When I first read the title of the book, “The War of Art” I was not sure I wanted to go any further. It reminded me of “The Art of War” but it is far from that. The title also seemed in too much ambivalence as I see Art as a spiritual connection and not one of warring type qualities. Steven Pressfield is a successful author that has gone through his share of creative struggles and through them has identified many blocks that he has gone through and how they relate to metaphysics. I could relate to much of what he discusses so thought I would share a bit on my thoughts regarding this book.
In our daily lives we all have felt resistance in one way or another. Sometimes it is resistance feed by others in the manner of negative or degrading thoughts, words or actions. These can shape who we tell ourselves we are and influence our feelings of worthiness. Then there can be inner blocks that come from other experiences that we have had and those feelings. Either way Steven shares that it is by getting through this resistance that we will be able to reach our higher self/soul.
The Art of War is that cycle of resistance that occurs, that mind chatter of the Ego, as we are setting, attempting and working toward a higher path or goal. And actually the closer we get to achieving it, the more intense that resistance (or the trickier) it can get. One of the most profound things I learned was that resistance is a physical force of nature. Just like gravity, we cannot see it but we can certainly feel its effects on us.
Wow, read that again. Resistance is a natural force that you are not in control of. You are not creating it. It does take on our voice and memories from our past experiences, those inner tapes, so it feels like you right? That is how tricky the Ego can be. Interesting! So when I am starting a new venture and I hear my inner voice say, “no one will find this interesting”, I am not really saying this, it is the resistance and by acknowledging that it is NOT ME, it will go away.
So how can we work through and acknowledge resistance? Firstly to have a daily practice of going with in is important. You can do this through journaling, meditation or even exercise. But it is about checking to see how you are feeling emotionally and physically; asking yourself what is going on within. Many of us use creative activities as a way of connecting to this part of ourselves and to our higher self. Secondly, understand and acknowledge what these sensations are and sort out if this really is part of you or just something you tell yourself, is it resistance? Lastly, play big. Don’t let resistance get in your way. Often times the dream you have that you feel the most resistance from, Steven says, is the thing you are called to do. So here’s to you becoming the best you this summer!
Teresa Van Lanen of Making Art of Life and Soul Connection, is an Occupational Therapist, Life Coach, SoulCollage® facilitator and Reiki practitioner.
Please follow and reach her on Facebook, Twitter and on www.makingartoflife.com..
She works with individuals who are wishing to connect with their inner spirit for a balanced happy life. Look for her fall Soul Connection workshops this month on the events page of her website.