Today’s blog explores all the ways we resist our Soul – the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose, connection and fulfillment. Resistance includes all the inner and seemingly exterior obstacles the keep us from our spiritual and creative path and the path of our greatness…and it sometimes feels like nothing short of war.
There is a reason Joseph Campbell calls the journey to the Soul, the hero’s journey, and it is a good reason. In my experience, it is only the brave and truly courageous who have the moxie to endure, persist and survive the spiritual journey toward embracing and living SOUL. Soul is the unique way we are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection in our lives. The purpose of Soul is to help us find fulfillment and in turn to help others find the same, thereby making our world a more peaceful, loving and harmonious place. The challenge is that in the journey toward Soul, we will encounter every possible reason, excuse, obstacle, fear, insecurity, worry, criticism for NOT following this path that the journey toward Soul sometimes feels like nothing short of war.
The War of Art
Author, Steven Pressfield, acknowledges the truth of the battle toward Soul in the title of his book, The War of Art. The journey to Soul often feels like a battle as we come face to face with every inner and seemingly outer obstacle to our enjoyment of our unique creative gift, drive and passion. First of all, we create every excuse for NOT tending to our Soul/art/gifts/passions including, “I don’t have enough time, money, education, support, resources, space, room, blah blah blah.” We also create all kinds of ridiculous stories in our heads like, “I’ll tend to my art when my husband, children, mother, father, sisters, the world, can fend for themselves and no longer need my attention and care,” or “I’m too old/young, it’s too late, I don’t have the right teachers, blah blah blah.” Or the most damaging and potentially threatening words to our art, “What if no one likes it?????” While we are entertaining all the voices in our head that tell us all the reasons we can’t or should not pursue our creative and spiritual dreams, somehow the universe gets in on the conversation and begins throwing challenges in our path. Let me tell you a little story to give you an idea of how this works….
The subtlety of resistance
Last night, I was given an opportunity to step into my Soul by facilitating my first workshop on creativity. The workshop was planned, I knew what and how I was going to present. As such, I had nothing to do during the day but the normal everyday things of bathing, cooking, cleaning, feeding my children, etc. Well, everything that could possibly go wrong with the simple everyday things of life did, and in the process, every one of my deepest insecurities and worries were triggered….all completely unrelated to this workshop (or so it would seem). The end result was me in a fit of rage, losing my temper with my kids and melting down in a flood of tears at the dining room table.
Get behind me Satan!
Author, Julie Tallard Johnson, in her book, Wheel of Initiation, refers to this seemingly exterior form of resistance as The Trickster and relates the trickster to the coyote (as an animal totem). Joseph Campbell refers to this exterior obstacle as the supernatural helper. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this adversary is known as Satan. (Read more about the exterior obstacle click HERE.) This exterior form of resistance is made up of all the things that seem to be outside of us that give us the opportunity to question, doubt, even cease the journey toward Soul. As my day seemed to be going to hell, I was confronted with every fear, worry, doubt about the path of Soul that I had been taking. As the sh..t was hitting the fan, I wondered, “should I throw it all in and get a ‘real’ job?” I doubted the current course of my path and wondered if I was good enough, capable enough or if I was once again barking up the wrong tree.” (for the record….I don’t really believe there is a wrong tree, but the trickster makes us think in that way!) The trickster showed up and I was caught up in the whirlwind of chaos it seeks to create.
The Irony of Resistance
The irony in all of this drama is that I didn’t realize it was the trickster of resistance until after the workshop – hindsight really is 20/20. After the meltdown at the kitchen table, I packed my kids off for their dad’s, headed off toward the workshop and facilitated one of the most well-attended and successful single evening workshops of my career. In attendance was an enthusiastic and open group of women, excited to awaken their latent creativity and open the door to their Soul which they did through poetry, prose and proclamation. It was an exciting and rewarding evening which also happened to benefit the local shelter for victims of domestic abuse. As Julie Tallard Johnsons reminds in The Wheel of Initiation, when the trickster shows up, it is there because something really amazing is about to happen. Last night was the perfect example of this truth and another reminder of the battle of arriving at Soul and the courage and tenacity needed for staying on the path.
How does resistance show up in your life?
How do you deal with resistance when it appears?
How do you move through the challenges of resistance?
SOUL is the unique way you are creatively gifted to find meaning, purpose and connection. Soul, when engaged, leaves you feeling fulfilled, content and whole. My mission is to help you BIRTH YOUR SOUL. To schedule one-on-one mentoring, classes, workshops or retreats, call Lauri Ann Lumby at (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.