Every Sunday morning at 11 am, I settle into my sofa with a cup of tea and an open mind to watch Super Soul Sunday on Oprah’s OWN channel. I’m a self-development junkie and I love this show because it gives me exposure to new books and spiritual teachers or trailblazers as Oprah refers to them. This weekend was different, I spent it with Oprah and her trailblazers. Wait, let me type that again. I spent the weekend with Oprah and her handpicked trailblazers Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant, Pastor Rob Bell and Mark Nepo.
Oprah Life You want Tour New Jersey was epic, it was two days filled with resources and activities to inspire and provide you with the tools to live your best life.
As I sat in my seat on Friday night, I was bursting with anticipation for Oprah to step out on stage. It wasn’t just me, everyone was alert and present trying their best to savor the moment. We were all wearing our O Tour wristbands which made us feel like one and part of a community. It was magical to see the bands change colors and they looked like thousands of stars in the Prudential Center.
Oprah radiated in this gorgeous dress, her aura is beautiful. You could tell that she is genuine and really wants us all to live our best lives. She shared her life story, from a poor girl to a successful woman not to show off but to inspire us to live our best lives and not just exist. Here’s what moved me the most:
Listen to the whispers in your life
Whether you call it intuition or God’s voice, it’s important to be in tune and listen to the whispers in your life. Listen even when it makes you uncomfortable or even when it doesn’t make any sense. Oprah used examples in her own life such as when she worked as a news anchor and was making $22,000 at 22 and everyone around her believed that it wouldn’t get better than that. She heard the whispers that it would, that she could do better and this wasn’t it for her. She warned that if you ignore the whispers, they would turn into pebbles, then bricks and eventually brick walls.
Identify your purpose
We must connect the dots of everything we do and then look at the thread to connect the dots to figure out what our purpose is. Oprah used herself as an example, she was always good at talking. She was reading in church at 3, got herself skipped to grade one from kindergarten at 5, landed a job on radio at 16 and was reading the news at 22. We all have a thread that ties everything we have done or do together and once you determine what that thread is, then you can identify your purpose.
Be cautious with your words
I think this was one of the biggest messages of the weekend. Be thoughtful about the words you use when talking to yourself and to others. I am in the process of working on this. I am very encouraging to my friends and family but I am a work in progress when it comes to speaking life and positive words to myself. Maybe this is something we can do together if you struggle with this. I started this morning with positive affirmations in my mirror. As moms, we are teaching our kids how to speak to themselves by example so if I am saying that “I’m look fat” or “I’m so stupid” that’s the way my children will talk about themselves. Oprah encouraged us to use the power of our words to co-create the life that we want. Say it out loud and write it down she encouraged us. Words are just your thoughts out loud so choose the way you think about things because from your thoughts the energy of your life flows.
Cure your disease to please
This one is a big mommy attribute, it’s hard for us to say no to our friends, children, spouses, coworkers or anyone who we care about. We say yes, when it’s inconvenient or bad for us because we are afraid that saying no would ruin relationships or give people the impression that we are not nice. Oprah used the example of giving a donation to a charity that she didn’t want to but she was afraid they would think she wasn’t nice. It wasn’t until Stedman pointed out that “she wasn’t nice” because she was doing it to please and not because she sincerely wanted to that she realized that she was doing it out of fear and not of love. She encouraged us to set boundaries with the people in our lives or else we would end up lost trying to please everyone but ourselves.
One of the best parts of the weekend for me was Elizabeth Gilbert’s workshop. I read Eat, Pray, Love a few years ago and I loved the book. Whenever the movie comes on television, I drop everything just to watch it. Following your instincts and leaving everything that you’re comfortable with is hard and I think that’s why so many of us admire Elizabeth. My biggest takeaway from Elizabeth was “If you plan on changing your life, don’t expect it to be easy or painless.” or as Iyanla Vanzant put it “The life you want is on the other side of the labor pains it takes to birth it.” Elizabeth explained that “In between, where you are and living the life you want is a vast dangerous zone. It’s a brave journey. Moving from the old and familiar to the new and unfamiliar.”
Stop trying to squeeze yourself into something that doesn’t fit you anymore
Talking about Ms. Vanzant, she was one of the trailblazers that I was excited to see. Last year, I cried and rejoiced as I read her book Peace from Broken Pieces, I was pregnant and I couldn’t put the book down. I read it on my commute, while I did my laundry, before I went to bed and during any moment I had a chance to. Her life’s journey and her resilience is intriguing and there is so much to learn from her story, as a mother and as a woman. Her message this weekend was to stop trying to make things, people or circumstances that no longer work for your life fit. We all have friends who we’ve outgrown who we are afraid to let go of. She used the analogy of a dress she bought one size to small convincing herself that she could easily lose 10 pounds to fit into it. She also stressed the importance of forgiving the people in our lives who’ve hurt us so we can move forward without bitterness. Easy to say, hard to do but very necessary for our peace and happiness.
We were all given workbooks to evaluate where we are currently in our lives journey, create a vision for someone who we love dearly and by the end of the day create a new vision for ourselves with all that we learned. I loved the exercises and the affirmations in the workbook. It’s something that I will hold onto for a very long time.
It wasn’t all workshops. We danced, we sang, we laughed and by the end of the day everyone in the Prudential Center felt like a big family. A family who felt more confident and motivated to live their best lives in a cynical and challenging world. If this tour is coming to a city close to you, I would highly recommend it. I am still on a high and feeling great and I know this feeling will stick around for a while. I commuted 2 hours each way to get to New Jersey for two days and and it was completely worth it for me.
About “Oprah’s The Life You Want” Weekend:
“Oprah’s The Life You Want” Weekend is an eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend featuring Oprah Winfrey and a team of special guests, sponsored by Toyota and Olay. Each tour stop spans two days. On Friday nights, Oprah takes the stage, bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening. Then on Saturdays, Oprah leads a day-long gathering of thousands with handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons including Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s hit series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach; best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; and one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell. Additionally, world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine Deepak Chopra will take the stage in select cities. “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” is produced by Harpo Studios, O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and WME Live, and is presented by Toyota and Olay.
You can purchase tickets www.oprah.com/tour
Oct. 17-18 Houston, Texas Toyota Center
Oct. 24-25 Miami, Florida American Airlines Arena
Nov. 7-8 Seattle, Washington KeyArena at Seattle Center
Nov. 14-15 San Jose, California SAP Center at San Jose
Are you going to the Life You Want Tour in your city?