Steven Pressfield says in The War of Art, “Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North—meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing. We can use this. We can use it as a compass. We can navigate by Resistance, letting it guide us to that calling or action that we must follow before all others. Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”
This is SOOOOOOOO true!!! I have set as one of my intentions to write at least 30 minutes every day. Oh my how Resistance has tried to steal that from me!! It’s almost comical really. I got everything ready—brewed some coffee, lit some incense, turned on the score to Legends of the Fall—then sat down to write. I remembered I printed off my intentions and yesterday’s blog because I wanted to keep a folder of everything I did over this next 100 days. Wouldn’t you know it; I couldn’t find any tabs that you put at the top of the file folder. So what did I do? Instead of writing for 30 minutes and then finding the tabs, I spent the next 40 minutes tearing apart the office looking for a damn little piece of plastic and paper. Now I’m sipping cold coffee, the incense is burned out, and my Legends of the Fall music is almost done. Hahahaha And then on top of that, when I did finally sit down to write the quote from Pressfield, my parents called me and asked about me coming over to help them with their computer. Not today! I’m writing! Thankfully I had the sense to tell them I was busy. Seriously, this thing called Resistance (and Distraction) is some kind of evil force I think.
As I look back on the year I had in ’08, it makes absolutely perfect sense the role Resistance has had on my life! The weekend of September 29th, 2007, I was at a retreat in Canada titled Calling: Finding Your Irreplaceable Role. Sometime during that retreat we did an exercise on listing our top 5 passions words. (Taken from my journal)
Mine were: 1. Learn—I love to learn new things! I love to learn about myself and what makes others tick. I love to read and have those AH HAH moments. 2. Inspire—There is no doubt I get a charge when I can inspire other people. I also work best when I am inspired too. 3. Write—I love to write! I love to inspire people when I write. I love to hear what people say about my writing. I love to cleverly use words in a way that can make people think and put a smile on their face at the same time. I especially love to write while inspired! 4. Encourage—I seem to always find myself encouraging people in one way or another. I’ve noticed that even my presence can be an encouragement to some people. 5. Affirm—along the same lines as encouragement except more intentional. Like the time I affirmed Joanne, my life coach instructor, and brought her to tears of gratitude in front of the whole class. My encouraging words also affirmed in her what she already knew to be true.
What do these passion words do for me? What patterns are here? What has my heart been saying? What have others been saying? What are you saying? I feel like you are saying to keep learning and write about what I learn. (At this point, my higher self started talking to me and I could hardly write fast enough to keep up!) Keep writing! Write every chance you get. Find as many things to write about as you can. Don’t worry so much about the finished product, just write because you love the process of it and the feeling you get when it touches someone else. When you write you will learn, inspire, encourage, and affirm. Use life coaching as a means to write, not as a business you are forced to develop. Business will come as you continue to write. Forget about a master’s degree right now—write. Go to work every day with your eyes and ears open to what’s going on there. There is more material in one day at work than in a month in an office as a counselor. I have given you a gift to speak to people’s hearts through the words you put on paper. Use it. Use it daily!!! I’ve been awakening this in you. I’ve been deepening this in you. You have even fulfilled it on some occasions with great success. All of your passion words can be fulfilled in this one area. Write Travis! Bring your weightiness and your glory and get it on paper. Your journey has already begun, your voice has already been found, your gifts have already been confirmed, and your desires have already been deepened; now leave this place and fulfill your calling!! Now is not the season for more training, now is the season for doing what I’m calling you to do!
So that was my journal entry back in the end of September, 2007. Pretty powerful stuff!!! Retyping that brought back some pretty powerful feelings for me even today. I remember that moment of writing (more like scribbling) as fast as I could in order to keep up with what was coming into my head. They are powerful moments to experience. So I left that camp in Canada on a high—not surprisingly. I was confident of my calling and purpose. I was determined and excited.
Any guesses who I ran into when I got home? Yep, my old friends Resistance and Distraction. They were happy to see me actually. Oh, they were nice enough to leave me alone the first couple weeks. They were simply patiently waiting in the shadows before they made their grand entrance. The crazy thing is I had no idea what they were even up to. Life simply just took over. I was in a new relationship with Katie who I eventually asked to marry me. My kids were involved in sports all year. I worked full time, life coached part time, kept up on the typical chores around the house, and whatever else life threw my way. Looking back, it’s easy to see how Resistance and Distraction snuck in on me. It’s not like the things I was doing were bad things. They were all very good things to be doing. But, in my heart, I knew I was neglecting the very most important thing. I knew I was not living up to my calling—every day I knew it! People even asked me to write for them at different times and I blew them off. Every time I was given another opportunity to write and wouldn’t, my soul seemed to grow darker and darker. It’s crazy how we can go from being on top of the world (September ’07) to being down in the dumps a year later.
This 100 Day Challenge has showed up for me at exactly the right time. I am eager to write daily and set in motion the habits that will continue throughout the challenge, the year, and beyond! This year will almost be amusing to watch as I continue to do battle with my old pals Resistance and Distraction! They think they are so clever and smarter than the rest of us! As a group, let’s prove them wrong and put them in their place once and for all!!!