Until Today!: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind

Until Today!: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind

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by Iyanla Vanzant
     
 

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If there are situations, circumstances, or perhaps relationships in your life that you have been struggling to overcome, trying to work through, or doing your best to work around, throw your head back and declare to the universe, "Until Today!"

Whatever has been going on in your mind, your life, or your heart can stop — right now, if that

Overview

If there are situations, circumstances, or perhaps relationships in your life that you have been struggling to overcome, trying to work through, or doing your best to work around, throw your head back and declare to the universe, "Until Today!"

Whatever has been going on in your mind, your life, or your heart can stop — right now, if that is truly what you desire. However, you must be willing to "do a new thing." You must spend a little time, each day, in devotion to the truth about yourself and your life. You must make a conscious approach to what you think, what you feel, and what you do. Devotion will clear up misconceptions that may have obscured your vision until today!

Bestselling author Iyanla Vanzant presents a new book of devotions for anyone on the path to spiritual empowerment. These daily devotions will create powerful changes in the circumstances of your life that have held you back and will place you on the road to personal strength and peace of mind.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Now slated for April 2000! Even before Oprah shared the secret, Iyanla Vanzant was a household name for many. And now she returns with a new devotional. As with her phenomenal bestseller Acts of Faith, Vanzant here provides a daily blueprint for healthier living and spiritual empowerment. Brimming with a year's supply of daily quotations, exercises, and Iyanla's acute observations, Until Today! is an ideal gift for yourself or a loved one.
Library Journal
More inspiration from Vanzant. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
USA Today Vanzant seems to have touched a chord among those looking for inner peace.

Linton Weeks The Washington Post Iyanla Vanzant has been down and now her books are pulling others up.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684841373
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
12/05/2000
Pages:
432
Product dimensions:
5.65(w) x 7.53(h) x 1.47(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction: There's Always More!
If by chance no one has told you that they love you today, I would be honored to be the first to say, I love you today! I love you because you are and have been so willing to grow. And my how you have grown! You've grown from struggling to searching. From trying to do to learning how to do. You've grown from fear to having faith, to demonstrating your courage. You have grown in many ways, consistently demonstrating your willingness and courage to take the next step—the step toward the profound and divine wisdom buried within yourself. The step toward knowing more about yourself. This is exactly why I love you —you are so profoundly divine.

Growth is a very profound experience. It can be beautiful and ugly, empowering and confining, thought-provoking and mind-boggling, pleasant and unpleasant, all at the same time. Just when you think you've got it, life seems to say, "Well, now take this!" And you do. Then, the minute you are ready to throw your hands up, give up or beat up on yourself for doing the same thing in the same way and ending up in the same place again, you realize you haven't done so badly after all. You know you have grown when you can meet a challenge, an obstacle or a difficulty without totally losing it. Somehow, someway in the growth process, you have come upon the understanding that the more you grow, the more you know, the more you are encouraged to grow and know.

There is more of you waiting to unfold. There is more about the world you desire to understand. There are more people coming into your life, and you are gaining more knowledge about yourself through your experiences with them. There is so much more, so much new information coming your way that you are continually being reminded that you owe it to yourself to do all you can to prepare yourself to receive these new insights. There is also so much more wealth, well-being, peace and joy waiting for you, and, because I love you, I want the very best for you. Offering you this book is a demonstration of my support as you prepare for the work and blessings that are to come.

I want to tell you a story. You know I always have to tell at least one story, and this is it. In preparing for an upcoming event, I gave my team what I thought was a simple assignment. You see, you cannot teach what you have not experienced. I asked each person, each potential teacher, to write a five-hundred-word description of themselves, using the first person, in the present tense. I had faith that these powerful and loving individuals, with whom I have worked for over seven years, would take the task in stride. What we learned in the process was profoundly healing for us all.

As we sat to review each response, my team members shared with me the overwhelming feelings, even fears, they had experienced while completing the assignment. I know from experience that examining yourself, what you do and how you feel, can be one of the most challenging and frightening things you will ever face in life. To then share that information with others is the stuff that fried brain matter is made of. Yet my team members understood that the journey into self-acceptance and self-love must begin with self-examination. We all also understood that until you take the journey of self-reflection, it is almost impossible to grow or learn in life.

Each response we shared that evening was deeply moving and radically honest. More important, we all heard a bit of ourselves in each response. One response stood out. It captured what we all knew but lacked the requisite courage or insight to say. I share that response with you and pray that it will prepare you, as it has prepared us, to really examine how we do, what we do.

The Landscape of Myself

As I pondered my own response to this assignment, I came to the realization that there are three very different aspects of myself that I could describe. The question then became which aspect do I describe? Which part and how much of myself do I choose to reveal? Life is so wonderful! It is always offering to us the opportunity to get it together. So I decided to come clean and, as honestly as possible, describe all three "selves" that I have now come to know. These selves make up the landscape of me that I am working to transform. That I am devoted to transforming.

The landscape of me varies in its appearance depending on who you are, where you stand in my life and how I choose to present myself. First, there is the self that usually appears in discussions like these. The self that I want others to see. This is the self of majestic mountain peaks and verdant meadows. This is the self of strength and power. This is the self of educational and career accomplishments, leadership skills and the demonstrated commitment to service. This is the public self, the one I struggle to hold on to.

Then there is the self that does not want to be revealed. It wants to hide. This is the landscape of weaknesses. There are many valleys and few peaks in this self. This self encompasses my secret thoughts and beliefs about who I am. This is the self that I do not share with others. This is the self I travel with in times of darkness, times of fear, through experiences of worthlessness and hopelessness. Yet I have come to recognize that this self guides me to the places of the truest teachings, learning and growth.

In the landscape of this self, the topography includes places like the "swamp of self-deception," overflowing with the waters of dishonesty, steaming with the fog of selfishness and reeking with the stench of egotism. Venomous snakes of procrastination, laziness and lack of self-discipline breed here freely. Quite often they threaten to eat me alive.

Nearby lies the "valley of self-doubt." This valley is littered with huge boulders of fear, formed from anxiety about failing, held in place by the pebbles of insecurity. The ground is dry and parched from long droughts of shame and guilt. Nothing grows in this valley. It is littered with weeds of limitation and lack.

The desert of anger surrounds the valley of self-doubt. It is heated by the unrelenting sun of self-hatred and resentment that give rise to the hot winds of resistance, disobedience, competitiveness and arrogance. These winds create sandstorms of jealousy, meanness and envy.

There are places in this landscape that cannot be seen by the viewer. These are the underground caverns and caves of "not good enough" and "not worthy of good" that run beneath the swamps and the valleys and the desert. These caverns underlie all of the self-destructive, nonproductive scenes. It is only recently that I discovered just how deeply these caverns and caves extend into my life. It is on this foundation I have stood most of my life. Until today!

During this process, I found it extremely interesting that while I am able to identify the weaknesses in such great detail, I am challenged in identifying the strengths. There is, however, a third realm in the landscape of self. It is not new, but it is a place I am just beginning to know and accept. This third landscape is a place of beautiful, inspiring scenery, scenes of dreams and aspirations. It feels new to me because I have wallowed in the swamp of self-deception for far too long, visited the cave of not good enough too often—so often, in fact, that I lost sight of my right to dream dreams and aspire to the goals that I had created for myself.

I now stand boldly in this new land, dreaming joy-filled dreams and devoted to their realization. I now see lush, sunlit hillside terraces of hope; sandy white beaches of confidence; floral gardens of self-love and mountains of faith in my ability to have it all. In this new place of dreams, I am singing and dancing with delight; visiting breathtaking sites of peace, as I walk on the abundantly wealthy earth, talking to God in the silence. I now see myself learning new things, teaching new things, creating objects of beauty, loving others and being loved passionately. Most of all I see myself in a landscape of happiness. I am just as I am, and as I become, I am.

In the landscape of dreams there is the horizon of aspiration. The aspirations are becoming clearer in this new third self. I see myself as a teacher not of the former self, but of a new, true Self. I am a teacher willing to support others in their quest to connect with God. As I learn and teach myself, I will share with others. I will teach the process that is written in the curriculum guide of the heart, as I have learned it by walking through the desert, the swamp, the cave, coming to a place of rest on the beach of devotion, in the gardens of dreams.

Isn't it amazing that we go to so many dark places to find the light we've always had? I ran from myself only to find myself through seeking to help others. I see myself with more clarity now, and I am devoted to use what God gave me in order to achieve what I desire and offer myself to the greater good of the planet. To this I am devoted.

Devotion as a Way of Life

Time spent in devotion offers divine revelations. Through this assignment, we all learned that our devotion to doing a specific thing is not about making things happen the way we want them to happen. Devotion requires a willingness, openness and readiness to embrace the truth. It is a process of opening yourself to receive what already is. God's goodness and love already exist. God's love leads us to the truth. The minute we believe that we know it all, have it all figured out, or that something about life does not apply to us, we cannot know the truth. When we devote time to knowing the truth, all else that we need has a way of finding us.

Devotion, as offered in this book, is not a New Age trick through which you can impose your will on God, the universe, or those around you. Devotion is the reverent, personal act of surrendering your will to Divine will. The devotions in this book will help you open your mind and spirit and become one with all the good that God has in store for you. We often work so hard trying to get the things we want that we miss the fact that it is the landscape of our inner world that stands between us and true happiness. When we become devoted to healing our inner world, loving and honoring ourselves and using that love as the standard by which we interact with others, all the riches of this life will fall into our laps. That is what the journey of this book is about: learning to love and honor yourself from the inside to the outside. More than this, our Creator has not asked of us.

How to Use This Book

Until Today! is divided into twelve sections. Each section, representing one month of devotion, focuses on a spiritual principle that will support you in examining, exploring and healing the landscape of your inner thoughts and feelings. These principles are universal concepts. They are presented in an order that will guide you, step-by-step, to a deeper level of awareness of yourself and the process of life.

Each day you will read a passage. At the end of each day's passage, an old way of thinking is presented. It is presented as the Until Today! statement. This statement represents the old sentiments, resentments, beliefs, decisions, agreements, judgments and ideas that may have become habitual. Often, these are the very things that prevent us from moving into a greater experience of life and a fuller expression of our true Self. Following the Until today! statement will be a prescription for a new approach, a new way of thinking. It is presented as the Just for today statement. Your task on this journey is to remember the new way and commit yourself to the practice of it throughout the day. The practice of a new way of being will be your devotion.

Some devotions require only a thought. Thoughts become the experiences you live. Releasing old thought patterns clears the way for new patterns of living. Hold the Just for today thought in your mind, and support it by repeating the affirmation offered at the bottom of each page as often as you can during the day. As simple as it may sound, just one day of pure devotion is enough to set a pattern in motion.

Other daily devotions will require action. You will be asked to do a particular thing in a particular way as a means of putting the new thought into action. A dear friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Therman Evans, teaches us, "If you behaved yourself into a situation, you must behave yourself out of it!" Daily devotions announce to the universe your clear intention to do better, be better and experience the better things in life. One day at a time, your devotions will liberate you. Just imagine! One day at a time, one step at a time, you can take your walk of faith to the heights of your greatest potential. And you know what? Regardless of where you are, or what your current experience may be, there is always more. I can hardly wait to hear about all the good things that you will experience as a result of daily devotions.

Let me be very clear, I am in no way saying that these devotions should replace your daily devotions to God. As a matter of fact, since every devotion in this book is based on a spiritual principle, you can incorporate the work you will do through this book with whatever your religious or spiritual practices may be. This book is a companion, a signpost. It is not meant to convert you to anything you do not choose to be. You will also find that I use the words God, Spirit and Universe, interchangeably. That is because I want everyone to feel comfortable. You are, as always, free to substitute the word representing whatever sacred Being you are comfortable calling upon. Whatever you choose for yourself, if you are devoted to it, you will be blessed.

You are such a blessing to me! Yes! You are the blessing! The love, support and enthusiasm with which you have received all of my work has given me a renewed sense of purpose. You have shared with me. You have trusted me. You have encouraged me to dig a little deeper, come up with a little more, give what I find with a new, fresh insight. You keep me on my toes, and for this I am so very grateful. On this leg of our journey, I want to return the favor. I want you to dig a little deeper. I want you to study a little harder. I want you to devote a little more time to the life assignment of discovering your true Self, your God Self, celebrating life and doing what brings you joy. I pray that Until Today! will bless you with the information, principles and guidance you need to such a degree that it surpasses your wildest imaginings. In the meantime, while you are growing, know that I walk this path with you, not as a leader, but as a companion and friend.

I thank you!

I salute you!

I honor your greatness!

Iyanla

Meet the Author

With more than 8 million books in print, Iyanla Vanzant has truly established a dedicated fan base.
Iyanla's path to success took her through a multitude of life-changing experiences that shaped the profound insights she eagerly shares with others. A neglected, overweight, sexually abused child who was shuttled from one family to another, she became a teenage mother on welfare living in the projects of a major urban city. Vanzant took control of her life when she walked out of her second abusive marriage and entered Medgar Evers College in New York and then the City University of New York Law School. She moved to Philadelphia with her children and became a public defender for three years. Then she eventually became an ordained minister, who was committed to a message based on the principles of divine power and self-determination.

Iyanla combined her professional skills with her life's lessons and embarked on a writing and speaking career. Her mass appeal is evident in her overwhelming success as an author. In the Meantime was a #1 New York Times bestseller, where it spent 20 weeks on the list, and she has had numerous other major bestsellers. As a nationally recognized speaker she has sold out such prestigious venues as New York's Jacob Javits Convention Center, Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, Atlanta's Civic Center, and the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Vanzant is also familiar to the daytime TV audience from her role as a regular contributor on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Acclaimed journalist and producer Barbara Walters recognized Vanzant's extraordinary appeal, seeing in her a "breakaway talent" with the potential for huge success in daytime television. With Walters and partner Bill Geddie on board to executive produce, Buena Vista Productions to develop the show, and Buena Vista Television as distributor, the road to Iyanla was forged.

Vanzant has received numerous accolades for her work. In 1992 Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley named October 21st "Tapping the Power Within Day" in honor of a workshop she presented in that city for African-American women. In 1994, the National Association of Equal Opportunity in Education, an organization comprised of the presidents and administrators of the 117 predominantly Black colleges in the United States named her Alumni of the Year. She also was awarded an "Oni" by the International Congress of Black Women as one of the nation's unsung heroes, and she served as the national spokesperson for Literacy Volunteers of America in 1998.

In 1999 she was listed among the 100 Most Influential African-Americans by Ebony magazine. Later that year, she was awarded the 31st NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Literary Work, Non-Fiction" for Yesterday I Cried. She also earned her first Honorary Doctorate degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from the City University of New York, Medgar Evars College. In 2000, she earned her second honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity, from the Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition, Ebony has named her one of their "55 Most Intriguing People," Vibe magazine tabbed her one of "100 Leaders of the New Millennium" and Newsweek recently included her as one of the "Women of the New Century."

The mother of three and grandmother of four, Vanzant lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband Adeyemi and Mr. Coco, their cat.

To learn how Iyanla can help you get started on your journey toward spiritual enlightenment, visit Inner Visions Worldwide, Inc., at
www.innervisionsworldwide.com.

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Until Today! 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome in the morning with coffee/tea.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have given this book several times, and also read it over and over yearly. There is a month and day but not a year, so it continues to be current. Vanzant does not write what you expect. There is always a surprise that inspires or needles me. For all readers who want more depth in their spiritual growth and are willing to participate in change.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is a very good book for people that are looking for spiritual growth and that are looking to improve themselves.
jessiella More than 1 year ago
Some days it was written JUST FOR ME! I am sure you will feel the same.
NonnieSR More than 1 year ago
Until Today makes you understand you have to be in today. We are always thinking about what we should of done yesterday or thinking about tomorrow instead of staying in TODAY. It has really helped me with more soul searching with my relation with GOD and others. It is an excellent book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Everyday has a new surprise and a way to motivate, encourage, or inspire you to be your best....LOVE IT AND I DO NOT START MY DAY WITHOUT IT....
PandaBear08 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best spiritual growth books on the market. You can read it every year over and over. No matter what you are going through it will boost you and allow you to rethink the situation. Read It!!!! My aunt spoke to me about it, I gave a friend a copy, another friend bought it for her and her mom and not long ago we were speaking about this book on Facebook!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i HAVE READ MANY SELF-HELP BOOKS AND DAILY MOTIVATIONAL BOOKS AS I HAVE FACED VARIOUS CRISISES IN MY LIFE. NONE OF THEM HAS SO MOVED ME LIKE 'UNTIL TODAY'. THIS IS THE ONLY BOOK I USE DAILY. EACH MORNING AS I READ THE MESSAGES I FEEL AS IF A GOOD, WISE TEACHER IS SPEAKING DIRECTLY TO ME. I SOMETIMES FIND MYSELF WONDERING, 'HOW DOES SHE KNOW?' I KNOW THAT I WAS LEAD TO THAT BOOK IN THE BOOKSTORE WHEN I NEEDED IT THE MOST BY SOME DIVINE INTERVENTION. I HAVE GIFTED MANY FRIENDS WITH COPIES OF THE BOOK AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. THANK FOR FOR ALL THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE YOU ARE TOUCHING AND HELPING THROUGH YOUR BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN WORDS OF WISDOM. BETTY SHERMAN
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read many devotional/daily readings or say used to. There can't be anyone who won't benefit from at least 1/2 of the years readings. If you're ready for self realization and reflection, this is the book for your.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is quite an amazing, thought-provoking daily meditation book. I almost wonder how i've functioned with out it. I highly recommend this book to everyone willing to change!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is full of great reminders of how precious life is. How we must forgive and love ourselves. I read mine every morning over breakfast and sometimes, share with friends. Great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can call it self-esteem, self-regard, or whatever you want, but it comes out to self love at the end of the line. And yes, wisdom, be it the ancient symbles of the owel, the serpent, or now the sword; you can find it in this book. I do not read any foolishness in it, which is the other side of the coin, and which most books are made up of now-a-days. You see both sides when you flip the coin; if you ever flip it. This writer brings forth something needed, and God will most likely approve, and that is what really matters. Isn't it?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am surprised nobody wrote a review for this wonderful book. As a Chinese immigrants originally from Taiwan, I find that this book also has a tremendous value to me. This book teaches me not to give up even though in my mind the estimation of my yokes has a thousand tons. It also helps me furiously battle my own evils and hence the evils of others. No wonder the symbol of wisdom is often depicted as a sword.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed all of this author's books. This one lacked some of the depth of the previous ones.