THE BLOG
10/16/2014 12:27 pm ET Updated Dec 16, 2014

12 of My Favorite Lessons From Maya Angelou

York College ISLGP/Flickr

When I heard that Maya Angelou had died, it was like I had lost a friend. Her poems spoke to my soul like lovely background music to life. It was like the voice of truth providing the confidence of being. Now, she has gone to where she can help millions of her "daughters" be our best selves and to teach billions more people to reach their true potential.

There are so many valuable lessons from Maya Angelou. Here are 12 of my favorites:

  1. Courage is the most important attribute and value. Because with courage, you can do everything else.
  2. Love is not controlling but freeing... it enables freedom for us to be ourselves. Love and let go. Let us be our best selves.
  3. Create a sacred place within yourself and build it every day. So that one day you can say 'not in my house' and kick out the poison that others may bring into it.
  4. You can rise above the tragedy and injustices of life to allow your gift to emerge.
  5. Words are things. Be considered in using words and yet be free to be authentic. Live the truth you tell. We are all teachers. Freed by our expression of our wisdom and yet bound by our need to walk our talk. Be our words and choose them well.
  6. You are a child of God or "all". The "all" that made everything in this universe, made you. And loves you. Loves you without condition and for all that you are and can be.
  7. When you see greatness in others, encourage it and even challenge and direct it to come out to be its best possibility. Get involved and step up.
  8. No one is perfect. We all have a story and sometimes it is not pretty. Yet, we are all beautiful and can create beauty and value in our lives no matter what has happened or who we are or at what age. Live every decade.
  9. Be grateful and thank every moment. In every joy, thank you. In every sadness, thank you. We have so much to be grateful for and need to focus our hearts and minds on the positive and look for that positive.
  10. Moderation in everything, even moderation.
  11. Love is everything. Lessons to tell my younger self. Forgive. It is hard. Yet, forgive and move on. Do not carry that negative binding emotion throughout life.
  12. Surround yourself with all that you love and energizes you to be your best self. We are all artists, engineers, lovers, workers, caregivers and teachers.

Thanks to OWN Super Soul Sunday and several documentaries, Maya Angelou's words of wisdom are still available for us to view.

A few days after she passed, I had a dream of a woman, with silver hair, dancing with extreme joy in a white cotton dress. Maybe it was Maya talking to all of us. I can imagine it is her, dancing with the angels and saying to us that we are all connected.