While Iyanla Vanzant is doing a lot of what she'd call "her work" (read: exposing people's problems to the world and yelling at them while calling them "beloved") on her show Fix My Life, actress Jada Pinkett Smith has been quietly dropping near-daily life lessons and self-improvement concepts for the masses in a context that requires a lot less production: Facebook statuses.
Often grounded in personal experience or revelations, the paragraph-length insights are loosely New Agey, subtly spiritual and, at times, blunt as hell (you kind of imagine her delivering Gchat tough love to a floundering friend). And based on likes and shares (her page, last we checked, had 3,505,629 fans, and her last status got more than 6,000 shares within hours), people seem to be eating it up. Here's a taste of what has them coming back:
When my father died we were on terrible terms. In the wake of Trayvon's case and this close call today…nothing is promised or permanent. LIVE…and love the people you love HARD while they are here. Forgive them for their transgressions and imperfections, make amends and ADORE those who sit in your heart. Live like tomorrow is not promised because…it's not.
…Be respected. Trust yourself to be your own confidant. Tell yourself yes more often than no. Don't take this world personally. Know that every person you come across has something powerful to teach you, especially enemies. Never fail to deliver on your word. Never make yourself smaller for ANYONE. This world is yours in any way that suits you…
Has anyone ever told you that without you this world would be less? That without you there would be a hole, a void that could never be filled? Has anyone ever told you that you are irreplaceable and that there is no replica? That without you this world would lack your preciousness that only YOU hold? Has anyone ever made it crystal clear to you that YOU MATTER?
If no one has never told you…I just did…
I have been setting new boundaries and CLEANING HOUSE. I have often made the mistake of giving too much of myself, of my space, and of the things around me. So much so…I had created a circle of entitlement that had me STUCK. I'm in the process of creating psychic change, taking more responsibility for what I CREATE, and removing those from my space who have no desire to change with me.
Don't take your health for granted. Don't take your body for granted. Do something today that communicates to your body that you desire to care for it.
Tomorrow is not promised.
The need to want to be impressive to others is a substitute for authentic relating and deep connection. As long as we are seemingly impressive to others we can continue to fool ourselves with the notion that those who are "seemingly impressed" actually love and care for us. I suppose it is like "fast food love". But…we know what fast food does to the body. Imagine what "fast food love" does to the heart and soul.
A letter to a friend.
Last night, I told you that you should stop focusing and dwelling on the past because it feeds the wrong dragon. When I went to bed I realized that there was nothing WRONG with dwelling on the past and that it is how you choose to relate to your experience. I am scared for you and desire for you to find a way to relate to your circumstances differently, but it's not for me to dictate your relationship to your experiences. We relate very differently to our experiences, and I must respect how you choose to relate to yours.
Seems to us that this is all as solid as any other inspiration that's been consumed by (and has arguably benefited) the masses, from Joel Osteen's sermons to Rev. Run's tweets to some of those oft-recycled Maya Angelou quotes. And it's certainly more accessible than the services of a life coach and easier than getting yourself booked on a reality show.
We can't see the self-help tidbits being housed in status updates forever, though. So bottom line: If Pinkett Smith's advice does anything for you, get it while it's free.