Even in beautiful Bali, with its tranquil rice paddies, and secret quiet spots that are hidden away from the noisy streets, I’ve still been feeling resistance toward my pages.
Here’s what my resistance in Bali looks like…
It looks like a Chinese bun with yummy coconut inside (see above.)
It looks like fiddling with my phone, trying to read my What’s App messages, and compulsively checking Facebook.
It looks like cleaning. My room. Even though there’s housekeeping at the hotel.
It looks like getting caught up in stuff back home. Like did my son pack enough clothes for his weekend trip. And will my dog look cute with her new haircut.
It looks like trolling Politico and Salon, for the latest details on the election results.
It looks like television. Jurassic Park 2 in Balinese, to be exact.
It looks like working on other stuff. Even though the other stuff isn’t due for awhile.
It looks like staring at the rain.
It looks like shopping. Yes, I bought some cute pants.
It looks like pretending I have all the time in the world. Even though I don’t, and have set deadlines for myself.
It looks like blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah inside my head. Stories about this. And stories about that. All with quite serious consequences. A telenovela in my mind.
Yes, my resistance looks like all these specific things, but really, it’s the same run of the mill resistance I experience at home. It’s about my own fear of failure. Of not being perfect. Of revealing myself on the page. Of writing about things that will expose me, and make me vulnerable.
I love this quote from Stephen Pressfield’s Book The War of Art...
“Resistance is experienced as fear; the degree of fear equates to the strength of Resistance. Therefore the more fear we feel about a specific enterprise, the more certain we can be that that enterprise is important to us and to the growth of our soul. That’s why we feel so much Resistance. If it meant nothing to us, there’d be no Resistance.”
Take Action. Notice what you do when you are in resistance. Do you blame other people for not having enough time? Do you tell yourself over and over that you’ll start tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes? Do you eat Chinese Buns? If you are feeling resistance toward your pages, this means they matter. And they matter because they are your soul’s work. Will you neglect your soul in favor of your fear? I know you. And I know you will go toward the fear. Because this is where your growth not just as a writer, but as a human, lies.
Today I woke up, got a cup of coffee and sat down with my pages. I ignored my temptation to keep running up to the restaurant to check to see if they had Chinese Buns and finished my word count for the day. The incredible thing is how calm and un-fearful I feel when I do this.
Could you do the same?
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