I’ve been reading “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It’s about overcoming resistance to do what we are supposed to be doing on this earth. Whether we are writers, painters, composers, musicians, actors, or entrepreneurs, we are supposed to be getting out what lies within each of us. Not only for our own sake but for the sake of the world.
Here is a quote from the book that I thought was telling:
If tomorrow morning by some stroke of magic, every dazed and benighted soul woke up with the power to take the first step toward pursuing his or her dreams, every shrink in the directory would be out of business. Prisons would stand empty. The alcohol and tobacco industries would collapse, along with the junk food, cosmetic surgery, and infotainment businesses, not to mention pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and the medical profession from top to bottom Domestic abuse would become extinct, as would addiction, obesity, migraine headaches, road rage and dandruff.
That is good stuff. I I think it’s true. He says resistance is “the most toxic force on the planet. It is the root of more unhappiness than, poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction.”
He doesn’t have any scientific facts to back up his statements but the feel right to me. I don’t know what it is but I just —
“I know,” the voice says.
“Hello? Who’s there? Who’s speaking?”
“It’s me. Your body.”
“Are you feeling joy? Peace? Love? Accomplished? Content?”
“Good. I know that you do but I just thought I would ask.”
“What do you mean you know that?”
“I just do. I’ll let you know if you’re not feeling any or all of these things.”
“You’ll feel pain, sickness, unease, GERD, ED, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, this condition, that condition. Believe me, I’ll let you know.
“What should I do when you ‘let me know?’”
“Hopefully, it never gets to that point because you are going to pursue your dreams every damn day like your were build to do. But if it does, just relax and get back to work.”
“You know, work. Your work. The work inside you, the stuff that you are supposed to dump out. Your soul is like the little teapot, short and stout, here is your handle, here is your spout. Teapots were meant to pour tea, not store tea. It has to come out.”
“My body is giving me this message?”
“Well, yes and not. Technically, the message is coming from your soul, your Inner Being, the real You, the part of the Whole. You’re experiencing life through the five senses of the body, so sometimes it seems like this body is you, but it’s not. Not really. But to get messages to Your consciousness from the soul, sometimes I intervene and get the message to you. It comes is various ways, but a lot of times it shows up in pain and sickness and discontent. Kind of like how you can tell if milk’s bad by smelling of it. So do the work, before I start to curdle.”
“You know I’m adverse to work.”
“Of course. It’s okay. If you are doing the work that you ‘need’ to do, it want really feel like work. Like a huge exhale after you try to hold your breath for a full two minutes. It’s more like sweet release than work in the traditional sense.”
“So I’ll pass out if I don’t work?”
“That’s right. And if you do it enough times, you’ll die, first on the inside and then outwardly.”
“Just do the work and stop asking some many fucking questions.”
“Wow. You kiss your mother with that mouth?”
“No, but you do. Through me.”
“Thanks for the update, my body. Can I call you ‘my body?’”
“Sure. I’ll talk to you soon. I’ll send you a squirt of dopamine when you’re done here. Enjoy that.”
This is why we’re here. To serve the gods and commit to the task, the one we have today, right now. That task could change by next year or the next decade or even tomorrow, but today, you know what you have to do. Do it.
As a person who has spent the greater part of the last ten to twelve years suffering some type of pain in my body, I know. Drugs never helped. Alcohol didn’t help. Escape didn’t help. Running away didn’t help. The only thing that truly fixed it was sitting down and doing the work, overcoming that monster called resistance. It’s still a work on progress, but I’m my way.
“Exhale. Don’t you fell better?”
“I do. I really really do.”
What are you working on today? Have you read The War of Art? What are your thoughts?