Guest post by Richard Quis. See previous post by Eric Penz: Where Does Your Muse Live?
Self-deception is a disease. Your beliefs are not necessarily facts. Telling yourself “I like how I think, I just don’t like my life” is one of the symptoms. Fortunately, you are not doomed. The disease is curable. Awareness is the first step. Once you are aware your beliefs may harbor myths, you need to understand what triggers the distorted thought…addictive cravings, forbidden desires, crippling needs, illegal indulgences… and then learn to use that trigger to initiate a different thought. Writing can be an antibiotic for distorted thinking. It clears the mind, provides access to our subconscious and soothes the soul.
Fortunately, writing doesn’t require a physician’s prescription, but a competent mental health professional can do wonders to restore your balance. To write effectively, there is no need to find a table to write on at the Café de Flore or the Deux Magots in Paris, rent a cabin deep in the woods of Vermont, retreat to a monastic cell at a convent or monastery in Tuscany, lease a boathouse with a writer’s loft in lake country, charter a houseboat in Seattle, get a beach house in the Hamptons, attend a creative writing course given by Stephen King or apply for a residency program at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo or Djerassi. It’s also not necessary to purchase an Apple iPad, a Surface Tablet or Samsung Chromebook, a Mount Blanc Fountain Pen or a Grayson Tighe Roller Pen, a Porsche Design, Caran d’Ache or Staedtler mechanical lead pencil, a moleskin journal or a handmade leather journal with Florentine or tree-free paper, or a portable writing desk made by Nava Design, Pineider or Pinetti. The more expensive the tool the less likely you are to use it. If that’s what it takes, it’s OK to do it, but deducting mental health expenses is tricky, so check first with your tax advisor. But remember, thoughts are faster than your writing hand. So you need to learn how to handle the speed of thought.
You can create the same environment with an effective self-improvement methodology like Thinking Anew: Harnessing the Power of Belief by Eugene F. Moynihan, Jr. and Richard F. Quis (Disclosure: I co-authored this book), The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron or Excuses Begone! by Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well worn kitchen table, a marbled Thinking Anew composition book and a sharp Dixon Ticonderoga yellow No. 2 pencil for use at home or a Pentel 0.7 mechanical lead pencil while traveling. The simpler the tools, the more likely they will work when needed. No dead batteries, no passwords, no digital distractions, no computer viruses to contend with and these beloved tools won’t set off alarms at security checkpoints.
Showing up at the page with your imagination, your passion for change, your thoughts, your expectations and your emotions is what’s important. Regardless of your mood, start each day by putting black marks above a blue line on white paper. Understand, everybody has the ability to create. It needs to be activated. Get your right brain firing on all cylinders. Taking a look within requires courage, discipline and consistency. You are not doomed, you’re ill. You can change your life. You are not alone in this. Allow yourself to be a beginner. Imagine that you can create a masterpiece about yourself, one word at a time. Make it a real page turner, Pulitzer Prize potential about your success going forward.
Within ninety days you should have filled the composition book, touched your Higher Power and be on the way to becoming what you are meant to be. Caution, some assembly required. Achoo! God bless you. Now give it all you got. You’re on the road to recovery.
Richard (Dick) Quis is a writer, fine artist, investment banker and co-author of Thinking Anew: Harnessing the Power of Belief, a book within a composition book that uses the power of writing to help people in crisis find the passion to make change stick. http://www.helpthinkinganew.com