by Amanda & Dylan, Relationship Coaches, Enneagram Teachers
If you’re doing inner work, then you already know of the little friend that we ALL have called ‘resistance’. Resistance arises in each of us when we feel triggered, when we are loosening our Type Structure (to learn more about Type Structure, check out Part I of this series), when the walls are coming down and there is a part of us trying to go down fighting.
Resistance shows up when we are being called to grow.
Resistance is a somatic experience in our bodies that lets us know in some way we feel threatened. As humans, this physiological response, this feeling of being threatened can show up as fight, flight, freeze, or fawn. This reaction is our way of trying to create safety, but when we can cultivate safety within ourselves, is when we begin the healing process.
Finding safety within ourselves goes against our survival instincts, but grounded presence and somatic healing teaches us that safety within ourselves is possible – and necessary.
In our training we learned that change happens in the body. That this is where new neural pathways are created. And you might be thinking, “neural-what?!” – it sounds complicated but can be simple.
Think of neural pathways like the grooves of our Type Structure – they are our automatic and conditioned behaviors, thoughts, and reactions in life. As we heal and grow, we are creating new grooves. New pathways for living as our True Self.
…you’re in a truck driving to an old, abandoned cabin in the woods, you pull up to the driveway, but it has been completely overgrown by bushes and grass. The first time you go down that driveway there are no grooves for your tires to follow, but as you continue to make that cabin a home, and continue to drive up and down the driveway, the grooves get deeper and deeper, the path gets easier to follow, and before you know it – that’s the only way you can go.
That is what the experience of building new neural pathways can be – practicing the new (and true) ways of thinking, feeling, and acting until it becomes our go-to response.
The newness takes time to not feel so uncomfortable. It might be bumpy, you might get pulled back to the old path, but ultimately you are coming back to the grooves you have intentionally formed.
Working with the intelligence of the body allows us to break the habitual mental and emotional cycles we find ourselves caught in and come back to ourselves, in the present moment.
The practice we use comes from our training with The Narrative Enneagram, who instilled in us the power and need for somatic work. While this is by no means a comprehensive overview of somatic healing, it is an introduction into how to meet your resistance with receptivity.
Because resistance is an invitation for receptivity.
That is to:
Notice the sensations arising (tightness, tingling, pressure, sweating, flushed)
Pause to give the sensations space (breathing deep in and down into the belly)
Allow the sensations to be there (give patience and grace to the felt sense)
The point of entry to our somatic experience is the Inner Observer. The Inner Observer is the neutral, non-judgmental voice within us that allows us to witness our thoughts, feelings, and sensations without attaching meaning to them.
The Inner Observer is presence – living in and being with the moment, by the moment.
As one of our beloved teachers taught us, “Insight alone does not create change”.
As you navigate your healing and growth journey, you will have resistance. It will be uncomfortable, sometimes painful, usually scary, but always healing.
Be gentle, be kind, be present, be patient when you are having a physical reaction.
Use your Inner Observer to…
Our triggers show us what we are being invited to heal, and our bodies are inviting us to begin the healing.
Amanda & Dylan