Posts Tagged ‘Oprah Winfrey’

Why Oprah Should Not Give Up on Own TV

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

We’ve all been watching what some might call Oprah Winfrey’s desperate attempt to increase the ratings on her television network, OWN. Some say she is desperate because of the recent interview that she did with Curtis “50 cent” Jackson.

During the height of her television success as the host of the Oprah Show, Oprah often spoke out about her distaste for rappers and the way that their lyrics disrespected women. She was especially vocal about rappers who used the word “bitch” as though it was a synonym for women. So it is not surprising that many are speculating that she is desperate when she has a person like “50 cent”, who is well known for calling women “bitches”, on one of her shows.

The way I look at it is that she is no longer just running a show; she is running a network. She is running a network that not only caters to the “Oprah” audience, but to a very broad demographic. Her network is not just about her, it is as symbolic as the Obama presidency. It is as symbolic as Tyler Perry studios. Never before has a Black woman taken it upon herself to have her OWN television channel, just as before President Obama was elected, we had never seen a Black man run a First world country, let alone the United States of America. Before Tyler Perry opened his studios, again we had never seen a Black man open a studio and produce movies on his OWN terms.

Many who know Oprah’s life story know that she has encountered hardships that some of us can not even imagine. She was told “no” more times than she could count and yet she persevered and ended up having the most successful day-time talk show that has ever been on television. People may say her network is “struggling” or “failing” but from where I stand, she was a success before OWN was ever launched and she will continue to be a success. Even if she closes the doors to OWN, she will always be the first ever Black woman to step out and say, “I want my OWN…” The same applies to Tyler Perry and President Obama; no one can take away what they have accomplished. There will always be those who do nothing and stand on the sidelines waiting to point out what the “doers” have failed at, instead of seeing them for the pioneers that they are. That should never be a reason to give up and I hope that Oprah will not give up on OWN.

Originally Posted at Your Black Bloggers

16 Lessons We Learned from Oprah’s Lifeclass: the Tour

Monday, May 7th, 2012


1. “Everybody’s life is either a warning or an example. You’ve got to decide what you’re gonna be and you have to draw a line in the sand.”
—Tony Robbins

2. “Forget all your learnings. Just remember that now is the moment that never ends.” —Deepak Chopra

3. “When you’re the strong one, people don’t give you permission to hurt.” —Iyanla Vanzant

4. “The most dangerous thing in the world is to have no purpose.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes

5. “If you tell yourself a lie long enough, you’ll start to believe it.” —Tony Robbins

6. “No matter what the situation is…close your eyes and think of all the things you could be grateful for in your life right now. Once your heart opens, you’ll see the abundance around you.” —Deepak Chopra

7. “You can’t wait for the perfect situation. Find something you love. People you love. And get out there and you’ll discover it.” —Tony Robbins

8. “Greatness is contagious…You’ll catch it if you get around it.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes

9. “Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.” —Tony Robbins

10. “When you give to others to the degree that you sacrifice yourself, you make the other person a thief.” —Iyanla Vanzant, paraphrasing A Course in Miracles

11. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes

12. “If you’re gonna make a change…operate from a new belief that says life happens not to me but for me.” —Tony Robbins

13. “The most wonderful thing in the world is somebody who knows who they are and knows where they’re going and knows what they were created to do.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes

14. “Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.” —Tony Robbins

15. “I use memories but I will not allow memories to use me.” —Deepak Chopra

16. “Self-awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities. I don’t mean self-consciousness where you’re limiting and evaluating yourself. I mean being aware of your own patterns.” —Tony Robbins

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Nomalanga: The Truth about Black Women

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

I was just watching Oprah, on OWN TV, talking about how her grandmother was telling her, at the tender age of four, that she needed to pay attention to how laundry was done as her grandmother was doing the laundry. Even at four years old, she knew that what her grandmother was telling her about her future was not true. Her well meaning grandmother was trying to show Oprah how to do laundry so that one day she could find “good white folk” to work for as a maid.

Looking at Oprah now, I am amazed at how the acceptance or rejection of just one simple thought can change a person’s life. Imagine what Oprah’s life would have been like if she had accepted what her grandmother told her as the truth. The lesson that I draw from that is that we must not accept other people’s opinions of us as the truth.

Any time you hear about the “successful black woman” in the media, there is usually a negative cloud hanging over that image. Black women have to constantly refute those negative characteristics that are attributed to them. We have to constantly defend ourselves and at times we even allow ourselves to be squeezed into that image, usually because we’ve been poked, prodded and disrespected so much, for so long, that we finally REACT!
So, again, here is the simple lesson that I’m reminded of today, as I watch Oprah in all her magnificence: Don’t let other people’s limited and distorted opinions of you define you. Do not accept other people’s opinions of you, no matter how well meaning, as the TRUTH of who you are.

Audre Lorde, a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist, put it best:

“If you didn’t define yourself for yourself, you would be crunched into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.”

The question that I will leave you with is: Do you want to be “Oprah” or “the laundry lady”? The choice is yours; what you accept as the truth of who you are is your choice.

Oprah is Powerful… and so are we

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus which will come to an end at the end of August but today I wanted to interrupt it to share a powerful message that I just read.

One of my greatest errors in my adult life has been believing that I can do EVERYTHING by myself. That’s what being a successful, strong, independent black woman is about-right? Wrong! I now know that real strength comes from admitting that you can do a lot, but not everything. Real strength comes from recognizing that we were not created in isolation and trying to exist in that mindset can be very destructive.

I watched Oprah’s Master Class on the OWN channel not too long ago where she shared that the reason she has been able to do such great things with her life was because she meditated on one very simple scripture verse:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

The day that I heard her say that, I had an “aha” moment. I began to understand why my life, although very progressive and very successful, tended to feel so overwhelming; I had spent so much time believing in and focusing on my mental and physical ability and not nearly enough on my spiritual power; yes, POWER.

Below is the message that I read this morning that inspired me to suspend my blogging hiatus. Be well and be POWERFUL.

What Oprah Knows for Sure About Real Power
What I Know for Sure
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the September 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine

I’m always fascinated by lists of “Most Powerful People,” and by the ways they use external things—fame, status, wealth—to define and rank power. It’s curious how a person can go from the top of a list one year to unlisted the next—all in the blink of a board meeting. Was that person’s power real, or was the power only in the position? We often get the two confused.

For me, there is no real power without spiritual power. A power that comes from the core of who you are and reflects all that you were meant to be. A power that’s connected to the source of things. When you see this kind of power shining through someone in all its truth and certainty, it’s irresistible, inspiring, elevating. I can feel it in myself sometimes, mostly when I’m sharing an insight that I know will have an impact on someone’s life and I can see that they “get it.” I get real joy from helping other people experience aha moments. That is where my power lies.

Gary Zukav writes in The Seat of the Soul, “When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning… When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.” Fulfilling your purpose, with meaning, is what gives you that electrifying “juice” and makes people stand in wonder at how you do it.

The secret is alignment: when you know for sure that you’re on course and doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, fulfilling your soul’s intention, your heart’s desire, or whatever you choose to call it (they’re all the same thing). When your life is on course with its purpose, you are your most powerful. And you may stumble, but you will not fall.

I know for sure that in every challenging experience there’s an opportunity to grow, enhance your life, or learn something invaluable about yourself. Every challenge can make you stronger if you allow it. Strength multiplied = power.

For real.

Lessons from Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

I just watched a re-run of the Oprah Show in which she and Iyanla Vanzant had a conversation for the first time in eleven years in front of a studio audience. My greatest take away from watching these two women is so simple and yet so life changing.

Iyanla, after leaving the Oprah Show where she had been a frequent guest expert, went on to have her own show, the Iyanla Show. The lesson that I got from what she said came when she described how badly she was treated at the Iyanla show. Rather than say that people treated her badly, she rephrased what she started to say and then said “let me tell you WHAT I ALLOWED…” Wow!

Starting today, I will never have another “pity party” talking about how someone treated me badly and not at some point give some consideration to the fact that whatever they did, no matter how bad, was not only done by them but by me as well because I ALLOWED it.

So, my friends, let this be a lesson for you as well. Think back on your life and all the people who you, to this day, believe treated you badly. Remember that one boyfriend (or girlfriend) who “did you wrong” or those people at that job who you just know belong in hell for what they did to you? Well, the lesson here is that some portion of that blame (if blaming is what you’re doing) belongs to you…because you ALLOWED them to do whatever it is that you say they did!

Iyanla concluded by saying that she believes that in every experience, even if that experience is someone treating you in an unacceptable manner, there lies a lesson that you need to learn. For me that lesson has been simple; as Dr. Phil puts it: you have to teach people how to treat you.

Oprah packs a lunch to work every day, say Gayle King and Stedman Graham

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I just watched a two hour Gayle King show special dedicated to a celebration of Oprah’s exit from the Oprah Winfrey Show. During the show, one of the guests interviewed was Oprah’s long time life partner, Stedman Graham. They reminisced about the Oprah Winfrey Show’s many highs and even higher highs over the past 25 years.

What stood out to me the most was when they laughed about how, right up until her last day of “work”, Oprah packed a lunch. Gayle joked that most people don’t know how frugal Oprah really is. Right there and there, I had an “Aha! Moment”. Wealthy people, like Oprah, don’t get wealthy by frivolously spending their money; they get wealthy by making good financial decisions even with such seemingly trivial things as spending money on lunch everyday instead of just packing a lunch.
Imagine if for 25 years, you took $5 to $10 everyday and put it in a savings account and never touched it. With conservative calculations, that amounts to about $50,000! And that is without calculating interest… Food for thought- right?

I’m really going to miss seeing Oprah every week day at 4pm but what I’ll miss even more is the little “Aha! Moments” such as the one I got today even without her there.

Here is my declaration: Every time I have the thought to buy lunch at work, I’ll take $7 and throw it into my savings account. What’s your declaration? Let me know at [email protected] Here’s to the next 25 years!