At one point in my journey, my dream was to thank Oprah in person. God not only did that, he blessed me with a direct means of communication. Then it was ‘OMG, if I could just hug her and touch her’ (lol...DO NOT JUDGE ME! ) I've been inspired by her for years and sometimes you can't believe it when certain things start to manifest. I'm just being real and sharing because I truly hope someone is inspired to have courage, flow in grace, and apply wisdom.

So, like I was saying…I wanted to just be around her, see how I felt, and feel her energy. I always thought it would be at her show in Chicago. It wasn't. She followed me on Twitter, I flatlined, and finally had the courage and trust to see if it was really her. I was thinking it could have been someone on her team. I finally got out of my head, ignored the doubts, and messaged her. She messaged me back six days later. I flatlined again. Honestly, I was still wondering if it was an assistant until she told me I would be able to attend a private lunch with her and other OWN ambassadors in L.A. There is so much more between this bridge that I will share later but, again...courage, trust, positive thinking, knowing you are worthy, gratitude, grace, and God. Also, knowing that every human is a vessel. Our parents, our children, our mentors, the successful icons who inspire us, are all vessels. Period. God uses whoever, whenever, however, he needs to. The timing here would blow you away, but for time’s sake, I'll just say that at that time I desperately needed a gentle reminder that all will be well. At that point in time, I was beginning to let things go in my life and become my own project so to speak.

Let's fast forward to my thought process after meeting Oprah. I was thinking that she is exactly like what I have felt all these years watching her on TV. I got home thinking that God not only granted my wish, he super-sized it!!!! Beyond that, I then thought, ‘God what do you want me to do? What is the lesson?’ 
 This was the chapter when my pause started. The getting more honest within the moment - I'm tired of walking on eggshells with my family and in my marriage; I'm tired of being drained in my store although I love it. Instead of just accepting life as is, eggshells and all, and simply covering it with a blanket of "gratitude", I was inspired to do the real work so that I could celebrate for real and truly be grateful for inner healing and healthy relationships through and through. Not perfection, but no eggshells. We are either good or we aren't but it was time to reach a deeper, honest place.

That time in my life is an entire book, but I'll say this...I let a lot go. I surrendered to the work. It has been hard. I’ve cried. I’ve fought it at times. I have looked in the mirror sometimes and didn't even recognize myself. What was happening to my life? Was I pulling it apart with each truth? But something in me wanted to get all the unhealthy stuff out. Sorry, I'm veering off a bit but what I'm saying is, God will give us a glimpse of what's to come and sometimes, it's just enough to make you ask if you want to keep doing things your way; the way that makes sense, feels safe, looks good and is acceptable to others; or are you willing to take down all the Legos and trust that with God and wisdom they will be put back together differently.

So, yes…I've been putting Legos back together. Fast forward to now…with undoing them and rebuilding them, came courage. One was the courage to start asking for support. I think that is tied to higher self-worth and self-esteem. Someone, please help me out here, but that's what I think because I felt stronger. So instead of being lost in the excitement of meeting Oprah and cherishing a picture each time we were face-to-face, I reached a place of being responsible to my deeper purpose. Last year I began to travel to places to have deeper conversations with women to truly understand what truly mattered. It confirmed several areas, including the direction I needed to move towards.

In preparing for my working trip to L.A., I truly wanted OWN to be a definite visit. I realized that I had never truly asked. After the lunch with her and being invited into the ambassador group, I sort of just let things flow. I focused on healing and just trying to do life on a different level of consciousness. I realized that I had been in a mindset of HOPE. A mindset of ONE DAY God will bless me. One day this. One day that. However, I realized that there are some blessings right in our palm that we just simply haven't asked for.

Thankfully, each task has been graciously granted. That's why I mentioned grace. When our intention and heart is right, with timing and courage, God moves suddenly. The stronger I become, the bolder and clearer the task becomes in all areas. The more we understand our mission, our purpose, and not just an "exciting moment", the more sacred we treat our assignments. So, when I reached out regarding my first visit, I wasn't sure what the response would be because it wasn't a group thing and I'm in a very intentional space. I have a mission to serve and educate women and I am focused on that. Relationships, inspiration, and knowledge are critical in this stage of rebuilding and I'm very intentional about time and the people, companies, and experiences that inspire me and align with my mission to serve. Visiting OWN, touring the offices, and getting reconnected was such a gift. The timing was impeccable!!!

I really want to and have been instructed by God to share a very intimate moment with you guys and I will. Just not on Facebook. It's very, very sacred and I am still processing it. I will email it to our database when it's time. But I will share the topside of it so you can see the power of surrender. I just think we get caught up in the moment and just blast post, and screen shot things that are sacred. That can diminish trust with others involved sometimes or minimizes the greater substance. I am saying this because I've done it myself and thankfully, through God's grace, I know better with certain blessings.

In a nutshell, there was an intimate moment. A moment of truth. I didn't want to face it. It hurt. It revealed things in my heart that needed purification and God can't cleanse what we won't admit, accept, or acknowledge. I finally did. It burned. I cried. I apologized. I prayed. I just cleaned until I felt empty. Pulling up the raw truth is like pulling up a drain from the sink of dirty water. I surrendered. I looked at my phone and in that exact moment, my visit to OWN was confirmed. THE exact moment. I cried again. Oprah had also responded to a separate message and her words were so reassuring. I knew it was a God wink. Just a reminder that I wasn't alone. A confirmation to do the inner work. Life is truly our classroom. It was the purest, most clear moment of surrender, truth, and grace. I am shaking my head just thinking about it.

I've written all 20,654 words to say, that what would have been a quick, ‘OMGGGGGG I'm inside of OWN and I’m flatlining with bubbly excitement’, had it happened when I was dreaming about it when Harpo was in Chicago; has through trials, tribulations, and obedience evolved into the wisdom to be patient, do the work, trust God, be obedient as much as possible because we aren't perfect, and show up and reach out when it's time. The experience is so much richer, serves such a deeper purpose, and ultimately will change lives.

When I reached out to ask permission to include The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in our Journey to Africa experience, we were extended a gracious yes. I took the time to research the school and I ran across a video of Oprah saying that one of the biggest differences or privileges of being wealthy was not just the money, it was ACCESS. When you are granted access to new things, people, and experiences, life changes and you can bring others. That never left me. I began to see what was happening with my life and how God was using mentors to graciously include me and share their access with me. Eardie and Joanna came to me in Africa and said thank you for sharing your access and each of us still tears up discussing it, because all of us are on the shoulders of giants and we were reminded in the most powerful moments of that experience. My heart bleeds when I think of grace and mercy. David White mentioned this at the NAACP Hollywood Symposium last week...when you are granted access, you are responsible for bringing someone else. Don't wait to be granted a plus one. Ask.

I was so inspired during my entire visit and it felt good to connect on a personal level. One of my favorite boardrooms is the Legend Room in which we are surrounded with the names and faces of Legends. It was soo powerful and I get emotional, but I'm also very intentional about what I share now because I want God to bless whoever and just use me as a vessel.

As you guys know, I am just returning from L.A and I am very excited about the work we are doing and just wanted to share my heart, my visit, and my revelations with those who cared enough to read it. After taking the time to process all that occurred, three words come to mind.

Courage. Grace. Wisdom.
Courage to Ask.
Grace to flow.
Wisdom to know when and How.
I am so grateful.

I will be sharing a whole lot more about the work we are doing, so if you aren't on my email list, please join us at Life is truly a dream that ends much too soon. Enjoy it and have the courage to create the one you deserve