Iyanla Vanzant recently offered a thoughtful presentation to an eager Detroit audience. I took notes and offer them here for those who may find value in the lessons.
- Don't get caught up in judging people when they go through things, but rather look for the lessons that their mistakes, decisions, etc. reveal. Though clearly an important lesson that can be applied in many situations, Ms. Vanzant offered this specifically in reference to a person who she interviewed for an upcoming show. (I don't remember his name).
- Don't underestimate the impact of "how" you were raised impacts your consciousness, how you view yourself, what you consider as possibilities/choices in life and more.
- Appreciate and sit fully within your power as you are (and are becoming). Throughout her talk, Ms. Vanzant made reference to an assumption/understanding that each person is unique, possessing her/his own 'pattern,' so to speak. For many reasons, people often grow up wishing that they had someone else's life, that they walk in someone else's shoes, that they looked like this person or that, and so on. This approach to life and thinking is harmful and she advises that instead of trying to put on another person's life, appreciate the power of what you have and who you are.
- For each thought and practice that harms you, counter it with one that helps you. Though Ms. Vanzant didn't quite phrase the lesson in this way, she offered a litany of things people should stop doing and suggested what they should do. For example, stop pointing out what is wrong with life, your body, etc., and affirm what is good about those things. Instead of whining about how fat or unhappy you are, state the things that you are grateful for.
- There are a variety of people who will show up in your life to help you walk and work through the parts of you that are broken. The reality is, however, that they are often working through their stuff as well. Be aware, mindful and honest with yourself and with these folks about what you want and need - your hopes, fears, needs, wants and more - and be open to what they want and need. Be real about what you and they are able to bring to one another, with love and without attachments.
There were a few other golden nuggets she shared. The bottom line and how she ended is that self-healing takes work. There are times when you want to give up, when it gets hard, when you see yourself at the ugliest moments - but these are precisely the times to dig deep within yourself to keep going; to find within yourself what you see outside of yourself.
Whew...take a breath. And let's move.