By: Dr. Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
For over 13000 people, who traveled from all parts of the country to gather at the American Airlines Arena on October 24 and 25, Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Weekend was nothing short of transformational. Amid laughter and tears and music, dancing, personal reflections, meditation, testimonials and even exercise, we embarked on a multi-sensory, emotional journey toward fulfillment. The weekend opened on Friday night, October 24, as Oprah entered the stage of a pitch black arena- with the words, “What will you do-with the energy that is you?.” At that moment, to the surprise of the crowd- the silicone wristbands which were given to each guest upon entry, lit up in bright white light- illuminating the giant space- like a sky full of stars. Next- everything went black and Oprah said, “No matter how dark the night gets, the sun will always rise again.” At that moment- everyone’s wristbands illuminated a bright yellow- as a giant sun rose on the stage and Oprah appeared in a long, yellow dress. That was only the beginning- for the already electrified audience members- who had been dancing for hours to great music by beautiful DJ Kiss. For the next two hours- Oprah enlightened us with very poignant and personal stories about her experiences, insights and what led her to this particular moment in her life.
Saturday’s program started bright and early- with guests filling the arena promptly at 9:00 am for a day filled with enlightenment. After a brief recap of the previous night and a warm welcome, Oprah introduced Deepak Chopra- who led the audience in a powerful, guided mediation.
The rest of the day featured talks by thought leaders and pop culture icons including: best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; and one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell, and Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s hit series Iyanla Fix My Life, regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach.
One of the most riveting moments of the weekend came courtesy of Toyota, and the company’s announcement of the sixth Toyota “Standing O-Vation” award recipient on Saturday afternoon. The award recognizes extraordinary people who are making positive changes in their communities and inspiring others to do the same. Oprah Winfrey and Team Toyota brand ambassador Amy Purdy, Dancing with the Stars finalist and Paralympic Bronze Medalist, honored Estella Pyfrom of Estella’s Brilliant Bus, a Miami-based program created to bridge what Estella refers to as the “digital divide,” the lack of computers and technology in schools of underserved neighborhoods. As a recipient of the “Standing O-Vation” award, Estella’s Brilliant Bus will receive a $25,000 grant from Toyota in support of its outstanding commitment to making computers and technology accessible to underserved children. Much to the thrill of Estella and of the audience, Oprah marched Toyota’s generous grant with an additional $25,000.
Some notable take-always from the weekend:
You can be a better you than you can be a pretend anybody else.
No purpose only concerns you.
Not everyone can be famous but everyone can be great.
You co-create your life by your intention.
You become what you believe.
Make peace of the broken pieces.
After you’ve done all you can -stand and surrender.
Everything you’ve been through is going to help you get through.
Everything that’s happened to you has happened for you.
Make sure your intentions are for the common good- align with higher purpose.
Learn to center your soul beyond the ego.
Live in the space of awareness.
Free yourself from emotional toxicity – hostility, resentment, guilt, shame and fear.
Embrace the masculine and feminine in your own being
God can dream a better dream than you can dream.
If you are present now will have time to do everything you want to do.
The self of you is the self of the universe.
You live in a world that is exploding with miracles.
Divine destiny works with your will.
Don’t give up until you have the freedom to define your life on your terms.
Be the hero of your own story but most importantly – begin.
The life that you have matters and is miraculous
It’s all a miracle isn’t it?
We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
To have the life you want you have to embrace the life you have.