Resistance and Steven Pressfield

In “The War of Art” Steven Pressfield discusses Resistance with a capital R as the nemesis to actually doing and creating the work you are meant to create. I’m about half way through the book, which I mostly read after bub has gone to bed at night, or in the precious private moments I have in the bathroom. Funny that I would take a book that will obviously have a profound impact about how I create, into the loo. I have to laugh about this.

If I look at the bathroom as a metaphor, it is the place of letting go of what is no longer needed. How amazingly appropriate is it that I would be reading a book about overcoming, moving past, letting go of the resistance, the constipation, the delay of the next stage, in the bathroom, specifically on the toilet. This is incredibly amusing to me. It fits my life so well too.

He talks about how we will enlist people in our lives who are living out our unfulfilled lives as a way to not do the work ourselves. As I spoke to a dear friend of mine last night, she was telling me about a book she is writing along with the short stories she has submitted for recognition and money. She is taking a self publishing course, and has a writing coach. I could hear her enthusiasm and I felt happy that she was doing this, and I have full faith that he will do well with this. She is dedicated to the cause, she gets in there, and is a highly ambitious person. Her partner is also a creative guy and both hold regular hours in jobs that are meaningful for them.

As I was taking in what she was telling me, I immediately realised that she was living out an unlived life of mine. One that I have kept secret more or less, in the way that I don’t go about saying “I’m a writer” and “I’m writing a book”. Although when I returned from living in Brazil, I did say just that, but partly because my ego was so hurt and I felt like I needed to have something to say that I did. Honestly I was writing a lot in the form of journal entries or blog posts, but it never fully eventuated. Oh boy that feeling sucks. When you’ve then told people you are doing something and then it doesn’t happen for whatever reason, or doesn’t happen as fast as anyone thinks it will. I would like to avoid that feeling as much as possible, so I don’t say things like that now. Instead I quietly keep it to myself.

So I didn’t mention to my friend that I have been regularly posting on my blog again. I didn’t mention again that it’s a goal of mine to publish work that matters to me and I hope that will positively influence people in the world. I didn’t mention any of this. I did have fear arise. I thought what if she writes about my own personal life, she knows so much and my life is so rich.

This makes me baulk at the idea now, its’ still could happen, but I don’t think she would jeopardise our friendship like that by telling my story from her lens, or at least I hope she wouldn’t’. It did however, spur fear into me. Fear is another form of Resistance. Fear stops us from succeeding even before beginning. Fear is the bedfellow of failure and I recognised it straight away. So what am I to do?

The natural competitiveness in me started to rise, I could feel it. I then thought what if I also start writing short stories and submitting them for recognition and money. Then I felt bad, because I only know of the idea because of her. That is also fear, that is fear of success before it even happens. I must move past this and recognise that it is again Resistance in the form of Fear.

Next the fire inside of me started to burn and said, WRITE MORE! Get your story out. Keep writing, continue to make this a habit just as I have my meditation practice, just as I have made it a habit to have a pot of tea with my husband in the morning. Create the habit.

The point of all this is that I can see Resistance in so many areas of my life, and now that I can identify it, I can and will do something about it. Steven Pressfield then goes on to say that if you hold your regular hours of writing, and your muse will show up there. I have found that if I wait until late at night, I am too tired, so I need to make it in the morning while my husband looks after bub. The thing is if I commit to saying I will do this every single day no matter what and something arises, then I will have more Resistance. So for now, I will just continue to commit to writing as of I have lately and let Resistance lose its’ power.