Up from Here: Reclaiming the Male Spirit: A Guide to Transforming Emotions into Power and Freedom


For men — and the women who love them —
a guide to transformation and true power

The world needs your light. The world needs your life.
Every woman and child needs you also.

Few men are taught the true spiritual essence of masculinity. In Up from Here Iyanla Vanzant empowers men with the insight and skills they need to identify, name, and understand their feelings, as well...

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For men — and the women who love them —
a guide to transformation and true power

The world needs your light. The world needs your life.
Every woman and child needs you also.

Few men are taught the true spiritual essence of masculinity. In Up from Here Iyanla Vanzant empowers men with the insight and skills they need to identify, name, and understand their feelings, as well as to overcome the old patterns of behavior that result from misusing or not tapping into their emotional strength. In clear terms Vanzant shows men how to use the energy of emotions to move beyond painful, negative feelings such as rage, shame, fear, and anger to authenticity and strength.

Like the phoenix, you can rise up from here,
out of the ashes of the crash and burn of the past,
to claim your true identity and power.

By using Vanzant's "power tools" men can transform their frustrations and failures in love, life, and work into opportunities to claim their true potential and purpose.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Identifying, naming, and understanding your feelings are activities that most men don't always know how to do. Bestselling author Vanzant recommends rewiring old feelings as a way to achieving joyous behavior. Reclaiming the male spirit with verve.
Publishers Weekly
Suggesting that many African-American men have lost their sense of self-love, self-respect and self-worth due to the death of their inner spirit, popular TV talk show host Vanzant (In the Meantime; One Day My Soul Just Opened Up; etc.) writes that the traditional masculine persona of work and physical action has failed them in these high-tech times. Men, Vanzant says, must confront their feelings of rage, guilt and shame by exploring the secret parts of their inner selves to become transformed into fully functioning people, conscious of how their thoughts and actions affect themselves and others. In her customary warm, engaging Mother Wisdom voice, Vanzant presents portraits of seven black men with crisis-filled lives to serve as examples for how her transformation process can aid them in removing their emotional toxicity to produce permanent, genuine change. They're to use her "power tools" of awareness, acknowledgment, acceptance, confession, surrender, forgiveness, understanding, commitment, responsibility, "right action" and stillness. While each of the case studies is carefully chosen and somewhat fulfills its role, the cumulative effect of the stories falls short when compared to Vanzant's detailed, exacting analysis of the men's emotional defects and her prescribed cure for their ailments. Closer attention to the portraits would have added more punch and significance to her wise, lucid conclusions, lifting this book far above the usual New Age spirituality and advice book fare. (May) Forecast: With Vanzant's huge popularity, enduring track record as a bestselling author, six-city tour and a national ad campaign, sales should be brisk. But, as indicated by the relatively weak sales of Sarah Ban Breathnach's A Man's Journey to Simple Abundance, it's an open question whether men will in large numbers buy a self-help book written by a woman; though of course women buyers will take up some of the slack. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Best-selling inspirational author Vanzant turns her attention to men. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060522506
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2003
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,211,884
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.12 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Iyanla Vanzant is the bestselling author of In the Meantime, One Day My Soul Just Opened Up, and The Spirit of a Man. She is the founder and executive director of Inner Visions Spiritual Life Maintenance Network and the Inner Visions Institute of Spiritual Development.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Up from Here

If you're holding this book in your hands, it's a pretty safe bet that there are things in your life that aren't working for you. Maybe it's the job, or the fact that there is no job. Maybe it's your relationship with someone in your family -- your mother, perhaps, or your child -- or maybe it's the woman who is (or isn't) in your life. Maybe it's a feeling of powerlessness or a dislike of what you see in the mirror. I don't know which of these it is, but I do know this: this book is here to give you courage, willingness, and tools to address and change those things that are holding you back, keeping you down and grounded, and preventing you from realizing your potential and becoming the divine person you're meant to be!

Right off, I can tell you two things to make these changes easier. First, if and when you see yourself in the pages of this book (and see the things about yourself that you try never to reveal to anybody), you don't have to tell anyone you're looking at yourself. Second, if you can't yet admit that you're seeing yourself in this book, you can recognize someone else -- a friend, a brother -- and learn from him.

This is what I hope for you: that you'll be able to see that where you are now, dark as it may be, has a purpose. It's the beginning place, and all journeys to satisfaction and fullness need someplace to start from. When you're low, there's nowhere to go but up -- and together we can go up from here.

This business of coming from a dark place to a light one is avery personal process. It takes place between you and yourself in the privacy of your own mind and the sacredness of your own heart. The only evidence that you've even read this book will be what happens in your life when you put its principles into practice. People are going to look at you and say, "What have you been doing? You're doing something different!" This book is about looking at the secret places, the silent places, the wounded places, the crying places within you. If you're now ready to acknowledge them, and accept them and embrace them, then you can heal.

One concept of healing is that it's the application of love to the wounded places, the places where there's darkness or ignorance. All of us in the human race have dark places inside, places that have been injured, chipped, cracked, stretched almost to breaking. These places require infinite amounts of love. When they get that love -- when we learn to take the power and strength of our own love and apply it to those places -- healing occurs.

It's important to realize that the fact that there's a dark or wounded side of you doesn't mean there's anything wrong. It means only that you've been living out your own spiritual curriculum, learning your own lessons, doing your own thing -- just as the Divine's plan of your life would have you do. But there comes a day of graduation when you have to move, progress, elevate, or get promoted from one grade to the next, and that movement requires shedding light on the darkness, treating the wound, refinishing the cracks -- and that's what healing is.

Love isn't anything that we do; rather, it's who we are and what we are. Our lessons, our trials, our experiences are all divinely designed to bring us to that place within ourselves where nothing exists but love.

This book will give you the courage, the strength, the tools, and the process for looking at the dark places inside yourself. The goal of this book is to encourage, assist, and support you in acknowledging that those dark, broken, chipped places exist, and in the process to give you the tools, information, and encouragement you need to bring healing light, balance, and peace to those places.

Reclaiming the Male Spirit

I'm not my brother's keeper; I am my brother. And if I need healing, my brothers need healing. Everywhere we look today we see that things are changing, people are changing, our approach to life and living is changing. It's not that we have to get rid of what we have and who we've become, but we certainly have to approach our lives differently. The Native Americans talk about walking gently through life, and that's a message we need to hear and heed. We as a human race haven't walked gently through our lives. Not only have we walked harshly on the earth and been harsh with one another, we've brutalized ourselves. In doing so, we've allowed (and sometimes even invited) others to join in on the process.

It takes courage to really look at yourself in order to determine what's going on in your life. Only then can you glimpse what's behind your unexamined emotions and recognize the damage they've caused you and others. It's my intention to remind you of what you already have: you have the innate goodness of Spirit within you. I want you to know who you already are: you're one in whom God is well pleased! It's also my intention to show you that much of your goodness has been covered and cloaked and undermined and stepped on. It's my prayer that you'll be able to recognize that you've done a lot of the stepping yourself, because only with that information will you be able to make better choices in the future.

Based on my experience with men, I believe that all too often they view life through a brutal, terrorizing screen...

Up From Here. Copyright © by Iyanla Vanzant. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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