Resistance is how we prepare to fail

Finding functional movement options in the face of fear-worthy situations

As I prepare for my upcoming workshop, How We Get In Our Way: Our Hidden Habits of Resistance, I am immersed in reflections on resistance and how it functions in my life.  When I approach something new and uncertain, I fill that uncertainty gap with something – a form of resistance to what is (or might be) coming.

Resistance is how we prepare to fail – a kind of protection that hardens us as we prepare for the unknown.  

One clue to resistance is our breath.  When we are not sure about our next move, we often hold our breath as a small hidden habit of protection, preparation.   Think about when you move to lift something that you are not sure you will be able to move.  Preparation tends to look like tightening up, moving into a posture to support ourselves to lift, holding our breath and then making the attempt to lift.

It is like revving your engine, waiting for a green light and pressing hard down on the brake – we get in our own way.

One big difference between holding your breath and breathing through your movement is that when we breath in an uninterrupted way, our senses remain full.  When we prepare for uncertain success and keep breathing, we are more able to keep sensing and keep learning from the information coming in through our senses.

As I prepare to lift, maybe one of my hands is not placed as precisely as it could be to support the weight. Maybe one foot needs to be slightly more to the center to play a good supporting role. Maybe the alignment of my knees over my feet needs to be refined so I can more easily lift and unfold myself to standing upright.  Holding your breath as you make your attempt to lift tends to shut down how available you are to make these finer perceptions and finer adjustments.

Breathing opens you to more fully access your somatic resources when you try.  And, truth is, you may fail to lift on the first attempt.  But your failures includes more information about how to shape your second attempt.  Without this hidden habit of resistance, you can fail forward and live to try again.

Interested in learning more?  Join me in my weekly online class, Vitamin MM: Mindful Movement.  With 2 classes each week, we de-construct our habits of movement and explore new ways to coordinate and sense options to adapt and move more freely, so embedded fear is likely powerful in shutting us down and limiting how we move in our life.

Learn more and register at:

You can also check out my monthly free online workshop where we explore and learn how to age younger, move better and reduce your experience of pain and suffering through awareness, movement and more functional movement.

Learn more and register at: