The War of Art
Have you read the War of Art?
It is a pretty quick read by Steven Pressfield. If you are into any sort of self-helpy type book…I would put it on your reading list. Basically, it is about beating all the internal resistance that prevents artists (or really…anyone) from creating and just doing their thing. Towards the end of the book the author is talking about ways in which you can tap into the part of you that helps guide you (think: intuition). More specifically, he talks about how our dreams can provide us with powerful insight and guidance. (Side note: if this is already to “woo woo” for you than I’m fairly certain you are gonna be *pretty* disappointed with this here blog. Yoga, meditation, intuition…this is my love language). Anyway, he tells this story about a dream he once had:
“I was part of the crew of an aircraft carrier. Only the ship was stuck on dry land. It was still launching its jets and doing its thing, but it was marooned half a mile from the ocean. The sailors all knew how screwed up the situation was; they felt it as a keen and constant distress. The only bright spot was there was a Marine gunnery sergeant on board nicknamed “Largo.” In the dream it seemed like the coolest name anyone could possibly have. Largo. I loved it. Largo was one of those hard-core senior noncoms like the Burt Lancaster character, Warden, in From Here to Eternity. The one guy on the ship who knows exactly what’s going on, the tough old sarge who makes all the decisions and actually runs the show. But where was Largo? I was standing miserably by the rail when the captain came over and started talking to me. Even he was lost. It was his ship, but he didn’t know how to get it off dry land. I was nervous, finding myself in conversation with the brass, and couldn’t think of a thing to say. The skipper didn’t seem to notice; he just turned to me casually and said, “What the hell are we gonna do, Largo?”
Pressfield continues, “I woke up electrified. I was Largo! I was the salty old Gunny. The power to take charge was in my hands; all I had to do was believe it.”
So after reading that chapter of the book, I went to sleep. And proceeded to have the most vivid dream. I will spare you ALL of the details because there is truly nothing worse than listening to someone explain their crazy-ass dream in excessive detail. But this was the gist: I was playing soccer. It was a close game. I felt the intensity of the moment and kept hearing people say that we needed to keep passing the ball to the best player so that they could score. This is where is gets weird. No matter what, they kept passing the ball to me. Was I the best player? I remember feeling surprised by this realization but I also remember feeling that I didn’t have time to think about it. We needed to get another goal. Time was of the essence. So I parked myself in front of that goal and I kept taking shots. And I kept missing. Time after time, I would fire away and be just off the mark. But I didn’t quit. I knew deep down in my core that if I just kept at it, one would go in. And then, just like that, I took a final shot on goal and the ball floated in.
We won the game.
Funny. I rarely remember my dreams. Like, maybe twice a year I will remember a dream I had. Then I read this chapter about dreams and intuition and I have one of the most vivid dreams of my life. Is it possible that this is one big, giant coincidence? Very possible. But, again, I’m the girl that is into karma and crystals and sound baths. This dream was sent here to tell me something.
Here are my takeaways:
1. Time is precious. You do not have the luxury of sitting around and waiting (hoping) for the perfect moment to go after what you want. Do you want something? Guess what? The perfect moment is now. The ONLY moment is now.
2. Missing the shot, does not necessarily mean you lose the game. It just means that you need to try again. And maybe again. And perhaps even 5 more times. It is only when you stop trying or give up that you guarantee a spot at the losing table. Keep going. Even then, there will be other games. You only lose if you stop.
3. You are your best player. Believe in yourself. You are capable. In fact, you are the only one capable of getting the job done. The job in this instance is figuring out what makes you happy & fulfilled. This job cannot be outsourced. Only you can do the work. So quit pawning your happiness off on other people or material possessions. Put your head down. Look inward. AND DO THE WORK.
So there you have it. In the precise moment in time where I had been feeling restless and unsure, defeated and depressed, I have a dream that tells me to keep freaking going.
Thus, the rebirth of this blog. I am going to try again; knowing full well that this may yet be just another failed attempt. Or…shit…maybe this iteration is the winning shot. Either way, I am certain that this effort, like all the others before this, will lead me where I need to go.
Can’t wait to figure out where that place is. Wanna join me?