I am a huge fan of Oprah Winfrey. For more than a decade the Oprah Show was a regular staple in my daily routine. I looked forward to my afternoon Oprah fix. It was my time. I would ignore my children, forget the laundry, take a break from my day, and immerse myself in whatever topic the show was about for an entire hour. I loved all the wise and wonderful guests. I loved that she was constantly challenging her audience to think about their lives in meaningful ways. I would call my best friend and we would talk about the show. A lot of our conversations would begin with, “girl, did you see Oprah today”. I cried when The Oprah Winfrey show went off the air.
Perhaps knowing this can help you imagine my excitement a few months ago when I saw an advertisement for Oprah’s The Life You Want tour. I had no expectations. The explanation of the weekend was fuzzy at best but I felt like I had to go and I instantly bought tickets. All I knew was that for 48 hours I was going to be in the presence of the “Big O” and her friends and that was enough.
So last weekend after a forever wait, I put the top down, grabbed my best friend, and headed to D.C. for 48 child-free hours to see Miss O. herself! The event started Friday evening and for two straight hours Oprah, in a spectacular red gown, started to encourage the audience to open themselves up to the idea of living the life you want. On Saturday we were given workbooks. Oprah and guest speakers Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, Mark Nepo, Iyanla Vanzant, and Amy Purdy took us through exercises to help us each achieve a vision for our lives. We experienced SoulCycle, think spiritual Zumba on crack, we laughed, we cried, it was AMAZING!
If I had known it was going to be as powerful and motivating as it was, I would have brought more of my favorite females with me. Since most of you however were unable to join me I thought I would share my top 5 “aha moments” from my weekend with Oprah here.
- You are your number one priority.
When I first heard this I instantly felt this was an impossible idea. I am a mother of three. I cannot possibly put myself first. Oprah, in her infinite wisdom, knew I was going to say this because this was the first idea she addressed. The argument was this, if you are not “full” of yourself there is no way you can give of yourself to others. You can give your children the best version of you, by taking care of you first. There is a reason on airplanes they encourage you to “secure you own mask before assisting others”. Got it, I will work on this.
- Making a Change in Your life does not have to include giant leaps. Change can come in the form of small steps.
Ironically this message came from Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, who shared that while her journey was a giant leap not everyone needs to do the same. Everyone can take one element in life that requires change. Start by taking small purposeful steps towards the change BUT you have to be willing to take that first step. Eventually all those small steps will add up to the giant leap.
- Have the courage to envision for your own life all the amazing things you wish for others.
This was pretty powerful. Oprah had everyone pick a loved one or close friend and write down all the things that you wished for them in their lives. I chose my daughter. It was incredibly easy to wish her wisdom, strength, value, friendships, great love, security, and happiness. I loved picturing an amazing life for her.
We were then told that all those things we wished for someone else’s life should be the exact same things we strive for in our own lives. Oh snap, stuff just got real. Had I had been asked to write down what I wanted for my own life it would have taken me a lot longer. I may not have been as free with my words or as open to all the wonderful possibilities. Have the courage to wish for your own amazing life, LOVE it.
- Change the language you use to talk to yourself.
The words you use to talk to yourself are just as important as the words you use to talk to others. Change your internal language. Stop the I’m fat, I’m tired, I’m unworthy, I’m a failure as a parent. Stop the negative sayings that run on repeat in our heads. Change your language, change you. Miss Aibileen from The Help said it best, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” Say it!
- You are responsible for the energy you bring into your home.
Enough said- I want this on my front door mat. So true!
Clearly I could go on and on. There were way more than five “aha moments” for me for sure. Overall, I feel reinvigorated and motivated. Whether I owe it all to Oprah and her “trailblazers” or to an incredible child-free soul searching weekend with my best friend, I cannot be sure. Either way , it was fabulous. I hope you took some time for your own clarity this weekend too. Next time, I promise to take you with me.