What I Learned from my First Oprah Experience (Part 2)

While attending the SuperSoul Conversations with Oprah event in New York, we heard insightful interviews with the brilliants minds (Oprah especially) of Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, Lin-Manual Miranda, Salma Hayek, and more. Each guest (Oprah especially) was remarkable, intellectual, captivating, and inspiring. But my three biggest take-aways weren’t from any words spoken.

What I Learned from Being in the Company of Oprah Winfrey was what I witnessed, not what I heard:

3. We actually end up supporting ourselves when we support others. People are intrinsically wired to connect.  When we encourage, notice, give thanks for, and/or applaud an individual, stranger or loved one, we are indirectly loving ourself. We receive what we give. And never before did I understand this on such an emotional level. Yes, I know this is a tenet to manifesting. But I didn’t previously realize that it worked with emotions as well. We cheered for whoever was on stage with love and admiration, even if we didn’t even know who they were before they held the microphone. And what I noticed was how good it felt to give love. I didn’t realize it then, but I was actually receiving love from everyone in that room, and that kind of collective, super-charged love has a lasting, permanent effect.

2. The best communicators are the best listeners. Oprah’s lightening-quick ability to listen, interpret, and paraphrase is mind-blowing. These were really smart people talking about emotionally-charged subjects such as racism, politics, apartheid, and abuse. She held the conversation with the casual ease of talking about the weather, but she wasn’t passive, she an active contributor to the valuable, insightful conversation. It is only through intense, focused listening that you can truly connect. Connect first. Communicate second. Oprah is the Commander-in-Chief of Communication (and preferably of the Nation…please reconsider).

1. The most profound moments and experiences in life are best when shared. While I would have gone alone, the fact that my friend Anne (a successful wealth advisor in the midst of quarterly client reviews) cleared her schedule with less than a week’s notice to accompany me is what good friends do. No – it’s what great friends do. And what I realized somewhere in the first 5 minutes of the 6 hour show, was that without her by my side to lean in and laugh with, to hand me a tissue to wipe my tears, to share in the awe-of-the-overall “O”experience, it wouldn’t have been as rich. It wouldn’t have as been as meaningful. It would have been amazing, but without someone to share it with, without Anne, it wouldn’t have had the same lifetime-lasting emotional impact. Sharing life’s precious moments with people who are precious in our life, transforms the memorable into the profound.

My life isn’t the same because of what I experienced that day in a room full of Anne and strangers. Because what I realized is that when given the right setting, it becomes acutely apparent, crystal clear, indefensibly indisputable that we are all connected. And that my friends, my brothers and sisters, that is worth smiling over…even until it hurts.