The War of Art and Resistance

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Every week we get a little closer to finishing this album and every week I learn more about myself. This week I’ve been reading a book called “The War of Art”. It deals with the topic of resistance and how we are all both victims and supporters of it. Not the kind of resistance where you stand up to something, but the insidious resistance that keeps us from doing, or being, more.

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.” – The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

The author labels resistance as something we do to ourselves. Anyone who writes, paints, composes music, starts a diet, decides to exercise more, decides to quit smoking, wants to learn an instrument, plays one already, wants to start a business, anyone, anywhere, who wants to accomplish SOMETHING, will meet Resistance. It is, as the book says, the most toxic thing on the planet. It is the thing that digs in and through it, we find reasons to avoid responsibilities or pursuing success. We find ways to avoid something we should be doing. Like the book says, it is the enemy within.

Most of the time, we supply and feed that resistance. It is the voice that says we need a nap when we know we should be working on something. It is the voice that says we’re too tired or not good enough. It is the desire to do anything instead of what we know we should do to accomplish our goal. The problem is that often it is a quiet thing that we don’t even catch. Just the other day I had a task I needed to do when I got home and instead decided to stop off and pick something up at the grocery store before going home. Did I really need what I picked up? No. I was convinced that I need it but the truth is, I just didn’t want to get started on my task that day.

It is the same with exercise. I may stay up late because I want to get some work done and so I’m tired when I wake up. And wouldn’t you know it? I don’t feel like exercising. Did I need to do everything I did when I stayed up late? Not necessarily. I could have made better use of my time during the day so that I could have gotten more sleep. However…being exhausted sure seems like a good excuse. A day here or there would be understandable. But to have that happen on most days? Resistance. Someone once told me that if you wait until you are comfortable with change, you’ll never change. Nike really did nail it when they said, “Just do it”. We can always find a reason for not doing something, no matter how big or how small.

We will often rationalize away the reasons that we don’t work on the things that we know we should. Most of the time, they are the things that will do the most good for us. I remember when I first decided to lose weight. I was really restricting my diet and trying to jump headfirst into being healthier. It was truly amazing to hear folks say things like, “I don’t know why you want to put yourself through all that. Doesn’t make sense. It’s like you’re punishing yourself.” I got the same kind of reaction when I decided to quit smoking. It was incredible how much was being offered to me about how smoking doesn’t harm you and how “nothing has been proven”.

There I was trying to do something good for myself and resistance came out full force. The difference is, it wasn’t my resistance. It was theirs. Sometimes people will see you trying to pursue something positive and their own resistance comes out. We do it to ourselves and sometimes, to each other.

There is a great poem that is attributed to Mother Theresa. It says:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self centered. Forgive them anyway. 

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. 

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. 

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. 

If you find serenity and happiness, others could become jealous. Be happy anyway. 

The good you do may be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. 

In the final analysis, it is between you and Gd. It was never between you and them. 

The book is truly amazing and really spells out where this internal resistance comes from, how to identify it, how to fight it, and how to keep it at bay. I recommend it for everyone who is trying to do anything.  There is a link at the bottom of this post to the Amazon listing for the book.

On to other news!

Saul and I were wrapping up editing on the song, “Home” and it needed one thing – a violin. Thankfully, we came across William Stewart. Originally from Scotland, he now lives in France and has played with bands from all over. He’s been the leader of the Passau State Opera Orchestra and toured with the famous Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. Thankfully, one thing led to another and now we have William’s amazing violin talents on “Home.” The power of the internet, folks.

His music is stirring, sweeping, and soulful. I’m a huge fan and I can’t wait for you to hear his work on the song. Please check out his Soundcloud page for more music. You can also purchase his albums full of  beautiful and moving violin on his website.

Listen to William here: soundcloud.com/billfiddle

Purchase his music here: William’s Website 

The next few weeks are going to be pretty wild and I’m looking forward to sending out copies to all those who pre-ordered through our Jewcer campaign! Have an incredible week and remember to check out our Upcoming Events page for all the upcoming services, shows, and events.

Buy The War of Art by Steven Pressfield HERE!

L’Shalom!

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