“Keep Writing.”  Apparently that’s Jerry Seinfeld’s advice on how to push through writer’s block and flourish creatively.  Just put an X on the calendar each day you write and try to start a chain.  Then, with each day you write, add another X and watch the chain grow. Try not to break that chain.  Next thing you know, you may not be “master of your own domain” (no need to mess with that chain!) but you’ll be free from the chain of creative block and begin building a chain of creative expression.  Now that’s a domain that I can get behind mastering!

“Keep Coming” are the final words of advice offered at the end of the AA meeting.  I dragged myself in, once again feeling isolated, wrestling with depression and anxiety, and hungry, desiring to satiate my gnawing discontent with some worldly substance.  But rather than head to the bar and repeat the same old mistakes, I shuffle into a new home, where nobody knows your name, and feel a connection that has eluded me for much of my life.  The faces are different but the stories are my own; their struggles speak to the hidden days/daze of much of my life.  Just keep coming is the advice they offer.  Just work on building a chain of showing up to break those chains.

“Keep Swimming”- words of advice from Nemo, Disney’s great philosopher fish.  When in doubt and bogged down by life, ya just gotta keep moving, keep exercising, keep living, keep dreaming.  Exercise today? Pop an X on that calendar.  Maybe it was just a walk rather than a trip to the gym, perhaps a little bit of stretching on the floor. Sometimes just getting out of the house can be heralded as the small victory of the day and warrants being upheld as an accomplishment.  Although the movement is minimal, progress was made nonetheless.  Another day of life and an additional link in the chain- not the chain holding me motionless to the same old spot but the one that is setting me free.

“Keep Living” is perhaps the most important chain to continue. Forget about just an X on the day in the afternoon- capturing what was accomplished. How about a circle on each new day in the morning- announcing what can be done!  A new chain will be built of circles, attesting to the infinite possibilities of each day of life, symbolizing the fullness of existence and ever-present opportunity of each moment.  With each new link cast aside chains that used to enslave me are replaced by new gossamer threads that loosely tether me to the ground as I reach for sublime skies.

“Keep building that chain” will be my new slogan as I cast aside the heavy burden of depression and anxiety, regret and remorse, addiction and affliction. Each day I will mark the calendar and build a new chain, attesting to the fact that today I lived and loved, sang and strutted, listened and learned, walked and whistled, struggled and survived, wondered and wandered.  No longer will I worry about breaking chains; from here on out it’s erasing pains, making gains, and creating chains, as I add a new link and set myself free.