“In a troubled time, you must become that which you are longing for.”
– Stephen Jenkinson, Orphan Wisdom School
Do you know?
When I’m caught up in the world’s chaos and anarchy, I long for peace.
I want things to be OKAY.
I want my son and my husband to find their best work.
I want my body to move and groove like it did when I was 23.
I want someone to make the decisions about tonight’s dinner and how we’ll finance the new roof.
And deep in my heart of hearts, what I crave most is a strong relationship with my Creative Source.
An un-gated and un-locked connection to my words and imagination.
I want to hold the gorgeous voice (not mine) that seems to evade me at every turn.
The voice that wants and needs to be heard.
Maybe you want some of that, too?
But there’s resistance.
A whole big deplorable basket of it sits in my office chair scrolling scrolling scrolling the interwebz and giving the side eye to anyone who’s found a way around it.
Yes, resistance occupies both my mental and physical space quite a bit these days.
But not just my resistance to The Writing.
There’s also the resistance we’re witnessing at Standing Rock to the North Dakota Pipeline.
The resistance to police brutality made manifest in so many bended knees.
And the resistance to eons of misogyny we see playing out in our politics and media.
Obviously, not all resistance is a bad thing.
So let’s unpack it a bit, shall we?
There’s an adage made famous by Carl Jung that says, “What you resist, persists.”
And these days, when someone says this to you, they mean you ought to chill. To relax and go with the flow.
To give up the fight.
And that, my friends, is just plain wrong.
Jung’s definition of this resistance was in relation to our inner selves. Those bits we shame and push away as “wrong” or “dumb” or “dirty.” He meant that the harder we work to hide those shadow parts, the bigger they become.
In other words, if you feel that as a writer, you have nothing intelligent or worthwhile to say, you’ll avoid writing.
And as you resist writing (or insert other creative endeavor here), the picture you have of yourself as incompetent, grows bigger and more persistent.
It’s a vicious cycle that can only end when we embrace those bits of ourselves we believe to be broken.
But resistance isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either.
Resisting injustice can create justice.
Resistance in electricity gives us light and heat.
Resistance training makes bones and muscles stronger.
And resistance to change helps us ask better questions and get clarity about how and why we want to change something.
Even Steven Pressfield says resistance is a sign that something beautiful is just around the corner: “Where we encounter Resistance, somewhere nearby is a Dream.”
So let’s you and I use our resistance to create light in the world. To create strength and justice and positive change. Through our words, our voices, our writing.
Yes, it can be a big ass challenge to find the time to write. To stay inspired. To put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
But you CAN do it. And you’re totally normal if you feel otherwise.
Want to put that resistance to work for you?
I have a few writers’ masterminds starting in January. I haven’t picked the meeting dates and times yet, so if you’re interested, please reply to this email and let me know what you’d prefer (or, if it’s easier, what WON’T work for you).
These will be groups of six big-hearted writers who’re committed to sharing their writing with the world. Who want and need the accountability and support to work with and through their resistance. And who’ve got a keen desire to connect with (and stay connected to) their Creative Source.
If you have plans to write a book (of any kind) or you’d just like to write and publish (on a regular basis) essays, articles, and/or blog posts, drop me a line. Let me know what would serve you best. Or what questions you might have.
I want to hear how you’d like to use your one gorgeous voice to create positive change.