I was raised by Oprah

I feel corny writing this and I doubt I’ll ever take the steps to publish it anywhere. I shun pretty much anything that is consumed en masse by the mainstream.  I’m more comfortable sitting outside the trend zone.  If everybody else is doing it…I’m probably not there. That’s why I’m a closet Oprah fan.

Oprah's LifeclassCreative Commons License photo credit: nayrb7

Watching Oprah to me is like eating comfort food.  I don’t own a TV, so when I’m down I grab my computer and go to her website to get inspired to get back up on my feet again.  I did that last night.  Part of me has had this “isn’t that cute?” attitude about Oprah’s new lifeclass.  Isn’t it nice that Oprah is introducing people by the millions to personal development?  That’s the extent of my acceptance of Oprah’s new lifeclass.  I ignored the emails, and all the facebook posts, until I was feeling shitty.
Last night I went to Oprah’s website and watched a couple episodes of her lifeclass webinar.  The first of which was with Eckhart Tolle.  It was exactly what I needed, and it really got me thinking.

I have always thought that Oprah helped raised my generation of girls.

I was raised by a single mom who got home from work at 5pm and was totally exhausted.  We got home from school at 4pm and had a choice of 3 TV channels to watch.  It was either He-Man, Oprah or Sally Jesse Rapheal (I think…correct me if I’m wrong on that.)  I got off the bus, dropped my backpack and turned on the TV where Oprah regularly talked publicly about sexual abuse, a cultural mutation that had previously been kept with the rest of our families skeletons in a secret closet somewhere far from the light of open communication. She talked to us about weight and self image, racism, and infidelity.  Every weekday at 4pm a black woman from Chicago came into my living room and talked about things that weren’t supposed to be talked about.

As I watched Oprah’s Life Class last night on my laptop while snuggled in a heap of blankets to fend off a cold New York autumn night, I wondered “who is raising this generation of girls?”

What are our girls coming home to after school and who’s raising them?

Kim Kardashian? Facebook?  The Disney channel? It’s a scary thought, but one thing I got from Oprah when she was raising me was the understanding that it’s necessary to talk about the tough stuff. So, even though it’s uncomfortable sometimes, I have to step up to the plate and talk to my kids about things that might not be all that easy to talk about. I have to initiate the conversation with total presence.

Creative Commons License photo credit: chicagofabulousblog

As Oprah looked straight into the camera and quoted Eckhart Tolle‘s thoughts about the ego, I felt comforted by the fact that she’s still there. It may not be 4pm, and I might not ride a school bus anymore, but she’s still there, raising a generation of women and men and giving us the support and encouragement we need to live our best lives.

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- who has written 2 posts on Yoga Modern.

Jeanne Weierheiser lives with her 3 children in Upstate NY where she works from home as a digital marketing strategist. She works with businesses and organizations that have something positive to contribute to the world. She believes strongly in raising our youth to question their consumption patterns and changing our own in the process. Jeanne says, "Many of the biggest problems being faced by humanity today can be traced back to unconscious consumption. I believe that bringing a little awareness into every purchase results in a huge ripple effect of positive change."

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