I haven’t posted for over a year. I could say it’s because I’ve been otherwise productively engaged or I haven’t had anything pressing to say or my focus has been more inward than outward.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
The deeper truth surfaced today in a short dialogue with my Muse, a.k.a. The Creative Consuela.
D: I’ve committed myself to writing a blog today – tomorrow at the latest – and I feel totally stuck. I don’t have a clue what to write about.
CC: That’s because you don’t want to write the damned blog.
(insert potent “I’ve been busted” pause)
D: (blurting) OK, OK! I don’t! I don’t want to do anything productive at the moment!
CC: So don’t.
D: But I want to!
CC: You’re making me crazy.
D: Wait! Wait! Don’t go! I’m pretty sure it’s resistance, not a lack of desire.
CC: Bingo. There’s your topic.
I felt elated. I could write a book about resistance – if I weren’t so resistant to doing so.
First of all, how do you know if you’re resistant to an activity or task? What if it’s the right thing to do or what if you’ve outgrown it or what if it simply bores you silly?
Inquire within. Ask yourself, honestly, “Do I REALLY want to do this?” If a task is truly loathsome and life-denying, you will feel zero energy for it. A root canal would be preferable. But if is something that feeds your soul, you will feel a glimmer of excitement, a hint of discomfort, a frisson of fear… Well, more likely a blinding, paralyzing, crushing commotion of fear. There’s your answer. You do want to do it but you are most definitely resistant.
Resistance surfaces whenever we set out to do something that challenges our status quo, takes us out of our comfort zone, or as the master resistance warrior, Steve Pressfield, author of The War of Art, says, “any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity.”
So what am I resistant to besides blogging? Writing my e-book, singing, teaching, building my creativity coaching practice, playing the piano, meditating, exercising, traveling, dating, making my vision boards, planning my business, increasing my income… Sadly, this is just the beginning. And these are all things that I love to do, that would truly benefit me, and that would make my sould sing.
What are you resistant to? Telling the truth about it is a major resistance buster. Resistance thrives on lies, excuses, and bullshit of every variety. The truth withers resistance.
But only temporarily. Make no mistake. Resistance is a recurring phenomenon, a vicious, unscrupulous adversary that won’t take its knee off your throat for long. Eric Maisel, my creativity coaching teacher (who, by the way, is my guest blogger this coming Saturday, April 15. Inviting him forced me to start up my blog again) encounters it in most of his clients. Here’s how he describes a hard-fought breakthrough with a client in his book, Coaching the Artist Within:
“Why, though, did I have to go at her with a hammer and chisel to get her to do the most obvious things? What causes resistance so fierce that even a jackhammer can’t dent it?”
Good question. But don’t seduce yourself into trying to find the answer. Resistance delights in seeing us flail about trying to figure out why we’re resistant. It chortles at our attempts to understand it or ourselves. Don’t waste the time that we’re all running out of.
Instead, make a list of things that you’re resistant to doing. Pick one of them and take one small step toward doing it. Tell yourself that you only need to do it for five minutes if that’s what it takes.
I’m happy to be back in the blogosphere and to have prevailed over my resistance – today. If I prevail over my resistance in the weeks to come, I’ll soon be offering some classes, coaching packages, e-books and numerous other goodies.
Stay tuned for subsequent blogs with additional tips on how to deal with resistance.
And keep me posted on your battles with resistance.
We can do this.