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Oprah’s Gift: An Inspired Mother’s Day Weekend with Oprah

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Living Your Best Life Weekend, New York City -May 7-9, 2010

“Fill your own cup first, and let that overflow to the people around you.” “What God intended for you goes far beyond anything you can imagine.” Oprah

Oprah\’s Welcome ~ Live Your Best Life Day 2 at Jacob Javits Center NYC

Oprah\’s Evening Welcome at Radio City Hall…

Gotham Hall Friday Evening

Giftboxes from Friday Evening

Dear Oprah,

The Live Your Best Life weekend was truly memorable! It was a celebration of life, love, health, hope, faith, fun and the importance of nurturing ourselves. I spent the entire weekend enfolded in Oprah’s World and surrounded by the abundant love that makes you one of the most cherished people in the world.

The weekend started with a wonderful welcoming reception at Gotham Hall on West 36th Street in Manhattan. Gail stopped by to say hello as we picked up our first gift; a goodie bag with items we needed for the weekend; a journal, guidebook, pen, scarf, chartreuse t-shirt, mints and more. We enjoyed champagne and hors d’œuvres, posed for specially arranged photos sponsored by L’Oreal then headed home to rest and prepare for the next day. My dear friend, Diahann, made off to New Jersey and I to Westchester County.

“I’ve always known that life is better when you share it. I now realize it gets even sweeter when you expand the circle.” “Let passion drive your profession.” Oprah

Oprah and Javits Center Speakers

Inside the Javits Center

Oprah Quote on screen

By 8:15am on Saturday, we queued up outside The Jacob Javits Center in great anticipation of things to come. New friends were made and old friends reconnected as the lines and our excitement grew. Questions flew back and forth; How did you hear? When did you register? What life shops will you take?

In between murmurings and retelling stories of our personal journey to the weekend, were echoes of jubilation and words of praise, thanking God for the grace and fortuitous events that led us to this place. Many spoke softly of your impact and we blessed you. In blessing you, we had blessed ourselves; in honoring God’s abundant, divine gaze on your life, we had invited the divine to gaze compassionately on us.

“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.” Oprah

Oprah: Javits Center … waiting for Oprah

Oprah: Here she is…

Sade B at Javits Center

We walked through security and settled into our seats in the cavernous hall bathed in blue and pink light emanating from the stage and waited for you to arrive; such soothing healing colors, such anticipation.

All of a sudden, there you were, exhorting us to be our best selves and enjoy the life shops, then introducing Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat. Love. Pray. as the keynote speaker and finally advising us sagely to “Fill your own cup first, and let that overflow to the people around you.” Elizabeth echoed same in her speech, warning us to stop seeking perfection and as you said to just “be present.”

“It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are – not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within – that you can begin to take control.” Oprah

Here\’s Gail…

Elizabeth Gilbert

Dr Oz at Javits Center

After the keynote speech, we set off to spend time with Martha Beck, Nate Berkus, Donna Brazile, Suze Orman, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Peter Walsh and more where we filled our day with words of wisdom and the gentle caress of caring words. In between breaks, we stood patiently on several lines waiting for our turn to pick up our second goodie gift bag and to be pampered, photographed or videotaped for a chance with the soon to be launched (1/1/11) Oprah Winfrey Network – OWN. Standing in line offered its own special brand of respite; it gave us time to reflect and connect with others. I left Javits Center full of great memories and mementos.

Radio City Hall awaited us as the evening program loomed ahead. How much more could we handle? Could Oprah top an already full day of festivities and great lessons? Yes, you could and did. There was more… much more waiting for us at Radio City Hall. Our evening there was superlative; simply fantastic.

“The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.” “I really believe when you give to other people, you give to yourself.” Oprah

Oprah at Radio City Hall

At Radio City Hall

Oprah Evening at Radio City Hall w/ Hugh Jackman & The Rockettes

At Radio City Hall

Oprah, you welcomed us with another gift; a beautiful book of lessons and then gave us a magical evening of song, sharing and sage advice. We laughed, sang along and cheered you on, as you told your life story with humor and shared your love for God with conviction and a spirit of gratitude.

You sang the refrain from the Hymnal – I Surrender All – by Judson W. Van DeVenter beautifully and powerfully.
♫ ♫♫ I surrender all, ♫♫♫ I surrender all;
All to Thee,♫♫ my blessed Savior,♫ I surrender all.♫♫♫

Yes, it was a profoundly inspiring moment to pause and be reminded that the One who made you also made me and knows what the future holds. I believe that at the moment where you sang I surrender with such feeling, everyone in the hall felt touched by God’s grace and glory. We left uplifted and empowered.

Sunday was truly the walk of a lifetime; a walk into our best lives. It was also a charity walk to benefit 10 charities. Best Friends Animal Society was my choice; I was walking for those who cannot speak for themselves. Sade Baderinwa was the morning hostess as we waited to start the walk across to 42nd Street with Oprah, Mary J, Jennifer H, Bette Midler, Dr Oz, Suze and many others. Oprah gave the gift of her gigantic heart and more… It was a weekend extravaganza par excellence! At the end of the walk, we got our final goodie gift bag, a cupcake, lots of extras from the sponsors and heard Jennifer Hudson sing Happy Birthday in honor of O Magazine’s 10th Anniversary. Thank you all!

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I know the one who knows the future.” “I really believe that when you give to others, you give to yourself. Thank you for giving back today.” Oprah

Oprah starting the walk

Oprah at the walk with Mary J Blige & Jennifer Hudson

The Live Your Best Life Walkers

Cupcakes at the end…

Post Oprah walk: Jennifer singing with Mary J and Dr. Oz cheering

Thank you Oprah!

My fondest memory will be walking with you, my twin daughters, my best friend, Diahann and thousands of women on May 9th which happened to be both Mother’s Day and the 20th anniversary of my beloved father’s passing. I walked in honor of my mom and moms everywhere, in honor of my dad, in honor of my past/present ancestral tree, in honor of all helpless animals, and in deepest gratitude to God’s grace…

Thank you for this special blessed experience. As I say to everyone, the weekend with you, Oprah, was not an event, it was an experience; a phenomenal experience!
Thank you again, and again and again!

With gratitude,
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

Did you attend the weekend with Oprah? Do share your memories and thoughts below. Do you have questions about the weekend or views on it in general? Please share. As always, your comments are always appreciated. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Thank You!

For More: Women’s Lives & Issues 

Positive Motivation Tip: Be Inspired always… Be present. Give thanks for BEING.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photographs Oprah Welcome at Javits Center & Radio City Hall from personal photos, Additional Photos Getty Image Broadway O Magazine Artexis611 via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

24 Comments leave one →
  1. Goz permalink
    10/05/2010 2:04 am

    Wow! So many nuggets – I’ll have to come back and re-read these quotes!

    • 12/05/2010 6:25 pm

      TY for your feedback Goz! It was truly wonderful. Do come back. 🙂

  2. Bree permalink
    10/05/2010 7:09 am

    What a lucky lady you are and thank you for sharing so much of your weekend with us.
    Oprah is such a great woman and I wish I was there for the 3 days of good soul food.
    I am looking forward to seeing you other pictures.
    Have a peaceful week.

    • 12/05/2010 6:26 pm

      It was indeed 3 days of soul enriching food. I stretched, I grew and made some new friends along the way… all good. TY 🙂

  3. Cass permalink
    10/05/2010 7:43 am

    This is awesome and I feel like I was there with you the whole weekend. The way you described is the way i imagined it to be… Women supporting women and sharing in Oprah’s good fortune and good will.
    How blessed you all are and thank you for spreading the blessing. I like that you made this an Open Thank you letter to Oprah. girl, you go…!
    What a great weekend for everyone one of you and for sharing the love. especially those photos.

    • 12/05/2010 6:29 pm

      I was trying out a new approach and liked the open letter approach. I’m glad you like it and noticed it too. TY for the support! The weekend was packed with tons to do and good memories to cherish. 🙂

  4. richard permalink
    10/05/2010 9:21 am

    Oprah is the motivator… what is it about her and her incredible ability to let us tell our story and listen intently to others… she must know that life is juicy at the core… and the celebration is in all the acts, big and small, that engage us during the day… sounds like a powerful weekend…

    • 12/05/2010 6:30 pm

      TY Rich! It was a powerful weekend and Oprah sure did keep us all motivated to embrace our greater selves. so true. 🙂

  5. 10/05/2010 9:42 am

    Wow, I’m quite blown away by the weekend you had. Sounds like Oprah is as inspirational in person as she comes across on camera. You’re one lucky lady!

    • 12/05/2010 6:32 pm

      TY for your visit and feedback. Oprah is quite the dynamo and kept us engaged and uplifted the entire weekend. It was memorable! 🙂

  6. 10/05/2010 3:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I was lucky enough to attend O You! not too long ago and it was life changing!

    Stopping by from SITS.

    • 12/05/2010 6:34 pm

      TY for the SITS visit Jen! Yes, this is life changing for me too and gave me lots to reflect on; especially about self care. Where did you attend O You? 🙂

  7. Bree permalink
    12/05/2010 12:52 am

    Thanks for the extra photos and updates. I truly feel like I was there with you, Oprah and everyone else.
    Great post!

  8. Cass permalink
    12/05/2010 11:15 am

    Love the pictures… where are the ones of Oprah with Mary J and Jen Hudson? Post it will ya and also post that one of Jen singing…
    Thanks lady!

    • 12/05/2010 6:37 pm

      Working on it… TY! I loved the photos too and wish I had taken more… 🙂

  9. 12/05/2010 11:58 am

    Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left me. I so appreciate it!

    I am so jealous that you got to go see Oprah! Looks like you had so much fun!!

    • 12/05/2010 6:38 pm

      TY Sarah Ruth! It was a ton of fun and I would do it again … in a heart beat. Thanks for your visit too! 🙂

  10. 12/05/2010 7:29 pm

    What a great experience. I love Dr. Oz. Coming over from SITS to say hello. Have a wonderful day. 🙂 xoxo

  11. 14/05/2010 1:00 am

    Wow, you “rock again” Elizabeth. Thanks so much for sharing your weekend extravaganza with Oprah in this post. I really Enjoyed it. I don’t believe in being lucky, I think that if you have built a good web of friends, they will think of you when something good comes along. So you attract your own luck.

    Thank you again for sharing all this in a great post like this.

  12. 14/05/2010 12:03 pm

    Wow, Elizabeth! What a wonderful weekend to participate in! I am so excited that you got to be a part of this! Fantastic. I have always loved Oprah and the things she teaches.

  13. 15/05/2010 9:09 am

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest

    • 18/05/2010 12:11 pm

      Thank you all for your enthusiastic comments. I had a great time and would do it again next year; God willing! 🙂


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