Wellness Institute Blog

How do you overcome the existential issue that involves resistance to life?

Posted by Diane Zimberoff  May 6, 2015 9:00:00 AM


To heal resistance to life,  first one needs to become aware that it is an issue for you.

We have given you a beginning introduction to existential issues and specifically the one called resistance to life, one of the most prevalent. You are probably wondering how you can heal this and that certainly is not an easy answer.

As we have mentioned, in order to explore the complexities of the deep unconscious, it is required that you have the proper tools in your tool box. Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy (HCH) would be like the importance of having the latest computer in order to store the vast amounts of information and then to find the relevant files easily. Attempting to use only the limited conscious mind is akin to using the old typewriter to search for files that just can’t be stored there. Expecting talk therapy to help you discover your existential issues would be like searching through mounds and mounds of old papers from your whole life/existence that have been stored up in the attic.

The Beginning of the Process and the Tools We Use

First of all, awareness does begin in the conscious mind. We use present day life experiences to begin the search for the bigger picture of your life, the dominant patterns and the deeply ingrained beliefs and assumptions. We have many questionnaires in our books and training manuals that will point the way to your existential issues.  Just answering some of the simple questions we presented in our first blog on this topic will give you some clues.

Second, many people begin their journey of self discovery with individual hypnotherapy sessions with one of the thousands of  trained professionals doing this HCH work.  Once you have begun to be comfortable with HCH and explored your personal and family issues in this lifetime, you may be ready to move on. We have many levels of professional training available to our students which provide them with the tools to do their own healing, and in the process to learn how to heal others. We, as a training community, have had the epiphany that if we are unable or unwilling to explore our own personal transformation, then we will tend to collude with the fears and excuses of our clients. We can only take our clients as far as we are able to grow.

An example of this is that a client who has resistance to life may often find excuses why they have to miss a session or stop therapy altogether. If we have not addressed our fears of looking at our own issues, we may ‘buy’ their excuses and collude with their defenses by not asking them to look at what their resistance may be. Therapists who have not addressed their own substance abuse issues inadvertently look the other way when clear signs of substance abuse or food addictions are very obvious in their clients. We make excuses for them and rescue them when they don’t do what they have intended to do.

Third, after many individual sessions, we offer the client and our students our next level of personal growth. For our professional students, this is called our Internship program; for the general public it is the Personal Transformation Intensive (PTI)®. In both cases, this work is done in groups which provides several important components of the next level of healing.


The Internship or PTI Takes Us Deeper and Keeps Us Honest

We have discovered that our conscious mind is very good at thinking, analyzing and debating. However, it is like a defiant little child that does not like to be disagreed with or be confronted with the bigger picture of ourselves. The conscious mind often prefers to keep things linear and concrete. By doing this altered state work in a group, our consciousness expands exponentially. You may wonder why that is. It is because in one-on-one relationships, including with a therapist, the client can present the picture of themselves that they want him/her to see. Jung calls this our persona or our out front personality. When sitting in a comfortable chair, in a therapy office, dressed in our work clothes, our persona is completely in charge. Oh, we may shed a few tears about how dreadful we have been treated by others, never having to take any responsibility for our own part in the dramas.

This is the beauty of moving from individual conscious mind therapy to deeper altered state work; our out front persona becomes secondary and our inner child parts, sometimes referred to as shadows, can be more clearly seen. Besides moving into altered state work, the real beauty of the Internship or PTI groups is that we are more visible to an entire group of people. When in this group, it is at first akin to our own family. This is especially effective when the work is done over three to four days in a retreat setting where everyone eats, shares a room, and shares the therapy work together. No more Mr. Nice Guy (persona)! The child parts emerge and can be more easily seen and identified by the trainers/therapists and everyone else in the group.

Now what might take an individual therapist years of relationship building to see in a client, usually emerges within the first or second weekend in an Internship or PTI group. Actually the resistance to life issues can often be seen before the group even begins.


11 examples of the subconscious mind getting in the way

  1. The person who has enrolled for the program, made arrangements and paid their money and then calls up with some seemingly good reason why they can no longer keep their commitment. It is important to distinguish between the “noble” reasons offered and the “real” reasons unspoken.
  2. The client who regularly cancels appointments or becomes a no show, perhaps without ever even calling.
  3. The next level of resistance can often be some personal or family emergency used as an excuse to not keep their agreement. We often tell people that when they make a commitment to explore their shadow parts, those parts may not want to be discovered or brought out into the light. That is exactly why Dr. Jung named them shadow parts. They would rather operate below the radar since that is what seems to give them more power. Remember, those child parts can be sneaky, and our ego is often very willing to let them get away with their subterfuge.
  4. We discuss that life does go on during the entire time we are exploring and healing these deeper parts of ourselves. So perhaps family members or friends will get sick, some will die, babies will be born and children will grow up and get married. We, ourselves, may even get sick. But none of those are excuses not to continue our personal transformation work. In order to heal existential issues, we must have the fortitude, commitment and dedication to our own personal healing and not let anything get in our way. Once we start on the life journey of healing, we cannot let these shadow parts fool us by creating obstacles or putting roadblocks up in our way.
  5. The next benefit of doing this transpersonal healing in a group is that, perhaps for the first time, we have support and safety. We at The Wellness Institute have learned over the more than thirty years of doing professional group trainings, that safety and support is the foundation of our communities. We have developed the clearing process, which is a safe and facilitated method for the whole group to be able to see the shadow parts in ourselves and in others. This takes time and a buildup of trust.
  6. The foundation of trust revolves around commitment. Without commitment, there is always the fear of abandonment. Remember, the fear of abandonment is the source of most existential issues, including resistance to life. The fear may be that we have been kicked out of heaven by the Divine, unwanted and unworthy. So the beginning of feeling safe to look at our resistance to life issues begins with all members agreeing to show up and be fully present.
  7. In our groups, each individual member becomes a member of a smaller subgroup called a Mastermind group. In the early stages of our work, the Mastermind group can actually remind members of the family they grew up in. It is not uncommon for there to be many clearings in their Mastermind group. This provides a safe space to work through family issues that we could never work through to healthy resolution in our own families. Through this process, members peel away layers and layers of defenses and self-limiting beliefs in order to allow their adult self to begin to emerge triumphant.
  8. We now move into Altered State Psychodrama which is the next and deepest stage of uncovering the defenses and being able to see, often through the eyes of our fellow group members, our true selves beginning to emerge. Group members role play, all in an altered state of consciousness, our family members and our shadow parts in our own personal psychodrama. This brings forward whoever and whatever has been hiding in the closet of our unconscious mind. We are opening up the files, so to speak, that have been stored in our computer so that we can change and improve the contents stored within.
  9. Our students completing this level of the advanced training are now qualified to bring this work into their community so that their clients may also do this same level of work in a PTI. Individuals in our network often refer their husbands, wives and family members to a PTI program, because it is difficult to be in a personal transformation process and then return home to husbands or wives who are not even interested in self-growth. Using the technology analogy, it would be like trying to communicate with a family member who had no cell phone and refused to learn how to use one. They could not communicate when they were driving home to find out when dinner was or what you wanted from the store or what the family plans were for the weekend. Just imagine all the limitations of that.
  10. As we move through the levels of work, and through deeper layers of the unconscious, we are now working on the transpersonal level. We began with material in the personal unconscious, unresolved traumas from childhood and personal patterns of self-sabotaging behaviors. Then we deepened the work by accessing the collective unconscious, those primal, instinctual tendencies of fear, anger, grief and shame related to existential issues. This is where the true awakening to our existential issues becomes clear and can be healed. On this level, we use dream and Tarot  symbols, we explore the anima and animus (feminine/masculine) aspects of each person, and begin to lift the veils of self-deception. We are strong enough to take a peak into our autonomous complexes, with the help of our committed group members who have watched our healing progress for years. This support group knows us well and we feel safe enough with them to bring out even the most hidden parts of ourselves. This is the importance of doing this work in a committed group that loves and accepts us, warts and all. The deepest layer of the unconscious is the transpersonal, or spiritual, which allows us to build on and transcend the authentic, self-actualized self and become all that we are potentially capable of.
  11. We often see our students, mostly professional therapists, truly heal these resistance to life and other existential issues as we sit in our healing circles and we give full attention to their stories. An example is the person I mentioned who had discovery shock and being seen meant she would feel the shame of not being wanted and being a mistake. After several years of doing this work and peeling away the layers of shock and the existential issue of resistance to life, she has recently written to me. She told me that she has begun her private practice and is presenting workshops very successfully in her community.

So the answer to the original question, “How do I heal the existential issue of resistance to life”, is all of the above, that is:

  1. belonging to a committed group of like-minded people who know you well and use care-frontation to remind you of your goals,
  2. having the perseverance and tools to do the healing,
  3. staying committed to your own personal transformation process.

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