Let’s Review: Gems from Iyanla Vanzant

Last Fall when Oprah’s OWN Network began the series called Oprah’s Lifeclass I tweeted lessons I learned and documented these words of wisdom in a journal.  This past weekend I cracked open that journal and revisited the messages that were shared by several of the guest educators.  The following are twenty of several poignant comments made by the dynamic Iyanla Vanzant.

  1. The best students get the hardest tests.
  2. Release the physicality!  When you lose someone you love they will always be with you.
  3. Two “pretend people” can never have a real relationship with each other.
  4. Whenever you are able to give someone the gift of saying they have been seen, heard and matter you’ll see joy rising up.
  5. An inch is a cinch.  A yard is hard.  Never give up!
  6. Practice, practice, practice. Awareness without action leads you nowhere.  Keep peeling the layers of the onion.
  7. When you don’t show up with who you are, people fall in love with who you are not.  Then when they find out who you are, that’s when they leave.
  8. You will never heal if you keep telling lies about what is really hurting you.
  9. “I am willing to be with myself” and “I am enough” are statements we need to tell ourselves.
  10. Stay in your car, in your lane, on your road, in your world.  Mind your own spiritual business.  Don’t let others mind it for you.
  11. Joy is pregnant all the time.
  12. You can accept or reject the way you are treated by other people.  Until you heal the wounds of your past you will continue to bleed.
  13. Guilt is something wrong with what I’ve done.  Shame is something wrong with who I am.
  14. Stop wanting to be right about how wrong they were.
  15. One of the most damaging things humans do is try to think for God.
  16. It’s not about catching up.  It’s about catching on.
  17. Death is to remind us of life.  Death helps us see, feel and know that nothing is promised.  Live each moment to the fullest.
  18. EGO = Edge God Out.  This is what ego is: (1) I am what I have. (2) I am what I do. (3) I am what other people think of me.  The 3 major components of the ego: (1) I am separate from you. (2) I am separate from what’s missing in my life. (3) I am separate from God.
  19. When you don’t trust in yourself you’re not trusting in the wisdom that created you.  That’s an insult to your creator.
  20. For every act of evil, there are a million acts of kindness.

BONUS (my favorite Iyanla-ism): When you see crazy coming, cross the street!

Strolling Through the Halls of Rydel High

I like music; all kinds of music.  That is why I am drawn to musicals.  Sure I agree it is bizarre to be walking down an alley having a normal conversation with your friends then all of a sudden break out into song and dance, but it’s the nature of the beast and I love it.  Well, I love it to an extent.  For the life of me I still do not understand what Shonda Rhimes was thinking when she made that musical episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but I digress.

The summer of 1978 I turned 8 years old.  It was the summer that the movie Grease was released.  I saw it 13 times before I headed back to school that September.  I was fixated on Olivia Newton-John.  I thought she was so cool speaking with her Australian accent, but when she sang there was no hint of it at all.  At the time there was no questioning why adult actors were playing the roles of teenagers.  This was years before there was cable TV, the Disney Channel and the thought of High School Musical.  Therefore, teenage actors were not a dime a dozen.

Grease Album Front Cover

This is my soundtrack album.  It’s one of the few pieces of vinyl I still own and could never give away.  If this album could speak words other than the lyrics and melodies etched within the record, it would reveal my childhood in more ways than one.  It amazes me that 34 years have passed since it’s debut.  Still to this day if I catch it playing on cable I will watch it and feel like a young school girl again singing the inappropriate words to Greased Lightning.  I do not recall how old I was when I finally realized what they were saying, but I know there was no way in the world I knowingly repeated the lyrics to that song at 8 years old and got away with it in my household.  Here’s to youth and being naive!

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