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I am a BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, with a beauty that doesn’t wash off. I earned it, unearthed it, rescued it like a jewel in the dust, picked it up and made it shine. For years, I did not see it, though I sensed it was there. Now it dazzles and thrives. I am healthy, capable, independent, strong yet still so fragile, floored by a sigh. My body is that of a creator—–angles meeting curves, hardness drifting into soft. I am mother, daughter, sister, lover to myself. Embraceable and brave, I extend my heart. My body is home, my home a shrine to life, comfortable, warm and rich with treasures. Mine is the scent of hot spices caught in a breeze, mine the laughter that wings through the door. I share myself only with those who honor me as I am and protect myself, my house, and my time from invaders. I search for my center in the midst of chaos, practice peace as wild dogs clamor in my mind. I use power for the greater good, release rage in neutral settings, with no one innocent in the line of fire. I am learning how to persist and when to let go, am willing to feel all emotion stop their depths and exaltations, to wake up in every nerve and no longer am afraid of my life. Both my beauty and strength transcend age, time and perhaps even this lifetime. Each day I am new, yet more at home in myself. Moment by moment, I create my world.

~Karen Andes A Women’s Book of Strength; An Empowering Guide to Total Mind/Body Fitness

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