Over the last couple of years I have learned some pretty weird tools. Not like a drill or hammer, but a tool I can use to soothe my brain when it’s caught up in the gong show I feel I am in sometimes. Procrastinated is one of the gong shows. Procrastination even has a different name now….The Resistance.
So why the resistance? It’s an idea I got from a book I read called the War of Art by Steven Pressfield. The book dives into why it’s hard for a person to be productive. He uses art as the basis because, well he’s a writer and that’s what resonates with him, although it’s applied to anything. The resistance to getting in shape, the resistance to ending a shit marriage or the resistance to try a different kind of beer, anything.
The idea is that is if you give something a name it loses it’s power and the more likely you are to overcome it and move on. If you tell yourself you’re just fucking lazy, then how will you ever change? If you’re not lazy, and you’re just meeting the resistance, an actual thing that can be over ridden, then you have a chance. Yesterday I had sex with the resistance, I fell back to it like an old lover that I know isn’t good for me, but I went anyway. It felt dirty, it felt good at times, but today I feel like like “wtf was I thinking?” and I can move back to my real life.
Essentially my entire life the resistance was my bitch, or I guess I was the resistance’s bitch. I would take my time to do everything; homework, lawn mowing, laundry, cleaning, almost everything I didn’t consider to be “fun”.
I would just not do it. As simple as not putting my shoes on the rack when I got home. It’s a simple little thing that I just didn’t do, no matter how many times my parents told me to, it just didn’t “sink” in. Same goes for cleaning my room and most other chores. Now that I am older and wiser….ish… I try my hardest to do all those little things every time. I have worked on this one for years, even before I was a Yoga Husband. Hang up my jacket on the hook three feet to the right, instead of just dropping it on the floor. Small little acts that made a huge difference in how I felt about myself.
It grew, now I clean stuff without being asked! Really. Now I see things that need addressing and unless I’m cheating on my life and diddling the resistance, it usually gets done. Jordan Peterson (if you don’t know who he is, please google him) says that cleaning your room is a much bigger task than we give it credit for. That if someone can keep their room and make their bed, only then are they able to tackle any of the big stuff. For if they can’t see the value for themselves to be orderly they will never view the world around them as stable or welcoming. I have zero credibility for this being a fact, BUT, if you were to interview the top ten business and “successful” people in almost any field, I bet they make their fucking beds….. I bet they have a clean house. You’d be surprised how good it feels, try it out for a week. Wake up and make your bed, not just the duvet either you little weasel, the whole thing, sheets and all. Commit to doing it for a week and see how much lighter you feel. See how much more accomplished you feel. Then, after the week is over know that nothing else changed, dumb ass. All you did was take an extra 1.5 minutes to organize the blanket pit you sleep in. To me that means the change happened inside, and that is what it feels like when to finish something, you know your actions count and when you agree to take some responsibility and some of your power back.
It’s hard for a dude sometimes though, isn’t it? Brought up without feelings, whether your immediate family intended it or not. Society wrung that shit out of our souls a long time ago. Not just the crying thing either. Feelings of shame and inadequacy were shunted from when we first felt sad at school and were told to pick ourselves up and get over it. It wasn’t the act of crying that the 6 year old felt was wrong, he made the story that the FEELING was wrong. So unless your home life was one of those which had a dinner time ritual of verbalizing the feelings from the day (mine wasn’t), then you kept that shit in! You sucked it up, got back out there and kicked some ass! Classic.
This translated, in my world, to a lifetime of half doings, because doing was hard. It was scary and meant I had the possibility to fail and failure is bad in our society. So from here on the resistance digs its way in, convincing you that failure is bad and you may as well just go make a fresh pot of coffee and kill some time. It can look a lot different than simple procrastination too. In my opinion harder drugs than coffee find their footholds here, while we are weakened by the resistance. It’s much easier to have some wine than feel like you failed at accomplishing your tasks for the day.
Yesterday I could see the resistance but I was futile to it, I almost had no choice. So now I get to pick myself up, try to find why it creeped in and move on, start a fresh. Do something today, forgive myself for the slip and choose differently next time….if I can.
The tool of seeing the resistance is now pretty much a staple in my day to day. How many times I just let it win….I’m gonna keep that one to myself, but what is the point of learning these weird things and not sharing it?
I only picked up the War of Art because of this yoga life I am so intertwined with. My fluffy little yoga life seems to be leading me to a place where I can be a better person and realize some things about myself that make it easier next time. It doesn’t seem so fluffy anymore and sometimes I’m excited to see what gift Yoga Husbandry gives me tomorrow.