No Resistance = Joy Joy Joy / by Dana Bergstrom

When I resist the joy of life, I like to do it with flair -- yelling, jumping, arm waving, and lunging at Pauly with my sharp teeth.

The perfect example of resistance is a cockatoo video on YouTube, the one where the bird doesn’t want to go to the vet.

As soon as I saw it, I began laughing hysterically.

Max, the cockatoo, mumbles about his resistance until the 1:25 mark. That's when he gets really fired up! It's also how I knew Max was my long lost, feathery twin.

Me: OMG, Pauly! This is me when I’m mad, isn’t it?

Pauly: Pretty much.

When extra upset, I throw my head and body around exactly like this angry bird. There's a groove to my hollering cadence and I'm moved into a percussive trance. As a feral human who's naturally drawn to big energy, it's easy to get swept up in the wildness of it all.

The basis of resistance is fear, which also morphs into worry, anger, sadness, and trying too hard.

These five attitudes are simply descriptors of one thing - pushing away joy.

What about other forms of resistance like judgment, frustration, jealousy, physical pain, etc.?

I wondered this myself and discovered that they all easily fall into one of those five categories of resistance, defined in the practice of Jin Shin Jyutsu (JSJ).

As a result of practicing my own JSJ self-help holds and becoming more conscious in general, I can feel the contrast of the attitudes in my body. I’m getting pretty good at noticing when I’m pushing away joy.

But I don’t always choose joy.

Sometimes I choose Diet Coke, which numbs me out for a bit, then it turns me into a feisty cage fighter wannabe, then I think I need the world's largest margarita to come down from that, because I don't really want to chew Pauly's arm off since one-armed remodeling projects would take waaaaay too long.

I initiate this cycle of ingesting shit beverages whenever I don’t feel like looking directly at my resistance/fear.

It’s not bad. It’s just not particularly productive.

Except for when it is.

I’ve also found that I unconsciously use substances to experience the contrast of feeling good and then feeling like utter crap.

My friend Marian pointed out that this drastic contrast can act as a springboard to more clarity.

I know what I DON’T want, so now it’s clearer what I DO want and I can focus on that.

Whenever I choose to experience chemical induced contrast, I judge myself much less for it now.

In fact, I’m at the point where I rarely judge myself about it at all.

Because if I sit in judgment of myself or anyone else, I feel like shit and joy can't find me.

And one thing that's become super clear is this:

I came here to be joyful.