OPRAH: Oprahs 2020 Vision Your Life In Focus Live Tour Recap and My Personal Goals For the New Year
I don't think there could be a better reason to kick off the year here on Olive and Tate than OPRAH herself. Just yesterday, I had the absolute pleasure of attending her live tour: Oprah's 2020 Vision Your Life In Focus and am recapping for a number of reasons. Mostly, prior to attending in Charlotte, I had a super difficult time finding a schedule or itinerary for the event itself. Seeing as the day beings at 8am and wasn't slated to end until 4pm, I was hoping to have a heads up on what we'd be up to for that long. If you're here for the schedule and event break down, scroll down to the end of this post for the quick recap/agenda and event tips.
"You were born to be fully yourself.
You were born to fill yourself up. Your one job is to fill yourself up until you are overflowing" - Oprah Winfrey
My fellow blogger and friend Christina and I attended the event with the hopes of being inspired in our businesses and personal lives for the coming year. We get together monthly to set goals, bounce ideas off of each other and share wins and losses, so this seemed like a baller way to kick off 2020.
We were not wrong.
On a personal note, I was crazy inspired by every single second of this event, and I'm typically not one to be impressed by much. Sad, but true. I had planned to not love the meditation aspect, for Oprah herself to only be on stage here and there and to eye roll at the dance segments. Mmmhmmm, I'm a real treat. But guys, I was so impressed by this event. Truly, it was one of a kind.
"Mindfulness starts when you release the comparisons that begin with the word "when". -Oprah Winfrey
The day started with an insanely large and slow line outside of the Spectrum Center. We didn't even head toward the line until 9:20, despite knowing the doors opened at 8am, hoping to skip a long line. Sadly, we were unsuccessful in avoiding a mob scene.
Each venue has specific rules about bag size and what you can't bring in, but none of the details are posted visibly in the line, so people were finding out they needed to ditch water bottles/Nalgene's/Yetis/ at the door. Be sure to Google your venue's rules if you're headed to see Lady O.
After about a half hour or so, we made it in the doors just in time to hear Oprah herself shouting "HELLOOOOOOO Charlotte!"
We still needed a bathroom break and to snag waters, etc, so we made it to our seats well into Oprah's opening remarks. We missed the early morning DJ but didn't mind, and made it to our seats to find our swag bags waiting for us. Inside each bag is your workbook for the day, a pen, a WW breakfast bar, WW snack size bag of chips, itinerary, announcement of our guest speaker, coupons and a handful of beauty samples.
And here's where I share what I was most impressed by/surprised about during the entire day: Oprah herself spends the *entire* day on stage. She opens the day with a funny, thoughtful look back on her wellness journey, explains what "wellness" means to her at her current age/with her knowledge and perspective and, without spoiling too much for anyone attending, her wellness goals have nothing to do with weight loss. The entire day was about bringing about our best and most fulfilled selves, in mind, body and spirit.
"The ultimate form of wellness is to live in a rhythm and flow of my own life, growing deeper and more fully into myself" - Oprah Winfrey
It should come as no surprise, but Oprah is a magnificently dynamic speaker and story teller. She is truly funny, has great timing, is very attuned to her audience. Both Christina and I were blown away by her.
Oprah also leads you through your workbook exercises - the lights in the auditorium are brought up so that you can work through the process. I noticed that Oprah's personal workbook was dog eared, marked up, full of notes and she refers back to it constantly. She wanders through the audience as the group works, which is so fun to watch.
I set my word for the year in stone - 2020 will be the year of "Stronger". After going through the workbook, I set my intentions around the word stronger with complete clarity. How I will be physically stronger, emotionally stronger, stronger in my motherhood and marriage, and what actual steps (most of them small!) I will take to lean into that intention. My notes are frantic and scribbled, but they are honest and set, ready for me to put them into action.
The morning included guided meditation by Jesse Isreal of The Big Quiet (which I found hard to focus through as a crowd of 15,000 can try their hardest to be completely silent but will never really get there) and a quick talk from our guest speaker, Laila Ali. After that, we were back to working our workbooks with Oprah at the lead.
"You deserve rest. Move away from the concept that taking it easy is 'lazy', give yourself permission to rest." - Jesse Isreal
The entire event was smoothly executed with the exception of lunch. To be honest, Christina and I chatted about it and we couldn't come up with a better method that what was in place, so I really think it's just the way the cookie has to crumble when feeding 15,000 people a free boxed lunch at one time.
Lunch consisted of a boxed lunch from Panera and our venue had 3 options; turkey, veggie sandwich and a salad with chips, apple and a bottled water. The boxes are very large, making it even tougher for people to squeeze through the crowds to get back to their seats, wait in the bathroom line or find a place to eat.
Many people went back their stadium seats to eat, we sat on the floor of the concourse near our seats. The crowd consisted of men and women of all ages and all ranges of mobility/ability, so for many, the trek back and forth from the seats with those boxes wasn't an easy process. Of course, the bathroom lines were a nightmare too. My best suggestion is to take your lunch voucher and head out early (during the guest speaker) to grab your lunch box. We saw many people doing that, but we had seats in the dead center of our aisle so it wasn't possible for us. Overall the situation wasn't bad, per say, it just wasn't great.
(and yes, we had nosebleed seats! tickets were pricey)
After lunch, we were introduced to Julianne Hough and her new mind/body/dance program called KINRGY. I was expecting to sit and observe this part but the entire audience was up and into it, so I jumped in, too. It turned out to be one of the coolest aspects of the event - watching 15,000 people reach for their positive intentions and place them on their heart in unison was unreal. For me personally, that particular exercise was really moving.
Oprah hit the stage with Julianne and then guided us back to our workbooks where we set our commitments for 2020, wrapping up the workbook process. There are so many amazing details to the workbook that I actually am looking forward to going back over it when I have a second.
"There is a knowing inside all of us that is whispering to you. The whisper is always trying to offer you or bring you the message." - Oprah Winfrey
And now to the part of the event that I think we were all leery of: the WW "informercial".
The entire event is sponsored by WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and there has been some feedback that the event feels like WW Propaganda. My verdict was that the entire WW segment of the day was executed perfectly and with marketing brilliance. The segment begins with the personal story of the creator of Weight Watchers and how she somewhat accidentally created the program. Wisely, it then focuses on three local women who have reached amazing personal goals that coincided with their WW journey. Each woman was so inspirational in their own right that it was easy to cheer for them, without a single thought to WW. The CEO of WW also speaks for a brief moment, and while she is the least dynamic speaker of the day, its just a blip on the radar in the programming. Overall, while WW is mentioned, tied in and present throughout the day, I felt like we were on Oprah's turf and on her agenda, not WW's.
"You do not get what you want in life, you get what you intend" - Oprah Winfrey
We were so excited to have Amy Schumer as our headline speaker and she did not disappoint. She is very publicly sharing her current IVF journey and it was clear that it was weighing heavily on her during the event. The conversation focused mostly on motherhood, her personal and physical well being and she left her speech to catch a plane to keep her IVF schedule in tact. I would have loved another hour with her on stage - she and Oprah are personal friends, which absolutely allowed for a fun dynamic between them.
"I'm in a coma" - Amy Schumer
And then Oprah took us to church.
There's no other way to describe it.
Her closing speech was one of a kind - I think at one point I was holding my breath. The woman next to me was crying, the woman behind me was shouting "Amen!", Christina was recording the whole thing because we couldn't write down quotes quickly enough - every word she spoke was impactful. She discusses faith, spirituality, your destiny, her destiny and if you've attended then you know she talks about counting tress. Truly, it was a moment and I was happy to be along for the ride.
"I can. I will. Watch me." -Oprah Winfrey
Christina and I were buzzing afterwords (that photo is after the event! 7 hours after we arrived at the Spectrum Center, and we're so happy!) with so many amazing words to take in, energy to absorb and goals to set. We decided the day was worth every single penny, that there was really nothing we would change and I might need to take on Amy's role play. If you have a chance to attend the 2020 Vision Your Life In Focus Tour, I cannot recommend it enough!
all quotes from the Charlotte Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus
Live On Tour
(times approximate based on our experience):
8am: Doors Open
(breakfast items are available for purchase, all event booths are open)
(breakfast items are available for purchase, all event booths are open)
9am: DJ begins
10am: Oprah takes the stage to open the event
Guided Meditation with Meditation Specialist
Special Guest Speaker (ours was Laila Ali)
1pm: Julianna Hough leads a KINRGY experience
2pm: WW CEO and local success stories
2:30pm: Headline Speaker (ours was Amy Schumer)
4pm: event closes
Plan for long, slow lines to enter the venue. Our venue only allowed printed tickets, no digitals.
Check venue specific policies on bag size and what you can and cannot bring in.
Plan for a logistics nightmare at lunch time - it really can't be avoided as 15,000 people are being fed at once. If you can, sneak out a bit early to snag your box using the lunch voucher in your bag.
Breakfast items are available for sale during the opening hours, alcohol was available for sale after 11am at our venue, soft drinks and water were available for sale all day. Many people had snack foods that they brought in with them and there is no re-admittance to the event, so if you're worried about snacking etc, plan to bring it in.