20 March 2015 2 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 39: Identity & Resistance to Choice & Change, Doing & Being

Identity is a tar baby. When we punch it we get our mitts stuck.

From the point of view of identity, Being differently is subtilely tantamount to a kind of death. Change is considered not being “yourself” any more. Change occurs more smoothly when we do not make it about who we ARE. Simply leaning into the moment and making an aware choice, just for now, works magic over time.

Let’s use rigidity in shifting from Doing to Being as an example. Someone defines herself as a person who never lets down and relaxes is likely to find spending a week relaxing on a beach daunting or disagreeable. Changing this orientation could feel like having to be a different person. Pressure to change would evoke resistance. Going to the beach and finding something to do there, or practicing relaxing for a little while might be fine. Then it’s not about having to BE someone different, it’s just a choice in the moment.

IMG_0047Discerning our most beneficial response in the moment produces evolution. Keeping with the moment reduces self-conscious, ego-based meddling, and assumptions that spring from grand ideas about potential results. We may have a sense of Becoming, or visions of a potentialities, but each step occurs in the moment—where the action always is.

Non-attachment to the results of our labors is a traditional spiritual value. Applying it with respect to whom and what we become over time helps free us from the confines of identity, which is a limitation on the spiritual path.

From within our moment-to-moment experience, we cannot realize possibilities with which we do not yet resonate. Such potentialities are hopes, wishes, abstractions, or ideals; images of what we “should/could be,” out in the future.

Real choice in the moment requires the ability to call up the energies and create the internal conditions necessary to actualize that choice. For example, we may wish to be loving during conflict. To actually BE loving, we need to call forth the energy of love, creating first inside ourselves a true willingness to open to that love. Then we are able to alter our responses and circumstances.

The things that do and do not occur to us to do, the ways we are able to respond, and the choices that appear before us are contingent upon our “state” and our development. “State” includes: all that we are exposed to, whatever new layer of Self is ready to emerge, any wounds are currently activated or echoing in the background, and the energies we intentionally cultivate.

Our capacity for choice is predicated by the energies associated with our habitual states. In general, we are most able to influence that to which we expose ourselves and the energies we intentionally cultivate. These choices influence our state and our conditions. Cultivating positive influence and energy inspires a wider or more favorable palette of choices.

One advantage of having role models is that they tacitly suggest possibilities and ways of running our energy that do not occur to us on our own.

When we experience futility, feeling stuck, resistance, and a sense of impossibility, we are usually referencing concepts, ideas, and wounds that have become crystalized as parts of self-concept or identity. If, instead of pulling away from it, we gently embrace our sense of limitation—without identifying with the limited state—we become much more able to change our energy.

Changing our energy opens previously unavailable possibilities.

Real choice about how we run our energy in the moment is powerful magic. It requires Doing and Being at same time.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you tend to become stuck in Doing:

  • Is Doing, at the particular moment, a choice or an automatic behavior?
  • Is Doing a defense against feeling?
  • If so, what are you trying to avoid?
  • What might happen if you suspend automatic Doing?
  • Is your current Doing based on any particular values or discernment?
  • What is your Highest Option and most important value in this particular moment?

Which one of these questions is the most on point for YOU at this point in time?

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2 Responses to “Managing Your Energy, Part 39: Identity & Resistance to Choice & Change, Doing & Being”

  1. Therese 20 March 2015 at 8:26 pm #

    I use to be all about “doing.” I don’t know what happened nor when it happened but I have come to a place that is the exact opposite of doing. It’s a very odd place to be and it feels weird. However, I am embracing this place. I find I have no desire to do anything. All I want to do is meditate, sit or sleep in Nature, and experience no input except for the sounds of Nature. I’ve become silent and this is a 180 from my normal behavior. I use to distract myself easily but, now, I am absorbed in my awareness. I LOVE this way of being in the world.

    I do find myself wondering how one lives in this place because I don’t find it very productive. I feel zero motivation to get things done. I wonder if it’s like sleep, once you’ve gotten enough you wake up refreshed and ready to go. Maybe if I’m quiet and unstressed long enough, one day I will suddenly feel like engaging in the external world again.

    I realize what I’m experiencing is the opposite of what you wrote about. It’s simply where I’m at and it’s definitely related. So maybe you know what I’m talking about and can address it in a future post? Anyway, thanks for listening.

    With Love,

    • Teresa Dietze 27 March 2015 at 6:49 pm #

      Hi Therese,

      I addressed this some in my reply to you on the next post. Didn’t find this one until yesterday.




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