I’m a bit of a fangirl for Oprah.

That’s my confession, just between us. Now you have to understand, I have a deep and abiding love for the woman.  I grew up watching Phil Donohue and then later Oprah, after school during the 4-5 pm time slot. As an impressionable teenager, long before Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, they introduced me to issues and ideas that were not discussed around my dinner table.  Issues like cultural racism, gay marriage, the aftermath of childhood sexual abuse, and transgendered families.  (Not to mention celebrity interviews, makeovers, Oprah’s favourite things, and car giveaways!) For a kid who grew up in a family with no religious practice, her show’s “Remembering Your Spirit” segment was my first introduction to the idea that I had a soul.

Next month it will be ten years since Ms. Oprah Winfrey visited my hometown and thousands of people paid hundreds of dollars to hear her speak at the local hockey stadium.  It was a big deal.  My sister, mother, and I were thrilled to be in attendance.

I often think about one of the first things she said in her speech that night. She said that each of us is a painter, and every day we get to choose what we want to paint on the canvas of our lives.  While she said these words, on the jumbo video screen behind her, various close-up images of paintbrushes laying colourful paint on canvases were displayed.

Early in the morning, when I sit with my journal at the table that overlooks my front garden, I replay those same images in my mind as I ask myself “What experience do I want to create for myself today?”.  “What will I choose to paint on the canvas of my life today?”.

I love the ideas that are encompassed in these questions.  

  • We are all artists.
  • We get to choose our life.
  • Every day we receive a fresh, new, blank canvas.
  • We get to paint with all the colours of the rainbow:  the light and the dark.
  • Living our life is an act of creation.
  • Yesterday’s choices do not determine today’s choices.
  • Living is an art.

If you don’t have a morning journaling routine, I’d like to invite you to try it.  What paint will you apply to your canvas today?

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