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Manifesto Musings

From Manifesto to Mantra

April 2022
— Reading Time: 2 minutes

It has been some months since I worked with my coach and completed my personal manifesto. After I received it, I noticed how soothed and focused I became when I visited the words. I also noticed that I zoomed in on particular words when those words met a particular need I may have had at that moment. From these observations I developed a practice which I perform daily. 

Each morning upon awakening, I lie with my eyes closed while I inwardly recite the words of my Declaration statement – I found that it was easily memorised, its rhythmic cadences easily came to mind. As I dwell on the familiar words, I become more fully awake and ready to open my eyes and contemplate the day ahead. In particular, the opening lines of my Declaration, centre me immediately: 

I choose to breathe deeply and fully 

I choose to wake with purpose and intent 

I can’t ‘hear’ these words without being reminded to take that deep breath, which when doing so takes me to that mindful, meditative state. I am now ready for the words ‘purpose and intent’. They have become the mantra for each day’s beginning. They are the reminder that I am choosing to live intentionally; they are my call to action.  

Having given myself this ‘slow’ awakening, I am now ready to dress and move through to the room in which my framed manifesto Declaration and Wisdom hang on the wall.  I stand in front of them and  plant my feet as I scan the lines of my statements. I notice where I pause…These are the words or phrases that compel my attention today. I ‘need’ to pay attention to this aspect of myself or to the behaviour which is reflected here.  Clearly, as I co-created my statements, the words that I need are always there! It has been written at the level of my values and therefore will ‘speak’ to me at my deepest level. What a godsend! What a timely, pertinent reminder of who I am and what matters to me. 

During the day as situations arise in which I find myself experiencing emotions that may trigger ‘negative’ reactions in me, instead of falling victim to them, I remember pertinent words from my manifesto and use them as mantras to move me through the emotions. Moreover, if the challenging emotions which flood in, seem about to render me incapable of thinking positively (in extreme cases I may be triggered into amygdala hijack*) I aim to return to the words of my manifesto, the ones that I know I need, to bring me back to myself. My frequent visitations to the words of my manifesto, are my attempt to create new habits, ones that I know will serve me.   

Maybe this will work for you too. 

* amygdala hijack : this refers to the flight or fight response which occurs when you perceive an emotional threat 

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