If we’re connected on social media, you’ve probably seen me sharing about the Oprah and WW 2020 Vision Tour. This past fall I, like many of you, learned that Oprah was going to be on tour starting in the new year. It was really all I needed to hear and I planned to be there too. If you’ve been following along you know that I’ve heard Oprah speak up close and personal a couple of times during the past few years, but honestly those times were happenstance. I didn’t plan to hear Oprah speak. I just happened to be in the right places at the right time.
But back when I was a single mother I really wanted to see The Oprah Show in Chicago. It was a big bucket list item for me. That show had been a part of my life since I was 12, but at the time it just wasn’t practical. I don’t mean to imply that I never traveled as a single mom. I did. I took my children to Disneyland and Universal a couple of times during those years and I took a fabulous “work trip” with my closest girlfriends to Vegas for a conference when I was in my late 20’s. We still laugh about all of our vegas fun when we get together. But now my children are adults, my new work includes traveling often, and I happen to be married to someone who sees travel as a form of self-care, so I’m frequently on the go.
Even with all that being said I still have a hard time indulging in an entertainment experience that is just for me. But investment is a big word for me this year. I am making more of an effort to invest in myself and not just things that I feel are necessary for my well being, but with the gift of experiences that will make me a more well rounded and experienced person.
This next part is a little embarrassing to admit, but typically when it comes to gifting myself I like things- nice things. I’ve prided myself on being a quality over quantity person my whole life and Carrie Bradshaw’s quote about liking her money where she can see it- “in her closet” isn’t entirely accurate. I mean, I do like seeing it in my bank account too, but typically if I’m spending a bunch of money on a gift to myself, it will be on something tangible that I believe will last.
On the contrary my younger daughter loves to splurge on gifting herself experiences- front row seats or VIP packages mean something to her. I too enjoy being entertained but I do have an imaginary bar or cap in my head on what I’ll spend on a concert, play, or comedy show. But when you add up my Vision Tour ticket price, my airfare, and my hotel accommodations, you’ll realize that I stretched my personal gifting boundaries a little here. So the big question is was it worth it? Here’s how I see it…
A friend asked me if the experience was life changing and while I’m not the type of person to look at a single experience as life changing (excluding trauma) I truly believe I’m the totality of all my experiences. But it was perspective shifting and the shift was pivotal.
Here are the two biggest lessons I received:
Our shame is unifying– One of the things I love about Oprah and honestly all of the speakers she has shared the stage with so far, is that there is some kind of shameful event or experience that they have been brave enough to share with others. I think oftentimes there is this desire to present ourselves in the best possible light but being able to peel back the perfection and really share who we are and what we have overcome unites us. I believe that part of the human experience is having had moments of shame, hurt and pain. Being vulnerable and honest about them gives others hope that they can embrace who they are, overcome what they’ve experienced and find their way to joy too.
There is power in your vision– I do truly believe in manifestation, and not in a hookey staring at a vision board makes your dreams come true kind of way, but I do believe that you can create a vision for your life (board included) that leads you in a direction right towards it. Oprah shared that when she was just starting out in broadcasting she went to a colleague’s house who had 6 trees in her yard. To her those trees on her friends property signified having wealth (and maybe even financial security) and she said that one day she’d have trees in her yard too. We all know she didn’t lay her head on a pillow and wake up with 6 trees, but she set forth with intention to create the kind of life that would allow that to be a reality. She now has thousands of trees.
One of my favorite Oprah quotes is “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe!” This tour experience was that quote in living color!
So again was it worth it? I do believe it was. The gift that I walked away with might not be tangible but it was valuable and being able to share that same energy with 15,000 people all wanting and feeling the same things is something I will never forget. At the end of the tour I turned and hugged the woman sitting next to me. I didn’t know her but we had chatted briefly after she’d earlier turned to me and said “I really enjoy sitting next to you.” We couldn’t have been more different on the outside at first glance, but we saw love and light in each other and at the end we both knew we’d shared something very special. I walked away from the vision tour with the gift of being able to see others and more importantly myself more clearly!
So, those are my thoughts on what attending the Vision Tour meant to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the gift of experience or read your share about a meaningful entertainment experience you’ve had too.
p.s. You can watch Oprah recount The Story of The 6 Trees here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xHck9WdB3U
Until Next Post,
xo Tonya Parker