I am currently reading a fantastic book, "The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream," by Courtney Martin. It's both fantastic and thought provoking on so many levels. In the book, Martin really looks at different ways to live, work, love, and create community in this new version of reality, our new economy, and the challenges we face in our lives. I am inspired and hopeful as she articulates such rich accounts of people choosing a different path, a different way.
I've never been one who "keeps up with the Joneses," nor do I find joy in consumption, measuring my success or status by the amount of things I own, or working myself to the bone. That's just not my path. But it has got me thinking about my path and my choices and getting clear with myself as to what I choose and what lines in the sand I do draw. On my way home tonight. I was thinking about the idea of a manifesto of sorts and what it would like like to declare what I am choosing on this path we call life.
I choose integrity. Holding a deep honoring of my word has ripple effects into the world in which I live and the relationships that I am in.
I choose partnership. Life is richer and more abundant on a variety of levels when I living in alignment with a partner who is caring, supportive, compassionate, and who challenges me to show up as my best self.
I choose right livelihood. Doing work that is both challenging, fulfilling, and making a difference in the community matters to me.
I choose my shadows. There are dark parts of myself that are challenging to look at and I include all of them in a big hug.
I choose tiny living. I would rather spend my resources on a sustainable footprint and put energy into my garden, time with people I love, time unplugging, or time on my yoga mat.
I choose curiosity. I find so many things interesting and embrace the life-long learner part of myself.
I choose nonviolence, towards myself, towards others, and towards the greater whole in my actions as much as possible.
I choose self-care and compassion. Active kindness towards myself is integral for me to function at my optimal level. This includes good sleep, movement, nutrition, and rest practices.
These are the lines in the sand. This is what I choose.