Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend Final Stop

Oprah

The Life You Want Tour Final Stop

Oprah Winfrey wrapped up her final tour stop of her eight-city arena tour of Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend (November 14- 15, 2014) in San Jose, CA. Over 10,000 people filled the SAP Center in downtown San Jose. If you were in the area, you could fill the energy even from outside the building. Some attendees came desiring to write a new vision for their life or to turn a lifelong dream of witnessing Oprah live into a reality while others were hoping for words of confirmation. Whatever their purpose was for attending, they indeed found what they were looking for.

O-Town kicked off on Friday evening welcoming guest as early as 10am. O-Town was a pop-up town square outside the venue that gave guest the opportunity to interact with The Life You Want Tour sponsors. Guest could enjoy various activities, makeovers, photo ops, food and music to keep their energy level up throughout the weekend. DJ Kiss kept the crowd dancing and energized while awaiting the evenings guest of honor. The energy level only increased as the time grew closer for Oprah to take the stage for An Evening With Oprah.

She engaged the audience with a narrative of her life and how she had come to know some things for sure. The audience came to know the humble beginnings of the little girl from Mississippi that learned to read by her grandmother, was raped at the age of 9, became pregnant at 14, birthed a son that passed shortly after delivery but recognized her second chance at living the life she desired. “There is always a second chance. If you are still here, you get a second chance to get it right” she said. She left nothing out about her life when speaking of her journey to turn her life around; reiterating the importance of having a spiritual life. She had come to understand the power of God at an early age, quoting one of her favorite scriptures, “Acts 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being…”. When she was uncertain of what to do, she rest assured that the answer would come during her quiet time with God under the oak tree. And then center stage she began to sing I Surrender All. She was the only one to speak on Friday evening but the seeds planted would continue to grow into something more on Saturday as she introduced each Trailblazer.

“It has been a dream of mine forever to create an event where you can wake up to all of your potential and possibilities. If you come and spend two days with me and a team of true life trailblazers – Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant and Pastor Bell – your life is going to light up.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Oprah not only lived out her dream but she provided the tools for her audience to awaken and achieve theirs. Each trailblazer brought a different source of enlightenment to the weekend for an entire mind, body and spirit experience. If you hadn’t been moved to tears on Friday, you were sure to reach for a kleenex on Saturday. In between the speakers on Saturday, Oprah guided the audience in “life work”, reflecting, coming to terms with where they are, what they desire and creating a new vision through meditation to achieve their deepest desires.

Iyanla Vanzant

At the conclusion of The Life You Want weekend, Oprah’s Trailblazers expressed there gratitude and honored Oprah with their words. It was a moving display of their appreciation to be afforded such an amazing platform to share their journeys. So what better way for those in attendance to honor Oprah than by also giving her their words. Below find some of the words from those in attendance in various States along the tour and how they plan to use the tools provided to them during Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.

 

 

LYWW-San Jose

I will do something daily in order to live the life I desire.

I will…create the life I want by dreaming big, setting audacious goals and continuing to dream and act BIG. ~ Stephanie B. – San Jose, CA

I will not only create a new vision for my life but walk in it.

I will commit to wake up looking for the light + seeking ways to serve others. I’ll continue to embrace the life I have as I work toward creating the life I want for my family + my business. ~ Camesha G. San Jose, CA

I will listen to the whispers of life that speak to me and guide me along my journey.

I will dream bigger dreams for myself and know that I’m worthy of them. I will pursue them knowing that I have within me what I need to achieve it. Through this process I will work to inspire others to do the same. ~ Jenn B. Houston, TX

I will stand and walk in courage believing that the life I desire is on the other side of every obstacle.

I will live a life focused on gratitude and service to others. I will make no excuses for my joy and accept the blessings that I receive. I will embrace the wonderfulness of life and focus my energy on those things that align with my passion and purpose. I will strive to embrace my divatude on a daily basis and motivate others to do the same. ~ Michelle G. Atlanta, GA.

I will be the best authentic version of myself possible.

I will design my purpose & bring it to full manifestation after seeing Oprah, Kim Garst & Simon T. Bailey this year. All where GREAT game changers for me. I will shine brightly and make each one see the POWER of their teachings and word with me. ~ Kimberly W. Atlanta, GA

I will show compassion when offended, love when hated and be still in peace when confused.

I will deepen my spiritual practice and repeat daily affirmations of what I want in life to myself. ~ Jenee D. San Jose, CA
I will serve with pure intentions.
I will not leave the little girl in me behind that was once wounded. I am her and I wouldn’t be here or get to where I’m going without her.
I will share my story. My valleys, my triumphs, my fears, my joys, my frustrations and my peace so others fighting to live the life they too desire can see that no matter what comes their way, it’s possible.
I will not take this gift that you so freely gave for granted.
I will rise. We will rise. Together we will rise.

If you attended Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend during any of the eight tour stops, leave your “I will” statement in the comments and share this post.

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Did You Know That I Was A Professional Runner?

Female runner legsOkay so I’ve never ran in the Olympics or anything.  Actually, I’ve never even ran on a track team.  Okay I did attempt the track team once after being told that I was built like a runner but the way my lungs are set up, it didn’t work out.  I became a professional in running away from my problems.

In my 20′s, I always worked multiple jobs and kept a savings account that allowed me to live on my terms.  When I didn’t like a job, I quit.  When I had an issue with a roommate, I decided to live alone.  When I started having problems with my mother, I moved out.  When my relationship was falling apart, I left.  I had put in so much time at one particular company, the manager would allow me to explore other opportunities but always kept an open door for me to return to my position.  The behavior had started when I was a little girl and I don’t think my parents saw it as a problem.  I took piano lessons for a little while.  When I stopped liking piano, I was able to quit.  The same was with tennis, ballet and any other extracurricular activity I showed a short lived interest in.  The problem was that with all the quitting, leaving and running I never learned true discipline, how to speak up for myself or get what I knew I deserved.  I allowed others to dictate how far I could go and where I would go or I just sabotaged it myself.  Well one thing is for certain, you can’t spend your entire life running.

7 years ago, I ended up in Las Vegas because I was running away from a relationship.  It was probably the best run that I ever made but I’m realizing I gave up so much of my power; power and strength that I didn’t know I had.  My situation had drastically changed from when I was in my early 20′s.  I wasn’t surrounded by family or friends and I couldn’t work 2 and 3 jobs so I didn’t have that savings that had provided me a way of escape in the past.  I finally had to face my STUFF.  I had to come to terms with me, what I wanted out of life and stop running from what I didn’t want.  I was attracting everything I didn’t want in life because that’s where my focus was, I honestly didn’t know what I wanted.

It didn’t happen overnight and even these past few months have proven that there is still a little bit of a runner in me but I am learning how to surrender.  I literally had to be left without a penny to my name in order for me to stay put this past month.  But it was the best situation for me in order to stay on the path of living out my purpose.  If I had ran a month ago like I wanted to, I would not have ran into Le’Andria Johnson and discussed The Le’Andria Johnson Collection a couple of weeks ago or had the opportunity to work the red carpet at the Soul Train Awards on Friday (November 7, 2014).  Both of these have been goals of mine, I would have literally been forfeiting my dreams.  I am retiring my running shoes for some stilettos, I think I’ll look better in them walking through these open doors.  I don’t want to be down to my last anymore to recognize all the blessings that are literally chasing me down.  I am ready to receive all that God’s has for me and I am going to continue watering where He has me planted.

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.rnbranddesign.bigcartel.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

2014 Soul Train Music Awards Presented by Centric

Soul Train Music Awards

 

The 2014 Soul Train Music Awards were filmed last night in Las Vegas, NV at The Orleans Hotel and Casino.  I had the privilege to cover the red carpet for Gospel Central.  So many reunions took place last night, not just on the red carpet but also on the stage.  I had the opportunity to speak to  many of my favorite groups and artist of the 90′s and when they hit the stage…let me just say they still got it!  You will have to stay tuned for some of the interviews that were captured.  Also, be sure to catch the show hosted by Wendy Williams on Centric, November 30, 2014 at 8pm/7C.

The Life You Want: More Than Just A Tour But An Affirmation

The Life You Want Weekend LogoWhat better way to begin a new journey in life than by attending The Life You Want Weekend in San Jose, CA.  I am so honored to be attending The Life You Want Tour as a media guest.  I woke up last night (in the middle of the night  like I do every night) and to my surprise an email was awaiting me from OWN letting me know that I was confirmed to attend.  But let me take a minute to back track as to how it was even made possible for me to attend.  I received a call a few weeks ago from a friend who just so happens to be the Editor In Chief of Swagher Magazine.  She let me know that she was not going to be able to attend The Life You Want Tour in Houston.  But she wanted to know if I knew of someone in the Houston, TX area that could go as a correspondent for the magazine.  I immediately thought of my other friend who happens to be the Editor In Chief of Mind Of A Diva.  I connected the two and the rest was history.  I am a firm believer that what you make happen for others God/the universe will make happen for you.

“It has been a dream of mine forever to create an event where you can wake up to all of your
potential and your possibilities. If you come and spend two days with me and a team of true life
trailblazers – Deepak Chopra, Elizabeth Gilbert, Iyanla Vanzant, Mark Nepo and Pastor Rob Bell -
your life is going to light up. I’m telling you, it’s going to be so good.”
–Oprah Winfrey

So now I am preparing myself for this amazing weekend.  I have been doing the daily meditations with Oprah and Deepak Chopra for the past few days this week.  I am getting myself laser focused on my goals and desires.  I want to be in position for 2015 and beyond to LIVE the life that I desire.  I happen to have some friends that have attended the tour in other cities and states like Atlanta and DC.  They have all spoken very highly of the weekend.

Did you attend The Life You Want weekend or do you know someone that did?  How did it impact you?  If you didn’t attend, how are you preparing yourself for the New Year?  Are you creating a vision board/journal?  Let’s inspire one another to live the life that we desire.  I can wait to share with you my “aha moments”.

About “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend”

Harpo Studios, O, The Oprah Magazine, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and WME Live have joined together for this unprecedented eight-city arena tour and transformational weekend featuring Oprah Winfrey and a team of special guests, sponsored by Olay and Toyota. On Friday nights, Oprah will take the stage, bringing her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate evening. Then on Saturdays, Oprah will lead a day-long gathering of thousands with handpicked thought leaders and pop culture icons including Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s hit series “Iyanla Fix My Life,” regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach; best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; and one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell. Additionally, world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine Dr. Deepak Chopra (Appearing in Atlanta GA, Houston TX, Miami FL, San Jose CA) and author Mark Nepo (Appearing in Auburn Hills MI, Washington DC, Newark NJ, Seattle WA) will take the stage.

For more information about the tour, visit: www.oprahweekend.com

Also on Saturday, paralympian and “Dancing With the Stars” finalist Amy Purdy will join Oprah on stage for Toyota’s “Standing O-Vation,” which will recognize extraordinary people in communities
around the country. The driving force behind Toyota’s “Standing O-Vation” stems from the automaker’s commitment to fostering women’s interests. While reflecting the kind of stories that define the brand, Toyota’s “Standing O-Vation” is an opportunity to celebrate remarkable women who are not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark theirown journey of personal change.

 

 

5 Tips to Assist You Through Your Transition

Transitions through metamorphisisI recently asked a question about transitioning and to my surprise most of the responses received were not action items.  The responses ranged from providing Bible scriptures to prayer and meditation which led me to believe that many of us do not know how to handle transition.  The question was: “How do you handle or navigate through periods/seasons of transition? What piece of advice would you give someone transitioning?”

The first response was actually a favorite scripture of mine: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9.  While I love the verse and quote it often, someone that is going through a season of transition would likely ask as a rebuttal, “How do I not grow weary?” So instead of quoting the scripture, I would suggest that you remember your “Why?”  Seasons of transition are not meant to derail us but instead better align us with fulfilling our purpose.  I spend time reading old journals and notes that I may have written.  I often come across goals that I may have forgotten that I had but at that moment they help me understand the place that I am in.  You would not be in a place of transition if you were not already prepared and equipped to handle it.

Which leads me to the next response: “Sit and grow.  It doesn’t feel good but it is for our good.”  Typically growth takes place during the season before transition occurs.  I agree that it doesn’t feel good.  I often refer to the burdens and aches of that season as growing pains.  However, periods of transition are not seasons of growth but however application.  So having a clear understanding of the lessons you have learned in each season and how to apply it during your transition is imperative.

If you don’t know how to apply what you have learned during your season of growth the next response is for you.  “Trust God!! Let your prayer be Lord I do not know what you are doing, or how you are going to do it but I am going to trust you.  Easier said than done but it’s real we definitely have to put all our trust in God while he transitions us to the next chapter of our lives. Often times it is a very scary process and a lonely road.” Trust is key during seasons of transition, trust in God and our instinct.  That still small voice will give us the instructions that we need as we are transitioning but we have to be able to trust it and ourselves to move forward.  It can definitely be lonely because sometimes transition will put us on a journey all by ourselves.  But being alone will also limit the amount of voices you are hearing and listening to allowing you to be clear and sure of God’s voice.

Now the next response probably should have been at the top of the list but I am rolling them out in the order they were given. “For me, during periods/season of transition I have learned to be still and listen so that I can quiet the noise in my brain and around so I can truly connect with the Most High. Often times we pray and ask so much of our heavenly father when the answer is right in front of us. It is equally important for me to meditate each and every morning for 20 minutes.”  While prayer allows us to communicate with God, meditation requires that we listen to God.  Set aside some time during your day to meditate; create an area or space in your home that is just for you that you.

Lastly, the final response that came in was, “Run!!!! Lol! Just kidding.  Stand and be careful of your alliances“.  You have to understand that when you have entered a season of transition everyone can’t go with you.  Some will walk away on their own, others will attempt to stick around for the wrong reasons and others you will have to send on their way.  Don’t try to hold on to those that are letting go and let go of those who are holding on for the wrong reasons.

You know it’s funny that I asked this question while I myself am experiencing a season of transition.  I realized that while writing that I already knew the answer to my own question.  Funny thing is I learned it all during my season of growth.  I am thankful for the grace that allows me to transition from season to season. What tips would you give to someone transitioning?

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.rnbranddesign.bigcartel.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

Brittany Maynard Dies With Dignity

doveI Am Thankful For My Quality of Life

Brittany Maynard, 29, was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer and moved to Portland, Oregon a few months ago in order to terminate her life.  Under Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act, a terminally ill patient can legally end their life through voluntary self administration of lethal medications.  Brittany spent her last months of life after being diagnosed in the spring, surrounded by family and traveling when her health allowed her to.  The effects of the brain cancer became more and more debilitating.  Brittany, her husband, family and friends seemed to be at peace with the decision that she made.

“My glioblastoma is going to kill me and that’s out of my control,” she told PEOPLE last month.

“I’ve discussed with many experts how I would die from it and it’s a terrible, terrible way to die.

So being able to choose to go with dignity is less terrifying.”

Brittany Maynard’s mental state didn’t seem to be one of hopelessness, helplessness or desperation as I can remember feeling when I attempted suicide over 7 years ago.  I wasn’t at peace with my family, friends or even God.  I wanted out because life for me seemed too painful.  However, in retrospect I had the power to change my circumstances and situation.  I am thankful that God gave me another chance not only to change my life but to find my life’s purpose.  Brittany Maynard didn’t have the power to change her life/health.  But maybe just maybe she found her purpose and fulfilled it.  She became the public face of the right-to-die movement.  She lived her final moments on her terms and may have taught us a little about compassion.  We can never understand what she was experiencing.  I can only remember the last 3 days I spent with my father when he too was battling brain cancer.  He had been given 6 months and survived 9 but during his final days he couldn’t say anything at all.  He had lost so much weight and it wasn’t the father I had known for the previous 30 years of my life.  When the doctors began administering morphine, I knew I only had a matter of hours left with my father.

I wish I could have had one last conversation with my father.  I wish he could have told me what he was thinking in those final moments.  I wish my last memory of him was not lying in a bed with tubes connected to him.  I wish he could have died with dignity because maybe I would have known he was dying sooner than just the last 3 days of his life.  He didn’t tell anyone when he was diagnosed.  His words were, ‘I don’t want my children to worry”.  Brittany was even able to leave some last words not just to her family and friends but to the rest of us that have been touched by her story.

“Goodbye to all my dear friends and family that I love.

Today is the day I have chosen to pass away with dignity in the face of my terminal illness, this terrible brain cancer that has taken so much from me

… but would have taken so much more,” she wrote on Facebook. “The world is a beautiful place, travel has been my greatest teacher, my close friends and folks are the greatest givers.

I even have a ring of support around my bed as I type … Goodbye world. Spread good energy. Pay it forward!”

Today, I am thankful for my life, the people in it and my health.  I am thankful for the opportunity to discover and live out my life’s purpose.  I am thankful for the ability to understand what others may be facing, show compassion and be free of judgement.

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.rnbranddesign.bigcartel.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

 

My Son Doesn’t Want Anyone To Know How Brilliant He Is

Michael

My 6 year old is a performer in every since of the word. He spends hours on end studying the late Michael Jackson, dancing to Beat It and Billie Jean and you can catch him moonwalking down the aisles of the grocery store. Sometimes I think he has been here before. But when I ask him to read to me for 20 minutes at night as a part of his nightly homework, he acts as if he is shy or uninterested. In fact, last year while he was still in kindergarten just getting him to do his homework was a task. The crazy thing is when he graduated from kindergarten at his ceremony he was awarded an excellent reading award along with four other children and had to read a passage to us in the audience. I’m convinced that he only did it because in his mind he was performing instead of in fact demonstrating his academic achievement.

Now in the 1st grade, he is still excelling in reading and mathematics but all he wants to be is the class clown. When I visited his classroom, he took me around the room, reading all the posters on the walls, explaining how everything works in his classroom, etc. But his teacher let me know that he likes to keep his classmates laughing. I have to admit he has a great sense of humor and is witty but that is not what he’s at school for.  However, he has brought home straight A’s on just about all of his assignments since school started.

I remember all of the stories my parents used to share about my sister. She also enjoyed being a class clown and kept my parents in the principal’s office but she did amazing academically.  And she still likes to be the life of every party.  It just so happens that their birthdays are 3 days apart.   I also did well in school but I was shy and timid then (I’m far from shy now).  I loved learning and kept my head in a book.  But why am I getting all the stuff back that my sister did to our parents, shouldn’t she be dealing with it?  I haven’t had any trips to the principal’s office and I’m going to figure out a way to keep that from happening unless it’s to receive an award. Some performing arts classes are definitely in his future.

Have you dealt with a class clown? What positive outlet did you use to keep them on track academically while helping develop the performer in them?

Domestic Violence: James Fortune Arrested For Striking His Wife With A Barstool

James FortuneOn October 23rd, it was reported that Grammy nominated gospel singer James Fortune was arrested for assault against a family member.  The details surrounding the situation were vague not letting on to who Fortune had assaulted.  Fortune was released the next day posting a $20,000 bond.  Since the news first broke more details are being reported and identifying the victim as Fortune’s wife.  He is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  The details are also stating that Fortune’s wife may have suffered from a broken or fractured leg or pelvis after bring struck with a barstool.  You can read more here

As a domestic violence advocate, I often say that domestic violence does not discriminate against one’s faith, gender, socioeconomic status, sexuality or age.  I am sure that quite a few people also wonder why I always have a Pastor on the My Scars Chat panel discussion.  I think it is very important for the faith community to be equipped in handling domestic violence and also connected to the domestic violence organizations in their community.  We can not turn a deaf ear or blind eye to those within the pews or in the pulpit because of the title they carry when someone’s life could be in danger.

I pray the James Fortune gets the help that he needs and that his family can also begin the healing process.  You never know how long this may have been going on but I pray for his wife that she finds strength and peace to carry on.  No one should ever be subjected to such treatment.  If you know someone that may be experiencing domestic violence, please do not hesitate to reach out and encourage them to seek the necessary help, prayer is always needed but a way of escape can save a life.

I want to share some of the lyrics of Fortune’s song Identity:

Sitting here alone thinking of you
I’m blown away
You never gave up on me
Time after time I let you down
So caught up and focused on me
My own desires get in the way
I should be finding my purpose in you
So I can be what you have for me

[Pre Chorus:]
I need you to search me oh God,
I want to be just like you
So that you can be seen when they see me

[Verse 2:]
You know my thoughts
You know my heart
Along the way I’ve made mistakes
But thank you for grace
Hiding my flaws so they can see you

[Chorus:]
Lord I want to change
Take it away whatever it is
That’s my desire
I want your heart

These words sound like the sentiments of Fortune’s prayer.  Sometimes God has to expose our hearts in order to heal them.

 

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.rnbranddesign.bigcartel.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

Goodbye October

This yeagoodbyer for me October represents an end of a chapter and the start of a new one.  I began preparing for October in June.  As a domestic violence advocate, my goal was to have a series of My Scars Chats panel discussions in different cities and states.  I planned and hosted two in CA, one in Sacramento and the other in Oakland.  I have so many more ahead being planned for the upcoming year.  I was invited to speak at UC Berkeley as well.  So the advocacy will not stop just because October is over.

October forced me to be clear about what I want and desire out of life.  I had to abandon my fears and forge forward.  I spent time reflecting over my life and the experiences that have led me to this point.  I was able to share with you some of my reflections through the #WhyILeft post.  Everything that I have gone through has a greater purpose than any of the pain that I endured.  The time spent reflecting gave me even a greater confidence in knowing that whatever comes my way I can make it.  Goals that I have had for years are being achieved and it is the best feeling ever.  I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Ocotber.  I can’t wait to spend the next 30 days in November just giving thanks.

 

 

I show my scars so that others know they can heal.” Someone needs to see your scars!

Have you liked the Showing Our Scars Facebook Page? We are “Showing Our Scars”!

https://www.facebook.com/ShowingOurScarsMovement

You can also order your “My Scars” Tee!

http://www.rnbranddesign.bigcartel.com

Find out more about the story behind “My Scars”

Sunday Mourning

The Le’Andria Johnson Collection

The Le'Andria Johnson Collection

The Le’Andria Johnson Collection is collection inspired by the music and ministry of the Grammy and Stellar Award winner.  Since Le’Andria Johnson graced the BET Sunday Best stage during season 3 she has been a source of inspiration to women and men.  Her transparency let us all know that God will never leave us nor forsake us even when we might turn our backs on Him.  Johnson let’s us know that “You have to know who you are and whose you are”.  Now you can purchase some of the shirts inspired by her ministry and declare “He Was Wounded We Are Healed” and “I know who I am and whose I am”.

Shop The Le’Andria Johnson Collection today!

Visit Facebook and Click like on the Le’Andria Johnson Official Fan Club

Follow Le’Andria Johnson on Twitter