Super Soul Sunday
Sundays at 11 a.m. ET/PT
Posted: Sun 09/09/2012 03:00 PM
In 1953, Iyanla Vanzant was born in a taxicab parked under a Brooklyn elevated train. "Things have always moved very rapidly in my life," she says. "Very rarely has my life been still or quiet."
Her mother, an alcoholic, died when she was two years old. Iyanla was sent to live with her grandmother, whom she says abused her. "My grandmother beat me with an ironing cord until all the skin came off my back," she says. Her father and stepmother removed her from her grandmother's home when she was five years old. Still, her childhood was filled with fear. She was raped at age 9, gave birth at age 13 and was a mother of three by the time she was 21.
One day, while riding the bus, she saw an ad for a local college and enrolled. She graduated and went on to law school, spending three years as a public defender in Philadelphia before finding a higher calling.
Today, Iyanla is known as an author, relationship expert and spritual teacher, but Iyanla says it took her many years to find inner peace. Watch parts of her soul-to-soul conversation with Oprah and learn more about how Iyanla Vanzant overcame her past to become who she is today.
Iyanla Vanzant wasn't always her name. In fact, she was born Rhonda Harris. Watch as she explains who Rhonda was and why she renamed—and reinvented—herself:
The daughter of a woman who had two children with a married man, Iyanla says she bore a burden of guilt since she was in the womb. Watch as Iyanla opens up about how she carried that guilt throughout her life—and how she broke the cycle:
Today, Iyanla says she can "smell a lie" because she was untruthful in her own life for so long. Find out how Iyanla says she developed her gift for hearing beneath the words people speak to get to the real root of the issue:
Iyanla says hardships helped shape who she is today. Watch as Iyanla explains why we're all called to a special life task—and how to surrender to that purpose:
Posted: Sun 09/09/2012 02:59 PM
In 1998, Iyanla Vanzant took The Oprah Winfrey Show by storm, gracing Oprah's stage 20 times and talking to Harpo Studios about developing her own show. In 1999, Iyanla was approached by another television executive about a show and chose to accept the offer.
For 11 years, Oprah and Iyanla didn't speak—until a 2011 Oprah Show conversation that set the record straight for both of them. (Click here to watch the full episode.)
Watch as Oprah and Iyanla reflect on that conversation and how they learned all things—even hardships—are divine lessons:
Today, Oprah and Iyanla have come together with a groundbreaking new show called Iyanla: Fix My Life, premiering on OWN September 15 at 10/9c. "When I saw the first episode, I said to myself that's the best thing I have ever seen on television," Oprah says. "And that includes my 25 years of doing it."
While filming the show, Iyanla sent Oprah an e-mail that brought her to tears. Watch as Oprah reads part of that letter and shares why it touched her so deeply:
Posted: Fri 09/07/2012 08:30 AM
Before she was Iyanla Vanzant, she was Rhonda Harris. Watch as Iyanla reflects on her former self in this "Super Soul Sunday" sneak peek.
Watch part one of Oprah's interview with Iyanla Vanzant this Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT on OWN. You can also watch from anywhere in the world on Oprah.com, Facebook.com/OWNTV, Facebook.com/SuperSoulSunday.
Posted: Fri 09/07/2012 08:00 AM
Spend some quiet time in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where, Oprah says, the lush landscape takes her back to her younger years in Tennessee. Watch and find a moment to reflect on your day.
Posted: Thu 08/30/2012 08:00 AM
In a recent conversation for "Super Soul Sunday," when Oprah described to me how so often in her conversations and interviews people said to her how they just wanted to be happy, I found myself responding, "I think they want to be loved."
All of us want, or need, to be loved. The need for love is one of the most basic human impulses. We may cover this need with patterns of self-protection or images of self-reliance. Or we may openly acknowledge this need to ourselves or others. But it is always present, whether hidden or visible. Usually, we seek love in human relationships, projecting our need onto parents, partners, friends or lovers. Our lack or denial of love often causes wounds that we carry with us. This unmet need haunts us, sometimes driving us into addictions or other self-destructive patterns. If our need for love is met, we feel nourished in the depths of our beings.
Love calls to us in many different ways. Yet while most people seek for love in the tangle of human relationships, the mystic is drawn deeper under the surface—in Rumi's words, "Return to the root of the root of your own being." And here we discover one of the greatest human secrets—that the source and answer to this primal need is not separate from us, but part of our own essential nature, our own true being. Again, to quote Rumi:
The minute I heard my first love story,The mystical truth of the oneness of love is something both simple and essential: The real nature of the love that we all seek is not other than us. I remember my first direct experience of this love. I was in my late 20s when one afternoon while I was in meditation I felt what I can only describe as butterfly wings touching the edge of my heart. And in that instant, my whole being and body were filled with a love I had hardly known existed. Every cell of my body was loved, gently and completely. Love was present in all of me. And this love came from within me, from my own heart. There was no other.
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