A Weekend With Oprah – Living My Best Life

October 20, 2011 17 Comments TAGS: Career

I am still on a high from my weekend in Atlanta. It was honestly, game changing.

For the new readers, to keep you up to speed, I attended the O You! Oprah Magazine Conference this past weekend, as a Brand Ambassador for Kleenex. The speaker’s lineup was out of this world…   Gayle King, Lisa Ling, Suze Orman, Nate Berkus, Dr. Oz, Peter Walsh, Martha Beck, Bob Greene, Donna Brazile, Val Monroe, Adam Glassman, and Miss Oprah Winfrey herself.

I was in Atlanta to attend the O You! Conference, learn, enjoy, and work the booth with my Kleenex peeps. As an inspirational Top 10 Brand, the strategic move to launch their softest tissue ever, Kleenex Cool Touch, at an inspirational conference, using me, an inspirational blogger as the ambassador, proved to be fantastic. In case you haven’t seen it yet, Kleenex Cool Touch actually uses your own body heat to release a cooling sensation to a relieve a sore nose. It contains moisturizers and aloe, and is so soothing if you’re sick… OR NOT! Or if you have hot flashes, as we learned in the booth— 5,000 hormonal women, walking by our booth, cooling their hot faces with Kleenex, going crazy for COLD tissues! Not sure Kleenex realized ALL the benefits when they made the first-ever cool and soothing tissue. 😉

From the moment I walked off the plane, alone, no kids, no husband, I felt free. Let’s face it, with life’s daily routines, kids, carpool, dinner, homework, extra curricular activities, PTA meetings, husbands, how often are we really alone in our thoughts, just focusing on ourselves? I imagine not too often. I went to my hotel and got ready for dinner with the Kleenex and Oprah Magazine team. Wow, I actually got to shower, put on makeup, get ready, without little people calling my name! To say it wasn’t somewhat refreshing, would be a lie– not forever, but just for a little. The moment I met the Kleenex team, those that I had only spoken to over the phone, I relaxed, and knew this would be a great partnership.

Me and Deb from Oprah Magazine

Me and Stephanie from the Kleenex Team. Yellow was obviously the color of the night. And I look pregnant. Ugh.

I went to bed early. Had a great night sleep. Woke up, and it was SATURDAY! Conference day! I headed over to the Georgia World Congress Center, and got my Media badge. The action happened right away. First I went to check out our Kleenex booth, it looked great and was located in the perfect spot. Then, as part of the media, I was INSIDE the ropes, watching the 5,000 screaming fans shout, “Suze, Nate, Dr Oz, look here!” Here are some of those highlights….

Me and Dr. Oz - SUPER NICE GUY!

Me and Lisa Ling - smart, beautiful, the whole package. And TINY

Me and Suze Orman - DA BOMB. You'll see a little treat from her to you below

Me and Martha Beck - I ADORE her and her writings

Me and Nate Berkus - This guy is more ADORABLE in real life. So cute! 😉

Me and Adam Glassman - LOVE THIS GUY! So cool and nice!

My favorite moment - Me and Sheri Salata. I CRIED TO HER. FOR REAL. OY. And oh yeah, there's Gayle in purple!

While speaking with Suze Orman (pictured above), something amazing happened…. she RAN WITH MY BRAND! Yes, it’s pretty darn cool when one of the world’s top Finance Gurus tells your own readers how to get off the fence– and that just so happens to be the name of your brand. Very exciting!

Watch.

So after chatting with all these superstars, the day began. The sessions were eye-opening. The booth was phenomenal- women were sending inspirational messages to loved ones and sharing Kleenex packages with people everywhere!

In the booth

The booth

People trying Kleenex Cool Touch for the first time-LOVED THEIR REACTIONS... PRICELESS!

Meeting a WomenOnTheFence.com reader and Guest Blogger, Lia Keith

The attention to detail was everywhere at this event. I mean, check out the pretty centerpieces for the ladies at lunch.

I had many AHA-moments. I tweeted those throughout the sessions, and you can read them at Twitter.com/WomenOnTheFence (dated October 15th). But when Oprah took the stage at the end of the day, it literally took my breath away. The room was electric, and you could hear a pin drop.

Oprah walking out for the first time. Surreal moment for me

The theme was, What I Know For Sure. I wanted to share with you, some great advice from Oprah herself.

Here are Oprah’s 20 Things She Knows For Sure

Since the day the late Gene Siskel asked me, “What do you know for sure?” and I got all flustered and started stuttering and couldn’t come up with an answer, I’ve never stopped asking myself that question. And every month I must find yet another answer. Some months I feel I hardly know a thing, and I’m always pressed to make the deadline for the column. This time around, I looked back and came up with my all-time top 20: (Oprah Winfrey)

1. What you put out comes back all the time, no matter what. (This is my creed.)

2. You define your own life. Don’t let other people write your script.

3. Whatever someone did to you in the past has no power over the present. Only you give it power.

4. When people show you who they are, believe them the first time. (A lesson from Maya Angelou.)

5. Worrying is wasted time. Use the same energy for doing something about whatever worries you.

6. What you believe has more power than what you dream or wish or hope for. You become what you believe.

7. If the only prayer you ever say is thank you, that will be enough. (From the German theologian and humanist Meister Eckhart.)

8. The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.

9. Failure is a signpost to turn you in another direction.

10. If you make a choice that goes against what everyone else thinks, the world will not fall apart.

11. Trust your instincts. Intuition doesn’t lie.

12. Love yourself and then learn to extend that love to others in every encounter.

13. Let passion drive your profession.

14. Find a way to get paid for doing what you love. Then every paycheck will be a bonus.

15. Love doesn’t hurt. It feels really good.

16. Every day brings a chance to start over.

17. Being a mother is the hardest job on earth. Women everywhere must declare it so.

18. Doubt means don’t. Don’t move. Don’t answer. Don’t rush forward.

19. When you don’t know what to do, get still. The answer will come.

20. “Trouble don’t last always.” (A line from a Negro spiritual, which calls to mind another favorite: This, too, shall pass.)

So thanks, Gene, for asking me the question – Oprah Winfrey

Before I closed today, I wanted to share with you my own personal AHA moment from the weekend. It’s really quite simple:

Do the work, and God magically puts you right where you’re meant to be, at the perfect place, at the right time, and only when you’re ready.

This I know for sure.

Thank you Oprah for a conference I will never forget. Thank you Kleenex for believing in me, and letting me showcase your incredible brand to the world. And thank you readers, for always inspiring me, to up my game.

Until next time,

xoxEDxox

Disclosure: I’m proud to be a paid Kleenex Brand Ambassador for the Softness Worth Sharing Program.

    17 Comments

    1. […] year, and they are one amazing bunch. When I met Sheri Salata, president of Harpo Studios for the first time in Atlanta, I literally cried. Then, when I met her a second time one month later in Montreal, I cried […]

    2. […] for the Christmas holidays. Because the Kleenex Cool Touch program (which I so proudly am the Brand Ambassador for) is all about softness worth sharing, we somehow ended up on the topic of sharing family […]

    3. […] brought in a powerhouse with a great story. No, a lovely woman, with a great story. I had the pleasure of meeting Sheri Salata, President of Harpo Studios and The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), for the second time in only a […]

    4. […] When I got the opportunity to marry two things that I love, Kleenex and Oprah, I was thrilled. In honor of Kleenex‘s softest and newest tissues yet Kleenex Cool Touch, Kleenex kicked off their Softness Worth Sharing Movement at The Oprah Winfrey, O You! Conference in Atlanta, last month. As an inspirational Top 10 Brand, the strategic move to launch Kleenex’s softest tissue ever, Kleenex Cool Touch, at an inspirational conference, using me, an inspirational blogger as the ambassador, proved to be fantastic. […]

    5. Erica, I’m so proud of you. I know I only got to meet you once briefly during our Mommy to Mommy TV shoot, but I have really become a fan of your work and hope we will meet again down the line. Congrats again on all of your success. You are an inspiration!

    6. […] Uit: A weekend with Oprah Gepost in Groei, Inspiratie, Ontwikkeling, Succes […]

    7. Anne Thompson says:

      It sounds like you really enjoyed yourself this weekend. I was sick this week and actually bought that Kleenex cool touch. It really helped. Great video with Suze Orman!

    8. Cheryl says:

      Great recap of what looked like a fun-filled weekend of work and play with O and team. Congrats on everything.

    9. Judy Pennacchio says:

      Hi Erica, many years ago while watching Oprah of course, I finally felt validated by her statement, #17 on this list, that being a mother is the hardest job on earth. I was fortunate to be a stay at home mom and enjoyed every minute of raising my three sons who have turned out to be extraordinary men! My mom raised six children and made it look so easy that all I ever wanted was to be as good a mom as her. I hope I’ve succeeded. I was amazed at my friends who had children and worked a full-time job outside the home, because it must’ve been so much harder for them. I am so grateful to have a wonderful husband who’s a great dad to our boys, this does make it a lot easier. I’m so glad that you were able to go to the conference and share all the magic with us, and yes, KLEENEX is my favorite! I’m so glad I found you on Twitter….

    10. J Steinberg says:

      The Susie Orman video is really cool. Congratulations on a very successful weekend with Kleenex.

    11. Patricia Moore says:

      I have to go to this conference next year. Wow!

    12. Shannon says:

      Great post! It sounds like a very successful weekend. I can’t believe you met all those people! That’s so cool!

    13. Rachel Ross says:

      Erica it sounds like you had the weekend of a lifetime. Game changing indeed. Thank you for letting us into the conference by sharing your words. I loved your own personal AHA moment at the end. I love Oprah too and I know how much you do. I guess you did not get to meet her in the end but I have confidence she’ll find you one day. Great post.

    14. Wendy Irene says:

      Erica, you were so beautiful & extremely warm & friendly, just as I knew from reading you would be. I love your pictures. You working at the Kleenex booth was a blessing, because I REALLY needed them and they were Amazing! I adore that Suze made that video for Women on the Fence – what a giving & inspirational woman she is. Your personal A-ha moment is spot on! Thanks for making me smile big today reading this xoxo

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