Today’s Word: Identifying Resistance

We all have times in our lives when we are trying to accomplish things, but we keep facing roadblocks. Sometimes you take two steps forward to take three steps back. In Level 3 of Suhaila’s format, students study approaching the dance creatively as an artist. . . and then resistance starts to show up in new and inventive ways. In one exercise, some students were asked to contribute a response to the book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. Chemagne Martin wrote about the first step to fighting resistance: you must identify its existence!

Resistance comes in many disguises! It is a part of our lives that does not discriminate against sex, race, socio-economic background or religion. If it wants to stop you from creating or carrying out your passions or dreams, it will produce all kinds of ideas and situations to block your creative path! Resistance can be found lurking in many places and forms: procrastination, negative emotions, the need for perfectionism, family and friends, negative social environments, and even drama. It seems like resistance is everywhere, ready to show you every good reason why you should stop creating. Sometimes it’s so insidious, you don’t even realize it has prevented you from continuing the work. However, once you recognize the many disguises of resistance, you are able to beat it!

Not all resistance is inherently negative, which is often why it can be hard to identify. And once identified, most sources of resistance aren’t evil. It’s not so simple as to say, “These are all good things and those are all bad things”. For some, resistance might be the “safe job”, whereas for others that “safe job” might be the security they need to give permission to pursue their art. For some, resistance can be the friend who loves you but is scared of you moving beyond her, so she consciously or unconsciously tries to hold you back. Resistance can be “I’m so busy I never even have time to organize myself”. Resistance can be about not facing truths: “I just want to be on stage, and belly dance is the easiest way for me to be on stage. . .but I don’t want to admit that.”

But, to grow we must identify those things that often cause us resistance and learn to navigate those elements to continue our progress.

Recovery is part of our Today’s Word: Sometimes We Have Something to Say series in which we discuss in brief the common themes and questions facing dancers.