Cover of "The War of Art: Winning the Inn...

Cover via Amazon

I am reading a huge, little book. I know, an oxymoron, which I dedicate to the person who told me about the book. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, is short and brutal and brilliant. The subject is Resistance, the force that stops us from accomplishing creative acts. If I have writer’s block, it’s because of Resistance. If I keep thinking about setting up my frame and painting a silk but I don’t, it’s Resistance at work instead of my brush. If I really want to bake that healthful, nutritious bread and I keep buying the stuff from the store, Resistance is winning. Resistance is the sole reason I am unable to accomplish anything in my life that would make it a more powerful, impactful, creative, fulfilling life to live.
Resistance is the root of procrastination, the urge to do something…tomorrow. It is resistance that compels me to put off until tomorrow those things I could be doing now. The war against Resistance is an ongoing series of battles. I have knocked Resistance down many times, but there is no end to him. He is like those monsters in the movies that get shot down only to rise again and again mercilessly.
This blog has been a successful navigation around Resistance. I am doing it, every day, no matter what. There are mornings when R is whispering in my ear giving me “permission” to skip my page but I recognize that sneaky devil and I am the one who rises up and steps over him to get to my laptop and do my work.
I have a list of wins over Resistance in the story of my life. Against Resistance I started a family, businesses, and a not-for-profit organization. In spite of profound Resistance I changed careers, left a long marriage and moved far from my support network. I am not a stranger to the feeling of Resistance pulling at my coat tails as I step ahead into a creative endeavor in my life. It is empowering to stand over him and tell him this is a battle he has lost. I may feel Resistance all around me, but I am powering through to claim my right to be more than the small person I become when I succumb to his pressure.
The word “resistance” has been a part of my professional life as a CranioSacral therapist. It is the name we therapists give to the part of the subconscious mind that shows up to sabotage a person’s healing process. When I put my listening hands on a living body, I can “feel” physical resistance, as well. The resistance I feel has a tension to it. It might be described as a cyst or a blockage. It is a place of least flow. There is stagnation in this place of resistance in the body and as a result, symptoms may arise. As a therapist, part of my job is to locate the places of stagnation and facilitate the release of resistance to improve flow. As resistance is met and released, there is a restoration of flowing fluids, flowing energy, flowing life force.
The other piece of the CSTpuzzle is the subconscious resistance to healing. This may show up as anything from boredom to anger to nausea to contrived stories or symptoms. The physical body has a way of showing me when the symptom I’m seeing is “real” and when it is “resistance.” The art of the science of CranioSacral therapy lies in the ability to successfully negotiate the resistance when it shows up. There is an art to having a dialogue with the Resistance and getting it to “back down” so that the person’s Inner Wisdom and their desire to heal can surface.
The question I ask myself when I’m working with a client as well as in my own life is “Who is driving the bus?” In any given moment, who is making the decisions for this body? Is it Creative Life-Giving Energy or is it Life-Taking Resistance? Conscious awareness of who is driving the bus is the first step toward making sure that the Life-Giving Creative Energy that drives me toward greatness is in the front seat. Resistance may never die, but he can be bound and gagged and put in the back of the bus where he can do no harm.
At the end of the day, the choice is always mine.


One thought on “Resistance

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The War of Art | Chris - BETA edition

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