Iyanla Vanzant is the host and Executive Producer of OWN’s acclaimed and award-winning series, “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” She is one of the country’s most celebrated writers, public speakers, and among the most influential, socially engaged, and acclaimed spiritual life coaches of our time. Learn more at www.iyanla.com and click the link to check out her incredible book, Acts of Faith.

448: Relisten: Fear Not (215)

Iyanla Vanzant

Many of us are living with anxiety during the life disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. But some fear is healthy and some is not. It’s smart for us to stay home, wash our hands (a LOT), and boost our immune systems, but what about when fear leads us to obsess? I invited Iyanla Vanzant, author, and star of “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” back to the Mindful Mama podcast to talk about how to take care of fear.

Relisten: Fear Not-Iyanla Vanzant (215) [448]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a longtime listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

[00:00:20] Iyanla Vanzant: Here's the choice we have. We have a choice to make this hard or to do what's required to make it easy. We have a choice to be in fear and upset and awfulizing and anger or choice to get grounded and centered.

[00:00:38] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode 215. Today, we're talking about fearing not. With Iyanla Van

Zandt. Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome, dear listener, so glad to be in your ears.

These are strange times we're living in and, uh, and I'm, I'm so glad to be connecting with you and I know that this podcast, this episode is really going to be Incredibly helpful in these challenging times with the coronavirus pandemic happening. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Iyanla Van Zandt, host and executive producer of The Own Network's award winning series, Iyanla Fix My Life.

Her body of work spans over three decades and includes 18 published books, six New York Times bestsellers, CDs, television, radio, and stage performances, and her most recent book is Get Over It, The therapy for healing the hard stuff, and this episode is going to be very helpful for you, I think, as this was so helpful for me.

I mean, many of us are really living with lots of anxiety during this life, the disruptions of the COVID 19 pandemic. But some of that fear is healthy and some of it isn't. Really smart for us to stay home, to wash our hands a lot, and to boost our immune system. But what about when the fear leads us to obsess and not to sleep and to be trapped in anxiety?

So I invited Iyanla back onto the podcast to talk about how to take care of fear. And I want you to listen for some important takeaways, how ego wants to separate us and make us feel alone in our heads. But how we can choose to experience this time from a place of fear or a place of power, right? Like this is within our power and that we, how interconnected we are and how important your self care matters.

This is a very, um, very important conversation, I think, and one that you are going to, um, appreciate and maybe listen to again and again. I hope you do. I think it'll help all of us. So join me at the table as I talk to Iyanla Vanzant. Iyanla, thanks so much for coming back on the Mindful Mama podcast. 

[00:03:48] Iyanla Vanzant: I'm happy to be here for all the mamas and the babies.

[00:03:54] Hunter: I'm happy you're here too. And we're talking obviously post coronavirus pandemic and the world's kind of shut down right now. I really appreciate the message that you've been giving all week about to fear or not. And so I thought it would be great to talk about fear and, and, and we're going to talk a little bit about healthy and unhealthy fears, but can you, can you tell us a little bit about this message of fear or not and kind of what you're seeing from, from the people you're talking to and what's out there right now?

[00:04:31] Iyanla Vanzant: I think people are awfulizing, you know, I, I mean, there's a real challenge. I call it a challenge, not even a threat. I call it a challenge. Um, and it just has disrupted our norm, and as human beings, you know, the number one addiction for all human beings is control, and we lose control, or we don't have control, or we can't get control.

Organic response is fear. So because we can't control this thing, we don't know when it's coming, how it's coming, where it's coming, we can't get tested, we, we don't know, so fear is a, is a natural response. Now when you look at the meaning of fear, fear is the organic or the internal response, the mental, emotional, responds to a threat of harm or danger.

So clearly the virus poses a threat of harm or danger to us. So, uh, and it, it alerts you, helping fear. It alerts you, okay, I need to do something. So what do we need to do? We need to stay home. We need to stay away from people. We need to wash our hands. I also think that from the physical perspective, we need to boost our immune system to eat better.

And we need to find ways to occupy ourselves in the slow motion that we've been put in because we're so used to being busy and running and, and all the time. Now, healthy fear becomes unhealthy when you obsess about it or awfulize, meaning The threat isn't here, but you tell yourself, oh, the threat is coming.

Or the, if the threat happens, this'll happen, and then that'll happen. You know, like if I get the virus and I'm gonna be sick and I don't have health insurance, or I can't get to the hospital, nobody's gonna feed my kids and I can't pay my rent and bull out, and I'm gonna end up in a tent in the park eating with the squirrels, you know,

Mm-hmm. a downward spiral. Unhealthy when we obsess and awfulize about it, as opposed to taking action to address the concerns of a healthy fear. And I think most people are awfulizing, and therefore the fear has become unhealthy. So when I say fear not, I'm saying Not that you won't have a fear based response, but there are things that you can do about it so it doesn't become unhelpful.

Yeah, I,

[00:06:58] Hunter: I, I think that, you know, and you and I are in a program working on to help people train our minds, like, through mindfulness and to train our bodies and souls. And I think that we're seeing a lot of the untrained mind, the kind of like, the way our minds, or as a society kind of collectively, have been trained to be, Distracted to, to not be present all the time, and so the, this sort of untrained mind, what happens is, and this is not really our fault, this is just something that happens, it's just that, that we get this feeling of the fear, and we, we then just follow down that rabbit hole, we don't know how to interrupt the thoughts, the one thought leads us to a feeling, which leads to another thought, when it is that downward spiral, and we don't know how to Um, yeah.

Interrupt that when we're not taking time to, to train our, our minds and to, and to recognize that this is unhealthy right now. Like when I look around me in my immediate environment, none of this stuff I'm thinking about is actually happening right here in this, in this present moment.

[00:08:06] Iyanla Vanzant: And then the ego will want to fight you.

And you go, yeah, but it's out there and you don't know who has it. Suppose you touch somebody who's positive and, and this will happen. And if you get positive and, you know, I call it being alone in your head without adult supervision. I love that. Run amok if you don't stop it. And one of the easiest ways, we know this, To calm the mind is breath.

I've been teaching people all week how to breathe. People know how to inhale and exhale and take little sips of air in their nose or their mouth, but really to breathe in a way, you know, we call it anchoring in the breath. Breathe in a way that slows the mind down. And also to use your eyes, because if you focus your eyes on a particular spot, that will engage the mind.

And then begin to breathe slowly, consciously, and pace your breathing. It'll bring the mind to a focal point. You know, the mind is like an untrained puppy. So if you don't If you don't focus it, if you don't train it, it will hump company's leg and eat it on the carpet.

Yeah, I can train the puppy.

[00:09:24] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, totally. And what you're saying like about focusing the eyes, and I want to kind of go back and ask you a question about what you just said, but Focusing the eyes I think is so important when inviting, and, and I really want to add to that, like that we just, we want to actually see, you know, we, we look around us, like if I go out into my yard, feel very blessed and lucky to have right now, I go into my yard and I look at a tree, I look right past it normally.

I don't see it. I look at the crocuses coming up and often, because they're new, but it's you, what is in your invitation? Is this, this This invitation to really see, to really see what's in front of you, like oh, this is, this tree is this other alive being, a plant that's giving, you know, carbon, you're giving oxygen for me to breathe and things like that, so to actually really see what's in front of us and not just look past it to be, to be really present with it.

And so you say, but you said ego wants to fight you, so can you tell us, define like what ego is a little bit in the way you understand it?

[00:10:30] Iyanla Vanzant: The way I understand ego, it's an aspect of our consciousness, of our mind, that believes that we are separate from everything, including the Creator. That you're over there, I'm over here, that, you know, my, my body is a, is a separate container, my experience is a separate experience.

And so, the ego believes in separation, and therefore relies on its devices, and its experience, and its awareness. to dictate how you should respond, when you should respond, when the truth is you're so much bigger than we are, so much bigger than just what is contained in this physical being. Like you said, we'll go outside, we'll see a tree, we'll look past the tree.

And the ego does that because it says just be concerned about me right now, look for the rocks you might fall over or there's a worm. So, what the ego does is it Promotes and it, it, it creates separation, but there's a deeper, more divine and meaningful part of us that understands our oneness and our connection to everything.

I remember when I started training on my spiritual journey many, many years ago, was something that one of my teachers said to me that I never forgot. The air you breathe today will, exhale today, will be in China tomorrow. Or Italy, or Spain, or Bulgaria, or Alaska. He said, so everything that you take in from the environment, and everything you give out to the environment, you want to do it with a place of consciousness.

So, one of the reasons fear is so prevalent today is because there's so much of it. Whether you listen to the news, uh, or you're listening to people, or you're telling your own, you know, fictional story in your mind, or And then we say, I'm in this alone. You know, you don't have to worry about what I am.

I'm sure that the people who've lost their jobs, um, or have been laid off or furloughed really think that they're in this alone. Well, You know, I lost my job. I work in television and nobody is filming anything. And I don't do the kind of show, it's not news, so I can't do it every day. So I'm unemployed too.

But people would think, ah, she's on television and she's wealthy and she's, no. I trained myself. I was in Michaels buying coloring pencils and I really wanted to prism up pencils. 24. 99. They're the best ones though. I went to the sale box. Not going to be as good. No, I gotta wait till I get back to work to buy the prisms.

I'll have to send them to you as a gift.

[00:13:31] Iyanla Vanzant: I've ordered those 48 colors bad.

[00:13:35] Hunter: The artist in me, like, is like, no, no, go for the prism colors. I get you though. I get you. 

[00:13:40] Iyanla Vanzant: The mere fact that, you know, uh, people wouldn't think that. You know, they, they would think I'm a separate being and my experience is No! We're in this together.

And, and while we're each, um, experiencing it where we are, the way we are, I see it as togetherness. Whereas the ego would see it as separateness. Your ego will tell you, go ahead and be afraid that, you know, the fuci is coming through the window and you gotta hide under the bed. And you're not thinking, wow, I'm breathing that out into the universe and it's going to hit Hunter or Yum in a couple of hours.

[00:14:25] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

I love what you're talking about. And this is, I think that the pandemic is really. showing us our sense of our interconnection. Like we, we kind of, I think went through the world thinking, yeah, we're in our own little space and yeah, we're connected, et cetera, via internet or whatever. But it really is a huge illustration of how thoroughly interconnected we are.

And we always have been, but this is really, really, really showing it to us. And. We can take that and take this, what you're saying, like this deeper message from this. We are interconnected. We are not alone. You know, that, that is, that, that sense of ego is like, you know, just trying to keep you safe, just trying to keep you alive.

It's that survival thing. But that, that sense of, oh, we are interconnected and you're right. Like even I think about like, um, the water I drink at some point. That was some dinosaur's pee or whatever.

[00:15:29] Iyanla Vanzant: Like, look, we have even the cells in our body. 

[00:15:31] Hunter: Like literally the every single thing on this earth and in our atmosphere has been here for 4 billion years.

So literally the cells that went through the bodies of Jesus and the Buddha and all the great figures in life are still with us.

[00:15:49] Iyanla Vanzant: You know, that's my whitewashing, Jeffrey Dahmer and, you know, Son of Sam and all of that. Yes, yes. It's how do we react to it? How do we respond to it? And when we are moving from the ego based place of separation and, and littleness, we will respond to the, for example, you know, there are people with the, with the coronavirus right now.

So that means I have it too. I may not have the symptoms, I may not have the, you know, I may not be in the hospital, my life may not be threatened, but if anybody is experiencing it, we're all experiencing it. Now we get to choose if we're going to experience it from a place of fear or from a place of power.

This is, in my meditation yesterday, I got this message and it was so enlightening to me. It said, um, You know, I was meditating. They said, don't sleep on the fact or dismiss the fact the virus is attacking the capacity to breathe. Because breathing is not just physical, it's spiritual. People are protecting their physical self and ignoring their spiritual self.

I said, oh my goodness. Breathing is. That's our connection to life. You stop breathing, you're not here. Breath is our connection to the Creator, to Source, to God, whatever you want to call it. And this virus is attacking our capacity to breathe. So for me, it's almost like a metaphor of how are we being, what are we doing?

That is diminishing our spiritual identity, you know, and talking about giving us money so we can stimulate the economy and need to give us some prayers so we can stimulate our spirit.

[00:17:46] Hunter: Yeah. Well, I mean, this whole thing about interconnection also points to this like responsibility, right? Like I like to say that our, our self care is our, is not selfish.

It's our responsibility and, and this in beyond self care, but like the, the, the, the attitude, your. inviting in your practicing in your mind and your heart. Like what you're saying is that what we practice as far as thinking, feeling, as we practice this peace, peace in yourself really does create peace, more peace for you, creates more peace for all of us.

And it's a responsibility, a spiritual responsibility to, to everyone to practice, to raise yourself up.

[00:18:28] Iyanla Vanzant: There's a wonderful book called the Sacred Yes by Reverend Deborah L. Johnson. That she was seen through meditation and prayer, almost like a channeled word. And what I read in there this morning in the Sacred Yes was, what is this thing you call peace?

That you keep talking about peace on earth as if it's going to rain down on you from the sun or the moon or the cloud. Peace is a function of what's in your heart. And the only thing that you are experiencing at any time in your life is what you have been harboring in your heart. So, when we look at this virus, we have to look at, individually and collectively, what have we been harboring in our heart.

That is now attacking us. And if you look at our society over the past five, six years, all of the anonymous attacks on social media, where people have no accountability, they can say whatever they want to say to whoever and then change their email address. All of the, the, the, the, the attacks. Divisiveness and separation that has been promoted and pumped into the airways with these mega mega billions of lightweight, you know, that then created all this againstness, you got this political team, that political team, this gender, just so much againstness.

We've been attacking each other verbally, psychologically, emotionally. For the past, I'd say really intensified over the past five or six years. And it's just coming back on us. And that's the connectedness. That's the law of cause and effect. The law of correspondence. A couple of years ago, you know, everybody was all up in arms about the secret.

Well, have they forgotten what they read in the secret? Because this is exactly what the secret talked about. How what you put out comes back. So yes, it's attacking our physical selves. But I believe that we can allay fear, that we can experience peace, and that we can facilitate healing as we, as individuals, understanding our responsibility to the collective, clean ourselves up emotionally.

[00:20:49] Hunter: Yeah, and it's interesting, you know, if I think about the last five years and the divisiveness that's been there, I think that really does come from fear, right? It really, it really does come from people feeling insecure. Feeling fearful, the world being very, um, you know, a lot of upheaval and a lot of A lot of change.

So this is obviously this incredible problem. So what are some, what are some ways we can take action because it's difficult, right? Many of us are, can't even leave an apartment or we're not connecting with others. We. Um, we have this sense of, of anxiety, which is, is natural, right? Natural response of the, the, the, you know, the nervous system.

And it sets us up for action. And we want to take action. And many of us are used to kind of taking actions, like getting things done, doing all these things. But now we are, and we're required, you know, for the sake of everyone, we're all doing this great act together of staying home, right? Which is kind of a non action.

So, as we're in this place, what are some of the things that we can do to help take, take care of our fear, to, to, to not, um, to, to not let it drive us to these, uh, to these bad ends or these difficult means?

[00:22:07] Iyanla Vanzant: Let me just say this, I will answer that question, but you know what, this has been going on, you know how many people haven't been able to leave their home?

Yeah. Do we ever think about, do we only think about feeding them now because of the virus? You know how many people isolate in their homes and disconnect? We have a huge mental health issue in this country that we don't deal with. There's nothing going on now with the virus that hasn't been going on.

It's just that we are now more aware of it. So we get to determine our response to it, you know. I'll tell you the most horrifying thing. Of this entire, uh, virus, because I decided I was, first of all, I didn't even know what was going on because I didn't watch the news, you know, but I watched the news. So I was looking on the, on my, in my, uh, homepage and I, well, what is the coronavirus?

But by then they had like 500 cases in Seattle. I didn't even know what's going on. So anyway, so therefore, you know, I have a completely different response to it. But the most horrifying thing to me in this whole thing was the 360, 000 children who depend on breakfast and lunch at school, that horrifying.

It was going on and I didn't even know about it. Um, our children don't have food. That don't have nothing to do with the coronavirus. Well, we got 600 million acres of land dedicated to a golf course. 

[00:23:53] Hunter: Oh, we have so much wealth in this country and there's no social safety net. It is infuriating to me. all the time.

We have no, so everyone doesn't have healthcare. We have no social safety net at all. We have so much wealth and no social, I mean, I don't get political on this podcast very much, but you're right. Like it makes me so angry. And that's one of the big things that leads people to feel so insecure.

[00:24:16] Iyanla Vanzant: So anyway, what can we do to take better care of ourselves?

I'm going to say it again, breathe. You've got to learn how to breathe. And there are some wonderful, um, videos on YouTube, uh, with, you know, 12 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes that you can go and look up conscious breath work. Because people think they're breathing when they're really just sucking air.

[00:24:43] Hunter: Well, let's do it right now. What do you think?

[00:24:45] Iyanla Vanzant: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I did a white light meditation, um, that I've been circulating. So I invite your listeners, they can go to Iyanla. com and sign up for my mailing list, just put white light meditation in your subject line and we'll send it out to you, or there's a link on my Facebook page for the white light meditation.

But one of the things is, you know, you, you have to have a posture to breathe. And the biggest thing is that your spine is erect so that your lungs are clear and your diaphragm is open. So as you, and one of the ways you can do that is just sit, I tell people, roll your butt back so that you're sitting really on your sits bone.

[00:25:33] Hunter: I mean, like, like, uh, sorry I didn't interrupt, but like, uh, I think of it like, you know, we got this tailbone, right? Like, I always think, like, as if you could wag your little tail and find you.

[00:25:45] Iyanla Vanzant: And then right at the base of your skull, make believe there's a string. And if there's a string, gently, not, just gently pull it up.

Pull the string so that your neck and your spine is erased. And then make believe there are weights in your elbows that pull your shoulders down. Just relax the shoulder. And I, I always say to people, relax the belly. I don't know why when we're sitting, we think holding in our belly, people won't know we have one.

You have one. And if it's laying in your lap, that's okay. Yeah. And then greatest discovery I made is that people breathe backwards. They think on the inhale, they need to suck the belly in, and on the exhale, it goes out. When breathing is the exact opposite. On the inhale, the diaphragm and the belly expands, and on the exhale, it contracts.

Think about it. Relax the shoulders, relax the belly. And on the inhale, just expand the belly, and on the exhale, just let it relax. You can either close your eyelids or focus your eyes downward as if you're staring at the tip of your nose. Because I know a lot of people have problems going within, it's frightening in there.

It's saying stay hold, but breath will help you come home. And just expand the belly on the inhale,

and deflate the belly on the exhale. If you do that a couple of times consciously, the body will begin to breathe itself. Inhale and expand, don't push, don't effort, and exhale and just let it deflate.

Inhale and expand, pushing the diaphragm out, and exhale and deflate. So for those who aren't really conscious breathers, I would say work with that. If you can do three minutes of just conscious breathing. Uh, and if you need the guidance, again, there are a lot of beautiful videos on YouTube guided conscious breathing meditations.

Gay Hendricks has a wonderful one. G A Y Hendricks, H E N D R I C K S. Um, beautiful one. So learning how to breathe is critical. to just maintaining calm and peace.

[00:28:23] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

And how often do you, would you suggest that people who are not used to this, um, bring a kind of practice like this into their days? 

[00:28:37] Iyanla Vanzant: I do it as soon as my eyes open in the morning, I start connecting to my breath consciously. And then whenever I feel myself tensing, tightening throughout the day, I go back to it.

Um, I also try to do three minutes before I eat. Whenever I sit down to eat, I stop. And take that two, three minutes, just do conscious breathing, wake up all the cells in my body, so that as I take in the nourishment and the nutrients, my body, you know, I'm not just feeding my belly, I'm feeding my feet, my legs, everything.

And then I do it again before I go to bed. So if you could do it, three to five minutes, just conscious breathing. Um, two, three times a day or whenever you get tense, just stop. And if you, if you don't have time to, you know, do all of that, just a long, deep inhale. And, oh, I love side breaths. Side breath is wonderful.

And what people don't, that sound that is the most sacred sound on the universe. Ah, and oh oh, but we don't usually say, oh, . We do say, oh yeah, but. is the first sound given to the name of the divine. Whether in the most ancient days it was Pa or Amen or Bu, Jeho,

Beside Ah is the most sacred sound given to the name of the divine. So if you can just inhale and you're bringing yourself into connection and alignment with the divine. Whatever you call it. So, that will help you. And isn't it interesting that sometimes when we get frustrated or upset, we say, Oh!

[00:30:53] Hunter: Well, there's some good research also behind what you're saying.

You're saying, you know, it's connection with the divine, but they've done research on the sigh breath and it Literally changes your brain chemistry. You could do five or six side breaths, and you're really getting yourself out of fight, flight, or freeze, and into that rest and relax response. 

[00:31:11] Iyanla Vanzant: So, yeah, absolutely.

That is one thing. The other thing I say is, water. Drinking water feeds the cell. You know, as you drink your water out of your mason jar, you know, we are comprised of atoms, molecules, cells. Um, then we have, you got your veins, you've got your bones, you've got your bone marrow, everything functions in water.

And sometimes we get mentally, emotionally, spiritually constipated because we don't flush, we don't drink enough water. So where's breathing. Oxygenate the blood. Water keeps it flowing and moving. So we want to really, while we're home, we want to, um, really increase or, or solidify, not stabilize our water intake.

Just drink a lot of water. Um, I personally think you also need to be in the water. So bathing. We've gotten so busy showering, you know, because we got to get out fast. But let me tell you something, a 20 minute bath, a 20 minute soak in Epsom salt, or, um, even sea salt, table salt, you don't have that, apple cider vinegar, uh, or just some warm water, a 20 minute soak two to three times a week will change your, it'll change your life.

I say Epsom salt because it removes the toxins from the, the dermis layer of the skin, the environmental toxins, which are at the root of this, um, virus right now. So even if we're not touching you, going outside, you breathing air, you wanna open your pores, you wanna cleanse them, epso sauce will do that.

So will apple CI or vinegar. 

[00:33:04] Hunter: So the, uh, go ahead so I can hear my listener like objecting in my ear because many are. You know, they're working from home now. They got their kids at home. They got little kids running around. You know, I got someone in my community who has a four year old triplet, boy, right?

So when, so what do you, what do you say to the person is, is like freaking out because they're like, I don't have time to take a 20 minute break. 

[00:33:32] Iyanla Vanzant: Whenthe children go to sleep. Yeah. 

[00:33:34] Hunter: Why can't you do it then? That's a great idea. 

[00:33:37] Iyanla Vanzant: Children, when they're napping, when they go to nap, you go get in the tub, or when you put them to sleep.

If they're on a schedule, which I'm sure triplets are on a schedule, you know, start getting them ready for bed, start running your bath. Again, as you said earlier, self care is a responsibility. Because we each want to come to the playing field of life as healthy and whole as possible. So if, if you don't have time in your life for a bath, then your life is really jacked up.

I'm sorry.

[00:34:11] Hunter: Leave the dishes. Instead of going to do the dishes I had to be washing

[00:34:16] Iyanla Vanzant: dishes and while sitting in the tub. Oh my lord. Okay.

[00:34:18] Hunter: Get some, get some paper plates, throw your paper plates away or compost them and then go sit in  the tub.

[00:34:24] Iyanla Vanzant: Paper plates. Eternal flatware,

[00:34:30] Hunter: They are one with everything as we are.

[00:34:32] Iyanla Vanzant: Yeah. that are, are, you can compost, compost them. So, uh, yeah, so self-care, you know, your breath, your bath, your water intake limit, your sugar intake. I personally, I'm a prayer warrior, so I pray. I pray, I, I find that prayer is my communion. With the Creator, with the Universe, I am a prayer warrior.

I don't start my day without prayer. Before my feet hit the ground, I'm praying. And you know, we have a meditative practice, our mindfulness practice, where we're connecting with breath, we're scanning the body, we're minding our thoughts. So, just find something. Something connects you to your internal landscape.

Because this world is drawing you out. Uh, and I say if we strengthen our minds, if we strengthen our hearts, if we fortify our spirit, it supports the physical body in its vulnerability to whatever this physical condition. Yeah,

[00:35:40] Hunter: yeah. And, and, you know, I think about prayer and I think that's so important, right?

Like, let me focus my attention on What's what I'm appreciating or etc. And I think for me, I'm not a praying person, but um, I think of the loving kindness meditation, right? That's what, what, that's what comes to mind for parallel for me. Like, yes, like I, during this time I have been touching my hand to my heart and saying, may I be safe, may I be happy, may I be healthy.

May I live with ease and as that's not a selfish thing at all, as you wish that for yourself, it, it helps all of us so we can extend that to all, all of us, you know, may you be, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you live with ease, you know, uh, as we change our lives. Orientation from fear into like, like what you said, we're choosing to experience this from fear or power.

You know, this is a place of like grounded power, right? Like I know where, where, what I have the capability to control and I can control a lot. I don't have a lot of control over much. Even my children, you know, you think about that. I don't, they make their own choices, but I can control how I respond. I can control the, Temperature and the orientation of my heart and mind right now.

And that's really where we, where we have to focus and that's hard for people are really outwardly oriented to action and to do lists and checking and driving here and driving there. That's, this is hard and it's okay. It's okay that it's hard, but it's doable. It can be learned with practice, you know, with intention.

[00:37:20] Iyanla Vanzant: Well, I, I hear you. I stand on that step with you. I don't think in terms of control, I think in terms of dominion, in the higher vibration. I have no control over anything. I could be out of this body and off into spirit land 30 seconds from now, I can't control it. I can't, at my age, I can barely control my bladder.

Oh, you should see me run it sometime. Okay. I, but I do have Dominion, which is a higher vibration saying the same thing, you know, and I hear you say it's hard. I'm going to say it need not be easy and it is doable. And I'm just being very mindful and conscious of every single thing that I feed into this cellular, anatomic, molecular structure I call my being.

No, it, it need not be easy, but it is doable. Okay? So, yeah, and, and, and, but listen, Hunter, we don't have a choice. Yeah. Here's the choice we have. We have a choice to make this hard or to do what's required to make it easy. We have a choice to, you know, be in fear and upset and awfulizing and anger or choice to get grounded and centered.

You know, back in, in 2016, and I've been really disobedient this week and in resistance, uh, because one of one day in my meditation, I was told to share a story and I've been really resistant about sharing it because of the way the story is for me. But back in 2016, Uh, my colon rupture. Uh, I didn't know that I had diverticulitis, which is where you get pockets and narrowing in the colon.

Uh, and basically it's due to stress. It's either due to diet or stress. My diet is pretty solid, but I do a lot. I'm a Virgo, so I'm neurotic and hysterical most of the time. And that's why I had to learn how to breathe and meditate and pray, you know, because I just move a lot of energy. Anyway, my colon ruptured.

And, um, the reason I'm not dead, literally, because you know that all of those toxins would have went into my bloodstream, is that somehow, someway I have the medical report right here. I could show you. Dr. Oz has seen it. My left ovary lodged itself in my colon to plug the hole so that the toxin did not seep into my system.

[00:40:07] Iyanla Vanzant: Oh my gosh. They asked me, do you know how that happened? I said, I didn't even know it was happening. They cannot figure out how my left ovary plugged the hole in my colon. So what does that tell me? Tells me that there's something greater than I can see, know, understand going on. It was not my time. And then the ovary absorbed all the toxin.

Two quarts of fluid was taken out of my. They don't know how that happened. And the reason I got sick was because the ovary was becoming overwhelmed and the toxins were starting to seep into my bloodstream, but it did it in such a way that I got to the hospital in time to get antibiotics, but they had to take out nine and a half inches of my cold.

And for 90 days, I had to wear what they call a colostomy bag. Means my colon is open and everything I put in is going into that bag. And when I woke up from the surgery and they told me what was going on, I immediately went into, Oh my God, I can't, I can't do that. I'm a Virgo. I cannot sit around looking at shit all day. That's how it came into my life.

[00:41:28] Hunter: I imagine that might be how I would be thinking about it too.

[00:41:33] Iyanla Vanzant: And it wasn't, Oh my God, I'm going to be defecating in the bag and I'm going to be, you know, that's exactly how it came into my mind. And then the next thought was, Oh, you're going to see some shh. And so for 90 days, I got to really see my shh.

I got to get clear about what went in and what came out. What I was holding on to and what I needed to let go. 90 days every day I had to change that bag. Let me tell you something, it was the most powerful, empowering, healing experience of my life. And I think that this Stay at home, take care of yourself, be with yourself, look at yourself.

You're going to see some shh about it. You're going to see how impatient you are. You're going to see how aggressive you are. You're going to see how unkind and unloving you can be to yourself and everybody. You're going to see how attached you are to the world and to things and to people. You're going to see all of the Fictional documentaries that you've been telling yourself about who you are, and you're going to see some in the next few weeks that we're going to be here.

And I think it is good because I think when we emerge, we are going to be so different. Have you read the poem by Kitty, uh, I think her name is Kitty O'Meara about and the people stayed home? Oh, no. And I'll send it to you so that you can post it for your listening. And the people stayed home and some read and some danced and some did art projects and some prayed and some meditated and some, and they healed.

And when they were able to unite again and discuss their losses. and Consoling Comfort One Another. They brought a whole new energy to the planet. I'm gonna send it to you.

[00:43:40] Hunter: Oh, I got it, Yama. I filmed it. I found it. I'll read it.

[00:43:43] Iyanla Vanzant: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And it, it speaks to what we're going through.

Okay, here we go.

[00:43:51] Hunter: And the people stayed home, and read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still, and listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced, some met their shadows, and the people began to think differently, and the people healed, and in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, The earth began to heal when the danger passed, and when the danger passed, when the people joined together again, they grieved their losses and made new choices and dreamed new images and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully as they had been healed.

[00:44:40] Iyanla Vanzant: Is that not divine? 

[00:44:43] Hunter: I have goosebumps all over my legs and my little eye now.

[00:44:46] Iyanla Vanzant: Those are instructions and that's what I've been telling people all week. These are the instructions. Read and dance and make art and listen. Listen more deeply and have conversation. And, and, and love on the children, and let them play in your hair, and look, look at yourself, and see the things that you've been denying, and avoiding, and resisting, and lying to yourself about, because there's been a lot of that going on.

And connect in ways that you couldn't. I mean, we order, we don't go to the mall anymore, the malls are closing, we do everything online. You know, we use Uber Eats and Instacart and all of that. Anyway, why are we so freaked out now? Because we're being told to do it. You know, but use your Zoom to call grandma.

You can talk to her on the phone, use FaceTime. Uh, yes. Talk about the family stories. Who is crazy old Uncle Joe and where, how did we all get blonde hair and where, you know, what does it mean to live in this place or that place or the other, you know, listen and talk. So that when we come back together, we are thinking differently and being differently.

There is nothing to fear. Everything must change. And we change it. And I think it's absolutely necessary. I think it's purposeful. I think it's divine. And I'm not afraid of it. Not at all.

[00:46:19] Hunter: Hey, Alma. Thank you so, so much. Thank you for coming back on the Mindful Mama podcast. I appreciate your, your voice and your words and your heart, and I love your laughs, so thank you so much for coming.

[00:46:33] Iyanla Vanzant: Thank you for having me, and to all the mamas out there, this too shall pass. Stay in peace, not in pieces.

[00:46:48] Hunter: Hey, thank you so much for listening. I love what Yanla says about we can experience this from fear or, or from power. And, and I love this empowering voice that she gives us. And I love her laugh. So, so fun. Hey, I want to thank you, Jan. D R Y B for the five star review in Apple Podcasts. She says, Hunter, thank you for helping me to increase my ability to be calm and mindful.

This is such a wonderful podcast. You're welcome, Jen. Thank you. I really appreciate it. And thank you so much for Amy Lee Wee, who said it was the best mama podcast. Yay. I appreciate your words. So much. If you'd like to support the podcast, leaving a wonderful iTunes or, uh, sorry, Apple podcast review is always a great way to do it.

Who knows? I would love to give you a shout out on the air. And I'm wishing you a great week, my friend. I hope that you have some peace, you have some joy, hope you remember to laugh, go watch some puppies and kittens videos. I'll, uh, I'll be there with you. Don't, don't make yourself wrong for having all the feelings.

This is a, a different time. We're allowed to have all these feelings. We're allowed to have them anyway, even if there isn't a pandemic. So you're certainly allowed to have them now, um, don't make yourself wrong for that. Offer yourself some grace, offer yourself, we have to offer each other that, cultivate that compassion.

And as you do, you, you know, it helps in every single way. Anyway, I'm wishing you, I'm thinking about you, and I'm hoping that you are not suffering too much. If you're a healthcare worker, I am so sending you gratitude and thanks. Thank you. Thank you. I'm wishing you well. Safety, and I'm wishing every, all of us safety as we move through this time.

Let us keep our feet on the ground. Let us remember to practice, to be calm, and to practice that calm as much as we can. And that will help. All of us. Okay. Take care, my friend. See you next week. Namaste.

[00:49:17] Iyanla Vanzant: I'd say definitely

[00:49:18] Hunter: do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better

[00:49:26] Iyanla Vanzant: as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives.

[00:49:31] Hunter: So, definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

[00:49:33] Iyanla Vanzant: It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit. Being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can. You can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:50:21] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You'll be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparenting. org MindfulParentingCourse.

com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

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