Written by. Chalise Macklin
The Essence Festival lived up to all the hype once again. The fest delivered surprise speakers, celebrity appearances, and high energy performances. Mariah Carey made her Essence Fest debut, Misty Copeland became emotional while talking about the late Prince, Reverend Al Sharpton delivered a moving speech about the importance of voting and being proud of your heritage, but it was Oprah Winfrey who stole the show day 2 on the Essence Empowerment Stage.
It was her first time speaking at the annual event that takes place in New Orleans. She replaced Iyanla Vanzant who was scheduled as the keynote speaker during day 2 of the fest (Saturday), but a medical emergency caused her to cancel her appearance. She did not want to let the attendees down, so she asked Lady O to take her place. As one of the attendees, I was thrilled to see one of my journalism idols and so was the packed crowd. As she graced the stage she asked, “Essence, what took me so long?” Then she proceeded by reciting a few lines from Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” before touching on topics such as surrendering your desires and dreams to God, finding your purpose, and intentions.“This is what I know for sure, you don’t get what you wish for, you don’t even get what you hope for. “You get what you believe,” said Oprah.
She pointed out her journey as she auditioned and waited to find out if she received the role of “Sophia” in The Color Purple. As she discussed the period of waiting for a call back, she explained how difficult it was and she had to surrender to God. “The magic is to surrender to God’s dream for you. Quit fighting and pushing against and disallowing against and stop trying to tell the Creator what you’re supposed to do. Get still and know that his (God) dream is for you.” She also discussed ending the award winning Oprah Winfrey Show, and starting OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), and the intent of the programing on her network.
“Before you think about the thing, you have an intention about the thing. The intention in which you give determines the outcome. My intention to live to the highest calling and be pressed to the mark of the highest calling,” said Winfrey.
Arguably, one of the most important points she made was the importance of your energy.
“The energy of what you do, what you say and the energy of who you are goes out into the world, your home and into your relationships and that energy is always coming back to you. You’re responsible for the energy you put out into the world.” Oprah said. Just as she does on Oprah’s Lifeclass, she delivered poignant advice that is not only thought provoking, but can change the way you think and ultimately lead you down a better path that ends with your dreams coming true.