“As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”
_ James Allen
The Menopause Reclamation
When I was a young girl I happened upon a book with companion cassettes on top of the stereo that sat in front of the picture window in our living room. The book was “As a Man Thinketh” by James Allen the first copyright by the way was 1903. I was born in 1956 so around the time I read it during my middle school years the book had been in circulation 53 plus years. And yes you read it right my middle years; I was a bookworm and a nineteen sixties version of a nerd with pink cat-eyed glasses, no waist, long legs, and high-water jeans. Sitting here writing and reminiscing I am realizing it was really kinda cool that my mother purchased or was gifted a body of work such as this. A not so new age way of believing as Allen penned “dealt with the power of thought, and particularly with the use and application of thought.”
“I never asked my mother where the books or cassettes came from, and, I don’t remember the two of us ever discussing it. In fact now that I sit here celebrating this long ago memory I realize now that this type of book was oddly out of place in our home. And quite out of character for my mother to have in her possession let alone read and believe. But life as her carer has revealed much about her I never knew. I recollect reading the book and listening to the tapes often. I recall a feeling of fascination when I read this unfamiliar teaching. It was contrary to what I new about life up to this point in my life; but it also felt hip to have this knowing, as if I possessed a secret not everyone I knew was privy too. The power of thought could influence the trajectory of your life, go figure, it would not be long before I would abuse before embracing this idea.
I would grown on to experience lakes of tears, bitter disappointments, and occasional wins before I would be able to truly understand and practice the truth of what I had read as a girl on the edge of puberty and change. I do credit this early teaching with my ability to adapt to change. Throughout my adult version of life more young I dealt with a lot of dissatisfaction triggered by negative thinking. I didn’t think very highly of myself a series of events, and, things unspoken, buried but not forgotten led to some very tough self-taught lessons. Lessons I would return to time and time again before this grasshopper would finally have the courage to claim her own heart with all diligence and not relinquish control to someone else. “I have often placed the blame on my high tolerance for pain, the need to please, my insatiable curiosity, and, the vigorous blood coursing through my veins; so high the tolerance it became a obstacle to learn from the lessons always before me.” And as unfortunate luck would have it this led to a ten car pile-up of negative thinking. Of course no one knew except my mind, my heart, and God. For the most part no one was the wiser, I was funny, I made people laugh, but, those pesky “tears of a clown when there’s no one around.”
That was then this is now, let’s fast forward to somewhere around perimenopause the beginning of a different kind of change which felt a lot like puberty in reverse. By the way I am now in the evening of my life commonly referred to as post menopause. Menopause, aka “the change” was a battle for me. It was a season ripe for complaining and negative thinking. The battlefield was littered with pieces of me exhausted from the loss of life giving estrogen but I kept getting up. There were times it would have been easier to throw in the towel but I was too busy using it to mop up the night sweats and hot flashes. Now comes the part where I rise up like a phoenix, somewhere in the crossing over something changed, get it changed. My body and mind were under renovation a rebirth of sorts a maturation that demanded attention, and, nurturing. It was often traumatic this rising up an re-birthing; during this reverse puberty my body and mind under went an intense amount of stress however; I wanted to survive these new more hellish mental and physical metabolic changes that were occurring in my mind and body. The breaking down, the unraveling would not undo me. Acts one and two had produced a full life, but not an easy one.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” _ Ernest Hemingway. And so it is I became stronger at all the broken places, enter act three. Right thinking and ongoing positive affirmation practice produced healthy mind fruit. I am a miracle in the making. I stood on the truth of thought and the hard work of right thinking became my devotion to myself. James Allen’s truth was born from biblical truth found in the book of Proverbs 23:7 “As a man Thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Both books “that will help you help yourself.” During this passionate time of “life interrupted” try to remember “you really are what you think all the live long day.” Despite the upheaval of a mind always in motion remember they are only feelings (but the night sweats are real) and feelings are fickle mind games and cannot be trusted so resolve to think rightly this change in life is easier for some more than others, but, “Right thought is Mastery.” This is my story, I wish you peace and cool nights on your journey, be Blessed!