I’m officially 1/3 of the way through my purification process. To celebrate this milestone and the gorgeous weather, my fiancé Bob and my sister Kellie and I decided to take a hike. We trekked along the bluffs to an amazing overlook and then down to the Maquoketa River.
As we were hiking back through a stunning uphill stretch of trail I remarked, “This is exactly what it feels like in the purification process. I still have 14 days of an uphill climb.”
Bob and Kellie were ahead of me when I said this so they had to turn around to hear me. From this perspective they could only see behind me and both exclaimed, “But look how far you’ve already come!”
As soon as I turned around, I saw exactly what they meant. We had indeed made significant progress. Because they were with me and I was enjoying their company, I hadn’t even noticed.
Detoxing is difficult because unlike writing, I often use food to numb out, soothe, or go unconscious. I use writing to do the opposite. I write to awaken and become present to my life, to feel my way around my head, and articulate that experience so it makes some kind of sense.
I get twitchy when I don’t write. I get hangry (hungry + angry) when I can’t eat the comfort foods I’m accustomed to. The good news is my definition of comfort food changes each time I detox to healthier options. (My current comfort food is toasted coconut chips.)
The best news is eventually this discomfort prompts me to write, cleanse, have fierce conversations, or do any number of things to move my life, my health, my relationships, and my career forward.
I first published the following post in February of 2014 when I was working on a writing project. I decided to dig it up and re-post to get me through the next 14 days and keep you on course doing whatever you may have agree to do during the No Matter What game.
Every now and then it’s important to remind myself why I do what I do. It’s especially helpful to create a manifesto when I set out to improve some part of my life or break a destructive habit or resolve to do something I’ve not succeeded in doing up to this point.
The Paradoxical Commandments written by Dr Kent Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders has been on my mind lately. This seemed like the perfect piece to adapt to serve as my writing manifesto and see me through the times when I wonder whether all this reinvention is really necessary.
Here’s what I came up with today. I share it with you to serve as an example of something you might create for yourself, substituting the obstacles and resistance you face on a regular basis along with the thing you resolve to do anyway.
To read the original commandments, click on the link above. To read the version that has been attributed to Mother Teresa, click here.
Create one for yourself, then as always, share if you dare below in the comments.
Write Anyway by Penny Plautz
Forces may conspire to squelch my creativity,
be still and write anyway.
My muse may refuse to inspire,
log on and write anyway.
Exhaustion may convince me I’m too tired to take this on,
rest and write anyway.
Drama may attempt to declare dominance over my day,
keep calm and write anyway.
Rejection may unleash a lifetime of doubt,
ignore and write anyway.
Others may not read, agree, appreciate, or approve of what I write,
accept it and write anyway.
The pain may appear to be too terrifying to articulate,
trust the art of the heart and write anyway.
I may have said it all before and have no original thoughts,
repeat and write anyway.
I may be exposed as inconsistent, slightly irrational, or overly emotional,
risk and write anyway.
There may be 10,000 tangible things on my to-do list,
honor the intangible and write anyway.
I may need more training, guidance, editing, or research to succeed,
seek support and write anyway.
There may be millions of writers reaching for the same dream,
join them and write anyway.
In the final analysis, we all are trust fund babies of the Great Creator.
To claim my inheritance, all that is required is to write anyway.