The Maya Angelou Mantra Movement (MAMM!)

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+Wendi Spisak and I were bantering back and forth on Google Plus about Maya Angelou when Wendi said something that sparked a movement. The movement so far may only be me and Wendi — hell, it may only be me — but I trust this movement has legs. This movement is gonna go places.

Wendi noted that she was “strangely comforted by just the mention of her name.” 

Simply hearing Maya Angelou’s name made her feel better.

Maya Angelou has plowed through and beyond much in her life — an at times brutal childhood, poverty, racism, sexism, baby mama-ism, and her own shy beginnings as a writer — to become a living monument. Think of her and you think of spunk and spirit and poetry and truth and blazing determination and raucous laughter. 

(And ever gentle insight — pithy yet embracing insight. Maya’s not going to swat you about the head to coerce you into transformation . . . she’ll slyly coax you into it.)

Imagine this: You’ve had a devastating setback in your career, in your health, in your personal affairs . . . and you simply whisper her name slowly and repeatedly, as you would a mantra:

Maya . . . 

. . . . Angelou

Maya . . .

. . . Angelou

Mayahhhh . . . 

Wouldn’t that put you in touch with the spirit of the woman who’s overcome more than we’ll ever encounter? (Hopefully.) And won’t that help ease your way through it?

If Maya Angelou doesn’t do the trick for you, utter the name of any giant whose unique spirit does do it for you. 

Nahhh, I take that back. Stick with her name. It flows. It soothes. It induces an indomitable tenacity. 

Mayahhhhhhh . . . . 

And it engenders a light heart. What more do you want?

For you Wendi 

Evan Griffith
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