If you need a clean-up woman for your life, Iyanla Vanzant is your girl. The author/motivational speaker/TV host has been helping people figure out their life problems for years. The one-time lawyer knows of what she speaks. She’s been a battered wife, been divorced twice, lost her home and most of her money, her son has been imprisoned, and her beloved daughter, Gemmia, died of a rare form of cancer.
Yet Vanzant has turned pain into progress, reconciling publicly with Oprah Winfrey after a falling out between the two and triumphantly emerging as the host of her own OWN show “Iyanla, Fix My Life.” The second season debuts on OWN on Saturday, April 13 at 9 p.m.
LONI LOVE: Let’s get to our guest. I’m so excited. I need to find out some information.
SKIP CHEATHAM: Our guest is an accomplished author, talk show host, and living testament to the power of faith – y’all welcome to the Tom Joyner Morning Show, Iyanla Vanzant!
I: Good morning.
Skip: Iyanla, how are you doing?
Iyanla: I am so blessed. How are you my beloved?
Skip: We are just doing great. We got you on the show right now.
Iyanla: All right.
Skip: Can’t wait for the second season of “Iyanla, Fix My Life.” Let’s jump right into it. We’ve got this powerful 90-minute episode with DMX. Can I jump right into this, please? I know you wanted to choke DMX after he got so disrespectful he told you to shut the hell up.
Iyanla: Oh yeah.
Skip: Did you want to choke him?
Iyanla: I didn’t want to choke him but I had just had enough of the disrespect. It wasn’t even that he disrespected me but he was just not honoring his son, who was so courageous to come and speak to him. He’s not well. He’s not well and we gotta really be clear about that and not be mad at him and really support him in getting better.
Loni Love: You deserve a medal for trying to help DMX. What made you choose him for your first episode?
Iyanla: His ex-wife, Tashera wrote in and really asked if I would be able to support him. And when we called him, he said he’d be willing to do it and do the work, because my show is about you gotta do your work. But when I got there, it became clear that he wasn’t clear about what the work was. I think he thought it was going to be an interview. With all of my guests, it’s very hard to stand before the world and bare your soul.
Skip: Was there anybody when you heard their story and saw their problem, you were like, Ooh, I can’t even do this one right here. I give up.
Iyanla: No, because there are only 10 problems in the world. We act them out differently but I think there are only ten, maybe there’s nine. But people who want love or who feel they’re not being loved or are afraid to be loved or love is frightening to them. There really aren’t that many problems. What happens is how we act is out – it looks very different. There really are only 10 stories in the naked city.
Skip: So how many sessions to clean up DMX? I know that one session didn’t do it.
Iyanla: The person has to be willing. And if they’re willing the work is very, very easy because all I have to give you is the tools, the skills, the principles that you have to practice to clean up. I don’t do anything. I just give them information and support them in acting out those tools or skills. But they’ve got to be willing.
Skip: I see on your second episode that you sat down with Sheree Whitfield from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” and her ex-husband Bob Whitfield who ended up going at it. How was that?
Iyanla: Again, the guests have to be willing. My experience is that he was more willing than she was. And I give them all credit that to stand in front of the world and bare your soul is not an easy thing to do.
Skip: That’s difficult with a husband and wife in the privacy of your own home. I got some things I’m not telling. Sorry, I’m keeping it to myself.
Loni Love: What’s interesting is that the first season I tried to implement some stuff. You’re right. It was hard and I don’t tell nobody. It was hard, I tired to give up bacon and I couldn’t do it.
Iyanla: We started off with DMX and Sheree because what I wanted people to know is that although these people are so-called celebrities, they have the same challenges we do. I think sometimes we put celebrities on a pedestal and think because they have money or fame or fortune that they don’t have issues and I’m trying to level the playing field. So that’s why we’re starting out with two celebrities.
Skip: I hope you have a long contract on the OWN network. You got a few more housewives you need to get in there and fix. “Iyanla, Fix My Life” premieres Saturday April 13 on the OWN Network.