We Are Phenomenal Women

I am reflecting on Maya Angelou's passing and think more and more what a phenomenal woman she was in so many aspects. I want to share one of her poems here. Her words help me just sink into my body and be more comfortable as a woman and all that means physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.

Watching the pictures of her life are wonderful, but be sure you take the time to sit back, close your eyes, and just breathe it in, you phenomenal woman you.

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size  

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,  

The stride of my step,  

The curl of my lips.  

I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,  

That’s me.

 

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,  

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.  

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.  

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,  

And the flash of my teeth,  

The swing in my waist,  

And the joy in my feet.  

I’m a woman

 

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

Men themselves have wondered  

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,  

They say they still can’t see.  

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,  

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.  

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.  

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,  

The bend of my hair,  

the palm of my hand,  

The need for my care.  

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Footnote: Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou published by Random House, Inc.

A call to action: Tell us what makes you phenomenal. Comment below.

2 comments

Sharon Wilson

Historically, people have found comfort and validation in seeing how very much they are exactly alike other humans, thinking that if there are others that feel the same way they do, then they themselves must be "right". Now we are finally coming into an age where individuality can be not only tolerated and accepted (without fear of punishment for non-conformance), but it can be supported and praised. Each of us is like a fingerprint -- there are no 2 souls exactly alike (nor were we ever meant to be exactly the same as each other). Now is our time to claim our uniqueness -- not as something we need to limit or conform to someone else's idea of Who We Should Be, but rather to discover and enhance Who We Really Are, as a unique, phenomenal aspect of Life itself. The glory and perfection of our true nature lies within us -- like a buried treasure -- right now. It is our golden opportunity, therefore, to rediscover that amazing treasure and step into the joy, wonder and miracle of Who We (already) Are. Why would you waste your precious life trying to be something you truly are not? What if you found out you were much, much, much more than you could have ever imagined? How would your life be then? Find your Self = find your joy.
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Pat Obuchowski

Thank you, Sharon for your beautiful words. I agree! We have tried so long in our history to be just like one another and now we have the opportunity to free ourselves and others in the process by being ourselves. Diversity is discovering and enhancing Who We Really Are. In all our phenomenalness.
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