“If you egotistically say, ‘I will not fight this battle,’ your resolve will be useless; your own nature will drive you into it. Your Karma, born of your own nature, will drive you to do even that which you do not wish to do, because of your delusion.”
– from The Bhagavad Gita
After two and a half years working on my fiction novel, I have acquired a golden rule for writing: don’t resist it.
It’s that simple: don’t resist it.
For example: you may have scheduled to work on Chapter 2 of your novel today, but, for some strange reason, you have this urge to work on the very last chapter of your novel. Go with that urge.
Don’t resist it.
When you start working on that final chapter, you may find that, to your surprise, this chapter comes out brilliantly.
In fact, some of the best passages in my novel came when I didn’t resist my urges and just went with the natural flow of the writing process.
In my experience, when you go with the flow of the writing process, the writing process rewards you.
I know: it seems counterintuitive. Almost irresponsible. Certainly not “well-disciplined.”
But I’ve talked about discipline before: it isn’t a very useful idea for writers. (What makes us writers write more consistently is when we are motivated by love—devotion, not discipline, keeps us writing on a regular basis.)
No. If we do need any sort of “discipline” it is only “the discipline” to not resist the natural flow of the writing process.
Let your heart pour out where it wants to pour out. When you do this, more often than not, the writing comes out brilliantly.
The Beauty of Non-Resistance
As always, this same rule applies to life:
The more you resist life, the more unhappy and miserable you become. However, if you just go with the flow, life often rewards you in unexpected ways.
But the philosophy of non-resistance still seems foolhardy in practice, doesn’t it?
You might be asking, for instance:
“Are you suggesting I go willy-nilly through in life, from here to there, like a frakkin’ leaf in the wind? That’s crazy!”
Well, no. I’m not suggesting that. I am only suggesting that you go with the natural flow of life, which, as you will find, is not “willy-nilly” but is very purposeful.
Look: a flower doesn’t hesitate to bloom whenever the Spring has arrived. Why? Because it knows to follow the natural flow of life– because the natural flow of life is always right.
However, if you resist the flow of life you will often find that you are always wrong—or at least, you will always feel wrong.
Don’t Resist It!
We have a responsibility to life: to fulfill our purpose. Going with the flow of life ensures that we are fulfilling our purpose. Going against the flow of life ensures that we are negating our purpose.
This is why we often feel “blocked” or “stuck.” It is because we are not allowing ourselves to go with the natural flow of life. By its very definition, something that is blocked (or stuck) cannot flow.
If you are blocked (or stuck) then that means you are “out of flow.” Your job is to get back “in the flow” of things.
Be warned: something that is blocked or stuck for a long period of time cannot grow, and its livelihood becomes suffocated.
But don’t worry.
A great way to begin to remove your blocks (and become unstuck) is to start going with the flow of life today.
Don’t resist it!
Today’s Courage Exercise
Is your nature leading you in a direction you do not want to go in? Today, instead of refusing your nature, follow it. Go with the flow. Don’t resist it.
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