Oprah’s “The Life You Want Weekend” recently took place in Miami at the American Airlines Arena. The unprecedented tour was designed to engage, encourage, empower and transform, as only Oprah can do. She states, “I want us to fill our greatest potential, to find our calling and to have the courage to live it.”
To say her visit to Miami was life-changing would be an understatement. Nothing could keep me away, and I am proud to say that many friends are now living vicariously through my experience! So many people have asked how I happened to get on stage with Oprah, one of the world’s most influential women. Perhaps only the Universe knows!
The best part is that I didn’t ask her, she actually asked me! In a moment of craziness she actually called out for me to come to join her on the stage. So how did it happen? How was it that the world’s most powerful woman was actually calling for me to come up on stage with her? The honest truth is that there are two answers to this question. One is about logistics…how she came over to me, the content of our conversation and her invitation to join her on the stage. But there’s a much bigger piece to the story: one that will inspire you, and show that YOU can have your own version of my Oprah moment.
The logistics part is simple. As I sat in the front row seat of my section, I was working hard on an exercise that Oprah was having us do. The exercise was simple, yet somewhat difficult for me and others as I heard gentle sobs and sniffles in the crowd, myself included! The interesting exercise led to an ah-ha moment. We were given the task of filling an empty pie chart with the areas of our lives (family, finance, career, spirituality, friends, and more) that were important to us. We were instructed to dedicate the appropriate amount of space on the pie chart to each item on the list to see how much space it took up in our lives. Then, we were instructed to rate how those areas of our lives were going. Were we happy or sad about certain parts of our life? We were told to keep it simple. Create happy faces for what’s going extremely well or sad faces for areas of our lives that weren’t working out as well. As I tackled some of the areas of my life, I began to recognize that the area of friendship caused me the most pain. You see, I have so many wonderful friends that I should never be unhappy in this area of my life. My ah-ha moment came when I realized that the one friend who was the most important to me, like a sister and a second mother to my children, the one that I think of as my Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas morning, was no longer in my life. My best friend and I had grown apart. No matter how many friends I have and how many smiles they bring me, it simply was not enough to counterbalance the sadness that I felt about the loss of my best friend. So the tears streamed down my face.
While the entire audience was working on this task, Oprah gently and quietly strolled through the crowd looking over peoples’ shoulders at their work. I looked up and Oprah was less than 40 feet away, looking over the shoulder of a woman in the back row of the section next to me. I decided that I would call her over to let her know how conflicted I was in this one area of my life. Oprah came over to me and kindly, gently, and generously spent 4 minutes walking me through how I could handle this situation with my dear friend. Oprah held my hand, and in a caring, yet direct manner, let me know that I had some work to do. At that point Oprah went back to the stage to finish the exercise with the audience. She brought two women from the audience up to the stage. They were incredibly bubbly and happy, both stating how fabulous their lives were with every section of their pie charts filled with happy faces! Oprah looked at them and said, “Your life is just perfect, huh? Where’s the woman with the blue dress? Let’s get her up here!” Oprah’s crew came over to help me up to the stage. I wish I had asked someone to record what was happening to me, but when you’re invited to the stage with Oprah, you can barely remember your name!
I began sharing my story with Oprah. At that point I said “Oprah, I have a lot of friends, and many are here today.” At which point those wonderful dear (nearly 100 friends) started screaming my name. It was such a beautiful and touching moment. Oprah looked at me and said, “There’s a lot of Vicky fans here! What is it that you do?” I told her I have a company named Inspiration University that helps women start and grow their own businesses! After that, we discussed my difficulty in dealing with the loss of my dear friend. I cried while Oprah held my hand, and put her arm around me. Together we worked through my situation. Oprah asked me very pointed questions, and even let me send a video message with Oprah to my friend Pam. As I left the stage I could hear the audience screaming, “Call Pam now! Call Pam now!”
So, that’s the story of how I got on stage with Oprah. But it’s really not the entire story. It’s only a tiny piece of my story. Just before I arrived on stage, Oprah had showed a slide with a quote from Pablo Coelho “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.” THAT’S the meaning behind this Oprah story. What happened to me, is living proof that Pablo’s quote is true! The story really began five years ago, when I filled out an online form. It asked if I could have lunch with anyone in the world, who that would be. Guess who I said!
Oprah Winfrey! When I look back, I believe that’s where it all started. Fast forward to when Oprah’s tickets went on sale. Early that morning, and I was online ready to get my VIP ticket because I knew that the people that I wanted to know would be sitting around me at the Oprah event, it would be a great place for my business, as well as for the opportunity to be close to a woman that I have admired for many years. Imagine my disappointment when 20 minutes into the ticket sales, the VIP tickets were completely sold out. That leads me to the second thing that brought me closer to my destiny. I had to get seats on the next level down, premium plus, which were still great seats! As I packed my suitcase to stay in Miami for the Oprah weekend, I brought a favorite dress with me. I was happy to learn I had a front row seat in my section. After the spectacular first evening, I made a decision the next morning to put on my best dress, to see and give Oprah the respect she deserved by looking as nice as I could. When Oprah was in the audience with us that day, I knew, even though she was 40 feet away, I knew that I would never have the chance to have her come over to speak with me, unless I seized the moment. I could not afford to let fear stand in the way of having my dream come true! I realized that I had to be bold, brave, courageous and seize the opportunity by taking action on something that I wanted, which was to simply to meet this fine woman to let her know how much I have appreciated everything that she has done to touch my life. You see, five years ago, when I wanted to have lunch with Oprah; the universe conspired to make that happen for me. Yet at that time, I wasn’t ready. But over time, bit by bit, public speech after public speech, motivating and inspiring others, I was ready to take the stage with one of the world’s most powerful women.
So here’s what I think all of this means. I believe that if you want something, you must write it down to let the universe know that this is something you really desire, and then get ready for it! This sets it all in motion for you. But first you must work on it, learn new skills, and hone your craft. Then when the timing is right, the opportunity will present itself. When that happens, you must be able to recognize it, and most importantly, to stand in your power to act on it! You have to be brave, bold and seize the moment! Oh yes, and be prepared for something even better than you originally imagined. You just might end up being able to share the stage with a superstar!