WHAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? THIS IS CRAZY!! I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!! I exclaimed with giddy and feverish excitement as I read my email Monday afternoon. That morning had begun with my usual ritual of mindfully grinding beans and brewing my bodum before the kids woke up and the fury of getting out the door ensued.
Delightfully I had an extra ‘to do’ on my list on this particular Monday. Waiting for me in my inbox was an email from Oprah and Deepak ushering me in to their first day of their 21 day meditation series on how our deepest desires can create our lives, how simply by aligning with our truest Selves we are in position to create the life we want.
Following that gift of inspiration, I went about my day, did my kindergarten drop off and took to my mat at the Y for my Monday morning yoga class. During final savasana I found myself reflecting on the candle lit church service I attended the night before where they asked us to reflect on ‘saints’ in our lives, people who have passed away who have deepened our connection to God in honor of All Saints day. It was a beautiful and timely opportunity to honor my grief through reflecting on the life of my father whose side I stood by 3 weeks earlier when he took his last breath.
Lying on my mat in yoga I began to wonder about whom else I could call a personal saint, whom from history has deeply influenced my spirituality. What I realized was that the person who tops my list has not yet passed. Then I thought of how marvelous it is that I get to currently share the planet with my own personal ‘living saint’ …Oprah. My current walk in seeking alignment with my true Self, accepting my whole self (including each and every pound and dimple of cellulite) and aligning my life’s purpose with helping others do the same through my Deeper Cravings work can all be traced back in one way or another to Oprah (more on that later).
After yoga I carried on in my day of running errands with my daughter when an e-mail came in to my inbox from a member of Oprah’s team announcing that I had won a sweepstakes for premium seats at Oprah’s Life You Want weekend in Seattle. I had entered the contest the week prior on a total whim, laughing at myself while doing so, as it was so unlike me to enter this kind of long shot contest. Now I was receiving word that not only was I sharing the planet with my ‘personal saint’ but in a matter of days I am going to be sharing a room with her???!!
Back in the summer when I first heard news she was coming to Seattle I poured over the event website and toyed with and dreamed of buying a VIP ticket which would allow a photo opportunity with her. I told myself stories of how I could justify the big purchase as an early 40th birthday present, it was on my bucket list after all to meet her and this was perhaps as close as I could get. I tried to justify the expense to myself as a potential professional development opportunity, I came up with many angles but they all fell a little short of me truly believing I deserved it and then when I went back one day to check the website the VIP tickets were gone and so decision was made for me.
It was not long after, that my life got swept up into an unexpected swirl of hospital visits, bated breath phone calls with my sister’s about my dad’s worsening condition, the emotional nightmare of his final hours and the onslaught of grief, compassion, beauty, sadness, distraction, honoring and togetherness that these past four weeks have held. Going to the see the Oprah event naturally fell off my radar, especially as this weekend also marks what would have been my dad’s birthday so our family is planning a gathering in Vancouver on Sunday to honor him.
I could call all of this coincidence but my heart tells me otherwise. It is clear to me that my dad, The Universe and my own desires have all conspired to make a little Oprah miracle happen in what has been an otherwise incredibly heavy and tough month for our family. Now, I will be going to my dad’s birthday celebration on Sunday on the heals of what will most certainly be an incredibly inspiring 2 days with my sister (also a huge Oprah fan) having that bonding experience with her of reflecting on living the Life we Want in this time and space in our lives when our entire family is so deeply and acutely aware of the fragility and preciousness of life.
Then, to thicken the plot, my sister contacts me yesterday to tell me she had just gotten off the phone with a Harpo staff member who interviewed her about a photo she tweeted related to a feature Oprah is doing with Olay’s Best Beautiful on how we experience our own inner beauty. WHAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? WHO JUST CALLED YOU?? This is all very surreal and yet somehow also feels deliciously aligned.
I too then tweet a photo and have my own opportunity to be interviewed about inner beauty and how, in fact, Oprah herself is an instrumental part of my own story of transformation towards a willingness to experience my beauty through presence and self-acceptance.
Oprah opens her heart and her spiritual path to the world, she continually seeks and in her own seeking discovers and invites us in on her deepening understanding of herself, the world and the Source of all.
It was the Oprah show who first introduced me to the work of Marianne Williamson at the age of 16 who taught me the concept that so deeply resonated with me: no matter what, there is an immovable Light at my core and that just because I can not see that Light does not mean it is not there. Although I spent the next couple of decades striving, and perfecting and people pleasing and living out of alignment with that concept, the seed was planted. The truth that my value did not have to be earned but rather was my inherent birthright still simmered within me (and is now a foundational part of my philosophy in both my personal life and in my work as a therapist).
Then in 2007 my days became organized around the transformational tapping in to of the wisdom Oprah introduced the world to through Eckhart Tolle and the New Earth online class. It was here that I began to understand that there was a whole other existence possible; a peaceful, fearless existence of pure present moment awareness.
Three years later, I found myself incredibly self-conscious on a beach in my bathing suit, unwilling to play in the sand with my son for fear of how my rolls and dimples would look and was completely distracted and discouraged about my weight. Picking up my O magazine I read Oprah’s declaration that she’d ‘never diet again’ and later watched her interview Geneen Roth about a spiritual approach to understanding food compulsion.
This was my watershed moment of realizing that the thoughts and feeling about my body were far more damaging to my quality of life than the actual size of my body. It was the beginning of my 2 year research study and my own personal transformation. These pivotal influences laid the groundwork for the path I have been walking and teaching ever since of combining mindfulness, present moment awareness, self-compassion, freedom with food and aligning our lives with the wisdom of our true Selves.
I humbly recognize that the message I now share with my clients is the direct result of standing on the shoulders of these giants and combining their wisdom and truth with my own and my personal experience in a way that hopefully brings us a little closer to our birthright: freedom, joy, peace, beauty and knowing and trusting in that Light at our core.
I hadn’t intended on blogging again today (as I just posted yesterday) but in casually telling my ‘winning ticket’ story to my dear friend and authenticity coach Lianne she really encouraged me to share these events with all of you so perhaps you could see connections and allow them to serve as evidence to trust in the little gifts and miracles showing up in your life.
If we let ourselves see it and then believe it, we can begin to see all the beauty and connection unfolding around us. We are then positioned to realize that there are tiny miracles everywhere. When we align our lives with our authentic Self and when we dare to desire from that place the Universe listens.
Life is always supporting us, we are all resting on, and simultaneously weaving a fabric of little miracles; of interconnected love, beauty and inspiration.
May you all enjoy the blessing of your own miracles this weekend.
(Stay tuned for Part II of this blog following what is sure to be an unforgettable weekend)