Oprah Winfrey was one of the leading speakers at this weekend’s first ever Essence Fest in New Orleans, and the mogul gave a speech full of hope and advice for the predominantly female, African-American audience. Imploring the room to allow themselves to believe in the possibility of their dreams, Oprah remembered a specific dream of her own that came true: Her trees. She said: “I used to dream the dream driving through the white people’s neighborhoods. You’d see their fancy houses. Sometimes they had gates, but all of them had trees. I thought, ‘Oh, rich people have trees. Some people want pocketbooks and cars, but I want me some trees.’” A few years ago, she remembers, “I was sitting in my kitchen window, making coffee in the morning and I saw the six trees. I was making the coffee. I saw the six trees. I went out on the porch to actually count the six trees, and this is what I noticed: That I could dream the six, but beyond the six trees in my kitchen window are 3,687 trees.” How does she know? “Because,” Oprah says, “I had them counted.” “I dreamed the six. That was as much as my small mind and my imagination can see. I dreamed the six, but God can see beyond the six,” she explained. Watch Oprah’s words on trees above, and read other moments from her speech, courtesy of the Times-Picayune, below.
I am living the dream. And I want you to live the dream because I’m not living the dream because I’m special. I’m living the dream because I was obedient to the call of the dream. I want you to leave here today thinking about what is the dream for you? What is God’s dream for you? What does the creator’s dream hold for you? So often we spend our lives hoping and wishing and hoping and wishing and desiring things. This is what I know for sure: You don’t get what you hope for. You don’t get get what you wish for. You get what you believe.
When you’ve done everything you can do, you don’t just have to stand. When you’ve prayed and … wanted and dreamed and held on and believed and got turned down and turned back and turned around, it taught me when you’ve done everything you can do, Surrender all. Surrender all.
You have no power over any territory other than your own, but you are the master of that. You get to be the captain of your own soul and if you just manage that, if you just took care of your territory, all the glorious, glorious, glorious wondrous opportunities and possibilities are waiting for you. The question is, what are you resisting?
Your life is big. Your life is huge, and we spend so much time wanting to be in somebody else’s life, and you don’t get honored, you don’t get revered, you don’t get celebrated wanting what somebody else has.
For everything there is an equal and opposite reaction. … It means no matter what you do, what you say, the energy of who you are is going out into the world, into your home, into your relationships and that energy is always coming back to you. You are responsible for the energy that you are putting out into the world because that very energy — bam! —is coming right back to you every single time, whether you believe it or not, because it is law. It is law.
The key, the secret, the magic is to surrender to God’s dream for you.