“What kind of life do you want?” That was the question posed by Oprah Winfrey and her team of handpicked trailblazers during her The Life You Want Weekend at Seattle’s KeyArena this past weekend. Since the “Queen of All Media” bid adieu to her daytime talk show in 2011 after a twenty-five year run, Oprah has taken on a host of other endeavors, the latest being the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) and an eight-city US arena tour offering weekend experiences of empowerment and self discovery, dubbed The Life You Want Weekend. On its second-to-the-last tour stop, Winfrey took Seattle’s KeyArena by storm, filling the venue with thousands of (you guessed it) women. Perhaps the most telling sign of Winfrey’s targeted demographic was the fact that KeyArena turned all but one of the venue’s men’s restrooms into women’s, a feat that definitely needs to occur on a regular basis! And of course, it wasn’t just Oprah’s weekend, but also that of her troupe of trailblazers which for this tour included inspirational speakers Mark Nepo, Iyanla Vanzant, Rob Bell, and Elizabeth Gilbert, with appearances by Olympian and Dancing with the Stars finalist Amy Purdy and celebrity athletic trainer Stacey Griffith.
Personally, I didn’t grow up watching The Oprah Winfrey show, but that didn’t prevent me from being in total awe of her. Experiencing Oprah in person is definitely worthy of being on someone’s bucket list, as I learned was the case for many of the attendees this past weekend. Her charismatic personality resonates even in a huge arena, and it’s impossible not to feel touched when Oprah brings a stunned fan on stage to meet her idol in person. I also have to credit Oprah for introducing Eckhart Tolle, whose book “The Power of Now” along with Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” were the original catalyst for starting my freelancing journey in 2011.
I was lucky to attend The Life You Want Weekend and photograph and listen to many of the speakers during Oprah’s Seattle event. I did my best to take notes on quotes that really resonated with me and have included many of them below along with photos, although audience members did a pretty incredible job of hashtagging many quotes as well. Overall, it was an incredibly inspiring weekend that I know will leave me reflective for many of the coming weeks. Also, more photos are available here.
“Anything you want for your beloved is also what you want for yourself.”
“When you let go of the desire to acquire, then you know you are really on your way.”
“The only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life of your dreams.”
“Every one of us is looking for the same thing–we want to know we matter.”
“The longest journey of your life is from your head to your heart.” -old Sioux saying
“The purpose of the gift is to exercise the heart to inhabit its likeness.”
“You can have the life you want by being awake to the one you have.”
“The life you want waits inside of you.”
“Make self discovery a quest, mission, pilgrimage. This can help make sense of the trials and tribulations we face.”
“A quest can be a mini quest, not a huge epic thing. Go on a mini quest: find something beautiful.”
“Live in co-creation with your life.”
“Don’t do what I did, ask what I asked.”
“Be the hero of your own story, but most importantly, BEGIN!”
“Mysteries lose their power when they’re solved.”
“When you make a choice, something is going to change.”
“Your eyes will adjust to any deficiencies.”
“Life doesn’t play tricks on you, your mind does.”
“It’s important not only to have a vision, but to check it.”
“Know your value. You are preapproved.”