Book Reviews

Forgiveness

Iyanla Vanzant

Self Improvement, Empowerment, Relationships, Inspirational, Spirituality, Health & Healing

978-1-4019-4361-5

Too many of us feel trapped in stagnant romantic, family, or workplace relationships. Weighed down by toxic thoughts and emotions, we might be quick to judge and slow to pardon, and self-righteous abo... More

May 20, 2014 lausprinkle
I signed up for this book because I truly believe in the power of forgiveness to set us free. It gives us freedom from our past to focus more fully on the present. I love, love, love what Iyanla Vanzant, the author of the book, says about forgiveness: that it doesn't mean you agree with what happened, or that you like it. It doesn't mean you're saying it's acceptable. What you're doing is releasing the pent up negative energy you hold within you, freeing yourself for more positivity and love.

The book explains a fairly simple 21-day practice that allows you to go through different parts of your life to forgive. It starts with forgiving yourself & your body, and then goes into things like forgiving your parents, your current and/or ex-partners, and so much more.

What I Love:

+ comprehensive practice

+ beautiful explanations of WHY forgiveness is so important

+ Iyanla's own life experiences are interwoven - she's gone through a lot of s*** and it's empowering to read her story and know that if she can forgive, anyone can

+ it comes with an awesome CD of meditations and forgiveness statements! Seriously best part.

+ incorporation of your own story within your practice (she guides you through a couple of them as examples, but really the world is your oyster when it comes to your forgiveness possibilities and you're free to create it exactly how it fits you and your needs)

+ follows the Pro EFT(tm) Tapping System. I'm new to this but basically it is a form of acupressure (similar to acupuncture but without needles, hoorah!) where you tap on different points of your body while speaking out loud your forgiveness statements. It sounds funny if you're new to it, and I went into it a total non-believer, but left my first 5-minute session while watching a YouTube video feeling totally energized and awesome!

Get the book here: Forgiveness

What Could Be Better:

+ For newbies to Tapping, it is hard to figure out where exactly to tap. Or maybe that was just me. In the past I've done videos, so trying to keep the book open with my leg, or another object, while also tapping and also speaking - it was kind of a jumbly-wumbly mess. There are a lot of great free resources online to help, though.

+ while I put incorporation of your own story in the Things I Love category, it was also kind of difficult at first to come up with my own forgiveness statements. Though this book is ultimately more valuable, someone looking to follow a simple forgiveness practice that they can read and tap through won't find that in this book.

Overall

If you're new to EFT and tapping, maybe look into a couple of YouTube videos or at[...] for an idea before buying.

However, once you get an idea and do a couple of mini-sessions to discover the true value in it, I highly recommend this book. Reading the book alone might get you some new insights into a more positive life, but doing the exercises and making them your own will cause you transformations you never thought possible.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review, however, the opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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May 04, 2014 Loveandtreasure
What is the One Thing that is Sabotaging your Life and What You Can Do to Eliminate It

I first became acquainted with Iyanla Vanzant when she first came out on Oprah. Something that struck me about her then and that continues to strike me now, is the loving manner in which she tells it like it is. She invites you to reflect about your life as a sister would... with love and compassion, but truly encouraging you to live a life that allows you to be better and freer. In other words, she has very little tolerance for B.S. and she inspires you to have very little tolerance for your own B.S..

What Is Our Biggest Issue with Forgiveness?

While living a better and a freer life can sound like a cliche or a generality, Iyanla's book, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone and Everything, is a flashing, bright, neon, symbolic sign (which many of us can't see or simply ignore) of what many of us need--- to forgive-- in order to live unchained to our past and little by little, untether ourself from our issues. Think about it, what usually holds you back? Fear that you'll get hurt if so and so does such and such to you. Put another way, you're afraid that you'll taste humiliation again, and you're afraid because you dislike the taste of humiliation (who likes it?) within your own body. And who controls what goes on in our own body? We do. The act(s) you lived through that you think is/are so horrendous happened in the past, but you continue to relive it/them in the present. It's like watching the scariest movie scene that "traumatized" you over and over again, instead of focusing your attention elsewhere. Who does that? As incomprehensible as it might be, we do. Why? Because at some subconscious or conscious level, revisiting these undesirable episodes in our life and rehashing them to the people in our life and the new people that we meet works for us.

You willingly let fear paralyze you because you would rather be be paralyzed than be hurt.

Paralysis, isn't as painful as hurt. As you've probably experienced, many times, after we've been hurt, we build a wall around us SOOOO high that we prevent others from entering our lives and sadly, those people who WANT to be in our lives hardly ever are "out to get us." Sadder still, those people who love us dearly, hardly ever get a chance to truly enjoy us... because we're so adamant about keeping these walls up and we have a super annoying laser-focus on how we've been hurt in the past (rather than an appreciative focus on the present) that we can't fully experience the love that surrounds us. But hey, I understand, shifts happen, and even the people who love us, hurt us from time to time. Being close to someone poses that "danger." Think about it this way, just because there are traffic signs that warn us and help us maneuver our way on a physical road, doesn't mean that there won't be mistakes and/or accidents along the way. Likewise, knowing that the people who love us don't typically want to hurt us, doesn't mean that they won't. They could misread our signals (especially the yield, stop and go signs), get the signs mixed up, be stuck in traffic in their own life and have their own issues to deal with. Their reaction to you is not always just about you... they have a life, too, you know? ;) Plus, nobody's perfect. Even you're not perfect with yourself. And honestly, sometimes you don't show (not demand from) the world how you would like to be treated. Think about it, we say we love ourselves, but sometimes, we hurt our own selves. Two of the many ways that we do that is by not forgiving ourselves and forgiving others. Believe it or not, there are things that we have to forgive that we've done to ourselves. Do you consider yourself your worst critic? You see? That's what I mean!? When it comes to forgiving others, please, don't use the phrase, "I've been working on forgiving so and so for (x number) of years" and think that the higher the number the more heroic your efforts. If you haven't forgiven someone it's because you don't want to. Forgiveness doesn't require years of constant effort, because it's a decision. And a decision can be made in a small amount of time... often in an instant. As the book Forgiveness shows, though, there are many areas of our life that need healing, and we may have some blockages along the way, but 21 days should be, and is, more than enough time to forgive... especially when you consider that the person who most benefits from the act of forgiveness, is you.

What Can the book Forgiveness Teach Me?

Thankfully, this book, Forgiveness, teaches us how to use self-reflection, journaling, honesty in answering Iyanla's questions, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Iyanla's guided meditations, forgiveness scripts and our willingness to focus on something other than our past and our wounds to move forward. In other words, we can learn to acknowledge our pain, and our hurt, but we need to move forward. Otherwise, we're just scratching the wound and it'll never heal. And really, isn't that sad! and literally painful?

Working on Forgiveness Is a Gift that Keeps on Giving

As if the gift of forgiveness wasn't enough, this book is a gift that keeps on giving. If you know Iyanla, you will have noticed that she is generous and so is her publisher, Hay House. For that reason. It shouldn't surprise you to know that you can get bonuses with the purchase of this book. They can be found by visiting the following link: http://promos.hayhouse.com/vanzant/120313email/ This book stands on it's own, but the resources make the book even more vivid and applicable.

Does EFT Work?

Now, in order to address what is perhaps your biggest question: does EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) work? It does work if YOU do the work. You have to commit to doing it and do it as often as needed. And there are other things that work as well of course. If you are experiencing blocks in love, work, relationships, health, mental wellbeing and in your finances, you need to take proactive action, but you also have to forgive. Many times, forgiveness, is the first step to moving ahead in life, but we're often so conditioned to take action, think positively and/or accept our reality as "status quo" that it doesn't occur to us to forgive. After all, we're also encouraged to compartmentalize the way that we live and to separate the good, or in this case the so-so, from the bad. You think... "I haven't forgiven _____, but that can't possibly have anything to do with why my income is less than it once was." But as this book teaches us, things that don't seem to have a connection do. And forgiveness and lack of thereof, has a huge connection to our blocks, sabotages and in life.

What Does it Take to Forgive?

Forgiveness requires a high degree of self-love because it necessitates that you have enough compassion to not necessarily let someone else off the hook for what they did, but to let YOURSELF off the hook for letting that incident happen to you, for not removing yourself from the situation sooner, for making a decision that you could't exactly know would yield an undesired result, stop thinking that you have to avenge or keep score of any misdoings and continuing to believe that you have to be affected by the negative incident(s). You have to especially let yourself off the hook by not punishing yourself and stop believing that due to what's happened to you, that you can't or shouldn't be happy.

Happiness should be what redeems you from your hurt and your pains.

Asking you to be happy may seem like an impossibility, but look at it this way, since you can't change the past (although I KNOW you wish you could), what would make all your suffering "worth it"? Being happy, right? Meaning if you had to go through that tough time, the least you can expect/wish for is going through a really good time now. Of course, you can (and should) learn from and be wiser thanks to your past hurts (because yep, as hard as it is to accept, or as cliche as it may seem, everything DOES in fact happen for a GOOD reason). As Oprah and Maya Angelou have said, "when someone teaches you who they are, believe them." So be wiser with whom you allow to be a guest in your life. Don't justify their misdoings for them and don't stop listening to your intuition just because you feel sorry for them. Apply this to yourself as well... if you don't want to be the victim of a situation, make sure that your mentality is not that of a victim. Don't fall into the trap that "it's better to be the victim than the perpetrator" just because it's more socially acceptable to be the former instead of the latter. Don't retell your sad stories to the world over and over again just because you want other people's empathy. You know what society loves even more than victims? Heroes of their own story that inspire others to live THEIR life fully. In sum, it comes down to one question: Are you going to continue being a victim and publicly lick your own wounds forever or are you going to use your voice to speak your truth, to state your dreams and to take your stance?

I received this book for free from Hay House for review purposes.
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Mar 31, 2014 KariF
You have probably seen Iyanla on Oprah’s life class or heard her on Hay House radio. If not, you may have seen her show, ‘Iyanla, Fix My Life’. But even if you have not seen her in one of those places, or in one of her workshops, you have probably heard about her. She is a strong, powerful woman, and you take notice when you see her.

Forgiveness is her book on forgiving yourself, your viewpoints, and the people who have done you wrong in your life. Each chapter is devoted to forgiving something, whether it be your body, mother, failures, choices, men, women, and even the world. In total, there are 18 days of forgiving and 3 forgiveness letters that you write to someone or something that you want to really forgive (more powerful than you can imagine.)

What I loved most about this book is that it was so interactive. You practice forgiveness each day. Each forgiveness chapter begins with a story, but then requires you to take action towards forgiving the subject of the chapter. All books should be like this! All books should require that you practice what you read and put it into action. I don’t know how many times I have read a book and forgot the majority of the words, but with Forgiveness, I remember almost every chapter and story I read.

You might be asking yourself, "Why would I want to practice forgiveness?" The answer is simple. Practice develops skill. Skill leads to mastery. - Iyanla, Forgiveness pg. 16

The second best thing was the tapping during each chapter on the forgiveness statements. I had been actively trying to learn about tapping (also called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT) just before I started to read this book. I didn’t know that Iyanla was such a big promoter of tapping!

In Forgiveness, you write out your forgiveness statements and then go through a tapping process regarding them. It was amazing to feel the intensity level around the issue go down as I tapped. I truly felt good, mentally and physically, after my tapping sessions. Tapping is supposed to clear out any energetic blockages standing in the way of healing the mind and body, similar to acupressure.

The third best thing was Iyanla’s words. I felt like I could hear her talking when she was telling a story or describing why you should forgive. I swear you can feel her energy through her words, and I was never bored or tempted to skip a section because I enjoyed every word she wrote down.

This book brought a whole bunch of insights into my life. I realized that I am much harsher on myself than I think. I also realized that I have already dealt with some past issues that used to really affect me but have become less of an issue now. I don’t normally acknowledge all the things I acknowledged in this book, and doing so (getting real as Dr. Phil would say) gave me more power over my life, my relationships, and my direction.

I have nothing bad to say about the book. I have seen some reviews on Forgiveness that complained about the EFT part of the book being dumb. I can’t complain about that because I am a big believer in energy healing (acupuncture and acupressure), and I feel that tapping is one viable form of doing so.

Will you really forgive in 21 days? First of all, Iyanla’s book Forgiveness touches every area of your life – whether or not you know you need to forgive something there or not. So, anything that you are not forgiving from your past will be discussed and you will have the chance to practice forgiveness towards it.

Even better, because you do it daily for 21 days, you start to make a habit out of forgiving not only when you are required to in the book, but when you feel anger or resentment towards someone or something throughout the day.

So, yes, I feel that it will help you forgive past stuff in 21 days AND help you to continuously forgive people and situations as they happen.

That’s why I recommend this book to everyone who is ready to forgive and move on towards happiness.
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Mar 28, 2014 ajsalgado

To me, the book you read at a certain point in your life is as important as the clothes you wear to an extremely main event. I am very selective with any book I read. I have to feel inspired, and it has to serve a purpose. The purpose of this book is Forgiveness, 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything.

The book started pretty easy; introduction, summaries, purpose of the author, who Iyanla Vanzant is. Then the real work begins; the work you, the reader has to do. First, you will need a lot of discipline. This book is a twenty-one day step process. Iyanla will guide you through a daily paragraph to read. Then she will guide you through EFT( Emotional Freedom Technique) otherwise known as tapping.

This is where it begins to get real. You will uncover emotions, thoughts, and ideas you have been holding on to for years. The book is a guide towards helping you forgive, like she says, EVERYONE for EVERYTHING. You will learn to forgive yourself, mother, father, teacher, negative thoughts, god, money and anything that you have been holding negative emotions for. Like I said above what you really need is discipline.

Second, be willing to feel emotions you’ve never felt. You will uncover thoughts and remember situations in your life that seemed irrelevant but somehow were rooted in your subconscious mind. You will dig deep through any emotional trauma you’ve had then forgive and let go. When beginning this book you have to become aware that this is a 21 day program. So be intentional about your objective and aware that you will have to donate about an hour of your day, for twenty-one days, to this book. That’s where the discipline comes in.

This book also brings a companion CD full of meditations. In my opinion the CD helped me more than the whole book itself. It’s a matter of choice. I’ve never been fond of step programs because somehow once I reach day thirteen I want to quit. In my mind, I could feel the benefits and the freedom that would come with finishing this book, so I did. I feel cleaner, free, happy, present, and ready for the future.

Iyanla Vanzant clearly guides you towards emotional freedom with this book. You have to be willing to go through the process. Sometimes to move towards a brighter future, you have to go to the past and let go of it.

I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

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Mar 23, 2014 AprilAngel73
Book Review: Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant
Reviewed By: April Morris

When I first heard about Iyanla Vanzant’s book, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything, I was interested in reading it. I feel that there tends to be a major misinterpretation in society of what forgiveness actually is and that it is indeed not condoning bad behavior, but making peace with a situation. We often see examples of crimes committed against others with the offended family often stating they have forgiven the perpetrator of the crime. Then there are comments from people outside the family usually consisting of “how could they even think of forgiving that person.” In my own life, I have struggled at times with forgiving, not only for others, but for myself at times too.

This book uses several modalities to take an individual through the process of forgiveness. These modalities include journal entries (topics supplied), meditation (CD supplied), prayer, and the Progressive Emotional Freedom Technique (Pro EFTTM) or tapping. I was actually surprised to see the information on tapping, I simply was not expecting to see it as part of the journey of forgiveness. At the same time, I am familiar with the Pro EFTTM techniques and know that it works to release beliefs and the emotions tied to them. After reading the book and working through the 21-day process, I was able to see first-hand how important the tapping aspect is to releasing the past.

Overall, this extensive process of “forgiving everyone for everything” requires a significant time commitment and a dedication to performing all modalities as described in the book. I believe this process is worth it in the end. It will give you a fresh start in the world and allow you to appreciate all that you have in your life.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Mar 20, 2014 artlovelight
Everyone needs this book, but not everyone will have the dedication to follow through on the wonderful daily practice this provides. Forgiveness is certainly challenging; and we have all experienced resistance to forgiving another and ourselves. In fact I can think of many people I would like to send this book to instead of actually practicing it myself.

The inclusion of EFT, emotional freedom technique, makes overcoming the hurdles of resistance much easier. Even if one doesn't believe in EFT, clearing the energy blocks through Tapping can still be effective. I believe it is similar to pressing Ctrl + Alt + Dlt on your computer.

This book arrived with good timing for me, as I have been focusing my energy on my illustration work, while letting go of unhealthy relationships, and energy drains. This book allowed me to let go of these things sooner and easier than in the past.

The guided meditations included with this book are quite wonderful. I especially liked the phrasing of, " I forgive I am forgiving I am forgiven. " This stood out to me, because reframing forgiveness from a concept to an active result is so powerful. Iyanla Vanzant's voice is calm and soothing and easy to listen along. I listen to guided meditations almost daily, and while most of the ones I listen to are from [...], and I am adding these into rotation.

Anchored in A Course in Miracles, this book has a solid foundation for creating effective, transformative results. The 21 day practice period is less daunting than the 365 day Course in Miracles workbook, and, Vanzant provide specific forgiveness examples such as forgiving parents, and yourself, whereas the Course in Miracles suggests that you search your own mind for these examples.

I highly recommend this book, and well I have not completed 21 days myself, I have already significantly benefitted. I hope you will as well.

I received this book for free, from Hay House for review purposes.
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Mar 17, 2014 BookLover
Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vansant teaches us about the power of forgiveness and how to practice it in our daily lives. Each day we are given a daily prayer to start, a forgiveness story which relates to that days idea, forgiveness statements to use and also EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), also known as tapping, to help clear energy. There is a CD included which contains three meditations that help us with the ideas presented in this book. In order for the book to be of the most use the reader has to on some level be ready to forgive and want to forgive.

The lessons learned in this book are impactful and will hopefully become a habit so that we can forgive everyone everything and live a fuller life, and a more joyful one. I really enjoyed this book and while some parts are hard to get through the end result is very empowering.

I do think that for those new to EFT it would have been better if there was more of an introduction to it. If you have never tapped before I would suggest reading Nick Ortner’s The Tapping Solution to get a more in-depth look at EFT in accompaniment to this book Overall, this book is a wonderful guide to forgiveness.

I acknowledge that I received this book free of charge from Hay House in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion of the book.
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Mar 14, 2014 ahlmt
Let me start by saying that I had heard of Iyanla Vanzant before reading this book, but I wasn't really familiar with her work and didn't know what to expect. Overall, I have to say that this book seemed a bit too esoteric at first. The idea of using "tapping" - which is a form of acupuncture that doesn't use needles - didn't seem like it's related to forgiveness, and for me there was a disconnect.

Having said that, the daily exercises were good. This book requires a commitment to do a lot of work - 21 days in a row as a matter of fact - so make sure that you're ready to commit before you jump in! Each of the 21 exercises is quite involved and I was never really convinced that the "tapping" was effective, so I found it to be really quite tedious. If you want to really give it a try, I'd recommend a hard copy of the book, too, because the kindle version makes it a bit difficult to use. You have to keep jumping around in the book to use the tapping exercises and even when you bookmark the page in kindle, it's not an easy .

I have always said that there are some people in this world that don't deserve to be forgiven. The author addresses that beautifully as she explains that forgiveness doesn't mean that you agree with, condone or like what happened, but instead you accept that those things had to happen in order for you to learn what you needed to learn. It's an interesting idea!

Overall, I would say that there are some bits of information in this book that were very helpful to me and there were some bits of information that I just could not relate to. It's worth reading!

I received an electronic copy of this book from Hay House for review but the opinions are all mine.
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Mar 06, 2014 greenm123
First, right off the bat I want to say something that the description on the back of the book left out. Forgiveness relies heavily on a "tapping" theory called Pro EFT tapping, which is described by the author as "needless acupuncture" (24). This hilarious spelling ends up calling the program useless instead of saying that it is "needleless," as I am assuming was intended. Oops. Anyway, I had very little interest in that aspect of the book and, to be honest, I found it a little hokey. From the author's descriptions I could not garner what exactly Pro EFT tapping was, nor what evidence showed that it was beneficial. I was frustrated that instead of explaining, the author directed readers to a website for information on the theory that formed the basis of her book. For the rest of the review, I will set that aside, as that may not be a scare factor to all readers as it was to me.

The book begins with an introduction to forgiveness, emotional triggers, judgments, and the tapping process. After that, the book is broken into a 21 day process. Each day has a prayer introducing the daily topic (taken from A Course in Miracles Workbook), a forgiveness story, a reminder of the forgiveness process, another prayer, journal work, and then the tapping process. It also comes with a CD, which has the introduction, a few meditations, and the daily prayer.


The journal work is structured around 12 statements, four each in three different categories: I forgive my mind for thinking, I forgive myself for judging, and I forgive myself for believing. The sections I found most helpful had different starting sentences for each category, such as "I forgive my mind for thinking my job is" and "I forgive my mind for thinking my career is not" (208). Most difficult for me were the sections that listed "I forgive myself for judging" four times, where the reader has to come up with four separate statements for the category (209). Once I had thought of one "I forgive myself for judging" statement, I got blocked into only thinking that and was unable to complete the other three.

Around day 10 in the material, I was looking in the mirror and harboring some negative thoughts about a relationship in my life, Without realizing what I was doing, I stopped myself and thought, "I forgive myself for believing that I'm not worth someone else's time, or that I don't deserve the love I am given." Even with that proof that the book affected my thinking in a positive way, I still had some misgivings.

Forgiveness seems to waiver back and forth about whether it is religiously based or not. As I mentioned, there were many prayers, but there were never any Bible verses, which I expected out of a book on forgiveness. Day 6 of the process is titled "Forgiving God," yet in the forgiveness story, Vanzant says, "For those who recognize and accept that there is a Higher Mind, a Divine Essence, a Spiritual Presence to life, we look to that energy to support, assist, and provide us with the things we need, want, and desire" (127). I expect a little more consistency on foundational parts of the book, such as religion. It's weird to have prayers, talk about forgiving God, but then dance around whether or not God exists. The book needed to choose a Christian audience, or a non-Christian audience instead of alienating both by going back and forth.

There were some structural and grammatical snafus that got in the way of my enjoyment of the book. Processes were mentioned and then not explained until much later in the book, which left me thinking I had missed something that I was supposed to understand already. I had to reread sentences such as "This helps to unlock any remain resistance" only to find out that I was tripping over the sentence because of a typo, rather than my own misreading (34). Due to the lengthy forgiveness process (and tapping) there was a lot of repetition of steps or paragraphs where the exact wording was copied page to page.

My favorite part of the book was the daily forgiveness story. It is similar to a condensed version of a Chicken Soup For the Soul- type story that talked about someone else's journey through forgiveness on the daily topic. My only complaint was at some points even these forgiveness stories got very vague and zoomed out to big picture, cliché, statements. I loved the personal aspect that only appears in those stories, so to switch to paragraphs like "A mother is her children's first teacher" or "Children need a mother's love, acceptance, and nurturing, particularly when they least deserve it" was a rough transition for me as a reader (93, 95).

I would recommend this book only to someone who was interested in needleless acupuncture, Pro EFT tapping. There is definitely some worthy material other than that in the book, but there is not enough to make it worthwhile if you're not interested in tapping.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Mar 02, 2014 lavishlynatural

Forgiveness, 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything, is a daily action plan for remarkable forgiveness. Iyanla Vanzant provides a thorough and complete description of what forgiveness is, and activities to help you do it.

Every day you are given: 

A daily prayer to start your practice
A forgiveness story to introduce the idea with an example of forgiveness in action
Forgiveness statements to complete
Progressive EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping instructions and script (to clear energy, and activate joy and prosperity)

She suggests you write your own tapping scripts because they will more closely fit your experience (and in my opinion - help you clear the gunk anger and pain might have left behind). I found this to be true specifically on the days where I was really triggered by what needed to be forgiven. 

What’s On The CD?

The CD was my favorite. Iyanla gives you her verbal description of how to use the book, how to handle any emotional triggers that are present, and her daily prayer for each day of the plan. The prayers themselves are life-changing on their own. 

It also includes 3 meditations:

1. A Stillness Meditation
2. The Gratitude Meditation 
3. Forgiveness Meditation

These were wonderful to listen to before writing the forgiveness statements. They put my mind and body in a place of stillness, which helped me go deeper with my forgiveness practice.

My Experience With The Book

I found the forgiveness practices to be difficult to complete most days. They brought up a lot of memories and feelings I had buried deep in my bones. Some I knew were there, others were new. This made me dread doing it for about a week!

I know enough to know that this was quite a bit of resistance.

It was extremely helpful to have received detailed tapping instructions (in the beginning of the book) to clear these feelings and keep forgiving. It wasn’t until Day 16, Forgiving Your Son/Daughter, that it really became natural. I could move through each step, complete the statements, and comfortably reflect on my experience. 

Since completing the book I am much freer and more positive.  A new influx of ideas now comes through and I’m less concerned about what’s going to happen next.

An Additional Side Effect I Received From The Book…

...was learning that forgiveness is a daily practice. The 21-day plan may be complete, but my forgiveness practice isn’t. The book and CD are excellent resources for this.

Should You Read This Book?

I would recommend this book for anyone who is willing to forgive. You know who you are! This 21-Day Forgiveness Plan is very powerful. Iyanla is right there with you as your Spiritual Life Coach each day. I’m truly grateful for that! 


**I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a complimentary copy to review from Hay House. My opinions are all mine and based on my experience.

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Mar 01, 2014 Gwynne
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received the book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Forgiveness. It’s a BIG issue for me right now. So when I had the opportunity to review a book titled Forgiveness, I jumped on it. I was especially delighted to find that this was s 21-day program using Tapping/EFT/Energy Psychology to work through forgiving EVERYONE for EVERYTHING in your life. This includes forgiving yourself.

The author, Iyanla Vanzant, starts with an explanation of why you need to practice forgiveness (because it’s good for you), and also begins to explain how not forgiving can be so very harmful to you.

I’m a big fan of Tapping/EFT, and use it frequently. I’ve been working with my husband to use Tapping when he’s having panic attacks, and we’re also talking about using it to help him with his anger. I’ve used it in my manifesting work, and when dealing with acute, emotional pain.

But I’ve never really used it as systematically as Ms. Vanzant uses it. This is a daily program to work through many emotional triggers and past experiences in a way that is relatively quick and painless.

Life got so crazy that I didn’t manage to finish in a straight 21 days. In fact, I’m still working through it, and have restarted it a couple of times. But this is the beauty of this book, and of Tapping itself. It doesn’t matter where you start, you can keep working through it, and go back to step 1 over and over if you need to.

I have genuinely enjoyed this book, and will refer to it frequently for it’s wonderful insights into tapping for emotional freedom, as well as into the practice of Forgiveness.

You can purchase this book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Hay House.
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Feb 15, 2014 ClorisKylie
Forgiveness has been the focus of much of my writing because I’m aware of how hard it can be for many of us to forgive. The struggle to forgive, which is rooted in judgment, can be related to a wide range of events; we might have trouble forgiving the driver who cut in front of us on the highway or the “best friend” who betrayed our trust. However, negative judgment is most damaging when it’s directed toward ourselves. Many times we are unable to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes or for allowing others to mistreat us or to hurt us. In fact, we often have a harder time forgiving ourselves than forgiving others. A lack of forgiveness blocks our ability to live a happy life, so this is why I was drawn to read Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant.

Iyanla Vanzant offers the wisdom that she’s gained as a result of her personal struggles. Even though my particular life experience is different from Iyanla’s, I could relate to her feelings when circumstances or people in her life disappointed her. The book offers a step-by-step guide to complete a 21-day forgiveness program. With a combination of guided meditation, journaling, tapping, prayer, and suggested action steps, Forgiveness addresses the resentment we might harbor toward ourselves, our body, our life, our close relatives and acquaintances, our romantic partners, and even toward God and the world in general.

One of the core aspects of the program is time for stillness. Only when we are free of distractions we are able to tap into our feelings and receive the messages that come to us during tapping and meditation. The inclusion of prayers from A Course in Miracles made the book’s message even more impactful.

Also, this book allowed me to gain a clearer understanding of tapping as a tool to overcome past traumas. Tapping is an Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) that unblocks the energy that might be causing emotional or physical pain. As Iyanla Vanzant says, “Combining forgiveness and tapping is a powerful way to unclog every system in your life and open the way for new energy and experiences to unfold.”

Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything is a detailed guide to help us forgive, but we still need to want to forgive, be ready to forgive, and do what it takes to forgive to reach a place of complete forgiveness.

In the end, forgiveness is an act of self-love, and loving ourselves is the key to connecting to authentic happiness.

Question for you: What helps you forgive?

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Feb 14, 2014 erinshelby
As children, most of us were taught to say “I’m sorry” when we hurt someone else on purpose or accidentally. As adults, we learn that forgiveness is a much more complicated concept. Forgiveness doesn’t always come easy and it’s often a process.

Iyanla Vanzant has created a beautiful work of self-discovery in her book Forgiveness. It’s designed to be a 21-day process with some work done every day. There’s a routine for each day: a “forgiveness story”, a series of questions for reflection, and a “tapping sequence” that uses EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique. Because I was – and still am – skeptical about the Emotional Freedom Technique, I skipped the EFT sequence. There’s also a CD included but I preferred to just read the book.

I can’t recommend Forgiveness enough. The way that Iyanla defines the concept is compelling: “If you have a judgment or limiting belief about anyone or anything, forgiveness is required.” (Forgiveness, 299) If embraced with an open mind, this 21-day journey could be like therapy: it will be work, and it will make you think, but the outcome will be a better self-awareness of thoughts that may have been holding you back.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Feb 12, 2014 Starseed28
Overall, I was very pleased with this book. Before taking you through the forgiveness journey, she explains why you need to forgive and prepares you. Not only that, but she gives you a large list of words that you are supposed to go through each day before you “forgive”. It really helped me unlock things that I had forgotten about and/or didn’t consciously know were there. Carrying all those negative emotions around with you not only brings you down, but it blocks your energy. She explains that you have “tapping” points that hold this energy and explains what type of energy each one holds. She arms you with some knowledge on how to forgive before you enter the second part of the book.

In the second part, you begin your forgiving. It sounds like it will be hard and some days it is, but you have her help. She not only gives you the tools, but it’s almost as if she stays with you the whole journey. Every day she gives you tips and fill-in-the-blank forgiveness statements. She walks you through gradually, while still allowing you to have the freedom to forgive how you need to. In addition, she includes a forgiveness prayer for the day, what tapping points to focus on, and the individual steps you need to take for the day.

Again, I was very pleased with this book. It helped me deal with problems that I had no idea I was holding onto. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone and everyone. If you think you need to forgive someone, you probably are holding onto way more than you realize.

FTC Disclosure: I acknowledge that I received this book free from Hay House Publishing to review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment.
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Feb 11, 2014 BethanyG
Forgiveness isn’t easy. I have no problems admitting that it’s hard for me to forgive. I have found a little help from best selling author, Iyanla Vanzant, in her new book, Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everyhing.

This book is actually a combination of book and CD that work together to help you find peace.

Over the 21 days you will journal your way through the book to forgive, literally, everyone for everything, as the title says. Each one of the 21 days is associated with a certain part of, or person, in your life. You will learn how to forgive your family members, the world and even yourself, just to name a few.

I loved this book because, like I said in the first paragraph, forgiveness doesn’t come easy for me. Especially when it comes to forgiving myself. Thanks to being able to journal my way through the 21 days, I have found some peace in my life and with things that I had lost hope in forgiving.

The accompanying CD was wonderful for me since my life can be so busy at time. I could just pop it into the CD player and listen to each day or use it while I was journaling to help reinforced the reading for that day.

This book has a more new age feel to it, but I feel that it could have some Christian applications since God has forgiven us and we are supposed to forgive others. This can help you along that path.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hay House Book Nook for the purpose of this review. All opinions and thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.
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Feb 04, 2014 awakenandbegin
"Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

I hadn't thought of forgiveness as an essential component of moving forward until I read Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant. Since I selected this book to read, I have been hearing about the importance of forgiveness from other authors concurrent with my reading.

Iyanla Vanzant calls us to recognize all the places in our lives that we need to bring forgiveness to, beginning with ourselves. The book is intended to be worked in exercises to be completed during 30 to 60 minutes on each of 21 days. The work of each day focuses on extending forgiveness to practically every type of relationship we could possibly have.

Each chapter starts out with a "forgiveness story" written by either Iyanla Vanzant or a guest writer. These stories provide personal examples from the writers' own lives, describing how they came to realize their need to forgive others who they had spent energy resenting. Following each chapter's forgiveness story are the forgiveness exercises.

The forgiveness exercises begin with a forgiveness prayer, followed by an exercise of writing personalized forgiveness statements tailored to the individual reader's unique forgiveness needs in their own relationships, all leading up to the tapping sequences. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT, or tapping) can be thought of as acupuncture sans-needles, according to Vanzant. The idea in this case is to tap (with your fingers) on specific meridian points to clear out blocked energy attributed to negative thoughts born of unforgiveness.

Forgiveness is largely set up in a workbook format. I must admit that although I read the book summary before choosing to read it, I was surprised by how many exercises there were to complete. Having had very minimal previous exposure to tapping, I personally found the heavy reliance on tapping in the workbook portions to be overwhelming.

For those of us who are tapping newbies, the book refers us to Lindsay Kenny's website to review her manual and videos. I visited the website, but found the manual to be really long and honestly just wanted to finish my current book. I think it might have been worthwhile to include a more comprehensive overview of the actual tapping process for the complete beginner within this book, so that it could stand on its own as a start to finish guide for someone looking to feel confident about tapping along with the workbook exercises.

I also found the workbook exercises to be cumbersome to complete since all the materials needed to do one exercise were not in one place. There is a page of about 10 reminders on the tapping process before each exercise which is helpful, but the reader is also asked to refer back to a page from the beginning of the book containing an "Emotional Trigger List" before the start of each tapping session. Since I didn't really know what I was doing with the tapping, I also had to refer back to a page in the beginning of the book with a picture of the tapping meridian points.

In addition to that, I didn't really understand what statements to use with the tapping. There are three bonus "Tapping Scripts" which provide the exact words to go along with the tapping, but even with these examples I still didn't feel equipped to write out my own tapping scripts for the other more free-form tapping exercises. I probably needed to read a whole other book on tapping before reading this book.

While I enjoyed the forgiveness stories preceding each tapping exercise, when I first started reading the book I was surprised that the chapters didn't contain more general information on the forgiveness issues people might have with their mother, father, partner, etc. The stories were well-written and provided good insights, but I was after more generalizable statements about the different types of relationships and their common issues. While some of the chapters addressed more generalized issues, not all did.

I really liked the forgiveness prayers at the beginning of each chapter, and found writing the forgiveness statements to be fun and therapeutic. This book is probably great for someone who is already familiar with tapping. If you are new to tapping, you will likely still enjoy reading the text, just be prepared to do some tapping research on your own to help you through the exercises.

I am personally looking forward to learning more about tapping, and might revisit the exercises in this book again once I have gained some more familiarity and confidence with tapping.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.
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Jan 30, 2014 rschechter
Traditional education excludes many valuable life lessons that we need in order to live a happy life. Forgiveness is one of them. If you are like most people, you probably didn’t learn about forgiveness from your family either. Rare in this world are those who are able to view or recall their most difficult experiences without holding onto blame against others somewhere in the equation.

Enter Iyanala Vanzant and her newest book Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything. In this book, which is more like a journal as it is highly interactive, Vanzant teaches readers how to forgive self and others and why doing so is critical to one’s well-being. While completing the writing exercises (translation: forgiveness prompts), I found myself pondering exactly what and who I needed to forgive the most and was surprised by many of the self-limiting and self-defeating thoughts that were holding me back. Vanzant also encourages readers to practice “emotional freedom technique” or tapping, as it is popularly known, and provides various tapping exercises designed to release emotional feelings long held in the body.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to detox from negative experiences and beliefs that have been held onto long past their expiration date.

*FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Hay House Publishing for this review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

About The Author:

History will show that Iyanla Vanzant is one of America’s most profound spiritual leaders and acclaimed empowerment legends. Her body of work spans over three decades to include 15 published books, 5 New York Times best sellers (translated into 23 languages and with sales exceeding 8 million copies), CDs, television, radio and on stage performances.

Likened to other great African American Women in our history, Iyanla embodies a no-nonsense approach in her message and teaching style. Outspoken, fiery, transparent, truthful, and sage-like are just a few of the common adjectives used when describing Iyanla Vanzant.

Today, Iyanla is the host of Iyanla: Fix My Life, the number one reality show on the OWN network, produced by Harpo Studios. She is an accomplished author, inspirational speaker, talk show host and living testament to the value in life’s valleys and the power of acting on faith. Iyanla goes behind closed doors and deep inside people’s lives for emotionally, riveting conversations where she applies spiritual practices to bring forth inner peace and healing.

Ebony Magazine says “Iyanla’s books, lectures and television appearances have made her a multimedia high priestess of healthy relationships.” According to Emerge Magazine, she is “one of the most dynamic speakers in the United States.” On stage, as she tours the country, Iyanla uses humor and straight talk to deliver her consistent message of love, forgiveness and living your best life. Thousands of followers are filling audiences to connect and engage with this once public defender, summa cum laude graduate of City University of New York Law School, who is now dedicated to facilitating the growth and evolution of human consciousness.
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Jan 25, 2014 riselikesunshine
Traveling Light: Practical Forgiveness

”Healing is the journey. The destination is yourself. The full recognition of all the different aspects of yourself—your joy, your sorrow, your pain, your pleasure—all lead you to the source of who you are. Only by having intimate contact with this source can you experience the fullness of your life. Only by fearlessly looking within can you embrace the landscape of your life and open yourself completely to all the love and compassion that lives inside you.” -Philip Berk

Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything by Iyanla Vanzant is the sojourner’s guide to joyful adventure. While the text seems to be better suited as a life traveler’s orientation workbook, the ready reader-participant will almost immediately appreciate the enrichment of having gone through the swamp, those challenging life experiences, before reaching the light.

I was eager to pick up this book, having read several by Iyanla, over the years, and after developing a relationship of trust with her writing. No stranger to the power of forgiveness, energy healing techniques, personal empowerment practices and mindful living, I felt prepared for the intensive work. Forgiveness brings clarity, focus, vitality, freedom and empowerment, all conditions I need to create the life of my dreams. Indigenous people around the have globe practiced forgiveness and reconciliation, like the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho?oponopono. Like so many of our ancient traditions, we have forgotten why and how we forgive. Forgiveness reminds us who we are and why we are here.

Through engagement in the activities outlined in the book, Iyanla facilitates the development of a forgiveness practice. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated that “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” The practice of forgiveness trains the “puppy mind” that has the tendency to bounce all over the place. Iyanla begins the book with her own personal revelations, remembering, rescripting and release. (I was particularly moved by her opening with forgiving herself for judging the women who mothered her. When we forgive, we realize that everyone and everything is just as it should be.) Twenty-one days to forgive everyone for everything might seem too little for some and excessive for others, depending on self-awareness, vibration and the quality of life experiences. However, the book offers supportive structure to releasing the emotion charge that drives us in our lives.

Why 21 days? The theory is that it takes at least 21 days to develop a new habit. Some discount that theory as myth. Some research submits that it takes at least 66 days to foster a new pattern. Whatever the magic number, it takes discipline and commitment to create the positive shift we seek and transform our lives.

In 21 days, Iyanla guides us to forgiving ourselves as well as everyone and everything we can think of. Iyanla suggests that we allocate about 30-60 minutes a day for daily forgiveness process – time for meditation, prayer, journaling and drafting forgiveness statements, in addition to other healing activities. Progressive Emotional Freedom Technique is appropriately incorporated into this forgiveness practice. (Iyanla Vanzant is a certified expert in Pro-EFT. For Pro EFT resources, see: http://www.proeft.com.)

Tapping was introduced to me by Nick Ortner with the Tapping Solution. The tapping process is a gentle and strategic method of loosening the soil around the buried or rooted thoughts, wounds, judgment, emotions or belief. It is a physical and psychological process that supports the flow of energy, based in ancient Chinese acupressure. Pro EFT is a useful tool for processing any of life challenges. Tapping for forgiveness reveals the negative physical impact of toxic thoughts and beliefs patterns.

By the end of the book, after mindfully working through the process and observing results, you feel restored and revitalized. You realize that forgiveness is about self, about what we think, feel and believe about ourselves. Forgiveness is not about acquiescing to an opponent. It is not an action taken by the passive or weak. It is a warrior’s move. Forgiveness is a beautiful and sacred process of claiming freedom. Forgiveness is an integral aspect of self-mastery.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hay House for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my personal experience.

Reviewed by: Alicia "Sunny" Phillips, The Rise Up
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Jan 25, 2014 skiwee47
I forgive you, I forgive her, I forgive him, I forgive Me ! That’s how I felt when I finished reading Forgiveness by Iyanla Vanzant. She states, “When you master the practice of forgiveness, it becomes as natural as breathing.” Well, I haven’t mastered it just yet, but I’m working on it.

“Releasing the past restores us to the full energy of the present moment…It’s all about energy.” If forgiveness is all about energy, I have been extremely tired for a very long time. I agree that holding onto negative issues create negative energy which leaves you feeling tired or depressed. Sometimes, you might not even realize that is the problem.

“Throughout this forgiveness practice, you will be asked to identify thoughts and beliefs.” This is where I began to become uncomfortable with the statements that were suggested to use. Let’s face it, a person can talk about forgiving but when it comes down to getting to the root of it all, you really do not want to confront it.
“More than any other emotion, I know the dangerous impact anger has on the nervous system... Emotions in the body are like fuel in the car; they will either keep you running smoothly or keep you stuck internally and externally.” Most people do not relate health problems to non-forgiveness. Not forgiving a person or situation that you retain in your mind can lead to harmful stress.

In her book are two helpful charts, The Energy Points Chart: shows specific locations on the body in which you use in conjunction with The Tapping Points Connections Chart: where to do your tapping. There is also a place for Journal Work and Notes. This is where you answer questions or complete statements on forgiveness: “I forgive my mind for thinking unproductive thoughts about my life… I forgive myself for believing my life is a mess… I forgive my mind for thinking my mother was more loving to my sister/brother than she was toward me.” You can create your questions or statements that apply to yourself or situation.

“Whether you consider yourself religious, spiritual, somewhere in between…your relationship with your Source… impacts…affects every relationship in your life, including the relationship you have with yourself.” This statement, in my opinion, tends to be true. Your faith or non-faith has a great impact in the way you interact with others.

Ms. Vanzant ends her book with a final act: “Forgiveness Letters: The purpose of these letters is to provide you with yet another opportunity to clear your mind and heart of any lingering toxic residue.” If I were to sit down and write forgiveness letters, I would be writing for approximately a week. While reading, I realized that many issues and past situations had resurfaced. I recommend this book-workbook-journal be read by all, including women, men and teenagers. It will help cleanse the soul.


(I received this book free from Hay House Publishing for review purposes only)
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Jan 20, 2014 CreateWithJoy
If you have ever been hurt or betrayed by someone you trusted – if you carry deep wounds inside that you just can’t seem to recover from – if you have difficulty forgetting how someone from your past once wronged you – then you know that forgiveness can be one of the most difficult tasks in the world. Most likely, you also know – through personal experience – that left to fester, unforgiveness will eat away at your insides and negatively impact every area of your life.

If there are areas of your life where unforgiveness resides, and you are looking for a New Thought book that will help you to identify and work through these issues, than you may be interested in Iyanla Vanzant’s new book Forgiveness – 21 Days To Forgive Everyone For Everything.

A lot of books have been written about forgiveness, but Iyanla’s book is unique in several ways. In Part 1, The Practice – Iyanla helps you to make the mind-body connection between the blocked energy in your bodies that stems from negative thoughts, beliefs, emotions and memories that results in physical or psychological pain. She provides a chart of Emotional Trigger Words to help you identify what you are feeling when you think about certain things – and she introduces a technique called the EFT Energy Tapping Process to help those with energy blockages experience release.

In Part 2, 21 Days Of Forgiveness, Iyanla identifies 21 areas to work through where we are likely to have people we need to forgive – starting with ourselves. She also includes personal stories, daily forgiveness process reminders, and journal exercises throughout this section.
Iyanla also includes a CD with the book.

What I liked most about Forgiveness is that, by going through the 21-day process, it helps you to identify areas in your life where you may need to forgive others (or yourself) that you were previously unaware of.

The book is well-written and will be appreciated by its target audience.
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