This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Oprah’s #LifeYouWantTour held at the American Airlines Arena. Filled with excitement and sheer gratefulness that my blog received media credentials to cover such a major event, I shared the news with my mother (@MommaPetit), “guess what I'm going to see OPRAH and I'm taking you with me. Wooohooo!” SHOUTTTTT!!! The reason why we shouted in unison is because earlier in the year when the tickets went on sale we wanted to attend, but it wasn't in the budget. #WontHeDoIt I continue to be amazed at how God opens up doors of opportunity for me, by simply being faithful over a few things. Lord knows that I haven't been perfect, but I have been faithful.
This weekend was filled with surprises, self-discoveries, aha moments and tons of entertainment. Prior to the main event Friday night, attendees had the pleasure of walking through O-Town, which provided O-Towners with a glimpse of Oprah's life. Walking through O-Town literally felt like you were at her home and office spaces. The Oprah Winfrey Gallery was displayed with pictures of the celebrities she has met while recording the Oprah Winfrey Show. In addition, O-Towners were able to enjoy live music and dancing, take pictures on the cover of The Oprah Magazine and with one of the sponsors IKEA. We also received goodies from #LifeYouWantTour sponsors: Olay, Toyota, Cover Girl, Wells Fargo,Beats by Dre, Pantene, Tide, Bounty, Crest and Lisette, View a glimpse of O-Town below.
In addition to giveaways and music, one of my followers, my doctor matter of fact, Dr. Anita Petteway received the opportunity to meet and have lunch with Oprah. #AwesomeSauce
As we entered the arena for the main event, we were greeted by a Toyota greeting card station. At this station, you could send inspirational post cards to yourself or family and friends and guess what they provided you with the stamps. #OnlyOprah
Getting down to what I call the nitty griddy or the meat of #LifeYouWantTourMIA, the main event Friday night opened with words from Oprah.
While we listened to Oprah’s voice our O-Tour wristbands started to illuminate… red, blue, yellow, green. This was such a POWERFUL moment! At this point I knew this was not going to be an ordinary weekend. Oprah posed the question, why are you? Why did we attend the #LifeYouWantTour. Well I was there obviously to cover the weekend for my blog, but I was also there because I have watched this lady, figure, personality on television, screen and print for years and I finally have a moment to be in her same space and I wasn't going to miss it. This woman whom I admire is successful, not because she is wealthy but because she has found her purpose and is operating in it. She is walking in her destiny and purpose and she’s happy and I want that joy. And to put the icing on the cake, she looks like me, curves and all.
I asked some of the attendees why was it important for them to attend the #LifeYouWantMIA and here is what they had to share.
Kirsten and Gina Castillo
I believe women and men from all over were at the #LifeYouWantMIA, seeking something better for their lives. In church we sing the song, The best is yet to come, but how do you obtain the best? What are the steps? Oprah shared with us Friday night, that our heart’s desire is in connection with our spirit. So first it starts there. There are certain things you just can’t shake. That feeling,those dreams that desire; It won’t go away no matter how much you bury it, because it's embedded in your spirit. It is apart of who you are. Oprah shared with us a story about her grandmother. She told us that at an early age she could feel that she had a greater purpose than the life her grandmother lived. Referencing her mentor, Dr. Maya Angelou, Oprah stated that “Your legacy is every life you have ever touched. “ Oprah has touched the lives of thousands, but to date she has 20 girls in the USA in college and 190 girls in Africa in college. Oprah encouraged us to be ourselves. "You can be a better you than a pretend someone else...Knowing what you don’t want to do is just as important as knowing what you want to do." A couple of weeks ago I atteneded the #WTAL Conference in Atlanta, GA with Bishop T.D. Jakes, First Lady Serita Jakes and Sarah Jakes and I returned home and wrote down everything that I wanted to do in my life and all of the qualities that I desire in my mate. If it’s not on the list, THAT AIN'T IT! (ebonically speaking)
As Oprah's message continued, she shared with us a profound statement, that life is always speaking to you; Giving you signs, closing doors, ending relationships, creating new ones. Pay attention to the signs. Failure is only life trying to push you in another direction. Make peace with the broken pieces and move on.Your purpose in life is that thing that gives you joy. Pay attention to what that is. If you can get paid for it, cool, if not then share it with service.Your life is validated with service. How do you use your job in service? Oprah shared with us the beginning phases and struggles of The Oprah Winfrey Show. It wasn't until she shifted her mindset to an attitude of service that her show soared. Oprah understood that she needed to use her platform to expose the excellence in people. What are you using your platform for?
Oprah’s Doctrine – For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
It’s all energy baby, what you put out is coming back to you. Even your thoughts and intentions. You co-create your life with the energy of your intentions, thoughts and choices. Your thoughts are so important. You become what you believe. We must be responsible for the energy that we bring to people and what we say to ourselves.
Oprah’s Mantra – I will be excellent at all things!
You are the master of your fate. Life is speaking to you all the time. Last year I started writing and reciting affirmations that I have on my bathroom mirror. I have to keep feeding myself positivity even when my current circumstances look nothing like the life God has promised me. Oprah concluded the evening with the song, "I surrender all." As we sung in union we were encouraged that everything we've been through is going to get us through. There is no life without a connection to the spiritual. I know my help comes from the Lord and He is constantly ordering, leading and guiding my strength. Your spiritual connection is where you obtain power and strength. If you’re still here it means you have a second chance. Everything that has happened to you has happened for you. When you were being tested you were building strength and power.
Attendees headed back to the AAA for another day of enlightenment. Saturday was the day that we would hear words of encouragement from Oprah's Trailblazers: Dr. Deepak Chopra, Rob Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant and Amy Purdy. In between sessions, we were entertained by Stacey G. of #SoulCycle #Soul15. Stacey opened up with so much life and energy. She encouraged us to lead a healthy life. "You’re here for a reason," she purported. We exercised and pulled down love, hope and new opportunities. We are Rockstars, warriors…Be in motion for the rest of your life. We keep our issues in our tissues, so release all of the negativity, fear and doubt. Be careful what you say to yourself.
#SoulCycle Philosophy – Our souls are in constant change. View the #Soul15 video below.
How cool is this, I received an #Instagram response from Stacey! Whoop, whoop! Can’t wait for #SoulCycle to come to Miami.
After Stacey, we were up for a special treat with some hot sauce and dose of truth with Iyanla Vanzant. Iyanla came on the stage with so much transparency. She’s in the middle of moving and couldn't locate her undergarments. How much more honest can you be??? FYI - Iyanla's move will be aired on #OWNTV in a couple of weeks, but I digress. Iyanla shared with us that sometimes you just need someone to hold your hand. That is my definition of love, someone to hold my hand.
Despite the craziness of moving, Life is…my friend, she stated. The life you want is on the other side of the labor pains it takes to birth it. Be careful what you hold onto and grab onto when you’re birthing something new. If you made it through the past you passed. You don’t have to get an A to pass, but you do have to have an effective daily spiritual strategy to be effective. Iyanla instructed us to stop forcing yourself to do things that don’t matter. Life gives us what we need. Your eyes will adjust to the level of deficiency present. Check your vision – Life doesn’t play tricks on you, your mind does. It really hit home for me when Iyalna told us to forgive ourselves for denying and accepting less than what we deserved. She shared with us that she was in and out of a relationship for 40 years. There are so many people who remain in toxic, dead situations and we deserve so much more. As it relates to my love life, I am so determined not to just settle for any Tom, Dick or Harry or in my case Jerome, Dante or Trey lol #justbeinghonest. I know that I have a lot invested me, which makes this single, "lady in waiting" walk a challenge. Iyanla continued to teach us that courage is having the strength to leave before life forces you too. Ouch!!! Life is always telling us the truth, your job is to recognize and accept it. Life gives us everything that we need.
As the day continued, we were graced with the eye of the tiger from Amy Purdy. Amy was determined not to feel sorry for herself and become a victim because of her disability. She used her imagination to create opportunities for herself to succeed. Amy,Toyota and Oprah presented the Standing O-Vation award to Estella Pyfrom of Estella's Brilliant Bus for her outstanding commitment to making education accessible to undeserved children.
Q&A with Trailblazers
Iyanla - It is not about helping people, but about service. When we help others we attach ourselves to the outcome of the result. If they win, we celebrate. If they fail, we beat ourselves up. Give service.
Elizabeth – Your growth maybe destructive to others. Relationships are our choice. We have a responsibility to love everyone, but we must love them from a safe distance if the relationship has turned negative.
Deepak – Don’t show off your transformation to others. Just show them who you are.
Rob Bell - Encouraged us to find joy and meaning in everyday life.
Oprah concluded the weekend just how she started, with positive words of affirmation. Words have power. Whatever follows, “I am….is going to come after you.” She instructed us to change the way we think about situations. Become aware of the language we speak to ourselves. Speak to yourself with love. “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho. God can dream a bigger dream than you. Ask Him. Never forsake your spiritual connection.
Oprah's intentions - About my Father’s business.
Oprah has been blessed and has passed it on to others. It’s not about fame, it’s about leading people to the highest power that is them. Step into the call of your life. Rise to the highest truest expression of yourself as a human being. Visualize a new story. When we left Saturday afternoon, Oprah charged us with the task of creating a new vision for our life and tweeting it. Below you will find my vision and my mother's.
Favorite moments from #LifeYouWantMIA. #Selfies #usies and more...
Until we meet again….Here’s to Life!