Iyanla Vanzant is an empowerment specialist, Spiritual Life Counselor, and ordained minister. She is the founder and president of the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development in Silver Spring, Maryland and regularly conducts personal growth classes and workshops for men and women. She has built the foundation for transformation after a less-than-inspiring background.
Born in Brooklyn in the back of a taxi, Vanzant was given to her grandmother at age 2 after her mother died. A troubled childhood was followed by teen pregnancy, abusive marriages, and welfare. Yet Vanzant went on to become a practicing attorney, serving nearly four years as a public defender in Philadelphia. She earned a B.S. degree from Medgar Evers College and a J.D. degree from Queens College Law School.
While working with a group of women on public assistance and creating lectures about changing their lives, Vanzant wrote a book called, Tapping the Power Within, which contained basic spiritual principals, self-affirmations, and personal rituals. It became a bestseller and started a new career for her. The award-winning author of several other books, including In the Meantime, she assists in the empowerment of people everywhere. She married her lifelong love, her husband Adeyemi Bandele, after spending many years in the meantime.
Iyanla Vanzant makes regular appearances on radio and national television and has given numerous lectures at such events as African American Women on Tour, the Essence Music Festival, Howard University, and the Apollo Theater. She was the host of her own daytime talk show called Iyanla!.
• Anger is a little thing. Hate is a little thing. Order is a little thing. Each of these little things has a major impact on the big picture. Right thinking, right action, and right response to the little things will help us conquer the big things, like injustice, inequality, poverty, and disorder. Until we are each able to conquer and master the little things in our lives, the big things will remain undone.
• Challenges come so we can grow and be prepared for things we are not equipped to handle now. When we face our challenges with faith, prepared to learn, willing to make changes, and if necessary, to let go, we are demanding our power be turned on.
• Learning, understanding, or practicing spiritual disciplines will not immunize you against any of the lessons you must “grow through” in your life.
• Remember that you can trust life to give you the courage that is required to do anything or face anything. Giving up is not an option!
• The process of living encourages you to leap and to fly, to run and to soar, to meander and to piddle, to embrace and to release. What you tell yourself about your ability to do one or all of these things at any given time determines how hard life will be for you.
• Worry is the vampire that drains life of its force. Worry stagnates the mind, creates an imbalance in the immune system; weakens the throat, your power, and authority center; impairs the ability to see beyond the thing being worried about. We worry about things we cannot control. We worry about the past and future. We worry about those things we cannot do or have not done and how they will affect what we are doing right now. We worry about what we do not have, cannot get and things we have lost. Worry creates confusion, disorder, and helplessness. Then we worry because we cannot figure things out. We must eliminate the tendency to worry without worrying if it will work out. Take the situation creating the worry, briefly and concisely write it down. Place the paper on which you have written in a window, facing the sun. Make a commitment to yourself to let it go and move on. Everyone knows that when sunlight hits a vampire, it shrivels up and then it is gone.
The best place to get started is with Vanzant’s book, In the Meantime. But what exactly is the “meantime”? According to Vanzant, being “in the meantime” means being in a state of limbo. She explains, “When you are not happy where you are and you are not quite sure if you want to leave or how to leave, you are in the meantime.”
In her book, Vanzant uses the metaphor of getting your house in order for getting your life in order. The chapters, including “Spring Cleaning,” “Doing the Laundry,” “Cleaning Out the Refrigerator,” and “Let’s Do a Little Dusting,” are all designed to provide solid advice and inspiration, and they succeed. Vanzant helps you clean out your most destructive thoughts, clarify your vision, and define your purpose.
How can you tell if you are “in the meantime”? Vanzant says you are “in the meantime” if:
• You know what is wrong with all your ex-lovers, but you are blind to your own weaknesses.
• You are crying for no apparent reason, and you do not want anyone to know you are crying.
• You have been fired or laid off.
• You are separated or recently divorced.
• You were recently robbed or ripped off, sentenced to prison, or recently released from prison.
• You have had six dates with five different people in the last nine months.
• You haven’t had any dates in the last nine months.
• You are married and share toothpaste with another person, and you are still looking for a date.
• You are not married but have been sharing toothpaste and closet space and still aren’t sure this is what you want to be doing.
• You are not married, do not share toothpaste, and have given up on dating.
• Your mother keeps asking when are you going to have children.
• Your mother keeps asking when was the last time you saw your children.
• You have forgotten how children come into being.
If you fit into any of the descriptions above, then this book is for you. Iyanla Vanzant created a great life for herself and wants to help create a great life for you.
ADDRESS: Inner Visions Worldwide Network, Inc.
Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development
926 Philadelphia Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20910
PHONE: (301) 608-8750