Mindfulness Manifesto

I choose to define myself by what I do, not how I feel. I will observe each emotion with critical distance, detachment, and understanding of their ephemeral and impermanent nature. I will do this for all emotions regardless of intensity, and regardless of the type of feeling I am experiencing (ie: positive or negative). I owe myself emotional neutrality and emotional balance. I owe myself compassionate healing and so I will resist the superficial, self indulgent, and narcissistic pull of feelings, especially extreme ones that do not represent reality in any shape or form, and are only a reflection of my own internal mental landscape.

Instead, I will remember the gifts I have in many areas of life: these include skills in arts (like writing, music, and drawing) scientific and logical thinking, a sense of ethics and justice, equanimity in the face of emotional or health-related crises,  I will focus on what I have accomplished, and on the goals I have yet to accomplish.

I will remember how I am connected to my communities, to people around me, and my duties to these communities. I will make a conscious choice to act on my gifts, in order to to give more than I take, to offer more than I receive, and to do this in a way where I am mindful too of my own capacity to give to others. I will work on improving what I offer to people in my life.

I will work on appreciating moments when I am cared for without holding on to those moments as necessarily indicative of any bond that may or may not exist beyond the moment. Similarly, I will understand the feeling of strong resonance/connection with someone for what it is: a feeling that exists in a moment that is not indicative of any reality, future connection, solid and stable connection, unless supported through actions. I will let such feelings go after being grateful for having experienced them.

Instead, I will focus on how people in my life show up for me, and how I show up for them, in an evidence-based manner. I will observe the frequency and depth of: communication (sharing and listening), actions (offers of care, follow up on communication), and initiation of interaction (balance in interest in each other’s lives, company, and time). I will do this in a mindful and honest way, such that I become more aware of my impact on other people, and their impact on me,  as well as my role in people’s lives and their roles in mine.

I will work on cultivating a stronger inner sense of Self that will eventually be unperturbed by the vagaries of life and all its positive and negative experiences. I will do this by investing in actions of care for myself and others that bring my life meaning – and I will make the focus of my life to have a meaningful one. I will learn to trust myself to make choices that are good for me, and best for me, even if they don’t necessarily make me happy in the moment or in the longer term – my life will not be ruled by the vicious cycle of happiness to sadness; my life will instead be one that will be rich with meaningful actions for myself and my communities.

In this manner, I consciously choose to prioritise actions over feelings in all areas of my life, while respecting the beauty and ephemeral nature of all feelings.

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