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Exclusive interview: Iyanla 'Fix My Life' Vanzant

READY: Iyanla Vanzant, six-time New York Times bestseller will be in London tomorrow (image credit: Madame Noir)

FOR THE first time in six years Iyanla Vanzant will be heading to the UK, in association with In Celebration Of My Sisters, to deliver a dose of goodness to her UK fans.

Vanzant, 63, will be the main attraction at this year’s motivational event which takes place at The
Lighthouse in south London and the six-times New York Times best-selling author has warned those who already have their tickets to come ready to talk.

“I think this date was set last year,” Vanzant enthused. She added:

“He (promotor Tony Fairweather) caught us at a good time, I’m not filming, I can get there and I am looking forward to it.

“I always tease my UK audience because you know, ya’ll are a little dry. They sit there and they are so proper and I’m like, okay, ya’ll gotta laugh at a joke or something.

“The thing that is so exciting is that I am coming to speak, but I really want you guys to speak to me. I want to hear what’s going on over there. What do you need to know? What are the challenges that you are facing? Because the lifestyle of people of colour in the UK and the challenges may be a little different than the ones we have over here. So I really hope there is time also where we have an exchange.”

HIGH PROFILE: Iyanla Vanzant, left, with Oprah Winfrey

Vanzant’s time in the UK also doubles up as the Forgiveness tour, which is aptly the title of her latest literary offering. Explaining the motivation behind the book and giving an insight into what’s coming next, she said:

“Forgiveness is the number one ticket to personal freedom – I’ve learned that in my life, I’ve learned that every single day. Forgiveness is the ticket to personal freedom and it’s the thing that most people who have any type of upset, breakdown or trauma in their life, it’s the thing that they resist the most.

“I really wanted to offer people the opportunity to work through whatever they are going through so that they could get to a place of freedom. That really was the motivation.

“Now what I really understand is that another piece that people are missing is the power of their thoughts how thinking creates our life and how 76 per cent of what we think throughout the day is unconscious, we don’t even know we’re thinking it. Ninety per cent of what we think today is the same thing we thought about yesterday. That’s why our lives don’t move forward, because we are not mindful or conscious of what we think about. So I really want to offer people something that is required to support them into changing how we think. So that’s my next project.”

RADIANT: Iyanla Vanzant will hit the UK tomorrow, Saturday June 24 (image credit: American Program Bureau)

In a world where everyday chaos can derail an individual’s focus on their targets and ambitions, Vanzant – winner of an NAACP Image Award for her outstanding reality programme Iyanla Fix My Life – offers some advice.

“I’ve been saying this for about 10 years and that is ‘you have to have a daily spiritual practice, a daily centring practice, a daily grounding practice’,” she said steadfastly.

“Whatever you want to call it. If you don’t want to call it spiritual, then fine – how do you centre yourself every day? How do you stay in touch with yourself? How do you keep yourself calm?

“The other thing is character, I think that we’ve lost character – people just do any manner of craziness. We’ve got to get back to character, and that’s what your centring, grounding and spiritual practice can do, it helps build character. Principles build character. Character keeps you centred and grounded.

“When you’re centred and grounded, what’s going on in the world around you doesn’t become overwhelming.

“Then there is vision. Vision is a principle, but vision is also something that is critical to your life in the world.

“So I think that what I am seeing now – and I’ve got 17 books out there and I have been saying this for over 20 years – with this whole new generation of millennials and people of my age who are ready to retire, what people need now are tools and process and practices that they can actually do. Not looking at my show wishing you could come on, do your work. Not reading my books and thinking it’s nice, do your work. Not going to church on Sunday and then cussing on Monday, do your work.”

Catch Iyanla Vanzant at The Lighthouse, 254 Camberwell Road, London SE5 0DP this Saturday, June 24. For more information click here.

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