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Monday, November 10, 2014

Grab a tea, sit down, read slowly and hopefully enjoy my Oprah experience!

"AH" Honestly I'm not sure where to begin. My Oprah weekend was AMAZING! AND exhausting having no sleep due to staying in a hotel right underneath the monorail, listening to screaming ambulances and police vehicles throughout the night. We were downtown Seattle, right beside the Seattle Space Needle. A beautiful sunny weekend and walking distance to absolutely everything! The Oprah weekend was about our individuality. You. Me. Its about what matters in life. Things like joy, resilience, awe, connection and gratitude. Too experience, and expand on what is possible. To finally start living happily with on whom you are! The thousands of us that attended this weekend were asked, "What have you been called to do?" Oprah had her team of Trail Blazers speaking that included Deepak Chopra, Mark Nepo, Elizabeth Gilbert, Rob Bell, and Iyanla Vanzant. During the workshops I wrote notes. Tons and tons of notes!  In between the guest speakers, there was a DJ who was awesome playing up beat inspirational fun music where we all danced! We had glowing bracelets that changed colors during every performance. For example if Mark Nepo was discussing our Universe, all our bracelets would glow blue. If Oprah was discussing the sun rising, our bracelets would turn orange. If we were soul dancing, all our bracelets would be constantly changing to different colors. It was a very nice touch to the whole experience. The purpose of the weekend was to ask ourselves, "What life do we want?" We might be leading the life we think we want.....for example Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote the novel "Eat Pray Love" thought she had to have the typical life; being married, having children and becoming that happy house wife. She soon realized that that's not what she wanted. She was unhappy. Her book explains her life changing journey finally finding herself. The life she wants. She explained if you need or want to change your life, change it but don't expect it not to be painful. Movement brings risks and that's why many people don't ever change. Your life is in your hands. We all have excuses. Limitations. Obstacles. Elizabeth explained a story about a trapped house wife. Her dream was to travel the world. However her husband left her with their five children. Her dream never changed. She started saving a dollar a day in a coffee can. Eventually hundreds of coffee cans and twenty years later after raising her five children she traveled the world. Anything is possible. Another little story I enjoyed from Elizabeth was about a bad day she was having. She was in the post office in New York waiting in line. Every one was miserable. She was unhappy. The aura was gloom. She decided to go for a walk until she found something beautiful. Not just smelling the flowers on a side street but she wanted to find something amazing and she wasn't going to stop walking her city until she did. Her reason to do this was she felt she hated her city. It wasn't the place for her. A common issue we all have is having thoughts about disliking where we live. She needed to change her attitude. So she walked until she saw something amazing. Finally she saw four baby elephants walking with their trainers. They were going for a walk, stretching their legs before returning to the traveling circus. Her attitude changed. Later in her future she rode an Elephant in India. I loved Elizabeth Gilbert's stories. And there is no such thing as coincidences! 
"We need to educate our children. They need to know we are not just mothers, and fathers; that we are not just here to serve but to live our dreams too" So they can grow up independently happy following their dreams - a thought I had after hearing Elizabeth Gilbert speak. 
When Mark Nepo spoke he explained that our longest journey we are making is from our head to our heart. Makes sense. Our mind is our controller and it takes courage to honestly be who we really are. Mark explained to not leave anything unsaid that's on your heart. We have to mend our hearts in order for us to be stronger. You know, a true friend will tell us what we don't want to hear and I respect this because how else would we learn? Even if it was a useless opinion, at least it's off your friends heart and what you choose to do with the information is now yours. (Which could be just letting it go) We choose (only ourselves) to hold ache in our hearts. Every one was born with a gift - that gift needs to be exercised by our hearts Mark explained. "Love what you love now" and stop trying to approve yourself, you're already pre-approved!" Stop judging. Be alive. Be connected. Live with an open heart. 
During Rob Bell's speech he explained we are all miracles. True isn't it!? Next time you're waiting in line at the grocery store, doing laundry, going to work, STOP - take a deep breath - it's all a miracle. We all need to start embracing life as a miracle. Just awakening every day breathing is a gift. Funny, life is challenging that I know. Our mind can be manipulating however our mind can have voices that are very real we should be listening too. There's a fine balance, learning to listen to the positives and blocking out the negatives. For our challenges we need to remember that we need to suffer and experience to heighten our strengths. A few traits Rob suggested was to get rid of envy and jealousy. To embrace challenges, embrace and enhance your life, practice following those whispers that feel right, not the ones that destroy.
 Do you have fine China dishes in your kitchen cabinet that you might only use twice a year? Rob said serve on that fine China if you own it, we aren't here forever! How true is that!?
 Iyanla Vanzant was awesome. She's a very funny woman. She explained that life is her friend. We are all going to have issues and difficulties. She said, "The life you want is on the other side of the labor pains it takes to birth it" and truly life is on our side but we can't expect to cut corners. Something I preach to my children ALL the time is in order to be successful, you have to work for it. What defines success for you, I don't know. I do know just being happy is success!  And happiness is work too. Iyanla's friend "life" doesn't play tricks, our minds do and life talks, we have to learn on how to listen. Life always tells us the truth, and our job is to recognize and accept it. "Pay attention to the whispers" - Oprah. Iyanla told her personal story about her divorce and on how she fought to forgive her ex-husband. She would constantly say in her mind, "I forgive you" however it never happened until she learned truly on how to forgive. I also know all too well that forgiveness is a hard one but in order to have peace within ourselves, we need to forgive others and as Iyanla said, "I forgive myself" "I forgive everything" "Awe moment" 
I loved a statement Elizabeth Gilbert said, "I'm going to love the beautiful mess I am" So very true because none of us are perfect and never will be! 
You're probably wondering what I learned from my Oprah weekend? Ha ha ha - honestly I know all of this. However it was inspiring listening to their personal journeys. It was empowering and just reconfirming what I already believe. I don't know if it was a life changing weekend for me, I do know that I want to continue to feel proud of who I am today. I want to continue to learn, to love, and to appreciate awakening every morning breathing. I am my own power. It's in our mind, in our heart and with believing in ourselves, with taking that "action" that I always write about - we can change, dreams do come true and every one of us are here for something. We all want purpose. We all want meaning and what we believe is for ourselves. Once understanding and practicing these thoughts daily, judging others will stop, envy and jealousy will diminish. Forgiveness becomes easier. AND once you change for you (become who you want to be) don't turn back. Some words that my sister in law said to me one time that stuck, and it could be used in different context depending what you believe....."It's between only you and God" Whatever "God" looks like to you, it could be the "Universe" "Mother Nature" or you can define it as just's true. This whole weekend was about me. About you. Not your neighbor. They don't live inside you, they don't have your mind. Your heart. Your dreams. Be who you are or want to be! It was an AMAZING weekend!
 Besides spending two days with Oprah and her Trail blazing team, I walked downtown Seattle. I went on the Ferris Wheel. I rode a mechanical bull for the first time! I had an amazing coffee at this little hidden coffee shop somewhere downtown Seattle. I spent time in the O Town, a pop-up village. I danced. I laughed. I shopped. Most importantly I lived, I experienced, I was inspired and I can proudly say a check went on my bucket list. Done. 
Oprah - " I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it" "Create the highest, grandest vision for your life. Then let every step move you in that direction" So mmm......I'd ask, "What are you waiting for!?" And there isn't any excuses because with action, and with time that vision will become a reality. Most importantly be good to yourself. Speak positively. Train yourself to speak good about yourself daily, words (your mind) do have power! Remember you're not alone because we are all searching for the same thing, we all want to know we matter. I know this post is long...and if you've made it this far (without me confusing you) I am excited! I hope that sharing my weekend will inspire some thoughts, some changes within you. You are the warrior of your masterful life. Oprah concluded by reconfirming, "It's your life. RISE RISE RISE, STRENGTH and claim it. Claim you! I'm leaving you with a poem I enjoyed written by Derek Walcott.

"Love after Love" - A stranger who was yourself
"The time will come, when, the elation, you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome, and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give Bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who have loved you all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life"

Enjoy now my Oprah photo reflection!
Oprah and moi!
 Key Arena

Our gift from Oprah
 Our bracelets!
 Seattle Space Needle
 Work shop
 My most amazing coffee!
 My notes!
 Oprah and moi! 
 Downtown Seattle
 I`m posting this picture because I was laughing. Laughing so hard that it felt really really good. Laughter is truly the best medicine! I`m on the Seattle Ferris Wheel and what was SO funny was we were waiting for this elaborating exciting ride, but it was the slowest moving wheel EVER! I could have walked faster! After getting off the Ferris Wheel I asked an employee why was it so slow!? "I was waiting for this high speed death defying experience!" She explained it's a sight seeing Ferris Wheel. "OH, darn....I was laughing so hard I didn't notice" A reminder we need to open our eyes and pay attention to what's beautiful around us! 
We need to celebrate life. It's a gift awakening everyday breathing!

If anything - remember this! 

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