Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ode To Miss O: My Deep (Yet Shallow) Relationship With Oprah

Love this pic of Miss O in one of our favorite colors
So exactly seven days into the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, I am compelled to write my ode to Miss O. You see,  throughout the years (and more than 3 times in the last week) people have connected us to one another.

Perhaps, it is because we are both charismatic, BOLD black women who have the confidence to champion what we believe in, albeit in vastly different arenas.

Or maybe it's because we both act courageously from a similar place of unbrandished vulnerability that only people with "our story" can pull off.

I love Oprah, but for very different reasons than the average person. Not because of her billions, her shows or her influence but for what she has meant to me almost my entire life.

Oprah is fuel in the tank of every colored girl who has dreams of changing the world.

I, too,  will change the world like you Miss Oprah Winfrey. I am leading a movement that will revolutionize relationships on this planet. And because of these three things you taught me through your life - it will come to pass.

Transformational Beauty Comes in All Shapes, Sizes and Colors

I had just started 6th grade when she appeared on the scene in Chicago. It was awe inspiring to see her host that show with Rob Somebody (can't for the life of me remember his last name but he was pretty popular before Oprah joined him in the fall of 1983). I loved it that someone who looked like me - wide nose and big lips - right there on TV. I could go on and on about how she evolved but I can tell you this. She finally settled into who she was and she loves herself. I've achieved that, too and with much less resources I might add - inspired all the time by Miss O.

Feel Deeply and You Win

Oprah wrote the book on how to "feel" what the people around you feel. I remember the first time I saw her reach across the couch and comfort someone. Tears. Genuine heartfelt tears have flowed and I was always uncomfortable because until recently - I was never a "crying woman". I discovered in my mid 20s that I was not "feeling" what was coming my way. After my second child  (partially hormonal changes) and a host of unfortunate events - there was a break through and I was able to feel deeply. How liberating! This insight is fueling my movement to help people pro-actively care for their relationships - wouldn't have happened had I not learned to feel deeply and Miss O had a hand in validating that for me.

Stay True To You, Even as You Change

Let's face it - the whole world has watched Oprah as she's evolved from small town local TV personality to the Queen of the Airwaves. Lots of ups and plenty of downs - yet through it all she is still Oprah. Perhaps, you all can't see it but for those of  us that have been tuned in from the beginning - you hear her voice and see her actions and she is still that curious, intelligent woman who enjoys people that we collectively fell in love with in 1984. She is still as compassionate as ever. She's still enamored by celebrities. Oprah is still humble and grateful for the adoration after all these years.

Thanks Miss O for putting black women on top of the map!

I'll close with a Five Denise/Oprah Fun Facts

1. Even though we look nothing alike, I have been called Oprah in public at events more than 5 times.

2. I own a Jil Sander shirt from "Oprah's Closet" from her O Store in the early days when they let you try items on before your bought them - not sure if she actually wore it but I pretend she did every time I put it on.

3. "Our story"  like many people we have shared our painful experiences and used them for good.

4. A cousin of mine has a son with someone who works for Harpo and it has NEVER helped me get tickets.

5. I've been to more show tapings than I can remember and plan to get to one this year as well! My favorite was a Ricky Martin taping in 2007. I shook my bon-bon something fierce.

Two questions - who is your Miss O?

What is your favorite Oprah memory?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Simple Phrase - Now Apply It To People

Today, I wore a bracelet similar to the one you see here. No particular reason, mainly because the beads in my bracelet matched the scarf I was wearing today.

Have faith. Expect miracles.

So simple a phrase, imagine if we applied it to our dealings with the people in our lives.

We live in a world that is quite different than that. Instead of "Have Faith," it's  more like, "Be suspicious of everyone," or  "Trust no one."

Instead of “Expect miracles,”  it's more like, “don't expect anything” or “expect the worst.”

I say we take a new stance. Let's all, for few days to start -at least, change the above phrase and live it out like this:

“Have faith in others.  Expect miracles in your interactions with others.”

 Are you with me?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

3 Words For You When Relationships Change

Radial tunnel tenderness is what I've been suffering from in my right (and dominant) arm. I love this graphic.

Since July 14, 2010, I've had a different relationship with my right arm. Before, my right arm and I were like peanut butter and jelly. 

Abbott and Costello. 

Tom and Jerry?

All kidding aside, we were very close. We did everything together. Now, after nine weeks of doctors appointments and therapy visits, we still don't know exactly what's going on my arm. But what we do know is that I can't type with it. I can't lift anything more than 3 pounds. I can't even enjoy a cup of coffee as I drive to work anymore. However, we still have to live with one another - just on different terms now.

Have you ever had something like that happen to you in a relationship in your life? You know the story. One day, you're doing life and there are no issues; no sign of trouble. Then suddenly everything changes. Perhaps you'd seen the changes coming but did not adjust to them. Or most likely you didn't see the changes at all, they just happened and one day it was apparent. Life in this relationship was different and there's really nothing you can do about it. I've got just three bits of advice for you when this happens.


It is so easy to try and pretend that things have not changed. That is really the toughest route when relating with others. Sometimes just saying out loud that things have changed makes a difference. Acknowledgment also keeps you from living in denial too long.


Recognizing the change is always the first step but accepting the change has to follow immediately. Accepting the change puts you in a position to do things differently. Acceptance gives you the opportunity to look at the situation thru a fresh pair of eyes. 


This one may take you by surprise. But it shouldn't. I say accelerate, because that's exactly what I've had to do in the new era of my relationship with my right arm. I had to find new and better ways to live with the arm I have. In fact, this post is 100% brought to you by my favorite new toy, MacSpeech Dictate software. Not typing is not an option for me. I make my living through documents and communication.

Life changes, relationships change. How you deal with those changes is up to you.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life Instructions + 1

I stumbled upon this graphic yesterday and I loved it.

It is simple and on point.

I'd just like to add one instruction...

CHERISH others.

That's right.

It's not enough just to say "Dont' hurt people". We have come to a place in time where we have to do more than the minimum in our relationships with others - we must do the maximum.

Dictionary says "Cherish means to hold or treat as dear. To care for or nurture" It is also a verb so it can not be handled passively - you have to actively cherish others. It is also not a one-time deal - you must do it repeatedly for it to stick.

Be sure and cherish those you do life with today!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Name, New Look, Same Authentic Content

Our transformation is complete!

We are launching the official web home for Relationships Matter Now later this week.

In conjunction with that - we are re-branding Authenticity Are You Game, my personal blog to Relationships Matter Now.

I will not change the content or focus - I still intend on revolutionize relationships on planet Earth - one relationship at a time and chronicle my personal journey of doing so.

Over time, we will expand our relationship related blogs and invite guest bloggers to contribute.

In the meantime - hang on and give us feedback because we have hit a new era in the journey and we want you with us every step of the way.