manifesto

1man·i·fes·to

noun ˌma-nə-ˈfes-(ˌ)tō

plural man·i·fes·tos or man·i·fes·toes
a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

source: Merriam-Webster

It has never dawned on me that I need a personal vision statement… Never ever. But here I am, embarking on this self-imposed assignment.  I am pouring my little heart out on the keyboard in an attempt to write something simple and true.  I already know it won’t be short and sweet.

How did I start on this little path?

The basic principle: what we focus on tends to expand itself.

My manifesto might be akin to a mission statement: guiding me with intention and assisting me to focus on how I live my life.  Maybe it will be a life compass.  Faced with a big decision?  Maybe this will be my guide.  Are you with me and starting to think either a.) you are glad you already have one or b.) you are going to start drafting yours right now instead of reading on?

After extensive staring at the blank screen, after a lot of distractions and countless abandoned efforts, I found a theme song that propelled me forward.  Yes, one little song!  Thank you Switchfoot for your brilliant melody and message in This is Your Life 

I started researching other manifestos for inspiration (I feature a few at the end of this post).  When I stumbled upon the lululemon manifesto it occurred to me that if I love inspired quotes so much; perhaps they should serve as a framework.  Note:  I just decided I am not keen on the word manifesto – it is too big and well, intimidating.  But I can’t find a proper substitute so stick with me and this lofty word.

The photo featured at the beginning of this post was snapped this morning.  Did you notice that the reflection of the hazy sun shines brightest as a reflection in the water.  The reflecting sun is the beautiful star; completely “in focus”.  Seems symbolic: the power of reflection often brings things into focus.  So while I may not understand why I am called to write a manifesto right now – perhaps thoughtful reflection will shed some understanding.

Reflecting.

Me. Reflecting of course.

So without further ado…

I will live authentic and true, independent of my fear of judgement.

“The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell truth that is in us . . . the divine flood of light and life no longer flow into our souls.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

I will find goodness in every day and a way to extend even the tiniest acts of kindness.  

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” — The Dalai Lama

I choose gratitude – especially when it is difficult to identify the silver lining.

“Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good, even in unpleasant situations. Start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful.” — Marelisa Fábrega  

I will cherish the moment and live in the present.

“As you’re reading this, your life’s getting shorter. It’s ticking away. I’m not saying this to frighten you. Or even scare you. Though it may. I’m saying this to awaken you. To inspire you. To rise you out of your deep slumber. To really know you won’t live forever. To share your unique gifts. To ignite your great inner fire. To ignite your great inner strength. To ignite your great inner light. To shine. Brightly shine. To awaken your great inner beauty. To motivate. Yourself and others. To love. Yourself and others. To paint. To write. To teach. To innovate. To sing. To dance. To care. To feel. To listen. To learn. To laugh. The clocks ticking. The world needs you. Make your move.” ~ Mike Litman

&

“Life is available only in the present moment.”Thich Nhat Hanh

I will not waste my creativity with worry.

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.” ― Corrie Ten Boom

I grant myself permission to be me. 

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I will seek to ignite happiness; aspiring to honor the light within everyone I meet. 

“There are persons so radiant, so genial, so kind, so pleasure-bearing, that you instinctively feel in their presence that they do you good, whose coming into a room is like the bringing of a lamp there.”— Henry Ward Beecher

I strive to make the most of my talents, to be of service, to create value, and to give back to the world.

“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” – Leo Buscaglia

I will focus on those things within my sphere of influence and embrace imperfections.

“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.” – Brené Brown

I believe in living on the sunny-side of life; choosing love in times of disappointment, frustration and anger.

“All you need is love.” – The Beatles

manifesto words
Links and research highlights:

I love this parenting manifesto by the brilliant Brené  Brown, in a special edition print designed by Kelly Rae Roberts.  And, I adore this personal manifesto by Kelly Rae!

A manifesto from ‘Instructions for Life’ by The Dalai Lama:

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s: respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend sometime alone every day.

9. Open arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.