change · fortitude · growth · love · self-love

Strike That; Reverse It

(*Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka [Sorry, Johnny, you ruined a classic])
In order to get ready to enter words that create and convey
feelings onto a screen that I upload to you, I have to do a little centering
first. Otherwise, you’d get — well, I don’t know – it just never felt right
to dive out of bed and onto the screen. Instead, I dive out of bed toward the
coffee pot, and then to the journal, the Morning Pages routine picked up many
years ago by working The Artist’s Way
with a group of varied and wonderful folks in Muddy Waters at 24th
street (you can have 16th street).
In fact, in order to prepare for you, for this, for reclaiming my daily blog, I began
writing them again because I knew I needed to skim the top layer off
my thoughts and onto a written page before addressing you. I haven’t been
consistent with the Morning Pages, but, pretty much so. I probably have a dozen notebooks since we began in, what, 2008? 2009?
After those (and I don’t always get 3 full long-hand pages,
especially when my Thursday night acting class keeps me in Berkeley til 10pm), I try to
meditate for even a few seconds, if I’m honest. I have varied the time of these
“sits,” even up to 20 minutes, but for now, it’s about 5 minutes, if I get that. If not that,
I do one fully present breath. Like really present, not what I’m going to
do after this breath
present. Because it’s
usually somewhere between and in concert of these two practices that I get the
kernel of what I want to say to you here.
I’ve written from monkey mind, I’ve quieted it (hopefully),
and from there, I can address you.
What I’ve found in a few of my most recent journalings is
that when I write the words, “I should…,” I’m stopping myself, crossing out
“should” and instead writing something like, “I encourage and support myself in
I need to send those photos to that agency. STRIKE
I support and encourage myself in sending those photos.
I should go back to the gym today. STRIKE
I support and encourage myself in going to the gym.
What a difference of manner and direction that provides.
I’ve heard people use the phrase “Shoulding all over your
self;” and it’s true, you, we, I can shame and should myself all I want – but
remember the “more flies with honey than vinegar” thing? I think it works with ourselves, too. 
And while we’re on phrases; Shame, I’ve heard
it said, can be an acronym for Should Have Already Mastered Everything. ~ Back
to shoulding.
I’m liking that I’m catching myself and changing the
language to something more positive, even though I’m the only one who sees it,
and because I’m the only one who sees
it. I’m only retraining myself. Does it help? Did it make me—strike that—
encourage me to send the photos? Not yet. But I did go to the

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