Wednesday, April 3, 2019

National Poetry Month: Can You Imagine That?

Did you know that your mind can't distinguish real from imaginary? Numerous studies have been done to show that there are changes in the physical body that happen THROUGH THOUGHT ALONE! Dr. David Hamilton has a blog post on this very subject that you can read by following this link: Does Your Brain Distinguish Real From Imaginary?

As I wrote poems after the diagnosis of the progressive neuromuscular disease, Post-Polio Syndrome, I was imagining a future very different from my past and certainly very different from the one the doctors predicted for me.

I imagined myself running a race as I sat in a toe up leg brace

using a cane and at times a wheelchair for mobility and told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.

I was foreshadowing my 2009 Boston Marathon run:

Can you imagine that?

I overrode the programming I experienced as a survivor of paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members. In this poem, I wrote about wiping out the past and connecting to the Divine:

A Clean Slate

What's the point of recreating the past
that's why God made erasers
turn life upside down and watch
magic and mystery appear on blank canvass
but only to the trained eye
from mind’s eye imagination
just imagine possibility.

Shadows disappear
lively petaled pastel flowers to delight

with the faith of a mustard seed
images leap to life
vivid vibrant free form
phantom fades

Love evolves so love yourself well
well being and being well as we wield the brush
creating the perfect state of grace.

Is that a self-portrait
lush landscape
see yourself through the window of your soul
Divine reflections wherever you look
once you wipe the slate clean.

I imagined dancing in the rain a la Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain after having a dream that I was splashing in the puddles, barefoot without my leg brace:

Come Out and Play

Arms flung open wide dancing in the rain
pure abiding joy to feel alive again
healing tears fall and blend in God’s puddle
no time to sit in a corner and huddle
all the old rules driven by fears
washed away now by God’s loving tears
the imprint dad left no longer remains
rain washes away all of the stains
baptized with love, Truth lights my way
the sun shines through on this rainy day
splashing and laughing my heart opens wide
embracing and flowing I’m one with the tide
God takes my hand release the old way
bathe in my glory come out and play!

As a child I could never run outside lugging a full metal leg brace. I never played or ran in the rain splashing in puddles.

As a runner, I ran many many miles in the rain feeling the unbridled joy of a child. With soaking wet feet, mud splattered legs or pants, and my face drenched with both sweat and God's liquid sunshine, I relished the sensations that were new to me as an adult.

Can you imagine that?

April is National Poetry Month and the month I get to celebrate the tenth anniversary of my Boston Marathon run....from a wheelchair to the finish line of the Boston Marathon harnessing the power of the mind/body connection to heal the effects of paralytic polio and trauma.

Can you imagine that?

To your health and wellness,
From my heart to yours

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

My books are available on Amazon.

“The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” takes you on Mary McManus’ healing odyssey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond. After the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome in December 2006, Mary got still and asked for Divine Guidance tapping into the powerful connection she experienced to the Divine from an early age. She harnessed the power of her mind to heal her body, feverishly writing poetry in which she imagined herself healthy, whole and free from the shackles of her youth. Mary’s quest to heal her life led her to the sport of running. Her story is one that will leave you cheering for the underdog, discovering the meaning of different ability and experiencing the stunning view from the back of the pack of a race. You will have the privilege of bearing witness to how Mary overcame every challenge that life presented to her. The sport of running provides the backdrop for her journey of transformation from a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and severe trauma at the hands of family members to a woman who embodies faith, grace under fire, courage, determination, endurance and resilience. Running became a way of life for Mary that tested her mettle while forging friendships to last a lifetime. As you’ll discover in “The Adventures of Runnergirl 1953” nothing, not even a serious knee injury in December of 2014 could stop her on the roads or in her life.

Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life

Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:

Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):

My healing journey using the power of visualization is featured in David R. Hamilton's book, "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body-Anniversary Edition." It's available on Amazon.

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