During the summer hiatus after my first season on Oprah, I recorded my first spoken word album. It was a collaboration between the recording company and my publisher to put the message of the book In the Meantime to music. The producers understood my vision and pulled together a team of artists who could deliver the sound that supported the essence of the book. Working on that project gave me something that I had not felt for a long time—joy! I flew all over the country and met musicians who were my all-time favorites. The maestro himself, Mr. George Duke, crafted the title track, which was sung by Howard Hewett. Donnie McClurkin came into the studio to record, then flew to London to record a track with the London Tabernacle Choir. Maxi Priest sang the opening track, which was a remix of a Bob Marley song. Yolanda Adams gave us permission to use one of my favorite songs, "Just A Prayer Away." Donald Lawrence served as the music director and produced a song with Kelly Price and Tulani Kinard. It was all so magical. It was divine.
At the same time, I had begun negotiations to make my role on Oprah's show more regular. Of the Change Your Life faculty, Dr. Phil and I were the only two invited back for the next season. I remember the day my attorney and I went to the office for a meeting with Oprah and her attorney. This time, rather than just going to the studio, I got to go upstairs to the office. It was magnificent, dogs and all. The conference room was warm and comfortable. Oprah was gracious and very down to earth. We talked about my plans and my vision for the future. Oprah asked me if I wanted to do my own show or if I wanted to wait. In the back of my mind, I heard the message that I had gotten on the first day I walked into the studio: She is going to do your show. Now it made sense.
I also heard: Just who the hell do you think you are to be sitting here? I tried to ignore that voice.
"I will wait," I answered. "I want to be ready." So we agreed that I would be a recurring guest every other Tuesday with Dr. Phil.
©Iyanla Vanzant 2010. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of SmileyBooks.