Archive for the ‘manifestation’ Category

Poem of the Day – “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

Someone read this poem to me the other day – someone who I consider to be a phenomenal woman, a woman who spends a good deal of time inspiring other women (and probably men) to be as phenomenal as well. I thought I’d share and also store it here., so that when I began to doubt myself – in any realm – I can remind myself that I, too, am phenomenal.

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.

Mind Over Matter: The Brain Really Does Control The Body

I have really been struggling with my recent diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Although I realize that it is quite common and easily treatable, I’ve found myself scared, frustrated, and resentful.

Part of this stems from the fact that I had just gotten where I wanted to be physically and then, week by week, I’ve been watching it slip away – not without a fight mind you, but with a fight that seemed pretty darned futile.

I’ve been doing my best to stay positive, but my attention is increasingly drawn to my inability to remember simple words, my ever expanding waist line, the water retention, the lethargy, the depression, the irritability, the increasing irrationality.

In an attempt to retard those frequent trips down the rabbit hole – and in some cases to reverse them all together – I remind myself of all of the things that I am grateful for…a list of things that are really too numerous to recount, but can include such big things as my family and friends or such small things as the warmth of my tea cup in the one hand in which I still have full feeling.

Several of my friends – again, those people for whom I am extremely grateful – tell me that my body will respond to my mind (or more specifically, to my thoughts), thus I should stop saying things like, “hosed,” “toast,” “broken,” “fat,” etc. And although I know that, intellectually, I hadn’t quite got it. Like, really got it. Like, in my body.

This morning, however, I got a glimmer.

As per usual, as soon as I got up, I grabbed my glasses. No big deal there.

But when I looked down at them, I thought they looked funny.

They didn’t look like my glasses.

In fact, I was convinced that they were an old pair. (Did I mention that hypothyroidism is often accompanied by brain fog?)

I was so convinced that these were not my glasses, that when I put them on, I couldn’t see. And I immediately started getting that headache that you always get when you try on someone else’s glasses or have to wear an old prescription.

I went back into the bedroom, turned on the light, searching for my glasses – not sure why I couldn’t find them.

I looked and I looked. I looked under the bed. I looked in the drawer. I looked under the table and under my pillow. They were no where to be seen.

On a whim, I checked my iPhone. (No, I wasn’t that confused.) And I found a recent picture.

And you know what?

Those were my glasses.

My vision immediately cleared up.

And my headache disappeared.

From here on out, I am going to be much more careful about the thoughts that I am directing to my thyroid – not to mention the rest of my body.

And, just as a friendly word of advice, I suggest you think about doing the same.

Feeding My Inner Child

A few of months ago, I started doing a guided meditation every morning, where I awaken my “inner angel” – that would be “Kathy Jo” – and get her ready for the day.

Part of this entails letting her pick out what she wants to wear (which is inevitably a dress of some sort – that child has yet to put on pants or jeans), to give her whatever she wants for breakfast (usually something involving peanut butter), and then pack her a bag of toys and food for the day.

The purpose of this exercise is to make sure that your inner Mini-Me can eat whatever the heck you want so that you don’t have to. The first two months of this was great. But then, since Cat died, I stopped going to see Kathy Jo. I stopped going to see her because when I went there in my mind, Cat was there and it reopened the wound – instead of bringing me joy that Cat had found her way – as I should have known she would – to my inner sanctum.

It’s probably no wonder that that’s when the binging started, now that I think about it.

Since Kathy Jo wasn’t getting her peanut butter, her Doritos, her Hostess cupcakes, and her Fig Newtons – not to mention my mother’s famous fried peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich or her homemade pancakes layered with – you guessed it! – peanut butter, someone had to eat it. And, unfortunately that someone was me.

Just as an aside: Looking at that list, is there any surprise at all that I have such a peanut butter fetish? Talk about eating your childhood memories.

Well. Monday evening, after yet another bout of hysteria over Cat, Bella, and whatever else happened to cross my mind, I decided to turn over a new leaf.

Tuesday I set the alarm 30 minutes early and did my guided meditation.

Kathy Jo was a bit stand-offish. Who can blame her, really? I hadn’t been there in three weeks (possibly more).

She selected a pale lilac dress, some Dorothy shoes, and a little white cardigan.

And for breakfast, she wanted the peanut butter pancakes – but only if the peanut butter had been slightly melted, like it used to when my mother would leave the jar on the stove top while she cooked.

In her bag, she wanted a mix of things that ranged from baby carrots and strawberries (yea! not all is lost) to Hostess Cupcakes, Cheetos, and some sort of orange drink out of a pouch. I can’t even remember the name of that stuff, but I remember what the pouch looked like – essentially, it looked just like something that my mother would have refused to buy either because it was too expensive or too messy or too something!

On the way home from my belly dancing class last night, I was really hungry.

It was 9:00 and I was sort of worried about walking into the house – read, the kitchen – ravenous.

So, as I was driving, I imagined that Kathy Jo was sitting next to me in the car, happily munching on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And – just in case she was as hungry as I was – there was another one in her lap!

When I finally got home, I walked in, made an uber-healthy shake with some rice protein powder and spinach and went to bed. There was no snacking, no peanut butter, no tahini, nothing. And, more to the point, no temptation – at least not for food. 😉

Today on my way home, just to see if I could repeat the experience, I imagined Kathy Jo sitting next to me eating cinnamon toast. (You know, it’s really amazing what comes out of your memory when you ask your inner child what she wants to eat, because, seriously, I hadn’t thought about my mother’s cinnamon toast in years!)

Regardless, even though I hadn’t consciously been Jonesing on my mother’s cinnamon toast, Kathy Jo obviously had. She had about six pieces.

I, on the other hand, drank my water and munched happily on a Spirulina Go Raw Bar.

When I got home, I “cooked.” I made hummus, tabouli, and beet and carrot slaw for Michael J. and I made two batches of raw marinara sauce for myself.

And you know what? I didn’t snack, I didn’t over eat, and I didn’t binge.

Two for two after a really bad 20 for 20 (in the opposite direction).

I wonder what Kathy Jo will want in her bag tomorrow. Because, whatever it is – she can have it!

Yes, It’s True – I Changed the Tagline

I was reading a book the other day on the law of attraction (don’t ask!) and it stated quite simply a principle that I have heard, yet stubbornly ignored, my whole life: you get what you focus on.

Or, to put it another way, that to which you give your undivided attention grows.

In this particular book, there was one line that struck close to home. It said very clearly – if you focus on losing the last ten pounds of fat or body weight, your body will automatically create situations for you do that. In other words, if you focus on losing the last ten pounds, you will always be losing the last ten pounds – because “the law of attraction” will bring to you that thing upon which you are focused.

In order to get what you want, you should focus on what you want – not what you don’t want.

In fact, the authors go on to say that you should live your life as if the thing you want is already true (which, in my case, is a flat, toned, size two tummy) and feel all of the good feelings (which, in my case, is confidence, higher self-esteem, higher sense of self-worth, accomplishment, health, pride, etc) that you feel now that that thing that you want it actually true.

Make sense?

Well, I stepped on the scale today.

And despite that I am only about a half size up, I have gained 16 pounds since last March.

Yes, you read that right, meaning that once again, I have 8 pounds to lose (which is pretty darned close to 10) if I want to get back down to my desired goal weight of 140.

Argh!

Believe it or not, I decided not to beat myself up over this.

Instead, I thought about that book.

And I asked myself what I’d really like to happen – to keep losing the last ten pounds or to have a flat, toned size two tummy.

It’s a no-brainer. But just for those of you who know that I have a history of being dedicated to struggle, I did indeed choose the latter.

And I imagined how much more secure, happy, comfortable, confident, and energetic I would be if it were true.

So, from here on out, it’s going to all be about getting my flat, toned size two tummy and letting the last ten pounds take care of themselves. And, as always, I’ll keep you posted.

Namaste.