“What convinced me to go ahead was simply that I was so unhappy not going ahead. I was developing symptoms. As soon as I sat down and began, I was okay.” 

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art 

Have you ever heard about a book, and then you heard about it again and again and again? Ok, Universe, I get the hint. Resistance is futile. Get your hands on the book. 

Despite the six great reads waiting on my nightstand, I opened Pressfield’s 2002 book The War of Art on the weekend. (If you haven’t heard of the author, his books include The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of FireTides of War, and more.) I am only a third of the way through the book and already know that I will be picking up this book over and over again for a reality check.

The War of Art is a book not only for writers, painters, and musicians. It is for those who want to lose weight, start a business, start a new spiritual practice, or build whatever dream is hiding inside of them.

Pressfield talks about how the unlived life manifests as a series of symptoms ~ criticizing other people, acting like a victim, procrastination, self-doubt, fear of isolation, and more. Oh I have had them all. Now I can recognize my crankiness and so-called barriers for what they are. Signs that I am not doing the work that needs to be done. The writing. The meetings. The phone calls. The exercising.

The War of Art is a short read, and well worth the time spent. Last night I tweeted to the author, “reading The War of Art. Half giggling. Half ‘oh crap! Ive been found out’ thx!”

Today I am making a sign for my desk as a reminder about resistance being futile. The fact that symptoms of not doing what needs to be done manifests as panic, delay, and pain is summed up so well with another quote from Pressfield’s book:

“The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.” 

Gotta go. Calls to make. What are you doing today that you have been resisting?


  1. Charlotte Henley Babb on January 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    I need this book. I feel like my picture is beside the word “resistance” in the dictionary. Thanks for posting this.

    • Catherine on January 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      It is well worth the time to read 🙂

  2. Audrey on January 21, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I love that book 🙂 I have read it a few times! I think time to reread!

  3. Lorrie on January 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Thanks for the book review. I, too, see the world through the soul’s eyes and can appreciate that not pursuing those things that help in our soul-making is a sign of fear…fear of who we really are.

  4. Carolyn Hughes on January 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Okay, you have me convinced that I should read the book! And stop resisting 🙂

  5. Cathy Taughinbaugh on January 22, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Sounds good Catherine. Will add it to my list.

  6. Meryl Hershey Beck on January 22, 2013 at 5:09 am

    Thanks for giving us a taste of the book. It sounds like one I will be reading!

  7. Anita on January 22, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    This book is on my list to buy. I read an average of two a week, but still have lots left from the holidays. Thanks for the review, it will be one of my next purchases!

  8. Moira Hutchison on January 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Thanks for the reminder!! I read this book last year – it’s really excellent and something that I need to revisit! No more resistance ;).

  9. Aletha McManama on January 22, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    You know what’s resisting me today, Catherine? Just to slow down and take care of myself. Life would be grander if I would stop resisting it! LOL

    • Catherine on January 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Oh Aletha, I am with you on that one. I’m a work in progress 🙂

  10. Lisa Birnesser on January 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    This is one of my favorite books, Catherine. When I feel a block in my work, The War of Art is my go to book to realize these blocks are not part of me and I can move forward and take action on the next step. Thanks!

  11. Sharon O'Day on January 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    The War of Art is one of those books that I pull out time and time again. In fact, with TWOA you can just open randomly, read a few paragraphs, and close it again … feeling so much more focused and in control. Pressfield’s brilliant!

  12. Carl Mason-Liebenberg on January 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    The life unlived has been a big topic recently in my household. I stared death by disease in the face 3 times in my 20’s and 30’s and since then I’ve been on a mission to LIVE life. But in recent years circumstances have been heavy, barriers intense and I now have a generation older living in the household and I have seen the reality of life unlived in future tense…I am railing agianst it after suddenly realizing that I too could be on the verge of surrender, complacency, status quo…I say NO!

  13. Liz Bigger on January 25, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I’m going to check it out and maybe pick it up…thanks!

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