Resistance and allowing

More of the same here… I keep noticing differences between allowing and resisting experience, and this is one of the simplest ones. 

When I allow any experience, there is a shift into a sense of nurturing fullness, an open heart, receptivity, humility, gratitude and a sense of reconciling – or finding gratitude for – the experience. 

When I resist any experience, there is a sense of rigidity, a closed or ambivalent heart, something to protect, separation, and being overwhelmed. 

And this seems to happen independent of the content of experience. 

This is of course all I need to know and remember. But it can be entertaining to explore it a little further as well. 

For instance…

It is an open secret. We all know it. We have all experienced it in daily life, several times. But we may not always realize or remember that we know it, or trust it enough to invite in a shift to allowing. 

When I allow experience, this includes resistance and whatever else may be going on such as confusion. Resistance, confusion and whatever else is happening is all allowed, as it is, as if it would never change, and for its own sake. It is done for the sake of allowing experience. And for the sake of what is allowed. They are all guests, allowed to be as they are. 

It is similar to what happens in choiceless awareness practice. Whatever is happening is allowed to be as it is. Any experience is a guest, coming and going on its own time. 

When experience is allowed, there is a release of identification out of the story/identity that resist a particular experience. And there is also an invitation to a shift out of content of experience in general. Here, my view is naturally more receptive to the grain of truth in other stories. My heart is more open. There is a sense of a nurturing fullness. 

When experience is resisted, even (apparently) subtly, there is an identification with a story/identity opposing the experience. There is identification within content of experience. With a story that has a corresponding identity, view, and location in time and space. With an I that has an Other. There is a sense of having to prop up and defend that story and identity. And when it is threatened, a sense of being caught up in drama. My view is more rigid. My heart ambivalent. There is a sense of precariousness. 

In terms of how I act in the world, I find that when I allow experience, I am more free from being caught up in stories. There is a sense of clarity and choice. I can explore a range of alternatives, and chose one that seems appropriate to the situation. When I resist experience, I am easier caught up in and at the mercy of certain beliefs. I more easily end up serving stories and act as if they are true. 

When experience is resisted, it often appears quite solid and real, and the label I put on it seems to fit very nicely. When it is allowed, there is often a shift in how it is experienced as well. It may appear more insubstantial and ephemeral. As something that I cannot easily put a label on, even if I want to. The initial label – pain, anger, sadness, joy, bliss – may not fit at all anymore. (Resistance seems to create the appearance of what is resisted.)

Allowing is a shift into into mimicking what I am, or inviting what I am to notice itself. (One or the other may happen, or one leads to the other.) Resistance is more of a kicking up of dust or spinning of the wheels, without really accomplishing much – apart from getting a first hand experience of the drama of a separate I… which can be juicy and entertaining enough! 

And to clarify, when I say allowing/resisting experience, that includes whatever is happening. Whatever is alive in immediate awareness, whether it in a conventional sense can be filtered as inside or outside of this human self. 

Finally, when there is a shift from resisting to allowing experience, there is also a shift from seeing experience (whatever is going on) as a problem to seeing it as a gift. To put it in a more dramatic way, it goes from being poison to medicine. And there is often a natural and genuine gratitude there, for the experience as it is and the shift. 


Initial outline…


  • any experience
    • allow: nurturing fullness, healing, open heart, receptivity, humility, gratitude
    • resist: rigidity, closed/ambivalent heart, overwhelmed, etc. 

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