OWN
12/04/2014 11:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

What Oprah Knows For Sure About Taking Care Of Yourself

Harpo Inc./ George Burns

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I've been on the road now since September, going from city to city on weekends for The Life You Want tour. It's a dream that's lived in me forever: to travel the world speaking face-to-face with women (and some very cool men) about the thing that matters most -- raising our individual and collective consciousness to a higher vibration so that we each may fulfill our innate calling.

In every city, I've been overjoyed to see people sharing their openhearted yearning to reach for something more, their desire to do and be better. And in the process of sharing my stories, mistakes, and big lessons, my own commitment to living more fully has deepened. That which I most wanted to give has been given to me.

It makes me so happy -- and is the greatest reward -- to see others grasp the reins of their lives and take control.

Like Major, a 30-year-old man from South Carolina who came alone, saying he just wanted to better himself. And Rita, who was married for decades, but is going through a divorce after her "sociopath lying husband" met someone else. Rita told me she wants to sleep with another man before she dies! She came because she hoped the weekend would make her stronger.

And Keith, who said the weekend was his present to himself for turning 40. Happy birthday, Keith.

Three sisters -- Mary Jo, Linda and Amy -- came to celebrate life after one of them survived a brain injury.

Lots of girlfriends, mothers, daughters and sisters. And men, with or without wives, who love women and want to understand them better.

Rob Bell, Iyanla Vanzant, Elizabeth Gilbert, Deepak Chopra and Mark Nepo all have joined me in creating one big welcoming classroom where As aren't necessary, where it's actually impossible to get a perfect score. Or to fail. The only requirement is that you be willing to find grace in the work of becoming the best and highest expression of yourself. And knowing that you have the capacity and power to do so.

In our day-to-day lives, it's easy to become overwhelmed with responsibilities and challenges. Taking care of aging parents while keeping your own house in order is one of the biggies. Having enough time to give to everybody who needs you and have any left for yourself is a constant struggle.

But in the long run, designing space for you is the only way you can survive without burnout and resentment. There is no life without a spiritual life, and spirituality is like a muscle. It must be fueled.

Fuel yourself with beauty, inspiration, music, laughter, nature, a hot soaking bath, silence. Whatever form it takes for you. Know this for sure: You have more to give when your own tank is full.

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BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Life You Want Tour
CONVERSATIONS