Saturday, May 8, 2021

Iyanla Vanzant Says Religion Can Hinder Living Your Best, Authentic Life

iyanla vanzant - screenshot

*Iyanla Vanzant chopped it up with MadameNoire about the last season of “Iyanla Fix My Life” and what she will do next. 

Vanzant announced in October that season 7 of her long-running series “Fix My Life” will be the last.

“This is my last season. This is my legacy season, I’m out. We out. 2020,” she announced during a virtual press conference at the time.

During an interview with Danielle Young, Vanzant further explained her decision to quit her popular life coaching series, and the reason may surprise you. 

“I’m a teacher. That’s what I am. I’m an educator. I just happen to be a spiritual technician. I teach about spiritual technology and that’s what I’ve always done. That’s what I want to do. But I want to do it in a more intimate way. I want to do it where people come to me because they want to learn not because they don’t have a date on Saturday. And I want to do it where people aren’t scrutinizing my hair and my nails,” she explained, per theJasmineBrand.com.

When Vanzant dished with MadameNoire, she opened up about the next chapter in her life and how religion can hinder living an authentic life. You can listen to the interview here and read excerpts below. 

READ MORE: Iyanla Vanzant Says ‘Nasty and Unkind People‘ are the Reasons for ‘Fix My Life’ Exit [VIDEO]

You said months ago that people can be very mean and unkind. And you don’t need that energy in your life anymore and that’s one of the reasons you’re leaving “Fix My Life.”

I wonder how you will reflect on this experience, will you be grateful and happy that you did it. Or will you think ‘Them people wore me out. And it’s time for a break.’

Iyanla Vanzant: No. It didn’t have anything to do with the guests. Never the guests. It’s the trolls on social media, the judges and the critics. And the nasty things they would say, not only about me but about the guests. It took me a couple of seasons to teach people in my thread that you can’t come in here and talk about someone who’s courageous enough to stand in i of the world with their problem. “Fix My Life” was always meant to be participatory, so that the viewer would see themselves or someone that they know and find information that they can share.

But you’re talking about the people’s hair and their clothes. That’s not kind and loving. It didn’t have anything to do with the guests at all.

I’m leaving because God told me to leave. It’s complete, it’s done. The purpose that I came to serve, the intention that I had. “Fix My Life” has created a whole new genre of television. And I did it with love. I did it with love, honor and dignity, with all my clothes on and very few cuss words, other than gutter snipe.

Can you talk a little bit about when you got the message from God that you had done the work you were supposed to do with the show?

Iyanla: You know I have a very, very consistent and deep prayer practice. You can’t be in service to God’s people and not be in devotion to God. So I always pray and ask for guidance. It was well over a year ago, way before the corona. And I really heard, ‘It’s complete. It’s done.’ I’ve learned to be obedient. When I get an internal message like that, I’m not saying, ‘Where am I going to work? How am I going to pay my bills?’ What’s my job?’

I don’t know. It’s done. If I don’t have that level of spiritual support, divine support, it’s me. It’s my ego and that will never work.

Do you believe religion can keep people from living healed and whole lives?

Iyanla: How you gon’ ask a minister…I would say absolutely! Absolutely. Because it’s someone else’s experience of God. The real religion is in your heart. Religion is man-made. Spirituality is God-given. Your real religion is the condition of your heart. And so, we’ve been force fed a theology that diminishes and demeans who we are as people of color and who we are as women. As Dr. Na’im Akbar says, ‘Your religion might stay the same but your theology must evolve.’

I’m not talking about changing the text of the sacred book, I’m talking about applying it to the way we live.

Do you know the things that religion has been used to oppress people.

So, yes I do believe religion can hold people back. And I’m an ordained minister, I love God and I’m a student of the Bible, The Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, The Course of Miracles, The Way of Mastery, and everything else sacred.

People get so afraid of going to hell that they don’t live authentically on earth.

What does your next phase look like? You really don’t know?

Iyanla: Why would I leave something and planning to do something else. Let me enjoy the leaving. I may be leaving for the next five months. I don’t have to do that anymore. I’m not trying to build a career. I don’t have children to take care of. If I want to go buy a tiny house and catch my dinner in the lake, I can do that too. I don’t know and I don’t need to know. I know it’s going to be just like my dogs. One’s name is Peace and the other’s name is Freedom. That’s where I’m headed.

Hear more from Iyanla here.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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