A mantra arising from my personal manifesto is to ‘Say Yes to Life!’ The exclamation mark is very important; it indicates the energy that statement has for me. Saying yes, is a step towards, not a step away, from the opportunities that life presents to me.
I have combined this with another, “Go first!’ (again, an exclamation mark). Together these two directives – self-chosen – galvanise me. I have chosen them because I am re-framing another aspect of my behaviour which arises frequently whenever a new opportunity arises – staying safe. I identify with the words of Elizabeth Gilbert, I invite the ‘suffocating insularity of personal safety’. I have a high level of personal safety in my actual life, so feeling unsafe, for me, is a default I do not need.
From an evolutionary perspective, venturing ‘from the cave’ meant potentially confronting dangers to life and limb from all domains, nature, animal, and human. It made good sense to be armed and on watch. Moving ahead to the 21st Century, there is a dearth of sabre-toothed tigers to confront, yet still I arm and protect myself!
Using my pre-frontal cortex to check my amygdala response, I choose to re-frame my approach to life with the two mantras that will open my life rather than close it down. The benefits from this re-framing flow daily. I am noticing that synchronicity is occurring – things drop in which are enriching my life. My most memorable ‘Yes’ was in response to Justin’s question, ‘Would you like to come into business with me?’ My manifesto is the tangible outcome of my answer.
My “Go first!’ mantra was an adoption of a practice suggested by David from The Wellbeing Distillery. The result from that practice was a 30-minute introductory session with Andrew Jobling to discuss the possibility of Justin and I writing a self-help book gifting to the reader a complete guide to creating their own personal manifesto. The tangible outcome? We have begun writing the book!
My practices seem counter-intuitive: deny yourself personal safety, especially of the ‘suffocating insularity’ kind, and you will become freer than you could have imagined. The kindness? It is there for all to see.