When Victoria Picton (MIW CEO.. awesome lady!) asked me to write about Oprah Winfrey I kept calm and said ‘Yes! Love too…’ then I put the phone down and panicked ‘Where do you start writing about such a remarkable and legendary woman of our time? Eeek! No pressure then… ’ Un-conventionally I have decided to commence with a brief history lesson.

The ancient Egyptians revered and celebrated the gift of wisdom and thought, because they knew this was the heart of all true lasting success, wisdom as I have written before is the assimilation of knowledge; knowledge as a stand alone is limiting and can easily attract narcissism.  Think of the great Cleopatra if you will for a minute, a woman of unbelievable beauty, intelligence, focus, creativity and greatly self-assured…. Now you’ll never see that in a TV sitcom! … OK ‘Carry on Cleo’ for all you Carry on fans reading this – whatever! You know what I mean – Anyway…

Great women do not grow on trees! Like the diamond it takes years to become truly priceless, Oprah Winfrey is a woman who breathes wisdom and shines as a precious priceless diadem into the accessible world of our homes and our hearts, she glides around the world stage to high acclaim to the tune of love.  This is a woman we can learn much from and should; it is wise to study excellent leaders and see what we can learn from them to apply into our lives.

Since the magnificent passing of President Nelson Mandela, the world is left with a taste for true kindness and leadership, people perceive when others are insincere, hypocrites and their personal lives are riddled with greed and secret problems.  Western society has been drenched and dumbed down by the celebrity stories of microwaveable fame and in-consequential demonstrations of TV benevolence.  Oprah’s sincerity, humility, grace, beauty, love, focus and kindness constantly shine out of her on camera and off, rich or poor, sick or well.

During the tests and trials of life that come to us all, it is during hardship and learning experiences that encourage us to refine our lives and personality if we allow it.  Oprah Winfrey has climbed the steep mountains of life’s struggles and reached a height few will match, but unlike some, she has climbed down the mountain to help others struggles with a backpack of love and support on her back.  This is rare indeed.

From now on I have decided to call her ‘Oprah’ not out of disrespect, but because like so many I feel as if I know her even though we have never met.

Oprah has defined her own life journey with wisdom as her shining light refusing to let other loud voices define her life journey.  She simply glimmered for example in her film performance of ‘The Butler’ and allowed herself to develop and explore her character fully, to listen to others and learn and grow in her acting craft.  She is truly multi-talented and never afraid to carry on learning. (A ‘carry on’ film that someone SHOULD make hee hee!)

When I was listening to her speak on the UK TV show ‘Loose Women’ in November 2013, she shared from her heart her acting journey on set, not just reveling in fleeting glory as other actress may do. Oprah is real, candid, eloquent of voice and intellectual in mind.

When talking on ‘Loose Women’ she shared casually about her friend ‘Maya’, who I then realized she was referring to the amazingly wise ‘Maya Angelou’ another LEGEND! Of our generation!  We need not just ‘friends in high places’ I thought, but friends with wisdom and encouragement who can keep on encouraging us.  In the case of Oprah, who encourages the encourager? A great person indeed… Oprah will never settle down into ‘borings-ville’ and Maya encouraged her once in conversation when they were talking about What Oprah’s legacy will be not to settle for the slippers of success, or look back at occasions in her life and make a judgement to quantify what she deemed as possible ‘legacy material’. No… True legacy requires a fresh perspective of truth.  Now I have to transcribe this section because it is TOO AMAZING for you to miss…

Maya Angelou said to Oprah

‘…You have no idea what your legacy is. Your legacy is everything you’ve ever done and every life you’ve ever touched.  Those who have watched you, heard you, felt you, any kindness you’ve ever offered to any human being… That is your legacy’.  This is how you will be remembered; your children, the kind of mother you have been, the kind of wife or sister… This is your legacy.’

On the TV show as Oprah spoke these words they hung like mist in the studio! The audience and panel guests of ‘Loose Women’ erupted in celebration at the rich life wisdom they were hearing.  We all tend to judge success by a qualification, or a moment in time when actually legacy is much deeper, simpler and attainable then we think.

I loved the moment personally when the ‘Loose women’ ladies questioned her about her approaching 60 years on the planet, a number most women would allow themselves to be shamed into admitting, here Oprah simply beamed and drew a deep breath and profoundly stated ‘to deny your age is to deny your life…’ Argue that!

January 29th 1954 was a very usual day in the world, but actually it was the date for the birth of a baby that would go onto change the lives of millions around the world.  This lady has a CV that no one can parallel, she is a world icon for the empowerment of women, was the maker and star of the most successful chat show ever and has never ever let a media label stop her from reaching new goal after new goal.

This graceful lady Oprah Winfrey has given so much and is on the threshold of another special Birthday that will see her celebrate her many outstanding achievements and yet springboard her into new horizons!

When I was researching Oprah’s life I was expecting to read of her formative years as being comfortable in some affluent neighborhood in America, but instead my heart pounded in shocking pain as I read about her difficult start.   We are reminded again to never judge a book by its cover, actually Oprah was born into poverty and hardship, only having one parent and the terrifying abuse she suffered as a young girl.

And yet despite this desperate start Oprah dared to confront her demons, overcome the mountains of hurt and from an early age frankly decided to always have a giving heart.  That was a decision, an option she choose make no mistake.  Empathy is a word that is seldom celebrated but Oprah choose to make it her trademark signature.  This was no ordinary little girl called Oprah this was the making of a living icon…

Society needs to reacquaint itself with this aspect of our womanhood that Oprah encapsulates, that of relentless kindness, a desire to inspire success and hope into others, the love of learning and sharing wisdom and knowledge and the business mind to realise the dreams and hopes in others above your own.  It is easy to complain about your life, but far harder to do something about it and seek your destiny.

Many a great man or woman walks the earth, but as you go up the ‘rich list’ of modern society, the people that are of a kind, forgiving, humanitarian and philanthropic in nature start to drop off the list.  It is one thing to be rich in finances and another to be rich in life experience.  The real ‘rich list’ would actually list few famous people and more real people.

Loads has already been written on Oprah, but I wanted to write about when she stepped onto our shores in London 2013 and how I was totally mesmerized by her inner beauty, outer beauty, sense of fun and real personality, forget the ‘selfie’ generation, Oprah is the real deal.

I am ending my writing now (well done if your still reading) by saying how much I want to be inspired by Oprah’s life and not allow myself to get bogged down by my race, gender, body size, height, job, personality, job description, location of birth issues that have plagued so much of my life.  I want to define myself by ME and ME alone!  Then I can enjoy and explore this thing called ‘LIFE’ in full Technicolor.  We are all dealt a hand of cards that is both good and bad at times, but if we still have breath in our bodies let us never give up the drive of hope and the hope to love and encourage others.

Many famous people can be likened to the Egyptians and spend a lifetime building a legacy like a pyramid of their own greatness, but interestingly it is often the small acts of kindness that people really remember.

If Oprah is reading this all I can humbly say is THANK YOU from a suburb in London that is damp and raining (there’s a surprise!),  for my life is small in comparison to Oprah’s but I feel so inspired to inspire others and try and be a Blessing.  So please join me from the time you read this up to 29th of January 2014 and let’s do a little bit of ‘Oprah’, and just ‘love on someone!’.  Chat to that lonely old lady at the bus stop, smile at the gentlemen on a train, visit an old aunt… just do something for someone and that I know would be the best UK Birthday present we can do for Oprah Winfrey – a woman who made talking and sharing an act of star quality.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Oprah! And all of you other January Babes out there.. (it’s my B’day on the 8th Jan!) Here’s to many more fabulous years on this planet.

So from everyone at MIW and on behalf of women in the UK, we want to say ‘We love you, we respect you, we are inspired by you, and you have touched our lives and made us proud to be ‘Fabulous Women of THIS generation!

You have helped give us the confidence to say ‘WOMEN ROCK!’ and we sooo do!’

Ladies have an amazing 2014 and let’s keep on striving to be the best we can be, step by step, conquest by conquest and year by year.

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY OPRAH WINFREY XXXX

Joy 🙂 

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