Iyanla Vanzant on How to Be Happy
Organize your life. Order is the first law of heaven and you have to have order to survive on Earth. Figure out what has to be done each day, each week, each year and develop a system to achieve it.
Testify. It's important that we share our experiences with other people. Your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else. As you put your truth out there, you allow other people to experience life from a different perspective.
Find your purpose. Our deepest desires and our course in life will ultimately lead us to our purpose. Stay connected to your source and I promise you everything will line up.
Set boundaries. A mistake we make in our relationships very often is we draw a line, and then when somebody crosses it, rather than enact a consequence, we back up and draw another line. The key to more joy is enforcing your right to be respected.
Celebrate your successes. We live in a society that takes us from one thing to the next without a clear assessment of the lessons, pitfalls and challenges. When we take a moment to acknowledge our achievements, big and small, then we can look back at them and know what is possible.
“Be willing to share all of who you are. So many of us want a partner, but we’re not willing to show all of us. That’s why we have a weave, we’re wearing Spanx and everything is ‘fine.’ If you’re not willing to let your partner see your cellulite or know your biggest fears, then you aren’t really ready to share yourself…” –Iyanla Vanzant
In an age when table toppling and drink throwing have almost become a standard on television, life coach and television phenom Iyanla Vanzant entertains through empowerment and enlightens with love on her hit series, Iyanla: Fix My Life, on OWN (season 2 premieres April 13). The Brooklyn-born former single mother of three on welfare, who once had dreams of becoming a nurse, has now become a spiritual adviser, counselor and healer to women and men around the world with her soothing balm of life lessons and no-nonsense knowledge. Here, she shares with ESSENCE readers her ten secrets to finding real and lasting happiness—and tells us why she will always have a reason to smile.
Iyanla Vanzant Answers Your QuestionsFebruary cover star. Inside the issue, she shares ten ways readers can fix their own situations and get to happy.
Now Vanzant is doing one better for her legions of online fans — she took time from her schedule to answer questions submitted on Facebook by five lucky ESSENCE readers. Check out Vanzant's responses below.
READER LESLIE J. GRIFFIN ASKS: I would like to know what it has meant for so many people to place their confidence in you with their most private issues, and where do you go when you need strength?
IYANLA VANZANT: It is an honor and a privilege to be of service and support; however, I realize people are not putting their confidence in me. Instead, they are actually learning to trust themselves. My job is to affirm and support them in the process and teach them to do what I do when I need strength: I begin within.
READER SAMARIA WILLIAMS ASKS: How did you overcome the numb feeling you describe in your life-changing, phenomenal new book Peace From Broken Pieces?
VANZANT: I gave myself permission to feel and experience all of my emotions. In order to do that I had to stop being afraid to feel. In order to do that I taught myself to believe that no matter what I felt or what happened when I felt it, I would be okay.
READER HATTIE WRIGHT HALL ASKS: What is your weakness in life? We all have them.
VANZANT: I really don't have any weaknesses. I do have areas of my life that I am working on to grow, heal and evolve. Giving myself permission to rest is an area I am working on. Not rescuing my children and grandchildren is another area. Watching less television is a heated challenge right now because Top Chef, Project Runway and American Idol are all on.
READER CARMEN RENEE MCKINNEY ASKS: When are you making another CD? My son knew your name and face by that. I wore that CD out in the 90's riding everywhere. :-)
VANZANT: I don't have any plans for one right now.
READER KARENA CLAY ASKS: I'm a single mom, I'm independent, I don't need a man for anything. I want to need a man but my needs for a man are simply to fix my house and take me out every now and then. Men seem to be another responsibility instead of a help. I meet the most awesome men ever but then I get bored, I think. Is there hope for me to ever be married?
VANZANT: In my mind, marriage is a spiritual partnership and union in which we willingly give and receive love, create and share intimacy, and open ourselves to be available and accessible to another human being in order to heal, learn and grow. From what you share about being independent and wanting a partner to meet your needs, it is not clear to me that you are willing to give. If that is the case, marriage may not be the most viable relationship option for you.