In January, I spent an amazing day with Oprah Winfrey. Yes, it was just me, Oprah, and 20,000 of our closest friends. I was in desperate need of a big ol’ dose of self-love, inspiration, and motivation that no one could provide better than Lady O!
My journey to Oprah started a few days into 2020 when one morning I saw a segment on Today that totally exhilarated me. Jenna Bush Hager was interviewing Oprah Winfrey live in Florida as she kicked her “2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus Tour.” Oprah said, “It’s 2020, it’s the time to have your vision in focus and to live up to all the dreams you made for yourself.” That struck a huge chord with me.
For so many years, I have been a self-sabotager of my dreams. I have a lot of wonderful things going for me; I have a fantastic family, a beautiful home, amazing friends, but I’ve lost myself a bit along the way. I have these personal dreams and goals that I constantly allow to fall by the waysides because of life commitments and because the fear of failing at these dreams is greater than the desire to go out and achieve them. Does that sound familiar to any of you?
Last year, I wrote a children’s book. It’s a book that came together quickly in my mind and made me excited. I convinced my cousin who is an amazing artist to illustrate it; my kids loved it and even went to school bragging about it and asking if we could get an extra copy for their school’s library. I felt great about it…until I didn’t. I did the thing that I’ve become so good at by now. I let the fear come creeping in, and I allowed it to put a halt to things. What if no one will print it? What if no one wants to read it? What will my kids think of me if I fail?
So it sits.
The book sits on my computer where I occasionally open it and reread it, wondering if I’ll ever do anything with it.
As we entered 2020 all the things that inspired me to write the book were present again in my life and had me feeling really down on myself for not seeing something through. I spent the first few days of the new year just trying to light that fire under my bum that everyone else around me seemed to have lit.
Oprah’s appearance on Today came at the perfect time. Within minutes of the airing of the show, I had convinced one of my best friends to join me the next weekend in St. Paul, Minnesota where together we could share in creating our own 2020 visions.
The day of Oprah’s St. Paul stop on the tour was amazing. We started the day with dancing and meditation—have you ever been in an arena with 20,000 people who were completely silent before? We worked on finding balance within our lives by answering questions about ourselves in a workbook provided. We steered our focus on everything from health and wellness to relationships and careers. We laughed with Tina Fey. We cried with a young woman who had changed her life for the better. It was a beautiful and beyond powerful day.
My biggest takeaway that day came when Oprah spoke beautifully on the clarity of intention she said, “You don’t get what you want, you get what you intend.” I let that soak in. As she dove deeper into living your life with intention and what that looks like, I realized that I was letting so much of my life go past me without putting some gasoline behind it. I needed to focus, I needed to steer my own ship towards the things I truly wanted to do and I needed to stop being so damn scared.
So I made a plan for myself for when I returned to KC, and my motivational game came out strong. I applied and submitted to be a contributor for Kansas City Mom Collective (hello!), I opened up my book again and began editing it, and I even found a lot of ways for to focus on myself again.
Then March hit, and we all know how that changed us all. My extra time was now spent homeschooling, trying to work from home with thousands of distractions, keeping my children from running into the background of my husband’s work Zoom meetings, and doing dishes. So. Many. Dishes.
Like every time before, I could allow this new normal to derail me, but that’s not what I want to do anymore. Now that school has ended, I’m taking some of that time back for myself. I’m going to keep writing, I’m going to keep dreaming, and I’m going to make some stuff happen. It may not have been on my original timeline, but it’s happening.
So thank you, Oprah! Thank you for giving me that focus in 2020 that I needed. Thank you for breathing your spirit into all of us sitting in that arena that day. I hope that everyone who left that stop on your tour was as inspired as I am to go out and live out the slogan of the tour.
I can. I will. Watch me.