient mechanism, common to all living creatures, insuring that we don’t consume too much energy in relearning again and again how to act in situations we already met. Think about using tools – driving a car, playing tennis, using a computer. Or skills like reading, speaking, socialising. A part of us belief then once we learned, we are done. Then our habits are there to simplify our life. But if we save and simplify too much, if we continue to perceive what is happening around us as already known, our life becomes much less interesting and … less alive.

Anyway, in reality, life’s situations are by definition always different: different are the people involved, different the options we have, different the social surrounding… To respond always in the same way it is not ideal, specially when we wish to experience different outcomes.
This apply also to the habits mentioned above – using tools and skills. In fact, probably, most of us have more practice in changing these kind of habits: learning something new, improving or adapting a skill like getting used to the new car. Becoming a better tennis player. Learning more about our new computer or a new program. Reading different kind of books, learning a new language or improving the one already spoken. Entering in contact with different kind of people.

We may believe that we didn’t chose these changes and challenges, that they came to us and we had to embrace them. Maybe this is true. However, it shows that we are able to do it.
Indeed, it is easier when we need to respond to external inputs. But we could train to internally generate our own changes as a way to generate more energy and stay more alive and flexible.

My recommendation is to train this, through bodyawareness, by bringing a change into your postures.
There is another reason why this kind of practice is important: it helps us to build the commitment to bring bigger changes in our life. More in the next article.

Contact me if you would like to deepen this reflection in a personal way. I will be happy to support you.

Picture taken in Val Mustair

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