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Lisa Bent | Inside Out | Your Time to Shine

Read the latest from our columnist, transformational counsellor and blogger, Lisa Bent. Check in with Lisa each month, right here, where she’ll be writing about personal development, mental health, social issues and a whole lot more…

The inspirational speaker, spiritual teacher, author and life coach, Iyanla Vanzant came to London recently as part of her ForGIVEness tour and I was one of the lucky few invited to attend a private press event ahead of the show. She made a superstar entrance, dancing and affirming the words to Time To Shine by Kelly Price, which has become her theme song.

Iyanla is a formidable woman who walks in her purpose and speaks from a place of clarity and understanding, which has the ability to move you at your very core; for me, in the same way as Oprah, Maya Angelou, Angela Davies and Bonnie Greer.

I fell in love with Iyanla Vanzant when I was 21 years old. I was on holiday in Ibiza with a group of friends and although I was in the heart of clubland, I just wanted to relax on the beach, top up my melanin glow and read her book In the Meantime, which had been recommended to me. My heart was broken and I wasn’t okay, but I did my best to show I was.

I couldn’t put the book down. By page 20 I was reading her story alongside processing mine. I wrote a journal and began “cleaning my basement”, a metaphor for looking within.

This book made a massive impact on my life. It taught me to look at things head on, no matter how painful. It gave me greater understanding, clarity and a different perspective, whilst the quote “People come into your life for a reason, season or lifetime” enabled me to let go, forgive, see the lesson and the blessings. Perhaps this book led me onto the current path I am walking.  Perhaps I was going to walk it anyway, but what I know for sure is, you cannot shine when you have stuff to clear.

Iyanla was on fire at the press event and I would love to share everything but this would turn into a mini-essay. So instead, I will share some of the questions asked on the day and Iyanla responses.

After you have read the below, my question to you is What do you need to do or let go off in order to shine?

Good luck on the journey to your authentic self
Lisa x

Due to digital media, everything is available to you now and you can be anything you want to be. What advice would you give to young people in regards to finding and being their authentic self?

{Iyanla Vanzant} “Young people have a different set of challenges today, then we have because everything is free and accessible. And everything is available and so if they don’t have guidance and support they may do this and do that. I say to young people, find a teacher, find a mentor find the one-on-one touch, because the one thing that frightens me about young people is that they don’t have connections.

They have contacts, likes and friends, but they don’t know how to connect in a real meaningful way. So find a teacher, find a mentor so that in your learning, growing, healing you still have guidance so you are not making It up on your own.”

How do we help those who have been through difficult times?

{Iyanla}“The way we help anyone, we first have to love them, don’t feel sorry for them. Don’t cripple them because they have had difficult experiences. See them higher and expect the most of them.

Secondly, the way we support or serve anybody is we tell the truth of our experiences. I don’t need anyone’s agreement with my truth. This is my truth as I know it in the moment, that I offer to you. If it serves you and supports you, we can discuss it. If it doesn’t, I am okay with that.

So just love them, tell them your truth. And give them permission to do what they do and how they do it. Give them permission for being who they are, but you can’t want it more than what they want for themselves.”

Doing what you want to do and Faith

{Iyanla}“You have to know that who you are, as you are is enough. My presence is enough. Just my presence. Who are you? That is the beginning of living an authentic life. I don’t have to lie, make up stories or convince you of anything. My presence is enough. I think once you get there, then you can begin to ask for what you want.

I walked away from my job as an attorney with three children when I was 33 years old and I had to walk through the journey. Losing my house and sleeping in my friend’s basement, my teenage daughter got pregnant. All through that to get here, but I knew who I was. I was enough. And no matter what, I was going to be okay.

I learnt that deeper and deeper as I walked through the process I didn’t know it upfront, and see young people want to know upfront they will be okay before they start the journey, but it is on a need to know basis. You have to start the journey and learn on the way. There are no guarantees.

Know your presence is enough. Tell the truth about what you are, and what you are doing and walk that path knowing you will be alright”.

Know thyself

“Build on principles, not personality. The thing out here is temporary get to work on what really matters, four friends and not 465. Understand you can lose it all and still be okay. I learnt that. I was driving around in a Honda with my clothes in the back of the car having been on the Oprah Winfrey show; whilst trying to hold down a place to live. This doesn’t change who I am, it changes what I am experiencing.”

What’s next?

{Iyanla}“My 19th book entitled Get Over It – Prayers and affirmations for healing the hard self, will arrive in January 2018. It addresses dominant and negative thought patterns, how they become established and how they manifest in our lives as conditions.

Rather than giving a whole psychological theory, I give you a prayer and affirmation to deal with it. We do have dominant negative thought patterns that are passed on from generation to generation. We inherit them like our hair, eyes and nose. Patterns of poverty, patterns of value and worth.

I can’t, I’m broke, I’m stupid, I’m ugly, I’m alone, I’m hurt, I’m abandoned. I offer you a prayer and affirmation to say for a period of time, so you can get over the dominant thought.”


Read Lisa’s review of the ForGIVEness show here | Connect with Lisa @Iam_LisaBent





  1. Kaylene Neri

    Wonderful and easy read, entertaining and inspiring.

    1. Lisa

      Hello Kaylene

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. Most appreciated.

      Lisa x


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