I first came across Iyanla Vanzant when I happened to pick up a book of hers in 2006 – Yesterday, I Cried: Celebrating the Lessons of Living and Loving. I’ve been reading her off and on via her website and watching her on Oprah’s Lifeclass.
Iyanla’s no-nonsense style and ‘telling it like it is’ way of speaking truly resonates with me. I love her wit and her turn of phrase.
When I saw this quote of hers recently, I felt drawn to share it and add my own thoughts to it.
You are a guest in this house. Life has invited you in for a while. You don’t know how long you are going to be here, so while you are here you must be on your best behaviour.
Oh yes, I realize that. As I get older, I start to wonder how many years more I have and how meaningful I’m going to make those years. It seems like the days are just not long enough to do what I want to do – there’s so much to learn, to realize, to become.
However, I don’t want to be going through life acting as if there’s no tomorrow either. I’m trying to pace myself – to prioritize – to make choices that will make my life and the life of those I am connected with more meaningful. And that’s not always simple, is it?
Finding balance is what it’s all about. I refuse to be afraid of the future but look forward to it with eager anticipation. José says he has never seen any woman who keeps talking excitedly about being 50 when she’s only a few months past 48! No, I’m not expecting a fancy party – just that hitting the half-way mark (yes, I have great genes! 😉 ) seems so exciting! Midlife is highly recommended – I can’t understand what the fuss about getting old is all about.
I was alsohttp://midlifeboulevard.com/best-advice-ever-received/quite taken up with Iyanla’s phrase ‘best behaviour‘. You know, for years I thought ‘best behaviour’ had to do with fitting in – making sure that I didn’t ruffle people’s feathers that I did what I could to please people. I’ve realized it’s more to do with choosing behaviour that best reflects my true self. Only recently, a friend called me out on something petty I did – she told me that she didn’t think that something I shared on Facebook reflected the person she knew I was. At first, I told her, that was just what I felt. But I knew she was right. I deleted the update and felt better for it.
It’s not always easy to make the best choices in behaviour, but the important thing is for me to be constantly aware of whether my behaviour and actions reflect my best self.
The rest of what Iyanla says makes perfect sense too.
If you make a mess, clean up after yourself. I do find it hard to admit I’ve made mistakes or bad choices – but I’m growing up, I am and taking responsibility for my choices and happiness is something I’m constantly working on.
Don’t wait to be told what to do. Do it with joy and love, and please do it well. I take this to mean that I should always look within myself to find what I am meant to do in this world and to do it with passion. At present, I know one of the things I’m called to do is write and blog and I’m attempting to do it with joy and love, and put passion into it.
Have you read or watched Iyanla? What do you make of her wisdom?