On Jan 10th 2018 the OWNAmbassadors and the OWNers received a private invite to Oprah's pre-birthday celebrations in California. Which was super exciting, but there was one problem, I just mailed out my passport the day before. I was so upset because it's not everyday we get invited to Oprah's birthday. The celebrations were going to be on Friday Jan 26th 2018. I had come to terms I was not going to make it because I had just mailed out my passport by regular mail the day before. But, after talking to a few of my OWN friends, they said you have to keep calling and make it happen.
So I started calling each day to see if my passport arrived at the passport office, and everyday it was no. At this point I started to believe and have faith that I was meant to be at Oprah's birthday. On Friday January 19th my passport finally arrived in Quebec and was put in the system. Now, the problem is, my passport was sent to Quebec to the passport office, and I live in Newfoundland. My perseverance paid off, the lady called me back on Friday Jan 19th and said we can have it ready for you on Tuesday, Jan 23rd to be picked up in St. John's (our local passport office). I was cutting it close, because I had booked a flight to California for early morning Wednesday. When she told me Friday my passport arrived, I went ahead a booked my plane ticket, I booked it strictly on faith. So after a short delay at the passport office I was able to pick up my passport.
Tuesday morning I went into St. Johns on the taxi/shuttle because the flight out Wed morning was at 5:45 am, so I had to get in early to pick up my passport. Thankfully I have a good friend that I was able to hang at for the day while I waited to go to the airport. I had to be at the airport at 3:00 am in the morning. So not much sleep for me, but that was okay I was so excited.
So, my flight arrived in Toronto on time, but then I had a connecting flight to LA so not much time for me to get from my airplane to the other side of the airport to my connecting flight. As I went through customs I was stopped and asked to go in the back. I was pre selected for a custom check. Of all times, I was wishing it wasn't this time. I was already pushing my luck. Once they did what they had to do, they called me aside and had to do some body checks on me, but the customs officer ransacked my suitcase, and my brand new suitcase was busted, and the lock was gone. I was not impressed, but I had no time to get upset, I had to literally run to the gate. During this time I had one of my great friends and travel buddies +Janet Auty-Carlisle on the same flight. She was concerned because they were just about ready to close the doors and I came running onto the plane.
Upon arriving at the gate, I realized I was the last one to board the plane, if I missed the flight I would have been devastated, especially because of everything it took me to obtain my passport. But Jan's intuition was correct, she figured that I was pulled into customs. When I seen Jan, we literally said excuse me to the guy sitting beside her and we had the most sweetest and relieved hugs. Thankfully the guy was cool being in the middle of our hug lol. Finally, I am on the flight to LA and leaving the cold weather...Next stop California
Jan and I arrived, we stepped off the plane, collected our bags, and I had to go report my broken bag to Westjet. Once that was all said and done we headed upstairs to grab our Uber. When we stepped outside the sun hit our face and the warm temperatures reminded me how much I love California. Once we were picked up from our Uber driver we headed to our condo in West Hollywood, we had a bit of a wait and we were finally allowed into the condo. The condo was nice, but the host was a sketchy guy who was illegally renting out his condo. Nonetheless, we dropped our bags settled for a few minutes then decided to head to The Grove, and the Farmers Market.
What a great time it was, we met up with our friend Taurence, did a bit of shopping at the Farmers Market, then headed to the Cheesecake Factory at The Grove for supper. We had great conversations, and some good laughs. Once dinner was done, we headed to Whole Foods to pick up a few more groceries. Afterwards, we headed back to our condo, we laughed, we cried, and just enjoyed each others company. It is so nice catching up and spending time with some really awesome people.
Thursday morning, excitement was in the air, we were one day closer to attending Oprah's birthday celebrations and our good friend Amy was arriving and staying at our condo. Once Amy arrived, we sat and laughed and had some great conversations. Once Amy was in and settled, we decided to head to Hermosa beach for the day. It was a cooler day, but we made the best out of it. We played in the sand, we sat on the beach and meditated and did some goofy videos. What a fun day it was! In the evening we had dinner reservations at the Pump Restaurant in West Hollywood with some of the OWN Ambassadors. The ambiance was great, and again the conversation was amazing! At this point most of the OWN Ambassadors, and the OWNers have flown in and doing their respective thing.
Sooooo then Friday happened...
Yay!! It's Friday, its the day the magic happens. the excitement was palpable and the energy was high. Amy, Jan, and myself woke up and chatted, then it was time to get ready. Once we were ready, our super wonderful selfless friend Bionca came to pick us up at our condo to take us to the OWN Network lot. We were so giddy, like 4 school girls. When we arrived we noticed all the beautiful tables, and food stands set out in the garden. A few of Oprah's favourite things/foods were there, Pinkberry, Pink's hotdogs, and really great music. Once we parked and checked in, we were free to head to the garden to enjoy. It was so great to see people that you hadn't seen in a long time, and it was absolutely amazing to see people you have been talking to online for years/months and now you can meet them and put faces and names together. We mingled, danced, talked, ate, laughed, cried, and listened. At one point no one had really saw Oprah yet, and I said to Jan, oh hey there is Oprah right behind you. I didn't approach her, because we will all have our time with her, so I left her be. After we celebrated her birthday celebrations, we sang to her, we had a toast and she spoke to us in the garden.
Approximately 2 hours later we were escorted into the OWN building where Oprah was going to conduct a Q & A with questions we previously provided. We were told she was going to have 40 mins with us and then she had a meeting. Well, thankfully for us she decided to forgo her meeting and spend the next 2 hours with us. There were so many take aways and I've had so many people ask what she discussed. Oprah did Oprah in her inspirational and teaching ways. At times there was not a dry eye, including Oprah. She was so appreciative for our support since 2011, we've never wavered, we just grew into an incredible, stronger community.
(Thanks to my OWN friends (Luisa, Electra, Amandeep, Kirsty) for their recollection of the day, somethings I remembered, but I was so overwhelmed with emotions I've had use some of their comments).
Some of her quotes/discussions that really resonated with me were;
"You Are Responsible For Your Own Life"
"You are powerful beings and that the power that is inside of me is also inside of you. Whatever draws you to me, whatever goodness you see in me, whatever you love about me, whatever you are drawn to in me, that is merely a reflection of what is inside of you. You are drawn to which you elevate or hold in esteem in me, because you recognize it as something that is already inside of you. The difference between us is, I have listened to and obeyed the calling for my life. Now it is time for you to get clear, and take action! Discern what is ego and what is Spirit talking and answer the call for your life".
She said "You are responsible for your life" then elaborated for a while, whatever has beaten you down, whatever has made you feel less than, whatever suffering you have endured...use that as your fuel. Everything happens for us, so use your suffering to elevate you.
Be in a state of prayer with a question “ what is the plan”
She said we all belonged there. We were called to that luncheon. And we need to listen to God's calling on our life. That it doesn't have to be BIG (& won't be a talkshow- but our OWN specific call) and it starts small. With every little decision we make & how we act, ESPECIALLY WHEN NO ONE IS WATCHING. She also said in the vein of starting small, that we can find a place to serve and to LOVE...right at the end of our arms, with the person directly in front of us.
Oprah calls us Light Carriers, she said there is a part in her new movie "A Wrinkle In Time" where she uses Light Carriers in reference to us.
Oprah continued sharing in the Q & A about starting the OWN Network, this was a difficult time in her life and she got very emotional and broke down as she said “everyone in this room...strangers to me at the time, got me through the hardest time in my life, my darkest hours. You were all there for me, tweeting, sharing, watching” Her vulnerability, sincerity, and transparency were so touching and moving, not too many dry eyes in the building including hers.
There was much more, but to be honest it was so overwhelming, I stayed present and just soaked up everything she was saying. I focused on her, the moment, and the energy.
Once Oprah finished her Q & A with us, she took the time to take pictures with each and everyone of us.
Today by far will go down in history as one of the best days of my life!! I can't thank Oprah and the OWN Network enough for putting together such an amazing event. I am grateful!
Whoa, so after our amazingly, wonderful day, Tierra, Jan, Amy, Bionca and myself made our way to the Beverly Hills Hotel for a smoothie, a croissant and alot of laughs, our server was awesome! Later on in the evening most of us attended WEHO Bistro in West Hollywood for dinner, and to continue on the high we were all experiencing. It was a great night, I was able to chat and meet people that I had not had a chance too yet.
Here are some snapshots from my time in California.
|OWNers & OWN Ambassadors|
|Myself, Amy, Jan|
|One of Oprah's wish/prayer for us|
|Tierra, Bionca, Jan, Myself, Amy at the Beverly Hills Hotel|
|Marisa is my soul sista, heart of gold!!|
|My beautiful friend Marie|
|My BFF and Kahlua|
|A few of the OWNAmbassadors|
|I've been speaking with Ashley for a few years online, so nice to have finally met her!|
|Loved hanging out with Taurence!|
|My Daughter Brianna|
|Oh the fun and the laughs!!|
|Amy, Jan, Tierra, Myself, Bionca|
|Me & Bionca ( I just adore her!)|
|Brittany aka Baller, Jan, Myself, Taurence|
|Myself, Jan, Tierra|
|Me and Mr. Sunshine, the room lightens up when Alex enters|
|My meal at Bubba Gumps|
|Oops my bad, the napkin makes for a great souvenir|