**Edited and revised 2/2/2021. 

This past Saturday, I had the privilege to be at the Chase Center in San Francisco to take part in a day in the life – and not just any ordinary life. A day in the extraordinary life of Oprah Winfrey.

Daybreakers bringing the love

While this “Icon of Inspiration” was in town to deliver a workshop on developing our life’s vision, the back beat throughout the day was all about wellness: mental, physical and spiritual.

What kept that beat going was Oprah and her guests’ personal anecdotes about their own wellness journeys. You and I can’t execute on our life’s vision without wellness. It just can’t happen. Wellness fuels the fire of purpose and provides the foundation from which everything else in our lives flow.

Are you someone who believes that whatever happens to you is really meant to happen for you?

Certainly, a lot of us know a little about Oprah’s humble beginnings and challenges, yet, her candor and message spoke volumes about her character. It’s rare for a person to rise out of those circumstances, and after decades, still want to help people live better lives.

A question popped into my mind as I heard her speak. What drove her to succeed ? No, not only that. What drove her to continue to serve her calling and not rest on her laurels, rest on her trophies, or rest on her reputation as a beloved leader and teacher?

It seemed to me that Oprah was driven to fulfill her purpose and her promise through her grandmother’s unshakeable foundation in Faith. The prayer she shared with us when she was a young child faced with betrayal and neglect made this viewer believe, too, that there is a higher power watching over us all.

“Everything that happens is preparing you for the time to come.”

Jesse Israel turning us on to the relaxation response

I remembered first watching her on KGOTV in the 1980’s and being delighted to see that someone on TV was unafraid to be so real, and simultaneously, be so devoted to excellence. Every time I turned on the show, Oprah created a new awareness or helped me to form a new connection in my mind about my life and about people.

Now, some thirty years later, I am still learning from her – only this time- it was about forgiveness.

Coincidentally, this workshop fell on the first anniversary of my mother’s death. A year ago, my family and I were in the room to say goodbye to my mother as she took her last breath. I can’t tell you how profound it was to witness her passing.

So when Oprah began talking about her own challenges with her mother, I was thinking about mine. As she relayed the struggles she experienced when trying to find the right words to say to her mother before she passed, I got chills.

When you and I make the time to have the “goodbye conversation” with someone who has had a big impact on our lives, we can experience closure. We can become satisfied that not only did we say what needed to be said, we gained the space where forgiveness or letting go becomes possible. Forgiveness is a powerful emotion that makes our lives better, period. When we forgive, we become free to respond to the world without baggage coloring our perceptions. How great is that to be, well, free?!

Below are my top five takeaways from this workshop. Take what you need and share with others. My want for us all is to be truly satisfied with who we are and how we are showing up in the world.

Top Five Takeaways

  1. Clarity – You and I have to know what is true about us, right now, before we can create positive change in our lives. Assessments, journaling, conversations and brainstorming are some ways to become clear about where we are now in order to get where we want to go.
  2. Courage – Believing in oneself enough to take the right kinds of risks that help us get where we want to go. You are hardwired to be successful in life. What do you have to do to act on that belief? One big tip — Practice taking action makes it easier for us to act.
  3. Presence – How often do you find yourself half listening or hijacked by some memory from the past that then influences how you respond? By creating the discipline to be present , you gve yourself the gift of accurate feedback and you give your attention to what’s most important to you right now. What better way to make progress than that?
  4. Intention – We often forget just how powerful we are. We live our intentions and what we intend impacts others. It’s simply false humility to think otherwise. Consciously choosing your intention before you act changes the game and your results for the better.
  5. Forgiveness – I just love how Oprah describes this – “Forgiveness is giving up the belief that the past could have been any different.” When you let go of that belief, you are truly free from suffering.

Having played full out for 12+ hour days of personal development marathons with both Brendan Burchard and Tony Robbins, Oprah’s kinder and gentler version of a day long worshop still packed the transformational punch that I’ve come to expect from a luminary in this field. She may not be a “guru” or a high performance coach, but her personal brand of communicational jujitsu got the job done!

Oprah Winfrey, through her example, inspires us and gives us permission to become the best we can be. If she is in your area, I highly recommend you make the time and invest your dollars to spend the day with her. You’ll be so happy you did.

You can learn more about the Oprah tour here: https://www.oprahmag.com/life/a28899378/oprah-ww-tour/

Leave a comment, ask a question, I’m here to help.

Thank you so much for reading and until next time, make the most out of the time you have!

With love and respect,