First of all; just in case you aren’t quite sure about what a manifesto is, let me tell you.
It’s a statement about what’s important to you. It can be a personal statement just for you; it can be for your family, or it can be about the work that you’re putting out into the world.
And it’s kind of a big deal because it helps you get clear about your beliefs and what you want to attract into your life. Words carry a lot of power—especially words backed up by feeling. So when you write your manifesto, you’re making a statement about why you’re here, what’s important, and what you want to create out of your life.
There aren’t really any rules when it comes to writing your own manifesto, but I do have one helpful suggestion: Write from your heart, not from your head.
Your heart is the space in you that really knows who you are and what’s most important, so if you can tune into that space, you’ll tap into the feeling of your manifesto, which is where all the power is. In fact, the feeling of it is more important than the words and phrases you select. And here’s why: because feeling attracts feeling. Ever heard of the law of attraction? Well, a manifesto can be like a beacon of light, attracting the reality you seek. So if you want your busy family to all come together once in a while, write, “We are connected,” even if you’re not quite connected yet. Every time you read that phrase, the feeling will be there, and that feeling will attract the reality that supports it.
I know that for some, expressing yourself through writing may not come easy, so here are a few tips to get you out of the headspace and into the heart space:
1. Stream of consciousness writing. All you gotta do here is write. Sit and write whatever comes to your mind for a full 5-10 minutes. No, it probably won’t be meaningful or poetic, and yes it might be a full 5-10 minutes of writing about how you have absolutely nothing to write about. That’s okay. Because the point of stream of consciousness writing is to peel off the outer layer of nonsense thought so you can sink into the good stuff. So write about yesterday’s conversation; what you’re having for dinner later; or the fact that the bottom of your foot itches….you get the point. Just write.
2. Tune into the feeling you want to convey in your manifesto. Do you want it to inspire? Evoke love? Peace? Joy? Maybe you want it to be silly and light. Generate the feeling you want to convey. Use your imagination to call it up, or read through some other examples (scroll down) to get a feel for what you’re looking for.
3. Now, start a few sentences with I believe…, I feel…, or I am…. See where those sentences take you. Write as many ‘belief’ statements as you like, then sort through and select the ones that really stand out. And as you write, notice how you feel. The ones that make you feel something are the power words and phrases; use those. Or, if you’d like to get started with a script, hop over to this super helpful post by Alexandra Franzen…she’ll help get you started with some creative writing prompts.
4. Or, state a few truths that you know for sure: “Smile every day,” “Go to bed happy,” “Rise with the sun…” Don’t doubt that you’ve got some wise words to share. If it helps, imagine that you’re telling this to your eight-year-old self. As the wise person that you are, what would you like to share with a younger version of you?
5. Steer clear of words that place the action of your manifesto in the future. Words such as someday…, or I will…, those words will always reflect some time other than now. Write as if whatever you want is already happening, even if it isn’t yet.
6. Write it again and again. This will help free up any anxiety about ‘getting it right’. Just start writing. The first five drafts might be throwaways, and that’s fine. Great work usually starts with a few rough drafts.
7. Once you’ve nailed it; put it somewhere visible to you. Frame it up for your home, or if it’s personal, put it somewhere for your eyes only—hang it in your closet, or tuck it into your wallet where you see it every day. The key is to use it as a reminder of what matters most, so that every time you see it, you feel that sense of peace or love or joy that came through the practice of writing it.
8. Let go of any notions about how it ‘should’ be. This is yours, so whatever you write will be a perfect reflection of your unique creative expression and personal manifestation.
I love being inspired by other people, so I’ve posted a few examples of some of my favorites. I’d also love to be inspired by you. If you have a manifesto you’d like to share—whether it’s one line, or a whole page—I’d love to see it. You can post it in the comments below, or better yet, post it on Instagram or Facebook to inspire all of your friends; just be sure to tag me so I can see it: @emilyperry.yoga (on Instagram) or post it on the Make It Manifest Facebook page.
Also, I’ve recorded a segment on this topic for KSL Studio 5. You can watch the segment right over here. Enjoy!
And for inspiration to get you started on writing your manifesto, here are a few of my favorites, or hop over to my about page to read mine.
Begin Anywhere Manifesto: Bruce Mau
Focus Manifesto: Leo Babauta