Complex Living

Whenever I have someone come visit I get to see how I live through the eyes of an outsider. My “simple living” lifestyle seems to be quite complex when I consider it in this way.  There are many things I end up explaining.

First, it they want hot water, I tell them it is off during the summer and takes about 15 minutes to heat up.  “Just let me know and I’ll switch it on at the breaker.”  The compost toilet is easier to explain and I have instructions posted next to it.

This morning my guest questioned me about my breakfast.  My cast iron pan with chili and rice just “showed up” all heated, “Where did that come from?”  I explained that I have a hot plate outside that I use in the summer in order to avoid heating up the house more than I have widow spider

Last night my guest was going to help me put out my laundry on the line, but she was hesitant to walk through my laundry room when I introduced her to the resident black widow.  She is a very fine spider and is slowly taking over the small space with an elaborate web.  I am still baffled about where she came from.  I haven’t seen a black widow since I lived in rural California.

The quirks in my lifestyle seem to go on and on.  I weigh and measure most of my food and much of the food in the fridge is in individual servings.  This is unusual since I cook all my food from scratch.  Lost of glass containers.  It really is quite lovely.

There is no dining room table to eat on and the living room is a big empty space perfect for internal arts practice or just rolling around on the floor.  No sofa to sit on there.  I love my space.  The set up just reflects my living choices.  I don’t really notice how different I am to others until they come over and I think about it.


I could feel it on the way to work today.  Resistance.  Not much, but it was an undercurrent playing in the background.  Yesterday morning I looked at my schedule for today and was pleased to find it was completely empty.  I had some things I wanted to do around the house in preparation for my out-of-town guest (arriving that evening) and having no clients would be fine.

Then someone snatched up the first slot of the day.  This would not have been any big deal if I was working at home, but I was on call from 9am to 4pm at the Hawaiian Experience Spa in Scottsdale. If I have to go in for a 9am massage, then it makes the most sense for me to stay at the spa rather than risk driving the half hour home only to be called back in.

As I drove in I acknowledged the resistance.  I had been trying to ignore it.  No sense feeling unhappy about the massage appointment when there was nothing I could do about it.  Still there was that undercurrent of not wanting to go in.  I wanted to have the day go my way.  That is really what it is all about.  I had a plan and I wanted it my way.

Running current through a material with high resistance creates heat. In this picture, a cartridge heater is glowing red hot due to resistance. Similarly, people with resistance tend to heat situations up.

Resistance is the greatest energy sap I can think of.  Resistance takes whatever joy is around and clouds it over.  When I speak of resistance, I am talking about energy that is just being used to fight against something that simply is. Sometimes the thing that “is” is something that cannot be changed, but other times it is possible to change the situation.

For instance, in my case, if I had seen the appointment and decided I didn’t want to do it, I could have called the office and asked for them to give it to someone else.  Instead, I decided I wanted to do it.  At least part of me wanted to do the massage more than I didn’t want to do the massage.  Rarely is any decision made with 100% of my being.  The resistance I was feeling was the drag the minority of me was putting up against the direction the majority of me decided to take.

That’s how it goes with resistance.  Many times I have found that part of me fights against something that “I” have decided to go along with.  Awareness is once again the key to peace.

I confronted the resistor within and affirmed my decision.  Then I turned my back on the rumblings.  The best way to get rid of unwelcome resistance is to focus on what is good and cultivate acceptance.

One trick I use is to “give thanks in all circumstances”. (A nice story about this can be found in my book, The Answers Are Within – Volume 1.)  I decided to believe that this day was being created in a way that really did serve me and all my needs perfectly.  This is an example of Reframing; another great way to get rid of resistance.  I chose to let go of my resistance (and these days it is easy for me – I’ve been practicing this for twenty years) and I resolved to be totally present for the massage.

How did it go?

Went great!  After the massage, I felt ready to leave the spa.  I trusted my intuition.  I decided to get an adjustment at My Chiropractor. When that was over, I decided to get some gas and then get air in my tires.  Before long, I found myself at home – still on call.  I opted to write this post and as I go to publish this I have made it through the day without being called back in.

So, actually a perfect day.  A nice balance of work and taking care of somethings I might not have done if I wasn’t “forced” out of the house.  But the true victory is not the positive outcome.  The true victory is that even if I would have been called back in I would have been peaceful.  Victory over resistance is a gem.

Reflection:  What am I resisting?  What am I saying, “No way” too?  Is it possible to be in faith and resist what is?  How is internal resistance and “drag” different from action directed at change?


Reframing is an intellectual process by which a situation that was initially experienced as unpleasant or judged as negative is viewed in such a way as to seem beneficial or positive.

For example:  Due to illness I was unable to go to work (negative situation) and missed the calamity that happened at work that day (positive).

Reframing is a spiritual tool that reduces stress and leads to more personal peace.