I’ll let you in on a little secret. When it comes to my personal creative goals I often have a hard time completing them. For those of you who know me that will likely come as a surprise. And for those of you who don’t know me you are probably thinking, “who cares?” But the reality is that I am truly prolific when it comes to helping others achieve their creative goals. I mean “prolific” as in epic, as in of biblical proportions. You want to achieve your creative dreams? Call me! I’ve made a career out of helping others. I’ve got the plan, the strategy, the sage advice…blah, blah, blah. But this isn’t about you, dear reader. This is about me! And it is a bit radical for me to even allow myself to be the priority in my own life. Of course, I rationalize that I am a priority, but realistically when it comes to my creative journey, I have taken a back seat to Resistance.
Resistance? Yes, that force that blocks you every time you take a step towards your true self. These aren’t my words, however. I had the distinct pleasure of reading Steven Pressfield’s, “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles” over the holidays and his thesis on “resistance” helped me identify those barriers that keep me from fulfilling my personal creative journey. I highly recommend this quick read not just for “Artists” but also for anyone needing to “break through” life’s challenges. For me, it was important to name the force, the negative energy that I must battle. It has many names but “resistance” is a suitable summarization of that which keeps us from what we know we should be doing in our hearts. And let’s not think it is a hurricane keeping us from the shore. No, it usually looks like:
“I’m going to get my oil changed” = resistance
“I need that new adapter for my iPhone 7” = resistance
“I think we are out of cranberry juice” = resistance
“Which candle should I burn before I sit down to write?” = resistance
“Giovanni needs to go for his afternoon walk now!” = resistance
Those were my examples from the weekend alone. I have more but I don’t know you like that yet! Suffice it to say, you likely have your own bouts with resistance and the point is we must all join together and say, “No!” And this is the tricky thing about resistance; it comes to us oh so logically. Yes, I actually do need a new adaptor and my dog has to go for his walk and my candle selection is integral to setting the mood for all manner of creative energy to come forth. BUT, it has to be done AFTER I sit down to work. I didn’t say this was radical. I said resistance was tricky. But the Universe has an elegant way of dealing with this subversive energy poised to strip the world of all its creative soldiers. So, I’ll not leave you with some wisdom gleaned from years of traversing the world talking to ancient mystics on the secrets of the Universe. No, we’ll save that for another post. Now, I’ll give you something even more profound. The way to battle resistance is to simply…start. Write the first word, hammer the first nail, or paint the first brush stroke. Don’t worry if it is good or bad. Just start. Don’t worry about how it will turn out. Just start. Don’t worry if…fill in the blank for yourself. Basically, don’t worry, just start. That is indeed the first step in the battle for creative freedom.