My husband and I enter an online lottery to win tickets to Oprah's Life Class Live, because we love Oprah and she is coming to our hometown -- NYC. We don't win.
Fast-forward a month later, I'm in a meeting with someone, and he randomly mentions he'd just met Tony Robbins. Suddenly, I remember Oprah's Life Class is in a couple days and Tony Robbins is the guest teacher.
As soon as I leave the meeting, a text arrives from my husband, saying we received tickets to Oprah's class. In my world there are no coincidences. I'm not familiar with Tony Robbins's work. I vaguely remember him coaching Jack Black in Shallow Hal. I believe he might have been the inspiration behind Tom Cruise's character in the movie, Magnolia. And, isn't he the guy who gets people to fire walk? Nevertheless, I am going to see Oprah! Whoever the guest teacher happens to be, I am on board.
The atmosphere of Radio City Music Hall is electric. Oprah is a deity to the predominately female audience. My husband stands out like a tasty hotdog at a hamburger party.
A half hour before the cameras begin to roll, Tony Robbins thunders onto the stage. He's huge, magnetic and loud! His voice booms, "Yes!" To which the audience yells back, "Yes!" He continues to roar, "Yes!" and we continue to shout back, "Yes!" My husband and I are laughing and fist pumping each other while screaming, "Yes!"
The word "Yes" elicits magical properties; it is transformative. When I say "Yes" to life, my world opens up and the possibilities are endless. Reminiscent of Rene Zellweger in the movie, Jerry Maguire, Tony has me at "Yes!" instead of "Hello."
Tony asks if we will try an exercise. Of course, the answer is a resounding, "Yes!" First, greet your neighbors as if you are afraid of rejection. People hunch their shoulders and meekly say, "Hello."
Immediately, the energy in the building deflates as if a pin had punctured a helium balloon. The energy of the ominous "No" enters the room. Uncomfortable silence.
"Now, greet your neighbors as if you are happy to see them." The energy of the room suddenly transforms to excitement, again. We take our seats, happy to be back in the energy of "Yes!"
But Tony isn't finished, yet. "Was that the best greeting you could give?" he bellows. We yell, "Yes!"
Really? I think, "How can I greet people better than that?"
The master motivational coach has just gotten started with his new crop of grasshoppers.
He roars, "You can always do better! This time greet people as if the lives of your loved ones depend on the person liking you."
Wow! The stakes are high. I'm knocking this out of the ballpark. Ready to blast it out... I look at my husband and know I have to bring the love.
I am hugging everyone I can get my hands on. Obviously, his request has the same effect on everyone else. We are laughing, hugging and connecting. The energy of the room is magical.
Collectively, our walls crumble and our hearts open. It is a Love Fest!
This is the guy who has inspired thousands of people to walk on hot coals, including Oprah.
Later, he explains fire walking is a metaphor for facing your fears and summoning your courage to walk towards fear, rather than running in the opposite direction. Brilliant! That's what I'm talking about!
After the show, my husband and I walk through the enchanted garden at Rockefeller Center. The trees sparkle with thousands of tiny blue fairy lights, as the magnificent 30 Rock looms in the background. I hear a man calling to us. He runs up full of excitement. I think he must be a friend of my husband's because of his familiarity. Not the case.
He looks directly into my eyes and whispers "I have something for you."
My husband's expression turns to suspicion. After my evening with Oprah and Tony Robbins, I smile and say, "Yes..." His eyes gleaming, he pulls a bright yellow balloon from his pocket, blows it up and crafts it into a large heart, which he hands to me.
The message appears in many different forms, and yet, is always the same. Say "Yes" to love.