This past weekend I was presented with an opportunity to attend the Oprah LifeClass Tour in Toronto and a Tea with Own Canada the day before. This was once in a lifetime opportunity which I just couldn’t pass up! Friday saw me making frantic arrangements and honestly it was miraculous how it all worked out.
We live an hour North of downtown Toronto, had this have been a few years ago the travel would be a no-brainer but since the accident I’ve been pinned down by anxiety with highway and city driving. Suffice it to say it wasn’t an option for me to drive myself in and with it being the weekend the transit system didn’t run on a full schedule. God presented me with an angel when my friend Janet (@mybestlifecoach) jumped in and offered me a ride and a hotel room to share for the night – how generous is that??
My next obstacle was our children, my Hubby was working on Sunday night so I would need someone to have them overnight…not an easy request to present to friends. With very little effort I found someone, my awesome next door neighbor jumped at the opportunity saying “Are you kidding, you HAVE to go to Oprah!”
There are more ducks which lined up in a row to make this happen but you get the idea that it was slightly miraculous that I was able to attend.
The tea with Own Canada was a lovely event, it was held at the Royal York hotel in Toronto and I had the opportunity to get to know the gracious folks at Own both in Canada and the States. Spending time with others who are fans of Oprah certainly raised the excitement level about going to LifeClass the next day. I was quite good at pacing myself, I was mindful to get up and leave the tea often to stretch my back and positioned myself carefully. Honey, simply sitting in the wrong position sets everything off!
Following the tea a group of us went and enjoyed dinner together, Janet and I managed to meet up with Erica from Women On The Fence for a quick visit and then it was onto bed.
The next morning I was up and out early to head to LifeClass. Thankfully the hotel was less than a block away so I was in my seat within minutes. To say I had a coveted seat would be putting it mildly, I was within 30 feet of Oprah at all times…does that make me sound like a stalker?
The event schedule was packed with 4 powerful speakers before the actual taping of LifeClass. Deepak Chopra was first and provided much food for thought in his unassuming presentation style. Iyanla Vanzant had the audience dancing and laughing as she presented in her upbeat style. The dapper Bishop Jakes took the stage and impressed me with his impersonation of a chicken as he compared them to eagles along our journey. Finally Tony Robbins came out to shock me, who knew that I could get even MORE fired up about my journey of Gratitude than I already am??
Each of these 4 sessions provided breaks in between which found me leaving the room and finding quiet spots or making my way outside to stretch out. With all of the applause it wasn’t far into the first hour when I felt a horrible migraine beginning. Mid-way through Bishop Jakes presentation I was beginning to question whether I’d make it until SHOW TIME.
You see pain is a distraction and it was increasing at an alarming rate through the sessions. Throughout the 4 presentations my concentration waned, my tweets dwindled and my note taking simply ceased.
Once again pain was interfering in my life.
Rather than get angry about it, I implemented the plan I had in place. I refused to allow the pain to stop my enjoyment entirely, I breathed through it and absorbed what I could. Thankfully the episode will be aired on April 30th on Own Canada so I’ll be able to experience it again, but for now I’m glad that I have a positive perspective about this situation.
Instead of focusing upon what I missed of the event, I’m appreciative of what I did receive. This mindset is one which has changed my life, this is the one I want to share with you all.
In the end I did leave the show early, I wasn’t able to stick it out for the entire day as planned, I fell apart in my husband’s arms as I arrive home and have been in bed recovering for the majority of the past 24 hours. This experience reinforced many things for me; that I am unable to perform as I would wish, that pain follows me wherever I go… so many things which could be taken as negative.
BUT I also am aware of so many more positive things which outweigh the previous; the wonderful people I had, the chance to meet, the willingness of others to help, the impact of sharing our stories and how it can benefit others, generosity, love, kindness, compassion, patience…..the list is HUGE.
I assure you, I will be writing about the messages from the show and sessions but today I’m resting…..I’m restoring my strength so that when I do share the insights I’ve gained they will be clear and succinct. For now I’m grateful, for this fabulous opportunity and the people who made it happen!
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