Good Teacher. Bad Student.
I am a good teacher but a hopeless student.
But that ends today, for I have recently given my students an excellent assignment. And I intend to do it. My seniors, in their last month on campus, have been tasked with writing their own manifesto, a document that will elucidate their goals, specify their values and lay claim to their destiny. I too am writing such a document. I do this to model for them, but primarily for myself. The assignment is so good, that I deserved to ask myself the same questions and draft a template for my existence.
I hereby do declare, by the power vested in my by God, the lightning and the universe, that my life will serve the benefit of others. As a teacher, a woman, a healer and a friend, I will bring the lessons I have learned to fruit to nourish others. I will practice what I preach and when I cannot, I will be silent. I will practice kindness and gentleness with myself. Daily, I will nurture my body and my spirit as my greatest treasures; I will lavish myself with loving care that previously was allotted only to dear friends, pets and lovers. I will ask for what I need from others and from the world for I know that asking yields the greatest potential for receiving it. I will live gently on the earth with attention to my choices and their impact. And I will love.
I will be open to and reflective of love in the world, sharing that gift of appreciation and symbiosis. I will embrace the courage to be who I am under all circumstances and under any conditions. From there I will love myself and be able to love all and any in return. With a confident and well-tended heart I will grow the strength to be vulnerable and the willingness to be imperfect in a world of increasing expectation. I will practice devotion, gratitude and kindness. I will practice unyielding appreciation for the gifts, physical and metaphysical, bestowed upon me and earned. And in every way possible I will cultivate and nurture a passion to live gently, a desire to be honest and a practice of curiosity first within myself and then in individuals and societies.
This is my declaration as a student, as a teacher, as a woman, as an artist and a cook and an explorer. This is my Manifesto and it is with this intention that I set out on a year of curiosity, discovery and self-nourishment. But as with every great endeavour it takes time. Like the garden my father planted and his father before him planted, I need to cultivate the soil, select the best seed, plant and tend the young sprout and let nature take its course. I can control a great deal of my destiny but the rest I have to leave in the hands of fate, good hands to be in.