Live The Life You Want Weekend

Oprah Winfrey kicked off her eight-city U.S. arena tour “Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” at Philips Arena, in Atlanta on Friday, September 5The Peach Review® was in attendance all weekend to cover this life changing / transformational weekend.

This outstanding event really goes above and beyond at all levels to ensure this will fuel all participants to go after the life they want.  Oprah knows her audience and she also appreciates that if you attend her weekend tour it will cost money and take up a great deal of time.  Since an arena like Phillips if fueled for concerts and shows, she is aware that since she is not a singer or dancer, she will have to go above and beyond.  She really gives 100 percent if not more.  Oprah states, “I want us all to fulfill our greatest potential.  To find our calling, and summon the courage to live it.”

The weekend tour began on Friday afternoon at Centennial Olympic Park with the audience being wowed at the venue called O town. O town is a 360-degree community that features things all associated with Oprah Winfrey and her various multimedia vehicles and products.  These aspects include booths, lounges, live music, food, cooking demos, photo kiosks and celebrity guests on both Friday and Saturday. Some of the guests included Oprah’s best friend, Gayle King (“CBS This Morning” and Editor-At-Large O, The Oprah Magazine), Adam Glassman (creative director O, The Oprah Magazine), Carla Hall (host of the “The Chew”), Palmer Williams, Jr. (“Love Thy Neighbor”), Us The Duo (musical performance from the upcoming film “Book of Life”), Amy Purdy (Paralympic Bronze Medalist and “Dancing with the Stars” finalist), Peter Parros,  Gavin Houston and Tyler Lepley (“The Haves and The Have Nots”), Jasmine Guy (“A Different World”) among other local celebrities and dance troupes.

 After a great day in O-Town, the evening concludes with Oprah taking the stage to bring her personal story and insights to life in a one of a kind intimate and interactive evening.  She introduces her team of speakers for the weekend who she calls her “Trailblazers.”  These speakers will all help the audience on Saturday find the technique and skill base that will lead them to the life they want.  The handpicked Trailblazers consist of leaders and pop icons including Iyanla Vanzant, star of OWN’s hit series “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” regular O Magazine contributor, best-selling author and spiritual life coach; best-selling author of Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert; one of Time 100’s Most Influential people, Pastor Rob Bell and world-renowned author and pioneer in mind-body medicine Deepak Chopra. Additionally, Paralympic Bronze Medalist snowboarder and “Dancing with the Stars” finalist, Amy Purdy, will join Oprah to recognize an outstanding individual with a Standing O-Vation.  
Oprah welcomes the audience with a heartfelt introduction that shows her journey to her current moment in life and then indicates how much this weekend means to her:
“Thank you for joining me on what I know will be a wondrous two-day journey.  I’m happy to be here with you, to share what I’ve come to understand about the things that matter in life…things like joy, resilience, awe, connection and gratitude. You live and if you open to the world, you learn. And what you find is yourself. We’ll all get the opportunity to feel wonder every day. To make every day a fresh start. To expand on what is possible. To experience joy on every level. That’s what this weekend is about.  Every moment you have the choice to open up…to listen to the whispers and live the way your life is nudging you to live…to walk boldly on your own life’s path.  You have that choice this weekend…this day… this moment, the only moment each of us has for certain.  Let’s make it count. My hope is that will go to a special space of possibility and connection…where each of us feels the power of now.  The journey begins with your decision to be here – and claim this moment. Together – we rise!”
The Saturday Schedule of Events was as follows:             
  1. “The Life You Want Meditation” with Deepak Chopra
  2. “Awakening to the Life You Want” with Oprah
  3. “The Quest” with Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. “See Your Life Today” with Oprah
  5. “Everything is Spiritual” with Rob Bell
  6. “Here’s to Life” with Iyanla Vanzant
  7. “Create a New Vision” with Oprah
The event closed with Oprah Winfrey and Team Toyota brand ambassador Amy Purdy honored Ashley Hicks and Toni Carey, the founders of Black Girls RUN!, an Atlanta-based national running group created to combat obesity among women in the African-American community.  As the first “Standing O-Vation” recipients, Black Girls RUN! will receive a $25,000 grant from Toyota in support of its continuing efforts to get women running.
Black Girls RUN! was formed by Carey and Hicks to increase the number of African-American women who run, improving their fitness, quality of life, and ultimately decreasing the number of African-American women who are overweight. What began with a blog and two women in Atlanta has grown into a network of more than seventy groups and hundreds of thousands of members across the nation. For more information, visit
“We are still in shock at what happened tonight and cannot believe we were chosen to receive this once-in-a-lifetime honor,” said Hicks.  “Eighty percent of African-American women suffer from obesity, and this group was a way to get women moving. This honor gives us the opportunity to take Black Girls RUN! to the next level, allowing us to serve our community even further,” added Carey.

The driving force behind The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” stems from the automaker’s commitment to fostering women’s interests. While reflecting the kind of stories that define the brand, The Toyota “Standing O-Vation” is an opportunity to celebrate remarkable women who are not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark their own journey of personal change.

“Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend” following tour stops:
Sept. 12-13      Auburn Hills, Michigan                The Palace of Auburn Hills
Sept. 19-20      Washington D.C.             Verizon Center
Sept. 26-27      Newark, New Jersey       Prudential Center
Oct. 17-18        Houston, Texas                 Toyota Center
Oct. 24-25        Miami, Florida                    American Airlines Arena
Nov. 7-8           Seattle, Washington        KeyArena at Seattle Center
Nov. 14-15       San Jose, California        SAP Center at San Jose

For more information on the tour, please visit and follow on Twitter/Instagram @LifeYouWantTour #LifeYouWantTour

-Desmond McLennon
Photos courtesy of Harpo Studios, Inc / George Burns
Special thanks to Oprah Winfrey Network (J. Levine and C. Hettrick)

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