Barbara Bowen: Willingness to Resist

For those deeply involved with the creative process, discipline is like a dose of castor oil.  We force it down in an attempt to fuel our creativity and reach our goals.

Why does discipline so often fail us? Why does it bring on a tangle of conflict, stress, and guilt that hinders flow and stops creativity in its tracks?

Discipline is often applied in opposition to resistance. When you oppose resistance, you create tension and perfectionism.  You get mired in expectations and focused on outcomes, and miss the joy of creating in the moment. Then the discipline that was intended to bring mastery and success just brings discontent and fatigue.

I use the word “willingness” to describe a new approach. With patience, you can cultivate willingness – and in a state of willingness, your tensions loosen and your creative joy increases.

When resistance sets in, choose to call upon the awareness mind.  This inner eye simply observes resistance non-judgmentally, creating a soft container for it.  Like meditation in motion, the awareness mind accepts resistance without struggle.

Ironically, acceptance of resistance loosens it.  Push nothing away; gently shift your focus back to the task at hand, while allowing the resistance to dissolve.

As you practice this process, resistance floats off more easily and more often. It no longer devolves into a demon thwarting your creative endeavors. Conflict, life stress, and guilt fade. Goal setting in your creative process becomes easier. Resistance is replaced by more calm and the experience of flow.

If you stay loyal to this practice, one day you’ll notice that the discipline associated with goal-setting in your creative process has become willingness.

2 Responses to “Barbara Bowen: Willingness to Resist”

  1. Cyndy says:

    Wow, that is a wonderful way of looking at things that I had never even considered. Thank you!

  2. I love the idea of increased creative joy. Discipline is not my strong point, and guilt is always my motivator. This article became part of my recent blogpost, and I am now choosing “willingness” as my Word of the Year (ala Christine Kane).

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