On Saturday morning I got dressed, grabbed my pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks, and headed to DC for day two of Oprah’s Life You Want Tour. After what I experienced the night before, I was eager to see what Oprah had in store for us on day 2.
I arrived at the Verizon Center a bit after 8:00am and had some time to explore O Town before heading to my seat. But before I even made it to O Town I was greeted with a workbook and a pen. I thought to myself, yes!!!!… I am ready for class! As I opened the book I saw a welcome message from Oprah and on the following page this quote from her:
“I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.”
Such a moving quote because recently I have been waking up daily, trying to summon the courage I need to make my dreams a reality. To push past fear, finding the ability to jump even when you are terrified–well, that is what we are all seeking, right? That is the key to the abundance God has in store for us.
I went to O Town for a few but didn’t get to see much because I was ready to get to my seat and start class. I have always loved school. Nothing excites me more than learning, and in this case how wonderful is it that I was about to learn something that might change my life.
After an inspiring morning message from Oprah, who went from fab to casual overnight, we were greeted by Mark Nepo. I have always believed deeply in the power of collaboration, believing that together we can do so much more than we can do alone. Mark confirmed that, telling us, “together we can help each other release our better selves.” There is also this moment where Mark talks about an experience he had with Oprah and he says to her, “My soul grew in your company.” How amazing is that? Think about all the people in our lives that attempt to suck us dry, taking our energy without giving any in return. How wonderful it is to be around someone and makes you feel like your soul is being fed so much in their presence that is grows. I need people like that in my life daily. I want my soul to grow.
And the most meaningful message Mark left me with is this:
“The noises of the world will drown out that which is God if we won’t still ourselves”
Listening to Mark Nepo confirmed a message I was already receiving from God: I must learn how to push out the noise, be still, and listen. In my moments of confusion, God is always providing direction, but if I am surrounded by noise, I will not hear Him. I must be still.
Followed by Nepo, Oprah hit the stage and the rest of the day went as such. Oprah would speak in between each trailblazer, sharing her insights and walking us through one of the three activities in our workbook. Our first activity was focused on what we wish for someone we love. I chose my husband. After completing the activity I realized that every good thing I wish for him, I would love to have for myself. It was an eye-opening activity.
Then it happened. An amazing conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert. I call it a conversation because I really felt like I was sitting at Starbucks chatting with her. She shared so much about her personal journey and offered enough inspiration to make the most fear-struck person take a leap of faith and claim what belongs to them. Through an analysis of “the hero’s journey,” Gilbert hits me with this beautiful realization which is: I don’t need anyone to come and save me. I am my own hero. And leaving me with a reminder that makes me remember why I do everything I do, Gilbert told us all that:
“You still live in a world that is exploding with miracle.”
After Gilbert, Oprah moved us into an activity to help us dissect our lives on a pie chart. It was tough for me. I didn’t know how big I wanted each slice to be, and although I was clear about being happy about certainly aspects, I struggled between feeling so-so and bad about others. In the work book there is a quote form Oprah that helped me put the activity in perspective.
“Having the best things is no substitute for having the best life. When you can let go of the desire to acquire, you know you are really on your way.”
I am on my way.
Rob Bell, a charming and funny man, offered thought-provoking insight through stories about his own personal journey. When he spoke I was either laughing (he’s a pretty funny guy) or so deep in thought I felt like I needed my journal with me. A pastor, author and visionary, I walked away feeling like his words really served as a meaningful reminder about how WONDERful the world we live in truly is. And he reminded me that what I focus my attention on will expand. I find myself shifting my focus ever since that day.
During lunch I was finally able to enjoy some time in O Town. O Town, an activity hub with lounges, photo booths, and much more, was a ton of fun. I had a chance to meet representatives from tide, Oil of Olay, Bounty and Crest. Also, check out this fun video I made with my homegirls T. Espi (aka The Style Medic) and Christine (from Moms N Charge).
Here are a few more fun pics from O Town and the entire weekend!
The day ended with Ms. Iyanla Vanzant hitting the stage with a glass of bubbly. I’ll be honest and say that Iyanla had me laughing more than anything. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not, but she is just funny. In between laughs (and there were many) she made a comment that actually stuck with me (although I don’t think that was her intention). She said that she has a show fixing lives because her own life is a mess. I am not sure if that comment was made jokingly or not, but that statement is true for so many people. We put more effort into helping other than we do into helping ourselves and making things right in our own lives. I enjoyed Iyanla, and my biggest take away was how important it is to fix our own lives. It’s the only way to live the lives we want.
Oprah left us with a final activity, designed to help us create a new vision for our lives. Many times throughout the day Oprah talked about how we are co-creating the lives we want with God. She could not be more correct. We have a say. Life doesn’t just happen to us. We get to choose. And sure, things may happen that we didn’t want or expect, but we still have the ability to choose how we react. We always have a choice.
I walked away from Oprah’s Life You Want Tour feeling like I need to take more responsibility in my life. I walked away with the sobering realization that I was just “letting” too much happen. and I need to play more of an active role in creating the life I want to live. And most importantly, I walked away feeling like none of my dreams are too big… none of them. My desire to write from my home while I listen to the ocean waves? It will happen. My desire to help girls facing adversity create better lives for themselves? It will happen. My desire to help people transform their lives through coaching? It will happen. My desire to have a meaningful impact on the world through my words? It will happen. Some of these things are happening right now.
You see, I walked away from this powerful experience knowing that I must conquer fear because I am more afraid of being stuck my current state than I am of anything else. But the most powerful message Oprah left me with is this: I know that even if I fail–even if I make a decision that brings me to my knees–the sun will always rise. As Oprah would say, I know that for sure.