Change Catalyst with Shanna Mann: Strategy & Support for Sane Self-Employment

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That Which is Necessary or Desired


Recently I’ve been struggling with what to write on here. There are few limitations to the metière, but I was torn; was what I had to say important enough to share? The longer it took to make my point (and I do favor long posts) the more important it became to say something of substance.

It’s not that I’m being modest (trust me, I’m never modest) but it seemed to me that life is so cluttered, so noisy, that it might be better that I keep my mouth shut than add to the cacophony, at least until I could say something succinctly and vividly enough to be a worthwhile read.

I have dozens of drafts cluttering up the hard drive; half formed arguments and semi-opaque thoughts. Typically I threw them over in disgust because I was heading towards polemicism and I couldn’t figure out how to pull out of the dive.

And then yesterday I stumbled across this line of poetry:

“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.”

In one bloody line, someone had encapsulated what I have spend hours upon hours writing about and explaining to clients. Wholesome discipline. Be gentle with yourself. MutherFUCKER!

So I looked it up, and there it was; Desiderata. 90-year-old prose poem penned by an Indiana lawyer. Staple wall-hanging of waiting rooms and hotel lobbies. I’ve read it dozens of times, but just then, every line was a goddamn revelation.

Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

It’s not that I don’t have things to say, it’s that they are coming out quite parochial, and in reality they are more flexible than that. In reality, they are profound, nuanced. But I am a sharp-edged person. I’m like the Red Queen. My writing style is rambling, capricious, even imperious and these things I want to talk about… they require earnestness. They require humility (yeah, I know. That’ll be a stretch.)

So since I can’t create that tone on my own, I’m going to steal it. I’m going to use the tranquility of Desiderata to guide my reflections, to uncover the nuance, to evoke the right tone.

I’ve been storing this up for a while, so be ready. 🙂 I’m thinking daily posts for a bit, but I’m not promising anything.

Meanwhile, I wanna know, which line in Desiderata speaks to you the most?


Day 1

Day 2

Day 3