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Life coach Iyanla Vanzant opens up to Hoda about the loss of her daughter

On 'Making Space with Hoda Kotb,' the life coach says 'God never gives it to you all at once.'
NBC

Iyanla Vanzant recently walked away from her show "Iyanla: Fix My Life" after 10 seasons.

On Hoda Kotb's "Making Space" podcast, Vanzant revealed that she had been toying with the idea before, but had to apply her own lessons of trust, surrender and letting go.

"They say God never gives it to you all at once. He throws a pebble and then she throws the rock," she said. "So when Spirit said to me, 'It's done,' I'm like, 'Okay, I'm out.'"

Vanzant opened up in the podcast about the loss of her daughter, Gemmia, who died on Christmas Day 2003, from a rare form of colon cancer at age 31.

"Well, it changes who you are as a woman. It changed who I was as a woman, first for the worse, and then for the better," she said.

In relationships, people don't bring you love or give you love. What they do is make you aware of the depth of love that you are.

She said it had changed her for the better because "God must've really, really trusted me to give me a soul to bring into life, and to trust me with the courage to send her out."

Vanzant described Gemmia as the love of her life.

"In relationships, people don't bring you love or give you love. What they do is make you aware of the depth of love that you are," she said.

She does not see her life experiences — including the loss of her daughter and childhood abuse — as difficulties. "I would say that the purpose of my life required that I had a depth of experience that would allow me to speak to people in the depths of their pain, in the depths of their sorrow.

You find your purpose by standing strongly in who you are, and asking for what you want.

For those trying to create change in their lives now, Vanzant says the first step is simple: "Start telling the truth about who you are and what you want.

"Most people won't say out loud who they are, and what they want, what they're up to. Most people don't even know who they are. They really don't know. They don't have a vision for yourself," she said.

"You find your purpose by standing strongly in who you are, and asking for what you want. Do what you're good at. That's what your purpose is," she said.

Listen to the entire conversation on "Making Space with Hoda Kotb" wherever you find your podcasts.