21 April 2009

The Wisdom of Phylicia Rashad.

Her magenta blouse flowed evenly and free as she walked on stage in radiance. When she reached the center of the stage she broke into dance (her introduction music was Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"). We, the audience, stood roaring with applause. She sat down on the sofa with a smile and when the music faded away she spoke in the sing song rhythm that was in the living rooms of so many of us for so many Thursday nights.

Not unlike the others, this Smart Talk event made me feel like I was not an audience member but a best girlfriend with whom Phylicia Rashad was catching up with. Or perhaps more appropriate to my generation, a best girlfriend's adult daughter with whom she was sharing life's lessons. And share some lessons with me she did.

Phylicia Rashad's life journey is magnificent. She talked about how her life, from the first spotlight she ever graced in her Houston, Texas childhood to the beauty and love in child rearing. A radiant and calming presence, she spoke from her heart with such purpose and grace. Her wisdom ever apparent as she shared stories of her life, always highlighting the moments of love, determination and strength through success and triumph.

Through everything, the sun "followed [her] wherever [she] went because [she] was special". It was this determination that nurtured her talents and gave her such a notable career and a privileged life. And also frequent phone calls to her mother for advice. Her humility was remarkable.

Encouraged by Phylicia Rashad's stories, I walked out of the theater ready to dust off old dreams and pursue them at all costs. I am confident I will carry Phylicia Rashad's words with me for sometime as I live day to day, making decisions and navigating through situations. There is opportunity for love in everything and I know the sun will be wherever I go.

She is truly an inspiration and I am so very happy I heard her speak.


Next month SmartTalk brings Diane Keaton to Minneapolis. She will be speaking at Orchestra Hall on May 21st at 7:30pm. Tickets are still available, you purchase them online here. You too could be inspired.


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