Resistance is Futile

We’ve been made fun of for decades, but Trekkies around the world recognise this phrase, first uttered by the Borg sometime in the 24th century… 🙂

Resistance is futile.

Yet resistance is our natural reaction to … just about every change. And it makes sense. We’ve needed order, predictability, and the discipline of routine in order to feel safe and survive as a species.

Even my dog Ruby thrives on routine. Actually, Ruby is so change-averse she REFUSES TO PEE (even when she’s busting), anywhere other than on our regular walking trail! Now THAT’S discipline for you.

Pee spots aside, I’ve been contemplating the energy and repercussions around ‘change’ a fair bit lately.

My life up to now has been rife with change. I’ve lived in several countries and moved house 19 times (which is apparently 7.3 times higher than the average!)

And change started young: I didn’t just go to two schools – primary school and high school, I went to four. After that, it wasn’t just one College, it was five (in two different countries!) Then I changed career mid-life. Completely. Science to Art.

I thought all this made me really good at change.

Then 2019 happened.

So many things have changed this year that I’m spinning. Some of the Big Changes have been foisted upon me by a mischievous universe, others I’ve sought myself. Interestingly, it’s the change that I’ve sought that is bringing up the most resistance! And the Borg’s advice: “Resistance is Futile” is reverberating in my brain.

Resistance is what causes ALLLLLL the grief. All the pain. All the agony.

Acceptance makes life a smooth, flowing stream.

Acceptance of what? Everything. All the Big Things. All the Little Things.

My late husband Greg was a master at Acceptance. In his last years with cancer, even though he loved life with a passion, he managed an amazing balancing act between Hope and Acceptance. It was beautiful to witness. (You can watch me telling Greg’s Story here, filmed in front of a live, audience, who thankfully chuckled in the right places 🙂

Despite the high level of uncertainty that terminal cancer, chemotherapy, and all the many, many difficult things that chronic illness and disability brings, Greg lived his last years with humour and creativity, and floated with ease down that fast-flowing stream of life.

I’ve never been terribly good at swimming, so at the moment I’m imagining a sturdy raft on that fast-flowing stream, and I’m strapped in (with a life-jacket) !

And this is the thought that I come back to when things get particularly hairy: Every change I navigate is mirrored in the metaphors in the creative process …

Dealing with uncertainty, staying in the moment, staying curious, appreciating the painting (of life) as it is now, not as you hope it will be, seeking the exquisite, often over-looked details, knowing that each bit is just a layer that can be worked on, covered over or re-imagined. Trusting that each mark will find its way into the wholeness of the final image, even if I have NO IDEA what that final image will be …

And the Big One: Taking a Risk with each brushstroke.

Risking Failure in the face of Big Change is, I think, the thing we most resist. But the rewards can be amazing. It’s all about daring greatly and being willing to fail… knowing that at least, you gave it a shot!

In 1910, Ted Roosevelt had it covered. Here’s what he said:

It is not the critic who counts; {I read “inner critic” ! -M}
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,

or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust
and sweat and blood
who strives valiantly;
who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
… who at best
knows in the end the triumph
of high achievement,
and who at the worse,
if he fails, at least fails while
Daring Greatly.

With love,



PS I have two opportunities coming up in Perth for you to ‘Dare Greatly’ and win the battle with your (inner) critic:

FINDING YOUR WAY HOME, a two day workshop for re-claiming your centre using art, the river, my stories, your courage, as your tools! July 6-7. Here you will make divine art, step by step, and have time for reflection and dreaming and playing… and yoga and walking on the beach! Your inner critic WILL NOT WIN! Absolute Beginners are very, VERY welcome (don’t tell anyone, but I love you the mostest!) MORE DETAILS AND ENROL HERE.

And the other is my one day intensive, PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS – Starting up again on Sunday September 15th. This is the workshop that has taken about 1500 people from zero to hero in one day. You’ll love how easy it is, even if you’ve NEVER EVER EVER picked up a paintbrush in your whole darn life! You can get in early HERE with the super duper early bird discount of $100 off the full price!!

PPS For those who can’t come to Perth, PAINTING FOR BEGINNERS is finally going online, this year! So you’ll be able to take this course from anywhere in the world, in your pyjamas, or whatever 🙂 I’ll be asking you for some input ahead as I shoot the videos you need to watch, so stay tuned! If you’d like to get on the list to be kept in the loop for that, do that HERE.

PPPS As part of the Big Changes I’ve been navigating, my emails to you will soon be in a different format, as the service provider that sends them is changing. You do nothing. I try to learn how to use it 🙂



Comments 10

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  1. Loved this 🙂 it’s like you are in my head? I’ve just finished reading “Dearing greatly” by Brene Brown and then your email popped up! X X

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  2. OMG, You may have converted me to Trekkiism, Mal. After all these years of resistance to the allure– resistance may well be futile. Thanks for delving deeper and coming up with the gems!

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  3. Live long and prosper dear Smum
    Great to hear about failing while daring greatly…and taking risks, and trusting the creative process is about trusting in the ups and downs of change in life! Thank you!

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      you got it! and you’ve just engaged in the ULTIMATE creative process (with all it’s ups and downs!!) – growing a human and birthing it! Well done!

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