It is August 31, 2020 and we are here with Oprah Winfrey and Ilona, at her beautiful estate in the Shenandoah Valley.
O: Hello Ilona. It is such a pleasure and joy to meet you here in your beautiful country home in Virginia. The weather and the views are just stunning!
I: Welcome, Oprah. You have no idea what an incredible joy, gift and honor it is for me to have you here today. It’s been a nearly 25 year old dream to meet you – I used to dream of being an audience participant while you had your TV show, but to think you’re here today – it blows my mind. I just cannot thank you enough for coming today – and for all the inspiration you have provided over all these years, with your show, your books (years ago, your and Bob’s weight loss book was a favorite!) and of course your magazine. You helped sharpen my desire to live my very best life, every day.
O: Thanks for the compliments, Ilona. So, tell me, what made you pick this area of the country as your base?
I: Well, partly it’s because 10 years ago, my husband’s job brought us to the capital area. He loved his job, but I didn’t love the traffic in the area right around DC. As fate would have it, I discovered the Shenandoah Valley as my sanity oasis back then and have had this dream ever since, to have a base out here to live my own purpose and dream.
O: Anything in particular get you there?
I: Well, in 2014, through the invitation of a friend, I learned about the Master Keys Mastermind Alliance. It was the perfect and most amazing training I’ve ever done, and it changed my life forever.
O: How so?
I: Well, the MKMMA helped me drill down my life purpose, and go for it. And ultimately, as you can see, make it happen. I’ve had a passion for healthy, sustainable living since the late 1990s, and eventually that turned into a passion for helping people, and especially women, transform their lives – to create the strongest, healthiest bodies so they could go for their own dreams. Because without optimal health, we can’t really think straight, live well, and create the life of our dreams.
O: Yeah, it’s been fun to read your journey over the last few years – traveling around our beautiful country and even going over to Europe and down to Australia to spread your message on three continents on TV, with your bestselling books and speaking at all kinds of conferences!
I: I tell you the truth, Oprah, it has been one fun ride. It wasn’t always like that, because I was in the usual rat race for quite some time, before I realized, doing the usual 9-5 job wasn’t really for me. Running into the city, running up some high rise to sit in a mostly window-less office, with not very oxygenated air….it was very depleting. But for several years, that’s how I lived and thought I’d have to live forever. So to see my dream of teaching millions how to live and eat healthier come true is – well – the best thing ever.
O: So what changed?
I: Well, I was in a career that wasn’t very fulfilling to me. Once I caught the nutrition bug in 1998, I just didn’t care as much about much else – nutrition, and healthy, sustainable living was my big passion. I know many people are happy in their jobs, and find fulfillment there, but it wasn’t for me. Especially because I realized the doctors don’t always have all the answers we need to create optimal health. My own story is a perfect example. I still remember in 2000, when I went to a homeopath the first time, I sat in his office, in a small cottage style complex of small businesses where you could open the window, something deep inside me said, “wow, what a dream. Have your own business, work in a small office, be able to open the window to get fresh air – and make a big difference in peoples’ lives.” It was one of those moments when a still, small voice spoke from deep inside, that I didn’t really listen to too much back then. Of course, it took another 7 years to realize that and to really embrace that perhaps I wasn’t made for the big, corporate world, but instead, to go out on my own, be my own boss, set my own hours, so I could pursue my passion and help other people transform their health the way I transformed my life.
O: How did that come about?
I: Well, in 1998, I had a bad case of pneumonia, after which I struggled to regain my energy levels. So I had questions. Questions conventional medicine couldn’t answer. Of course CM is often a god-send and a life saver, but certainly not in my case. I ended up having to do my own searching and studies…which ultimately helped me understand how much my health has to do with avoiding toxins, because I happen to be in the quarter of the population that doesn’t do well with detoxification to start with, and with going back to basics, too – having access to healthy, fresh water, air and food. And sadly, in our modern world, that’s not always the easiest thing to do. I also had to do a whole lot of changing my brain and the way my mind works. That’s actually been the most exciting part of my journey – really getting it that our brain is so key to our health, to everything. And by the way – you and Deepak Chopra continue to be instrumental to me in that.
O: Oh really? Can you elaborate?
I: Well, you’d have Deepak on your show talking about how every single thought we have affects something in our bodies, and when we take care of our thoughts, we take care of bodies too. And then, those amazing meditation sessions you and he would do online – incredible. Those really helped change me especially in the early days, and opened my mind to other equally incredible lessons like the Master Keys.
But you know what, it’s getting to be almost lunchtime. Why don’t we see what my natural foods chef is cooking up for us today? I can’t wait for you to try some of our homegrown vegetables. And I promise – it will fit perfectly into your current eating program!
O: Hmmmm that sounds awesome! I’m certainly game for that and we’ll pick up this conversation after lunch.
To be continued….stay tuned for the next section to be published