I was moved to hear about the news of Maya Angelou's death yesterday morning. I learned most of my information about her, as probably a lot of you did as well, through Oprah. In fact, I distinctly remember watching OWN's "Master Class with Maya Angelou" as the moment I truly started to understand everything she was about.
Or I guess it would be more accurate to say it was the moment she helped me try and understand everything I was about. This was a woman who had really mastered life. She knew the answers to all the big questions I was struggling to grasp as a young adult. And she dished out her powerful words to me in a voice that was as calm, confident and captivating as she was herself.
Here is a great clip from that episode where she explains the secret to a happy life.
(If you want to completely change your life in the next 42 minutes, the full episode can be viewed here.)
At first when I started writing this, I had used the word "sad" instead of "moved" to describe how I felt, and then decided against it. While I'm certainly sad for her family and those closest to her, for the rest of us, sad is not exactly the right word to describe this sort of a loss. This is a woman who took a tumultuous childhood that included poverty, racism, rape, and teen pregnancy, and turned that into the life of an adult who inspired civil rights activists and world leaders. A woman who was so in touch with herself, her spirituality, and the universe, that she served as a mentor for Oprah herself. She enlightened the woman who enlightened the rest of us! And so I can only imagine her fully enlightened spirit at complete peace in the afterlife, looking over her 86 years on Earth and thinking, "well done." And if she's not thinking it, then I certainly am.
And because I'm such a fan of her, her life and her words, I've combined some of my favorite quotes and pictures below. Please pin/save/enjoy and keep in your back pocket for whenever you need a little life motivation.
What is your favorite Maya Angelou quote? What will you remember most about her? Share your thoughts with me in the comments section.