This prompt will be using that little writing exercise I asked you to do last week. The one about writing that statement 10 times, but also taking notes about what was going on inside your head at the same time. I asked you to put both pieces of paper away, and I hope you did.
Before we get to the actual prompt, I have some things I want to say. It is usually about, or around, the third, or fourth, week of a new endeavor that the resistance begins to raise its head. That happens for several reasons. The first one is simply because we have placed ourselves within a new set of parameters, and that is uncomfortable. Always having to remember what we have decided to do, or change. It becomes a chore, work, and we fight that feeling of being put upon.
We want back inside our all too familiar comfort zone. We begin to hear the questions: “Why did I change this? What was I hoping to gain? Was it all that bad back there when I wasn’t doing this? And what the hell am I really getting out of this besides the frustration of just adding another activity to what I was already doing?” Sound familiar?
Those questions can be friends or foe. They are our own doubts and misgivings, come to check on us, see if we are getting something for all this effort we are putting out. And to test whether we really want the change we are trying to implement. If we meet them only with our emotions, we are most likely to set aside the new practice. If we meet them with our conscious minds, there’s a fifty-fifty chance of going either way. So, what happens if we write about them, thereby using both head and heart? Maybe we will find our own personal truth. And that is what journal writing is all about.
We carry lots of voices inside of us. And they become the filters of our moment by moment experience. If you had a second or third grade teacher who frowned a great deal while you were trying desperately to please her with your writing skills, be assured she still exists, if only in your head and heart. She has a voice, a certain face, and a feeling that she triggers off in you.
When I asked you to write out that statement: I am a good and capable writer, that long ago teacher promptly leaned into what you were doing, trying to write. She might have been silent the first and second time you wrote it, but by the third time she was moving in and making herself felt. And by the fifth of sixth time, you could hear her quite clearly. And that is a good thing. A very good thing.
You are no longer in second or third grade trying to learn how to shape and form the letters of the alphabet. And she is no longer in charge of making sure you do that correctly. You are an adult, you learned what you needed to learn, and now the choices are all your own. The exercise is simply aimed at making you aware that the voices of resistance are mostly from the past. Do you still need them? If so, what do they provide for you and the person you are becoming?
Oh, there might be some in your present circumstances, but if you recognize them, you have a much better chance, and easier time, of checking out the source of their resistance. And actually making a choice based in what you know and feel, rather in some vague sense of dis-ease.
So, here comes the actual prompt. Get out those notes you made while writing that straight forward statement. Try to identify a few of those voices you made note of, and where they actually originated. Then write about how they make you feel and are those feelings based in fact, or a lack of self-trust and doubt. Give them names. Not the actual names of people, but names that remind you of their purpose in discouraging you from doing this thing you have chosen to do.
You can find a few examples here:
It’s right here on my blog and was written a while back. It has several examples of those voices we all hear, the ones that don’t want the change, want to be able to relax, put their feet up, and grow into couch potatoes. As part of the prompt, describe these voices and their intent toward your person. If the voices are from the current moment, you might want to try to figure out why that particular individual wants you to quit, and what they might gain if you do.
Have fun with this one. If you have questions, or comments, feel free to come back and express them in the comments sections. If you choose to post, come back and leave your URL for the rest of us. Have a good week and enjoy.