Resisting Resistance

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.

Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art

In this fast-paced world we live in now, it can be so easy to put off, resist, and downplay making our desires a reality. Our resistance can include a colorful array of excuses: I don’t have time; it won’t matter; someone else is already doing that; it will be too hard; it will cost me too much; I am too old; I’m not smart enough; what if I fail; what will “they” think; (insert your excuse here). And when I say excuse, I don’t mean that you are not measuring up, or you’re lazy, or you’re a quitter. By excuses I mean, the thoughts of your saboteur, your hi-jacker, your old self taking up too much room in you. They are just your thoughts; they are not who you are. You don’t have to believe them.

Just today, as we were in our warehouse working, I had a distant memory flood to the forefront of my consciousness. I was reflecting on the process we undertook to remove the resistance to Chrysta’s deepest desires. We had to change the way we do business in order to create the time and the work space she needed to develop her handmade line. We had to stop buying van loads of new inventory so she could spend her time developing this handmade line. We had to close one door so we could open another door. We had to stop talking about all the changes we would implement and implement these changes. It’s been two plus years since she removed the resistance, the old way of doing business and now her dream has wings. She is fully living in and doing what she loves everyday of her life.

I have been helping make others dreams and desires come true for 20+ years. Part of this was conditioning from the church I was involved in (Christ Church Kirkland). I can recall several sermons and Bible verses to back up the message. First you must serve another man’s vision for God to find you worthy to serve your own. The challenge was that there were more visions every week coming from the pulpit. It was a fight to have time to actually know our own desires, let alone act on them. Somehow, we were made to feel that unless our vision was aligned with our church AND approved by the leaders of our church, then we were not doing the holiest work of God.

It wasn’t all bad, fulfilling another’s vision. I had some wonderful experiences and learned a lot. Ultimately, though, it left me unfulfilled and constantly questioning my individual purpose.

I will no longer resist my deepest desires. I am going to write that first book, followed by a second and a third and so on. I am removing the roadblocks I set in front of myself. I am changing the story I tell myself. I am saying no to others more often. I am spending time away at cabins, cottages, and bungalows to experience solitary writing retreats. I will stop believing the hi-jacker thoughts. I will make time. I will push publish. I will stop resisting because the alternative is to live in turmoil of What-If-Land!

What are you resisting in your life today? Share in the comments if you’d like.

P.S. If you recognize resistance in your life, think about reading Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art. The book is all about recognizing the things we say and do that puts us in the way of our own growth. It’s a tiny thing, broken into even small bits. The kind of book that invites contemplation.