Wednesday, April 23, 2014

His Manifesto, My Mission Statement

The Theory of Awesomeness Infographic

A few days ago Mindvalley Academy delivered Charlie Chaplin's Celebrating Life Manifesto to my inbox. I've never heard of it until now. 

A mid-life crisis heralds the arrival of the dreaded 40s but for me my "crisis" involved self-awareness and self-love. In my 40s, the act of numbing myself with busyness, people fixing (a cousin of people pleasing), emotional spending, drinking, partying, drugging, and workaholism was no longer satisfying. 

It's similar to how the body acclimates to long-term prescription drug use and the medication stops working. You either quit taking the drug or adjust its dosage. In my case, I quit. 

There was this overwhelming need to feel life, to live it through the good, the bad, and the ugly, without numbing myself. For the past year and a half I've practiced meditation and mindfulness to combat my tendency to anesthetize my emotions. 

Being present in the moment isn't just a cliché but a way of living life with gratitude and fulfillment even when life sucks. It's the most amazing experience I've had and has made my 40s the best years of my life. 

I'm savoring Brene Brown's book, "The Gifts of Imperfection" and my mind hasn't been the same. Thanks to my friend who recommended this book I'm learning to delve deeper in accepting my vulnerability, which is connected to self-awareness and self-love. 

And this is why Charlie Chaplin's poem felt like my own manifesto. In my 40s I finally learned the importance of loving myself in all my imperfections, flaws, and failures; of knowing my worth without the attachment to others. Every day I liberate myself from the years of chronic desensitization and learning to lean into my pain. 

I'll leave you with Charlie Chaplin's words of wisdom he penned in his 70s and hope you experience the heightened awareness and enlightenment as I have. 

 As I Began to Love Myself  
by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance,
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit steeling my own time,
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. 
Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing
new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!