We needed something outside ourselves to pull us forward through some difficult days. I had seen that Oprah was advertising a Live the Life You Want weekend. I wondered out loud, "Could we go?" She said, "Yes. I will book it!" We looked at locations knowing it didn't matter where we went, only that we went. We chose a weekend in Auburn Hills, Michigan because the timing worked best for both of us. Because my finances were uncertain, she booked the tickets and our airfare before we fully understood what we did and before we could change our minds.
We kept this little plan to ourselves for a very long time. We weren't trying to lie or hide anything. Yet even in the midst of a time when neither of us felt like we could see straight, we knew that this thing was just for us. It was just about us and the journeys we found ourselves on and it wasn't going to be Oprah giving us a new car. It was going to be about us facing the fact that where ever we were, we, ourselves, had put us in this moment. And without speaking specifically about this, we each kept it tucked away inside ourselves. This is mine, I thought over and over again. If I talk about it, people will cast a judgement and for once, I do not care at all what others think. More than that, I don't want to field disdain, jealousy, or questions. This, I thought, is only for me. Jessie did the same
And so it was the exact carrot we needed. It pulled us through some tough times and I confess, I forgot I had even signed up. She'd say, "Can you get the hotel?" and I'd think," For what?" and then laugh. Oh yes. We are going away. Alone. Without kids or spouses...just us.
I know some people find Oprah too much. Big Man likes to make fun of her magazine. "Whose on the cover this week?" he'll ask, but I know what she is about. I listen when I can to her Super Soul Series and I have heard her enough to know that really understanding, seeking, trying to discover your purpose is something that matters enough to her that she created this class/weekend to help others.
She spoke without pause for two hours on the first night. She wove her own personal stories into the essential message that this life as a human is a gift. For so many reasons, it is just as likely that we could not be here or show up in a different form. We could be a rock or an ant or a piece of grass. But each of us in this LARGE STADIUM filled with THOUSANDS arrived on this planet in human form. Despite the size and numbers, it was quiet. You could hear the people breathing next to you and it seemed as if her words just dropped onto each us, settling into our hearts, expanding our brains, filling the empty spaces we were seeking to fill. It was a moment full of life.
Set into the context of time and space, this gift of our own unique life seems small and yet she believes that because of this amazing chance that we showed up as human, we have an offering. Our purpose is to heed the call of our lives. We are deadened so often to the call. We get caught up in life drama that we forget to listen and pay attention.
Sitting next to Jessie was an 80 year old gentlemen accompanying his wife. This was a dream come true for her and yet he was in it as much as she. He laughed, he danced (yes! we all danced), he listened and learned and felt happy to be receiving the messages. I was inspired by his presence, his interest, his desire to be willing to keep learning and to not stop asking the questions....why am I here?
I have some clear ideas about why I am here. I have goals and I feel called to act on them, but I am easily derailed by the business of life. It would be an understatement to say the last seven months really knocked me for a loop. It seems there is never a right time to go for what you want. The only time, ever, is now. I have also spent much of life feeling bad for being so "sensitive", so overwhelmed, so easily irritated and bogged down by all that life seems to offer.
What I was seeking was a shift in my thinking. I knew I needed to learn how to see things differently, in a more positive way. To see my attempts at stumbling as just experience. And that was a big lesson from the first night. Any perceived "failure" is really just information. It's a lesson in what did not work and an opportunity to self-correct.
And so I am on a big self-correct mission inside my head.
I am thankful for that pinprick of light on an awful April day when what I wondered out loud was really a question from a very deep space inside me. I asked and we both said YES! to something we did not completely understand. Though I didn't exactly know what I was seeking, it seems the universe did.
There are many lessons from the fourteen hours I spent with some truly gifted seekers so generous in their desire to help us all along on our own quests. I will share more as I sort through it, and yet I know what I can capture with words will be inadequate because I am only just getting started. But the important part is that.... I started.