The Oprah Effect

As the world at large knows, Oprah Winfrey ended her run on “Oprah” (formerly “The Oprah Winfrey Show”) after 25 years. Over the course of those 25 years, I’ve watched on and off. My favorite season of the show was the “Change Your Life TV” season; this was the year she showcased John Gray (“Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” fame), Dr. Phil McGraw, Suze Orman (“The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom”), and Iyanla Vanzant (“One Day My Soul Opened Up”). It was a gracious move by Oprah to allow these people to take center stage, while she sat amongst the audience. I looked forward to seeing Vanzant, in particular, on the show; I learned a lot from her with regard to re-languaging our experiences, as words hold such power, and play a part in shaping the situations we find ourselves facing. Oprah played a part in helping launch Dr. Phil and Orman, who both went on to their own talk shows. Oprah had similar plans for Vanzant, who seemed to disappear from the show, only to resurface this last season, for all of us to find out what happened to her (the lesson I got from that show was that when an opportunity comes your way, make sure it aligns with Who You Are; her failed talk show did not align with the work she was known for, and was doing on “Oprah”).

Over the years, I have had dreams in which Oprah appeared. I would be in a convenience store in one dream, and she bought me something. In another, I had written a book and was on the show to discuss it. In yet another, I was a psychologist, offering my expert opinion. And the last one I can recall as I type this, was a dream in which she appeared at my workplace (at that time) with the late Robert Kennedy (that one really piqued my interest, in terms of wanting to uncover its meaning). So, on some level, Oprah has had special meaning to me and an effect on me and my life, both awake (conscious) and asleep (unconscious).

During the last season of the show, Oprah piqued my interest in her once again. I became inspired by Oprah when she announced her plans to launch the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). She stated that she was moving on to the next chapter in living her best life. With that, she inspired me to want to move on professionally to the next chapter of my life, and to make a great life even better.

I wanted to watch the final show, to see how Oprah would end things. I had a Reiki client scheduled during the time the show aired, so I taped it, to watch later in the day. I have to admit that Oprah has had a knack for making me cry (not the “ugly cry,” mind you, but crying nonetheless); it was always around the wild demonstrations of generosity commonly displayed, the fantastic surprises guests and audience members would receive, that would have have me muttering, “You did it to me again, Oprah….”

Well, this final show was no different. Within the first 15 minutes, there I was, sitting on my sofa, crying away (not the “ugly cry”–just wanted to state that again). I lovingly call this “the Oprah Effect.” Oprah said the most inspiring things from the stage that struck me:

“We are all called. Everybody has a calling. And your job in life is to figure out what that is, and get about the business of doing it. A calling lights you up, and it lets you know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.”

“Each one of you has your own platform. Yours is wherever you are, with your own reach. However small or however large. Wherever you are is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show. And that is where your power lies. And every day and every way, you are showing people exactly who you are, and you’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give, in whatever platform you have.”

“Whatever you are supposed to be doing, carry that forward and don’t waste any more time. Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”

“Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?”

What moved me to tears is that I get to do the work I have been called to do. I have no doubt about it. I have had it reinforced in both dreams and Tarot readings I’ve done for myself time and again to remind me. I had a dream involving Reiki the next morning after my first Reiki Level 2 class, which served as a validation that Reiki was coming into my life to complement what I have been doing. Being in grad school, working toward my MA in Psychology is another step in the work I have been called to do, as evidenced by my dream of being a psychologist-in-training.

I’m in the process of adding yet another dimension to the work I have been called to do. It comes from the same dream that validated my bringing Reiki into my life. I had a man, who I consider to be a teacher and mentor to me (and who radically affected my approach to dream work), interpret the dream for me. His name is Michael Sheridan, and his company is called Aisling, which is based in Ireland (and means “dream” or “vision”). He suggested this piece in the final moments of his recorded reply to me. I will mention it more over the coming months, as it further develops.

As Oprah said, I am “getting about the business of doing it.” And this blog is a part of my platform. This blog has been something that lights me up, and I’m deeply gratified that it has found an audience, that not only read it, but enjoy it. It is just one way that my life speaks for me. And I’m glad that you all are listening, that you are enjoying my own little “talk show.”

It is my sincere hope that, as I get to expand on my calling, that each of you discover your own and get about the business of doing it.

And, lastly, I want to thank Oprah for “the Oprah Effect” she’s had on me.

Love and light,



About James Himm

James Himm Mitchell, the Dreamer and Visionary of LifePlan Coaching & Consulting, LLC, works as an intuitive life coach, with a focus on personal growth and development. His specialties are Dream Decoding, Oracles (Tarot, playing cards, and Lenormand), and Energy Medicine (Reiki), and he uses those modalities coaching individuals to create the tools and develop the strategies that transform their lives.
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