To be surrounded by phenomenal women at any point in one’s life is an amazing experience. To be surrounded by them all your life – that is the stuff of dreams. I have experienced the stuff of dreams: a life (so far) surrounded by phenomenal women, of strong will and character, with heart and passion in generous dollops. These have been my mentors, friends, colleagues and very luckily so, my family. All I know about life, I have been schooled by them, and they continue to do so even now.

I celebrate them, always. I celebrate these women who have mammoth feats of strength and the kindest of hearts. Women who, through living their lives, inspire positive change in the lives of those around them. Their tales are never shared enough, and yet there is so many of them. Here’s to phenomenal women, world over!

Phenomenal Woman – A poem by Maya Angelou

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.

Listen to Maya Angelou’s recital of this poem. Beautiful.


Image from, text of Maya Angelou’s Phenomenal Woman extracted from, audio recital from Oprah Winfrey Network’s Super Soul Sundays