I found this book in the audio section of the library and in spite of being an Oprah fan (say what you will), I had never heard of this book or this project. Have you? Well, I guess I should tell you the deal. Robyn Okrant is a writer, performer, director and yoga teacher who decided to devote an entire year to following all of the guidance/suggestions that Oprah makes on her show and in her magazine. Here are her words on the why of the whole project:
“I believe Oprah to be the single most influential person in the media today – especially when it comes to impacting women. And many of the women in my life were judging themselves against the high bar Winfrey sets for her audience. I’ve always been skeptical whether it’s truly possible to find happiness when attempting to live up to someone else’s ideal, and yet, I realized that I too would look to television, magazine racks, and the Internet to “fix” myself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Because Oprah, in my opinion, is at the epicenter of the self-help and personal growth movement in the media, I thought I’d put her advice to the test — to see if following every suggestion, every “must,” every “gotta,” would actually lead me to my “best life.”
I also wondered if the costs – time and money – would be worth the effects of Living Oprah. Self-help is a thriving, growing industry and I wanted to weigh the price of committing to Winfrey’s lifestyle suggestions (which are completely holistic – from relationship advice, to fashion, to spirituality, to diet, to entertainment, to consumerism, and beyond) against the results. I was equally doubtful and hopeful about the outcome.
I allowed myself to be open to any and all possibilities…”
I really enjoyed the book. I listened to it right when Toad went back to work and we were eagerly awaiting Bean. It was the perfect distraction. I’m always eager to find a good non-fiction book and as one of those people who literally grew up with Oprah, this book was right up my alley. Although I’ve probably watched 90% of her shows and I have a subscription to her magazine, I don’t think that the woman walks on water. I think that she is a woman with alot of power who has done an unbelievable amount of good in the world, but she is still a woman. A person. I mention this bc I have been conflicted about my (how telling is THIS word) relationship with Oprah. I really get some of the frustration that people have her as a powerful public figure. But….. again I think that the good work she does outweighs any of the other stuff.
The point of this long ramble is to say that I’m glad I read the book. Robyn Okrant helped me sort out a bit more of this tension btw power and good works. And hey…it’s just in time for Oprah’s Farewell season.