I am not a morning person, so it takes something special for me to wake up early on a Saturday. That something special (5 o’clock AM special) last Saturday was O You! 2011. O You! was a day-long event that brought O Magazine to life with help from experts like Suze Orman, Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus, Lisa Ling and THE O of O Magazine herself, Oprah Winfrey. My mom and I were among 5,000 Oprah fans to gather in the Georgia World Congress Center for a day filled with tips about living our best lives. Here are a few of my aha moments:
Women LOVE Oprah and I Can See Why
O You! was only a ten minute drive from my apartment, but people came to this event from 47 states and 25 countries outside the United States. The line to the venue formed around 4:30 am before the 9:00 am opening sessions. By the time we got there at 6:30 am, the line was already wrapped around the building with people hoping to get a seat close to Oprah. I was seated in the front of the room in section A and it was pretty darn exciting to be just a few rows away from her while she was on stage for a 45 minute, in-person Lifeclass.
The theme of her talk was finding purpose in life. She said some very insightful things about using your talents to bring your meaning and purpose to the forefront of your life. She encouraged the audience to choose to live lives in service…first to yourself and then to others. She said, “Don’t ask the question ‘How can I be successful?’ Ask, ‘How can I be of service?’” Oprah also referenced one of my favorite Bible verses, Acts 17:28, “For in him we live and move and have our being,” to remind everyone that they have worth. The only way a powerful verse can sound even more powerful is when it’s said in that booming Oprah Winfrey voice.
Suze Orman Rocks!
A few months ago I wrote about how Suze Orman made me feel okay with renting and she was even more amazing than I anticipated at O You! She opened her speech by talking about she was a waitress and making only $400 a month in her 30’s. Even though she’s successful and rich now, she still keeps her cars for 10 years before buying new ones and lives in a 2300 square foot home. Suze wants us to “live below your needs, but within your needs” and girlfriend practices what she preaches. Several women in the audience shared that they were giving money to others before investing in their retirement savings and other areas of their lives. Suze said that it’s time that women (especially black women who feel pressured to help their families) start saying “No!” “Stop saying yes out of fear about what other people think about you, but say yes out of love for yourself” was her advice to encourage women to start investing in their own lives.
My Mom Really Likes Dr. Oz
My mom DVR’s The Dr. Oz Show, but I didn’t realize how much she liked him until O You! We were sitting at lunch when Dr. Oz walked by our table. He shook our hands and I thought that our excitement would end there. That was until Dr. Oz (who was wearing a suit) started doing an aerobics routine on stage with Stepp Stewart and my Mom decided to push through the crowd so she could do aerobics next to him and try to get an autograph. She got her autograph and I was amused/confused/embarrassed by the most random lunch I’ve ever had.
Confidence Is Attractive
Life coach Martha Beck’s advice for single women is to “get so confident in yourself that you’re completely at ease.” She said that “the energy of someone who knows who she is is incredibly magnetic.” Giving off confident energy of strength, passion and vigor helps you to attract people with the same energy.
A Great Tip for De-Cluttering Your Closet
Organizing expert, Peter Walsh had some great tips for getting rid of clutter. To identify the clothing that you no longer wear, turn everything on a clothes hanger in your closet from back to front. In six months whatever is still back to front you should be donated to charity.
I’ll Never Get Tired of Free Things
There were lots of sponsor activities to enjoy during O You! From visiting the Spanx Booty Bar to pick up some free tights to getting some free meal coupons for the IKEA Café, I was in freebie heaven. The piece de resistance was the great gift bag we got at the end of the day. I love that it’s way more fashionable than the typical conference tote.
I’m so glad that I went to O You! for a memorable day with my mom. I could probably write even more, but I think that’s enough aha moments for one blog entry.