I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend the final episode of Oprah's Lifeclass, which was recorded on Friday. In the audience were fifty-two people gathered to talk about the lessons and ahas they'd experienced during the five weeks of the show's duration. The Lifeclass had provided discussions on such topics as "Anger," "Self-Love and Appreciation," "Joy," "Listening to Your Inner Voice," Newton's Third Law" and finally "What You Believe, You Can Achieve."
Being the Oprah junkie that I am, I'd managed to participate in every way possible. I regularly blogged, tweeted, Facebooked, and answered Oprah's daily question. I also watched each show sitting on the edge of my seat. Why? Because the conversation that empowers people to take full responsibility for their lives, to dream big, and to evolve, is the only conversation worth having at this time of rampant suffering on our planet.
The final Lifeclass (leading into the live broadcast I attended) featured several stories of people who realized a dynamic inner power to come through the most difficult of life experiences. Tererai Trent came from a village in Nigeria. She wrote of her dream to move to America in order to get a higher education on a piece of paper that she in a tin under a rock. At the time, she was all but uneducated, with no clear way out of the customs that bound her as a young Nigerian girl. But her unshakable intention and perseverance took her to America, where she eventually fulfilled her dream. As Oprah asked, "If Tererai could achieve her dreams, then what can you do?"
Today, many of us in America are deeply affected by the lagging economy. We feel hopeless in the face of the challenges we confront every day. Perhaps we've forgotten that within us there is a spark of divinity. I believe that an awareness of this spark of divinity is the key to changing our lives and our nation. Remember, the power is within us, is working for us, regardless of the obstacles we encounter. And the actions we take toward our dreams will align with the inner divinity to assure our fulfillment if we never cease believing.
When the live televised class ended, co-host Iyanla Vanzant took a moment to ask Oprah about some of her favorite experiences during the last five weeks. While there were many, Oprah shared that her favorite show was based on Newton's third law, "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." Oprah said she could feel people getting it. The conversation turned to ratings and business and Iyanla, like a good ole school preacher, declared that "we can get the numbers needed to make the network a success." She then asked everyone to raise their hands to symbolically touch hands and affirm that 1.2 million viewers was an accessible and easy target to attain by December. We all raised our hands and agreed.
As the live Lifeclass started winding down, I wanted to ask Oprah and Iyanla a question, but Oprah said she had to leave in order to get to a wedding. I heard my inner voice say "Raise your hand to ask your question." Even as Oprah was rushing, I lifted my hand, trusting she would call on me. Mind you, there were no other hands raised; she had made it clear that she needed to go. I held my arm up for probably five minutes. I saw Oprah see me with my hand raised and she kept talking. But the yes in me was strong, and I felt she would stop to acknowledge me. Finally, Oprah turned to me and said, "Yes ma'am, you have a comment." I stood slowly, first saying "My name is Monique." Then I asked "How do you stay joyful during stressful times?" I wanted to ask for something I knew many Americans, including myself, would find supportive during this difficult time for our nation. "Good question," Iyanla and Oprah said simultaneously. "You know joy cometh in the morning," Oprah said. "You must know your fundamental beliefs. Do you believe the world is ordered for you or against you? If you believe the world is ordered for you, you can always find joy." Oprah continued to tell a story of climbing above storming clouds on her private jet and meeting the sun each and every time. "I can always trust the sun will rise and that is my fundamental belief".
I left the live taping soaring above the clouds Oprah had mentioned in her answer to me. I got exactly what I came to the taping to receive--an opportunity to be a part of what I'm sure is the most important conversation of our time--how each of us can use our spark of divinity to enhance our lives and create a better nation, a better world.