Rev. Dr. Iyanla (pronounced E-Yan-La) Vanzant likes to call herself "just an ordinary person." She loves to shop at Wal-Mart. She is a Law and Order re-run junkie. She has never missed an episode of Top Chef and she is greatly grieved over Simon leaving American Idol. On Sundays she organizes her linen closet which includes ironing sheets and pillow cases. In her spare time she is a master scrapbook maker and an avid scrapbook supply shopper. She goes out in the snow to make sure the birds have food in their feeders and when her friends know she is cooking, they drop everything to rush over. And while she loves to do the things that ordinary people do, Iyanla has proven herself to be somewhat . . . . Extraordinary.
Motherless at age 3. Raped at age 9. A mother by age 16. The mother of 3 by age 21. Married and beaten from age 22 to 30. A college graduate at age 34. A law school graduate at age 38. A publishing force with 15 titles, including 5 New York Times Best-Sellers throughout her 40s.
Many ordinary people cannot tell tales of tragedy, struggle, strength, courage and triumph in the same way Iyanla Vanzant can. Much of what she has seen, heard and lived through would have devastated the ordinary person. Through her life's experiences Iyanla has uncovered her life's purpose, discovered the power that lies within soul, recovered her cultural and her spiritual self, to emerge shining, sharing her stories, her gifts, her discoveries and her love with the world.
"What I have learned from all of the difficulties in my own life is that human beings have very thick skin. I call that skin, spirit, our Highest Most Powerful self. Spirit is the key to everything we desire. It is our weather-proofing, our Teflon, our line of credit that assures if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day; there will be a miraculous payoff. "
In 1988 with seemingly little notice, Iyanla's path to working with man's law unfolded to become a divine appointment of working with and teaching with Spiritual Law. This shift gave birth to her work of service in the form of the Inner Visions Institute for Spiritual Development. In the form of classes, workshops, lectures and best-selling books Iyanla began to share her intimate knowledge, experience and sincere love for the beauty and power of Spiritual Law and Principles.
"My greatest desire is for people to know who they are from the inside out and to use that knowledge to create the life they desire and deserve. I believe my purpose in life is to facilitate the evolution of human consciousness, how we think, through the understanding of spiritual principles. As we learn to align our being and thinking with the principles of Spirit, we become a divine expression and experience of all that life is meant to be. ”
Most ordinary people do not have a Master's Degree in Spiritual Psychology (University of Santa Monica) 2 Honorary Degrees (City University of New York and Georgia State University), an Emmy, an NAACP Image Award, a Rosa Parks Award (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) or the keys and honorary citizenship to Five Cities. Your average and ordinary person has not been hailed as one of Halle Berry's five "Sheroes" (Glamour Magazine 2006); one of the country's most influential African Americans (Ebony Magazine 2004); among the country's most 100 Influential Women (Women's Day Magazine 2003); one of the "most dynamic speakers in the United States" (Emerge Magazine 2000).
Iyanla may like to call herself ordinary, however, if you have ever heard her speak at the Essence Music Festival; been her client on the NBC daytime drama, Starting Over, watched her on The Oprah Winfrey show or The View; or listened to her on The Tom Joyner Morning Show, The Michael Baisden Show or The Steve Harvey Morning show, you really do know better.
Iyanla is a Spiritual Technician. She is a Master Teacher. She is a woman of passion, clear vision and purpose, with a wicked sense of humor. Ordinary? Maybe. We think Dr. Maya Angelou's description is much more appropriate. Iyanla is, by many accounts, a Phenomenal Woman!
"I am happy to know there is a new book. I have been following you since, In The
Meantime. Thank you so much for sharing your lessons with all of us. I am truly
grateful to have you as a Teacher for me. Be Blessed and I wish you continued
success on your journey. Peace and love my sister. "
"Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!! Amen!! You are such and inspiration and I thank you from all of my heart. . .Be blessed. "
"OMGOODNESS!! Let me testify!!! I AM ETERNALLY GRATEFUL FOR THE LIFE LINE
PS . . . and if people look like they doubt you . . . .CLOSE YOUR EYES!!! YES!! MA'AM
PSS . . . When you have a vision stand for it stand in it EVEN if you have to stand by yourself. Powerful. . . and I still heal! Thank you. "
"An amazing woman! Thank you for being you!"
"Thanks so much for helping me get through those days when I thought I was about
to lose my mind. You have drawn me inward and brought me peace and knowledge
beyond measure. FANTASTIC! My greatest teacher! Wonderful book. . . run, don't walk to the bookstore
to get this book. I am unfolding to recognize what pathology I grew up with . Thank you
I've always wondered how "celebrities" feel when the public is near you . . . I just love your honesty. I will be reading Peace from Broken Pieces soon :-) Have a beautiful blessed day. Much Love!"