The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Power of Inertia

I have a friend who was about to embark on major changes in his life. I warned him that unless he had a way to process the negative emotions that would come up, there would be problems. I'm not saying that correlation implies causality, but within two day...he was in the hospital.

I don't believe in coincidence, but I also don't want to be simplistic and two-dimensional. But I've seen so much of this over the course of my teaching career. Back when I was promoting Dawn Callan's Warrior Workshop training, I noticed that people who signed up for the training, and ended up dropping out, didn't drop out for the same kind of reasons someone might give for missing a party. No. There was grim, bizarre stuff. I mean, "a meteor hit their cat" type of stuff. And I began to sense that when you try to make serious life change, the entire universe will test you.

This is short today, because I have thirty-six hours to turn this HANNIBAL project in. But I wanted to remind you to:

1) think of your goals daily.

2) proceed toward them SLOWLY and STEADILY

3) Have some kind of meditation or journaling set up to drain off the negative b.s. of your old ego shield. Please, please, PLEASE don't underestimate the power of entropy and inertia.


Althea said...

That is what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

Scott Masterton said...

This is a good observation Steve. I've found this to be true in my life. The resistance to change (even positive change) is incredibly powerful. It's my view that we manifest roadblocks in order to remain exactly where we are and the only approach that works is to gently work at the edges of our self-imposed boundaries; expanding enough to grow, but not so much the mind/body contracts. on a physical level this is an awful lot like practicing Yoga asana.

mjholt said...

Oh Steve, what you say is so true. And after the meteorite hits the cat people often turn back to where they felt safe. I personally have to keep remembering that I am not safe where I am. For me, that helps take the comfort out of entropy. Thanks for writing this.

Dan Moran said...

FWIW, I did "Awakening the Warrior" with my then-girlfriend -- great resource. It does a plausible job of simulating combat. (I got my ribs broken, anyway.)

As to the rest, objects in motion, and objects at rest. Inertia is huge.

tcastleb said...

Just have to say you have the damndest timing for some of these posts. Both this one, and one you had a couple weeks back about family, came out on days I really needed to read them. So, thank you.

And congrats on Hannibal. That's awesome.

Sean said...

off the grid for the last couple...

CONGRATS on the Hannibal gig!

Travis said...

Great post- I've been working on the inertia issue lately. It's easy to have plans and even start progressing but sometimes it's two steps forward, one step back. Other times it's two steps forward, two steps back.

Anyway, inone short post you hit the thing I've been overlooking. Thanks

Kate Fitzsimons said...

I'm so psyched that you're involved with the animated Hannibal. I was already really looking forward to it - seeing that one of my favorite authors is going to be on board makes it even more exciting. Can't wait until it comes out!

Anonymous said...

slow progress vs massive changes. finding the balance is the hard part, I think part of this has to do with punishing ourselves for our failures instead of being joyous on where you are. For example I am doing the IF and the doc said 2 days and maybe 3 a week. I can do 2 no issues, but that third day has been tricky, I have cut that thrid day back to 14 hours. I had some real head games there, but the reality is when I found that I could be joyous for doing 2.5 days of IF it came a whole lot easier and less negative energy to me.