By Darlene Donloe
Iyanla Vanzant is looking fabulous in her chic, red, form-fitting dress, gold jewelry and creamy pumps.
She laughs easily and exudes a vast amount of self-confidence.
She’s in a good mood – and why not? She’s ready to talk about the all new season of OWN’s award-winning self-help series Iyanla: Fix My Life.
Iyanla Vanzant works with Pastor Mitchell on Iyanla: Fix My Life
(Photo courtesy of OWN)
This season is set to be shocking, controversial and emotionally charged. It begins with a three-part, multi-week episode focusing on the coming out stories of two gay pastors. With her help the men take bold steps towards confessing their truth after years of keeping their sexuality a secret from those closest to them.
That is just one story. The rest of the reason is just as intense. The new season features a model who sacrificed everything for beauty by injecting herself excessively with dangerous industrial-grade silicone butt injections. It also highlights Vanzant’s work with former Olympian Debi Thomas.
The eight new one-hour episodes of Fix My Life continue to showcase Vanzant and her patented brand of self-help. Her qualifications to hand out advice include being a mother, survivor, spiritual life coach, empowerment orator, minister, two-time NAACP Image® Award-winner and five-time New York Times best-selling author.
I recently caught up with Vanzant to ask her about her show and her life.
The Brooklyn native starts off the conversation by saying, “I am gorgeous and I want to be gorgeous in my spirit and mind.”
Q: What do you know for sure?
IV: That who I am, just as I am, is OK because this is what God created. I don’t need to know anything else.
Q: You’re looking good. How do you stay healthy?
IV: The Holy Spirit does it. I just show up and look pretty.
Q: How do you avoid taking on the energy of some of the people you counsel?
IV: I don’t have a personal stake in their outcome. I can’t be invested in anyone else’s healing. I can’t fix your life. I provide you with the info. This is what it is, boo. I’m invested in serving God.
Q: In the premiere you deal with two gay pastors.
IV: I deal with them because they were living a lie not because they were gay. You have to stand in the truth of your being publically. They just happened to be gay.
Q: Is what you do considered a spiritual calling?
IV: Yes. I spent $54,000 to go to law school. I was practicing criminal law in Philly. All of my clients were in jail. I was a defense attorney. The Holy Spirit said leave. I did. I didn’t know what I was going to do. Prayer and supplication. I didn’t start off doing this.
Q: How did you come out OK from an abusive relationship? How did you find confidence and realize you were beautiful?
IV: I was never ugly. I was a little confused. There is a process you have to go through. Most of us who are broken don’t know we’re broken. Your life will never shift until you get OK with the fact that you’re crazy as hell. As long as you try to act like you’re not crazy or broken, your life will never work. You’ll keep seeking validation somewhere else.
Q: How rewarding is it for you when lives are changed as a result of your counsel?
IV: It’s not about me. I’m not attached to it that way. I know what forgiveness did for me. I know how forgiveness works.
Q: In this world it seems as though there are tons of people doing wrong, but being rewarded for it.
IV: We live in a society where the lowest common denominator gets the most attention.
Q: What kind of advice would you give someone regarding getting over something really painful?
IV: When it hurts bad enough, you’ll stop. Breathe, pray and forgive. It won’t hurt you.
Iyanla: Fix My Life premieres Saturday, Sept. 19, 9 p.m. ET/PT on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
It is produced by Harpo Studios with executive producers Jill Van Lokeren, Jon Sinclair and Iyanla Vanzant.