Friday, November 30, 2012

20 Minute Timed Writing - "My Ideal Self"

I am not going to share all my timed writings, and this one is probably more focused than most of them are. This is totally unedited and was handwritten with a burgundy gel pen in a college-ruled notebook I bought in a five-pack at Sam's Club. I think it usually takes about 20 minutes before you manage to get below the surface. Natalie Goldberg recommends you don't re-read the timed writings for a few weeks. When you go back and read them you will ideally be less judgmental of yourself and you will be able to see words, phrases, ideas that can be expanded or even beautiful sentences that are full of real-ness.

My ideal self eats no more than 150 grams of carbs most days. She always has several books going - some difficult and challenging, others for pleasure. She reads modern classics. My ideal self reads out loud to her younger children and tries to inspire her older children to read good books. My ideal self works out with weights three days a week, does cardio one day, or better yet, does 10 minutes on the rebounder every day. She fits other uncategorizable workouts in on the other three days and takes one full rest day per week. She is not rigid about any of this but is mostly consistent. My ideal self does twenty minutes of freewriting like this every day. She belongs to a writing group that meets at a coffee house once a month. My Ideal self has two days every month "off" from family duties. If needed, she uses one day to catch up on household duties but ideally she uses two 45-minute maintenance times each day to keep things orderly enough that she can use those days as retreats for reading, writing, art journaling, prayer, etc. My ideal self is patient. She feels annoyed just as much as my actual self but has trained herself to smile instead of growling and snapping. She is not fake when she does this, but she doesn't always want to be a reactionary. She wants to respond instead of react and she wants to respond positively even to negative situations - positively in that she wants to be at peace with all people as much as it depends on her and not part of the problem but part of the solution. My ideal self creates most days. She makes a few art journal pages a week, she works on plans for her future as a workshop instructor, she puts together prototypes for her future book.My ideal self cooks a full meal three times a week and eats a big salad every day. My ideal self takes her multivitamins, her calcium and she looks out for the health of her family without being naggy. She manages to get across not-so-positive emotions and work through tense situations without being sarcastic or naggy or mopey or otherwise ineffectual. She takes a self-portrait once a week. My ideal self keeps up on her digital photos, ideally printing them out regularly, but at the very least backing them up so they will not be lost. My ideal self does not assume the worst about everything, she does not let things that happened in the past make her feel jaded because she thinks she will know how it will all turn out. She is able to walk away from escalating arguments without acting all superior about it. My ideal self listens to world music on a regular basis and she plays the guitar. My ideal self my ideal self my ideal self does not have to write the same thing over and over. She continues to make paper zines even though paper is so out of favor and she reads poetry in the hope that she will someday get it. My ideal self prays for everyone she knows on a regular basis and she makes some kind of creative prayer journal. My ideal self has at least one 3x4 foot painting of her own hanging on the wall of her house. My ideal self my ideal self my ideal self doesn't exist obviously but since I am afraid to even try to plan or make any kind of resolution again (since I have failed at keeping them so many times) I thought that writing about my ideal self would maybe give me some guidance or motivation. My ideal self is not emotionally protective of herself. She is able to love others even through her own pain about unmet needs. My ideal self does not leave her clothes all over the dressing room floor. My ideal self doesn't exist and that's okay. My ideal self would not be a perfect person even if she did exist, but she would be less discouraged about life, more trusting of God and more expansive and loving towards other people. My ideal self is compassionate. She walks through the library and sees a young black man reading a comic book and his lips move, and she loves him and does not think he should be reading a real book. My ideal self is not snippy and is not guarded all the time. My ideal self my ideal self does not check message boards like Happy Eaters and Video Fitness just because she can. She checks things like that at night and in the morning with her coffee. My ideal self mails something artistic to someone every two weeks and she does not go shopping without a list. She even has a food budget.