Who are the Phenomenal Women in Your Life?


I wanted to celebrate this Phenomenal Woman and ask women in general, who are the phenomenal women in your life?

Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature.  She is a  poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director.  

Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but she also absorbed the unshakable faith and values of traditional African-American family, community, and culture.

As a teenager, Dr. Angelou’s love for the arts won her a scholarship to study dance and drama at San Francisco’s Labor School. At 14, she dropped out to become San Francisco’s first African-American female cable car conductor. She later finished high school, giving birth to her son, Guy, a few weeks after graduation. As a young single mother, she supported her son by working as a waitress and cook, however her passion for music, dance, performance, and poetry would soon take center stage.

In 1954 and 1955, Dr. Angelou toured Europe with a production of the opera Porgy and Bess. She studied modern dance with Martha Graham, danced with Alvin Ailey on television variety shows and, in 1957, recorded her first album, Calypso Lady. In 1958, she moved to New York, where she joined the Harlem Writers Guild, acted in the historic Off-Broadway production of Jean Genet’s The Blacks and wrote and performed Cabaret for Freedom.

In 1960, Dr. Angelou moved to Cairo, Egypt where she served as editor of the English language weekly The Arab Observer. The next year, she moved to Ghana where she taught at the University of Ghana’s School of Music and Drama, worked as feature editor for The African Review and wrote for The Ghanaian Times.

During her years abroad, Dr. Angelou read and studied voraciously, mastering French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and the West African language Fanti. While in Ghana, she met with Malcolm X and, in 1964, returned to America to help him build his new Organization of African American Unity.

Shortly after her arrival in the United States, Malcolm X was assassinated, and the organization dissolved. Soon after X’s assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked Dr. Angelou to serve as Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. King’s assassination, falling on her birthday in 1968, left her devastated.

[THIS INTRODUCTION ABOVE WAS BORROWED FROM MAYA ANGELOU’S WEBSITE] Continue reading about this Phenomenal Woman by visiting her Official website

I love this poem so much and I believe that she is one of the most intriguing women of our time.  The poem below is only one of my favorites!

PHENOMENAL WOMAN

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 womanPhenomenally.
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
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Fantasia – TV Interview after Recent Suicide Attempt.


I know what it’s like when the weight of waking up becomes heavier than just falling asleep forever. I am not endorsing suicide, but I can relate to and admit that I, too, have been in that dark place where it seems to be the only option that is acceptable.  After viewing this video footage, I sense that Fantasia has a renewed passion for life and is beginning to believe that she has a much larger purpose to fulfill.   I want to extend my support to her as well as other women who feel that they are alone in this world.  A problem shared is a problem cut in half.  Reach out to someone so that they can in turn reach out to you. You will be amazed by your own resilience.  I was.  And, I am most proud of my bounce-back ability. I might get kicked down, but I will continue to get back up until my last breath.     Life is good…. 

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Fantasia – First ever TV interview after her re…, posted with vodpod

 

Mind over Mattress


The last few days I have felt like my mattress has become infused into  my body.  All I have wanted to do is sleep.  Physically I am not tired, however, mentally I want to escape.  I do a very good job of that when I am asleep.  The drawback is that I don’t have control over my dreams so when I wake, I am just as tired because I have been so active in my dreams.  This morning when I was awakened, I decided to play a game – Mind over Matter.  I closed my eyes and cleared my mind.  I inhaled deeply and exhaled deeper.  I repeated this several times.  Then I thought about the sun washing over me, the ocean waves crashing upon the shore, the breeze kissing my cheeks gently.  The song “Closer To My Dreams” was playing in the background.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Video Goapele – Closer To My Dreams – goapele, …, posted with vodpod

I used these mental pictures, sounds and thoughts to get out of bed feeling super refreshed.  I conquered the Wednesday Blahs with Mind Over Mattress!!

Side tracked on a Road Trip


On my way to Sterling, Virginia on Saturday, August 7th, I was sidetracked by a few lovely sites.  As I crossed into Virginia while on US15, I drove through Leesburg and visited several outdoor markets.  I purchased cantelope and corn.  I love purchasing local produce and vegetables.  Also, it’s nice to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.  Initially, I was going to drive straight through, but I thought to myself, “Why Not?!”  Why not stop, look, touch and taste.  In the past, I would have said, “maybe next time”.  This time, however, I decided to live in the moment and enjoy the experience.  Living in the moment is a challenge for me at times because I am an active planner.  I also do a lot of reflecting on yesterday, last week, last month and so on.  I am just now beginning to understand and practice the Power of Now!

Below are a few pictures I took while traveling through Leesburg’s countrysided.

It was such a beautiful day and I truly enjoyed the diversion.  I encourage anyone to slow down, look around, take a deep breath and admire your life.

The Union


Yesterday, my dear friend Keisha married her best friend Terrance. These two were united in holy matrimony, and it was a humbling experience to behold two beautiful individuals, each having their own unique and loving qualities, come together to form a partnership. 

Their union brought together family and friends from both sides.  An introduction and meshing of positive, supportive and loving souls that I was not expecting to meet, nor be impacted by the powerful spirits of the women that were gathered to celebrate this marriage.

I am truly looking forward to cultivating these new relatioships.  I have been open to receiving new, rich, relationships with people, and by allowing my openess, I am reaping the rewards for my actions. 

I am brimming with excitement.  I had a MAJOR breakthrough experience Sunday morning.  I fellowshiped at  Temple of Healing Waters in Sterling, Virginia.  The message that was delivered was specifically for me.  I was deeply inspired, motivated and most importantly, validated my dream.  I am searching for the words to describe the experience, but they fail me.   One thing that I know for sure, is that I can never return to the way I thought the day before.  I am a new person.

Since I have taken action on developing and expanding my mind, nurturing my body, and feeding my spirit in a more balanced manner, I stand in AWE of what God and the Universe places in my hands on a daily basis.  My mission is to utilize those gifts and positively impact those who cross my path.

A Great Reminder of My Past


So, I am going through some of my pictures and came across these in particular.  They are a good reminder of my past and focuses me on my present efforts that will pay off big time in my future!

That’s me in 2002.  Not quite at my largest, but pretty darn close.  Just before I made a major decision to take control of my life.

 

Below is me almost 1 year later after making the decision and following through to achieve the result of my effort.

 

Seven years later, I have set new goals for living a healthier life.  I am taking an overall approach.  Reconditioning my mind, my body, and my spirit.  I use various resources to keep me motivated, too.  I still have my size 24 jeans hanging visibly so I am reminded of how far I’ve come, and where I do not want to return.  It’s amazing today that I never saw myself quite like that before.  What’s even as amazing is how people treated me after I lost the weight. I will save the details for another blog entry.  I truly have some stories to tell about those experiences.  For now, I just wanted to share some more about myself.  Another layer of the onion.

My Fitness Journey, Again…


 I have been on a fitness quest for 7 weeks now.  Years ago, I was more attentive to my health, but I fell off the wagon and became complacent at some point.  If I made a decision to do better, I would derail myself once I cheated and it took several weeks or months to begin the process all over again.  This time, I made the decision to be persistent, consistent, disciplined, excited and have a sense of urgency this time around. These are the 5 Wealth Principles. 

My sister, whom I love dearly, has lost 28 pounds to date, and that alone motivated me.  She was never one for exercise because she had an amazing metabolism.  But, as with lots of women, it slows down as we progress through life.  That’s what began to happen to her and she gained quite a bit of weight.  She never lost her femininity, however.  She joined a fitness camp and slowly began to change her habits.  Because of her persistency, not perfection, she began to lose the weight and tone her body.  She hasn’t met her goal yet, but she is even more beautiful than before because she is nourishing her mind, body and spirit.

My BFF, Christine, is also on this journey.  I cannot express how grateful I am to have the 2 people whom I love dearly and mean so  much to me join me side-by-side in this journey that we define as our lives.  We started this quest for better health at different points, and we are making great progress toward our goals.  Christine is a P90X Princess!  She’s always been health conscience – 15+ years of low-carb eating – but she has turned it up several notches and has incorporated spiritual and mental expansion into her lifestyle for an entire overhaul.  The beautiful energy she exudes is amazing.  The energy each of us emits is synergy for our friendship as well.

Today, I celebrate these 2 women in my life and send them special love vibrations and wishes for our continued success.  Here’s to living an abundant life!!

Developing Your TotalPackage


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