Idol Chatter

oprahpicforic0808.jpgIt’s no secret (ha! I am already making puns) that Oprah Winfrey is many an American’s spiritual guide. There is even a book, “The Gospel According To Oprah” by Marcia Z. Nelson, that “praises Oprah for using her entertainment pulpit to promote such positive spiritual values as gratitude, empathy, forgiveness and self-examination.” And, earlier this year, my fellow Idol Chatter blogger Todd Havens even followed Oprah’s “The New Earth” web event, taking almost all of her weekly classes that centered around the chapters of Eckhart Tolle’s best-selling book of the same name.
But what would it be like to literally live as if Oprah was your spiritual guide? Your ultimate guru? What if you followed her advice to the letter?

Ask Robyn Okrant, a yoga teacher from Chicago, who is eight months into her year-long commitment to do just this–and blog about it (and ideally then write a book about it, of course.) In the New York Times article, “Life in the Time of Oprah,” about Okrant’s effort to live 2008 according to Oprah, reporter Jessica Grose explains:
“Ms. Okrant…watches ‘Oprah’ every day and reads the monthly magazine cover to cover. She follows the commandments of Ms. Winfrey with an exacting attention. If Oprah were to tell viewers that they must see “27 Dresses,” “I go do it,” Ms. Okrant said…”With some of the things, like the clothes, in the beginning I was like, ‘How dare she tell me what to wear! I’m an individual!’ Ms. Okrant said. ‘But recently, when I went shopping with my mom, I was really excited to fulfill some of the rules. I felt kind of proud of myself. It takes a huge amount of pressure off to be handed a spiritual path.’…There’s almost nothing Ms. Okrant doesn’t consult Oprah about…Ms. Okrant says she embarked on the project because she saw many women believing that every word of Ms. Winfrey’s was gospel. She hoped to learn why her words carried such weight, even when they were contradictory at times. In the show’s celebrated ‘Favorite Things’ episodes, the audience is showered with stainless steel refrigerators and flat screen television sets. Yet, against these displays of materialism, Ms. Winfrey also freely dispenses spiritual advice.”
How’s that for devotion?
Oprah-Winfrey at

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