Just Show Up

By pen and inklings

That’s all I have to do. Why it is so difficult? Why am I so resistant?

Steven Pressfield said it well in his book The War of Art: “Resistance”. That’s it? Plain, old resistance? Well I’ve come to know it’s not plain. And it never grows old. But it grows deeper as one gets older. This has happened to me. I have no excuses. I admit I’m stuck and have been for many years. I keep going in a circle: Desire to create, start out creating, write a blog post about where I’ve been and try to explain this to myself and anyone who may be listening, buy a new journal, get bogged down by life or whatever, lay things aside while I tend to everything else, dust accumulates, lose interest or don’t like what I wrote or drew, wonder if others will feel that way too, think about this everyday while I do the dishes, go to the art store and buy a new pen and more paper, store them in a drawer, desire arises again to create….I need an accountability partner. My reasons for not having one are mostly tied to fear. What if I let them down? What if I don’t feel like doing the thing I committed to? What if I’m really not a writer or an artist? What if I embarrass myself?


Resistance obstructs movement only from a lower sphere to a higher.
It kicks in when we seek to pursue a calling in the arts, launch an innovative
enterprise, or evolve to a higher station morally, ethically, or spiritually.
So if you’re in Calcutta working with the Mother Theresa Foundation and you’re
thinking of bolting to launch a career in telemarketing…relax. Resistance will
give you a free pass. (The War of Art, page 17)

A friend and I recently traveled to an art workshop. I told her about a quote I heard by John F. Kennedy. He said, “We’re not doing this because it’s easy. We’re doing this because it’s hard.” My friend said, “Ok, we’re doing the hard stuff now.” And we repeat this to each other every time we talk. The hard stuff for me right now is to write this blog post and press publish. It’s reaching out to people to find the right combination of encouragement and instruction to keep headed toward my goal of writing an essay to send out somewhere. It’s drawing in my journal everyday, either to illustrate what I’m writing about or just to practice and hone my skills. Another quote from 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. (The War of Art, page 12)

I’ve known for a long time that my faith is related to creativity. Just as faith is not an easy stance to maintain in every day life so it is in the creative realm. I need to lean into this idea more. I believe in prayer for example because I’ve experienced results many times, yet how often I forget to pray, or just don’t pray. Why? Because it’s hard! First I have to go against myself and my own reasoning that always asks the question: What good will it do? Then I have to speak to my heart to wake up and get on board because without my heart it will be only words going out into the air instead of love going into the ears of God. I have to care. All this requires work, the work of believing that prayer will avail much. It seems very much the same to bring myself to writing or drawing. One more quote:


Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment
one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur
to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from
the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents
and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would
come his way. W.H.Murray (The War of Art, page 122)

“We’re doing the hard stuff now.”



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