Oprah – Day 2 Live Your Best Life SJ

I don’t even know where to begin.  I guess I’ll begin with gratitude to have had the opportunity to spend the day with my mama and Oprah and her trailblazers and to listen and to learn and to soak up all the positive energy that was in that space today. I am thankful. I LOVE Oprah and can now check off being on her show off my bucket list. Thank you for coming to San Jose and sharing your light and love with all of us.

Today included Oprah hosting the all day long show with her hand-picked teachers – Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Robert Bell, and Iyanla Vanzant.  It was an awesome conference filled with love and light and positivity.

Deepak helped us with a mediation exercise and shared his thoughts on spirituality. He said, “you are the awareness you are, disguised as a person.”  You are not your thoughts. Those you love and dislike are both reflections of yourself.  Make sure your intentions are not only for yourself, but also for the common good.  You should start every day with a list of intentions to help organize your day. If we set our intentions, we can live our life on purpose.  I love that. Sounds just like the daily 5 I’ve been working on lately that are linked to my goals. If we set our intentions, our life will have meaning because we’ll be doing the work that is meaningful to us.

Elizabeth Gilbert was a breath of fresh air. I loved the dress she wore and her ruby red slippers. She looked like a princess and was in awe of her own life and how she got to be where she is now.  All of Oprah’s speakers were great story tellers.  Her message was that of a hero’s journey. She told the story structure from Joseph Campbell about a restless boy, who hears a call to transform his life. He resists change out of fear and reluctance, yet the call persists. Eventually he responds and enters into the dangerous, unknown world, where he has to cross the threshold into this new world and can never go back to where he came from.  He then faces the road of trials, where he meets all types of iconic characters. He must suffer the darkness of night in soul and becomes broken or lost, loses faith, feels broken and shuts down. Then there comes a supernatural  guidance that arrives and the great battle of life is won.  This is the story line that has carried out for men throughout all cultures. But for women, this story breaks down.  The reason she shared this story is because she didn’t fit this mold. She didn’t feel that she was allowed to follow the hero’s journey, because this was typically a male’s world and women had more restrictions on their lives.

Her message was that we can all choose our own epic quests and journeys to find our spiritual path. She says that even though there hasn’t been a history of women leaders and heroes, that we can be our own heroes and choose our own paths and become the heroes of our own story. We need to think. We need to act. We need to begin.

Oprah was on the stage and kept helping with the transitions and guided us through envisioning sessions of our futures.  She wants us to learn how to be the best versions of ourselves.

Rob Bell is a minister from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He started his lecture with stories and jokes, and focused on our breathe, our life force and made us focus on the gift of just being. I loved hearing him speak. He wanted us to see that our life already is a miracle, just being and that our life matters right now, not in the future. I loved him too.   He reminded us to do everything with love. He wants us to live in the moment  and learn to say no, so that we can say yes to what we really want. Pay attention. Slow down and see your life as the miracle that it is.

SoulCycle was a cool, intermission group that was biking and exercising and sharing soul secrets with us as we exercised and moved in our chairs with our light-up wristbands dancing in the air in synchronicity. Oprah described them as “going to church on a bike.” They reminded me of my friend, Apryl, and her My School in Motion project, getting everyone moving and thinking together, releasing endorphins, getting fit, and sharing a community experience. I loved the energetic leaders and the thought behind their program.

Iyanla was hilarious. She kept laughing at herself and taking a drink to life, her friend. She started out by saying that she loved everyone and that today was all about life. Just breathe. She wants us to have what we want in life and reminded us that we have to do the labor, or do the work to enjoy results.  She reminded us to just breathe and to be willing to do the work that follows our intentions. She talked about all the distractions in our lives, and called them “humping puppies.”  Humping puppies were the distractions that were constantly in your face that you want to go away, yet you gave your attention to. She wanted us to learn how to tame the dogs and to live our best lives by doing the work, being authentic, and being present. I loved her!

Toyota was a sponsor of the event, and they brought up Amy Purdy to share her story of survival and hope. Amy had lost her legs below her knees when she was a teenager due to disease and she shared her story about how she trained and built her own dancing and skiing feet and legs. She was a prime example of showing someone with a vision and not giving up, when life hit bottom.

Kimberly Bryant was chosen by Toyota to receive a standing ovation for her work to promote STEM programs for black girls. She calls her program Black Girls Code and she plans to reach over one million girls by the year 2040.  She wanted her daughter to meet other women working in the STEM fields and none existed, so she created her own. She has served over 3000 young girls to date, who otherwise may have not been exposed to hands on technology solutions.  She was awarded a $25,000 grant to continue her work.

The panel of trailblazers gave Oprah the gift of their words at the end of the show and praised her for her gifts and talents that she so freely gives to the world. Hearing them share her praises filled my heart with joy because I believed in what they were saying and was so happy for Oprah, to be surrounded by those that she chose and who chose her back. This is so important and so cool to me.  Oprah was moved to tears and so thankful.

Oprah lead practices throughout the day that made us think of our vision and what we want out of life. She wants us to find ways to integrate our interests and map how much time we spend doing the different things we value.

I of course, cannot capture all that was good at this conference, but these were just a few of the highlights and I know there were many. I just wanted to share some of what I heard and learned because it was so powerful and moving.

To summarize, every day decide what choices you want to make. Be clear of your intentions and commitment to change. Decide to improve your life and seek out experiences that do just this.  What we focus on, expands our truth. Take time to be still and to meditate and to just be without doing anything.

“The most beloved person in the universe is YOU.” – Oprah Winfrey

I hope you enjoyed this summary and keep on following me and sharing our journey together by clicking on the link above.   We can transform our lives everyday by thinking positively, loving ourselves and loving others.

Goodnight, BeLoveRs!!



Choose Happiness


This is it.

This guy summarized my existence.

I choose happiness as a way of living and being from minute to minute and share this daily journey with you so that we may practice the pursuit of happiness together.

My life is perfectly imperfect filled with the ups and downs, the yin and the yang, and the daily struggles and fears, just like yours, but not exactly of course, but you know what I mean.

We all get to choose how we react and adapt to what life delivers to us, sometimes fair and sometimes not, sometimes expected and sometimes not. We get to play our way. We don’t get to always choose what comes our way yet we can choose how we react and this is our personal power. I love this. Every minute is another opportunity to start again. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. How do we want to experience this wonderful one life we get to live?

The first part of this quote talks about releasing tension, which sounds like play or exercise to me. I’m sure there are several other ways, but these are the first two healthy options that come to mind. Did you do something to take care of yourself today?

I played volleyball with my girls in the sunshine and smiled and laughed and served hard serves and missed some hard hits. I high-fived my friends and shared some mixed nuts that Debbie brought to share that we all love. Thanks, Deb.

How about being present? When and how were you really present today? I’m highly distracted and not always present. This one was more challenging today as I was in a hurry. I was present when I was volunteering at the rummage sale and joking with Laura and April as we sorted through stuff together. I loved that Laura was really trying to sell us on her husband’s unused shirts and how she wanted us to take them home. I took her up on her offer – no shame! I loved that we had so many volunteers sorting and stacking and organizing and working together and that when I have a shout out to all of is for our hard work that everyone started clapping. I had fun joking around with everyone and seeing April picking out a pink dress Halloween costume and parading around in a little blue dress. I loved that we picked a rummage sale mascot from the piles, a little undressed dirty doll with freaked out crazy hair and “makeup” all over her face and head and body. She was the craziest thing we found and then it got even funnier when Laura asked is why her donation was sitting on the side with our personal belongings. Hahaha! That was funny.

Next on the list is amplifying love. What do you think that means? I think that means turning up the love and sharing it. Hmm… Did you practice that today? I have to think about that one… I make my husband laugh. Does that count? I like to de stress our household and am always being silly and laughing at myself and my own jokes which makes him laugh. I like to make him dance with me which usually lasts 30 seconds but puts us in both in a good mood. Maybe that counts…not sure though. Laughing is contagious and usually he’s soon laughing with me. I love when he makes me laugh too. Laughter definitely helps us to de stress and release tension — ooh, a two for one special!

Generating enthusiasm is next on the happiness list. Are you good at this? I am good at this most of the time, or at least I fool myself. I love being a cheerleader and encouraging everyone to play nicely together. And I love to get people excited to be doing what we’re doing, whatever it is we choose to do. Today I generated excitement amongst the rummage sale volunteers, cheering and clapping and thanking everyone for being there. I made fun of myself and the crazy donations, while being thankful for our generous community.

And finally gratitude. What were you thankful for today? Did you tell someone? I love being thanked and I love thanking others. I thanked April for going to Costco for me today and saving me some time and probably a ton of money. It’s so nice to have a wife! Everyone should have one. Thank you wifey!!

So that’s easy, isn’t it? We can develop these skills and practice this happiness thing every day, by being mindful, drinking 8 glasses of water and getting plenty of sleep for starters.

Be happy my friends. xoxoxo