Lessons from Oprah’s Lifeclass in Toronto: Part 2

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At the end of her talk, Iylana left us with this quote:

“Don’t forget…success is the best revenge.”

The more I think about the quote the more I feel conflicted about it. For me, “happiness is the best revenge” fits better because I know from experience that success doesn’t necessarily equal personal satisfaction. I’ve been successful and miserable at the same time and I didn’t feel like I was proving anything to anyone. Success has to be personally – not outwardly -  defined. I used to think that success was about the degree on the wall, the size of the paycheck, and the job title, but now my mindset has flipped 180. It doesn’t matter what other people think you have or don’t have…you have to feel it on a personal level above all else. Whatever it is that you find your passion in, don’t ever let yourself feel like it’s not good enough.

Here is a comment from Sarah in my first post that I really enjoyed:

Sarah said, “I’ve always gotten through tough times using a very similar quote straight from the mouth of Mom: “the best revenge is a good life.” It’s very freeing to think that we don’t need to feel, think, or act negatively to get ahead.”

The best revenge is a good life.

Man, I love this quote. Thank you for sharing Sarah (and Sarah’s mom)!

20120219 onc tony robbins 11 600x4111   Lessons from Oprah’s Lifeclass in Toronto: Part 2

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Up next is motivational speaker, life coach, TV host, and author Tony Robbins. You may have heard of him? :) To be honest, I didn’t know much about him until I saw his interview on the OWN network several weeks ago. I was really blown away by his story and how much he has overcome in his life.

Tony also knows how to make an entrance. The music was pumping and everyone was on their feet. He loves to get the audience clapping and having a good time. He’s just about one of the most high-energy people I have ever laid eyes on. It’s really contagious.

Tony’s speech was all about how we can get over our fears to live a better life. He says that many of us are scared, angry, and holding onto patterns and stories that hold us back from living the life we are meant to live.

Here are some lessons from his speech:

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”

I completely agree that success without fulfillment is pointless. However, it’s often necessary for many of us to go through periods of time when we don’t feel fulfilled in order to grow and figure out where we should be. A lack of fulfillment has a definite purpose in our lives, so it’s important not to get down on ourselves if we feel lost. There can be a lot of pressure to always have our life and career figured out, but it’s totally normal not to. Moments of discomfort will propel you to figure out what it is that will make you happy. Sometimes it just takes longer than we expect.

“We are all deathly afraid that we’re not enough.”

I’ve struggled with low self-esteem since I was very young so I can relate to this a lot. I’m only now starting to realize that I’m already enough. You are all enough just as you are. We don’t need to DO something to prove that we are enough…we just are. When this clicked for me, I started to ease up on myself and appreciate the beauty in my life regardless of what I did or what I had. No matter who you are or how much you think you’ve failed, the recognition that you are already enough is freeing on many levels. Try it.

“We need to take risks to succeed and grow”

This is often hard for me to remember, but I do agree with it so much. The things I am most proud of in my life are the times when I stepped away from my fear and tried something that pushed me outside of my comfort zone. Tony says, instead of taking risks, we often make up a story as to why we can’t do something. How many times do you tell yourself you can’t do x, y, and z because of this or that? Start changing those thought patterns and replace them with I CAN TRY.

“It’s healthy to say ‘this is not good enough’!”

Many people fear complaining about their situation if they are unhappy. Tony reminds us that it can be very healthy to say ‘”this is not good enough for me” and “I deserve better”. In fact, it can be the most freeing thing you ever admit.

“You need a breakthrough when you decide it’s no more”

How to make a breakthrough:

1) Change your STATE. Emotion is created by motion in the body. Hold your head up high, smile at other people, walk with confidence! Don’t sulk, hunch over, frown. The fastest way to change your state is to change your body.

2) Create a strategy that’s effective

3) Change the story you have been telling yourself (change your story…change your life!)

On a successful relationships:

“Do what you did in the beginning and there won’t be an end!”

You didn’t measure and take score in the beginning of your relationship, so don’t do it now either.

“Stressed is the adult word for scared shitless.”

;)

and last but certainly not least…

How to change your state in seconds…celebrate like a kid for no reason!

Tony says society teaches adults that we should only celebrate when there is a reason (e.g., New Year’s Eve). Well, what would happen if you just celebrated for no other reason than your life?

Your life is a reason to celebrate. Tony cranked up the music and all 8,500 of us started jumping up in the air and screaming like we were at a rock concert. It was hilarious…and you know what? I was amazed by the surge in energy I felt afterwards.

Make no mistake, this audience is now alive. Thanks Tony….I got my voice back a couple days later.

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{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh April 20, 2012

Boy those first two points really resonated with me from Tony’s speech and I’m making strides in the right direction to work on the third. It’s amazing how much we can hold ourselves back and be our own worst critic. Some definite food for thought. Thanks so much for sharing your experience there. It sounds like it could be, as Oprah would say, a series of one “ah ha moment” after another!

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dara April 20, 2012

congratulations on the loss. That is an amazing feat to accomplish

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Elle L. April 20, 2012

Thank you so much for sharing! I would have for sure bought tickets if they would have came to Ottawa… I’m actually reading Tony’s book right now: Awaken the Giant Within and I love it!!! I’ve learned so much already and I’m not even 1/3 done; he is just brilliant! p.s. I’ve been meaning to comment to tell you that I’ve tried at least a dozen of your recipes in the past 2 months and omg! they are amazing, I’ve told many people about your site :) Thank you!! and I can’t wait to get your book!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

Thank you so much Elle :) I will have to check out his book!

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kaila @ healthyhelper April 20, 2012

Wow what uplifting and inspiring sentiments! It sounds like this entire event was really impactful and meaningful!

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Andrea @ Vegvacious April 20, 2012

Thank you so much for sharing everything you got out of Oprah’s lifeclass. It sounds like such an amazing, life-changing experience!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 20, 2012

Wow, thank you for sharing this! Getting over my fears has been the theme of my 25th year. I went to India alone a couple of months ago, and just announced today that I quit my job of 7 years to pursue blogging and nutrition consulting! Both actions were so scary; paralyzing even, but I believed in myself, knew I deserved it, and just did it.
Your story has been so inspiring, Angela. And that you continue to inspire us all with posts just like this one, is the reason I just can’t get enough of OSG!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

I’m excited for you!

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Hailey April 20, 2012

Wow, this is great stuff! I definitely think that many of us struggle with fear (even though we don’t realize it) that, for me at least, bears its head in the form of lack of self confidence. That makes me more defensive about stupid things in life and holds me back from many opportunities. I couldn’t sleep last night and was seriously thinking about all of this. I guess it’s time I do something about it!

And Leanne is right, you are such a motivator. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

Isn’t it so easy to tell ourselves that we can’t do something because we’re scared? I have done that so many times in my life! When I think about it, I probably could’ve gotten through them all. Live and learn right? Goodluck!

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Hailey April 21, 2012

It’s so easy! It’s more comfortable and you don’t have to worry about the risk of failure or what people will think about you. I really think that our tendency to compare ourselves to others is the easiest way to suck the joy out of life! When in all reality, I have nothing to be scared about (says the person who has a marathon next weekend AHH)…live and learn, you’re right. :-)

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Hailey April 21, 2012

oops, i don’t know why that happened twice!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 21, 2012

Goodluck with your marathon!

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Valerie April 20, 2012

These are such inspiring quotes! Sounds like an amazing event. I love the idea that revenge is a happy life. Great post!

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Sheena April 20, 2012

Again, great post Angela!

Tony had my ultra conservative mother jumping up and down during that exercise you spoke of, the energy in the room was incredible!

Thanks for summarizing Tony’s talk, I didn’t get to take as detailed notes as I would have liked so this is great ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

hah that’s cute. I also loved the exercise he did to meet the other people around us. I’m so shy but it wasn’t too hard…if anything it felt really good.

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Abby @ Fig & Fork April 20, 2012

Super inspiring – thanks for sharing! This sounds a lot like what I am learning at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! :) I am going to print this out!

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Angela@veggievinyasa April 20, 2012

Oooh love that relationship advice! And also what you and Tony said about success. Our culture makes us feel like a failure if we don’t have the perfect career, but life is about the small stuff and how you live life everyday. I love this quote by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh: “Our own life has to be our message.” Your blog really shares your passion for being happy and healthy!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

I like that quote, thanks for sharing Angela!

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Kristina April 20, 2012

I love Tony Robbins’ advice!! I have to say though, that any statement that begins with “The best revenge is…” has negativity involved already, no matter how the statement ends. It puts the focus in the wrong spot. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here, but I would much prefer to simply say “I lived a good life” than “I got revenge by living a good life.” :) I’m grateful to read your notes, and while I don’t comment often, I just want to say how much I love your blog and recipes; thank you for sharing your journey as well as your delicious recipes. You’ve been a very helpful hand in helping me getting my life back on a healthy track.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

I was thinking that too…isn’t revenge the wrong word? At any rate, I get the meaning and also like your take on it too. Thanks for your kind words Kristina…I appreciate it.

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Maija April 21, 2012

I agree with where you guys were going but I interpreted that quote in a totally different way :) I feel like Iylana already views success as personally defined. ‘Success’ has such a loose interpretation, why assume someone just means that narrow view of money, a nice job and a pretty house? And secondly, I view the use of the word ‘revenge’ more like that’s proof that you don’t need revenge. My thought process kind-of sees the quote as the best revenge is none at all. That’s just the message I got out of the phrase, but it’s always interesting to think about how others interpret stuff like this! Kristina, I totally agree with you though about the ‘I lived a good life’ :)
Great post, Angela!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 21, 2012

Great points!

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Jenn April 20, 2012

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Tony Robbins. He is AMAZING. I want to go to one of his workshop weekends it would be really cool to check it out. Glad you had a chance to check this out. I wanted to go but didn’t have the chance to get tickets.

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Tara April 20, 2012

Bless you!! These are making my day, keep them coming. Sometimes we all need a reminder, that YES you are worth it, and YES you can do it.

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MJ April 20, 2012

Love.This.
Thank you SO much for sharing. I have been so “stressed” (scared shitless” lately because I am moving across the country in a month to go to school. I’m almost 30 years old (sigh) and I’ve often felt like I “missed the bus” when it came to figuring out what I want to do with my life. Now that I finally know, I’ve been so hard on myself b/c I fear that I’ll be the old woman in school. I have also been hard on myself b/c most of my friends are married and starting to have children and I’m just now going back to school! Single.
This quote really hit me:
“There can be a lot of pressure to always have our life and career figured out, but it’s totally normal not to. Moments of discomfort will propel you to figure out what it is that will make you happy. Sometimes it just takes longer than we expect.”
Thank you again. Keep the inspiration coming!
MJ

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing. I know you may see it as an uncomfortable thing to be going back to school at 30 and not being where your friends are, but I see it as being brave and following your heart. It take GUTS! Good for you…let me know how it goes. :) It’s never too late to learn…

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Meredith April 20, 2012

Funny, I remember my dad saying “Living well is the best revenge.” I looked it up and it’s attributed to clergyman George Herbert, born in 1593. Timeless, eh?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

wow…1593? That’s fun :)

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Elaine April 20, 2012

YES! “A good life is the best revenge” has been my mantra since I was little!
When I told one of my friends about it, she questioned the use of the word ‘revenge’, noting that it sounds like you have to hurt others to have a good life.
But really, it’s all about showing others just how much you can do with your life – yet not caring what they think, either.
Thanks Angela!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

Yea I guess it’s really how you interpret the word revenge. In our society, it’s always viewed as something negative, but I guess it can be taken lightly too.

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Rachel April 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing your experience! I completely agree with what you said about the “success is the best revenge” quote. It’s funny that people still measure success on money and notoriety, two things we know do not magically make people happy. Happiness and a good life to me arent the best ‘revenge’, because if you are a content person you do not seek revenge. Instead I think happiness is the best example for people. If you do things that make you happy, it will rub off on others and make them want to be like you.. Which is a great thing! I think the best ‘revenge’ on people who perhaps didn’t believe in you, is having them seek to be like you one day :) thank you for these great posts Angela!

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dara April 20, 2012

I have to give a presentation on wednesday and seeing the picture of tony robbins in front of that crowd baffles me. I am nervous about a crowd of 40 people. I dont know why I get so nervous, I wish I didnt.
I have decided that no matter how much I practice (because I have been practicing A LOT) I am still going to be nervous.
How do you guys cope with pre-presentation jitters??

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

I hear you. I’ve been anxious with public speaking my whole life. I think Tony actually said he used to be really scared to public speak when he first started, but with practice he’s a “natural”. I always tried to do some deep breathing beforehand, no caffeine in the AM (as it can increase nerves), and just be well prepared. Sounds like you have that covered. I also find that once I get going the nerves dissipate. Think about how proud you will feel afterward. Goodluck!

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Carrie April 20, 2012

Love this! Thank you so much for sharing!

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Lisa April 20, 2012

Loving these recaps since I couldn’t afford the steep $250 ticket price that was left after the cheaper seats sold out. Tony is amazing. I recorded the portion of the session they aired and will be re-watching it many many times. Thanks for sharing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

I’m glad you are enjoying them Lisa. :)

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Lara April 20, 2012

I don’t usually comment, but thanks for sharing your notes with us!
The last post ALSO made me think of my mother’s advice: The best revenge is happiness. “Success” seemed to be the wrong word too. I really love the “good life” alternative now though. :) Good luck to Dara on your presentation! Most people say the nervousness lessens the more you get into your speech. I can totally relate because I’ve missed out on a lot of study and career chances for fear of public speaking. Hope these notes inspire us all to get over some of our fears!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

same here!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks April 20, 2012

I am loving these posts…they are inspiring and motivating. Thank you!

“We need to take risks to succeed and grow” <— Yes I believe that whole-heartedly. The scariest things I've ever done, the riskiest, the biggest out of my comfort zone things are the ones that have helped me grow and pushed me father, bigger, and just stretched me into a better place. Risk, change, stepping outside of the box and your comfort zone is scary, but it pays off!

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Catalina @ Cake with Love April 20, 2012

I love the quote: “Don’t forget…success is the best revenge.” and that we are already enough, it is very important to remember this every day!

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Jen @ Passport to Bliss April 20, 2012

I totally agree with the quote, “The best revenge is a good life.” For years I thought it was about the paycheck, job title, status, etc… but if you’re not happy, what’s it good for? I’m working on my dreams & happiness, and hope to one day be enough with who I am. Thanks for sharing! :)

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 20, 2012

How true that “we are all deathly afraid that we’re not enough.” The more I learn to open up and talk to friends about fears, the more I realize everyone is having similar thoughts. The important thing is that we do our best, and realize we are not alone!

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Stephanie April 20, 2012

You know, the more I read on your site, the more I think that it wasn’t accident that I found it.

A few months ago I was doing something called the “Daniel Fast” and needed some good vegan recipes to help me through it. I google’d and found this website. Reading your story was an inspiration because it mirrored so much of my own. I left a successful career in advertising/marketing to pursue law enforcement. Then, once in law enforcement, was really disheartened by the criminal justice system and how little it actually helps people.

I’m in a rut, for sure. Changing careers the first time was tough, but figuring out what to do next is even tougher. *BUT*, just today I was blogging about how the highlight of my week was starting my day with Green Monsters, and how I might just have them all weekend because they make me feel happy and indulgent. I know that when I’m drinking them, I’m taking care of ME, which is something that I never do, and that makes everything else a little easier to take.

Then I came here and saw your posts about Oprah’s Lifeclass and felt even more clarity.

You just rock. I thought it was time I told you. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

Thank you for sharing Stephanie! I’m in awe of how much you have accomplished already in your life. Law enforcement too? amazing! I do understand how it could be disheartening though. I know you will find the perfect fit soon. :) I also really appreciate your comments about my blog. Thank you & enjoy the GMs! When you get daring, I recommend trying a mix of greens. Right now im using this great frozen green mix with mustard, kale and collard greens. Enjoy!

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Michaela@pilgrimageofhealth April 20, 2012

The fear that we are not enough is one of the most devastating stimulus for negativity and unhealthiness. When we feel we are not enough as we are, we’ll do anything, no matter how destructive it may be, to prove to ourselves and others that we ARE enough.

That is what we must remember–we ARE enough, NOW! Not in the future, not when we’re changed or accomplished or better. NOW!

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Lynne April 20, 2012

Thank you for these posts, Angela. They are so thought-provoking. :)

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Mel April 20, 2012

To be honest I don’t like any statement that begins with ‘Revenge is..’ It suggests that whatever people have said and done to try to hurt us we should carry that around as motivation when actually we should drop it like a hot potato. I must be such a burden to feel you have to create a idylic/happy/successful/insert title here life just ’cause some people who are filled with jealousy/anger/hate/spite/insert emotion here told us it wasn’t good enough already!!

One thing that did resonate with me is Tony saying it’s okay to say ‘This isnt good enough’ Im a quote and quote spiritual person and with that you’re expected to be present and completely happy in any situation even if its crap – which is fair enough stay positive, rise above it but for God’s sake never think you can’t change it.

Lastly, adored the partying as a child. In my office the other day we all got up and began river dancing for no other reason we wanted to dance and enjoy ourselves… I believe security caught it on CCTV too oops.

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Alex @ Raw Recovery April 20, 2012

I loved all the quotes but this one especially, “Stressed is the adult word for scared shitless.” How true that rings for me. Now that I’m going to finally be graduating college, I have a lot of choices to make. I always thought that the better the job title, the fancier the degree, the bigger paycheck and the type of car I drove were the important things. If I had those things THEN I could impress myself, then I could be happy, then I could feel important, worthy, and enough. It’s very difficult to accept you are enough as you are while still wanting to change, grow, and improve some things. The acceptance of that dialectic is really what life is about I think. Thanks for sharing, Angela!

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Naomi Casiro April 20, 2012

Wow,
What an incredible thing it is to take a day to sit and learn from such incredible people! Thanks for sharing! One thing I learnt through reading and self growth that that changed my life and i thought was worth sharing was this:

Judge others favourably. The truth is we will never have enough information to judge what another is going through or has gone through or will go through. To look out on the world and begin to truly believe that you can always see what others are doing in a favourable light is an incredible and life changing lesson.
(Rabbi Rietti- The Secret to Happiness)

This is something that truly changed the way I looked at everyday situations and wow, did it ever make a difference to the positivity I felt and passed on to others.

Naomi

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Naomi Casiro April 20, 2012

It linked my name wrong on the last one for some reason, oh well!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2012

That’s really insightful…completely agree! Thanks for sharing. :)

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LizAshlee April 20, 2012

I listened to Tony Robbins via Oprah’s OWN LifeClass and it was so inspiring..thank you for sharing the link…and a great recap..

I can identify with what was said about chaining your state. I am packing and was getting ready to write my next post and in between I felt like i needed something to give me some more energy…I did Amanda Russell’s latest workout…4 rounds of 24 AR Body Jumps…amazing boost of energy..I am going to incorporate this more often!! http://amanda-russell.com/

happy Friday!! :)

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Stephanie @ Legally Blinde April 20, 2012

Another great post – I really appreciate you writing about these speakers. I especially love the “how to make a breakthrough” part of Tony’s talk. Thank you for sharing these uplifting, powerful words :)

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katie@ KatieDid April 20, 2012

wow I’m wondering if he has written a book, I think I would love to read it! I’m will be bookmarking and looking back on this post, thank you so much for sharing.

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Deirdre @ Ladies Holiday April 20, 2012

So potent and so true…thank you for passing these wise words along!

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Brianna April 20, 2012

I don’t really feel comfortable with the “best revenge” sentiment. Why should my greatest satisfaction be so negatively inspired? I would hope to be so happy with myself that revenge is the last thing on my mind.

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eatingRD April 20, 2012

such great lessons! I definitely struggle with thinking I’m not doing enough or am simply enough. Nice little reminder :)

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Varsha April 21, 2012

I feel good just reading this, can imagine what you must have felt being there.
Thanks a lot for sharing Angela :)

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Nadya @ Spinach and Yoga April 21, 2012

Angela, thank you so much for writing such inspirational posts both yesterday and today. It was one of the first things I read this morning and it really struck a cord with me, especially the part of feeling that we are lacking/insufficient/incomplete.

It can be difficult to accept sometimes that we have everything we need inside. It can be scary to turn away from the external affirmation of success and to turn inwards. It is a lot of responsibility to know that all the wisdom is already there and all we need is someone to awaken that wisdom inside of us so we can remember.

I did an interview with Dr Vasant Lad a few days ago and while explaining ayurvedic approach to treating people he said an amazing thing:

‘Every individual is indivisible, undivided, total, and complete. Every human is a mini universe in her/himself, whole and unique in its being.’
Namaste!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 21, 2012

That’s wonderful..thanks for sharing!

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Katy April 21, 2012

Thank you so much for sharing this! I really needed to hear it!…er…read it! :-)

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