It has been four years since our beloved Maya Angelou has gone home to be with God. Such a powerful life force, and one whose presence will be missed for generations to come. Trying to describe the impact she’s had on our lives is a little like trying to capture the power of the ocean’s waves on a watercolor. Its unbridled magnificence may be beautifully reflected, but its formidable energy can never fully be revealed.
A renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou was progressive in her views and passionate in her activism. She was often lauded for her magnificent accomplishments as an author, poet, singer and dancer. But those were merely her mediums. For Maya Angelou was ultimately, a messenger, sent to raise our collective consciousness and challenge our crippling complacency.
She once said, “The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.” And indeed, was that not what happened the first time you heard Phenomenal Woman? You just felt better about you, like an angel had whispered in your ear a sweet melody that touched the very essence of your soul.
Beyond her words, her entire life served as a beautiful soliloquy to the power of rising above, moving beyond, and letting go. She loved life, and believed in living it fully, completely and abundantly. In all the ways that Dr. Angelou challenged our thinking, this was perhaps her greatest charge: to embrace all that God created us to be, and to use everything we have to accomplish what He has called us to do.
I pray that as we mourn her absence from the world and continue to celebrate her incredible life, that we reaffirm our own commitment to living. Not just being here, but being present in every moment and using those minutes to make a difference. Because if we want to get to the end of our years and have a life well lived, we have to start living it now!
To get us started, I’ve compiled 12 of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes about life, love and loving on you. Many of these aren’t among her more popular sayings, but if you sit with them a minute you can feel among them an enthusiasm for life that begs you to take part. Try reading these aloud, allowing your senses to absorb the experience:
- You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
- If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?
- My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
- You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.
- Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.
- You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, and how you can still come out of it.
- I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.
- What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is to change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.
- I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all
- While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
- What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.
- Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!
Each day brings exciting moments, coupled with everyday occurrences, that come together to create the complex and alluring tapestry of our lives. Let’s follow Dr. Angelou’s advice, and make it a life well lived!
Sending Big Hugs and Love ❤
PS – Drop us a note in the comments sharing your favorite Maya Angelou story or quote! Let’s make sure her messages continue to inspire millions for generations to come.
PSS – Here’s Dr. Angelou reciting Phenomenal Woman. Just close your eyes and listen to it! I promise you’ll have a smile on your face by the end. 🙂