Tomorrow is the Spring Equinox, the official start of the season where the sun draws out the flowers, plants, and buds after a period of darkness. It is also the milestone I set out for tackling my sewing resistance monster so I thought I would touch base on my progress using the techniques I laid out in my blog post here.
In case you did not see it and have no idea what I’m talking about with this resistance business, resistance is the energy that drains the momentum out of our movement towards becoming the best version of ourselves. It is the energetic drag that holds us back from doing all the little and big things that move us towards our unique version of a richer and more joyful life.
Five weeks ago I made a pledge to sew for 30 or more minutes, 4 days a week. And I stuck to it. The first week was tough, with the little doubtful thoughts slithering in here and there. But after that I got into a rhythm and now the resistance is almost gone. I can dive in and sew without any effort. And that was the point. It is not to say that the resistance is gone from my life – it just moves right on to the next thing like a star guiding me towards my next set of mountains to climb. Up next: learning to sketch drapery (my stomach does the resistance revealing back flip at the thought of this).
But before I head for the next resistance battlefield, let’s focus for a moment on what we win when we tackle it. In the 5 weeks that I pledged to sew 4 days a week, I have begun to experience a whole new world of joy. The circle of inspiration that surrounds me expands each week, turning my little creative flame into a bonfire. Madeleine Vionnet and the invention of bias cut designs, the practical American design pioneer, Claire McCardell’s revolutionary womenswear, Reiki, the energy of the body, and how we dress, web-based pattern adaptation, and a growing tribe of quirky sewing and textile enthusiasts. It is as if, after battling the resistance, the vortex that envelops my creative fire somehow sucks these things towards me, faster and richer than before resistance stood between me and the work.
Compare this with six weeks ago: I would battle through tons of negative thoughts and feelings to achieve 2 or so nights of sewing a week. I went 2 months where I did no sewing. Sunday afternoons I would feel a huge pressure to “make up for lost time”, aiming to sew for 4 hours in addition to all my chores, grocery shopping etc. Overall this felt like trying to swim up a river that has me exhausted and going in the wrong direction. Nope. I’m here to tell you that it is worth it. You can’t know what gifts you will claim on the other side of your resistance but it will certainly be well worth it.
And once you’ve faced your resistance down on one creative project you can use this new weapon of knowledge against any of them. So what lies behind the resistance monsters for the drapery drawing practice, or expanding my video work? Who knows? But I’m going to be tackling them and sharing here what I find out. Please let me know how your own battles are going. I am awe-struck by the power of this work. Imagine the possibilities!
I’m rooting for you, creative warrior. Go get em!
Excellent post Reid. It's good to know I'm not the only one dealing with resistance, and it's good to hear your strategy for tackling it and the results. It reminds me of an article I read in Zen Habits today on "How to Do Your Scariest Tasks of the Day, with Joy" about taking a very mindful approach to that resistance battle.
Thank you for sharing this and your kind words on the post. Going to check out that article. Could help a lot with tax season :)