I "Met" Oprah


“I’m going to meet Oprah.” In the weeks leading up to my attending the University of Massachusetts' Chancellor’s Speaker Series at the Tsongas Arena, I, repeatedly, proclaimed these five words. To colleagues at networking events, to my parishioners, to my students, to my clients, to family, and to my friends, I enthusiastically stated that I was going to meet Oprah.


Did I?


Indeed I did!


I “met” Oprah, not physically but spiritually!


I know what you’re thinking. “Well, Terrlyn, you didn’t really meet Oprah. You didn’t personally say hello to her. You didn’t shake her hand. You didn’t even get her autograph.”


And yet… In a room of 6000 people, where the energy was palpable, I connected with my highest level of consciousness and was captivated, transformed, and affirmed by all the wisdom she shared. The desire to personally meet Oprah became secondary to connecting with a source, an energy, a vibration that pulled me toward a focus of my own calling and purpose. At times, it felt as if Oprah and I were the only ones in the room.


You see as I sat in a room full of excitement, warmth, and positivity listening to Oprah chat with Chancellor Jacquie Moloney, I felt as if she were sitting in my living room chatting with me personally. And the core of my being-my spirit was touched to a place of completeness that could not be defined and possibly could not be captured from a cursory meeting. To begin with, I identified with her as an African American woman who is also from Mississippi and with all the “stuff” that comes with one’s positionality based on race, gender, and social status. Secondly, I shared her sentiment that “all each of us ever wants is to find the highest truest purest expression of ourselves as a human being.” Thirdly, so much of what she said resonated with me and the work that I do helping others to MANIFEST THEIR GREATNESS! What follows is my perspective on three things she said (in quotes) that are essential to living our purpose and MANIFESTING OUR GREATNESS.


Lean into the dream. God can dream a dream bigger than you can ever dream for yourself.” I believe that each of us has been set apart to do great things, not simply for ourselves but for the good of others. We are endowed with a special gift, a calling, that is etched in our very being. At some point in our lives we’ve caught a glimpse of it and seen how magnificent we can truly be. But life, fear, responsibility, doubt, or limiting beliefs got in the way of sharing that gift or even dreaming a dream of possibility. It’s never too late to lean into the dream. We are meant for greatness, however WE define that greatness. We know in our inner being whether we are living the life we have envisioned for ourselves. And, if we aren’t living our greatness, we just might be keeping others from living their greatness; because OUR greatness brings out greatness in others. And so on and so on and so on. Our dream and greatness is much bigger than ourselves. Case in point: Andre Dubus III (a faculty member) wrote a book which Oprah selected as one of her books of the month. When he wrote the book, he likely did not imagine that it would make millions of dollars, lead to Oprah coming to UMASS, and generate $3,000,000 for the University which would help support the education of numerous individuals for years to come.


Trust your inner voice. Whenever you find yourself asking everybody it means that you don’t know the answer. The voices of the world will drown out the voice of God.” Each of us is endowed with what I call sacred intelligence-that divine part of us that allows us to make intelligent choices that manifest our greatness while simultaneously manifesting greatness in others. It is crucial that we learn to tap into this inner voice for guidance and clarity in our daily lives. To do so requires spending time in quietness and becoming aware of the various ways to connect with our inner being. Only then will we walk in confidence as we share our gifts with the world.


Fill your cup. You want to be so full of yourself that you’re overflowing and have enough to give to others.” I invite everyone I work with to develop and nurture a relationship with themselves-to be selfish-in order to be of greater service to others. All too often, we deplete our energy and refuse to take time for ourselves (which includes nurturing our inner sacred selves), even when we, intuitively, know that it is the best thing for us. We convince ourselves that “I just don’t have time to focus on ‘that/me’ right now.” In truth, it is only when we make OURSELVES a priority can we manifest the best part of who we are meant to be and help others to do the same. Otherwise, we and they are only a fraction of what we can be; because, we are working from a place of depletion rather than an overflow. When our cup overflows, there is more than enough to fuel greatness in others.


I share Oprah’s belief that we should live our lives in such a way that we use what we have been given to be in service to something bigger than ourselves. For some of us, it’s figuring out or more specially remembering the dream (calling). For others, it’s leaning into the dream and stepping into our greatness.


Everyday I’m walking in my greatness, whether it’s manifesting a dream of meeting Oprah or helping my clients, students, or parishioners, walk their path of greatness!


What about you? Are you MANIFESTING YOUR GREATNESS?


As always, I wish you well in your journey and remind you that I am here if you’d like to chat. Click here to access my calendar and schedule a time to speak with me to learn how I might support you along your journey. Peace, love, and blessings. Dr. Terrlyn L. Curry Avery

Note: I offer my sincerest condolences to Oprah on the passing of her mother, Venitra Lee, from this life to more life. Let’s all hold Oprah in love, light, and compassion.

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