If you've followed me for long - and I have over 4,000 of you who keep showing up so I'm willing to bet some of you have seen this - you know that I revisit my manifesto occasionally. A new year, , birthdays and the beginning of autumn are ideal times. My manifesto is my guideline for living a value based life. It is like by-laws - one word can change everything, so even if changes are subtle, they can have a huge impact. I love by-laws, by the way! Undoubtedly that's why I've been asked to serve on so many boards - no one else wants that task!
My reason for sharing this is to encourage you to write your own. Copying mine may be tempting, but the result will be weak and diluted. We all need to give thought to what works for us - not for someone else. This is simply a spring board to get you started.
One huge change for me this year has been finding my voice and stepping forward to own what I value. I'm recommitting to speaking up for young people. I've spent my life as an advocate for children, first as president of the Tri-County Alliance for Youth, president of our America's Promise for six years and winning Colin Powell's 100 Best twice - it ran in 3 year cycles. Our Gandhi King Peace Coalition trained non-violence for over a decade using the Gandhi - King steps to non-violence in after school programs, summer camps and conferences. I served on the United Way to oversee the committee that determined where funds would go for youth programming. We taught Dr. Peter Benson's 40 Assets for Youth through out the community, focusing on what we wanted - youth success. Most programs had revolved around deficits - drug and alcohol, bullying, teen pregnancy - and as with all things, what we focus our attention on increased. Our shift to assets took us quantum leaps in improving the lives of our young people.
"Thoughts become things." Mike Dooley
That is true in every aspect of our lives. I encourage you to consider what you want in your life, give it action and energy and make wonderful things happen! Understanding who we are and what we value comes first - internal work. And that must be followed by action.
And now for my manifesto.
1. Use my energy level as a barometer to gauge the value of my relationships. Nurture those who increase my energy, avoid those who drain it.
2. Enhance the quality of life by using creativity to enjoy projects and tasks and to have more fun! Actively and regularly schedule fun and adventure!
3. Take the time to stay in tune with my spiritual self - continue to journal (3 pages daily since 2003), meditate, time in nature, yoga, sketching, painting, gardening, gratitude lists, illustrated journaling, etc.
4. Respect my health as a precious gift. Use exercise and nutrition to be healthy - not to look good. Have a health-driven, not-ego driven, life style.
5. Continue to spend time in, and learn lessons from, nature.
6. Embrace and actively commit to my education and learning - knowledge, skills and attitude. Create a cycle of learning and teaching, giving courses to help others.
7. Dharma - use my talents and passions in all aspects of my life's work, through paid and volunteer positions.
8. Keep clutter to a minimum. Give away one item for every new one that comes into the house. Our external environment reflects our internal reality. Beauty and simplicity create peace and serenity.
9. Incorporate systems to simplify everyday tasks. Use terminology that will shift my attitude - house blessing instead of house work, consider the blessings to others for their services when paying bills, give to groups I believe in. Incorporate segment intending to improve focus and separate projects and tasks.
10. If it isn't good for my soul, I won't buy it, eat it, watch it, read it, spend time with it, wear it . . .
Now it's your turn. What are your values, expectations, guidelines, systems? Have fun with creating your own manifesto! It's worth the time. And keep it posted so you can review it often. i used to have mine on the refrigerator and reviewed it daily. Think I'll get back to that.
Manifestos are a work in progress so you can always revisit, improve and update for what is best in your current situation. Have fun!
"Life's short. Sparkle!"
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!