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Oprah Fell and She Got Back Up: A Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the midst of COVID-19
By Brandi Bakewell, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Published April 2, 2020

Brandi Bakewell, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist  (Staff Photo)

It’s so hard for me to believe that exactly a month ago today that I was sitting in a packed audience participating in Oprah’s, “2020 Vision: Your Life In Focus” tour presented by WW at the Forum in Los Angeles, California. It was an amazing day with pure Oprah magic. We collectively danced with Julianne Hough, swayed and rocked to the Gospel music of Tamela Mann, and sat mesmerized by the magnetism of Jennifer Lopez and Oprah on one stage together. However, there was never any doubt as to who was the true star of that event; OPRAH.  Oprah ruled that day as to be expected. She was everything I’d hoped for and more EXCEPT one thing happened unexpectedly, Oprah fell.

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Oprah had just come out and was greeting all of us. She was giving a rundown of the daily schedule when suddenly Oprah was lying on the floor.  Now let me tell you that Oprah’s fall wasn’t just a little trip. She was standing upright one moment and the next she was lying flat out on that stage.  The whole audience seemed to collectively hold their breaths as we waited to see what would happen next. However, in true Oprah fashion, she just yelled out “shoes” and someone came running and removed the high heeled shoes she’d been wearing from the stage. Oprah then got up. She made a few jokes about feeling more comfortable now in her bare feet and dare I even say that she seemed to have an extra swagger in her step. Oprah didn’t miss a beat throughout the show.

Now let me cut to today, March 29, 2020 as I sit typing away. I’m sitting inside my home not only because I’m working but I have little choice now about going outside. I’m following the order from California Governor Gavin Newsom to stay- at -home as the Corona virus aka COVID-19 is gaining momentum and spreading throughout the United States. I’m struggling with the separation from my family, worrying about the health of my parents who while young at heart are in their 70’s, the loss of my work as a Marriage and Family Therapist and daily anxiety about the welfare my young clients who’re isolated at home. I also miss just basic freedoms like going to my gym and stopping to buy a cup of coffee. My day with Oprah feels like a lifetime ago.

Over the past few weeks as the severity and deadly nature of COVID-19 has sunk in, I’ve been wandering past my Oprah workbook lying on my desk. I finally felt compelled this weekend to go back and look through the commitments I made to myself and my wellness in mind, body and spirit via Oprah. My daily meditation practice, daily walk and WW tracking had gone out the window. However, I can’t get out of my mind one major point that Oprah emphasized to us, “You are here.” And then she went on to say, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be.”. Even as I type these words, my mind balks and my internal voice says “Oprah, I don’t want to be here right now”.

I had big plans for 2020 and none of them included me staying in my home for over a month. What about my new exercise routine at Tracy Anderson (I miss you Annie H.), the Anusara yoga training with my yoga instructor, Rachel Grant Jackson, and I how the heck am I supposed to date and find the love of my life while confined inside? This is not the 2020 Vision that I had for myself when I left the Forum on February 29th but somehow this is where I am, right now. I’m trying to make sense of my new normal now as my brief trips to the grocery store are my outing for the week, and while my hands are raw from washing them so frequently, I’m healthy (for now) as are my family and friends. I’m hanging on to my belief in Oprah that she just might know a thing or two about not only surviving but thriving. So, I’m dusting off my Oprah 2020 Vision tour workbook and committing to the concept that this is where I’m supposed to be even though I sometimes feel so low and knocked to the ground, Yes, I had to draw that parallel! Am I going to get up like Oprah and keep going or will I stay lying down? And what about you, what will you do? I can’t wait to find out!

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Categories: Family | Lifestyle | News (Family) | Op-Ed | Opinion
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