re-picturing MANIFEST

Meet Elizabeth Grant Thomas, the author of Life In Pencil, a kindred spirit, and a member of my Tribe. Meeting Elizabeth for the first time was a most delightful experience. She was the same person that I had gotten to know through our mutual friend, Meghan Davidson, and through her blog. She was incredibly honest, thoughtful, well-spoken, and adventurous. But she was also funny. Really funny, actually. And incredibly candid; authenticity exuded every word she spoke – whether it was a humorous anecdote about her daughter or a serious recollection of a parenting frustration  – I felt like what I heard was what I got. Yet, Elizabeth was and is in a time of major transition. She recently became a mother and offers a refreshing perspective on how to “rewrite” our lives and live one day at a time through the words and images that she offers on her blog, and below. I feel incredibly grateful to have met her during this transition. She has generously shared her authentic experiences (the good, the bad, and the sleepless) of integrating her mother identity into her entire identity. A searching reader can garner many universal truths from her words. I hope that as she manifests her truths that she will give you the courage to manifest your truths as well. I know that she has done that for me.

Post by Elizabeth Grant Thomas and Sarah Gervais

What is going on with your body right now? In the context of your story, are you in the midst of the action? Are you closing a chapter of your story? Beginning of a new chapter? Brainstorming an entirely new book?

My body is in a major transition.  I gave birth to my daughter a little over a year ago, so between pregnancy and nursing I’ve been “sharing” my body with someone else for nearly two years!  Just before I became pregnant I worked really hard to lose about 20 pounds, then gained 30 when I was pregnant, and am back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, so my body has been on a rollercoaster ride.  When I look in my closet I see a wardrobe full of sizes that run the gamut, reflecting everywhere my body has been the past two years.

When do you feel most alive in your body?

I am the strongest I’ve ever been.  I do strength training twice a week at a local fitness studio, something I never thought I’d be interested in a million years, but which I just love.  Last week I started a “Couch to 5K” program; I am so not a runner, but am trying it out.  I also enjoy dancing – I used to take a number of dance classes every week, including samba – but lack the time with a little one in the house.  It’s something I hope to pick up again soon.

Why did you choose to participate in the re-picturing women project? Why is the word and/or body part you chose significant to you?

Having a baby has been the most transformative experience of my entire life.  I would go as far as to call it an “out of body” experience, although I’ve never been more aware of my body.  Seeing how my body grew to accommodate another living being, and then shifted back again, was a fascinating process.  But the emotional part of adjusting to life with a baby has been taxing.  I am in the process of “manifesting a new reality,” in mind, body and spirit.  Rather than bemoaning what I’ve lost, I’m trying to manifest a new way of living that accommodates my daughter.

What did it feel like to be photographed for the re-picturing women project? What did it feel like to look at the pictures of yourself?

With a background in the performing arts, I love to be photographed.  During our retreat, I think I was a willing subject more than once!  “Manifest” is a really strong and specific word for me; it connotes bringing something into being through effort and determination, not luck or fate.  I am not a photographer myself, so it was delightful to see how the lens captured me.

As a creative person (writer, photographer, artist) do you think your body is connected to your creativity (e.g., writing, photography, etc.). If so, how?

Writing is a very in-your-head affair.  When I am stuck, I will usually try to get into body.  Taking a walk is the greatest cure-all for writer’s block.  Because my creative time is limited, I compose a great deal in my head when I am taking my daily walk.

If you could share one truth you’ve learned about your body with girls, other women, or even men, what would you want them to know?

Much like life itself, nothing stays the same; I’ve watched my body expand and contract so many times.  One of the major themes that I write about is the idea of “rewriting life;” I think it’s our responsibility to understand that everything changes and to flow as best we can with that reality.


  1. Thank you, Sarah, for this opportunity! I love what you are doing here, your thought-provoking questions, and the good work you are doing in the world. I’m so glad our cosmic paths crossed!

  2. Really lovely! I enjoyed Elizabeth’s thoughtful responses and the photos really capture it.

  3. Such a great piece! I need to remember to flow the best I can with reality too.

  4. Thank you for sharing these lovely and personal thoughts E and S! I am newly inspired to tackle this topic. I hope to be on these pages soon as what is written here is so very important!

  5. Thank you so much, Elizabeth and Sarah, for sharing these questions and answers.

    I too am a new-ish mother and my relationship to my body has been transformed by the experience of growing, and then feeding, three other humans. My youngest (and very likely my last) is seven months old and I am just now starting to think about what I want my body to feel like (not to mention look like) after she stops nursing in the next year or so and I enter the next phase of my life. Thanks for helping me consider some new ways to think about these issues.

  6. I love this – these pictures, this interview. Unsurprisingly, so much of it resonates very profoundly with me. I can’t wait to meet you both! xox

  7. Love all of this so much but especially that first picture. It’s so beautiful on so many levels. And it brings me back to very happy days. So great seeing a collaboration between two strong, smart, incredible women.

    • Tiffany Hogan
    • September 22nd, 2011

    I love your blog Sarah! Thank you!!

  8. i loved reading this interview and this photo takes me back to such joy xo

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