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A Sample Chapter of Thriving Work: Resistance

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This list is nowhere near complete. It is meant to get you thinking. One of Resistance’s favorite ways to operate effectively involves changing forms abruptly and regularly, especially if an old favorite no longer works as well as it had in the past. Keep a written list of your habitual excuses and the new ones that pop up from time to time.

One of the trickiest forms of resistance: the “spiritual bypass”

One of the most insidious ways we keep ourselves from becoming the best of ourselves involves what one of my mentors, Stephen McGhee, affectionately calls the ‘spiritual bypass.’ I first ran into the spiritual bypass when I asked a coach from Boulder, Colorado if she was committed to growing her business. She replied, “I’ll see what Spirit has in store for me.”

At first, I felt confused. Listening to guidance, following Spirit, discerning the voice of the divine, the voice of God are all wonderful ways to know our divinity. So, why didn’t her response feel right in my body?

Ah, because it’s Resistance, dressed up in its finest! It’s an excuse, just like all the other forms of resistance.

I heard a variation of the spiritual bypass most recently from a cancer survivor. She told me that what she had learned during her cancer journey and from volunteering with hospice is that she is not in control. She is now giving the next phase of her life some space to see what happens.

Again, I felt some conflict in my body as I heard that. I am committed to creating sacred space in my own life on a daily basis. So, what didn’t feel right to me? While I honor her understanding that we are not in control with so much of life, we still always have the precious opportunity to choose how we respond and how we move forward.

While I am not a cancer survivor and cannot even begin to imagine how it would change me if I were, I suspect that I would value the gift of life even more than I had previously after such an experience. I also sense that it would make it that much more precious to consciously choose the things I can control – what dream I’d like to move toward and what qualities of being I’d like to bring to the journey.

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