About once a year I like to write a manifesto to help guide me throughout the year.
It’s not January yet but It feels like a new world, doesn’t it? My mom texted my sisters and me yesterday to say there was another shooting. All I could think was, “Seriously? Another one? I have to finish what I’m working on. I’ll deal with that later.”
But dealing with that didn’t mean much. I’ve become numb to these tragedies. My heart has shut down so that watching a boy get turned down at a dance on Stranger Things brought more tears to my eyes than real people being killed in the real world.
Like I said, “It feels like a new world.”
And yet it’s not. Human beings play out these tragedies over and over and over. We’ve read it in the history books. We’ve been here before. We’re just not used to living it in full technicolor internet. We’re not used to hearing about it on the radio and on Facebook and on the TV and via text message.
So here’s a new manifesto that I am going to do my best to live by in these new (but not really new) times. (Scroll below to see some suggestions to help you write your own manifesto.)
A New Manifesto for a New World
My cell phone won’t be my best friend.
When I wake up in the morning I’ll breathe in the new day
not turn to my phone for a jolt of virtual coffee.
I won’t go down the rabbit hole of social media and and anxiety at every tragedy that makes the news
Nor will I numb out to the tune of mindless scrolling and the gossip of acquaintances and celebrities.
I will be aware of the world and find a way that I can make a difference.
I will not ignore injustice or pretend I don’t see it.
I will let go of the things that are distractions along the way
And get clear on my values and goals.
I will come back to myself every day
And try to live those values and goals
Even when it’s hard.
I will make room every day for love and intuition, for movement and breath, for laughter and finding light within the darkness.
I will not turn away from my calling, lured by fear and anxiety into the comfort of hiding.
I will make self-care a priority because I truly cannot do any of the previous if I am not well in body, mind, and spirit.
Above all I will be present and remind myself daily to breathe in and feel it all.
How to Write Your Own Manifesto:
Start by doing some journaling on these questions:
- At the end of the day, what matters to you? What values and goals surpass everything else for you?
- How do you want to leave the world a better place?
- What values do you think are most important for today’s children?
- What keeps you healthy in body, mind, and spirit?
- What are you ready to let go of?
Now thinking about how you answered these questions, write a manifesto for how you want to show up in the world right now. This isn’t a writing test and nobody will be critiquing you so don’t feel it has to be perfect.
If you need some help getting started, try writing down 5 ways you want to show up in the world right now (whether in your personal life, professional life, or elsewhere). Then write down 5 things you want to let go of doing, things that aren’t helping you to be your best self.
p.s. If you still feel stuck, try this 10 minute meditation for connecting with your inner truth to get some clarity.