Archive for the ‘Resistance’ Category

Can’t sleep…too busy!

In Action, Balance, Entrepreneurial Lifestyle, Resistance on November 17, 2010 at 5:40 pm



2 months ago I was sitting in traffic trying to figure out WHY I was so tired and cranky. The answer?

I have:

2 kids
2 private practices
2 jobs
2 board positions

I was recently sharing my tale of “whoa” to a former housemate who replied, “Sounds like you need to be 2 people.”

And it’s true, I can’t be 2 people.

One of my favorite things to say when community building (which is always) is “One person can not run around and a community be.” And apparently this is also true for a single mom with 2 of everything (except herself).

Back to the basics.
The first step in finding balance, is to understand our limits and boundaries.

Limits are not a bad thing.
Limits signify the outer edges of our capabilities.

Whether it is our ability to tolerate abuse, bullshit or achievement, limits provide a container that helps us to maintain a sense of integrity. (And by integrity, I mean the hull of a ship) Integrity speaks to the perceived continuity of self and if we can carry ourselves throughout a variety of circumstances in a consistent way, we have a more solid base to work from.

And when we bump up against our limits, we hit that moment of resistance.

I was joking during last weeks Work101 meeting that Sheila couldn’t have any resistance because all of it had come to stay with me for a bit.

But, I have maligned resistance. It is not squatting with me. I am just too darn busy to get anything done. In fact I am too busy to even deal with resistance and this may be the point of it all- My resistance to deal with my resistance? …What?… Wait…

You know what? Fuck it.

At some point we have to accept that it doesn’t matter why things are as they are… if they are out of balance, we just have to fix it… and my experience is, that through this process, we will have a better understanding of why.

Let’s see…so that means I now have:
2 kids
2 private practices
1 job
1 board position
2 (almost) free days to work.

SO I guess this means I only have to be 1½ people…
*snark* I can do that…
In my sleep.


Ghosts from our past.

In Action, Resistance, Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:54 am

ghosts from your past blog

you do not have to be more transparent than your ghosts

It’s hard to move ahead in our work when our present is clouded by the past. In the last few weeks, several clients have come to me with just this issue.  Haggard and hurting they come with lumps in their throats and stomachs looking for resolve, searching for the keys that will unlock their internal gridlock.

The decisions we make, how we feel and what we think is influenced by what we have learned…simple enough…right?  Simple but maybe not so easy.

If we find ourselves dealing with a lot of resistance or we feel like we are slogging ahead with our work at a snail like pace, this is a signal for us to take a moment and really ask ourselves “What the heck is going on?”

It’s hard though because, I have found, that we actually do not always want to know or even think about the reasons for our resistance and angst. Especially if the reasons have to do with hurts and/or issues from our past and childhood.

Often our inclination is to scan the world around us to locate the source of our angst. This is problematic though, because so often the conflict is not coming from outside us, but from within us and, after 20 years of doing this work, I have come to understand that we usually know when this is the case. We have a sense in the familiarity of our experience of what is ours and what is not ours. (By the way, it is often at this point that we double down our efforts to reject this reality and firmly plant the cause of our turmoil on others)

Also confounding this work is that what we have learned about our self and the world growing up has become an integrated and near invisible part of our sense of self and how we view the world and our place in it. These core beliefs become a very comfortable pair of glasses that color our perception and shape our experience.

As children, the things we do to deal with our hurts, trauma and frustrations are shaped by those closet to us. What they tell us is OK to feel, we feel and move through. What we are told is unacceptable to feel we build defense mechanisms to distance ourselves from. And as children these defense mechanisms can work passable for us, but as we grow, our worlds become more complicated and so do our defense mechanisms, until we find ourselves backed into a small corner, spending more time managing our resistance then actually dealing with it.

And this is exactly the issue. Instead of feeling our feelings, instead of dealing with our issues- our amazing minds work to create new and ever evolving ways to insulate ourselves from the things we have been taught it is not acceptable to feel or think.

So what is the answer?

Deal with it. Not very helpful right? But wait…there is more.

The way we deal with it is key.

1.    Don’t try and deal with it all at once. Pick the most disruptive thing and just deal with this piece.

2.    Research it: We can only do what we know how to do. In order to do something different, we have to learn different things.

3.    Set a review or completion date.

4.    Figure out a budget and explore the resources you have available to you.

5.    Consult: Either with a friend or professional; this is NOT work we can do alone. On any given project, most all entrepreneurs know the value of getting a fresh perspective when moving ahead on a project.

6. Set some time aside to do this work. This is probably the most important piece that gets lost in the shuffle.This work takes time and the more focused you are about it the quicker it will shift.

7. Be gentle to yourself through this process.

This is challenging and difficult work. But the payoffs are huge AND it feels great!

Dena plotkin

therapist and collaborative strategist


The 5 keys to unlock 6 doors to finding the source of transforming happiness- Yeah, Right!

In Action, Resistance on August 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

What the fuck, ( and yes, I spelled it out) people.

We cannot fix ourselves in 5 easy steps or climb a ladder to self realization and happiness. It does not work that way.

I wish it did, really I do… But it doesn’t and often after a brief respite we find ourselves right back where we were before we journey’d through the “door of opportunity” du jour, struggling with the same problems, the same feelings and often the same destructive behaviors.

That’s because change sucks. It is hard and messy and full of resistance and self doubt. Resistance is a natural and predictable part of change. It is normal.

These things are not the problem. We can not get rid of them. We can not banish self doubt to the netherworld of our psyche.

Some of us have gotten pretty good at mitigating them, but all this really amounts to is that we are pushing the snooze alarm. At some point, we are gonna have to actually accept that resistance and self doubt are all a natural response to…life…itself (that’s why they write all those books, songs and movies about them).

And we are going to have to learn the tools to accept them into our lives. To invite them in. To allow ourselves to feel them and taste them and weigh the value that they have in our lives. Because we get to determine these things. Not our families. Not our neighbors, not our government.

The other day a friend said of other people in her life. “At some point, you are either for me or against me” and I can really relate to that sentiment.

When we are most vulnerable, we need those around us who reflect the people we strive to be back to us. We need them to hold our vision of self when we can’t do it for ourselves. And unfortunately, often the people who love us the hardest, have the most difficulty seeing us and the us they reflect back creates conflict for us.

Now I am not saying that if someone calls you out on something you just disregard it.out.of.line.

I am saying that just because someone believes we are something, doesn’t mean we necessarily are or have to continue to be.

This is the work of change. And it is messy. And often painful. And a lot of fucking work. And very worth it.

And you won’t find it with that rainbow colored key either.

Dena Plotkin


Collaborative Strategist

co-founder of theWork101


In Balance, Resistance on July 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm


So I know this is a blog about work and how we approach our work as entrepreneurs, but so often our personal work is a part of this and frequently it is our personal work that gets in the way of our work101 work succeeding.

It sucks, I know, but it is true.

Even though some of us try to use our work 101 work to stay away from our personal work… it doesn’t work. (If you think it does, check in with the people who deal with you daily… you may be surprised.)

It always pops through at us at the most inopportune times.

Personal work has some serious weight and packs a hefty punch.

Self doubt=death for entrepreneurs

It is here, in the land of “What the fuck was I thinking?”, that I begin to loose my work101 work groove.

I don’t get it at first.  It comes on me slow.  I start missing work sessions with myself. I slow down in my writing. I am a bit slower to answer emails and a few extra calls go to voicemail first.

It is subtle.

A slow burn.

But then.

After a minute.

I am sitting around a table looking at a notebook and 3 sets of beautiful eyes looking back at me and I am like “Why can I not be accountable to myself?”

And then I am like, “Awe shit… I need to do some personal work”

I don’t mean to imply that I am not always working in some way on myself.  I like to think that nowadays I have a pretty good balance going.

The thing is that sometimes I catch up to myself and push my  limits, and then I feel the burn…the slow burn of personal work.  The soft ache of mental muscles toeing the edges of resistance.

Nothing for it…better get to work.


MFT, Life-Strategist, Co-Creator theWork101

Owning our work: deconstructing success

In Resistance on June 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm


It is hard to own my own work. I am just gonna come out and say it. It is the truth.

I grew up female.

I grew up in the shadows of a lot of things.

Family dynamics, culture, development gone awry…All conspiring together to create…me.

It is difficult for me to own what I know. Sometimes it is even difficult to own what I have produced. Always I am working to achieve. To do better. To go one step further. Never enough. Work different. Work better.

Eye on the prize.  Right?

Maybe not. Maybe Eye on the prize is a recipe for disaster because then it becomes all about the prize and then everything else falls short. I believe on the surface, this looks as if it flies in the face of what almost every successful self help guru has to say in their books, seminars and conferences. However, I am not so sure.

Overwhelmingly I hear them saying that, We must be the change! It is not exactly about the prize, but the way we approach the prize. As if it is some big hunting expedition. And we are tracking our goal though the jungle, waiting to trap it, kill it, conquer it, eat it’s liver, raw and warm… Ok maybe too far. But maybe not really that far.

But what happens if you do not have a gun or just in general object to using guns? What other ways are there to obtain our change of choice?

Be the change? There is truth in this concept. Henry Ford says “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are probably right.” And this is exactly true.

But how do we think we can? That’s the rub…And what do we do in times of resistance and doubt?

I guess what they are saying is that we have to be ourselves realized and for many of us, this is not something that we can trap kill and devour. It is not something we come upon suddenly.

Entitlement, privilege, culture, family dynamics, all of it go into determining how we approach any situation. It is true…it is ultimately our decision to make, but first we have to acknowledge just that point. And this is a level of work not often discussed in these books tapes and conferences.

Move forward!

Look ahead!

Learn from past failure and leave them in the past!

I do know if I don’t acknowledge what I have accomplished, if I don’t slow down a bit and look behind, then I leave parts of myself behind. This creates a problem, because if I leave myself behind, then how can I own what I have to bring to any table?

One other thing they all say, buried in it’s own brief section or chapter before you get to “the magic plan” is:

Get support.

And this may be the truest thing they have to say, because we can not accurately reflect ourselves back to ourselves. We cannot be our only mirror. We need a space for that. We need help holding it. All of us do.

It is hard for me to own my work. It is harder for me to turn away from the reflection of my work through others. If they can see it, how can it not be real?


MFT, Life-Strategist, Co-Creator theWork101

To go deeper: A reflection of collaboration and resistance and growth

In Resistance, Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I just finished the post on our collective individual bout with resistance. After reading it I had to wonder. Looking back at my co-workers, I realized that the group has changed the way I experience resistance. It has afforded me a container to experience resistance in.

What I mean by this is that instead of just acting out in order to resist, I now have the option to resist resistance…which is excruciating work.  Necessary but excruciating all the same.

Resistance. Resistance is a natural, predictable, emotional response to change. So where is the change?

Most notable is that all of us were busy. We were not loosing any ground. We weren’t losing clients, work was not going undone. Although we did have to take ourselves aside and have some stern talks with our slacking work selves, for the most part all of us were getting things done.


SO then, What was the problem?

It was time to step up our game…AGAIN. Man sometimes the stairs are steep and it can be a bit disheartening to find that once you pull yourself up and over there is yet again another stair to climb.

Time to grow and the only way to do that is to do something different. And to do something different means learning something different. Learning something different means challenging old ideas, finding out what our holes are. What are we not doing. What are we un-doing? What do we need to do? What can we do differently to gain some ground?

Excruciating, I tell you.

So to resist resistance means being able to go deeper into it. To question it. To experience. To not resist resistance is to resist it? It can all get very confusing really fast.

It all boils down to one of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill, “When you find yourself walking through hell, don’t stop”

I’ll tell you what though, it is easier to keep going when you are walking with others.


MFT, Life-Strategist, Co-Creator theWork101

A collective individual bout of resistance.

In Resistance on May 26, 2010 at 3:59 pm

We have been working together for quite a while now. Going through our processes. Moving forward and outward in our work separately- together.

It’s funny how in synch our processes have become. One of the joys of collaboration, and one that we frequently remark on, is the alternate access collaboration gives us to our own work. You could say that through our collaboration, we have constructed an extra door back to ourselves. When we get lost in the details of our work, the others in our group can pull us back, allowing us to see the path that was previously obscured.

Even if we are all lost in our own work at the same time; the construct of our collaboration gives us the opportunity to see each other, even if we are lost to our own “big picture.”


Sometimes we are not lost in the work but lost in the process. I have said it before and I will say again. Resistance is a bitch.  Although this can be a big problem, the space that our group affords us, allows to be accountable; without feeling blamed. We can find the groove back to our working space.

Resistance is realized.

This is the tricky part: When we are, all of us, at the same time lost in the process.

This is something we as a group have just experienced. A time when we were all in synch in our process: All of us, lost. All of us, struggling.

At times over the past several months, all any of us have been able to do is suit up and show up. The commitment to the workgroup was all that was keeping us tethered to ourselves, our goals…our work.

Talk about painful. Most times we could just share how hard it was to even get to group, or how loud the “chatter” was. I mean 4 hours a week is a lot of time…especially when you are not getting your work done. Sometimes this meant that those discussions around resistance did not happen.  We were all avoiding it like a time-card. And so it lay there…until we began to ask… Is it the group?

Is it the group. Could the problem be the group? As soon as it was voiced, I knew it was me. It was me and what I was putting out there.

I could be sure of this because how I understand the group and what I get out of it is a complete and total reflection of what I put into it.

SO if it is me then what do I need to do to get out of it. And the group has been a place for me to do this work, and my women around me, doing the same. All of us feeling the edge of the groove… so close… but for life and drama and self doubt and then all of the sudden. There we are, back in the swing of things.

Blog posts replace excuses.

OK OK I know one blog post is not exactly the definition of the swing of it, however I think we are finding our own way back to our work, together.


MFT, Life-Strategist, Co-Creator theWork101

Resistance. Hmmnn. I believe that’s where we left off.ou

In Resistance on November 19, 2009 at 10:08 pm


theWork101 has not been on hiatus.  We have been working through a crucial point in the development of our respective businesses and our group.  When we last blogged, we were in the throws of an intensive branding workshop – conducted by Heather, our very own purple tornadoAnd we still are.

I almost hate to call it a branding workshop because it has delved into so much more.  Branding is actually a concept that has lost its luster, because in it’s original form it’s intent was to put forth a certain image, align with a certain feeling, to manipulate, rather than to convey and share who you “truly” are.  And this process had been about authenticity – unearthing the common thread, the theme, the mission in all I do, who I am, and what I want to give.

It’s the journey of a lifetime, and many of us spend an entire lifetime without ever exploring and facing down the challenge of figuring it all out.

We each had amazing revelations that have helped us to further crystallize and affirm our determination and our purpose.  We have also uncovered the holes in our plan; the kinks in our armor that, for many of us, represent areas where we have resistance.

I went to a poetry slam once, and before each act the wordsmiths would encourage each other by saying, “Go in. Go in.”  Well that’s where I’ve been – “in”:  Inside of my procrastination, inside of all the nooks and crannies where I needed more information to move forward, inside of my definitions of progress, success, and balance.

I’m happy to report I survived this unpleasant, yet enlightening journey (LOL) – which has not come to an end, but is an ongoing process unfolding.  We were able to work through some tough moments and expand our selves to continue to make our workspace accessible, collaborative, and effective.  And as a result of our determination to persevere in the face of ‘all that disturbs us,’ we have all been transformed.

“Just as a diamond can only be polished by another diamond, it is only through genuine all-out engagement with others that people can polish their character, and help each other to reach greater heights.” – Buddhist Philosopher, Daisaku Ikeda

Before I began this workshop, I was in a space of wanting to feel re-energized, but at a loss for a resource to tap for energy.  Ultimately that resource was right in front of me, as these 3 ladies served as a mirror for my life and for theWork101.

Thank you all for having the courage to “go in.”


Filmmaker, Co-Creator, The Work 101

The Brain, and why you get more of what you got

In Resistance on October 8, 2009 at 7:22 pm


Starting my businesses can be uphill battle.  Not because of the strategies or the economy, but because of the brain’s relationship to survival.

To simplify something pretty geeky, there are three major parts of the brain: the lizard (survival) brain, the emotional brain, and the thinking/rational brain. While it may sound like we have three brains, we don’t. These are just three major systems that have smaller subparts; like the amygdale, or hippocampus.  Most of the time the lizard brain, and emotional brain talk behind the logical brain’s back for survival sake, “that guy seems sketchy, walk on the other side of the street!” We may not logically think about why we’re crossing the street, we’re simply responding based on millions of little data points we’re not even conscious of.”

While this is great sometimes, it can trip us up when it comes to learning new skills, trying new things, and developing new relationships, because our brain rapidly filters our sensations, and puts it in buckets related to survival… based on our emotional state and what it knows we’ve already been able to survive, “Hey, you’ve never survived implementing a marketing strategy! Wouldn’t you like to watch Dr. Who instead?? We know we can survive that!” So, even though I know reaching out to people who’ve already – asked- for my services won’t kill me… there is a whole fear/resistance process to get through before that phone call.

This is why people often don’t change, until what they’re doing starts to really hurt. We have to convince our own brains that we’re going to survive the new behavior.  This is why practice and the collaborative space has made such a huge difference: I get to be surrounded by people who are surviving the processes I’m afraid of. We develop strategies of dealing with the fear. It becomes easier to keep moving forward, when I see Dena, Heather, and Sheila surviving too.

Which is good, because even though I like Dr. Who, I don’t like it -that- much.

Good luck!

Kaye Porter
Professional Speaker & Educator, Co-Creator of theWORK 101

The First Fight

In Resistance on October 7, 2009 at 8:24 pm

The Purple Tornado

I’ve had a few reservations about the work since I joined the group in July.  I always move towards collaborative working relationships,  however not all of them have turned out great. In fact, several of my  recent past collaborative relationships have ended on bad terms.  I’ve had a fear that this may happen with the work group and have been holding my breath, wondering how long until there is a defining divisive fight; hoping it will never happen. I’ve spent the morning talking with one of my collaborators, Kaye, about this fear and something she said made me positively reframe it.

“One of the reasons I keep coming back to the work, is because of the fights and how we resolve them. Trusting that even when we have fights, that they will get resolved, and get resolved in a way that makes us stronger.” The first fight is critical because you directly experience how someone fights. And what is a fight anyway? An emotionally heated disagreement. How do you resolve the differences and move beyond them? These resolved “fights” become part of the collaboration.  An experience of how others work with each other when they have differing points of view.

Everyone has different perspectives, experiences and objectives. When working collaboratively, there are times when you will disagree with others. In one recent work session, I found myself both agreeing and disagreeing with my collaborators – sometimes at the same time with different topics. As my collaborators spoke, I saw their perspectives.

I found myself aligned with what one said, and saw I wasn’t in the same place as another.  There was no problem in that.  We all worked together to create what each of us needed. It’s not about being right or a particular person being in charge – it’s about working together to create what we jointly want to create.  Collaborative work creates the space for disagreements with respect.

I realized I had nothing to worry. My “first fight” with my work101 collaborators was months ago.  We have already moved beyond those disagreements leaving only the space for our collaborative work.


Practical Futurist, Co-Creator of theWork101