Tuesday, May 10, 2022

The Wings of Transformation

There are so many wonderful quotes using the butterfly as a metaphor for transformation. Perhaps one of my favorites is by Maya Angelou:


 

Fifteen years ago today I sat in my 2nd floor office at the Boston VA Outpatient Clinic. Almost all of my personal belongings were at home in preparation for my last day leaving behind my award winning social work career. I was hoping to stay on for 3 more years until I was 'eligible' for retirement but realized that I was at a crossroads in my life and needed to choose a path. I chose the path of healing my life from the once devastating effects of childhood paralytic polio and trauma.

My schedule to see patients was sparse. I made many phone calls to let veterans and their families know of my impending departure and reassured them that there would be wonderful staff available to help them until my position was filled. Many patients and their families stopped by to say goodbye bearing beautiful thank you gifts. I reminded them of the many gifts they gave me by allowing me to be a part of their lives. 

I kept a journal on a yellow legal pad using it to visualize my life after the VA. I wrote in exquisite detail how I imagined my life as a NY Times Bestselling Author whose poetry touched the hearts and souls of many. My courageous journey of taking a leap of faith and all I endured in my life would inspire Oprah to have me as a guest on her show. I imagined meeting up with friends and potential clients for fancy lunches with my portfolio of "New World Greeting Cards: Original Poetry for Every Occasion." 

I incorporated what I am grateful for as part of the journal. 

While maintaining a brave, optimistic and hopeful demeanor about my future, a part of me was terrified! I used daily affirmations and worked to stay focused only on positive outcomes but it was a challenge to tune out the prognosis I had been given of a progressive neuromuscular disease. When I wrote poetry and focused on feeling as if I were already living in a healthy body, I literally felt no pain! But then the 'reality' of being in a leg brace, using a cane at times for mobility and being extremely deconditioned and limited in my functioning returned. 

I listened to my intuition and had this incredible sense of faith and trust that I made the right decision to leave the stress of my career. Fortunately, my husband and children supported me in all ways.

I read my poetry and shared my story at assisted living facilities as a way to ease my transition from my social work career which is all I had known for the past 25 years. I met amazing people along the way.

In October of 2007, one of my veteran volunteers who had become a good friend, introduced me to Janine Hightower who was starting her in home personal training business. She was a member of BNI, Business Networking International and my veteran wanted us to meet to see how we could network to grow each other's business. But as we sat there, I wasn't focused on my business but rather her in home personal training business Boston Homebodies.

I asked her if she thought she could help me to build on the outpatient therapy program I received from Spaulding. After my first session with her, I could barely move but I knew that if I were going to experience pain, I'd rather experience pain on the side of healing.

It required a great deal of patience and struggle to move out of the body of a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and trauma and reclaim my earthly home. When one looks at the picture of me at the 2009 Boston Marathon finish line:

you would never know the hours of struggle and pain both emotional and physical that I went through on that journey of transformation. The freedom and unbridled joy I experienced to have received my wings of transformation that day and that help me to continue to fly free as I was always meant to be made the journey worthwhile. I haven't yet had my books on the New York Times bestseller list but when I receive heartwarming reviews from my readers, I feel as though I have achieved that status. I haven't been a guest on Oprah but have been blessed to share my journey with many podcasters, radio talk show hosts and guest speaker at events. I was featured on a Channel 7 news piece. Visit the News and Events tab on my website to listen to my inspiring and uplifting interviews. I was blessed to have my story shared in Dr. David Hamilton's "Tenth Edition of How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body" and be a guest on his Hay House Radio Show. While I imagined many wonderful things happening in my life, what came to be was far more incredible than what I wrote about on my yellow legal pad in anticipation of my last day at the VA fifteen years ago.


From my heart to yours,
In health and wellness,
Mary

Be sure to visit my website at https://marymcmanus.com to learn about my journey to health and wellness in the wake of paralytic polio and trauma

My books to motivate, uplift and inspire you are available on Amazon
 

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