Thursday, May 01, 2008

A Transformational Kick in the Pants

The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield is required reading for my writing clients. The following excerpt from the book tells you why:

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance...

"Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, desease, and erectile dysfunction. To yield to Resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and makes us less than we are and were born to be. If you believe in God (and I do) you must declare Resistance evil, for it prevents us from achieving the life God intended when He endowed each of us with our own unique genius. Genius is a Latin word; the Romans used it to denote an inner spirit, holy and inviolable, which watches over us, guiding us to our calling. A writer writes with his genuius; an artist paints with hers; everyone who creates operates from this sacramental center. It is our soul's seat, the vessel that holds our being-in-potential, our star's beacon and Polaris...

"Look in your own heart. Unless I'm crazy, right now a still small voice is piping up, telling you as it has ten thousand times, the calling that is yours and yours alone. You know it. No one has to tell you. And unless I'm crazy, you're no closer to taking action on it than you were yesterday or will be tomorrow. You think Resistance isn't real? Resistance will bury you."

As I said, I require all my writing clients to read this book as a part of our coaching journey. I highly recommend it to anyone who feels creatively blocked, either internally or by circumstance. Ignoring Resistance won't make it go away; quite the contrary, actually. It's the opponent you don't see coming that knocks you out cold.

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