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The Unlived Life


When Inspiration touches talent, she gives truth to beauty. ~Unknown


In his wonderful little book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield muses on those things that keep us from our creating our art. This is not necessarily art in the typical sense of the word, though it can be painting, writing, dancing or any of the traditional art forms.

The art to which he is referring has a broader definition. The art to which he is referring is the art of our lives. It is the art living within us, the beauty we want our life to be, it is the untapped potential of our dreams. The question can be posed as, what is  the unlived life trapped inside the life we are living? Steven Pressfield sums it up:

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. ~Steven Pressfield

The enemy keeping us from realizing our unlived lives he terms Resistance. He goes on to call Resistance the most toxic force on the planet.

Resistance is the obstacle keepings us from going to the gym, it’s the enemy that keeps us from praying, the opponent that blocks us from taking a seat in front of the computer and writing our blog, from writing the novel we have dreamed about since we first cradled book in our hands.

Resistance is an internal, invisible force that surfaces when we are called to any sort of action, to any activity designed to enhance our soul, to any form of personal growth.

Do I start my training regimen today? Is this the day I start eating more healthily? Should I begin a Masters program? Is today the day I start attending church? Resistance increases in force the more important a call or action is to our heart.

Have you ever procrastinated? Have you ever watched TV for no particular reason? Have you ever binged to avoid something? Have you ever criticized another’s success? Have you ever avoided an all consuming dream to be great out of fear you may fail? Have you ever hidden your poetry because someone criticized, or might criticize the art that ebbs from your soul? All are faces of resistance.

How do you overcome resistance? By an act of will. By walking up to that keyboard and typing without worrying if the creation is good enough. By turning off the TV and going for a run despite only being able to last for a few blocks. By dipping the brush onto the palette and touching it to a canvas. By purchasing a one way ticket to a far away location and getting on that plane without knowing how, when, or if, you will ever return home. In short, by just doing it whether or not we feel like just doing it.

What face of resistance is keeping you from your unlived life, from living the life you have always wanted?

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