My internal clock has been ticking lately, and the noise has gotten so loud that it's just about all I can hear. No, it has nothing to do baby making.The thrumming I hear as I run around every day is the feeling that my life-filled with tons of joyful responsibilities that include my two kids, a great hubby, and a business-is somehow running me instead of me running it. Fortunately, I attended Oprah's Lifeclass a few weeks ago, and I can't wait to share what I learned.
I wonder if it has to do with fall, but it just seems like the days are getting shorter and shorter while my to-do list grows and grows. I know, I know: Woe is me, right? What parent out there isn't asking me through his or her computer or smartphone screen right now, "Well, isn't this what you chose for yourself?"
Yes, indeed it is, but even we moms who love our kids and the lives we've created for ourselves still feel overwhelmed at times. I have a full life overflowing with goodness. Along with the laundry, cleaning, cooking, carpooling, and chaos come joy, harmony, and gratitude. And now, thanks to Oprah's Lifeclass, I am learning how to embrace and appreciate all of it.
I arrived for Oprah's Lifeclass a few weeks ago not really knowing what to expect, which perhaps made the experience all the more amazing. I actually met Oprah with a few other attendees, including my biz partner, Wendy. (Oprah patted Wendy on the head, and I thought she was going to burst with happiness.) We joined about 30 or so people in a small studio and, after watching Oprah's Lifeclass with them (Lifeclass is at 7 p.m. on OWN, and Oprah does a Friday after-show at 8 p.m. that's shown online and on OWN), Oprah came out with special guest Iyanla Vanzant.
From that point on, we were in for a wild ride. Iyanla does not mince words, and you can see that Oprah's mind was on fire as the two of them guided us through some important life lessons. I'll repeat what others have said because it feels so true-throughout the class, I felt like they were speaking directly to me. As thousands of people tweeted, Facebooked, and skyped-in with their stories, I could put my own hamster-wheel life under the microscope to see what I could do better. Here were a few lessons from both Iyanla and Oprah that truly hit home.
"Love people enough to tell them the truth and respect them enough that they can handle it."
"You are the only one who gets to say what's going on in your life."
"Your presence is enough".
"Do what you love and the payment will unfold. Don't attach a paycheck to your purpose!"
My true "aha" moment, when the clock stopped ticking and all I could see was my wonderful life with all of its perfect imperfection, brought this realization: Allow yourself to feel the joy of just breathing. Take a deep breath and enjoy! Thanks, Oprah, for helping me tune out the daily noise and focus on what's important in my life. The clock may start ticking again, but now I know that I can run my life without it running me.
~By Jamie Fishman
Wendy Widom is CEO of Familes in the Loop (FITL), Chicago's hippest hub for parents and kids.
See more of Wendy 's stories here.