Dear Oprah, thanks for “The Journey”

 Dear Oprah,

Thanks for mentoring me the past 25 years.  But it wasn’t just me, although many times I felt like you were speaking just to me, it was millions of people regardless of age, gender, race, religion, background, education.  My world, the World is a better place because of you.

I could never possibly thank you for all the inspiration, hope, new ideas and sense of empowerment that you have given me but I can be a mentor to many women, of all ages…with the hope of giving back everything you have given me.

You pushed me to start my coaching business. I bet you didn’t know that.  Yep, you ran a business contest in your magazine a few years ago searching for the best ideas.  The winner would get a trip to NYC for a business development weekend with you and many other experts all geared to help me start a business. 

I put together my application with passion and tears.  I knew I was going.  I marked my calendar, planned my vacation time!  While I was shocked that I didn’t win a spot (grin), it didn’t stop me.  It only made me more passionate.  I learned any dream worth pursuing is a dream worth pursuing yourself. That’s one of the many lessons I learned from you.

But the biggest impact you had on me was ten years ago when you shared a favorite poem, The Journey by Mary Oliver.  I was in the middle of making a huge decision and this poem spoke to me and gave me the courage to make the leap I needed to make.  I actually made copies of it and passed it out to everyone on the last day of my two week job notice!

This poem popped up in a recent issue of your magazine this year and it was as if I had bumped into an old friend.  Funny, I am once again in the process of considering huge changes and it’s reminding me to believe in myself and leap with courage. 

Thanks for the inspiration Oprah.  Best of luck to you on your journey.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.


~ Mary Oliver ~



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