Help for when you feel stuck in resistance, "I don't want to!" and 'self sabotage'
No matter the season, you harbor dreams, hopes and intentions for your life. You may want to make changes in how you eat, care for your body, or care for your needs - like setting limits around sugar, getting more sleep, or beginning a yoga practice.
You may have passions you want to develop - like writing or making art, going back to school, or completing a training.
You may have wonderful intentions and feel full of heart and desire - and yet find yourself feeling caught in strong feelings of resistance, inner conflict, and defiance.
When you go to set a limit with sugar, you may have an inner part that suddenly flares up and says, "No! You can't make me!" - and proceeds to eat way too much chocolate.
Or when you attempt to go to yoga class, you might notice a part that resists going at all!
This can be so frustrating - especially when you're earnest, sincere, soft hearted, and trying so hard.
It may feel like the only way you can change is to be hard on yourself - even though this feels awful. Or you may feel discouraged, like compassion doesn't work. You may feel envious of those who seem to be able to follow through on their goals. Ouch, it's so painful.
Meet the inner rebel
What is this part of us that automatically says no to these changes we'd like to make in our lives?
You can think of this part as your inner rebel.
The inner rebel is the part of us that says, “Uh oh, no way!” and strongly rebels or resists when we try to tell ourselves no, set limits or steer or guide ourselves into new ways of being. The inner rebel can arise as strong emotions, body sensations, thoughts and feelings of resistance, rebellion, opposition, and defiance.
It's like a 2 year old saying, “No! You can't make me and I don't want to!”
The inner rebel can be so frustrating! For there's a part of you that longs for growth, healing and change. And yet the conflict with the inner rebel can create 'self sabotage,' fester feelings of self doubt, and keep you stuck in the very patterns you long to change.
You may feel caught in a battle between your inner rebel and the parts of you that long to grow.
Developmentally, resistance often serves a positive function. It can also be a protector part that needs reassurance, listening, or safety before you can move forward.
Healing, momentum, and change aren't found by cutting out the resistant part, but by cultivating a curious, warm, attuned relationship with the places within us that say, "No!"
In teaching over a thousand students and in listening to their food stories, nearly everyone experiences conflict with their inner rebel. It's really, really common – and why I've created this course.
A healthy relationship with your inner rebel is how you're able to:
I understand why this feels hard
My name is Karly Randolph Pitman, the creator of Align, and I understand why this feels hard. This topic is close to my heart as I've had a complex relationship with food throughout my life.
Food has been the primary way I've cared for sensitivity, overwhelm, and trauma. I'd ping pong between depression, overeating, and self harshness, hating myself for the ways I soothed myself in food.
Parts of me would ramp up, anxious and frustrated, eager to make positive changes. But I'd also have parts that felt worried and scared, and parts that would rear up with such strong "Nos!" whenever I tried to change my relationship with food. (More about me here.)
I wanted to understand the push and pull of needs that drove me to food so I could be gentle with myself and find other ways of caring for myself. And I wanted to experience a healthy sense of power and agency. These yearnings led me on a path of wondering that eventually become Growing Humankindness.
What helped me - and what you'll practice in Align - is turning towards our vulnerabilities rather than pushing them away, shaming, or fighting them.
I created my first course in 2008, and I love weaving the compassionate insights of neuroscience, attachment theory, and spirituality into a place of safety and healing, where the painful places in our being can unfold.
The course curriculum
Here's what you'll learn and explore in Align. This is a home study course, meaning you begin at any time. While it's structured as a 5 week class, you can take as long as you need to move through the course.
Module 1 - Meet your inner rebel
- In this module you'll learn why we can feel caught in strong feelings of resistance, no, and "You can't make me!"
- You'll learn how the inner rebel typically appears in your daily life.
- And you'll learn how to approach this part of you in a spirit of reverence and cooperation rather than opposition and conflict.
Module 2 - Understanding feelings of resistance and opposition
- In this module, you'll learn about counterwill, the developmental instinct that opposes coercion and being told what to do.
- You'll learn why it's important to listen to and honor resistance and the developmental purpose that resistance serves.
- And you'll learn how to soften counterwill and bring in self leadership, listening, and cooperation to those parts that resist being guided.
Module 3 - Befriending vulnerability - the soft under belly of the inner rebel
- In this module, you'll learn how to befriend the vulnerability that can lie underneath resistance.
- You'll learn when resistance is a protector part caring for a part of us that feels powerless, scared, or unprotected.
- And you'll learn how to meet the true needs of these parts so that the resistance can soften.
- This process is often key in softening our fear and frozeness around our inner rebel, helping us feel less afraid of this part and more empowered to care for it.
Module 4 - Befriending limits and the love that is 'no'
- In this module, you'll learn how to reframe how you look at limits, boundaries, and no as a form of love and protection rather than a form of punishment, shaming, coercion, force or control.
- You'll also learn how to move through the adaptive process, what prunes out what doesn't work and nurtures neuroplasticity, healing, and transformation.
Module 5 - Nurturing sovereignty, self leadership and follow through
- In this module, you'll learn how to access and nurture your inner power and strength, the self leadership that can steer you through resistance.
- You'll learn when to say no to resistance, when to say yes, when to slow down, and when to move to care for the hurt underneath.
- You'll also learn how to nurture your capacity to follow through and effect change, to make the positive changes your heart yearns for.
The next step of your journey
If you've spent a lot of time nurturing your softness, making room for your vulnerability, and creating a more compassionate relationship with yourself and your overeating, and yet you feel like you're not able to make the changes you'd like to make with food, healing your relationship with your inner rebel may be the next step on your journey.
In this course, you'll learn about the dynamics that feed the inner rebel, how to soften the battle between your desire for change and your desire to say no, and how to relate to your inner rebel with more levity, playfulness, and friendship rather than fighting with this part of you.
A healthy relationship with your inner rebel is how you're able to:
- soften 'self sabotage' and resistance
- stop doing what doesn't work – doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result
- access a fuller range of your power and capacity
- and how you feel empowered to make changes in your relationship with food, your body and self care
Be filled with power and volition
I want you to feel empowered - to be the leader of your life, to be filled with power, to feel courage when facing difficult emotions and needs, and to feel both empathy and 'good orderly direction' for those parts of you that feel resistant, defiant, rebellious, stuck or afraid.
Healing your battle with your inner rebel - learning how to befriend rather than fight against this part of you - will help you embody and embrace your natural power. This then frees you up to follow through on the dreams, intentions, and hopes that are precious to you and your being - and that are also needed in our shared world.
As a sign in my gym bathroom says, "Please don't throw paper towels, trash, hopes and dreams down the toilet."
Do you feel moved to join the course?
If this course feels like a good fit for your needs, we'd love to have you. And if you have any questions, please reach out. We want you to get the help you need, whether it's with us or with someone else.
Frequently asked questions
How do I access the course materials?
We host all our courses on Mighty Networks, where we have our own private network. I think you'll find this software easy to use and very user friendly. One of the things people love about Mighty Networks is that they have a free app you can download to your phone which you can use to listen to the course materials.
Once you purchase the class, you'll need to create a free account on Mighty Networks. Then you'll be able to access the course materials at any time.
The Growing Humankindness Mighty Network is private, which means nothing you do on the Mighty Network will show up in google searches or the internet.
How long can I access the course materials?
When you buy a home study course with us, the materials are yours to keep and use for as long as you need them.
As long as we have a Growing Humankindness Mighty Network, you can access your course materials online. Rest assured that we don't plan on closing the Mighty Network anytime soon! We're just careful about not saying 'lifetime access" because it's impossible for us to offer that as a small business.
We also offer a zip file of all course materials if you'd like to download and store them on your phone, computer or tablet.
Can this course heal developmental trauma?
Healing developmental trauma is beautiful and holy work. It can also be complex and often requires time, patience, and the skill of a trained trauma therapist. While this course offers support and nourishment to deepen your relationship with the parts of you that say no, and is often therapeutic for our people, we are not trained therapists.
Align is not designed as a replacement for therapy, and it is not designed to heal trauma. For help with trauma, we highly recommend searching for a therapist with trauma training like EMDR or somatic experiencing in your local community. This kind of support can make all the difference - and we want this for you! We've created a page here to support you in getting good trauma support.
How do I know if this course is the right fit for me?
If you're willing to reflect upon your experience, feel into your true needs, and make time for the exercises and course materials, you'll do well. It's also important that you're comfortable in an online environment, as we're not able to offer extensive technical support.
Lastly, it's helpful if you're open to meditation practices and reflection. This course is especially designed for highly sensitive people and offers gentle ways of supporting growth and change, so many people who long for a gentle approach find resonance with our offerings.
If you're still unsure if this course is for you, please reach out - we're here to help and to answer questions.
What if I'm unhappy with the course? What's your refund policy?
We want you to find the right fit for your needs, whether that's with us or with another resource. If you have any questions if Align is the right course for you, please reach out. For our home study, you can ask for a refund for any reason up to the first 15 days after your purchase.
Please contact us by email or phone and we will give you a full refund. We process refunds on Fridays. After 15 days, we don't offer refunds. You can learn more about our refund policy and the intentions behind it here.
Why this is a great place to be
Healing your relationship with your inner rebel frees up your natural power, energy, and passion so that you can devote these precious resources towards what is most important to you - rather than embroiling this energy in warding off inner conflict.
If you've struggled with embodying and expressing power in how you care and nourish yourself, and you feel a nudge, longing, or desire to express power and strength in your life - even if you don't feel like you know how to do so - then you may be at a turning point in your journey.
You may be longing to express these other aspects of your being in your life, to combine softness with strength, compassion with commitment, and autonomy with cooperation. While it may feel scary, new or uncertain, it's a great place to be!
For something is longing to be born in you.
May this new life be supported with kindness, gentle hands, care, and support.
Whether or not you choose to take this particular course or whether you find help from another source, I want to thank you for your courage, desire and interest in this work. I wish you fullness of power, sovereignty, self leadership, and inner strength!
May you be a beacon of healthy power for yourself and for our world!
What past students have said
Some of our past students have shared their experience in Align with you.
Softening the grief under the inner rebel
Mary gave us permission to share her experience with one of the exercises in the Align course. She shares her story in the hope that it might help you understand what you might experience in the course. Thank you, Mary!
"Softening into grief under the inner rebel - I needed this! As you led me through the exercise, what came up was grief for all the years that are gone, without having done art SO big, SO beautiful, SO fulfilling. Feeling all alone, trying to bring forth beauty, not knowing how, no one to talk about it with, no one to help me, no one to understand my need. And, how hard I've been on myself for not being able to do better.
I held it, felt it, cried it and felt compassion for my self, knowing there is no way I could have done better. Forgiving myself and realizing the miracle of creating the beautiful art I have. Gratitude for the support I have now to meet my longing. Thank you."
Separating past needs from present needs
Susanna wanted to share her biggest takeaways from the Align course -
1. The inner rebel is acting up because of deep needs underneath, and separating past needs and grieving them, with present needs which can be gradually addressed, has moved me forward immensely.
2. Resentment generally, and resistance to praise ( in relation to my healing progress) are not wrong, but a sign of a need for more mutual understanding, sharing and connection, and also a need to accept and grieve what I cannot change.
3. Learning to relate to the inner rebel has given me a sense that I now am 'enough', and can trust my healing process, and allow for ups and downs while knowing that it is possible to be healed.
4. And I had big confusion when trying to set limits regarding food. I found out during this course that I have natural limits that are kind and give me long term holistic health. My limits are now based around eating to include all aspects of my health, including sharing with others in celebratory food, while not overeating.
This has spilled over into how I exercise (much more gently) and how I feel my body should be (not hyper fit and thin) so I am able to enjoy what I do, with some challenging stuff that is fun."
Walking through each stage, step by step, to set a limit
"What I loved about this course, as all of Karly’s courses, is how she walks you through the different stages to set a limit. It’s like peeling an onion, at the end you are left with a totally different understanding of your true self.
When I’m working on myself, before I even think of changing course I need to understand the nitty gritty of the issue on hand. It was very helpful that the audios were packed with tips, knowledge and soothing words. The worksheets helped put on practice what I learned from those audios. Loved the references of other authors, it gives me freedom to continue getting informed and nurtured.
I had started setting limits with others, so the concept that I could do it with myself picked my curiosity. Separating the emotionally charged side of limits is helping me make better choices. I’ve been able to lower the amount of bingeing episodes to once a week or once every two weeks. The amount I eat on each of those episodes has radically shrunk...
My phrase for 2020 was “ask for help.” Align was one of the ways I honored my phrase."