Tag Archives: Steven Pressfield

The Universe Doesn’t Like You


Both writer Steven Pressfield and Professor of Psychology Steven Pinker have stated in their writings that there is a quality of life that really doesn’t care about us. Namely the Universe at large.

Steven Pressfield calls it “Resistance” in his book The War of Art. Resistance is always there and never goes away and completely impersonal and out to get you.

In the interview with Steven Pinker on Think Big ” Is Human Nature Evil” says the Universe leans toward destruction and chaos rather than out to help you.

I believe both of them.  Both also give an antidote for the unknown, chaos and unpredictability of outcomes in our lives.

  1. Don’t live isolated lives, disorder and chaos automatically increase unless we use our energy to get the information we need to create a purposeful life.
  2. We must use our own intelligence and energy and effort to make things work out.
  3. Expect that things will go wrong and keep persisting in your path.
  4. Life is an uphill battle.

It’s hard to not feel victimized by some of the dumb stuff that hurts you deeply. However, these statements are some of the hard realities in front of us.

Most people will do anything not to look at some of the harsher realities but in my opinion the hard realities are easier to take in very small doses.

So be gentle with yourself and take a step back. You will succeed in creating a wonderful life.




Hurting Others


This is a true fact of life:

People who are hurting,

Hurt others.

They can’t help themselves.

They hurt on purpose

because they don’t know any other way.

But that does not mean you should sit there and take someones crap. Not at all. You can still care for the person and try to help but a strong boundary is needed always.

When someone is hurting, as much as they might want to stop hurting they will bite the one trying to help them. Or they might feel justified in lashing out because they are in so much emotional pain, whether it’s obvious to them or not. It’s an extreme form of resistance.  And changing is hard work. In most cases even the sickest, most hurtful people have moments of clarity but cannot change. It is the same with everyone. We know we must change but can’t because we resist the exact thing we need.

In my opinion, people who deliberately hurt others, have a deep seated guilt about something, so they set up hurtful situations to be hurt back. Guilt always seeks punishment. Some behavior is as much a mystery to the offender as it is to the victim.

According to Steven Pressfield’s book the “The War of Art” resistance is ever present and we need to be aware of it all the time or it will kill us. Resistance is impersonal and out for blood in anyway possible. Resistance is the enemy of change. Resistance is the enemy of healing.

So what to do when a hurting person hurts you.

1. Feel your feelings.

2. Don’t deny what is going on.

3. Set up a strong boundary.

4. As tempting as it is: don’t hurt back.

5. Wait it out until you have some clarity.

6. Use kindness by trying to understand where they are hurting.

7. If they are open enough make suggestions for improvement.

8. Move on if necessary.

The person who is strong is the one who is willing to straighten hurtful situations out. The person who is weak is the one who withholds their willingness to straighten hurtful situations out.

Which one are you? What does it feel  like to hurt on purpose? What does it feel like to be the victim? What similar experiences have you had?

Are you the strong one who is willing to work things out? Or are you the weak one who is withholding.

The choice is yours.

Thoughful Thursdays #52 Resistance


Steven Pressfield is one of my favorite writing idols. He writes about resistance all the time and is incredibly insightful. Resistance is something I struggle with all the time.

I  will paraphrase his discussion with Rabbi Finley and resistance. Rabbi Finley said: “There is a second self inside you-an inner shadow Self.  This self doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t love you. It has its own agenda, and it will kill you. It will kill you like cancer. It will kill you to achieve its agenda, which is to prevent you from actualizing your Self, from becoming who you really are. This shadow self is called, in the Kabbalistic lexicon, the yetzer hara.  The yetzer hara, is what you call Resistance.”

Well said Rabbi. 100 % true.

This leads me to the Buddha. As he sat under the Bodhi tree and was confronted by Mara and his army.  Mara represents denial, fear and distraction. His demons are violent and wicked.  The Buddha used his noodle to figure out that Mara and his demons are nothing but a distraction to us. Mara goes out of his way to distract us from our true path, just like he did to the Buddha. Mara’s the king of thoughts and situations that create fear and resistance. The Buddha found a way to transcend his own denial of what is important and what is not. Being in denial of all there is in your life is the ultimate in resistance. The Buddha recognized this in his enlightenment.

What are your Mara’s? Is it addictions, distraction, negative patterns, denial? Is it violence in thoughts, words and deeds?

What is your yetzer hara? Is it illness, sadness, inability to focus?

The list of negatives is endless. So what is the answer? How do we recognize resistance especially if you don’t have a ton of time to meditate or devote your life to a religion?

Keep looking for those pesky negative  incognito signs in your thoughts, words and actions that are holding you back. Chances are whatever you are afraid of or avoiding is resistance.

Wake up into your own awareness. Make Self Care important, a priority.

Yes you are that important.











Affirmations #12 Success


Divine Intelligence gives me all the ideas I can use.

Everything I touch is a success.

I move into the Winning Circle.

Louise Hay

Write them 10 times. Say them many times during the say especially in the morning and at bedtime and in a mirror.

Thoughful Thursdays #17


I like 12 Step programs. They are healthy and a place to begin examining many damaging behaviors.

I bet you never heard of A.R.T.S. Anonymous. It is a 12 step program for artists. The word “artist” is used in the broadest sense to include anyone who is struggling with expressing your creativity. It could mean painter, writer, baker, seamstress and anyone who finds their creativity intertwined in their expression. As a creative person the craving for an outlet is always there and never goes away. But many artists avoid doing their work for many reasons. Mostly because of a trauma or fear. When you are not creating you are using something else to kill the aspiration to create.

A.R.T.S Anonymous is actually dealing with something positive. Our own creativity. In their literature I came across “Facing Avoidance: An Inventory of Attitudes and Beliefs About Doing Art”. There are over 70 questions that examine how we feel about doing art. For example: Am I willing to tolerate awkwardness, false starts, dry spells, and mistakes as part of the process? Do I hate myself when I avoid doing my art? Do I realize that inspiration is likely to come after I start working? That what I need will come to me when I need it if I make the effort?

On their website section: “Being Blocked” the very first sentence says “To be blocked is not truly an adult choice but the choice of a traumatized child who is determined to live their adult life safe from all harms. A child’s fears have imprisoned the adult”. These words really struck me as true because of my own experience in struggling with writing and painting. These fears are crippling at times. And quite incognito. Fear, many times, is invisible.

I get irritated when I read statements like: Just Do It, It’s mind over matter, Here’s the only method you will ever need to succeed. Because there is a river of deepness that is in our subconscious that needs a safe place to explore our expression of art.

Explore the A.R.T.S Anonymous website and read Steven Pressfield’s ” The War Of Art”. (I wrote about Pressfield’s book in my original Thoughtful Thursday post). Each venue will be an explosion of information and lead you to heal and express that which is uniquely you.

Happy exploring.

Thoughtful Thursdays #10


I am reading “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. This is the perfect book about Resistance. Which I suffer from always. Actually I was in the same position as Mr. Pressfield, I couldn’t figure out why my creative life was not manifesting itself. I am always involved with routine and mundane tasks. But when the student is ready the teacher appears, hence Mr. Pressfields book.

Resistance is the enemy to any and every creative endeavor attempted. Resistance will assume any form to stop you from being creative and you won’t even know what hit you.
Resistance goes for the jugular and is out for a kill. However, if you fear it then its belly is fed, if you don’t fear it, it dies.

Resistance can be overcome by investing in you. Ignoring distractions and concentrating on you and your work or direction or any creative endeavor. This of course is easier said than done because, as Mr. Pressfield points out and I have experienced, as soon as you start something comes along to thwart your efforts.

But Resistance can be overcome. Don’t be afraid, do the work that needs to be done, and fight resistance to the death. Eventually resistance moves aside. It doesn’t go away but moves aside temporarily waiting for you to weaken in some way. However by this time you know Resistance’s style and it gets easier and easier to step aside Resistance’s games.

So get ready for battle. As noted in the book, have contempt for failure. And claim your life and creativity. I certainly will.