“If you’re are paralyzed with fear it’s a good sign. It shows you what you have to do.”
― Steven Pressfield
In his work, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield talks at length about resistance. I’m very familiar with the subject and so perhaps what I have learned from his book is the value of resistance to our creativity. And, of course, he hit me in the face with what I already knew, that the only cure for resistance is to act. Just begin. Write, paint, sing, dance…do!
I have thought a lot about this naturally occuring human reaction and I am going to accept Pressfield’s premise that the higher the resistance to our creativity, the more valuable the work we have to do. Enough said. Got it!
It’s the resistance in my daily life that I value more highly right now. How would I come to self-awareness without my own resistance? Many times I don’t realize that I am on the wrong path until I find myself playing computer games and eating…continually. My mind is tired and nausea creeps in before I recognize that the heaviness in my chest is not from too much sugar. My body is there to talk to me. It is tired of whispering and ready for me to listen.
“I don’t want to do this.”
“That does not fulfill my purpose.”
I have boxed myself in, shut myself out, or become trapped in minutiae. I have buried my spirit in activities. I am following tradition rather than my own truth.
Yes, there are many messages. I have but to listen and change course, if ever so slightly. Thank you for the reminder, Mr. Pressfield.
Deepak Chopra has a new “8-week Path to Happiness” online and free. I was struck by his first lesson.
“The ancient wisdom tradition known as Vedanta teaches that being happy for a reason is just another form of misery because the reason can be taken away from us at any time.” …
“True happiness, in contrast, is an internal state of consciousness that allows us to be happy for no reason at all. It’s the realization that our real self isn’t our possessions, accomplishments, relationships, body or mind. Who we really are transcends space, time, and cause-and-effect. ”
I find this mind-blowing. Because it is so right.
I am filled with gratitude to be aware of great teachers. I might come to some of these realizations, or put realizations into words. Yet, by turning on my computer I am spoon-fed the wisdom of ages. I can so much more quickly comprehend spiritual truths when they are put into simple modern language that I can understand.
This week I have been monitoring my happiness meter. I notice when I have pure joy. I am aware of my state of mind as I move through my day. It bears watching.
Be impeccable with your word.
I’m quick. Sometimes I consider this a great virtue and just as often my quickness leads me down the wrong path.
For instance, I’m a darter. I move without thought. Because of this I carry bumps, bruises and a collection of scars that continues to grow. I caution myself as I age…”Slow down. Watch where you’re going!”
My quickness of movement is not my greatest problem, however. It is my quickness of tongue. It is my propensity to blurt out my thoughts. It is my ability to deliver a clever response in the blink of an eye and the click of my tongue.
When I was younger I prided myself on this. I had my moments of regret over words that should have been swallowed rather than spewed, but I didn’t comprehend the waves of spiritual damage to myself and others.
I’m still learning to be impeccable with my word:
- To be truthful.
- To be accurate.
- To say only what I mean to say.
- To say it with love and concern.
I’m practicing and learning.
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*The Four Agreements by Michael Ruiz.
Be impeccable with your word.
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best.
This was written for and originally appeared on Vision and Verb on May 14, 2012.