In memory of Maya Angelou (1928-2014): Still I rise

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

Maya Angelou was truly an amazing woman and we were all blessed having known her either personally or through her words and works. A phenomenal woman, a woman of strength and character, a woman who saw great adversities but still rose. May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Motivational Tip: Captain of the soul

“Invictus”

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus is a short poem written in 1875 by the English poet and editor William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) after he had a leg ambulated due to a long battle with Tuberculosis that affected his bones in childhood. It had been said that he wrote this poem in protest of possibly having to loose the other leg and that a missing limb was not going to hinder him from being successful in life. Mr Henley’s story is a reminder that anything is possibly and we are only limited by our minds and the goals that we set for ourselves. Do not be discouraged by failures and set backs that you experience but use them as tools and stepping stones to learn from to make you a better you.

Health Tip: High Cholesterol


Also known as high cholesterol, hypercholesterolemia occurs when the total cholesterol level in the blood is above the normal limits. Similar to High blood pressure, there are no symptoms associated with this disorder. The only way to know if you have high cholesterol is by taking a blood test.

Cholesterol Levels:
Normal: less than 200 mg/dL
Moderately high: between 200 to 239 mg/dL
Very High: 240 mg/dL or more

What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an important fat found in the body which is a component of the outer layer of the cells. It is produced naturally by the liver and has many important functions which include acting as a filter determining which set of molecules can pass through the cells in the body and which cannot. It converts sunlight to vitamin D which is essential for bone strength. It is very important in hormone production in the body of both men and women. It helps in the production of bile which is also secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder and aids in the digestion of food in the intestines. It also acts as a cushion for nerve fibers.

Who is at risk:
– Persons with poor eating habits such as a diet high in fat intake.
– Overweight and obese persons.
– Persons who are not very active or mobile.
– Persons with a strong family history of high cholesterol or heart diseases.
– Smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers.
– Persons with chronic illnesses like High Blood pressure and Diabetes.

Possible complications of high cholesterol:
– Atherosclerosis: This is the most common complication of high cholesterol. It is the narrowing of the arteries in the body due to plaque build-up and thickening of the arterial walls. The arteries are those blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart.

– Increase of coronary and heart disease risk which could lead to angina or heart attacks. Angina is a type of chest pain that is caused by a lack of blood flow to the heart muscle, generally due to obstruction or muscle spasms. If left untreated it could progress to a heart attack.

A heart attack or myocardial infarction occurs when cells of the heart die due to an obstruction of blood flow to it via the coronary arteries, (the vessels that take blood to the heart.)

– Stroke: Strokes occur when there is either a hemorrhage (bleed) or blood clot in the vessels of the brain reducing the blood or oxygen flow to it.

Reducing your risk or High Cholesterol Level
Like most other diseases the road to recovery or treatment begins with life style changes such as the following:
– Lose weight if you are over weight
– Become more active: create a weekly exercise routine that best suites you and your daily life
– Reduce or eliminate trans fat like fried food from your diet and incorporate more whole grains, fruits and vegetables
– Stop smoking
– Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
– Control any underlying diseases you may have.

If all of the above fails, your doctor may decide to start you on medication if you have been diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia depending on your age and any underlying illness that you may already have.

Always consult your doctor before starting any type of medication. Be sure to mention any medical condition you may have or medication you may be currently taking.

Motivational Tip: Phenomenal Woman

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

“Many 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.”