A Weekend at O You, My OWN Ambassador Friends and a Very Special Lunch with Ms. Oprah Winfrey
Last weekend I attended O You, a day full of motivational talks from Oprah and all of her tell it like is friends. The experience was spectacular on many levels. I was able to re-connect with a few of my OWN Ambassador friends who I first met at Oprah’s Life Class in NY, collect dozens of valuable sound bites from Suzi Orman, Dr. Phil, Iyanla Vanzant, Gail King and Ms. Winfrey herself who I also had the pleasure of joining for a private lunch thanks to Lia M. Keith, one of the OWN Ambassador founders, and spent some quality time with my dad (and mom.) The OWN Ambassadors are a very special group of men and women, passionate about Oprah and the OWN network shows, committed to growing the network Lia Keith, Tweets with passion, Paula and Patricia Pritchard started the Daily OWN, a site to share the daily inspirations from Oprah and other OWN network shows, Ruth Kaiser, my smiley friend, passionate about everything and just a beautiful person and so many more worthy of mention. You can find these wonderful people and more on Twitter by searching for #OWNAmbassadors.
Long Story Short Long story short, I met Lia and the other Ambassadors because my friend Beth Engelman was nice enough to connect me with Ruth while in NY for Life Class. Ruth and I became fast friends, which isn’t hard to do with someone like Ruth. She connected me to Lia, who welcomed me to the very first Ambassador dinner with very open arms. She also invited me to the OWN Ambassadors’ private Facebook group, both for which I’m very grateful. It was so nice meeting new people and learning their Oprah connection stories. Nada, was responsible for Oprah taking the show to Canada, Prasanna Ranganathan greeted me like an old friend with a little lucky elephant present, Brittany ran up and said hi with so much excitement it just makes me smile thinking about her and SHERRY, my curly hair soul sister whose name is all caps because that’s how I see her. This is truly a beautiful group of like minded people and I feel lucky to be in the same space as them.
Ok, so I guess that was really long, but on to lunch with Oprah! A very huge thank you to Oprah and her staff for creating a private lunch for 35 or so of us involved with the OWN Ambassadors on various levels. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the lunch. The actual experience was just wild beyond my expectations but also comfortable in a way that I felt like I was meeting with people I had been friends with for years. The room was loosely filled with rounds covered with mint green tablecloths with pastel flowers decorating the center of the table. There was a buffet against the wall, beautifully decorated, almost like we were at a wedding or baby shower. Lyanla popped into the room to say hi and visit us like we were old friends. Gail buzzed through to tell Oprah that ET wanted to interview her. Instead of cutting things short, Oprah had Nancy O’ Dell from ET come into the room; I got to spend time with and Maya, from Oprah’s Marketing department, who is such a pleasure to talk with. She shared more about her background and what it’s like working Oprah. And then the alarm went off and I woke up. HA! Just kidding. This all really happened. And I’m so very thankful to Lia for including me in the group. Oprah addressed the group, graciously thanked us all for being “carriers of light “and then gave us a few words of wisdom that just flowed like she was talking to each of us one on one. Here’s the advice she shared and what it meant to me:
1. Don’t let other’s define who you are
Oprah was referring to the prosecutor in the Texas beef producers’ suit against her in the late 90’s. She was on the stand and the prosecutor was cutting her down, defaming her character, making her look and feel terrible. It was right then that she decided that what he said didn’t matter and she knew who she was and it wasn’t anything like he was making her out to be. He had his and his client’s interest at heart along with a whole lot of money. His view clouded by his bias. I am very thankful for my friends and others people who support me. VERY thankful. The build me up, give me confidence, have my back and tell me when I need to shift directions and get back on track. There are also a few haters out there, for whatever reason, have an opinion of me that’s like the prosecutor in the beef producers’ case against Oprah. Does that bother me? Of course it does, sometimes. I’m learning to focus on people who build me up and turn the other way at the haters. My work speaks for itself and I have and am building relationships with good people with like values. If someone believes what someone else says about me without getting to know me first, that’s completely their loss.
2. Set your intention and let it guide you
This one speaks to itself. Think about the purpose of what you are doing before you start. I sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel, going through the motions. I have to plan a summitbecause it’s time to plan the summit; I have to go to for a jog because I want to lose weight. When I shift my perspective, it changes the way I feel about what I’m doing and the final product. I plan my summits because I love finding and sharing top examples of cutting edge social media. When I create the event with that in mind, everything else falls into place. I jog because I like to jog. I need to create some sort of intention of creating a life that supports health and fitness. I have the fitness down, but then eat a bunch of junk.
3. You don’t know the path someone else has gone down
I am the first person to admit that I can be judgmental. With very hyper tendencies, I’m not very forgiving if people take a minute to get up to speed with me or have a viewpoint I find ridiculous. I need to learn how to take a step back and just let them have their perspective. That’s doesn’t mean let them walk all over me or not have my opinion, but it does mean that I need to be respectful of the way they act, think, etc.
4. The privilege of a lifetime is to be who you are
So many people waste time trying to have a life they’re not supposed to have and miss out on being a good them and living them the life they are supposed to live. I used to worry so much about having to have a corporate job and everything that went with it. I’m so much happier now. I love the events I plan, the brands and bloggers with and now the healthy tv show I’m creating with friends. I feel truly fulfilled and on the right path. Not the path I would have imagined for myself 7 years ago, but now one that I wouldn’t want to move away from. It as was an amazing weekend all around. I’m looking forward to weekly motivation from watching Super Soul Sunday and chatting about it with my OWN friends, and of course the next O You!