|Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island, Georgia - February 2012|
According to the newspaper article this morning, there were more than 8,500 people in attendance at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. That's a lot of people (mostly women) wanting something of what Oprah "has". Along for the ride on this tour are Tony Robbins, Iylana Vanzant, Deepak Chopra and Bishop T.D. Jakes. The reporter wasn't completely impressed with this tour (could it be because he is male? Could it be that he is someone who already "owns" who he is and isn't looking for self help?) and what he was saying in essence is that the other "master teachers" in Oprah's entourage could learn a thing or two from Oprah and that OWN is floundering because not everyone can be an Oprah, except of course Ms. Winfrey herself.
I'm not an Oprah fan. I watched her show periodically but it's probably closer to sporadically...if ever. I read her magazine for awhile until I became "over cooked" on rah rah, you can do it, go you preaching. To me, it seemed to be too much preaching. That said, her work and her message has meaning and it has it's place. And yes, there were times and moments when things "clicked" for me. But I'm not a group hug person which means that initial interest soon wears off.
Here's what I know (yes, I'm stealing that right from the back page of Oprah -- deliberately because it suits my purpose here)....self help is a wonderful tool for improvement and changing life. It has it's place in our psyche when we have reached the "pit" and want to get out. But self help isn't for everyone. Yes, it's true. It is not for everyone. All the rah rah, go you, you can do it will not work on every.single.person. Because change, true change has to come from within and a desire to make a difference -- to yourself.
I'm not saying that we can't change or improve. If you've known me for even a brief period of time, you'll know that I am a firm believer in change. But you see, a lot of change happens to us with or without our permission. Yes, how we "look" at things plays a part in how we cope with that change and we can adapt our thinking to make it more pleasant or "doable" but the desire and inspiration still have to come from within.
Like the water...it carves it's path where it is going to go. You don't need to stand at the edge of the ocean and encourage it or cheer it on. It doesn't think at all...it just flows. It is inspired in the direction it will take in some ways by the earth and the sun and the moon and all that other sciency stuff that I never really cared about (and still don't to tell the truth). I think that we are like this as well. Our path is carved as we go sometimes by the decisions we make, sometimes by the way our lives are affected by others. The difference between us and the ocean is that we can change the direction of where we go by how we think. I find that inspiring. For me, that's all that is necessary. To simply be inspired to make change. Without those who want to preach to me about "how" I'm going to achieve that. I take nothing away from any of these speakers on Oprah's tour because I know many people who firmly believe in their messages and their way of connecting to others. Everyone needs and benefits from having a mentor or a role model who can say the things we hear in our hearts before we hear them in our heads. But it still comes down to the bottom line of wanting and desiring to be inspired and change our way of looking at the world.