Last week was Spring Break here and everything got put on hold. The girls and I had a blast. We had fun hiking in North Ga, went to the movies (saw Home… girls liked it, me eh) and explored Stone Mountain. The break was nice, I got to finished a book called “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. The whole premises of the book is about resistance, how clever we are about putting off what we love/want to do most, like paint or write or journal or anything else that will help you grow and be who you want to be. “Any act that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health or integrity.”
It made me think about myself and what does resistance look like for me. At first I didn’t think I had much resistance, I am a driven person and I get stuff done. But when I really thought about what I was getting done and what I wanted to get done were 2 totally different things. I started realizing that yes, I did have resistance and wow, its very clever. My resistance looks like this… I want to paint today, get the creative juices flowing but I have all of these things on my list that I “have” to do, I’ll do them first and then I’ll paint. I work on my list and before you know it the day is over and did I paint, well no, but I got all of these things done. So instead of feeling down that I didn’t paint I felt good that I got all of this stuff done. Was painting on my list? Yes, but not the priority it should be, not part of my daily ritual. So I trick myself into thinking, well I got all of these things done, I was productive so its ok that I didn’t paint. Day after day goes by, new things are put on my list that I “have” to do, excuses arise, well I only have 30 min or 1 hour and its not long enough so I’ll do some things on my to do list. And before you know it all that is left on my list are the things I have been resisting for some odd reason. Why is that? Chris Zydel mentioned that “You dodge or resist a practice not because it doesn’t work but because it works all too well. Doing a practice of any sort, diligently and with devotion WILL change your life. And of course the prospect of that scares the bejesus out of us.” This intrigues me. I know it exists, I am living it right now. Have I painted yet this week? Well no… And I have this yearning, this need to finally get my hands dirty. I have recently wrote to a group of artist that “I want to break my silence, my sabbatical, my rest, my slumber, my hibernation and get some paint on the canvas. “ But have I? Well no, Why?? This whole idea of resistance, where does it come from? Fear. Oh here’s that word again, fear, man that is the route to so many things. What am I afraid of? I’ll tell you, I am afraid that I can no longer paint, that I have used up all of my talent and creativity and everything I do from now on will be shit. Afraid of failure, of letting myself down, of being vulnerable. How crazy is all that? Is it even possible to use up all of your talent or creativity? I really don’t think so but fear does.
So what do I do about it? I acknowledge it, I see it for what its worth and work through it. I show up and do the work anyway. Once I start that fear will disappear and my enjoyment will take over. I know this. OHY! I sound crazy hu. So what I am going to do is this. I am going to tell you all that this week, before my next blog post next week I am going to paint! I am going to show up and get my hands dirty and paint.
So I leave you with this question, what does resistance look like for you?