Last One of the Oprah Highlights

So Jen asked me to share the questions that were presented in our workbooks at the Oprah Conference this weekend. Here they are:

“Part 1 – Awakening to the The Life You Want

Your beliefs.

Your heart’s desire.

Who you are meant to be.

Close your eyes. Picture someone you love. See their face. What do you wish for them?”

We were asked to dream of someone we really truly love. We were asked to envision their life and all that we wish for their happiness. Oprah walked us through the visualization of all the things we could imagine for this person and we were asked to write everything down in our workbook.  She wanted us to see where they lived, what they did, what kind of car they drove, what kind of house they would live in. She wanted us to see goodness for this person.

After we wrote for awhile, she walked around the stadium looking over shoulders and invited a couple people up on stage to share their story. As people shared their hopes and dreams for their loved ones, she asked us what we thought the intention was. She revealed that what we wished for our loved one was what we wished for ourselves.  She wants us to think highly of ourselves and to dream BIG!

Part 2 was designed to see our life today.  There was an A, B, and C part to this exercise.

In part a, we were asked to think about all the areas of our life today and she presented us a list. We were to circle the ones that were the most important ingredients for the life we want and there were spaces to add our own ideas. Her list included friendship, body/health/well-being, Occupation – inside or outside the home, hobbies and passion, financial situation, home, spouse/mate/partner, family/children/grandchildren/parents, contribution to the world, and spirituality/faith/beliefs.

There was then a circle in the middle of the page that represented our life circle. We were to divide it into slices based on the areas we chose from the list above. Big slices meant that they were very important to us. Small slices were less important.

My circle had “Here I Am” in the center circle and all the areas of my life that were important, spiraled around my heart center. I didn’t quite follow directions as this depicted my reality more than the slices.

After we divided up the pie, we were to mark each slice based on how we felt about that area with a happy face, representing good feelings, a straight face which represented so-so feelings, and a sad face that represented bad feelings.  This represented our life circle.

There was a quote on the side of the page that said:

“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.” – Oprah

The last part was about creating a new vision. In this section was a checkerboard with images and phrases. Step 1 in creating a new vision was to choose the language we choose to speak to ourselves. If we say, “I’m tired.”, we will be tired. If we choose, “I choose happiness.”. then we are on our way to experience happiness.  To tell a new story starts with changing our language and she wanted us to be aware of the words we choose to describe how we feel about ourselves. We were to cross out the language we wanted to stop using and to circle the words and ideas we wanted to use more often.

We didn’t finish step 2, but that part was to help us capture our new vision. We were to think about what we wished for originally in our life in Part 1 and then reflect on the life circle we want to build. And finally we were to use our new language to write down a vision for ourself living the life we want.  What life do you envision for yourself? I hope your dreams come true.

“With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas – thought by thought, choice by choice.” – Oprah

Together we rise.


All In A Day’s Work

Today was amazing. I am celebrating my role as a stay at home mom and enjoying all of it’s “free” benefits.

I got to enjoy my girlfriends and being outside getting exercise together while we chatted and hiked through the hills.

I got to volunteer and work with strong, confident women who I love and admire, over a nice, relaxing lunch.

I got to go shopping during the day with less crowds and no kids in tow.

I got to pick up my kids after school and bring them home for snacks and down time, playing and baking.

I got to practice throwing and catching a baseball, and taught my little one how to Rollerblade after school.

I got to volunteer at my son’s elementary school and enjoyed watching the kids’ eyes light up as they learned about science and electricity.

I got to go to the post office to pick up a surprise package of goodies from my Dutch friends in Holland.

I got to have a Girls’ Night Out and enjoy dinner with my girlfriends.

All in a days’ work.  I love to be busy, to exercise, to volunteer, and to spend quality time with my family and friends. And today I got to do it all. It doesn’t get much better than this. This is my best life right now.

I think the secret to happiness is to embrace whatever you choose to do in life and to find joy in the day to day. Things aren’t always sexy and invigorating. Sometimes this is incredibly challenging and other days it just comes easily. Sometimes we are really good at appreciating the present moment and where we are and what we’re doing, and sometimes change doesn’t come fast enough.

This leads to the other secret I learned today from two wise women. We were chatting about this and that and the topic came up that sometimes we don’t have everything all figured out and that there are dependencies outside our control, and sometimes we have to learn to have patience and just WAIT.  The answers and plans usually have a brilliant way of unfolding and presenting themselves in time, if only we can just wait. Waiting is an OK option, even in this fast paced society and community we live in and sometimes we forget that not everything has to be right now.

Waiting is powerful and we need to get better at it and accepting it. Waiting to feel better. Waiting for results. Waiting for our kids. Waiting in traffic. Waiting for our partners to come home. We wait for dinner to be ready. We wait for a dream to become a reality. We do a lot of waiting and we should probably practice being ok with waiting for whatever is to come next and be present as we patiently wait. It’s just part of the journey. Where’s the PAUSE button?

See? Don’t you feel better already. If not, just WAIT. You will.  😉


My Receipt

I remember in preschool one of the kid’s teachers told me that art work wasn’t a receipt for my child’s time in the classroom. I liked that visual and knowing not to expect anything, except for my child to hopefully enjoy their time with their friends and teachers and learning. And if not for anything else, having them in school for a couple hours was a blessing as it gave me a couple hours to recharge and have time for myself and gave them a break from my parenting.

I don’t expect receipts or a raise or a report card for being a mother. But sometimes I feel validated in ways that feel like a receipt for a job that is appreciated by my family. I am grateful knowing that they are content.

Today I had one on one time with each of my kids, as they had a bonus day off from school. My teenagers wanted to hang out with me. That alone makes me happy.

Charlie and I spent time sharing a book, and reading together throughout the day. When we had 30 minutes before his basketball practice, we slipped into Starbucks to share a drink and to read a couple more chapters.


Christian and I went on a 6 mile hike together and enjoyed 2 hours together, checking out all the animals, enjoying the quiet of nature, exercising, and sharing conversation.






Juliana and I have begun playing cards together, which is one of my favorite things to do. We also spent time getting beautified and shopping and cooking together. I love her company and that she will still hold my hand. I didn’t take any pictures with her today, but I did capture a picture of the beautiful sky tonight that she told me to come see.


Tonight Charlie asked me to be his basketball coach, as they don’t have enough volunteers. I’ve coached him in baseball and soccer, and was touched that he still wants me to be his coach. I declined the invitation and thanked him for thinking of me and wanting me to be a part of his team this way. We were talking about this in the car with Juliana on the way home. She said maybe I didn’t want to be a basketball coach, but maybe I’d want to be their life coach. Did that really come out of her mouth? I said I’d love to be her life coach and guide her on her journey. Later I thanked her for making my day, and she said something to the effect, maybe she would follow me and find and create happiness like I do. For real? She already does!! How cool is that?

I love my job, and am thankful for my receipt today.

Life is good.