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What’s in your manifesto? (Is it time to share what you believe?)

These days, a lot of people are so busy saying what they’re against that we never hear what they’re for.

Throughout history, though, the world has been changed by people who dared to stand up and declare what they believed—from Jesus to Martin Luther to Marx. I love the “Ten Rules,” a manifesto Sister Corita Kent created in the 1960s for the Immaculate Heart College Art Department—rules that still open a world for students of artful expression.


Your manifesto doesn’t have to be dramatic or world-shattering to be powerful. (I’m more into gentle and quirky these days.) Only one requirement rules: what you offer has to authentically represent you. Your work, whether you call it a “Manifesto,” a “This I believe” statement, or “Rules for living,” can be shared in a piece of writing, given to a grandchild, or held privately close to your heart.

The form matters less than the act of courage it takes to say, “This is me.”

A Creative Manifesto

Recently, I wrote a “Creative Manifesto” for a poster to hang in an exhibit of my art. I stayed anchored in my own truth (not aiming for The Truth) even as I asked a couple of friends for editorial suggestions.

The manifesto was really fun to create. I invite you to also experiment, whether you scribble in a journal or eventually post something on a wall. What do you care about or believe? What do you want the world to know? What steps or actions would make the world a better place? I’ll bet a lot of wisdom flows out of you—and I would love to read it!

My 12-point manifesto

  1. Everyone is creative. The forms are as varied as we are.
  2. Your most creative work is your life.
  3. To develop a craft requires discipline—anchored in devotion.
  4. Expressing yourself creatively can be a spiritual practice, like meditation..
  5. Our sacred inner spark grows stronger as we recognize and express it creatively.
  6. Beauty awaits us everywhere. We get to decide what we find beautiful.
  7. Creating is manifesting, bringing spirit into being.
  8. Creating requires time and space: mental, physical. A table can become a sanctuary.
  9. Creating through play and joy can sustain us, even as we produce work to share.
  10. No one else can create as you do. Comparison kills creativity.
  11. Love is the foundation for artful work. We create from love and love the process—whatever emerges.
  12. Our creative expression can lead to healing, joy, connection, and magic.

So that’s me. And now, what’s yours?

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