Oprah

When people ask what makes Oprah so special, I see it this way; she is to women, what the pope is to Christians.
I'm still feeling inspired tonight. Yesterday evening I shared the same space and energy as Oprah Winfrey,  the other woman who raised me everyday after school from elementary, through college and into the first years of my career. Oprah took the stage at ScotiaBank Place with an audience of nearly 15,000. You would think that with that many women in one room one might not get a word in edgewise, but when this lady takes the stage, everyone stops and listens to what she has to say. And she had a lot to say.

Oprah told stories of the true events in her life that led her to where she is, how she came to be and the lessons learned along the way. From her affinity for the poodle skirt, which played a key role in her existence, to the decision to become a journalist, all her stories were compelling, touching, funny, relatable and inspiring. Most of all, she was human. Oprah is aware that she is famous and rich but has remained standing with her two feet firmly on the ground. The only difference, she says, is that her two feet are wearing fancier shoes. 
Those shoes, by the way, were given to an audience member at the end of the show. A pair of Manolo Blahniks were apparently too much for Miss O's feet so when her assistant brought up a pair of slippers, the pricey stilettos were gifted to a front row fan. 
One of the main themes I took away from Oprah's talk was to do all you can and then let it go. Do it, love it, and let it go, she repeated.
Don't look ahead to the grand goal, just look at what needs to be done next, and give it all you have, then let it go. She especially underlined this as the mantra she used following the swift downturn of her new network, OWN, after its inception last year. 
She played a clip from Entertainment Tonight in which the news magazine questioned all the mistakes that may have led to the network's failures and asked how the most successful woman in the media industry could flop... "I don't know," she answered sheepishly, which triggered a loud if not sympathetic laugh from the crowd. She said she still doesn't know what went wrong, but in the aftermath of those slumps, she and her team did what they had to do, step by step, to get that network to where it is now. 
Oprah also talked about her struggle with weight, her feud with David Letterman, the journey to her role in The Color Purple, and all the bridges she crossed as a "little coloured girl from Mississippi" who just wanted opportunities, and figured out a way to them. She reminded us that even she becomes infuriated when her man is late and doesn't call. She reminded us that there is a way to resolve that type of frustration, and it doesn't involve listing out all the things that he's doing wrong. 
She discussed gratitude and love, and told stories ranging from her modest upbringing to her larger-than-life fame today. 
As a child, she knew she would use her voice to help others. She told the story of her hair stylist who, as a child, practiced styling his sister's Barbie dolls. And her chief of staff who asked for a filing cabinet for her eighth birthday. (This got me thinking of my childhood - I began to fill notebooks with stories and journal entries at the tender age of seven, and always used up the film in my dad's camera with my mini photo shoots.) 
There are things, Oprah says, that we want to do in life, for her it was acting, but there are also things that we are meant to do. Clearly, she found that calling. 
I have yet to figure it out for myself but I get to feeling I'll find it soon. Whatever it may be, "honour the calling," she says. We're all here to give something, and if we live our lives "on purpose," she says we can all find it.
Inspired!
{F}

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