“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that there was, in me, an invincible summer.” -Albert Camus

(Click the image below for information on the book. Take the invincible journey. You deserve this.)

(Click right here to move straight on to the blog.)

I wrote the following (“Fearless: a Manifesto for Poets, Artists, and Other Misfit Souls”) for people like me, and for people like you. These are the words that I live by:

If you have ever caught your breath at the moment just after the sunset, and noticed that the whole world (birds, coyotes, wind in the trees) falls silent for just a second, the universe needs you.

If you believe in strange graces and synchronicities, we need you here. If you’re an artist, by god the world needs you.

The world needs more bodhisattvas and everyday saints, angels who walk the pavement in disguise.

Let the world astonish you beyond measure. Look at it like you’ve never seen it before.

Look closer.

Does it startle you?

Be startled. Appreciate surprise.

Remember the best times and consider them lessons in joy. Know that you can’t control everything, but you can create joy in nearly any moment. Use this power as much as possible.

You have sovereignty over your life. Be convinced.

Honor your innate dignity. Nothing changes it. Never forget your worth. Grace is inherent in everything you touch. Accept grace.

Make everything you touch more beautiful than it was before.

There isn’t time to be afraid to lift your voice and speak, or sing, or bellow, or wail at the right moments.

We are each unfolding a particular journey. The voyage expands us and contracts us; we move closer to our center and then spiral out to share what we’ve found, over and over. All things expand and contract. Meditate on that.

Enjoy your journey in its matchless magnificence. Nobody else has traveled your path before, and nobody else will. Therefore, be sure to share splendid bits of your one and only voyage. Make art every day like it’s the last day. Someone, somewhere, needs to know your story.

Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not an artist. Don’t you dare allow yourself to be silenced. Write or paint or sing like you’re walking into a world that holds your truths gently, cradles them, like babies.

Refuse to accept the word “impossible.”

Dream impossible things, and then pursue every dream. Every last one.

Tell the truth without regret. Have integrity. Say the things that other people wouldn’t dare.

You deserve the life you long for. Live it.

The world is wide. It’s a thousand-petaled lotus. It’s infinite and vast. It’s chaotic yet orderly. Even when chaos entangles you, pour yourself into the world.

And when the world hurts you (because sometimes it will), retreat to a safe, warm place; take time to heal, but whatever you do, do not lose track of your path. Remember that nobody can walk that path but you, so carry the honor of that responsibility.

When the universe drops you in the middle of nowhere, listen for the whisper and watch for the sign that says, “Here. Try again.” And then do it. Pick yourself up, start over. Find the path.

When you see something so beautiful it hurts, believe that it’s only the surface: there are layers and layers of exquisiteness.

Know that it’s never too late.

Care for yourself: all love extends from the compassion you show yourself.

Like this:

Care for yourself, and you will create more, and better. Your work will endure.

Every time anybody brings something gorgeous into being, they contribute to a throbbing, teeming world of dynamic beauty. Do not deny yourself the chance to add your piece to the collage.

Remember that things move in cycles. Old fires die out. It’s okay to grieve for the flame. As you grieve,stare into those dying embers and watch for new light to spark forth.

It will; it always does.

(Download a free printable copy of this piece by clicking here.)

11 thoughts on “Manifesto

  1. Thank you Jess for sharing! I’ll just say, that you know it’s good when reading it and emotions start flowing…And going…”yes, you are right!”. Now just takes reminding oneself to follow thru on those thoughts when we “fall off”…

  2. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested
    to see if it can survive a thirty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation.

    My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

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