Resistance Is Futile

Resistance is swirling all around us this week.

Are You Resisting Success?

Danielle LaPorte recently posted a powerful article called “How to Resist Success” on her blog about how we self-sabotage to avoid success.

In it, she quoted Steven Pressfield, one of my heros and the author of The War of Art, from his new book Do The Work: “The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” (Great news — you can get the Kindle version of his new book for free for a limited time.)

All the more reason to go for it, n’est-ce pas?

How to Choose Which Idea to Pursue First

I also spotted Marie Forleo’s online video interview with Steven Pressfield. My favorite piece of advice from him was about how to choose which one of your ideas to pursue first: The one that scares you the most.

The Many, Many Forms of Resistance

Then today as I was preparing for my Artist’s Way Accountability and Support Group, and reading “Week 8: Recovering a Sense of Strength” in The Artist’s Way, I found the concept of Resistance coming up big time. Julia Cameron talks about the creative blocks we come up with to avoid our art:

  • I’m too old. (age block)
  • What am I going to get out of it? (finished product block)
  • I’m too busy. (workaholism)
  • I have more important things to do first. (workaholism)
  • I have to overhaul my whole life first. (drama)

Taking Action to Overcome Resistance

Julia makes the point that we must take small, daily, creative actions to accomplish our creative goals rather than looking for one big sweeping gesture. This is one of my biggest pitfalls.

Steven Pressfield makes a similar point about showing up every day, to do the work.

Jennifer Louden says, “Just. Do. The. Writing.

Sonia Choquette taught us, “Suit up. Shut up. Show Up.” (I’m fairly certain she attributes this teaching to Julia Cameron herself.)

What To Do With All This

At the end of our session today, we outlined our Secret [Big] Dreams. “In a perfect world, I would secretly love to be a ______________.” My answer: A published author.

Then we identified our “true north” for that dream — the how-you-know-when-you-get-there goal. Mine: A real physical book published with a core group 0f raving fans.

We picked a mentor for that dream. (Mine: Steven Pressfield. Seems obvious!)

Then we identified a 5 year vision and a 1 year action plan. My one year action plan looked like this: Write regularly. Get clear on what to focus on.

So I asked myself, “Of all my ideas, what would scare me the most?” The answer: A creativity book. (Holy shit, Batman.)

My participants asked why — my “Who do I think I am?” stories come up fast. But I’m ready to go there anyway. So now I know what my book is about, and I can get to work on it along with my screenplay (which I’ve been working on this week, hurrah!). Yowza.

What’s your secret Big Dream?

I’d love it if you’d share it with me, and the action you can take TODAY to move toward it. Mine: Writing this blog post.

 

 

Coming Up

~> May 3rd, 2011. My Artist’s Way Accountability & Support Group continues. Details.

~>May 26th, 2011. Mark your calendar! My brand new event for getting you back on track with what you were put here to do will be happening on May 26th — only 4 spots available. Stay tuned for details.

~>May 28th, 2011. Next broadcast of my Dreamification Radio show on Radio Lightworker. Details. Listen from anywhere in the world to this Internet radio show.

Comments

  1. Hi Jenna,

    Great article. War of Art is a wonderful book about resistance.

    I’ve noticed for some time that the resistance surrounds us – it’s in us, it’s outside of us, it’s what most tweets are really about if you read between the 140 characters.

    For me, I’ve traced it to our schooling. If you sit kids at desks for 12 to 16 years, tell them what to do every day, insist they have to ask for permission to even go to the bathroom, take away all their rights in the name of safety or whatever you want to pretend it is, cram their head with information some dude in a corner office thinks should be in there, then you get what we have now when they become adults.

    People who cannot move forward with their own ideas. If we want to stop this global, economic disaster then we need to change the schools. children are very evolved and in touch with themselves. we rob them of that in the name of learning when they learn naturally.

    Let’s change course before we hit the iceberg. Thx, G.

    p.s. thanks for comment luv!

  2. Bronwyn says:

    Gorgeous new logo–I love it!!! I think it is perfect for you and your work, too. Can’t wait to see the whole new site! :) Thanks for this article, too…Our secret big dreams are VERY similar. I appreciate you writing on this, as always!

  3. Markus says:

    My ‘secret’ big dream (which isn’t so secret!) is to finish a book I’ve been working on for a few years now titled ‘Coming Home to the Heart of Nature’, which is a compilation of some of my photographic work, as well as essays on my encounters with the natural world. The philosophy behind it is that in our modern-day world we have grown estranged from nature; we are a bit lost at this point in our evolution as a species. We forget that we have a deeply intimate and inseparable connection to this magnificent gem spinning through space, and if there is to be any hope for a healthy future for humankind, we all need to re-acquaint ourselves with nature that is within and around us. By aligning ourselves within the basic laws of nature, we can create more balance within and around us. We are all being called to do this, but are we listening, and will we heed the call?
    I’m sure every artist has their own set of ‘customized’ roadblocks keeping them from their dreams. I can identify three real BIGGIES for me. I try not to let these roadblocks keep me from pursuing my dreams, but all too often they do. More often than not, I feel like I’m dancing with elephants (that’s gonna be my next book…) But just like the visual metaphor in some of my photos, water can wear down rock. I’ll press on with my dream despite how some days it feels like the closer I get, the farther it gets away…
    There’s a promo for my book as part of my website at: http://www.quietlightvermont.com/book

Trackbacks

  1. […] make our art. And there are lots of those reasons, which are nicely summarized by Jenna Avery in “Resistance is Futile:”  “What am I going to get out of it? I’m too busy. I have more important things to do […]

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