‘Manifesto of Dedicated Devotion’


“I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories from your life–not someone else’s life–water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom. That is the work. The only work.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Trickster, my dear, what shall I ask to sally forth?

Visionary Activist and writer, Caroline Casey, asked those of us riding the trickster train with her (now through March) to write our own ‘manifestos of dedicated devotion‘ (her term) regarding what it is we are watering and bringing into being by taking her course in Trickster Magic. What is it we are asking to come and shake things up for us?

I’ve been tossing the salad of this idea for ten days now, trying to sort it out.

Just what exactly is it I’m calling into being?

A book? A course? A play?

A clear-eyed declaration of independence from bullshit? A clarion call to play more hide and seek? A chess game of ‘no you first,’ ‘no, you?’

A lover? A mission? A way and means to be of service?

Here’s what’s bubbling up so far as my ‘manifesto

1. Find something marvelous in this moment.

I’ve been reading and ruminating on happiness for the past year or so. (If ruminating on happiness seems counter-intuitive, well, there you have the conundrum of me.)

I turn things over. I mulch. I ask questions.

So, lately I wonder

What makes a person happy?

What makes a life worth living? How do I learn to view life as a treasure map, not a fox hunt? How do I stop looking for an exit, an escape hatch, or a way out that doesn’t involve being broken open and devoured by life?

How do I live with uncertainty and still do the real work of being alive?

The answer is to find something in this particular moment — a person, a cause, a story — and see it for the marvelous, miraculous, unremitting, newly born chance/opportunity/opening that it is.

Savor it. Taste each element. Catalog its beauty and quirkiness and connection to my life. Realize that this moment — this one — is my life.

Always was. Always is. Always will be.

2. Reframe, rethink, and reimagine everything. Tell myself a story I want to live.

If I want to find my way into the clearing waiting at the center of all this chaos, I have to re envision my life. I have to see the dichotomies.

I have to find the victory there is to be found in the center of situations where winning feels out of the question.

If I want to watch the stars tumble out of their juicy, tempting black holes, if I want to find the light in everything, I have to erase the notion that anything is certain.

I need to turn my fear inside out and wear it as a hat.

I have to forge a puzzle maker’s heart. I have to solve riddles that have no solutions. I have to mine my story for all the bits of it that foster doubt, and then knit those doubts a sweater.

3. Finally, find a tribe. My tribe. Find the souls who ‘get me’

Life has generally stipulated that my tribe’s an elusive bunch. Sort of like the tricksters taking this course.

My tribe hangs out somewhere solitary and watches the moon rise.

We’re the pale, writerly types sitting at the back table drinking green tea. We’re the anthropomorphic cats who enjoy sitting in the trees, observing everything, jotting down ideas while we wait to see what unfolds.

I need to gather my storytellers, dreamers, ditch diggers and visionary bean counters.

I need to ask them to join the fray. We must drum and dance and dig deep. We must bring forth something dandy and new. We must.

Manifesto: a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer…

So, I am dedicating and devoting myself to manifesting presence and empowerment (through visioning and storytelling) in my life. I am openly declaring I’ve joined my heart with others on the healing path. I will find you. I will.

May we be blessed by Coyote and protected by Spider Woman.

May the wrath of Kali wash out of our lives and may we inhale the smell of buttered bread, instead.

May raven take me under her wing and may caterpillar survive the final freeze so there’ll be butterflies as far as the eye can see this spring.

Those of you on this path, I am reaching out to take your hands.

I am joining the fray.

I am stepping out of my former life, leaving my suitcases by the edge of the road, and heading toward the edge of a verdant forest.

This is beautiful, dangerous, daring work. 

I’ve been waiting most of my life to meet you all.

I can’t believe this day has finally come.

© 2016  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

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6 thoughts on “‘Manifesto of Dedicated Devotion’

  1. I love the idea of re-framing things. I had a counselor use that word with me, and it was/is powerful. It calls for a change of perspective. That was my perspective anyway….grace and gratitude 🙂

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