The Life You Want
I left feeling more refreshed, calm, and joyful than I have felt since the birth of my children.
A few months back, I went to a conference in Atlanta called “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend.” Yes, the one, the only…OPRAH. I was expecting it to be woo-woo and new agey with lots of Oprah self-aggrandizement. You know, Oprah patting herself on the back for being Oprah. Lots of lights, maybe fireworks spelling her name in the sky. I imagined I’d see Gayle in the wings, dutifully shining Oprah’s shoes during the breaks.
Boy, was I wrong! (Except about Gayle)(And there were lots of really cool lights).
I was in for 24 hours of some of the best speakers I’ve ever seen. I was on the edge of my seat, a fat grin on my face and often, my eyes welling with tears. I could feel their words moving through me like an electric current and literally shifting my consciousness. I was tingly all over; I think I had goosebumps on my brain. Why was this hitting such a chord for me?
I’ll tell you why. As a working mom of two young kiddos, my day-to-day life is often fast-paced. I race from early-morning workouts to a full day at a busy law office to driving my kids to karate, drum and dance lessons. Evenings bring homework, dinner, (the dreaded) clean-up, baths and bedtime. This constant race leaves little time for self-reflection.
The Oprah conference gave me the gift of self-reflection. Speakers wove in themes of spirituality, co-creating your best life, the benefits of meditation, and embracing the beauty and joy in our everyday lives. I left feeling more refreshed, calm, and joyful than I have felt since the birth of my children. It only took 24 hours—twenty four itty-bitty hours—of taking a moment to slow down and contemplate a vision for my life to be completely invigorated. I felt like ME. I remembered me, and I liked her.
The point is, it took so little to dust off the cobwebs of my self-awareness. As moms, we are often so focused on everyone else that we neglect ourselves. And so we shrink within and become smaller and smaller until we become so teensy tiny that our needs don’t matter anymore. We turn the volume down on ourselves, but that voice within keeps saying, “Hello, lady, I’m still here. Don’t forget about me!” (Anyone else hearing voices?)
Not many of us have the time, money, or energy to go to an ashram in India and discover the mystery of our past lives. But you do have the time to sit still for 10 minutes and breathe deeply. You have the energy to mentally list the blessings in your life on the commute to school or work; you can read an inspiring book in the 15 minutes before you go to sleep. You could even…gasp…do something that you really enjoy for say, one hour each week, that thing that makes time melt away for you and makes you feel alive. You are going to be a better mom, wife, and person if you feel alive. By creating some space for self-reflection, you will reconnect with yourself and become a better mother, partner, colleague, and friend.
Some of the Oprah Winfrey (www.oprah.com) Quotes from Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend:
With the rising of the sun, you ask, “What will I make of this NEW day?”
I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.
Create the highest, grandest vision for your life. Then, let every step move you in that direction.
Pay attention to the whispers.
Every one of us is looking for the same thing — We want to know we matter.
With the setting of the sun, my heart is filled with gratitude for yet another day to live on purpose.