Clarity is a living process, an ongoing practice. I attend to it pretty much every day, lest it slip away. A big part of my practice is morning pages — the “brain dump,” prescribed by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, that clears out the cobwebs and leftovers before beginning a day as calm and lucid as it can be.
Those morning pages remind me, again and again, to claim my responsibility for my life by shunning the word “should.”
The “s-word” is in exile from my world. I try never to say it, think it, or write it. But given the fluidity of morning pages, it constantly threatens to erupt into my grade school exercise notebook.
So I’ve developed a lexicon of “s-word” substitutes, which I share with you here. When I’m tempted to off-load my life’s choices to the anonymous arbiter of “should,” I remember that whatever I think, or say, or do, it’s on me:
It’s time to . . .
I choose to . . .
I want to . . .
It’s important to me that . . .
What if I . . .
What I’ll do is . . .
It’s best to . . .
My best option is . . .
I’ll consider . . .
I prefer to . . .
You get the idea. Tell me, what are your favorite “s-word” substitutes?