The Oprah Effect: 25 Ways to Find Peace, Happiness and Personal Fulfillment in a Post-Oprah Show World

The Oprah Effect: 25 Ways to Find Peace, Happiness and Personal Fulfillment in a Post-Oprah Show World

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497638587
Publisher: Meteor 17
Publication date: 07/01/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 126
Sales rank: 1,084,366
File size: 779 KB

About the Author

Nancy Mehagian is the author of the award-winning culinary memoir Siren’s Feast and The Supernatural Kids Cookbook. She has dedicated her life to creative teaching, heartfelt healing, spirited cooking, and an abundance of adventure. She lives in Southern California with her dogs, Cisco and Buddha. 
Judith A. Proffer is the vice chair of media company Meteor 17, former publisher of LA Weekly, and co-owner of Sun Community Newspapers. She founded Huqua Press in 2010 and cofounded Padaro Press with husband, Spencer Proffer, in 2011. She lives in Southern California with Spencer and their and two dogs.  
Judith A. Proffer is the vice chair of media company Meteor 17, former publisher of LA Weekly, and co-owner of Sun Community Newspapers. She founded Huqua Press in 2010 and cofounded Padaro Press with husband, Spencer Proffer, in 2011. She lives in Southern California with Spencer and their and two dogs. 

Read an Excerpt

25 Lessons

25 Ways to Find Peace, Happiness and Personal Fulfillment in a Post Oprah Show World

By Nancy Mehagian, Judith A. Proffer


Copyright © 2011 Nancy Mehagian and Judith A. Proffer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4976-3858-7




Oprah couldn't have said this enough: every life experience is an opportunity to grow. Not a single human being leaves this planet unscathed. Not one. Even the enviable person who seemingly has the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect partner, the perfect physique, the perfect outlook, the perfect family, the perfect balance of abundance and philanthropy experienced some yuck and muck along the way. They likely still do. Because that's how we grow. And keep growing. Through lessons. Some show up in the form of hardships. Some are cataclysmic personal or professional failures. Take a moment to contemplate how you handle adversity.

Do you panic and crumble and search for blame or are you composed, focused and solution oriented? As you power through these failures, do you become stronger and better equipped to handle what comes next?

And conversely, how do you handle achievement and abundance? Are you cocky and boastful or are you modest and self-effacing? Every life experience, positive or negative, is an opportunity to grow. Remember that. There's a lot of really good stuff that Oprah has taught us, but this is the Holy Grail. It's the secret to a more peaceful and engaged life. When we learn that challenges and successes are all lessons, we tend to embrace them with an understanding that it's a step toward our most realized self and optimum human experience. Oprah learned this early on and used the platform of a television show to connect us to the importance of being aware of how key these lessons are to personal evolution and fulfillment. She taught us that every day we should be asking "what's the lesson here?" Not preening or venting. You should be asking yourself this question several times a day. Because the lessons present themselves that often. Life is a classroom, after all. Some days we feel like petri dishes, a science experiment where things are dumped on us to see how we handle it all. Some days we are exposed to such grand awakenings that we know right there and then a part of us is changed forever,

Oprah seems to have had an antenna attached to her higher self and she would broadcast her knowledge of how key these lessons are to the rapt among us. As the professor of possibilities, she dared us to hitch a ride for the journey of a lifetime. Her classroom was a studio with the greatest show and tell on earth. Her chalkboard was our soul where she left an indelible imprint.

Yes, she guided us toward reading and eating and viewing and thinking and moving and reveling and being. But she kept going back to the lesson. And above all that's what made her so incredibly successful. Honoring the lessons.

Above all Oprah has taught us that looking for the lesson is about learning to dialogue with our inner self or a higher power. Friends and family may gently guide us with insight and perspective on any given matter but the lesson is only truly learned when we have that "aha" moment that connects our dots, practically and spiritually.

When we look for the lesson and find it within, only then do we get a "passing grade" and move on to the next level of emotional and spiritual evolution. Then we'll know success. And we'll be better armored to weather the failures, knowing they are merely stepping stones to our own unique purpose and greatness.

"My peace of mind and their well being remained intact as a result of me heeding my inner voice"

My dog (and sidekick) Huka was three years old and was due for her vaccines. A fourteen pound pug, she is full of sass and sweetness and mirth. One of the great loves of my life. I consider myself to be a mindful guardian and am blessed to be the one responsible for her care and well-being.

On the way to this particular vet appointment seven years ago my head rattled with doubt and fear. "Is it really okay for duplicate vaccines to be administered at once? Is that too much for my little dog? Should I have done more research?" I couldn't stand the thought of anything happening to my Huka. Not on my watch. Not ever. I loved her too much and would never fail her. I Googled "dog vaccinations" and was overwhelmed by conflicting information. Yet my veterinarian, someone I trusted implicitly, had assured me two weeks earlier that it's common practice and is actually less stressful and less invasive for the animal when you "get it over with" and issue the two she needed during one visit. I handed my precious bundle to the vet technician, and Huka didn't even flinch, she trusted me that much to do the right thing. I echoed the discontent rumbling in my stomach: "Is it protocol for her to have more than one vaccination at once?"

Right then and there was a golden opportunity to act on the hunch stirring up inside of me. Instead I listened to – and accepted – the confident reply, "We do it all the time."

Fifteen minutes later a sprightly and sassy Huka was squirming in my embrace. She even tossed a little growl the way of the vet tech as we exited the office. I exhaled. All was good.

Until ten minutes into our drive home, when things went horribly wrong. Huka began to vomit and struggled to maintain consciousness. My world began to crumble as I weaved through Friday afternoon Los Angeles traffic. I bounced between pleading with Huka to hold on and telling her how much I loved her and thanking her for all she brought to our lives through my sobbing, ugly tears. Was this really good-bye? I couldn't believe it. I wasn't going to let myself believe it. I would muster everything I had to fight for her. How could I fail her like this? The waiting room was filled with people, cats, dogs and frustration. The office was behind schedule and an emergency meant all of those waiting would wait even longer. Their scowls gave way to compassion when they saw me awash in fear and vomit. Three veterinarians struggled to save her. And miraculously they did. The consensus was a vet tech inadvertently administered too high of a dosage. It would have been fine for a German Shepherd but it was an overdose for a pug. They kept her overnight, keeping a watchful eye on her to make sure there was no relapse. When I picked her up at 6 a.m. she was wearing a hot pink bandage where the IV was placed. I was wearing a face full of shame. I swear she looked at me with incredible forgiveness as if to say "no worries, just get me home."

The lessons were large. Since that averted tragedy I have never let the voice inside me remain quiet. I learned to trust my instincts regardless of pressure and opinions of others. Huka's mishap not only taught me to follow my instinct without exception, but to move through murky water with a sense of clarity. To take a tough situation and always look for what it is I have ultimately set myself up to learn.

I now know that what often seems like a disaster or a colossal failure in judgment is actually a blessing in disguise.

The incident inspired me to further educate myself about Huka's healthcare by taking an online vet technician course to help prevent any future incidents and all but insure that Huka live a long and healthy life. I learned that community appears in the most surprising of places. The eight or so people in the waiting room that day became my family and Huka's cheerleaders for those two harrowing hours. They stayed with me and comforted me until my husband arrived. Their compassion was extraordinary and something I will long remember.

Two years after the vaccine overdose incident my husband Spencer and I were leashing up Huka and our male pug Quincy for a twilight walk. As I slipped the harness over Quincy's head intuition told me to abort the walk. It was that same uneasy feeling I hadn't paid attention to on my way to the vet two years earlier. I told Spencer that instead of a stroll I just wanted to take the dogs out quickly to do their thing in our fenced backyard. Neighbors told me the next morning that they had seen two coyotes trolling the neighborhood, brazenly walking down our street at the very time we were about to walk the pups. (Coyotes have claimed a fair share of small dogs in my neighborhood, so the news of a sighting is always alarming). My peace of mind and their well being both remained intact as a direct result of heeding my inner voice.

~ J.P.




Each storm is ultimately followed by a blue sky. The seasons are a spiritual and practical compass. Spring awakens and bumps up against summer. Summer melts into fall. Fall gives way to winter. And after the ferocity of a barren winter, spring joyously appears and the cycle repeats itself year after year. Nature is pretty remarkable and pretty powerful. It's as predictable as it is unpredictable. Yes, global warming is mixing things up a bit. That alone is keeping things interesting. And if you take a cue from nature and embrace its unpredictability, you'll be infinitely happier. And you will be renewed.

After all, nature asks us to live in the moment. Actually, it demands it. You have to relinquish some element of control. Perhaps you've planned an event for months, down to every last fabulous detail. And then it rains. And rains. And rains. You're forced right there and then to make decisions having nothing to do with all of your planning. Have you ever been forced to B Plan an indoor picnic? It's pretty wonderful. Talk about living in the moment.

Oprah understands the power of nature. She knows to seek comfort and wonder in the natural world. She invited viewers along on a camping trip to Yosemite with Gayle to encourage a walk in the woods. After she watched the astounding documentary series Planet Earth she talked it up on her show because she said it made her fall profoundly in love with "her Mother Earth." She later narrated the natural history series Life and encouraged us all to see Al Gore's documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth.

Oprah, like many of us, also believes that animals help us to become kinder and gentler people. Her love for her animals is legendary.

She taught us that nature heals. It renews. It offers perspective and insight. It sparks and it surprises. If you don't regularly engage with nature, you're missing out on a huge (and essential) part of the human experience. Watch a sunset. Not just a cursory glance. Watch the whole thing. It's profound. Almost as extraordinary as watching it rise. There's such a powerful quiet to a sunrise, it's filled with all of the possibilities that newness brings. The day will bring life and it will bring death. It may stun and it may offer a comforting predictability. Each day it's there for us, illuminating the possibilities. Even on a cloudy day, the sun shines somewhere. Why shouldn't that shine, even the hidden one, emanate from you? We saw that light day in, day out on Oprah's show.

Oprah also taught us that this Earth is our classroom; that Nature in all its glory allows us breathing space and the means to experience stillness and regeneration. By taking the time to appreciate our natural world, we just might be able to feel the stirrings of our souls and gain new perspective.

Life whispers to us all the time. Sometimes those whispers happen under the shade of an oak tree or through nuzzles from our angels in fur. The whispers are a hello, a reminder and sometimes a demand for action. Nature gives us so much and asks so little in return.

One can find closure knowing the circle of life flows both effortlessly and eternally.

Two sudden, startling and far too young deaths in my family just two months apart had left us all emotionally frail, deeply bereft and reminded in an unavoidable way about the fleeting nature of life.

A month after the second loss, Nancy joined us for a few days at our northern Idaho summer retreat. Remembering that Nancy has had a lifelong thing for wolves I planned to take her to visit Wolf People in Cocolalla, less than an hour away from our home. The wolf sanctuary offers visitors a rare opportunity to interact with a socialized adult wolf "ambassador" in a pen adjacent to their shop and information center. For a nominal fee guests can caravan into the hills to meet a dozen more wolves, safely and (seemingly) contentedly living their lives away from gun-toting predators.

When I phoned to reserve a space on the sanctuary tour I was told to come early to play with the babies.

The babies?

Two packs of wolf cubs, one six-weeks-old, the other eight, were on the premises for a few hours each day. I couldn't have imagined or orchestrated a more life changing experience on that June day.

We arrived nearly an hour before our designated time, not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to see the cubs. I assumed we would be escorted to the pens, a wolf cub placed gingerly in our arms for a fleeting photo op and then we'd be swept off to the hills to meet the adults. Years ago I had attended a big event for the release of Disney's "The Lion King" and was among the lucky few who held a small lion cub that evening. I wanted to cuddle with the sweet creature for hours but my time with the lion cub was capped at two minutes. I was prepared for a similar experience with a baby wolf. And would have been content. Instead Nancy and I – just the two of us - were ushered into a pen with five playful, rambunctious, fanged, silly, soft, tall-eared, awkward and simply adorable creatures. They nipped at our toes, they played with our clothes, they cuddled with us and we watched in utter amazement as they "wolfed" down their breakfast in a feeding frenzy.

We played with them for nearly an hour. We chased them. They chased us. We were dusty and dirty and disheveled and it was the best play date ever for two grown women and five wolf babies. Their mother had rejected them shortly after birth so they seemed to enjoy the attention as much as we did. They were the epitome of life. It was a profound reminder that for every loss, there is also a birth. Life is always renewed.

This excursion was intended as a gift for my girlfriend yet this remarkable encounter with nature gave way to something so much more for me. It was a source of renewal in the most unexpected place. I felt a palpable shift away from grief and mourning. I felt life. I had held it in my arms in such a tangible way. Nature in its purest form was the catalyst to healing. One can find comfort and closure knowing the circle of life flows effortlessly and eternally.

~ J.P.




Who really cares about the nature of Oprah and Gayle's friendship? Never has a friendship been heralded or scrutinized as much as the sparkling intimacy between these two forces of nature. And we repeat, who cares? She may be doing it without marriage. She may be doing it without children. But Oprah's creed is simple when it comes to the people she cherishes in her world: don't do life alone. Want more for others than you want for yourself. And above all, be the friend you want to have.

When Oprah speaks of her best girlfriend she does so with wistfulness, gratitude and admirable affection. Her eyes mist. Her heart swells. And this is the best part of all: Oprah maintains that Gayle is even happier for her success than she is for herself. We believe her. We buy into it because that's the kind of friend we strive to be—supportive and joyous without envy. What an incredibly healthy way to navigate life—to want the very best for your friend. To not display a twinge of jealousy. To be so incredibly openhearted and balanced that sharing a friend's joy is just as fulfilling, if not more so, as your own.

Yes, many of Oprah and Gayle's adventures captured on camera are madcap and filled with torrents of laughter. They are the Lucy and Ethel of their generation. They spar. They crack each other up. They challenge each other. Yet a friendship this deep and authentic requires a foundation of loyalty, commitment, forgiveness and acceptance far away from audiences and sound bites. It requires nurturing and sensitivity and mindfulness. It requires time and a certain degree of selflessness. All friendships do.


Excerpted from 25 Lessons by Nancy Mehagian, Judith A. Proffer. Copyright © 2011 Nancy Mehagian and Judith A. Proffer. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Oprah Effect: 25 Ways to Find Peace, Happiness and Personal Fulfillment in a Post-Oprah Show World 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book inspirational and very moving. Oprah has made a huge effect on our culture but to read how it very directly affected 2 individuals was moving. I laughed and cried in different places. I related to some experiences. But overall this book inspired me! Be true to yourself, live a healthy and God full life!