by Christy Semple, RScP
I was walking past a bookstore recently and a poster in the window caught my eye.
~ Maya Angelou
I had heard these words before, but this time the power of their message stayed with me throughout the afternoon and beyond. At home, I re-visited the entire poem these words came from, known as Still I Rise, in a book of Angelou’s poetry and was more impressed than ever with how profoundly, as one reviewer put it, “Angelou embodies the power, courage, and tenacity of the African American experience.” It inspired me to see how Angelou, as she is known so well for, expresses the wisdom of rising above challenging conditions, experiences, and beliefs, and doing so with tenacity and determination. I got to thinking more about these words and the uplifting approach to challenge that they inspire…
I thought of how I rise, I rise, I rise can be used like a mantra, repeated with conviction, to inspire oneself to begin or continue the practice of rising above an experience or conditions of the past or present to a higher point of view that is aligned with the true nature of the goodness of Life and ourselves. I rise, I rise, I rise helps to remind us to rise in consciousness and keep knowing, I am Good; Life is Good; the Goodness of God is in me; the Wisdom of Infinite Intelligence is in me; the Wisdom of Infinite Intelligence is in all people and all situations.
This positive, productive idea is the approach to healing and change that we learn in the Science of Mind teaching, to rise above the appearances and thinking of a challenging situation of the past or present. In The Science of Mind textbook, Ernest Holmes points out, “If we allow the world’s opinion to control our thinking, then that will be our demonstration! If, on the other hand, we rise superior to the world, we shall create a new pattern,” reminding us of the power of rising in consciousness above thinking that is based in fear and judgement.
Maya Angelou’s words elevate the wisdom of Holmes and guide us to a new way of thinking, with a rhythm that speaks to our heart. As we feel the desire to change the outpicturing of some old, limited ideas in our personal experience close-to-home, or desire to see peace, clarity and understanding expressed in the activities of the country and the world, these words can uplift and guide us to new, expansive ideas of Truth as we engage in our spiritual practices and go about the experiences (and thinking) of daily living.
In the days since seeing these words in the bookstore window, I have spoken them many times in my mind as I align my thinking with Truth ideas in doing my spiritual practices of meditation and Spiritual Mind Treatment (affirmative prayer) and planting the seeds of positive change in my life and the world.
And so, it has become part of my day to affirm: I rise, I rise, I rise!