Do The Work

January 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

Thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I’m currently getting my butt kicked with each page of Stephen Pressfield’s the War of Art and Do The Work. The first is a detailed examination of the many obstacles faced when trying to engage in the creative process and how we love getting in our own way (characteristics that Pressfield has anthropomorphized into an enemy called “Resistance”), the second is a practical guide applying those concepts raised in tWoA to a hypothetical project. Pressfield’s a war fiction writer so his language veers towards the rousing and the combative at times (talking about enemies and defeat and “the fight to the death”), but once you get beyond that, you’ll find that this words help to pierce the fog of over-rationalization, fear and excuses that we’re wont to have when trying to avoid doing what we know must be done. The framework in these two books focus on the challenges of being a writer or an artist, but it could just as well apply to the challenges of our yoga practices. 5:30am wake-up calls in the middle of winter, for example?

“Resistance will tell you anything to keep you from doing your work. It will perjure, fabricate, falsify; seduce, bully, cajole. Resistance is protean. It will assume any form, if that’s what it takes to deceive you. It will reason with you like a lawyer or jam a nine-millimeter in your face like a stickup man. Resistance has no conscience. It will pledge anything to get a deal, then double-cross you as soon as your back is turned. If you take Resistance at its word, then you deserve everything you get. Resistance is always lying and always full of shit.”

~p. 17, the War of Art

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