Manifesto: On Authenticity

How do you answer that ubiquitous and often innocuous question from friends and strangers, “How are you?”

Do you give more than a glib and expected answer? Delve into how you truly are at that moment and possibly share the bad along with the good? Whether because of time constraints or social norms, most of us rarely do.

It’s something I’ve been pondering a lot lately as I talk and share about personal brand  - mine and others. If being authentic is at the heart of a brand that resonates and forms strong bonds, how far should we go in living an authentic life both online and offline? Is it showing and sharing the good, bad and ugly at all times? Or is it a choice we make per circumstance, per situation and with perception in mind? Is the soft underbelly that is exposed when we get to sharing vulnerabilities and fears a positive attribute or one that exposes you beyond your control?

Because with taking risks comes the chance of failure. With trusting others comes the chance of betrayal. With taking leaps comes the chance at falling. With putting yourself out there comes the chance of rejection. With taking big bets comes the chance of getting knocked on your…(you get the picture.)

And when those circumstances occur should they be cloaked in bravado or shared in raw truth – or somewhere in the middle? What is the perfect formula, that magical authenticity balance between confidence and vulnerability?

As you might imagine by this series of questions, my mind is often a chaotic place. To gain clarity, I turn often to words from the witty and wise – poets and thinkers, authors and speakers. Thanks to Brene, Ernest and ee for these words that keep my mind moving and my synapses firing.






Manifesto: On Writing

I miss writing. For the pure unconstrained joy of it. Not being aware of structure and arcs and rules and just freeing words from my brain and putting them down in some permanent way. In order to have that freedom again, I need to bring back the discipline and order. Sounds a bit like a paradox, but it makes sense to my synapses. In trolling for a manifesto on writing I came across these words for wordplayers  from author K.M. Weiland.

Happy Manifesto Monday to the writers of the world!

Writer Manifesto


Manifesto: Success by Emerson

As I struggle to regain a rhythm, passion and purpose to writing for self, I have started to revisit words that have inspired me in the past. Words that soothed, sparked, warmed and fired up my soul. Some of my all-time favorites come in the forms of poems and manifestos. Right at the top of that list is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem Success. A grounding of sorts, I’ve always enjoyed its directness and simplicity – and call to live a life that matters in a time when there are multiple ways external forces are pushing a vision of success upon us.

Happy Manifesto Monday…




Manifesto: Steal Like An Artist

I’ve been dreaming in manifestos lately, and thought now would be as good a time as any to bring back Manifesto Monday.

Kicking this series back off is Austin Kleon‘s Steal Like an Artist – a manifesto for creativity in the digital age. 

Steal Like An Artist


Manifesto: My First

You always remember your first. In this case, my first glimpse at a manifesto. Thanks to Brooklyn design studio Holstee for these words – crafted to inspire people to live mindfully.

What resonated most with me…. Do what you love, and do it often. Stop over analyzing. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself…go out and start creating.



“ Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind. ”
— Leonardo da Vinci


If Only…

If only we learned to compete and honor our opponent along the way.

If only respectful discourse was the highest law of the land.

If only you both could make your points without denigrating the other.

If only collaboration was more lauded than conquest.

And as Mitch Albom so elequently put it, if only a president sounded this way

Whoever wins the presidency on Tuesday, this is the acceptance speech I dream of hearing:

“Thank you, America.

“And I’m sorry.

“I’m sorry this election turned into a campaign of hate. I’m sorry every ad was dipped in venom…


“The truth is, the guy I ran against is not a bad man. He’s not a total fraud. He’s not the death of all good ideas. He’s not the devil incarnate.

“He wouldn’t have ruined the country. He would have done the best he could. He would have picked smart people, and they would have tried the way most of us try…


…now that the voting is over, let’s get this straight: Not everyone who earns money in this country is the devil, and not everyone who doesn’t is a freeloader.

“We pitted you against each other to try to win the election. It was wrong. It was disgusting. America is the land of opportunity — for everyone. That’s what we should celebrate. Instead, we painted a picture where you were on one side of the 47% or the other. We encouraged the poor hating the rich and the rich resenting the poor. We used class warfare to get us to this office, not because it is right or decent or moral — but because it works.

“Shame on us.

“Shame on me for being a part of it…

For the full ‘If only…’