Empowering. Enlightening. Magical. These three words only begin to describe this past weekend’s two-day event hosted by Oprah Winfrey.
Thousands of ticket-holders witnessed Winfrey’s wisdom during the icon’s official ‘Life You Want Weekend.’
Winfrey and her team of trailblazers took their wit on the road as they traveled nationwide for an unprecedented eight-city arena tour.
Friday and Saturday, Oprah took over Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center. People packed the stadium to embark on a journey of self-discovery, motivation and empowerment.
With the help of her popular panel of leaders — which includes celebrated healer Iyanla Vanzant — Oprah led the crowd through a remarkable series of events all aiming to help individuals discover their best selves.
During both days, attendees were invited to walk through the wonder of O Town – an interactive pop-up town square bustling with activities ranging from self-pampering beauty stations to networking opportunities with inspiring entrepreneurs.
Each guest was also given a special wristband programmed to dazzle with colors during each rousing segment, making the experience even more magical.
But it was Oprah’s personal speech Friday night that delivered the most noteworthy moments. She was welcomed by a spectacular, roaring greeting from the crowd as she graced the stage in a flattering, floor-length purple gown and led her legion of fans through lessons of struggle, revelation and triumph.
Oprah told listeners the story of her own journey to success — sharing personal anecdotes, photos and videos that resonated with gusto, even to those already familiar with her tale.
“I’m a huge fan of Oprah, so I knew her story already,” one attendee, Arleener Hall admitted to theGrio. “ I knew where she came from, I know everything about her, but just to be in her presence and hear her say it was even more amazing to me.”
In the videos, viewers saw a young and ambitious Oprah early in her years as a career professional yet well on her way to living a life she wanted. She was becoming a master of her own fate.
While in reality, Oprah stood before the crowd and retold her story as a testament to the crowd that they, too, can live the life they want. Her words echoed through the crowd, prompting people to make new promises in becoming masters of their own fate.
“I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential. To find our calling and summon the courage the live it,” Oprah said. “You become what you believe.”
The following day was packed with activities and hour-long panels hosted by a team of inspirational leaders, including: Deepack Chopra (a published author and pioneer in mind-body medicine), Mark Nepo (a spiritual guide and best-selling author of The Book of Awakening), Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the international bestseller Eat, Pray, Love), Rob Bell (a published author and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World), and popular TV host/healer Iyanla Vanzant.
Each guest shared valuable advice on helping others identify a vision and effective methods in making it a reality. They taught exercises that called on each individual to reflect on their personal life goals and the steps necessary to achieve them.
“With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas — thought by thought, choice by choice,” Oprah said.
However, among the many speakers, Iyanla’s appearance was the most anticipated, and the crowd welcomed her with a standing ovation as she took the stage. She spoke candidly about spirituality and overcoming obstacles and motivated the audience through her no-nonsense advice, which is often seen on her TV show “Fix My Life.”
She spoke from the heart, all while delivering an honest and hilarious speech. Iyanla shared personal experiences that have taught her some of the biggest lessons. The moral of it all: life really is on your side.
“The life you want is on the other side of the labor pains it takes to birth it,” she emphasized. “Life always tells you the truth; your job is to recognize and accept it.”
Together, through their way with words, Oprah and Iyanla led the crowd — a majority of whom were women sprinkled with a few men — on a spiritual and enlightening journey. As two triumphant black women, their success stands as a symbol of inspiration for millions of people around the world.
“It gives you hope when you look at somebody that looks like you and they’re doing things that you aspire to do, that makes you think that it’s not beyond your reach,” Hall admitted.
“The weekend was definitely empowering; you’re not going to leave here the same woman you walked in the door.”
For more information on Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend and tour dates, click here.
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works.