Thursday, October 29, 2009

Woman, honor thyself...


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
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 of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
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
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 of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.


Today, tomorrow, every minute, every time you feel life is getting you down are PHENOMENAL!!! always, in every way.  Honor yourself!!!

blessed be...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

For Jen

Me & Jen

I just love this girl!!  She is such a lovely young woman: kind, compassionate, loving, giving, radiant.  A gifted writer with much to say.  Jen writes from a very special place deep within.  She is the heartbeat & voice of GenX.  Be sure you visit her blog at  She epitomizes Christianity at its best.  She is a fabulous mother with beautiful, happy, well-adjusted, loving children.  Not to mention a wonderful wife with the husband Great Spirit intended for her.  She has blessed my life so much.  We connected through our blogs & when we met it was like sitting down with an old friend I had not seen for awhile.  Cannot wait to get together again.  This post is for her.


In response to my last post --

jenX said...

if you had a 12-year-old daughter and only a week to live what would you tell her? i'm not dying or anything, but bombarded by the thought that my daughter will spring from home in six or seven fast years.

Well, if I had a 12-yr old daughter & a week to live there would so many things that would go through my mind about preparing her for life beyond age 12, life faced without my influence.  I would think about all the milestones to come in her life that I would miss & the things that I would want to say at each of those milestones.  I think all of those pieces of wisdom, suggestions, hopes, instructions boil down to the following.

  • Find your passion & live it.  If you are passionate about what you do, you will be successful.  Maybe not in society's estimation, but your life will be meaningful & fulfulling.
  • Never, never allow yourself to be defined by a man.  Your identity is your own, no one can give that to you or take that away from you.
  • Always have your own money.  Keep money that is yours separate.  It may be money you earned or inherited, but always have enough money of your own to be independent.  Should the unexpected happen you will be able to take care of yourself & your family, if you have one.
  • Get an education.  It may not be a formal college degree, but be educated.  Whatever it is you choose to do as a living outside your home, learn all you can & stay current with the knowledge, even if you are not actively working in that field.  You might be a stay at home mom, but keep up with your chosen career.  You never know when you might have to rejoin the workforce.  Make sure your skills stay current.
  • Always see the wonder in life.   Be in awe of the beauty of a sunrise, sunset, thunderstorm, the night sky, a bright sunny day.  Rejoice in the miracle of birth whether it be a child or an animal.  See the beauty in a smile.
  • In the words of Maya Angelou - "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time".  Trust your instincts.  Listen to that small quiet voice deep within.  If something does not feel right, it isn't.  If you feel the need to run, RUN!!  Always, always trust yourself.
  • Believe in Great Spirit or whatever you choose to call that which is greater than us.  There is something bigger than us, more knowing, benevolent, loving, & just waiting for you to ask for guidance. 
  • Know that you are here for a purpose.  While it may take you a lifetime to find that purpose you will find it.  All the roads you take will continue to lead you to that purpose no matter your detours.  Keep looking, keep trusting, keep believing.
  • Live by your sense of right & wrong.  Do not allow anyone to sway you away from your beliefs, your sense of morality.  Do not give pieces of yourself away to someone who is not worthy. 
  • Be careful of your friends.  Choose people who share your belief system, your sense of morality.  While you may not believe it now, you will become known by the company you keep.  Be sure that the image you project is the image you want others to have of you.
  • No matter what anyone says, it is important to "save yourself" for marriage.  There is no such thing as casual sex.  There is always an emotional connection for a girl & hurt, blame, & self recrimination can run very deep.  Just because you don't go "all the way" does not mean you didn't have sex.  Any form of sexual contact carries consequences that can have a very heavy price.  Pregnancy is not the only thing that can happen.  Sexually transmitted diseases can be with you for a lifetime and have a lifetime of consequences.  HIV is real & is still a death sentence even with the treatments available.  This kind of decision outside of a mature, committed relationship can alter the course of your life.
  • For every action there is a consequence.  So always think about your life decisions before you make them.  Don't just decide to do something without throughly examining the pros & cons.  This goes for who to date/marry, where to live, buying a car, buying a house, having children, a job.  Remember this in all life-changing decisions.  Make a list -- pros/cons, weigh them out, make an informed decision.
  • Always, always love yourself.  Know that you are perfect just as you are.  Be self-confident, self-reliant.  Believe in yourself as the unique individual you were created to be.
  • In the midst of adversity always remember to stop & say Thank You.  It can be a prayer, a plea, a statement, an affirmation.  If the only prayer you say at night is Thank you, it is enough.
  • Never be afraid to apologize.  Always say "I'm sorry" if you have hurt someone.  Few do, but it can make a world of difference to you & the other person toward growth.  It is hard, but it will heal hearts. 
  • Life is a Journey, not a destination.   Live fully, be happy, travel, learn about other cultures, expand your knowledge of the world, be open to new ideas, do not be afraid to go skydiving or mountain climbing or anything else that you think might be fun.  It is the Adventure of the Journey that broadens us as individuals in order for us to fully realize who we are meant to be as a humanbeing.
  • Remember...we are spiritual beings having a human experience.  That which is your spirit, your energy, is your true authentic self.  Always honor that authenticity.  Be honest, be honorable, live by your word, be a friend, be kind, be compassionate.  Give of yourself.  Even if it is just a smile to a stranger on the street.  That may be the only smile that person has seen in awhile. 

Well, that is what I would tell a daughter whether I had an hour, a day, a week, or a lifetime to live.  I would want her to know how to survive in a harsh world, but not to be harsh.  I would want her to be loving & compassionate while being strong, brave, independent, & self-reliant.  I would want her to value herself so others would also value her.  I would want her to respect herself so others would respect her.   I would want her to love herself so she would recognize true love when it was given to her.  I would want her to demand excellence from herself so that she would recognize excellence in others.  I would want her to live without prejudice, fear, or anger at others.   I would want her to grow each day as a person, learning who she is.  I would want her to recognize that she need not practice perfectionism, but simply do her best each day.  Through mistakes we learn to be better people-at work, at school, in life.  It is not the mistakes that are important but the lessons we learn from them.

blessed be...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Inquiring minds want to know...

I have concluded my 7 Random Facts about myself plus adding a  bonus Random Fact #8.  Anyone who would like to share their Random Facts, feel free to do so on your blog.  Just let me know in the comments so I can visit & learn more about you.

Additionally, when I have read memes from others, their posts sometimes open up questions that I would like to ask.  So, based on the Random Facts or anything else you have read on my blog, do you have questions for me?  Ya'll know I am bluntly honest & that nothing about me is really off limits so if you have a pressing question or if you are curious about me or something I have written leave your question in the comments of this blog.  If you read me on Facebook, please connect to my blog to ask your questions.  I will answer all the questions on my next post.  Send um my way dear readers.  I want to know all of ya'll better so you need to know me better.  Also, if there is anything that you would like to see me post more about please let me know.  Suggestions are always welcome.

Looking forward to some fun with this one.

blessed be...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Random Facts #8 -- The Bonus

I promised a bonus random fact so here it is.

Random Fact #8 -- I want to be a standup comedian

Yep, that's right.  I want to do comedy.  I really never thought I was all that funny, but others always have & still do.  My life offers lots of material & I have on occassion launched into my "routine" as a way to mask the pain of the situation I am relating.  Trust me, I don't make this stuff up I just put a humorous spin on it (if you have listened to me tell a story or relate an incident you just may have experienced this).  Laughter is healing & comedy can give a wonderful perspective to something one considers painful.

I have done material on my Mother & our relationship, my foray into the Pentecostal church (which I loved btw & would never disrespect, but some things I have witnessed are funny), my ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, situtations in which I have found myself throughout my life, even my son.   If I have experienced it, I have made a joke about it.  My Mom has made me promise that I will not take my show on the road until she is dead.  She thinks someone might recognize her in my routine.  Well, duh!!!

Anyway, that is my secret (until now) ambition.  I would love to stand on a stage every night & exorcise my past through humor.   Truth is stranger than fiction.  And my life would make a sitcom. 

blessed be...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Random Fact #7

Random Fact #7 -- I have been writing a novel for the last 10 years.

Not full-time, obviously, but sometimes more than others.  I have written several short stories, started another couple of novels, & I wrote an Easter play for the church I attended several years ago (very well received btw).  I haven't written anything for the last few years except my journal & this blog.  The book is always in the back of my mind & lately I have been toying with the idea of leaving it as is as sort of a short story, combining it with my other short stories & partially written novels & seeing how that feels to me for a published work.  I would like to take some of my writings from this blog & my two previous ones for combination into another book.  I really enjoy writing, telling my stories (both true & imaginary).  I made up stories to tell my son when he was little.  I like storytelling.  I think it is a part of my heritage (Irish-great storytellers, Native-history was verbal & passed down through stories).   I enjoy the written word, painting pictures with words.  I like verbal storytelling because I can interject my humor & emotions in the telling.  This leads me into a bonus Random Fact.  Look for Random Fact #8 coming soon.

blessed be...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Random Fact #6

Random Fact #6 -- My Heros

I thought about my last two random facts & several things came to mind, but in my effort to share who I am, why I am, & what has helped shape the person I am today I decided to write about my heros.  They are eclectic, varied, expected perhaps, & perhaps unexpected.  They all offer insight into all that has shaped me from Back in the Day to Today.  My heros are offered in no particular order of importance because I believe they hold equal importance in the shaping of me mentally, emotionally,  & spiritually - giving me inspiration that has led to many awakenings within both my conscienceness & unconcienceness.

John F. Kennedy -- He was the first President I  remember from campaign to election then to that fateful day in Dallas.  His photograph hung in my Daddy's office.  "Ask not what your Country can do for you, but what you can do for your Country"  That one statement has come to me so often over the years.  It is one of the reasons, as a very broke single mother, I never accepted help from the Federal Government even though I was supposedly "entitled" & it certainly would have lifted a huge amount of stress from my life.  No Food Stamps, no financial assistance.  I just hunkered down & worked.  I always figured there were people who really needed help but I was not one of them.   My son was always fed, clothed, & a roof over his head.  There were alot of times I did not eat, but he always did.  That single statement given on a cold morning in Washington, DC shaped my attitude about what I expected from myself.  That makes JFK my hero because he challenged me to be self-sufficient & to not take what would have been an easy road.

Jacqueline Kennedy -- for her grace, class, composure, inner strength.  From her I learned dignity under fire.  Dignity in the face of unspeakable horror.  Dignity to carry on & do what was expected.  To do things well with grace & a certain flair.  I will never forget her stoically walking behind her husband's casket.  She could have easily fallen apart, but instead she became a tower of strength not only for her family but for a Nation.  She was a true lady & I have always strived to have the type of grace & dignity she portrayed.   Jackie is my hero because she showed me how to be strong in a quiet calmness.

Mother Teresa -- "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love"  These have become words by which I live.  I do not believe I chose this Journey to become famous or well-known.  But I know that I do touch other lives.  I strive to touch those lives with love, understanding, tolerance, compassion, & true caring for another person.  I may not agree with what another is going through or the path that person has chosen, but I can offer sympathy & empathy rather than adding to their dilemma.  Speaking from a place of love, from my true Spirit.  Many times I have had to remind myself that I am not here to fix things, but to offer support.  To offer heartfelt, true listening.  Mother Teresa is my hero because she took Jesus' words "That which you do for the least of mine, you do for Me" & truly lived them.

Jason, my son -- He is my hero because he has risen.  Risen above all the crap of his childhood, risen above the mother I was & wasn't, risen above the lack of an example of how to be a responsible man/father, risen above his own demons.  He has risen to become a productive member of society - a good, loving, true husband - a kind, gentle, loving, involved, engaged, present father who is raising happy, secure, well-rounded children with the help of my daughter-in-law, Jessica, who is my hero for believing in, loving, & standing by my son while he struggled to become the man he is today, & for being the most wonderful mother I can imagine for my grandchildren.  Together they have built a strong, healthy, happy, well adjusted, wonderful family.  I am so very proud of them both.  They are a blessing.

Dave, my brother -- "Life may not give us what we expected, but we can still dance"  In the face of an incurable, terminal illness he always danced both figuratively & literally.  He knew how to be a good friend & once you were Dave's friend you were always Dave's friend.  He truly loved people.  Dave faced his impending death with such humor, dignity, grace, & acceptance.  This is not to say he laid down & died because he most assuredly did not.  He loved life, lived it fully.  He sought out every possible treatment.  He put himself through hell trying to live.  But when the inevitable happened & he was told there would be no more remissions, no cure, no treatment to stop the growth of the NHL he began to prepare to die.  He said his goodbyes, he did everything he wanted to do, we spent 10 days in Key West.  We danced, we laughed, we cried, we talked.  As his time grew nearer & he was confined to his bed he lived on the phone.  He called everyone he had ever known & made amends if he felt he needed to do so.  He said his goodbyes while he still could.  My brother, as I have said many times, taught me how to live fully in the moment & he taught me how to die with grace, dignity, & acceptance.  For this he is my hero.  Catch you on the Other Side, little brother.

My heros have always been Cowboys -- As a kid I was into all that was western (movies, tv, books) -- Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, John Wayne, Gunsmoke, Foreman Scotty (for all ya'll OK  baby boomers), Wagon Train, Wanted Dead or Alive, Maverick, The Guns of Will Sonnett, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot (have I dated myself yet???).  From all of these there were morality lessons.  Lessons on how to be a true, honest human who lived with a code with integrity.  As I grew up, I met real cowboys.  Cowboys who worked on ranches, cowboys who rodeoed.   It was the attitude, the lifestyle, the way of life that made the genre as well as the reality of cowboys appealing to me.  The code of ethics that a true cowboy lives by, the respect for the land, the ability to be true to ones self, honesty, standing by one's word when it is given, honor, integrity, & to live exactly as you believe -  that is why Cowboys have always been my heros.

Dalai Lama --  "Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion."--His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight"
His Holiness is my hero for the way he lives, for his works, for his love, for his teachings.  While I am not Buddhist, I do identify very closely with Eastern teachings.  His writings have lead me through some very trying times.  I have found comfort in his words & in his life.  He is my hero because he truly embodies all that he teaches.


The list could go on.  I have friends who are my heros because of the adversities they have overcome, for the hard choices they have made, for their charitiable works, for living true to themselves, for living true to their beliefs, for embracing their heritage.  Each of you who are in my life at this moment, those who are my Tribe, you too are my heros.  Why? because you are YOU & you make my life richer.

blessed be...