The road less traveled


Posted by Eric on Friday, January 15th, 2010 in Art / Enlightenment

I find it amazing how I have so much trouble just doing the things I want to do. From simple shit like picking up around the house, to the more complicated and intimidating things like finishing projects, big or small. There is always some sort of Resistance that comes in right when you feel the urge or thought to do that thing. It might be that... you’re too tired to do yoga in the morning, and the extra twenty minutes of hanging out under the blankets outweighs the clarity of thought and feel-good attitude you’d have for the rest of the day. Or it might be that you’d rather play video games than to clean the kitchen.

What I’ve found, though, is that this type of shit just plagues the mind. Whether you’re immediately aware of it or not, these "burdens" will endlessly taunt you while you’re not doing them, and then give you all the reasons you never thought of to not do them when the occasion eventually arises that you might have just enough motivation to actually do it.

I believe the same principle applies for all scenarios in life. Humans are defeatists by default. We’d rather not experience an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness because... it just costs too much money right now. Or we really don’t want to go detail the car because it’s so hot and there’s... I mean shit... I can’t even think of logical reasons now! How the hell am I able to do it when I’m in the moment?! That’s Resistance for ya.

...that diner called 'Temptation'
‘Round you go on the Spiral Mountain that is your life, ne’er to stop at Temptation Diner.

Distractions. Temptation. Fear. All those little things, in every shape and form, that keep you off of that path of least Resistance. Your spiritual growth is constantly challenged; everything from anxiety about bills piling up, to answering phone calls from friends right when you begin your work. All too often I’m faced with the option to check out the YouTube link flashing in an IM window — or stay focused and keep artist-ing. I usually hate taking the latter because I’m, personally, an extrovert. I want to make sure everyone else has the attention they need before I can allow myself any. My art suffers in the meantime, and then the depression sets in because I never do anything creative. It’s fucking bullshit.

To me, the path of least Resistance is the true calling of your source energy. Label it your spirit, soul, God, consciousness, the Universe, whatever — it’s not the same for everyone, but... it’s... the same for everyone. We all have that little voice in our heads or that feeling in our gut; that faint squeak heard only in moments of solitude that begs you to get reconnected. Some of us are just more open to it than others. And it’s always strongest when you stray farthest from the path.

I’ve been taught that depression is a symptom of stunted spiritual growth. Your source is begging you to snap out of whatever it is your going through - to take the time necessary to get clarity on your feelings and thoughts and to then capitalize on the energy realized from stomping the fear that held you down. It might seem rational at the moment to be distracted, but keep that kinetic energy you’ve built up to that point and barrel on through all that Resistance and keep your ass on the path. It’s like being abandoned in a baron wasteland and spotting a absurdly-beautiful meadow way off in the distance... but then stopping to check out some boring shit-rock that happened to catch your eye.

The immediate gratification from stopping for even a second to be distracted from your goal has not a chance in hell of outweighing the feeling of euphoria achieved from staying focused and completing your task. If I just took the thirty fucking minutes it would take to do some fucking yoga or to clean the fucking kitchen, I’d feel 500 fucking % better about getting it over with and being clear-fucking-minded the rest of the fucking day! Fight it! Break free!

  • very well put my friend. i can think of nothing to add to this, only that i am absorbing it.

  • Many times these distractions and lack of enertia are learned. The brain genetically or environmentally experiences fear (anxiety provoking situations, or flat out trauma) and reacts by telling all systems to fight (agitation, resistance, acting out), flight (moving around alot, ADHD type symptoms), freeze (total or partial zoning out). The brain does this to keep us alive...its all about survival. A way to change it is to be aware that some thing (could be anything: season, way the air smells, an anniversary of some kind, the tone of someone’s voice...it could be a combination...kinda like a mini PTSD)happened, but the brain can learn new responses and move from surviving to thriving. Learned behavior can be unlearned but it takes 10 positives to equal 1 negative, so its a process. Depression is often anxiety. If anxiety/fear keeps goals from being reached no matter how small it becomes frustrating and a feeling of depression sets in. This is different than a major depressive episode or situational depression...it is ‘bummed’ depression from personal disappointments. When that happens think about what your life would be like without the disappointments...think about it in detail and then think about what would have to happen to bring it about..then break it down into tiny steps...one step might be to stop being self critical and replace it with a positive statement. After awhile, the brain catches on. Tiny positive steps moving you forward. The process can be as rewarding as the end result because there is healing.

  • Nicely put E-Mo! Ron and I have this discussion all the time. There are so many things we want to do, but we let the every day stuff get in the way. We have to make a conscious effort if you want to make it happen. I guess anything important is worth a little hard work and effort.

    Right on brutha! :)

  • Resistance is evil. And unfortunately it’s sooooo easy to give in to evil.

    Part of me thinks the "e" in "evil" should be upper-case because it’s almost a living, breathing thing, and "evil" is sort of the proper noun for the thing. But I don’t want to give it that much respect.

    It is hard to stay on track. Fighting resistance is a constant battle. I’ve been losing the battle lately on a few levels, and I need to shake things up.

    Nice entry :)

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