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One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth Hardcover – January 5, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ordained minister and "spiritual life counselor" Iyanla Vanzant doesn't know the exact moment when her soul opened up "and the spirit of the divine entered [her] body." But she will always remember the key insight that opened the door to her soul and simultaneously locked the door to her insanity: "If you know who walks beside you, you can never be afraid." This is the premise from which Vanzant has launched her enormously successful 40-day, spiritual self-help program. One Day My Soul Just Opened Up is designed as day-by-day journal/workbook to help readers believe in a divine presence while pondering daily spiritual lessons such as simplicity, peace, compassion, and nonjudgement.

The charismatic Vanzant (whom Oprah Winfrey considers to be one of the world's most admirable spiritual leaders) has a gift for humble, tell-it-like-it-is talk. She is also a wise and warm soul, eager to help others trust in love and find a relationship with God in order to get on with their lives. Readers especially like her daily list of inspirations titled "Let Me Remember." For example, under day 23, "When You Feel Angry," she uses the list to remind readers: "All things work to bring me healing"; "Forgiveness will provide relief and release"; and "Love will heal anything that is not an expression of love." --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal

Vanzant is a motivational speaker, spiritual counselor, ordained minister, and Yoruba priestess (minister of the ancient Nigerian religion). A frequent guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, this prolific author also makes regular appearances on best sellers lists. Yesterday, I Cried is chiefly an autobiographical account of how Vanzant triumphed over her troubled past to achieve success. Losing her mother at age three, she was a childhood victim of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. A single mother at 16, Vanzant rushed into an abusive marriage at 19 and was soon raising three children alone on welfare. Despite this, she earned both undergraduate and law degrees and now counsels others on overcoming difficult circumstances to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfillment. In One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, Vanzant speaks of pursuing spiritual and personal growth. Unfortunately, her advice is often redundant and sprinkled with vague platitudes, e.g., "You can only have what is for you to have" and "Love will heal anything that is not an expression of love." Though Vanzant's rich, sonorous voice is certainly an asset to these abridged productions, it cannot compensate for their meager content. Her many fans will probably expect to find these at public libraries, but purchase only to cover demand.ABeth Farrell, Portage Cty. Dist. Lib., OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Later Printing edition (January 5, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684841347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684841342
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book has been very powerful for me, and is effortless to incorporate into even a busy life. There are so many good books on spirituality, but this one is unique because it breaks down many universal spiritual principles into concise daily readings, with sections on "Honoring Yourself," "Honoring Others," "Honoring the Process," "Honoring Your Feelings," and more. Within each section, each day has one spiritual principle you read about, and has a short space for you to write your own take about what you've read. It also has a space to reflect at the end of the day any experiences you've had relating to that principle (don't worry, it's not a huge journal-type project - all the writing takes me less than 5 minutes a day, and adds immensely to the power of the program). Because my time is so tight in the morning, I do the reading the night before. (The readings are short - most only 3 pages.) I'm about halfway through the 40 days, and my soul is opening up, and I find myself looking forward to my nightly reading, as an inspiring and relaxing ritual. I'm sure you'll also find many of the readings to speak directly to issues you're having now, and others will validate things you've already become aware of, and yet others will be on tap when you are struggling with different things. It is a brilliantly concise book, and one with all its tools clearly laid out so it can be referred to again and again long after the 40 days are past. (I really encourage you to go through it one chapter at a time as she mentions, because each principle will sink in much more than if you attempt to read it as a chapter book.)
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Format: Hardcover
Hardly a "disappointment". This book is excellent. And I'm happy to say, it is for ALL women (and men for that matter), and has even helped this old White lady along for the past several weeks to see things differently, to expand more spiritually. True, Vanzant doesn't address YOU or YOUR problems... Instead, she leaves that up to YOU. No one can know you better than yourself; no one can tell you how to reshape your life better than you... I don't like strangers telling me how to "fix" myself, so I appreciate the fact that Vanzant never does this in her book. I also appreciate the fact that Vanzant doesn't force her religious views on her readers. Instead, she shows respect for everyone's individual beliefs while giving readers "permission" to explore their OWN spirituality and the way they view the world. The chapter on Trust, for example, got me thinking and prompted me to progress to a new, better, higher level of understanding about what "Trust" means TO ME. Psychologists call it "reframing" -- seeing things from a different perspective so you gain a greater understanding of whatever the "things" are. Vanzant "reframes" a lot of things, helping readers to see issues like Creativity, Trust, and Personal Divinity from different angles. I recommend this book to EVERYONE who wants to explore their own souls and gain a greater appreciation of themselves and their relatioship to their Spiritual nature. You have to do the work yourself, but this is an excellent tool to help you do just that.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful workbook style guide to those of us looking to make changes in our lives. If you are someone who has reached a point in your life where you want and need to make life changes, get this book! Iyanla Vanzant has a wonderful sense of humor that everyone can relate to. She write as she speaks and her vocabulary is familiar and funny. Her advice is direct no BS advice/encouragement to get going with these changes. She answers the questions, "OK, now what do I do?" This book is simple and managable for those of us who love to say "I have no time to find myself." This workbook is simple and fun. You will make time for Iyanla's humor and words of wisdom. Put this book on your kitchen table in the morning and take it to bed with you at night. Once you get into the routine of waking up and going to sleep with this book you will look forward to your time with Iyanla and more importantly with yourself. And before you know it, Your soul will just open up! Love it when that happens!
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Format: Hardcover
If you are not ready to tap into the deep spiritual issues preventing you from experiencing pure joy, peace, and spiritual awakening, then this is not the book for you. Vanzant offers a spiritual workbook designed to allow you to explore your inner workings over the course of 40 days and 40 nights. Each morning you awaken to a different reading exercise that will require you to explore how that day's principle applies to your life, and to journal it. You then read a short affirmation that you apply to your day, and return in the evening to journal how you were able to incorportate that principle into your life. This book should be a consistent 40 day spiritual journey to be most effective in your life. If you want to just browse through and pick and choose the principles you want to read, I don't believe you will get the full benefit of this book. I have found in my own journey that different issues have emerged each time I refer back to this book. I also suggest that the first time you "do" this book, be sure to write the date you started. You will find the issue that affected you then, will often be diffent from the issues affecting you the second time around as you progressively grow spiritually.
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