Pushing Past Resistance

Resistance QuoteIn his book Do the Work, author Steven Pressfield lists the enemies that we will face in the pursuit of any goal or work that we set out to do. It doesn’t matter if we are artists, entrepreneurs or SAHM, if we have a goal that we need to accomplish there are common enemies that come against us. The first, and in my opinion the biggest, enemy we have to fight is Resistance.

Here are few of the things, Steven says about Resistance* (and yes it is capitalized on purpose because it is a noun; it is the enemy that is  standing in the way of you and me reaching forward to thing we are meant to be doing):

“Resistance is a repelling force. It’s negative. Its aim is to shove us away, distract us, prevent us from doing our work. Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work.”

“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

“Resistance aims to kill. Its target is the epicenter of our being: our genius, our soul, the unique and priceless gift we were put on this earth to give that no one else has but us.”

I have been bumping up against a lot of Resistance lately. I am making a major change in my life, shifting my focus in a new direction and there is a lot of work that I have to do. Work I’m not doing. Some pieces are getting done but for the most part I have not gotten into the muck and mire of what is necessary for me to really gain some traction and do the work I know I need to do.

There is fear and lots of self doubt which are to be expected; these are two of the common forms that Resistance will take. But the main way that Resistance is showing up for me is with distractions. Dear lord, most days I feel like Doug in the movie Up.

Social media is Resistance’s main ally in this war right now. A few minutes on Facebook to check on something, turns into hours lost checking updates, reading articles posted or worst taking one of those quizzes currently making the rounds. I also lose time scrolling through pictures on Instagram or status updates on Twitter. All distractions keeping me from doing my work.

But I’m ready to push through all this Resistance. It’s time for me to actively engage this enemy of Resistance and win this war of putting my work into the world.

I share this with you to ask for your help to keep me accountable. If you don’t start seeing regular posts on this blog with fresh content, you have my permission to contact me and ask me about it. You have my permission to kick my tail if you see me giving into Resistance because I’m done letting it win.

This is me declaring a moratorium on Resistance. It might show up again but for now, it’s use of distractions will no longer win. I’m committing to DO THE WORK!

*all quotes taken from Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

 

Good Life Project Creed

I was in the mood to organize and tackled the bazillion things I had under my Bookmarks Tab. I was amazed at what I found, mostly stuff I even forget I had bookmarked. As I was sorting through all of those I came across this creed and wanted to share it with you guys. It reminds me a lot of my own Life Manifesto so you know I loved it. It provides some good “rules” for living a great life. Enjoy!
GoodLifeProjectCreed
Like this? Learn to build a better life at Good Life Project.

Saying Yes

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible. it is yours” Ayn Rand

I’ve never read anything by Ayn Rand but this quote has found me on more than one occasion. It most recently re-presented itself as I’ve been contemplating the next steps in my life’s journey. I’ve alluded to the changes coming in my life and I’m still not at liberty to speak of them in detail but as I have considered the massive upheaval about to come to my life, fear has been nipping at my feet. I started thinking maybe I shouldn’t do this after all. Maybe I should just stay put and not risk saying no to a life that no longer serves me in order to try to find a life that honors the best of who I want to be. What if I fail? What if I just end up settling for some other iteration of my life that is still not authentic but pays the bills? What if….? The list was endless running around in my head. Top of the list of reasons why I needed to stay put was thinking I was too old. Too old to start over. Too old to begin again. Then these words found me and they stoked the waning embers of courage in my soul, reminding me that to not make this change is to risk never becoming the best version of myself I’m capable of becoming.

I had a really hard week and by the end of it my heart felt incredibly raw. To help my wounded heart I decided to art journal. I had not art journaled in awhile but I know art heals and my heart desperately needed some healing. There is no right or wrong way to art journal. Some people paint in their journals, some people draw, others use it as a way to capture their thoughts through art. For me art journaling is about uncovering the secret messages my heart is trying to whisper to me. I believe my heart is always speaking but usually I can’t hear her over the noise of other people’s voices and expectations. Art journaling gets me out of my head and into my heart.

I created four art journal pages last night. This is one of them

Reinvent Your Life

Reinvent Your Life

The picture of this woman just caught my eye because she looks strong and confident but in an understated way. As if to say “don’t underestimate the power of me”. The quote I wrote on the bottom says: “she believed who she could become was worth the risk of letting go who she was”. And I love that question, what will the new you say to the old you?

Through this page I hear my heart asking me to take the risk to discover who I can become. I hear my heart reminding me of the CS Lewis quote “you’re never to old to set another goal or dream a new dream”. I hear my heart saying feel the fear and do it anyway. Reinvent your life because who you will become will be more than worth the risk of letting go of this less than life you’re currently living. So even though fear is still nipping at my heels I’m going to say yes to reinventing my life. I will intentionally choose different so that I might have different. Nothing will change unless I first choose to change. So this is me declaring that I will take the risk, I will say YES!

“It’s what we say YES to that determines our life. The No’s just lead nowhere. Playing it safe is risky business” unknown (at least by me)

OneWord 365 Check-In

Every year instead of making New Year’s resolutions I choose OneWord around which I want to frame my year. My friend Alece introduced me to the idea and I have been doing it now for the last 3 years.  You can click here to learn more about how the OneWord concept works. This post is long overdue as it is meant to be a 6 month check-in on how I’m doing with my word. Seeing as it’s practically August, I’m clearly a little late getting this post done. Oh well, better late than never, right? 🙂

This year my word was Change. Every year as part of my end of year ritual I create a vision board to help me visualize the upcoming year. This year I created my board around my OneWord.  Here is a full shot of my board (pardon the blurryness of these pics I took them with my iPad as my regular camera was otherwise detained 🙂 )

full shot

Here is a close up of the top

2013 board_top

And the bottom

2013 board_bottom

My vision board has never been this large before but that tree was begging to be put on my board. On one piece of poster board it took up too much space so I just decided to break out of my normal way of doing things and I used two pieces to create this year’s board. Breaking out my normal way of doing things has definitely been the theme of this year. That tree is a several hundred years old Sequoia tree from the Redwood Forest. As old as it is, it is still growing, still changing, still discovering the full essence of what it is meant to be.

This tree was very symbolic of what I believed 2013 would be for me. At the very top of the tree I put my favorite quote by CS Lewis “You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” I am on the verge of making a pretty radical change in my life and at 41 years old I feel a little too old to be making such a big change. This tree and that quote help remind me that age is just a number and as long as I have breath in my lungs then anything is possible. My greatest wish for all of us is that we rise into the best version of ourselves possible. This year I am determined to hold on to the conviction that It is NOT too late for me to discover the full essence of who I am meant to be. If this Sequoia tree can do then I can do it too!

I have fully embraced my word this year. I set about taking the small steps that would help me make the really big change that I need to make. On my board are the words “before you take care of everyone else, take care of yourself”. Shifting to care for myself first is probably the biggest, small change I’ve made this year. I’m learning to make self-care a priority and figuring out what that looks like for me. I’m setting new boundaries and learning to say NO to others so I can YES to the things that honor my soul. As I have learned to listen to my heart more intentionally, she has gently guided me down this road of change and it is both exciting and scary all at the same time. The biggest change is yet to come and as I step into that change I will share more. For now I will say that this year I’m breathing in the courage I need to make the changes my soul so desperately needs. They’ve been baby steps so far but as my friends Teresa and Mandy remind me, baby steps count.

How about you, do you have a OneWord for this year? If so, how are you doing with your word so far?

The Why Behind the What

Today I’m answering the basic question why do I take pictures? What is it about photography that draws me to it as an art form?

I think the thing I love most about taking pictures is the magic that a camera has the potential to produce.  Photographs have a way of telling a story. The right picture, captured at the right moment, at the right angle, with the right light has the capacity to grab a hold of my imagination and leave me wondering. It’s the untold stories in that are in a person’s eyes in dramatic portrait pictures; it’s the potential that lies down a winding road; or the stories that an old house or barn could tell if it could speak. I think for me the real appeal of photography rests in the stories that lie beyond the pictures. Words can often fail to capture the depth of feelings between a parent and their newborn but with a picture all the emotions are there captured in just a few clicks. In moments of pure devastation, a series of pictures by a photojournalist can write a novel’s worth of stories without using a single word. For me that’s the power of photography, the stories!

So when I shoot, I’m aiming to tell a story or at least make someone wonder about the story behind the picture. I want to capture a moment so perfectly that the viewer is immediately in that moment, feeling the emotions, sensing the potential or wondering about what else might have been happening.  I’m not there yet but that’s where I want to get in my picture-taking.

The picture below perfectly reflects what I mean by the untold stories. I drove by this house on my way to the beach and had to turn around so I could capture it. I took it on my phone so not a great capture but when I look at this house I wonder about the stories its walls could tell; the rich history it has been a part of. I LOVE that I am left wanting to know more. This is why I love photography and why I want to get better at it.