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.
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.