Writing Exercise: A Manifesto

This is a re-post from my previous blog.

Similarly to my 12 Commandments post, this is a writing exercise that I find enlightening and fun. I initially wrote this piece, my manifesto, when I was in a counseling program a few years ago. I was surprised and surprisingly satisfied with the results – so I highly recommend trying to write your own manifesto and keeping at it until you have something you LOVE. Seriously, this might become your battle cry. Or maybe it will save you when you most need saving. Dig deep and don’t be shy.

To start, review the following if they are confusing to you or you want to get clear on the direction you’re headed in:

  1. When I did this exercise, the focus was Deconditioning. The short version: training yourself to respond differently than you already do to specific stimuli.
  2. Writing a self defining declaration. A reason to get up in the morning.
  3. Optimistic statements versus affirmations. Developing a positive mental attitude and describing what you DO rather than saying what you are.

Guidelines for writing your manifesto:

  1. Shake your body. Or do something weird like vibrating your lips to get out of your usual headspace. Make a noise, this will shock you into the present moment.
  2. Set a timer for 20 minutes.
  3. Write. Write a self defining declaration. Draw on times you felt most like yourself.  Write about what you DO and where you are going, what your life is about.
  4. DON’T STOP till the timer goes off.
  5. Edit as you see fit.

Here is my self defining declaration written in 20 minutes:

Stille Wasser sind tief” my mother says to me in German. I am as calm deep blue as the ocean, embracing ever-changing tides, weathering storms, and washing up on sandy beaches. I am fascinated by the world around me, exploring the activities and ideas that speak to my authentic self.

I am creative and optimistic in my outlook on life . I exercise this through not subscribing to clicks, but rather cultivating my own tribe of vagabonds, rabble-rousers, and misfits. “Prost!” we cheer as we clank biersteins, champagne flutes, whiskey shooters, and martini glasses. We keep it classy at our underground sweaty parties.

I choose to do things with intention: if you can’t get out of it, get into it. Act how you want to feel. Fake it till you make it over the moon and you are so high you barely know which way is up. Redefine success for yourself. I do things because they light me up. I love myself like my life depends on it. I seek out Fun Type B because I won’t rest till I know myself inside and out.

I love fiercely. I ride my bike and feel the wind in my hair as it breaths on my neck and whispers “freedom” into my ear. I act like I may only live another year, fueled like I may live another 300. I strive to accept myself as I am today. I explore my sexual and sensual nature, knowing that in the depths of these waters are multiple orgasms: because Life is That Good. There are  experiences of ecstasy and unity waiting to be had that currently may seem unimaginable.

I play because it makes me strong. I aspire to be a ninja-woman with cat-like reflexes and motivate others to celebrate their bodies through movement. Do it because it needs to be done. I am an idealist, wandering, but not lost.

Love, strength & vigor!