Have you ever just sat in silence and listened to your thoughts? Complete silence. No people. No external sounds. No distractions. Do you hear the whispers of your heart? Close your eyes for the full effect. What is your heart telling you about your life right now? Are you who you want to be? If not, are you moving towards that direction?
“Pay attention to the whispers.” (Oprah Winfrey)
This past weekend marked one year since I started to pay more attention to the whispers. In November 2014, I attended Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend in Northern California with my cousin Carmel. Now that I think of it, I would say that I heard the first whisper eight months earlier when I decided to purchase tickets for the event.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a HUGE fan of Oprah. I admire her perseverance. Despite life’s obstacles, she didn’t make excuses on why she couldn’t succeed. She had a vision, walked the steps towards it, achieved her goals, and hasn’t stopped learning since. You will often find me sharing a quote or story from her talk show, magazine or other interviews. Now add OWN Network shows, such as Super Soul Sunday and Master Class, to the mix, and my knowledge of Oprah trivia continues to expand.
So, when I realized that her event was being held six hours away, there was no way that I was going to miss it! There was an event in Los Angeles, California, years ago, but I had another commitment (that I couldn’t cancel). I saw this as my second chance! Truth be told, I was probably more ready to make the necessary changes now than the first time.
What I learned about myself from the November 2014 Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend was that writing and communication have always been important to me. They are the common threads that have stitched themselves into every aspect of my life. There really are two sides to me. Half of me enjoys being alone to read, reflect, and write; yet the other half likes to socialize, share my opinion, and speak in front of others. I have learned to accept that it’s ok to be both.
Not only did I see Oprah on stage, but also her panel of inspiring Trailblazers and special guests. Each one had a story. During the event, I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant, Rob Bell, Amy Purdy, and David Oyelowo. Their message was the same, but told in their own way. Create the vision of the life that you want. Stay mindful. Stay focused. Believe in the journey. Don’t give up.
“Create the highest grandest vision for your life. Then let every step move you in that direction.” (Oprah Winfrey)
It was during this weekend event that I decided not to let fear cloud my vision anymore. I love teaching and strive to make a difference each year, but it’s on a smaller scale than what I see in my dreams. My vision involves making a difference on a larger scale through writing, as well as promoting literacy along the way. In addition, I realized that I needed to get my health back in order. Living a long, healthy life will allow me to spend more quality time with family and friends, pursue my dreams, and ultimately, live the life that I want.
“The only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life of your dreams.” (Oprah Winfrey)
After the weekend event, my cousin returned home and then I took a 5-day road trip to process everything. My alone time was mostly in the car since I made an effort to visit people along the way, including a visit with my childhood best friend, who I hadn’t seen in ten years. My heart remembered our friendship as if time stood still. We laughed about the old times, yet it also made me reflect on the journey to now. As young girls, what did we think our life would turn out like? What changes have we made along the way?
The unforgettable experience began on a Friday with Oprah and her trailblazers asking me (and others) if we were living the life that we wanted. One week later, I took a long walk on Venice Beach, my last stop before heading home. Taking the time to reflect on what I learned, as well as, to plan my next step was necessary. I didn’t want to lose the momentum.
What I started to recall was the writing advice given by several authors at a recent Los Angeles Times Book Festival—WRITE! Write often. Write daily. Just write. I wasn’t doing that. The authors also shared the importance of reading to gain knowledge of different authors and writing styles.
You are probably wondering what steps I did take towards my dream. Listed below are those changes:
- Created a personal blog website
- Started blog-related social media sites (Instagram and Twitter) that make you think, reflect, discuss and smile
- Community Writer for the local news group (which was a result of a blog post); three articles have been written so far
- Read at least an hour a day – books or articles
- Write a minimum of one hour daily (blog, news article, novel)
- Lost 25 lbs (and counting)
- Incorporated daily exercise, whether a walk, sport, or workout
This past year has given me confirmation that I am in control of my destiny. Positive energy needs to flow towards the vision that I have for myself, in order for things to happen. I need to be prepared for opportunities that are waiting to happen.
I am not done living yet. So, I am making a conscious effort every day to take the necessary steps towards living the life that I want. Are you?
“I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.” (Oprah Winfrey)