Iyanla Vanzant is a well known inspirational speaker. Most known for her lectures, books, especially in the area of women's empowerment, she has hosted her own talk show and made frequent appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She is also a Yoruba priestess and ordained New Thought minister (source).
I read one of Iyanla's books in the early 2000's on relationships called In the Meatime: Finding Yourself & the Love you Want. It was a time in my life that I desperately wanted a relationship and just felt like I was in a holding pattern. (SN: The desperation was an issue...a whole separate post.) What I learned from reading the book at the time was that there was work for me to do while waiting for that life partner that I desired. I should be striving to be the best "me" I could be. At the time that I read the book, I felt that I was doing so to be the best me for him, my future husband. As I've gotten older, I've realized that I need to be the best "me" for ME; so I can be happy, healthy, and well. I created that holding pattern of waiting, just living. Now I am thriving in life and look forward to joining my future mate as he thrives as well!
Iyanla recently wrote a book called Peace from Broken Pieces where she chronicles some of the most difficult moments of her life, her divorce, losing her fortune and filing bankruptcy, losing her daughter to cancer and even contemplating suicide. She now says that she has healed from her past and learned from her mistakes and "knows who she is." She shares the beginning of her downfall in this clip from her book tour. I may not agree with Iyanla's spiritual teachings but I respect her transparency and how she has used what was painful in her life to give and strengthen others. She is now touring with Oprah with her Lifeclass on OWN tv.
She also is known for her natural hair. Check out pictures from her natural journey over the years.