The Almighty OPRAH

On Monday afternoon/night, thanks to the ridiculous generosity of my friends Lisa and Mike (you guys ROCK!!) I found myself basking in the presence of the one-and-only Oprah Winfrey.  The 5-hour line-up also included Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, and Bishop T.D. Jakes.  I have never been to a revival meeting, but I am pretty sure they wouldn't feel much different.  There were a lot of AMEN!!!s, whooping and hollering, women shaking and crying, and at one pont we all stood and held hands, raising them up with a mighty yell.  It was AWESOME!
Never mind that we got in line at 3pm and got to our seats at 5:10 (the event was supposed to start at 4).  At least it was one of the warm days and the rain held off, although the wind was fierce!  Never mind that by the time we got there we sat in the back of the 9,000-people audience, squinting to see the stage, let alone the people on it. Never mind that the hotdog we scarfed down while waiting in line was the only food I had until I got to Union Station at 11pm (and had a nasty breakfast wrap).  Never mind that because of the crowd-control, the speakers' times were shrunk to 30 minutes each instead of an hour.  The fact that these people could generate such a powerful vibration in a huge warehouse of a space spoke to their gifts as speakers, and the resonance of their words.  Iyanla in particular was really fantastic, her enthusiasm completely contagious.
Oprah herself was impressive.  This woman is a PRO.  She was just the right amount of gracious - she acknowledged the effort it took people to get ready, to get themselves looking gorgeous, to make their way to Toronto, and to stand forever in line, all to see her.  It was a kind gesture, and most importantly, it felt genuine.  To watch the taping of the show, it was managed down to the second, with each speaker having a segment, questions from twitter, comments from the audience, and contributions from Skype.  Oprah was unflappable, professional but personable, making everything feel spontaneous and of-the-moment.  She joked about how tiny she must look to those of us in the back, she laughed about the height they put the chairs to minimize the difference between her and (6'8'') Tony Robbins, she ribbed those in the audience who had gotten pedicures for the occasion - "Oprah ain't never gonna see your toes girl!"
I could not stop thinking of Gran and wishing she were there with me.  How many times did she call me randomly at University and start off with "Sweetheart, I was watching Oprah..."?  
"Sweetheart, I was watching Oprah....and if you were a lesbian, you could tell me."  
"Sweetheart, I was watching Oprah...if you are doing drugs, you have to tell me."
"Lisa honey, I was watching Oprah...and I just had to call and tell you how proud I am of you."
Thanks Oprah, for prompting all those wonderful, and sometimes hilarious phone calls. xo
She was also great at distilling the sometimes heady discussions into "snackables" - small digestible summations of the conversation.  Some of my favourites were:

  • Forgiveness is being able to able to give up the hope that the past could be any different.
  • Until you clean the wounds of the past, you will continue to bleed into the future.
  • Holding on to resentment is like holding your breath - you'll eventually suffocate.
  • Don't strive for success, strive for significance and excellence, and success will follow. 
  • There are 'Gallon" people and "Pint" people.  You have to adjust your expectations of someone based on their capacity (They might be giving their all).  And if you are a Gallon person, you can't have only Pint people in your life.
  • Empowering your past robs power from your present.
  • And my favourite: Forgiveness is a laxative for the soul.
Look for these all prettied-up in Pinterest soon. :0  Thank you again Lisa and Mike for giving me this tremendous experience.  I feel like it gets more amazing the more I think of it!  Did anyone else see the Mighty Oprah?  Did you have any A-HA moments?

5 comments:

  1. Dharma@WannabeMermaidApril 18, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Wow! What a cool and weird experience all at once, I am sure. I loved the shout out to your Gran :) The quote about gallon and pint people. Aha moment this morning for me :)

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  2. This is amazing - I love this review! So happy you got to go! I view Oprah almost as a family member - I can often hear her voice in my head just as clearly as my mothers.
    PS your grandmother sounds hilarious :)

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  3. That one really stuck with me too - forgiveness is easier when you realize your expectations were out of line to begin with. :)  Thanks for the comments Dharma!

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  4. barbara @hodge:podgeApril 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM

    Lucky, lucky YOU! 

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  5. I didn't know you were there Lisa! I was there with Jen, my sisters and Mom. It was amazing!! I think I tweeted out most of your "snackables" above. Loved this post - perfect summary of how we were all feeling!

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Thank you so much for your comment - they always make my day!