words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Simone de Beauvoir

In light of the crisis surrounding the state of women’s rights in the US, I thought it would be fitting to do a Words of Wisdom post featuring writer, feminist and activist Simone de Beauvoir.

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I came across de Beauvoir when researching some other women writers of the 20th century. I’d heard of her but wasn’t familiar with her work. However, after digging into her background and learning more about her perspective, I was impressed with what I learned and knew she had to have her own post on my blog.

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Simone de Beauvoir’s views on womanhood and the world at large were some of the founding principles of the feminist movement. I loved that she lived her life, on her terms, and left her thoughts for us to ponder down to this day.

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I especially love the thought that “one becomes a woman”. Womanhood is cultivated and I love being one. I love the ritual, the beauty and the beautifully nuanced existence that is womanhood. It’s a pleasure for me, and I love the fact that the womanhood experience is an intentional one.

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That’s all for today. Enjoy your Tuesday, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

 

(Photos courtesy of AZQuotes, Pinterest, Literary Ladies Guide, and QuoteParrot)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Nikki Giovanni

Happy Friday, friends! Whew, we made it through the week, and it’s almost the end of the fiscal year, so I’m officially DONE with all of my year-end closing tasks. Life is grand!

I figured it was time for another Words of Wisdom post because I’ve been leaning heavily on the wisdom of others as I’ve tried to stay balanced and calm during this stressful period at work. I’ve found myself reading a little poetry to unwind a bit in the evenings.

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[…]I am so hip even my errors are correct[…]

This singular line was one of the things that made me stop and really pay attention when I first read “Ego Tripping (There May Be A Reason Why)” by Nikki Giovanni years ago. And when I came across it again, I remembered just how much I loved her words.

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Giovanni is a poet, activist and educator, and I love her for wearing so many hats with ease. She’s currently a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, and she is still vibrant and witty at 75 years of age. She’s published numerous books of her poetry and I personally enjoyed “Quilting the Black Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems”, one of her books in my personal collection.

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There’s a lot to say about Giovanni, and too many poems and quotes to count. However, I think the best way to get a sense of her is to read the words she wrote about herself. I loved the bio on her website. Here’s an excerpt that I found amusing, sobering, and inspiring, just like Giovanni herself:

I was asked to  do a biography so this is it.  I am 71 years old.  I highly recommend old age;  it’s fun.  I have been awarded an unprecedented  7 NAACP Image Awards which makes me very very proud.  I have been nominated for a Grammy; been a finalist for  the  National Book Award.  I am very proud to have authored 3 New York Times and Los Angeles Times Best Sellers, highly unusual for a poet.  I am a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech.  I don’t have a lot of friends but I have good ones.  I have a son and a granddaughter.  My father, mother, sister and middle aunt are all deceased literarily making me go from being the baby in the family to being an elder.  I like to cook, travel and dream.  I’m a writer.  I’m happy.

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I hope you all enjoyed this post! Savor this fantastic Friday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

(photos courtesy of AZQuotes, ETB Screenwriting and InstaQuote)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Aretha Franklin

Yesterday, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, was laid to rest. I’m huge fan of her music, as I found her voice supernatural: listening to Aretha was akin to touching the divine, even if she wasn’t singing a gospel tune. As a music appreciator, I will always treasure the amazing recordings she left us.

I won’t write much, since there are so many of other writers online that are sharing their heartfelt emotion about Ms. Franklin. However, I will share some of my favorite quotes spoken by the Queen. Have a great Saturday.

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(Photos courtesy of Goalcast, LikeQuote and Saying Images)

 

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Lupita Nyong’o

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One of my favorite movies of this year was Black Panther. For those that recall, I was in Kenya when the movie was released and, while I didn’t get to see it before I left the country, I did see the national pride for Lupita Nyong’o, the stunner that played Nakia, a brilliant spy whose wisdom saved Wakanda from certain implosion.

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I can’t help but think that Lupita and Nakia have a great deal in common. Lupita’s confidence, poise and intelligence are traits that moviegoers easily identified in Nakia. It was difficult to distinguish between the character and the real, life Nyong’o.

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One of the things I love most about Lupita is her pragmatic attitude toward her beauty. Slim, with flawless skin, a button nose, high cheekbones and perfect out: she’s enviably beautiful. However, when her stunning beauty is discussed, she graciously acknowledges it but also brings up how that is only one aspect of who she is. She is an endearing star that not only enchants onscreen but offscreen as well.

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I love her energy and everything that she represents. I hope you all enjoy these quotes as much as I have! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

(photos courtesy HuffPost, Essence & QuotePrism)

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Remembering Jackie: The Power of Words

On what would have been Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s 89th birthday, I want to reflect a bit on her legacy. You all recall that I’ve shared some of her words of wisdom before, but I thought it was time to share a quote that I’d had on my mind for a while now:

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(Photo courtesy of Town & Country magazine)

One of the things that impressed me most about this quote is that Jackie acknowledged the POWER of words. Our words mold our realities, so we have to be careful with them. Are we using our words to “speak into existence” the things that we want, or are we regurgitating the things that depress or discourage us?

Recently, I’ve been especially mindful about the words that I’m using. I’m making a concerted effort to speak positively, using words that reflect the reality that I want to see, even if it doesn’t perfectly match what I’m actually beholding. I’m not living in a “fantasy world”, per se. However, I am focusing my attention on the best aspect of “what is” as well as discussing only the things that I want in my world.

I appreciate Jackie for stating plainly that our words are powerful and can create the world that we want to see. I’m delighted that I can use my words to make a difference, not just in my own world, but in the world of those that I interact with daily.  I’m honored to have such power and to be able to use it wisely is my pleasure.

It’s no coincidence that Jackie’s life eventually led her to a career in publishing: she always had tremendous love for words. As a writer, I can relate, and I’m thankful for her contributions to the literary world. Above all, I’m thankful for her example. She was a woman that lived with integrity, used the power of words expertly, and left a legacy of excellence. On this day, let’s remember Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and the mark she left on the world with her words.

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Sophia Loren

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Beautiful. Earthy. Intelligent. Seductive. All of these descriptors paint a perfect picture of the many elements that make the incredible Sophia Loren. I first learned of Sophia Loren many years ago when I came across her movie Houseboat with Cary Grant. Her hourglass proportions and sultry Italian accent dominated the screen every time she was in a scene. I wanted to look like her and even sound like her when I grew up!

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Sophia didn’t have a fairy tale upbringing. Her parents never married and she dealt with the stigma of being born out of wedlock. She also was poor and got teased for being skinny. She was always a beauty but it’s hard to see your own beauty when there are so many naysayers ready to tell you otherwise.

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Sophia took Hollywood by storm. After all, her physical presence fit in well with the Marilyn Monroe/Elizabeth Taylor aesthetic. Unlike Monroe and Taylor, Sophia was tall and statuesque. At 5 foot 9 inches, Loren was actually equal in height, and occasionally taller than, her male counterparts. She owned her powerful presence and used it to her advantage.

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What is most enchanting about Sophia Loren is her perspective on beauty. Her down-to-earth wisdom is a refreshing take on what really matters. Her emphasis on inner beauty is probably why she is still radiant as an octogenarian. Her love for her family and self awareness shine through in every portrait. We may not all be as physically beautiful as La Loren, but we are certainly able to take on her positive attitude.

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So here’s to the incredible Sophia Loren! Enjoy, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

 

(photos courtesy of AZQuotes, MemesandQuotesInspiration, EliteColumn and DebraSmouse)

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Maya Angelou

Happy Sunday, my friends! This Words of Wisdom post is long overdue. Mother Maya Angelou, who I’ve mentioned in this post and in this one, has been a personal inspiration for a very long time. Her life – full of adventures, love and depth – is a story of living to the fullest. I can’t possibly put all of her accomplishments here, but a short list includes a career as a singer, poet, street car driver, activist, and journalist. You can read about her many “lives” here.

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There are literally hundreds of Maya Angelou quotes worth incorporating into your life (remember, she’s a writer: she had a lot to say!) But my favorites are any of the quotes that encourage you to live a good life.

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Maya didn’t have a perfect life: her mother had a difficult time with caring for small children, so she left Maya and her brother with their grandmother. Then, during a visit, Maya’s mother’s boyfriend ended up raping Maya (he later experienced some “street justice” for attacking her).

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Maya was so traumatized by the rape and the subsequent murder of her rapist that she was silent for several years, opting instead to retreat to a world of books. When she finally did decide to speak again, she “had a lot to say”, as she had read every book available in the colored library that she visited.

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She lived through segregation, the Civil Rights movement, rapid global changes, and she absolutely THRIVED through it all. She’s proof that difficulties need not keep us from living our best lives. When we continue to prioritize joy and make sure that we live boldly, we too can thrive even when the outside world is turbulent.

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And can we talk, for just a moment, about how much law of attraction (LOA) factors into her quotes? So many of the concepts that we hear in LOA circles show up in Maya’s words. Reading her quotes is like getting a hold of some kind of LOA textbook!

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I’ve plucked a few of my favorite quotes, but I can’t do justice to Maya within this post. If you find her interesting (and pretty much anyone would find her interesting if they knew just a little about her), I encourage you to read some of her poetry, watch videos of her on YouTube and check out her autobiographies. You won’t be disappointed!

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(photos courtesy of Goalcast, CreativeTalanoa, Fearless Motivation, Quotlr, Imfunny.net, and Quotesten)