Alright, so I’m going to skip right to one of the very best moments of 2014 for me because this was my turning point. It is what inspired me to start thinking BIG – and to never look back.
So, you’re probably wondering who this rich, influential mystery woman is that I met with.
Well, it was none other than Oprah Winfrey!
Wow, what a moment…
Yes, THE Oprah Winfrey. And I met her at her life-changing “Life You Want” seminar. At the time, I didn’t quite know what I was signing up for, but boy, was I glad I did!
A shot of Oprah from the Seminar
One of the things I love most about Oprah – the woman AND the company – is how generous she is with her wisdom. She’s a phenomenal teacher and her passion for sharing information is truly contagious. She’s RICH in knowledge & her passion for sharing, which I find so inspiring.
So, in the spirit of sharing, I’d like to share with you the biggest lessons I learned at her event so I can empower you to make this your best year yet.
Great. Let’s get started…
“What have you been called to do?”
See, each one of us is called to make an impact in the world in a unique way.
According to geneticists, we are 99.99% the same. But, it is our 0.001% difference that makes us unique. And it’s your duty to share your uniqueness with the world in the way that only you can.
I can still hear her voice, urgently calling us to tap into our gifts. She said that she attributes much of her success for simply honoring her gifts. And by listening to those small whispers and ultimately relying on her intuition, spirit and spirituality.
What are your unique gifts?
I know one of my gifts is my love and passion for home decorating, and I’m guessing that it is probably one of yours, too.
Even when I think I’m so sick of looking at home décor material, a design magazine will appear on my desk and I can’t wait to read it!
Can you relate?
Seriously, I never tire of hearing about your projects, what your building, working on, painting, decorating and so forth!
In fact, it cuts through my heart like a knife when someone tells me they aren’t happy with their home, or that they hate the master bedroom set they’ve had for 25 years.
To go into your bedroom and feel frustration – that’s not what I want for you!
Your home is a part of your journey – whatever that home may be. Whether it be a room, a house, or a mega mansion – all of it is a part of your life experience.
So, slow down, and treat your journey as you would any other journey – carefully, with a map, with a vision, and ultimately, a journey that’s individually yours.
“Okay, Amitha, that’s easy for you to say…but I don’t want to spend years on my home.”
Fair enough. I get it. We’d all love to snap our fingers and transform our space into what we see in those gorgeous glossy catalogs.
But how boring would it be if we all had the exact same replica from those exact same catalog pages?
Boring, boring, borriinnggg…
Remember, you are unique. You are NOT a cookie cutter catalog and your home should not be either!
It goes back to that question, who are you and what do you dream for yourself and your family?
So here’s my mantra: Let your home be a reflection of you, to be a mirror of your life’s journey, be there to inspire you and remind you of your journey.
And I adopt that mantra even in times like these when my home is a huge mess! Seriously, there’s no power and no plumbing. But I still LOVE my home.
What’s my secret?
I haven’t rushed into anything.
My hubby and I have really dug deep to determine the types of objects we love to have in our home all the time. And we summon the courage to do things that aren’t catalog and mainstream – like an entire library painted in the slightest hue of blue.
We also find pieces on almost every trip we ever go on, and mix and match antiques, vintage, old and new so each room is a flashback of beautiful memories.
And guess what? You can easily do the same!
Just have the courage to show up in your home – and by “show up”, I mean show up with your art, your fabrics, your colors, your desires and even your wildest dreams.
In the seminar, Oprah asked us to create a pie chart with all the pieces of the pie that made up our lives. In one of those pieces, she drew in a sliver for HOME. So don’t underestimate how important and valuable this little piece of the pie can be.
This year, I challenge you to design and dream about your home with intention.
Here’s an easy way to inject your unique personality into your home:
Don’t just hop in the car driving around looking for inspiration – yes, this can help move the process along, but true, authentic inspiration comes from your own intention.
Start with these questions:
As you answer each question, don’t be afraid to let your imagination take you to unknown territory. This is where true inspiration is born. And don’t forget to dream BIG. This is not the time to play small and regurgitate what you’ve seen in the catalogs and online.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong design. Of course, there are design principles to help you along the way, but don’t eliminate possibilities just because you haven’t seen them in a mainstream mag.
A great example of this is in my boys’ rooms: We have two little boys, and often, mainstream magazines re-hash the same type of design for young boys and girls. However, I’m going to go against the traditional blue boys’ rooms, and decorate their rooms in reds, yellows, animals, chinoiserie, maps, antiques, vintage, books, linen textures, rugs, wallpapers, and more.
Why? I want them to have a room where they can let their imagination roam. A room that is whimsical and fantasmical. I want it to be inspired by classism, travel and innovation, so they can dream BIG!
“Use your unique gifts to serve MORE and make a BIG impact…”
Your unique gifts are what allow you to think differently. It is this out-of-the-box thinking that helps you to make a lasting impact on the lives of others.
As you know, VA supports several charities throughout the year, but this year, I want to do it BIG.
I’m dreaming up ways to tap into our unique gifts at VA, and our love for all things home décor, to help others create the home of their dreams.
How can you use your purpose and gifts to serve more?
“Things don’t always go according to plan…”
Isn’t that the truth?
Oprah opened up about her failed plans and obstacles. As a business owner, I could absolutely relate.
On any given day, we can get a piece of news that turns our carefully laid out plans upside down. It could be that a team member we just spent 8 weeks training has left or doesn’t live up to the company’s standards and gives you that bad feeling in your stomach. Or, it could be that a vendor just pulled out, and so forth.
In the past, I would be devastated – in tears, even. But I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason. Often, difficult situations lead to better results, better relationships, better connections and better dreams!
At VA, we felt the pain of outcomes that didn’t turn out as expected only to turn the corner and hire someone, meet someone, add a new vendor or event that astounded us and exceeded any dreams or outcomes we could have ever imagined!
So, I challenge you to think about how you can apply Oprah’s lessons to your life this year.
How can you make this your best year ever?
If you’ve taken the time to read this entire blog post, please take a minute and share how you will make this your best year in your home.
And most of all, I challenge you to quit playing small and dream BIG – in your career, your relationships, and of course, your home.
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