On Living Out Loud (with Iyanla Vanzant).

“…it is time for me to stop whispering & to start living out loud.” Iyanla Vanzant

Hi, I’m Amanda. I blog approximately once every three months and also ask permission about what to post on my social media. I have a problem.

Here’s the thing: it’s not a problem having to do with the blogging every three months; that’s just sheer can’t-get-it-togetherness. No, the problem is with that second part. About asking permission for what I post. Because asking permission for what I post is, well, how should I put it delicately …total crap. Iyanla Vanzant even says so (and if you’re not familiar with her I suggest you maybe befriend her work, whether you’re in recovery, thinking about recovery, or have nothing to be in recovery from but you just like reading my blogs- all relevant).

Now onto the story. Wednesday afternoon and evening and night (actually, to sum up: I got home at 11pm, which is way past my bedtime) I did this thing that I haven’t done in at least 86 years: makeup. Not on me; on someone else. And not normal face makeup; wound makeup. Lacerations and abrasions and rashes, oh my! This thing was part of a search and rescue team training. I have a friend on the team and so she asked for my help with the blood and guts stuff. I excitedly obliged …I’ve always loved makeup and playing with makeup and learning new things with makeup. For those of you who don’t know (which makes probably all of you unless my old ex-boyfriend or parents are reading this) I went to cosmetology school when I was somewhere in the 17-19 range, although it’s really hard to pinpoint the goings on of that period of time so who really knows for sure. By now it feels like another life anyway.

So I was all excited about this thing I’m going to do and usually when I’m excited about something I want to post it on social media. Or when I’m sad about something. Or angry, frustrated, irritated, overwhelmed, depressed, happy, thrilled, over the moon, severely disturbed and everything in between. Basically everything goes on social media in my world, if we’re not connected, you don’t know that but now that I told you, you DO know that.

I got to thinking and decided to use the Instagram Stories feature to tell my followers what I was doing for the day followed by asking them if they wanted to see pics. Because it’s no secret that lacerations and bloody messes wouldn’t normally be posted anywhere on my social media accounts, and I didn’t want to creep too many people out or scare them off. So following this, I get a bunch of responses from, ‘…Post it! Take credit for your talent! Show the world how amazing you are!’ (@angel_felix_fitness) to, ‘…Hell yeah girl! Show your talent in all different forms and environments!’ (@hmkfoodie), to, ‘…Yes! Let’s see this as of yet unrevealed talent!’ (iwillnotbemollified).

And so, to a resounding yes (!!), I posted pics and video of the wound makeup and got even more rad responses.

Then, and here’s the kicker, Thursday morning over coffee, Haylie and I were reading from one of our daily devotionals (I include Haylie because I read out loud to her, as if she’s a human & I have nurturing genes somewhere in my can-hardly-care-for-myself-right-now-body). This particular devotional is one of Iyanla Vanzant’s, as mentioned, called Until Today! (find it here).

Vanzant’s reading for that date, which was Thursday, May 11, included the gem you read above that I opened this post with:

“…it is time for me to stop whispering & to start living out loud.” Iyanla Vanzant

Vanzant’s May 11th reading also followed up with several other gems along the same lines and all with the same glaring message, the basis of which was stop playing it fucking small. Stop apologizing for yourself, stop hiding yourself, stop believing the lies you’ve learned that say you and all you are is not enough. Don’t believe me? K here’s more:

“Stop holding yourself back and playing yourself down.

Living out loud means having the courage to be exactly who you are without apology. Living out loud means acknowledging your shortcomings and celebrating your strengths. In order to live out loud, you must love yourself enough to tell yourself and everyone else the absolute truth about you. When you can do that, you can live out loud and be very proud about what the world will hear about you.”

I suddenly realized two things: 1) I want to live more and more and more out loud, and 2) how detrimental asking permission to post actually was. What a wound it would cause if I continued doing so, continued asking permission to post what I want, asking permission to be who I am, asking permission for what activity a passion of mine lies in, asking permission to share talents I’ve unburied on my social media. Asking permission for anything of this sort all runs the same course, reinforcing the internal lies that we aren’t good enough without the permission. That we must have it before we do said thing we’re thinking about doing or posting or being. And in this case specifically, if posting what I wanted to post and sharing who I am & what I’m doing with my day pushes someone away, they don’t belong in my corner. No, seriously. They don’t. Even if that share involves fake blood.

So whichever part of you it is you’re asking permission for right now, covering up right now, seeking approval for right now; uncover it. Unearth it. Un-dig it. Unbury it. Un-forget-about-it. Bring it to the surface and let the people you’re worried about fall where they may in response to the incredible human being that you are. Iyanla is right: it’s time.



Wanna share?

2 comments on “On Living Out Loud (with Iyanla Vanzant).”

  1. Fred Reply

    Thanks, Amanda! This has been welling up a bit, so much that ive been seeing something I call, “rise up and go forth.” Yes, it is time.

    • Amanda Gist Reply

      I’ve noticed it tends to well up and then drop off, well up and then drop off, over and over again. It seems there’s always something we could speak up louder about, something more we can claim about who we are and what we think. Xx

Speak up. I hear you.