I have been facing some pretty heavy emotional and spiritual resistance the last few mornings and until today I haven’t really seen it as such, but I recently have made the decision that I would put any considerations of a brewing career on hold and focus on my writing.
I his books The War of Art and Turning Pro, Stephen Pressfield talks about the ideas of resistance and the shadow career. Resistance is felt whenever we try to make a change for the positive but especially when seek to bring our true self, our inborn genius, our God given talent to the fore of our life. The shadow career is our attempt to find relief from the need to bring about the birthing of our true self and it is a way of avoiding resistance by doing something other than what we were put on the earth to do. For me brewing had a risk of becoming a shadow career something that seemed easier than writing my book
In Turning Pro, Pressfield quotes the Greek poet Archilochus “Be brave, my heart. Plant your feet, and square your shoulders to the enemy. Meet him among the man killing spears. Stand your ground”. I find myself among the man killing spears today. The enemy is pushing on areas of my life that have nothing to do with my writing, all my fears and failures come rushing in, and it is easy to forget that I get to fight back or that I have the ability to.
I want to break down the Archilochus quote, then I want to leave you with my thoughts on this battle called life. So let’s begin.
Be brave, my heart. It is amazing that bravery is not something we naturally do, we have to remind ourselves to be brave. The most repeated command in the Bible is fear not. Why? Because the human race forgets that it can conquer that fear is a tool of resistance, and that it is largely only in our mind. Once we take on the posture of bravery, fear largely flees.
Plant your feet, and square your shoulders to the enemy. Take up a fighting stance and brace for impact. I wish I could say that just being brave would take care of resistance, but it doesn’t, sometimes you have to fight it out. And the more fiercely you oppose resistance the dirtier it will fight, so be ready.
Meet him among the man killing spears. Run toward the fight. Don’t wait for an invitation, don’t wait to get ambushed. Actively engage the enemy, fight for what’s yours, the realization of the deep things in your soul. I you want these things you must fight tooth and nail for them, not engage in a half-heart 6th grade girl slap fight.
Stand your ground. This one is interesting, and requires a little bit of an explanation of pre-modern battle tactics. Most armies from the Greeks to the Vikings fought in some form of shield wall. The shield wall was exactly that, an impenetrable wall of shields, which required warrior to lock shields with the men on either side of him. The thing we have to remember about our fight is that we, for the most part, aren’t alone. We need to lock in and hold, because there are others around us counting on us, they need us to birth the unique things set in our souls into the world. We need their support and they need ours.
I think that war mentality if hard for us modern humans because we have been taught to play nice and we inevitably carry that teaching into our emotional and spiritual battles. We have forgotten how to be ruthless with resistance.
I have a ritual, that I have never shared with anyone ‘til now, that I use to put myself into the war mindset. It is a tactic as old as war, it is the war cry. There many war cries, I use the Norse and Germanic Ahh OOt, I repeat over and over again with intensity. You’d be surprised that something that sound so dumb actually really psyches you up. This usually helps me to focus and clear my head of the fog of resistance.
The battle to birth our unique gifts to the world is essential to our survival as individuals and as the human race, especially more so now as Kardashians influence us, computers think for us and angry birds entertain us.