40 Spiritual Principles
a 40-Day Journey Towards Spiritual
Iyanla Vanzant, despite having grown up in a church, had for many years remained uncertain,
fearful and confused about God – afraid that God was always there to get her and punish her for what she did
wrong. One day something changed and she came to the realization that God’s presence is within her heart. She
has come to believe that God and Jesus are walking with her and love her, and that the Spirit is teaching and
guiding her. She sees that to believe in God means learning to honour our inherent godliness. God, the Creator
of the universe, the divine energy of life, wants and needs to demonstrate through those walking with him the
goodness he has in store for all people. In being the light of the world through the divine in us, we are to
shine in the glory of this knowledge. God believes that we can do
In her book, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, Iyanla shares
principles she had discovered for a spiritual journey to God and with God. Below is a brief summary of each of
the 40 principles. They are addressed under six overall headings: (1) Honour the Divine, (2) Honour
Yourself, (3) Honour Others, (4) Honour Your Feelings, (5) Honour Your Process, (6) Honour Your
Phase 1: Honour the Divine with ...
This is the Absolute, that which reveals and is in accord
with the will of the Divine as the governing principle of life. Truth is eternal and unchanging. Truth related to
the Divine exists at the core of every living being. The basic principle of truth is that the mind of every
individual is eternally unified with the Divine Mind. As one’s awareness expands and embraces the concept of divine
truth, understanding unfolds.
God is Truth – Truth is divine. Truth is greater than any problem on the physical level.
This is reliance on the Divine for all sustenance and supply – trusting the Divine to
provide needed wisdom and guidance by relying on the intuition of the heart. By trusting the Divine – the
signs and signals we receive – we learn to trust ourselves. Trust
in the Divine is not the same as trust in people. Trust is an instrument of divine wisdom. Trust in Self (the
Divine within) is trust in the Divine.
Prayer is a form of communion – the method of communication between man and the Divine. It
is also an inward exploration undertaken to cleanse and perfect consciousness, and an act of reaching in to
the Higher Self. Prayer is a calling forth of the Divine that results in your mind, body, and spirit being
brought into alignment with what you need in any given moment. When
we pray, we are asking for the intervention of Spirit on our behalf or someone else’s behalf. Spiritual
intervention is always a divine win-win situation that will unfold in a divine manner according to divine
will. We’ll recognise the answer to our prayer when it shows up.
This is a way to accomplish stillness – stilling the physical/conscious mind to all
external stimuli – in order to hear the Divine presence within. When we are still, the power of the Divine is
active. The act of “not doing” is an attempt to expand the awareness of “being.” Meditation is also a
continuous, contemplative thought given to Truth.
This is a state of mental and emotional receptivity. The will is the controlling and
directive faculty of the mind that determines consciousness and character. Willingness is a state of
consciousness that allows the mental faculty to be infused with the will of the Divine.
When we are willing to give up our thoughts to the Divine Mind, we receive Divine
guidance. This enables us to elevate our feelings to a divine nature – love, openness and peace. Of all the
spiritual principles that take us into moments of grace, willingness teaches us that when we are willing to give up
what we have, the Divine will replace it tenfold.
This is the invisible force behind all things seen, the innate ability of a living element
to recreate itself, and the spiritual faculty of potentiality. It is also the ability of human beings to
bring forth onto the physical/visible level that which is conceived, consciously or unconsciously, at the
mental level and the emotional level. We all have the ability to
create. Through our consciousness (thoughts) we have the creative power to shape and change our environment.
The creative process begins with thought, moves to word, and is fulfilled in action. If our thoughts are
loving, peaceful, and joyful, we’ll be creating a positive environment around us. We have the power to change
a destructive situation by praying for love and peace and calling forth the Divine, which can transfer a
situation into a corrective healing experience.
Peace is an internal state of harmony and tranquillity
derived from the awareness of peace. To create peace around us, we must first be peaceful. We can choose peace in
all situations. Nothing can disturb the peace we create within.
This is the state of being uncomplicated, clear, direct, and
free of judgment. We tend to complicate everything, but can choose simplicity. Love is not complicated, but fear
complicates all matters.
Vanzant, One Day My Soul Just
Opened Up (Fireside, New York, 1998)
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