Resisting Change


Almost Harvest
Watercolor 

Socrates said it
"The unexamined life is not worth living."
Most people resist drawing so much so that they never put pencil to paper. Even when some people make a commitment to work on drawing, all sorts of resistance comes up. It's difficult to settle down and drawing requires that we settle down and stop the struggle against doing so.

We encounter resistance when we approach all sorts of creative activities, from drawing to starting a business. That's why it's so easy to give up before we start a thing we know we really want to do. It's too hard. What's really difficult is overcoming our resistance.

Change and creative activity demand that we shift gears. I watch resistance to change and creative activity within myself all the time. I usually call it procrastination. I watch resistance in my drawing students. What I know and they have to learn is that once you start to draw, as difficult as the exercise may seem, you step into creative flow and that, in and of itself, is a healing process.

Being present, engaged in creative activity is a cross between walking a tightrope and taking a long deep breath of relief. It's often the engagement, putting pen or pencil to paper, that is the most difficult part until you make it a habit through practice. Resistance never goes away but it can become easier to overcome.

A subliminal reason we resist drawing is that, in the process of looking out and seeing something for the first time, we simultaneously start to look within. Looking within is not always an easy activity. We exit our comfort zone of habit, even though it may take us to a place that is infinitely more satisfying and comfortable.

We're in the season of change right now. Change brings challenge and sometimes hard lessons. But you know what that other old Greek, Heraclitus said,
"The only constant is change."
Everyone has different levels of resistance to different challenges. Often, we're drawn to what we resist the most. It can feel like death to exit our comfort zones but we must let go of habitual patterns to overcome resistance and open ourselves to new possibilities. In order to change, we really have to learn about ourselves.

This is how we grow. That's what life is all about.
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I so love the quatrain from the end of the film version of The Fantasicks that I'm transcribing it for you here. It's relevant.
"There is a curious paradox that no one can explain.
Who understands the secret of the reaping of the grain?
Who understands why Spring is born out of Winter's laboring pain,
or why we all must die a bit before we grow again?"
—Tom Jones
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3 comments:

lynnie said...

Loved this post and Almost Harvest is absolutely stunning.

Zanna Cohen said...

This is why you are such a great teacher and artist. Always thinking, doing, and sharing your gifts.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Thank you both!!