S.O.F.T. and Strong: Brave Enough For Love

Episode 47: Maya Angelou: A Brave Woman Who Lived A Brave Life

November 20, 2021 Bernice McDonald Episode 47
S.O.F.T. and Strong: Brave Enough For Love
Episode 47: Maya Angelou: A Brave Woman Who Lived A Brave Life
Show Notes Transcript

How can we be FEARLESS AFTER 50? Maya Angelou was a model for us. From a life that could have easily defined her "Not Enough", she rose above and stood "Brave Enough" to be herself, to be her best and to walk her Path with courage as a woman thankful for the blessings.

This woman has a "Phenomenal" Story. She was brutally honest with her world about who she was even though the public spotlight was on her much of her life.  Far from perfect by her own admission, she lived to learn and refused to hide.

Find out in this podcast what 4 Gifts Maya drew from inside of her deepest heart. Gifts that were her Secret Inner Heroes. Her many quotes and insightful wisdom reveal a woman who learned that backing down from who she really was is NOT an option.

You can discover the same 4 Amazing Secret Inner Heroes that live in you...because they ARE the best sides of you. 

Download my new book FOR FREE right here at this link.

We see her quotes everywhere. And she was the original, phenomenal woman known for writing the poem, the phenomenal woman, Maya, Angelo, truly brave and amazing story. Walked a very courageous path. She has a lot to teach us. So come on and listen to the podcast. We start right after the introduction. This is the podcast that walks you down the path from not enough to brave enough for love for life, for making a difference in this world.

However, that looks for you. This is where the secret inner hero society is alive and well. And you are going to be inspired by the stories of women who are doing it. Being brave enough to live this life with courage. I'm Bernice McDonald, and I am excited to have you here. So get on in here and let's do this. Welcome back to soft and strong. Brave enough for love where women that's, you and me are choosing love over fear.

(1m 27s):
If you don't already know this about me, if you've listened for a while, you might've realized that when I meet people or work with clients or am with my family and friends, or even when I'm here talking to you, what I see in people is the heart. That's just who I am. And I am so passionate about that. I see life a little bit differently. At least maybe in my description of it, based on a book I read a couple of years ago about the, the simplicity of life.

(2m 8s):
Life is like a heart as if you are a heart, just imagine that walking a path when you're born, you enter that path. When you die, you leave it in between though, all kinds of things happen, right? So imagine yourself walking on that path. And it says, if this bright alien light, you know how it is, and the movie stays shines down on you, a big spotlight and picks you out, shines down on you on your path.

(2m 47s):
That's how we have to see ourselves, not necessarily in the spotlight and that it's not an uncomfortable thing, but the thing is that's you, your heart, you are an individual walking your path. And as you're walking with your beautiful heart intact, you know, and that heart is filled with your gifts and your character, your personality, your preferences, it's a kaleidoscope of beautiful colors and shapes and images that make up who you are. As you're walking, all this stuff happens.

(3m 27s):
Bombs, go off boulders, drop on you. People on other paths, throw rocks at you, which can be expectations or words coming out of their own stories. And so, as we're are walking along, we encounter other people on their paths who are living as we're living, making their own choices, their own decisions about how they handle their lives. Well, today, I'm going to tell you about somebody who was walking her path, and we see her quotes everywhere.

(4m 7s):
These days, we see them on Pinterest or an Instagram all over the internet. She had so many wise words. And when you look into her story is really quite amazing. The past that she walked and the things that she did in her life, who she was as a person, it's amazing. And I think what she can teach us is that you can come from some pretty devastating things and your life, but that does not have to determine who you are further down. What has happened to you can make you stronger.

(4m 50s):
The person I'm talking about today is Maya Angelo. You know who she was. She was a beautiful woman who walked the face of this. Arth was an incredible social activist and author, a speaker at poet. And also something that a lot of us don't realize is that she was a teacher. Now what happened to Maya when she was very young, is this. And I'm going to read this to you. This is from a site that's called learning liftoff. And it kinda caught me off guard because I did not. I haven't read any of Maya's biographies, perhaps you have.

(5m 33s):
And I think I will go and read some of her stories now, because this is just such an amazing thing. Despite her extraordinary gift of language, poet and author, Maya Angelo did not speak for five years when she was a child herself. And for silence began after a traumatic, traumatic incident caused to believe her words had terrible consequences. At just eight years old, she was raped by her mother's boyfriend. When she revealed the truth and identified the rapist, he was later found beaten to death.

(6m 16s):
I thought my voice killed him. She wrote in her first autobiography. I know why the caged bird sings. I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again because my voice would kill anyone. So she simply stopped speaking. Doesn't that? Just break your heart. Can you imagine this poor little girl? It goes on to say her family also chose to never speak of the incident again, which was very typical of families back then. And even now, so Angelo did not receive the support and counseling she needed.

(7m 1s):
During those five years, she remained mute shortly thereafter. She and her brother were sent back to live with her grandmother for nearly a year. I stopped. I sopped around the house, the store, the school and the church. She writes in the 1969 memoir like an old biscuit, dirty and inevitable. She was depressed and withdrawn, but she remained an avid reader who loved literature. Thanks to her visits to the local library. Although Angela was close to her brother and had an extended family that included her mother, grandmother, and uncles.

(7m 41s):
It was a local teacher birth of flowers. And I love that name who helped her regain her voice flowers left a profound impression on young Maya who was charmed by the teacher style and unusually refined grace. I don't think I ever saw Mrs. Flowers laugh, but she smiled often. Angelo wrote when she chose to smile on me, I always wanted to thank her. So when flowers spoke, Maya listened in her autobiography. Angelo vividly recalls what flowers said to her. Your grandmother says, you read a lot.

(8m 23s):
Every chance you get. She told young Maya that's good, but not good. Enough words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with the shades of deeper. Meaning her words struck Angelo as poetic and their relationship grew as flowers provided Maya with new books and heightened motivation to read. Eventually this patient teacher broke through my as long silence. By challenging her to read poetry out loud. You do not love poetry, not until you speak it.

(9m 7s):
She told her for a time young Maya rejected the teacher's assertion, but ultimately she uttered the words from a book of poetry and heard the poems come alive from her own lips. So at age 13, she gradually began speaking again. Maya learned a lot in that town. She had already by 13, been through so much at 17. She had a child that was when her son was born. So she was a teenage mom. And you know what happened is that she ended up working as a Madam and a sex worker to make ends meet.

(9m 53s):
She did that in those early years and during her first marriage and she was married twice and divorced twice. No wonder one of her quotes says there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you untold stories. They are what will zap our courage. They are what will steal away from us, our ability to face life and, and cause us to go into hiding, to not want to share our hearts anymore, to close our hearts down because we come to the conclusion that life only hurts, right?

(10m 48s):
Does that ring any bells with you? Do you know anybody who's like that? Is it perhaps something that you feel inside life hurts? Now here was Maya Angelo in exactly that place on her path. But Maya Angelo discovered the four gifts that she has inside had inside of her. I call them the four sides of our secret inner hero. Did you know that you also have those four secret inner heroes inside you?

(11m 30s):
Their super powers kick in? When we deep down deep into our hearts and allow them to speak, they are the best of who we are. They inspire our courage. When we listen to their voices. Maya also said courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently, we can't be kind true.

(12m 12s):
Merciful, generous, or honest. Courage is what gives us the power to do that, to allow our best selves, to come to the surface. Now, those four gifts are the four sides of your secret inner hero are these. And we're going to talk about them. I'm going to tell you how Maya Angelo used those to become the woman that she ended up being at the end of her path. The first one is the strength of your warrior.

(12m 52s):
What she said about being a strong woman. And sometimes when you are facing the battles in life, you simply have to have to allow your warrior to step up and speak, to become that strong person inside of you. That we often will push aside or refuse to listen to because we're afraid if we follow her advice, we're going to end up in a place that hurts even more. But what we need to do is this, you, what Angelo said was you may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so that you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

(13m 45s):
That's what your warrior does for you. The part of you inside brings the light. The good out of anything that you go through because it brings out your strength. Secondly, it's a side of you that is you're open. It's being open like your magician. This is the magic of having open eyes and an open heart. This is where laughter and curiosity and learning and letting others learn comes from what Maya Angela said about this was, I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

(14m 39s):
I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be a pain. Being in your magic is about being the real you it's about lifting yourself up from all the struggles and the burdens of life and just soaking up. What's precious to you, even if it's the smell of a flower or the blue of the sky, even if it's listening to a grandchild's giggling, all of that is so precious to us opening our hearts. That's what this is about on our path.

(15m 22s):
This is what helps us to face the hard stuff in life. The third thing is to listen and to hear your lover. This is you at your most feminine. This is you feeling your heart feeling is a key word here. It's a loving from your heart. It's choosing. This is where you choose love over fear because a love conquers fear. Love is much more powerful than fear. Love looks fear in the eye and chooses to be loving instead of hiding, instead of turning tail and running, it's about enjoying what women do best.

(16m 14s):
And that is loving my Angelo received accolades for her poem called the phenomenal woman. I'm just going to read a little bit to you. And I remember giving voice to poetry makes it come alive. That's what she learned, right? So just bear with me here. Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model 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.

(17m 1s):
I'm a woman phenomenally phenomenal woman. That's me. I walk into a room just as cool as you please, and to a man, the fellow stand or fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me a hive of honeybees. 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 phenomenally phenomenal woman. That's me.

(17m 41s):
There's a bit more to that poem, but I'll let you go look it up and read the rest phenomenal woman. This is you at your most feminine. You just relaxing into being your crazy, sexy self you're crazy, open, passionate, warm, sensitive, intuitive self. That is a side of you that will help you to face whatever is happening in your life. To find your courage. The fourth and last side of you is your sovereign or your queen.

(18m 22s):
This is the part of you that brings you all back together. Even if you're falling apart, because she stands on your values on your standards, on you being and believing in what you are and what you believe. Maya, Angela says her quote here about this is a woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.

(19m 10s):
Step by step. Maya Angelo walked her path to grow in courage, to face the hard stuff in life. With courage. I take her words or advice into my heart and she has on a YouTube video. It described, and it was her talking at an older age. And she gave her three words, which are noted to be her secret, to living your best life. You know what those three words are just do, right?

(19m 55s):
If you are going to be yourself, you must know what is right for you. You need to know what your values are. You need to know who you are inside and live from that place. In addition to these words and her explanation for this goes like this, right, will satisfy your soul. It brings you the kind of protection that body guards can't give you try to be all. You can be to be the best human being. You can be, try to live your life in a way you will not regret years from now.

(20m 38s):
Pick up the battle, take it up. This is your life. This is your world. You make your own choices. You can decide life. Isn't worth living. If you want to, you can do that. But that would be the worst thing that you can do because how do you know, how do you know that life isn't working? Try it, see, pick up the battle and make it a better world. Just where you are.

(21m 19s):
How can we be fearless women after 50? How can we face life with courage after all that we have been through on this path? Like Maya Angelo, how can we step up into the best of us? We may be battle worn. We may be weary, scarred, and bruised broken. We may have wounds that are deep inside of us, but that does not mean that we have to give up. We can stand strong in our courage.

(22m 0s):
We have the four gifts inside of us, the four inner heroes that bring their wisdom and their voice to us. The best of us that show us how to get through this life. What I want you to do going from this podcast today, I want you to think about those four inner heroes. We're going to be talking a lot about them. In fact, my new book, soft and strong talks about the four heroes and how you can discover your own crazy, sexy, adventurous self.

(22m 40s):
By allowing those heroes to speak. I want you to go to my website, www.braveenoughforlove.com and download that book right away. Don't forget, because in that book, we talk about fear. We talk about the, for heroes and we talk about the secret inner hero society. So here's what I want you to do. I want you to think of each of your sides. I want you to think about your warrior and I want you to think about, if you could meet your own warrior inside of you, how would she look?

(23m 22s):
What kind of things would she say? What language would she be using and what would she be focusing on and believing if you could meet your magician, the magic in you that stays open to love and to live, how would she look? What kind of language? What would her words be? What would she be focusing on and believing? What about your lover? That the mystical feminine side of you, how would she look? How would she hold herself? What kind of words would she be saying to you? What would she be focusing on and believing?

(24m 5s):
And lastly, your sovereign, the queen, and you brings everything together and stands true to you. Who encourages you to be true to your own values, to your own needs, to your own standards? How would she hold herself? What would her words be? What, what would she be focusing on and believing? Okay. That's it for today? My lovely ladies, my lovely, her ROIC. Crazy sexy ladies.

(24m 46s):
I want you to go download the book. Okay. Go to my website. I will also put the Lank in the show notes for today and I will talk to you next pipe.