For nine years, the phrase, “Do you work, Beloved”, has been synonymous with spiritual teacher, speaker, and writer, Iyanla Vanzant, as she guided people through their healing journeys on her NAACP-award-winning series, Iyanla, Fix My Life. There, viewers watched each week as Iyanla led individuals using spiritual practices on navigating their various obstacles. Thus, giving them a newfound outlook on life and equipping them with the tools needed to confidently go out into the world knowing that they can overcome anything.
Earlier this year, it was announced that after eleven seasons, Iyanla’s long-running series would come to an end. Leaving fans wondering what was next for the New York Times best-selling author. That is, until recently.
A master herbalist who learned under the teachings of her Native American grandmother, Iyanla Vanzant has released a line of body products that she calls MasterPeace. There she provides a variety of items packaged with affirmations that she says are to be used as an extension of the healing process. The Chicago Defender had the opportunity to talk with Ms. Vanzant on the latest edition to her MasterPeace collection, extending her daughter’s legacy, and how she masters her peace.
Many of your viewers wondered what was next following the end of your highly-rated series, Iyanla, Fix My Life. What made you decide to release a line of body products?
Iyanla Vanzant: Well, they’ve always existed, I just didn’t market or promote them. MasterPeace is a support mechanism for the work that I’ve always done. The line itself was started by my daughter in 2001, 20 years ago. And when she passed in 2003, I re-birthed it three years later.
I’ve been doing the line since then to support the work that I do because it’s all about energy. So for me, right now, this isn’t about body products. This is about a movement of mastering peace. Getting people to a place of peace within themselves, peace with their past, peace in their relationships, and peace in the world.
Because we need it, we need peace. You can’t do anything without it. So as we begin to heal ourselves on the inside, we can have a peaceful energy on the outside.
Your products are packaged with affirmations labeld on the outside. Is that for people to take what they need and remind themselves of it while using them?
Iyanla Vanzant: Well, peace itself was my daughter’s goal when she created this line. She started with the hair and I took it to the body. So it’s really about the courage to take the time to be conscious and intentional.
When you cleanse and care for this incredible mechanism that we call a body, it isn’t about washing yourself with some expensive soap. This is about taking dominion over your energy. MasterPeace will take you to that place of peace. That place of awareness instead of just jumping in the shower, throwing on some soap, and getting out.
Imagine taking a shower with a conscious intention of nurturing, nourishing, and moisturizing. Of connecting with your body and affirming it as you are cleaning it. Then, when you get out, using the body butter or shower oil with that same affirmation. It’s about intentionality.
So it’s not just about cleaning your body. It’s about mastering peace. It’s about being aware of and in alignment with this vehicle. This incredible vehicle that takes us through so much. So the actual product is one tool and the affirmation is another tool in this whole consciousness of mastering peace.
I understand that you have recently released a new line of luxury bar soaps. What made you include that as a part of your offerings?
Iyanla Vanzant: Because the people are aware of and conscious of the impact of the essential oils and herbs that are in the soap. How they are carefully formulated to awaken certain things. Also, people wanted to use the product on their children to give them peace and calm or to energize or purification. Because our kids are going back out in the world.
But as a luxury body line, the liquid body wash was a little costly for the kids. So to help these parents out, I created a bar. It has the same herbal formula, same scent, same essential oils, same nourishing, nurturing, moisturizing cleansing properties, but they’re more cost-effective if you’ve got teenagers.
The bar is a charcoal base and infused with essential oils. It’s very good for purification and energizing. It also helps to bring a pure energy to your experience. So that’s why we went with the activated charcoal. It’s good for digestion, too.
With you re-birthing MasterPeace following your daughter’s passing, would you say that it is an extension of her legacy?
Iyanla Vanzant: My daughter, Gemmia, was a very peaceful person. A joyful person. She was someone who you could hear smile as they talked. Her daughter, my granddaughter, watched her mother mix oils and crush herbs for years. She helped to put labels on the bottles. To now see that vision of her mom go mainstream to a broader audience teaches a couple of things.
It teaches the importance of having a vision that my daughter had. It teaches the possibilities that exist for many women of color, Black women, Native women, Latin women. Who have an idea, whether it goes national or not, to be able to follow it step by step and put it out.
The biggest legacy both for Gemmia and for myself is serving the public. Providing the global community with a needed resource because we deserve it. We deserve more. And we need to reconnect with ourselves, our body, our spirit, our mind. Particularly after the pandemic, the political upheaval, turmoil, and all the fear that has been stirred up in the consciousness. We need peace.
The first way to have peace is to have a better relationship with yourself. So to me, this legacy is a demonstration for my granddaughter. And its service to hopefully the global community.
Closing out this year and going into the next, what do you want people to take with them so that they can master their own peace?
Iyanla Vanzant: I want them to take peace into next year because 2022 is not gonna be a joke. It’s going to be about balance. Balancing your work in your home, your family, yourself. It’s going to be about boundaries. Having very clear boundaries for yourself, for everything that you value, and everything that matters to you. It’s going to be about business. Handling your business. Starting your business, growing your business, expanding your business.
Twenty-twenty-two is about entrepreneurship and birthing. What can you birth for you, through you, and around you? So balance, boundaries, business, and birthing. That’s what 2022 is about.
What I want people to take from 2021 into 2022 is a clear vision. What is your year going to look like? What do you see for yourself? And what do you need to do to get there? What do you need to let go of? What do you need to call in? What do you need to sharpen? What do you need to strengthen? What do you need to heal? What do you need to work on? So that we can take the most advantage of it. Particularly people of color because we are suffering from things that are so beneath us.
How do you master your peace?
Iyanla Vanzant: I breathe and I pray. I pray, I tell the truth about who I am, who I am not. What I want, what I don’t want. What works for me, and what doesn’t work for me. I learned to stop making demands and make specific requests that are in alignment with my boundaries. I stopped worrying about what other people think of me, and what they say about me. Because if you let what they say about you on social media, disturb your peace, it’s a rabbit hole, you’ll go down forever.
The other thing that I do is serve. Not just because of my age, but because I’m a minister and my life is not my own. My life belongs to my source, my creator, God. And so I literally asked God every day for my daily bread. What would you have me do today? What am I doing? Who am I serving today? What’s my focus today? So that my humaneness doesn’t take me off.
To have something greater and grander, guiding me, at this stage of my life, all my work, and all my efforts are about mastering peace. And I think the other important thing that I’ve learned to do is mind my own business. Trying to figure out what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, that’s not my business. The way I say it is, “I am not on that committee.” So those things I think have helped me.
Is there anything else you want people to know?
Iyanla Vanzant: Just the importance of us doing our personal healing work. It’s no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. The work to keep your mind clear and open. The work to heal your heart. The work to mend your family. The work to have a relationship with the God of your understanding. The work to be an active and valuable member of your community that’s working to better the world.
So many people just live. They get a job, go to work, come home, sit in front of the TV, and make no valuable contribution to support and service to whatever community they choose. We all need to do that. And if we do that, then we won’t get so caught up in what’s going on elsewhere. We won’t get caught up in the things that are so beneath us. Beneath us as who we are as divine beings and who we are as just powerful, energetic individuals.
For more information on Iyanla Vanzant’s MasterPeace line, visit https://www.masterpeacebodytherapy.com.
Contributing Writer Racquel Coral is a national lifestyle writer and journalist based in Chicago, Illinois. Find her on all social media platforms @withloveracquel.