A Stress Free Manifesto

Manifestos like the ones pictured here make me so tired. I feel like they’re yelling at me.  “Hey you!” they cry. “Stop whatever it is you’re doing right now and start LIVING YOUR LIFE, for goodness sake! Carpe Diem! Seize the Moment! LIFE IS SHORT, so live it UP!” It feels less like inspiration and more like an indictment.

They want me to “stop what I’m doing and TRAVEL” while “DOING ONE THING A DAY THAT SCARES ME!”  But most importantly, they want to make sure I get the message that time’s a wastin’.  Do. It. Now. Now. NOW!


The thing is, I am living the life that I want. But even a life we love is filled with banal bits and bobs that don’t particularly look or feel inspirational.

Even Mary Oliver, bless her heart, makes me anxious when she asks me – “What is it you plan to do/with your one wild and precious life?” Every time I read that, I feel like I should drop everything and find a field of wildflowers to be running through – preferably nude.

So, largely in self-defense, I’ve created my own manifesto, one that actually makes me feel more relaxed when I read it, not less. Now, when I run into one of these posters on the Internet (most of which are, I should point out, advertising, which may also be why they rub me the wrong way) I can pull out my own and remind myself I don’t have to tear off my clothes and buy a plane ticket around the world to be living a full life.



1.)  Everything is already okay. It’s also okay that you don’t believe this most of the time.

2.)  Kindness begins with yourself.

3.)  Forgiveness begins with yourself, too, including forgiveness for the myriad ways you’ve failed to be kind to yourself.

4.)  Checking a New Yorker magazine out at the library is a triple win: It gets you into a library, which soothes your soul, it keeps back issues from piling up, which serves the Earth, and it makes sure you’re reading something, which stimulates your intellect. Bonus: it’s free.

5.)  Look at your dog. No matter what, he still loves you.

6.)  There are very few moments that cannot be made at least slightly better by taking a deep breath. Or drinking a glass of water. Or lighting a candle.

7.)  You don’t have to apologize for liking television. The fact that entertaining and occasionally intelligent content is beamed directly into your home is nothing short of a miracle. Television is wonderful.

8.)  As soon as you lose a pound, you gain it. As soon as your house is clean, it gets messy again. As soon as your bank balance goes up, it goes down. You can let it go.

9.)  You may not always be able to travel somewhere new, but you can always look at your world through traveller’s eyes.

10.)  Remember -no one else has it figured out either (even the ones writing loud manifestos). We’re all in the same boat, headed in the same direction.





About madyoga

Yoga Teacher and Massage Therapist in Sacramento, CA
This entry was posted in Kindness, Letting Go, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A Stress Free Manifesto

  1. Heidi says:

    nice. Reminds me of Oprah’s “final” show, I thought she was inspiring but also saying…FOLLOW YOUR DREAM!!!!!!!! DO IT, BE IT! Ahhhhhhhh stop pressuring me Oprah 🙂

    Thanks for so many wonderful posts – Kizzy

  2. Gillian says:

    I would like to make a poster of this and put it on my wall.

  3. Amanda says:

    I’m with Gillian. 🙂

  4. I’m also with Gillian. 🙂

  5. ang says:

    I love this——> thank you!

  6. Candace says:

    Thank you Madeleine! Such grounding and realistic pearls of wisdom.

  7. OMG, I love this! You are kind to bless Mary Oliver’s heart, because I actually don’t know if my wild and precious life can handle seeing another website or blog with that quote on it. And the only thing I would change about your manifesto is this: “Look at your cat. No matter what, he still loves you.”

  8. I would like to share this with some of the people I work with – very inspirational. You’re so good Baby!

  9. Brittany says:

    This is wonderful. I just love it. THANK YOU.

  10. Jenny M says:

    Thanks for the inspiring words that make me take a deep breath and smile 🙂

  11. Pingback: Friday Best… « Just a Titch

  12. Meredith says:

    I’m not gonna lie; I like the “This is Your Life” manifesto! I hope it doesn’t make me sound simple that I can feel inspired when I read it. it doesn’t mean I’m going to buy any of their products… I don’t need it posted in my bedroom or anything like that. But sometimes I get so caught up in little pointless things (the kitchen’s dirty!) or worrying about the future (will I ever find my dream job?) that a reminder of the importance of the big picture helps bring me back to what’s important.

    Although, I agree with your dog comment. All life manifestos should tell us to adopt a dog, then to love them and be loved back. (I have to promote my cause here. petfinder.com!)

  13. Courtney says:

    This is outstanding!

  14. Thank you for the inspiration!

  15. Simone says:

    “The fact that entertaining and occasionally intelligent content is beamed directly into your home is nothing short of a miracle. Television is wonderful.”

    Omigosh!! Finally something intelligent and appreciative is said about television!

  16. Soooooo wonderful!! Thanks for taking the time to do this. You nailed my unspoken frustration with these posters: that we’re supposed to be doing something else, something other than what we’re doing, when the magic is right here, right now. Love to you–

  17. Chibi Jeebs says:

    Love this! It was soothing just to read. 🙂

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