Halloween – my favorite holiday – is coming! Monsters and scary stuff are on my mind. But beyond the make-believe goblins and ghouls, there are real monsters out there. They will steal everything and leave you by the side of the road if you don’t fight them. Resistance is one of these monsters.
Resistance is something that often comes up when talking about writer’s block, but it applies to every aspect of life. Resistance, as I’m using it, is above and beyond the casual use of this word. We normally think of resistance like “sales resistance,” which is good – not giving in to every salesperson who wants to empty your wallet. But the Resistance that seems to crapify people’s lives is that which stands like a bodyguard in front of every great thing you want to do in your life.
Resistance convinces you that meditation is silly or beneath you, even when your life is clearly chaotic and out of control. Resistance stops you from apologizing or being kind to your loved one, even when you want a great relationship. Resistance keeps you from writing or painting or starting a business, even when that’s your heart’s desire. Resistance convinces you to sit on the couch and eat fast food, even though you know your blood pressure is high and your gut is large. Resistance will always keep you running in place, mediocre, and repeating self-destructive habits.
The way out is simple but difficult. You create a set of values for yourself (writing them down is helpful). Then, you behave according to those values – NO MATTER WHAT. Every day, you work towards the things that matter to you, a little bit at a time. In the heat of the moment, when excuse after excuse is marching through your mind like a line of ants, that’s where the rubber meets the road. That’s where you will need a strategy to avoid falling back into the same old traps of laziness, apathy, or self-destruction.
To cure writing Resistance, for example, I set up smartphone alarms for myself. Other activities are now long-standing habits, after a period of time spent forcing myself to do them. Meditation and exercise, for example, are two self-care items I can’t live without. They put me in the right frame of mind to live with thoughtfulness and integrity, even when it’s difficult. Because meditation has allowed me to know myself intimately, I’ve created a strong set of core values. It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened eventually. I do what I think is right, even when I don’t feel like it, even when I have every reason not to. It never feels good – at first. But, at the end of the day, I can live with myself – and THAT is the foundation of true self-esteem.
Everyone is different, so you may have to play around and figure out how to overcome your own Resistance. The important thing to remember is that Resistance IS a real thing and it will destroy your life if you let it.
Peace and love,