On Monday morning, I had the fortune and pleasure of attending one of Oprah’s Lifeclass tapings in Toronto. It was an amazing experience, filled with insights, inspiration and shear awesomeness!
The morning’s lesson was all about gratitude: being thankful for the little things, focusing on the things you do have and less about what you don’t have.
There were so many A-HA’s that each of the speakers brought to the day – Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant and Bishop T.D Jakes. I’m still on an emotional and spiritual high from it all.
Of all those wonderful lessons, here were my personal favorites:
Iyanla says “Tell the truth to yourself about yourself” by reflecting on “What you do? How you do it? And why you do it?”
So, if you always say “I’m STRESSED out!”. What do you do to make yourself stressed out? Maybe you jam your daily schedule with obligations and constantly turn the attention away from yourself, avoiding time for self-love, self-care and self-reflection. How do you make yourself stressed out? Maybe you overcommit (as I’ve been prone to do) to your friends and family, being the person that always says yes. And why do you do it? Maybe it’s because you’re afraid that if you don’t say yes people are not going to like you or they’ll be angry or hurt. I interpret Iyanla’s message of being honest with your current state and actions and taking some accountability for what you’ve created.
Tony Robbins has a 3-part system to get you to move to action to make significant change in your life. He says, it starts with changing your state (of mind/body/spirit). If you say to yourself “I’m STRESSED out; I’m OVERWHELMED”, reframe the way you feel about it by making a physical change – bring your posture up, take deep breaths, S-L-O-W down. Literally move your body in a way that reflects how you want to feel and/or be.
Next you need to change your story – maybe your story is that you’ve got too much on your plate that prevents you from taking time for yourself. As a Mom, I’m all too familiar with this story. Perhaps the new story is “I make time for myself so that I can be healthier holistically (mind, body, spirit) and that in turn makes me stronger to support those around me.
Finally, Tony says you need to take the story and then change your strategy if you’re ever going to move forward. Create a realistic strategy that moves you to action. If you’re the Mom that sees you need to focus more on you, develop a set of measurable goals that will get you to a more balanced-less stressed you. You might create a goal that “Once a week I’m going to get out of the house for an hour and do something entirely devoted to me”.
At the end of class and on the theme of gratitiude, Oprah reiterated a message she has said before but was a good reminder:
Start a gratitude journal, write in it everyday and even if you cannot find anything to be grateful for “Start with your breath”. Be thankful that you have your breath and that you’re still here on this earth, experiencing life”. Thanks Oprah! This is one homework assignment I’m not going to procrastinate.