Shortly following Oprah’s departure from daytime television, she & her team took on the huge undertaking of starting up the Oprah Winfrey Network, known to many of us as OWN. One of these shows, Lifeclass, focuses on spiritual growth, discovering our passions, and making the most out of life. I’ve watched quite a few of the Lifeclass episodes and have found most of them to be inspiring and helpful for my own life. You know I love a good quote!
Recently, Oprah announced that Lifeclass was going on TOUR and I almost fell off my chair when I found out they were coming to Toronto! This would be Oprah’s first time ever doing a show in Canada and by a stroke of luck, I got two tickets for Ange and I before the evening show sold out. The tickets sold out so fast, they opened up a second show in the morning, with each show maxing out at approximately 8,500 attendees.
Lifeclass was hosted at the Toronto Convention Center, which initially seemed like a decent spot, but we quickly realized one snag. The room, holding 8,500+ attendees, is a 1/4 of a mile LONG…without balcony seating:
As you can see, it wasn’t the best venue to see the stage…unless you paid a premium for the Emerald seating or you lined up for hours and hours on end to get in first. Ange and I got to the convention center about 1.5-2 hours early, but we were still behind about 8,000 people in the line up! We ended up sitting about 15 rows from the back of the room by the time we got in. Hopefully next time they will host it in another venue…perhaps the ACC would’ve been a better choice.
Other than the seating issue, it was a GREAT show over the course of 5 hours. I was just thankful to be there at all no matter where I was sitting.
Here we are ready to learn!
From 5pm-8pm, we were treated to talks from the following life coaches:
- Iyanla Vanzant, spiritual teacher, author & television personality
- Tony Robbins, motivational speaker & self-help author
- Bishop T.D. Jakes, spiritual leader & author
- Deepak Chopra , spiritualist & author
And from 8pm-10pm, the LIVE taping of Lifeclass began with Oprah and the coaches.
We took pages and pages of notes! [Ange, your writing makes me look bad!]
Oprah says it’s important for all of us to teach what we know to other people.
I can relate to this because much of the joy I get from the blog is when I try to share things I have learned or struggled with in order to have a better life. Most of us are looking for a better life, improved relationships, happiness, passion, better health, and purpose in all shapes and forms. It’s a wonderful thing to share the experience with other people along the way as we learn about ourselves and those around us. Eric got into Lifeclass too and we found that it got us talking about all kinds of topics that we normally wouldn’t have taken the time to talk about.
With that in mind, my goal for this show was not to only benefit on a personal level, but to share what I learned with you.
First up, I’m going to tell you about Iyanla Vanzant’s talk.
This lady knows how to make an entrance!
Iyanla felt bad for all of us at the back of the room, so she entered through the back and danced her way to loud music all the way to the front! Everyone was on their feet dancing and cheering loudly! It was a blast.
She started off her talk by saying that each of us attending Lifeclass would touch somebody who wasn’t there and she echoed Oprah’s message to teach others what you know.
Here are some of the things I took away from Iyanla’s talk:
1. Have a Vision.
Iyanla saved her own life by having a VISION within herself. Her vision included what she wanted to do with her life and where she wanted to go. She says that we all must have a vision where we see our lives unfolding in a positive way. A vision will pull you forward! What unfolds is often better than we could have imagined. Once we have a vision and we start taking steps to get there, greater and better things tend to open up for us, bigger than our wildest dreams. It reminds me a lot of the Law of Attraction.
2. What you see or believe isn’t always reality
Iyanla began with a story about her eyes. After getting her eyes checked out by an optometrist, she found out that she needed glasses. “What do you mean I need glasses? I can see just fine!” she told the doctor. All along she was living her life thinking that her vision was just perfect because her eyes adjusted to it.
She said in life, we often convince ourselves that what we see is all there is. She said, “Your eyes will adjust to the level of deficiency present”, meaning that we adjust our expectations and desires to what we tell ourselves we can and cannot do. If we don’t think we can do something (e.g., be an entrepreneur), then we will adjust our behaviour to fit that story even though it’s not reality. In life, we make up these deficiencies that we think we have. She asks, how often do we adjust ourselves to fit what someone else tells us we cannot do? These stories eventually become such a habit we forget they can actually be wrong.
She asked us, “What deficiencies are we holding about ourselves and adjusting our lives to fit them?” It’s a powerful reminder to challenge the things we tell ourselves each and every day. For example, I used to believe that I couldn’t do yoga. So I adjusted to this “deficiency” and never gave it a real shot. Then one day I got sick of thinking I wasn’t any good and gave it a chance. The rest was history. This is just one small example of a way we can change the stories in our minds.
3. How to bring your vision to life:
- Affirm your vision every day (use “I am” which is the creative force of the universe)
- Know why you are doing it (clarity)
- Have a daily spiritual practice of stillness & listen…don’t beg. Instead of ASKING or begging for answers, just listen and be still.
- Know how you will do it
We need to “Listen for the instruction instead of begging for the direction.”
4. Never judge your vision based on the reaction of someone else
Iyanla says we are often scared to pursue our vision because we are scared of what others will think or say. She says never let others be your guide in life! Often, when someone has a vision for their life, other people just aren’t ready to see it or accept it when you want them too. Sometimes it takes time for other people to see your vision and that is ok…do it anyways! Never judge your clarity based on how someone else responds. Just because other people can’t accept your vision doesn’t mean it isn’t the right vision for YOU.
At the end of her talk she reminds us…success is the best revenge.