by Nancy Casey
Today’s writing will be done in two parts, so as you limber up your writing fingers and organize your writing materials, be sure you have at least two sheets of paper handy.
The first part is a list. Turn your attention to your surroundings. Look around, listen, sniff. Make a list of 10 or more things that are in your surroundings.
While you are doing that, let that back of your mind meditate on what it means to do something right.
First off, you are the only one who truly knows why you do what you do, so you are the only qualified judge of how well you do them.
Sometimes, the very fact that you did something at all is evidence that you have done something right. You made an effort. You had a certain intention. You did what you did.
When we “do something right,” our life gets a little easier, a little smoother, a little better. Often that means we don’t even notice what we did and why it was a good thing for us. We do things like that all the time.
There are a zillion things we do right every day out of habit. We do them automatically, without thinking and without giving ourselves credit. Every time you go out the door with matching shoes on, you make your day easier than it would have been otherwise! What habits do you have that keep your day running smooth?
In areas where we wish our lives were different, we often mistakenly judge ourselves as doing things “wrong.” But that overlooks our understanding of the changes we’d like to see and the efforts we have made so far to bring them about.
As you record your list of 10 or more objects, play around in your recent memories and recall some of the things that you’ve done recently that are just right for you.
To fill the second page, choose one of the objects that you have listed. Describe it a little bit and then explain how it represents something that you are doing right.
Remember that there is a world of difference between “doing something right” and “being perfect,” especially if your idea of “perfect” is coming from somebody else’s standards. Imagine, for instance that over there on the table is a bowl with a spoon and the dried remnants of yesterday’s breakfast in it. That could be proof of your efforts to have good nutrition every day. Or evidence of your delight in having found your favorite spoon last week when you cleaned out everything under the couch.
In other words, every object in your surroundings is proof that you have done something right.
After you have written about one object, choose another, and keep going. You will run out of paper or you will run out of time, but you will never run out of memories of things that you have done right.
When you have finished, put the date and title on both of your pages. Here is an example of what your writing could look like.
Nancy Casey teaches writing classes at the Recovery Center on Thursdays. Check the calendar for classes and times, or just drop in. All are welcome. She coordinates Recovery Radio, which airs on KRFP 90.3 FM in Moscow, Thursdays at 1:05 PM. Recovery Radio needs on-air and off-air volunteers. Call the Recovery Center 208-883-1045 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.