Queer Shift

2017 — Shift

I’m sure there are plenty of people who read QSaltLake that may be feeling similar or exactly how I am feeling. What the hell is next? Are we really going to hit a drastic reset button for our country? Was 2016 truly the most significant year of change we will face in many of our lifetimes? What do I do now, now that I am exhausted, have lost almost all trust in all the people who possess power over the direction of the world, country, states, cities, and my life?

I have guarded my involvement in conversations, social media, broadcast news and newspapers as a sheer coping strategy, but 2016 will most definitely loom as the year that everything changed and became horribly disordered. I really don’t have any masterful answers or solutions, other than remain as involved as your soul can manage. I also refer to my Life Operating System in really challenging times such as 2016. I lived through all the years of mission statements, values clarification, mantras, etc., however I have found what works for me — my LOS. I won’t go into detail of my LOS or manifesto, but rather share how important I think having one is — especially in times like these.

What is a manifesto? Literally speaking, your manifesto is a declaration of your life principles. It’s what makes you tick — what is important to you beyond the Facebook profile description. It may not necessarily reflect how you view yourself right now. You may be experiencing challenges in your career, relationships and self-esteem, but your manifesto is not these issues — it’s the person you are underneath them.

Your manifesto is about realizing your deeper self. It’s about figuring out who is the real you — the man or woman beneath the veneer. The person that’s aching to be seen and brought into the light. It is your best self on display.

A longtime friend of mine, Scott Perry and I went to lunch awhile back, discussing many important and vital things, along with several laughs, which Scott always offers me in abundance. I am grateful for that. I challenged Scott to write a manifesto since he was struggling for direction in many aspects of his life. He wrote one, a very good one, and I have his permission to share it with you.

Scott Perry

“As the years go on, I am creating stronger and more loving bonds with my family. Some of them are happening after 40 years of work. Others have been there all along. I try to be the best son and brother I can by listening and giving advice when asked. I will also try to mentor my nieces and nephews who are coming up the line.

Friends come and friends go. I will nurture the friendships worth nurturing and let go of those which are not. It’s about quality, not quantity.

Creativity is a must. I believe at all times there must be at least one thing to keep my creative juices flowing, whether reading, writing or Oscar movie season. It has to be something.

Physical fitness has always been a sticking point for me. I will try to get more walks in at the park. It’s good not only for my physical being, but for my emotional and spiritual being, too. Liberty Park is my church and I can’t let that connection slide.

I will vote. I cannot sit by and watch as the anger, fear, neglect and greed continue to invade what my version of our country should be.

Hard as it will be, I will need to watch my finances more closely. As I will soon be on a fixed income, there will be no fail safe to bail me out when I get carried away.

I need to cook more. I used to be a whirl in the kitchen, but the past few years of setbacks have taken that joy and opportunity away. I need to pick up that saute pan and get back to business.

All in all, life has been very good to me. I have had a few kicks in the gut, but I’m still here. I will continue to express gratitude every chance I get and never forget the people and experiences that have helped me along the way.”

Thank you Scott for sharing so freely.

Manifestos in Zion may be attached to The “1890 Manifesto” (also known as the “Woodruff Manifesto” or the “Anti-polygamy Manifesto”), a statement which officially advised against any future plural marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (the word is right there in the name!), another powerful manifesto, that may cause trepidation by some people because it was the guide for Communism. However the manifesto has had a resurgence in the last decade, and I personally feel it is an effective inter-generational tool that can make a huge difference in life.

Here are some diverse links offering excellent examples manifestos.

Ten Awesome Inspirational Manifestos — bit.ly/manifestoOne

Ten More Insanely Awesome Inspirational Manifestos — bit.ly/manifestoTwo

Five Manifestos for Art, Life and Business — bit.ly/manifestoThree

How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Manifesto — bit.ly/manifestoFour

Simply put, a manifesto is a statement of ideals and intentions.

“A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.”

Here’s how to write your own manifesto in five steps:

  1. Get Inspired

Read what others have written. Check out the links above to get you started, but don’t feel that you have to conform to any of these examples. This is your personal manifesto, so copying someone else kind of defeats the purpose.

  1. Make Notes

Your manifesto has three basic components: beliefs, goals and wisdom. Grab a notebook and write “I believe…” at the top of a blank page, then think of five or 10 ways to complete the statement. On the next page, write “I want to…” and fill in the blanks with ways that you’d change the world. Finally, write “I know this to be true…” and record words of wisdom. These can be things you’ve learned from your own experience, wisdom passed down from your family or even inspirational quotes.

  1. Write a Rough Draft

Using the notes you made, create a rough draft of your manifesto. It can be as long or as short as it needs to be. You can write in long, flowing paragraphs, or you can make a bullet list like architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s manifesto (bit.ly/manifestoThree)  for his apprentices. You could even create an infographic-style manifesto if you’re a visually inclined person. Don’t worry about impressing your significant other, your parents, your best friend, or the fourth grade teacher who criticized your penmanship.

  1. Put It Away, Then Proofread

Once you’ve written the draft version, set it aside for a day or two. Resist the urge to tinker with it! When you come back to it with fresh eyes, you may find that some of the statements don’t ring quite true. While you’re rereading, you’ll probably also find some typos. If proofreading isn’t your forte, try using an automated proofreader.

  1. Live It

A personal manifesto is a declaration of your core values. It’s like an owner’s manual for your life, so don’t let it sit in a drawer or a file you never open on your computer. Hang it over your work space, put it on the fridge, make it your desktop background, or print it on a laminated card you keep in your wallet: the idea is to read your manifesto regularly to reaffirm those values and remind you of your goals. Let it grow along with you as you go forth to follow your dreams.

Times in life — when you will be very glad you have a manifesto:

  • When you are afraid of change.
  • When you feel disappointed about a failure.
  • After a break-up.
  • When it’s time to let go.
  • When you feel overwhelmed by everything in your life.

2017 faces us, and all of us face it. So define and focus on your strengths. Figure out your values. Consider your passions. What breaks your heart? How do you want others to see you? What are you afraid of revealing or admitting? What fears, failures and life experiences have shaped you? Having a manifesto to hold on to, to guide youwill make the future manageable. Best wishes, and if you wish to share your manifesto, I would love to read it.












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