Are you putting off something that you really want to be doing?
Like writing perhaps?
This practice looks specifically at getting your butt in the chair and doing your work. But even if you’re not trying to write something, this practice may be super relevant for you.
The wider themes we’re looking at are resistance, ‘getting back on the horse’ and becoming more intimate with your own way of squirming away from what you really feel you should be doing.
I’ve got a hybrid of practice coming. For all the context, description and juice, watch here…
Want your own custom practice? Tell me all about it here.
The Practice: We’re resurrecting a previously published practice on creating sacred ritual for creative productivity because it’s so darn relevant, with an added bit about resistance since this whole thing is about doing the work when you’re just not getting to it. Over and over.
Five days per week for an hour. Same time every day. Sound like a lot? Try it for a week, it might just change how you relate to ‘discipline’.
Begin with ritual. Always a ritual. I make a cup of tea and light a candle. Then I sit in silence with my hands wrapped around my warm cup and get still.
Feel your resistance. See if you can feel any resistance in your experience to coming to this practice, to what you’re about to engage with. Pay attention to the qualities of that resistance. What does it feel like? Do you experience certain sensations in your body? If so, where? What’s the nature of those sensations? What about emotions? What do you notice about that? See if you can be aware of your direct experience of resistance.
Breathe. Breathe into the place where you feel the resistance and see if your breath can either soften the intensity or solidity of the resistance or if your breath can expand your body wider than the sensation of the resistance. You’re not trying to make the resistance go away, you’re merely getting to know its nature and breathing a bit of movement into it before proceeding with what you’ve come here to do.
Pray or call upon. Doesn’t have to be to the bearded man, though it can be. I pray to inspiration, to the muse, to whatever is swirling around the cosmos that wants to rush through me. I ask. I wait. I listen.
Then for an hour, do your art, in this space, this sacred container you’ve just created. This time you’ve given to yourself, not because you should, not because you haven’t been doing what you said you would, but because it’s a gift to your soul.
During this hour, write (or do the thing.) Don’t write for publication, though you might publish. Don’t write for gold, it might be rubbish. No matter. Write. It is not for result, but for practice. For momentum. It’s a ritual, a lubricant, a discipline- in the kindest and most reverent use of the term.
When your hour has passed, close with ritual. Thank yourself, for it takes courage to show up and slay the resistance. Then bow and thank the muse.
And if you’ve not yet read the War of Art by Steven Pressfield, I highly recommend it.