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Living a wholistic life means taking care of all aspects of your being so that means your mind, your body, your heart or your emotional self or your spirit. We live on four different planes of existence. I guess people would call it body and soul. I call it mind, body and spirit. At the mental level, what impedes us from living a wholistic life is replaying dramatic experiences over and over in our mind. Memory is a great thing but when the memory gets stuck in a traumatic experience or difficult memory or challenging memory, we’re constantly feedling that into the body. So we live in the past, although we’re in the present.

Emotionally, what impedes us from living a wholistic life is not being able to express our emotions. Well, I shouldn’t say emotions because there are only two emotions – love and fear – but how we’re feeling at any given time. So not being able to express anger or shame or fear or guilt or resentment or bitterness. That these feelings come up and we don’t know how to express them or process them out so we get stuck at these emotional levels. Spiritually what happens to us is really not having a connection to our source, not having a daily spiritual practice, where we still the mind, where we connect with the heart where we remember the truth of who we are. Physically its how we eat, we eat on the run, we eat fast foods, we eat dead foods – anytime we cook a food, it’s dead. And so we’re constantly feeding our body dead foods. And the mind becomes sluggish and the body becomes sluggish and negative experiences take over.

The truth of the matter is, you only have one relationship and that’s the relationship you’re having with yourself. Every other relationship that comes into your life – your parents, your siblings, your lovers, your friends – these relationships are representing to you the thoughts and the feelings that you are holding within yourself about yourself, within yourself, about life, within yourself about your Creator or God. That’s all these people do is demonstrate to you your secret thoughts, your secret feelings. So what we have to do, what we’re called to do, is to really get clear and get balance in how we think, how we speak, how we feel and what we do to ourselves, with ourselves and for ourselves. When you do that, every other relationship cleans up.

There are four pillars to every relationship. Number one – tell the truth. We are in relationships where we’re not asking for what we really want, we’re not saying what we really feel, and speaking what we really know. Tell the truth, that’s number one. Number two – trust, that no matter what happens, no matter how it happens, no matter who’s on the other end of it, trust that you will be OK. One of the reasons that our relationships fall apart is that we are looking for the other person to give us something, to do something, or to be a certain way.

Iyanla: How You Can Do Better  was originally published on

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