Saturday, May 28, 2011

Oh 'O', Say It Ain't So!

Lady O on the set of her Final Show (sob! sob!)

Well, that was it.
The last Oprah Winfrey Show.
An end of an era. And what an era it was.

Oprah has been a constant in my (young) life for the past 20 years. Some years I watched her show avidly, other years (baby-birthing years) it was anytime I had a desperate, spare (!!) moment. But her messages were always powerful, and so many have shaped me in becoming the Woman that I Am Today.

I remember during my dastardly teen years when I would skip school was 'sick' and had to stay home, I could think of nothing better than snuggling on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a box of tissues nearby, ready and awaiting my next rush of inspiration.

My bookshelves resonate with a collection of inspiring books by Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Iyanla Vanzant, Sarah Ban Breathnach, Maya Angelou, Ekhart Tolle and many others who were brought to my attention by Ms O.  During my formulative teen years, messages of self-empowerment and self-belief made positive imprints on my psyche.

Another memorable moment for me was the introduction of Oprah's Book Club. Was I the only one who turned into a weepy, blubbery mess while reading Oprah's recommended 'The Bridges of Madison County' by Robert James Waller (hold on... reliving memories of Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep from the film version... need tissues to wipe away tears...).

Ok, I'm back now.

What would our world have been like without Oprah Winfrey? Can you imagine?
Her impact and influence has been globally and culturally nothing less than amazing.
The power of words, the power of television, the power of giving and sharing, the power of listening.

Occassionally when I was experiencing one of 'THOSE" days, when everything would be overwhelming, I would meditatively wash my dishes and imagine Oprah was sitting in my kitchen with me, drinking coffee and eating  some muffins I'd just freshly baked. We'd be having a nice ol' girlie chat and she'd help me put everything into perspective again. "Girlfriend", she would say in her Oprah-esque voice (like she was talking to her BFF Gayle) "don't sweat the small stuff! Oh, and could you please pass me another one of those deee-licious muffins?"

Actual muffin not baked by me. This is a Fantasy Muffin for a Fantasy Scenario (image from

Well, the possibility of Oprah having morning tea in my kitchen is zilch, zero, nada, just like my dream of going to a taping of an 'Oprah Winfrey Show'. Sometimes you take for granted that something will always be there.

Oprah has been a great teacher. Not that I would blindly listen to everything she had to say. A great teacher gets you to think, question, explore, and want to know more. A great teacher shows you that even you can play the smallest part in the overall bigger picture. Everything and everyone is connected.

My biggest Oprah lesson that I'm carrying around right now is a quote by author Toni Morrison. Morrison spoke of her experience of motherhood, and 'the critical face' (read the interview here). She realized that everytime her children walked into the room they would see their mothers face judging that their socks weren't pulled up straight enough, their hair wasn't brushed neat enough, their faces weren't clean enough. Morrison realized that her face was a mirror reflecting judgement. After her 'A-HA!' moment, Morrison made a point of 'lighting up with joy' everytime her children walked into the room. Love and Joy was reflected back to the children, and they knew they were the Source of their Mother's Love and Happiness.

image taken from here

And that is what I carry with me as a mother today. I am conscious of what I reflect back to my daughters with my expression, my words, and my actions. Never a day goes by without me telling them how much I love them, and kissing them and hugging them every goodmorning and every goodnight.

Final lesson learned:

It's not just that one person can change the world, it's a person that BELIEVES in themselves, that can.

Thank you, Oprah xxx

Have you had a Great Oprah Lesson you'd like to share?

And now 'Whoa, Mamma!' will leave you with the original Soul Mamma, Ms Aretha Franklin, who will leave you in no doubt that Life is Truly Amazing.


Angela ~ Yes, Dear! said...

Great read Jess .... don't judge me for not watching the Oprah Farewell though ... I am waiting for it to be played in its entirety one lazy Sunday afternoon . You know a woman has made it when she retires from her show to buy the network!

Dorothy said...

Very well said, Jess. I've watched Oprah for as long as I remember. When I had little babies, there was nothing better than putting them down for their afternoon nap, grabbing a cuppa and putting my feet up for an hour or Oprah.

My reading and self-discovery too was completely influenced by Oprah, I would never have heard of the Law of Attraction if it wasn't for Oprah. Who will teach us now?

Lina@MothersLoveLetters said...

Yes, I am a proud Oprah Fan. Love the story about how she was conceived. Her parents' eyes met, and they snuck behind a tree! Voila! The one and only Oprah was born. How amazing.
Love the pics, as usual! (Although, I don't know if I can forgive you for that DIVINE chocolate muffin pic...)
Thank you for the Critical Face lesson. Nice one :)

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