a clean slate

May 16, 2016 § Leave a comment

I start each day the same. I awake early, before the sun comes up. With the start of each day the slate of every day that has gone before me is wiped clean. At least on the surface.

Below the surface the cellular activity that continuously gives my existence shape is busy re-constructing this entity that I know as me. The neural synapse sending electrical charge from one cluster of memory to another light up to remind me of who I am in the world, what is possible for me, and how I will be received. I re-construct my existence as I re-construct my possibilities for my future existence.

These processes of re-construction are not guided by a blueprint for the future, but rather a familiar sequence of operations guided by history. The default is to follow historic patterns. However, the shape of these patterns can be configured in present time. The emergence of these patterns can be modified by changing the conditions of their emergence. Over time, the history of the emergence of these patterns can be modified as well-worn grooves of habit are left to atrophy through lack of use and new patterns take root through conscious choice.

I become an active participant in my own transformation through conscious activity that makes it possible for new patterns to take root. My investment in new patterns means that I am no longer endorsing old patterns. These old patterns gradually disappear because I am no longer devoting energy to their existence. I may not notice these changes as significant from day to day. I might notice that I am not as upset by an event that might have derailed me for days. I might notice that I am not compulsively eating something that I know will make me feel sick later. I might notice that I am spending more time outdoors and less time staring at a computer screen. Or I might not.

Writing is a transformative practice. For these twenty minutes that I am engaging my dialogic imagination, I am not endorsing old, unexamined patterns of existence. I am breaking with the routine reinforcement of historical precedence. In my case this is a good thing. My historical precedence is so damaging to my contemporary well-being as to be considered a hazard to my health. The act of writing refutes notions of disempowerment, invisibility, invalidation, dismissal. The act of writing endorses notions of empowerment, visibility, validation, and consideration. If only for myself.

My morning routine can include twenty minutes of writing and I can transform my life. Or not. When I choose to write, I choose to change. I choose to transform what I am capable of perceiving as possibilities in my life today. It is mysterious. It is not a to-do list. It is energizing the unknown and de-energizing the well-worn, familiar, but uncomfortable.

On the surface, nothing has changed. No one even knows that I spent this time tapping on a keyboard instead of surfing the Internet. But I know. My brain knows, the entire cellular structure of my being knows. The day is a clean slate and I just wrote something new on it.

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