Friday, April 29, 2016

Resistance: Fight it!

What Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art about resistance is changing my life.



You can get a little glimpse of the idea from the front cover, that little flower growing out of a block of concrete. It reminds me of the opening image of one of my favorite cult classic movies, Joe vs. the Volcano. The human condition includes a whole heck of a lot of resistance, no matter what we do. But Steven Pressfield opines that resistance is greater when we're about to do something soul-enhancing for ourselves and others. In fact, the more good we're about to bring into the world, the greater the resistance comes pushing back against us.

There was one part of his section on resistance that especially resonated deep within my soul, and that was the impeccable ability of resistance to find true north and fight against it. In fact, he said, you can use the resistance you are feeling against your goals as a COMPASS. Look where you are feeling the most resistance in your life. Without a doubt, that is the area where pushing through persistently will bring the greatest growth to your soul and the greatest good to humanity.

Writers are artists and we understand resistance... or do we? We surely know about writer's block. We know about BIC (Butt-in-Chair) persistence. We know about treating it like a job and putting our noses to the grindstones of our typewriters, pens, and laptops. But I wonder if we truly understand what Steven Pressfield is trying to tell us about resistance.

When we give in to resistance, we are giving in to darkness and depriving the world of a great light! When we let it stop us from creating, we are limiting ourselves, yes, but we are making an impact on the world by our absence!

As writers, we may see the choice we make daily as two options: 1) to write and 2) not to write. But if writing is what you're feeling called by the muse to do, and you don't do it, the consequences are much greater than what this either/or suggests. Every person, Steven Pressfield reminds us, has unique life experiences, unique talents, a completely unique voice in the panorama, the vast puzzle of humanity. When a writer doesn't fill her mission, the world suffers for it. When an artist gives up on his art, humanity feels the lack.

Think of the last time you came across something beautiful created by another human being. Think of how it made you feel. That's what you have to offer someone else, maybe some dozen someone elses, or some million.

I wanted to pass on the inspiration I got from this author. Fight the resistance you feel, that nagging hopelessness that sometimes keeps you from sitting down at your desk. Fight it with productivity. Fight it with vision. Fight it with affirmations. Fight it with prayer. But fight it! It will be worth it.

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