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Home : Essays on Being Human : Summer 1995

Handling Resistance


Many people feel that they have too much stress in their lives. What do we really mean by stress? The circumstances that one person finds stressful may be exciting to another. I define stress as "any external force that is met with resistance." A bridge is a stress-bearing system. By design, it handles forces placed upon it with rigidity. Biological systems respond to stress by adapting. When we first begin an exercise routine, our heart rate increases to handle the new workload. With repeated exercise, our body adapts—it becomes stronger and more efficient. The same exercise routine is no longer stressful.

We have the opportunity to handle the external forces in our lives in an infinite number of ways. When we forget this, we become rigid like the bridge.

When we identify stress in our lives, we have a choice: we can blame the external force, or we can recognize our resistance to it. When we identify rigidity in ourselves, we are taking the first step towards adapting to the forces of change in our lives. When we embrace change, our lives begin to flow; we experience alignment with our goals, and our lives begin to move in fantastic ways.

There are an infinite number of ways to manage resistance. Some people find that bodywork can help uncover deeply held resistances enabling their release and creating a more flexible body/mind. For others, counseling, yoga, meditation, or a spiritual practice can help them to face and move through their resistances. You'll find many practitioners, counselors, bodyworkers, and products in this issue of The Holistic Networker to help you to identify and embrace change in your life. I wish you all the best.

Tony Cecala,
Publisher, The Holistic Networker

©1995, Tony Cecala