ATLANTA — Oprah’s Winfrey’s annual “The Life You Want Weekend”tour kicked off and its first stop was Atlanta.
The event jammed city streets near Philips Arena on Friday and Saturday.
Friday, Oprah invited Atlanta attendees to partake in various empowering activities through Bounty "The Life You Want." It featured a "Power Meet up" with a panel including ABC's "The Chew" chef Carla Hall. Participants entered O town. O town was a pop-up town that encompassed Centennial Olympic Park. Guests enjoyed giveaways, the Olay Beauty Suite, O Magazine experience, the Bounty Lounge and various other activities.
On Saturday, her four hand-picked speakers lectured attendees on various topics including mental health, spiritual balance, following instincts and forgiveness.
Oprah played hostess for the night and even gave the audience a few life exercise activities to do. Oprah was comical throughout the day. She even joked that Channel 2 Action News anchor Monica Pearson took her job so she had no choice but to look for other options.
Well-known doctor in mind-body medicine and personal transformation, Dr. Deepak Chopra, lectured the audience about releasing themselves from mental traps. At one point during his lecture, he led the crowd in a deep meditation where they began to recite self-empowering phrases to themselves.
Best-selling "Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert was also a featured speaker. She lectured to the audience about following their inner voice. She revisited a moment in her life where she was at her lowest point and couldn’t wait to get home to cry. She said a voice inside her told her how terrible an aspiration that was and that same voice told her to go out in the city and find something beautiful.
She listened and when she went out to the city, she saw four elephants with beautiful women on top of them. She later found out they were there for a circus, but then she said two years later, she herself rode an elephant in India and years later actress Julia Roberts would play Gilbert in an "Eat, Pray, Love" movie where she too rode an elephant.
Named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME magazine, Rob Bell took to the stage and told the audience that they were not bodies with spirits, but they were spirits with bodies. He gave many scientific analogies throughout his speech and amused the crowd throughout his lecture.
“It was such an inspirational event, that when I walked out of the Phillips Arena, I had a whole new perspective on life. It was an event that re-energized my mind, body and soul,” said attendee Kenya Manchester.
Last to speak during the conference was the star of OWN’s “Iyanla: Fix my life,” Iyanla Vanzant. Walking to the stage in an all-white dress, would focus on life being your friend and that it’s not here to hurt you or trick you, but that it’s all in your mind. When she would switch gears, she would take a few sips from her glass of apple cider before saying, “Here’s to life.” As she concluded her speech, the lights dimmed, she recited a few more words and took her last sip of apple cider before toasting, “Here’s to you.”
“We’re excited to be a part of this movement where women will be encouraged and empowered and engaged to live the life they want,” Crystal Harrell, representative for sponsors My Black is Beautiful and Olay, said.
Olympian Amy Purdy also made an appearance during the weekend tour and told of her journey from losing her legs, to being a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" to becoming an ambassador of the Toyota company. She was also there to present Black Girls Run founders Toni Carey and Ashley Hicks with a $25,000 grant for their organization. The ladies welcomed the grant with tears of joy.
Oprah brought the tour to an end by saying how the tour was her childhood dream.
She said, “I am so full.”
The crowd was very interactive throughout the night, even starting a few dance breaks and chanting popular, “OOO, OOO’s” from the Oprah show. They continued to cheer her on as she fought back tears.
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