The Resistance (Aug 2)

The resistance is fierce right now.

Everyone gets this.  Doesn’t matter whether you’re building yourself up to some great goal or just going about your daily routine, every person knows this feeling.  Stuckness.  Guilt. Sadness.  Despair.  Irritation.

What separates this feeling from just a bad mood is that it’s not one little thing that’s bugging you: you feel stuck, guilty, sad, despairing, and irritated at the course of your life as a whole.

Yes, it affects everyone, but those who are on a personal or professional development path of any kind tend to feel this more.  I’ll refer you to Seth Godin’s book Linchpin for the details, since he articulates it better than I can.

So what am I resisting right now?

I’ve just come down from a few weeks of solid highs.  That’s normal.  A life fully lived necessarily has a lot of peaks and valleys, and though I’m climbing out of it, I’m still very much in a valley.  Much of it has to do with money.  I’ve followed my own writings and hustled as much as I can to open up opportunities for more money to flow in.

Everyone’s hustle, however, is limited to certain parameters: in my case, I can’t go back to 9 to 5 work to leave room for acting and auditioning.    On the other hand, I can’t get more hours at my part-time job due to summertime’s slowdown.  My freelance work is at a standstill, and no clients have appeared on the horizon.  I’ve had one work opportunity recently, but my gut instinct hasn’t quite come around on this yet. I follow my gut over reason, so I have to wait and see if anything changes.  I hurt my neck and my wrist two weeks ago while lifting weights, and so I haven’t been able to work out while I wait for it to heal.  I haven’t touched my current work in progress, and I’ve gotten a few reject letters from agents on my completed book.

Everything is, in short, stuck in a rut.

Such a difference from only three weeks ago, when I had booked and filmed that commercial, and everything seemed possible.

Historical empires would go through periods of expansion and consolidation, and it’s much the same when you’re building yourself up.  Empires would expand their boundaries as far as the push would take them, then they would stop fighting and spend the next few years building up infrastructure – roads, defences, etc.. – until the next wave of expansion.

Like historical empires, you see this pattern in everything from bodybuilding and physical conditioning to meditative disciplines, intellectual pursuits, and great projects.  Unlike historical empires, there’s no risk of overstretch and collapse.  Once he or she passes certain milestones in personal development, an individual on the path can’t go back to how things were.

All that’s left to do in a consolidation period is to ride it out.  Take care of little errands that you’ve been neglecting, open up what other opportunities you can for the Universe to rush in, and enjoy the break.

That’s what I’ve been resisting. I am resisting the state of consolidation.  I resist out of guilt that I should be doing more, fear that I shouldn’t spend the money in my account, and irritation that though I have the time, I don’t seem to be enjoying it.

My coach and benefactor Giuditta says it best: every breakdown precedes a breakthrough.  All I have to do is sit tight.  Everything shows up when it’s supposed to, and it’s not like I’ve accomplished nothing in the last little while.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with a beer and a lawnchair.

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