My personal manifesto:

“What makes me happy? Being good to myself. And by that, I don’t mean pampering my body at the spa, exercising or eating the healthiest food all the time. I mean forgiving myself, not judging myself, letting myself live by my own rules, letting myself decide when and if the rules should change and knowing that ‘doing my best’ every day doesn’t mean being the best every day (or maybe ever).

Even if I fall short of what I expect, I don’t punish myself.

The knowledge that I’m on a journey and it’s completely my own, unique, completely average and, yet, enormously special and meaningful makes me happy. Knowing that everyone else, judging me, as they are, by their own journey’s rules, cannot know what’s right for me, makes me happy.

I spent what seems like a lifetime trying to live by others’ rules and abide by the world’s collective definition of being valuable, intelligent, capable, etc. Well, actually, it was the United States’ and New York City’s version of those things.

Now that I’m ‘defining myself for myself’ – to paraphrase Audre Lorde – I feel like I’ve walked out of Plato’s cave and discovered the ideal.

The Song of the Sannyasin says ‘thou art that’ and it means that we’re all part of one living, breathing life and are never separate, never more or less than that. I see that this is true and it’s this knowledge, and meditation on it, that, ultimately, makes me happy.”

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