Live your best dayPublished on April 18, 2013

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  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Alexia Naidoo

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

Maybe it was the seemingly endless winter, but I was feeling in a slump when an invitation to "Live Your Best Day" fell into my virtual lap. How could I resist? It was billed as a pre-celebration of Oprah Winfrey's Ottawa visit during her "An Evening With Oprah" tour. The tour is an opportunity for Oprah to share her own story and inspire others to live their best lives.

When Samantha Moonsammy and Lisa Larter heard the celebrity would be in town, they knew they had to put something together. Moonsammy, an Ottawa-based event planner, and Larter, a social media and marketing guru, were ecstatic about the idea. But with only a few short weeks to pull it off, they had to work fast. The result was a sparkling affair at the Brookstreet Hotel with a daylong slate of inspirational speakers.

I didn't really know what to expect, but I went with one goal: to spend the day surrounded by inspiring people. When I arrived, the room already had great energy and was full to capacity with 400 people. Sitting down, I noticed a framed quote of Oprah's in front of me: "Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher." Seemed like I was in the right place.

The speakers were riveting - with stories that spanned from hilarious to heartbreaking. They offered very personal advice on how to be your best self and take steps toward new goals - whether it's improving your health, bettering your finances, or finding ways to contribute at home or abroad. Every one, though, had a very clear message of hope and that through hard work and passion all dreams are possible.

It really was the best kind of day - one that ends with a feeling of renewed enthusiasm, having been engaged by both great ideas and great people. And one for which I am very grateful.

@alexianaidoo




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