NOT Fighting the Resistance


As I write this, the snow is falling yet again. Snow, sleet, ice, wind, bitter cold - the kind of conditions that shut down the schools and slow everything down. 

Feels a bit like my thoughts recently: oppressive, unwanted, heavy, wet. 

Steven Pressfield, who wrote The War of Art, calls it the Resistance - that internal force that wants to shut you down just when you are on the verge of something good. If you fight against it, it pushes back harder. If you give into it, it makes you numb. 

The Resistance had me. I was standing nose to nose with it - and it felt like it had called in reinforcements. It had my full attention and I could not look away. 

Ironically, the only way to disarm the resistance was to shift my attention to something else, something that would be a match for the way I wanted to feel - clear, excited, focused, at ease. 

So, I started with those words. As I walked my daily 10,000, I thought, "I love clarity. Nothing feels more luscious than that wonderful sense of clarity and purpose and direction. I love the ease and flow that comes with clarity. I love the excited feeling of waking up in the morning and knowing what comes next, what I am creating that day, knowing my why." 

On and on I went, letting these words flow over me. Very quickly, I started thinking of times I've felt that clarity and people I've known who seemed to live in that blessed place. Then, the phone rang. It was one of my favorite clients wanting to contract some work with me - really fun work! And an email popped up. An old client wanting to reconnect. 

Was the road really rising up to meet me, just because I amplified a few words? Was something magical happening? 

Maybe; maybe not. But what is inarguable is that I felt better, stronger, clearer and, especially, lighter. I hadn't stared down the Resistance or defeated it or wrestled the sucker to the ground. I had simply turned my attention elsewhere. I had turned up the volume on thoughts about the opposite of Resistance, and my Resistance had faded in the presence of this light. 

The Resistance may be as real as the bitter cold and snow outside, but that doesn't mean I have to make it my reality.

Chris Trout2 Comments