“Oprah Winfrey Saves Woman From Drowning” is one of those headlines that would get your attention! It’s a true story and the funny part is that Oprah Winfrey does not even know it happened!
When I was living in San Francisco I was learning to surf at the stunning, yet dangerous, Ocean Beach. That year the rip tides were very strong and eight people had already died. Since I thought of myself as an “expert” swimmer I left my group and was now just swimming alone watching the stunning sunset. Everyone thought I had left so I was basically on my own. The reason I thought I was an “expert” was because I had been certified as lifeguard in a little lake called Centennial Beach in Hudson, MA. If you knew that lake you would still be laughing at how ridiculous my level of “expertise” was because it’s no match for the mighty Pacific Ocean! This is an example of EGO getting in the way and putting me in a life-threatening situation. But I digress…
So I was loving watching the magnificent sunset taking it all in fully enjoying every moment. When the sun set (it was still light out) I started swimming to shore. Now, it’s important to know that I’m barely in water over my head so I was completely unaware of what huge life experience I was about to go through. I swam and swam and swam and swam and after a while noticed I was not moving at all! WHAT THE….! Then came the first of many powerful waves, seemingly out of nowhere, that throw me around like a rag doll. My mind tells me to dive at the incoming waves but I have already swallowed so much cold salt water and feel such a lack of breath that I don’t want to go under the water. SIDEBAR: By diving directly into the wave it helps you CUT THROUGH it. This action shifts the energy from the wave having the ability to throw you around to giving YOU the power to get through it – get the life analogy? Anyone???? I actually just got it now that I’m writing it! VERY COOL! )
I panic. Can’t breathe. Don’t dive. Get thrown around. Swallow more water. Totally lose my sense of direction. Panic more. Swallow more….a voice inside me “says” CALL FOR HELP and immediately it’s met by the voice of what I can only imagine is my ego. “YOU WILL NOT CALL FOR HELP! HOW EMBARRASSING THAT YOU ARE A CERTIFIED LIFE GUARD AND YOU ARE WANT TO CALL FOR HELP! WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY?” My two voices start battling it out and at the same time my life starts flashing before me. I think about my mom and my family and how they will get the news. At the time I had very strong goals and they all started flashing before my mind in middle of my disorientation, water swallowing and two opposing voices hashing it out. When I got to the realization that I was not going accomplish my goal of being a guest on the OPRAH SHOW I started screaming. I have no idea where it came from. I just started screaming in rage, sadness, hopelessness. When I did that all the other voices stopped. My screaming attracted the attention of two sufers who paddled over, put me on one of their boards and saved my life.
Had it not been for the energy that is Oprah Winfrey I would not be here right now. OPRAH truly saved me from drowning by simply showing up in her life! She has been a powerful mentor to me for decades. Part of my journey involves shooting to be on her show. This near-drowning event happened close to 15 years ago so it’s safe to say that I have not taken the most direct path but sometimes courage takes time to develop. Just like in the movie RUDY, he believed in his dreams so much that he cut through everything (all his “waves”) and against all the odds lived to see his passion come true. Oprah is an example of how others benefit when you unleash your real self to the world. It has taken me my whole life to get to this point and I thank you for being on this journey with me, in whatever way you come to participate! Remember that life if all about playing, learning, loving, and letting go!
Great big hugs to you!
PS Tomorrow is my second Oprah influence story. Share it with others so that others can benefit from the lessons of Butterflymoms.