This past fall, my dear friend, Vickiwhat, and I loaded up her car and drove off, leaving our town, our children and our responsibilities behind, travelling to our neighboring state for a weekend. The windows were rolled down blowing our hair wild, the music was blasting while we sang out off key, along with me occasionally interrupting, yelling out, “Turn! Turn here!” just as we bypass our right turn. I must admit, I am a terrible navigator, but Vickiwhat, unfazed, continued to sing, as she made another U-turn.
Nothing could bother us, because we were in possession of two tickets to see Oprah on her Live Your Best Life Tour. Yes, they were probably the worst seats they sold, but we didn’t mind. Oprah was going to make this weekend go smoothly, after all, this was technically checking off an item on our bucket list. The “Oprah Magic” began a few days prior when our hotel called us and asked if they could relocate us down the road, in return, they would comp our room and parking. Great! The whole car ride there, we began thanking Oprah and the universe for our fabulous weekend. “Thank you for letting us meet Gayle.” “I was so happy to see Adam Glassman again.” “Thank you so much for the upgraded seats, it really made the trip special” and so on. We continued to show gratitude for an amazing weekend, as if it already happened. Crazy, right? Nope!
As we strolled along the sidewalk towards the arena in our high heels, my eyes began scanning the crowds of people clustered around the entrance. I nudge Vickiwhat, saying “Hey, doesn’t the lady look just like Gayle King?” Well, it was! We yelled out to her, waving frantically. She turned towards us, looked us right in the eye and waved! Shortly after, Adam Glassman, the creative director of the O Magazine, strolled along side us as we chatted him up, before wishing him well and parted ways.
As we entered the arena, we realize we must climb every single flight of stairs to reach our seats. I nearly had a panic attack, as I am terrified of heights. Again, nudging Vickiwhat I said, “Come on, I can’t do this” and we walked down the several hundred stairs back to the lobby. After a half hour spent at customer service, a very nice gentleman upgraded our seats to the 1st tier level, which was extremely close to the stage! We were overjoyed and could barley contain our excitement, as Oprah Winfrey took the stage in her beautiful, plum gown.
The crowd of majority women, were the nicest, enlightened, most positive people I have ever met. The energy vibrated throughout the packed arena. The following day, Rob Bell, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant and of course, Oprah Winfrey, all spoke about their most valuable and influential life lessons. There was a workbook handed out, which Oprah prompted exercises. For example,
Think of a person who is closest to your heart. Think (or write down) of the ideal life you would want for them. You can give them anything, money, cars, career opportunities, ect.
The life you wished for that person, is a reflection of what you want for yourself. We tend to want more, and are willing to ask for more for others, than we would for ourselves. We should begin to learn to ask for ourselves. Want and expect more, because you can never give to anyone, until your cup is full.
My friend, Vickiwhat, at some point began speaking with a group of women, who would later invite her and I to their box seats, where we finished the evening off, with our shoes off, sipping drinks, watching the show. As if all of this good fortune was not enough for our life changing weekend, at the end of the show we saw Oprah Winfrey back stage from our seats. We yelled, in unison, her name as she was walking through a doorway to leave. A moment after our chant, she then backed up, spotted us in the crowd, threw both hands in the air and gave us a double wave. Oprah Winfrey “saw” us! and waved!! I know this may not sound like a big deal to most, but for us, it’s what topped off the weekend. We will be forever grateful to the “Oprah Magic” and continue to have faith in gratitude and the power of believing.
The following are some nuggets of wisdom from the show. I can never try to explain what exactly transpired, but I vow that it was extremely moving, life altering and has changed my perception of the world.
“Whatever you are going through, you will get through, so just say “thank you.” – Oprah Winfrey
“The easiest way to change vibration (energy) is gratitude. You will draw other good vibration.” Oprah Winfrey
“Other people have no power in your territory.” – Oprah Winfrey
“What you pay attention to will expand.” – Oprah Winfrey (I like this one. Whatever you focus on, good or bad will grow.)
“Knowing what you don’t want is information leading towards what you want.” – Oprah Winfrey
“The purpose of the gift is to exercise the heart and inhibit aliveness, until your gift strikes the need of the world” – Mark Nepo
“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly, than a perfect imitation of someone else’s life.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
“Do little things with great love. It all matters.” – Rob Bell
“To be the best, you have to say “no” to good.” – Rob Bell
“If you have made it through the past, then you past.” – Iylanda Vanzant
“Stop squeezing into things that do not fit you. Pay attention to how “it” makes you feel.” – Iylanda Vanzant
“Life says, “yes,” “no,” “stop,” “go.”” – Iyalnda Vanzant
“Courage is doing what you need to do before you are forced to do it, and if you don’t do it, don’t be mad at the people who force you to.” – Iylanda Vanzant