I don't even know where to begin. I am still on a high after a magnificent weekend with my mom in Toronto attending Oprah's Lifeclass Tour. So many of you have tweeted me and Facebooked me asking for all the juicy details. So today will be a mixed bowl of those details, life lessons, and what I learned. Hold on tight, and come along with me on a ride of fun and education...
It all started Sunday. My husband was leaving on a business trip, and I was leaving for Toronto. We kissed our two boys goodbye, and headed to the airport for our respective flights. Walking in, I had to laugh. My mom and I showed up at the airport in the exact same outfit, completely unplanned. Quite typical of us. We were excited, and off on our first mother-daughter trip in almost a decade!
After being delayed two-and-a-half hours, we finally touched down in Toronto. No kids for two days. Only one person to care for -- myself. I gotta admit, it was nice. I missed afternoon tea with the OWN Network. They had graciously invited me, but my delayed flight prevented me from attending.
Mom and I had dinner and went to bed early Sunday night, knowing that the doors opened at 7 a.m.
We woke up Monday morning EXCITED! We were goin' to Oprah, baby!! I tweeted to Miss O that morning.
"Show day! Out of the shower and getting ready for
#OinTO at 7:30! Woo hoo!! @Oprah @IyanlaVanzant @tonyrobbins @DeepakChopra exciting!" - @WomenOnTheFence
OPRAH TWEETED ME!!
And with that tweet, we were off to the convention center. It was 6:50 in the morning, and we walked down the street to Starbucks for a quick breakfast to go. It was as if Oprah Winfrey owned Front Street. Women EVERYWHERE, all going to see Oprah.
After a lineup around MANY blocks, we were inside. My mom was immediately snapping pictures. She couldn't get enough.
We then entered the auditorium -- 8,500 women in one room is nothing to sneeze at. We were guided to our seats -- fourth row center. GULP!
The electricity, the synergy, the buzz in the room was palpable. Everyone was there by choice, not out of necessity, to learn and to self-improve. It felt as if this was a sacred place, a place to be your authentic self. That was the bond that connected all of us. And you could feel it -- 8,500 women thirsty for a better life. Thirsty for transformation and change. How cool.
And with that feeling, the day began. They called the first speaker to the stage -- a great Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, and star of the hit show, Dragon's Den. Lo and behold, it was my buddy Brett Wilson! I had no idea he was going to be there, so when he took the stage, I waved to him. Next thing I know, he called out in front of the entire crowd, "Oh wow, there's Erica Diamond!" In the words of Fifty Shades of Grey, I flushed scarlet. I ducked in my seat.
Next we heard from four incredible teachers, for about 30 minutes each: Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Iyanla Vanzant and Bishop TJ Jakes. Alright, I expected Tony Robbins to be like a used-car salesman. But if I tell you, HIS TALK WAS LIFE-CHANGING. He was by far my favorite speaker. If you haven't read his books or attended his conferences, I urge you to do so. This guy is the real deal.
All four speakers taught us some incredible life lessons. I wanted to share them with you. Here they are, in no particular order:
She began telling us how thankful she was for all her fans, how she had been reading all the tweets and Facebook postings. She then said, "One girl wrote to me this morning that she just got out of the shower and was excited for Lifeclass." I don't know what made me blurt out -- and LOUD -- "THAT WAS ME!!!!!" Oprah then laughed and said, "Are you serious? WAIT, YES, IT WAS YOU! And you look just like your picture!" Again, I flushed scarlet.
And then, my Twitter was a buzzing: "Did Oprah just call you out from the stage?" and "Was Oprah just talking to you?" Then Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine tweeted me, "Was that just YOU xoxo?" Andrea Wishom, EVP of Harpo Studios wrote, "Hey! Just saw your cute moment with @Oprah just now!" "You look JUST like your picture!" "Have fun!" or "Saw you on the live streaming of Lifeclass. So cool!!! Is it as great as it seems?" Or "Oprah is talking to Erica Diamond. She must be on cloud 9!" They kept coming in.
All fun stuff.
Then, it was time to film Lifeclass. Our episode of Lifeclass on gratitude was about to be broadcasted live around the world. The curtain went up, and there they appeared.
It was a brilliant hour. Our episode will be the season finale, and will air on April 30.
Here were some other great highlights of the day:
So after a heavy six hours of learning, my mom and I walked back to our hotel, put on our running shoes, and explored Toronto. It was almost 90 degrees, and we ended up at a great Italian restaurant outside -- wine, pasta, and lots of conversation and reflections about the day. About our lives. About expectations, disappointments, celebrations, breakthroughs, and challenges.
We walked back to our hotel, showered, and there we were -- both in our own beds, on our own Macs watching Lifeclass, in our matching hotel bathrobes. It was quite the sight.
As I laid in my bed, I came to two real realizations: Those experts were really just preaching to the converted. It's funny, I find in life that the people who don't subscribe to spirituality or self-improvement, are usually the ones who need it the most. So, I urge you, if you are suffering in any way, to stop complaining, and take action. Movement, no matter how small, in the right direction, is game changing.
And second, Tony Robbins' concept is really one to embrace. There are really no excuses to failure. Resourcefulness and tenacity will win, every time. I speak from experience. You want something? Stop making excuses why you can't have it, and start getting resourceful. You'd be surprised just how resourceful and resilient women are.
When we arrived home yesterday, as I got out of the car to run in and see my boys for the first time in 48 hours, my mom took my hand, kissed it gently, and said to me, "These last two days were magical."
And they really were.
Tell me -- I'd love to know if any of the 23 lessons hit home, or if you have any of your own secrets that have improved your life. This is a broad community of women, always looking to get off the fence, and take the jump to their happiness. Share your tips and thoughts.
Follow Erica Diamond on Twitter: www.twitter.com/WomenOnTheFence