Your Personal Manifesto
A manifesto has origins in politics; individuals would proclaim the future according to them as a promise to the people they were accountable to. We can thank them for the tool and guidance and proclaim our own futures through our own personal manifestos.
Questions may arise: Why do I want one? Who is this for? How do I begin?
We gain freedom through structure to bring chaos into order and a manifesto is just that, a structure that connects our vision of the future to our current position, guiding our actions in between. The process of writing a manifesto is the exploration and articulation of what matters most to us, what we believe in and stand for. It is a guiding light that allows us to make decisions easier, to understand ourselves better and when both of these things are happening, we are given a tremendous opportunity for increased freedom.
For example, an opportunity arises, it is shiny AND sparkly. Not only sounds good but tastes good too, yet there is something that just doesn’t sit right. Our normal reaction would likely be some mix of intuitive practice, outsourcing to others for guidance, pros and cons lists, etc. Or if we are more the excitable and impulsive types, it would be to yell “YES” at the opportunity and deal with the consequences later. This all takes time and energy, either before to sort out the clash of feelings for and against, or after to figure out what happened when we threw ourselves at the new opportunity, perhaps to process the emotions of what happened if it was truly misaligned.
Or, a new opportunity arises, we feel it out and check it against our manifesto. Is it in alignment with my stated beliefs and vision for the future? Ah, clarity! Here, on line 6, I can see how it doesn’t fit with my _________ value and thus would pull me out of integrity. I will pass on this opportunity, with gratitude, and seek out another that would align with my vision and create the results I desire. It’s a dreamy process, and it really can happen that easily! Manifestos are for people who want space, freedom, ease, simplicity, or to streamline their approach and who have not yet articulated their vision and values. For folks who want to spend more time in alignment, more time learning from what goes well and being in the joy of who they are and what they do.
Like anything, there are so many ways to do this, here is one way. You can insert coaching and conversations, set it aside and come back to it, do whatever is helpful to you as this is a deeply personal result that deserves your personal process and attention.
Now let’s begin:
- Get mad. The best place to write from is one of frustration and even anger. Allow your emotions to drive this effort, the goal is to use this frustration as a contrast, when we can see what we don’t agree with through our frustration, we gain clarity of what we do believe in. You can do this in one fiery sitting and/or start a list in your phone and pay attention to what sets you off throughout the day to uncover the belief undercover. Set yourself a time limit, if needed, to sit down again with your ideas, schedule it in. You can freewrite about things and/or move straight to specific points starting with “I believe….”
- Expand. You can take your beliefs further by asking yourself a series of questions about the important areas of your life as a whole or narrow it down to a specific area of your life like family or business. What is most important to you in relationships? What do you believe about money? What values are important in your family life? What do you believe about time? What do you believe about lifestyle? Work-life balance? Kids these days?
- Refine. Now you likely have plenty of ideas and it may feel like two steps forward, one step back. Awesome, let’s take another step forward.
- Read it out loud – notice which ones bring about emotion, feel the most true, and which ones feel fake or like beliefs you “should” have.
- Look for themes – likely there is some overlap. Look for the words that resonate the most, the 100% must have statements, or any that you can combine and crossout.
- Rewrite your list – see where you are at. Do you have a vision of how long or short? Likely this will come about naturally. Trying to be as succinct as possible will help to vet your beliefs, they will have to fight for a place on your list and nothing will make the list without it having some true energy behind it.
- Recycle this process until you have it down to something that feels punchy, strong, and true. It needs to feel like you and it needs to feel powerful.
- Publish. Share this, publish it, use it as marketing. This is the world you desire to create, no time like the present to start creating it. Feeling resistant? Explore that, likely there is a goldmine in this resistance that when you break through this, you will break through to a whole new level of action and authenticity in your business and life. Perhaps you wrote your goals, or your future selves’ manifesto rather than your current one. What you want to believe rather than what you actually do, and it feels hard to share. Or, you are being called out of hiding, to live your dharma in a big way and the way forward is the way through the resistance. You get to choose how you want to go about moving through!
As an example and for further accountability to share my Manifesto, created at the Mexico 2022 Yoga Healer Retreat, here is mine:
- I believe personal wellness is foundational.
- I believe in taking the time to clarify desired results first.
- I believe in Deep Work, the Focus Question, and being unavailable.
- I believe structure brings ease.
- I believe in my worthiness, the unique value I offer and the power I have to redefine cultural assumptions.
- I believe in exposing my frustrations, failures, and regrets to learn my most powerful lessons, stand in my convictions and BEST effect change.
- I believe in conversing with God.
- I believe nothing happens in isolation and investing in strategic community and reciprocal relationships is essential.
- I believe in returning to and collaboration with nature and receiving guidance in these rhythms.
- I believe there are opportunities for joy, beauty and adventure available to us at all times and that it is right for us to embrace them wholeheartedly.
- I believe there is always more available to me. I believe the time is NOW.