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I'm Oprah Winfrey, welcome to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast, I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us. Starts right now, you know, in all of the years of doing the Oprah show.
There were many days that I sat in my chair across from one or two or five or six or seven people, and I would be so frustrated because. I just wanted to shake people sometimes and say, why didn't you pay attention to your life? I said on the show, probably the producers tell me that they counted thirty three times. But I know I thought it at least a thousand times. I would say listening to your life as it whispers to you first so that it does not have to knock you upside the head with a brick or come crashing down on you as a brick wall is one of the greatest principles of life because there are many things that happen in life that are beyond our control.
Natural disasters, death. Unexplained events, but there are also many, many, many things in life which we can control and become out of control because you're just not paying attention, you are sleepwalking through your life. And I have seen this so many times on this show, I wanted to take the guests and go to Judo's, pay attention.
So this is what I've learned and how I've explained it to myself.
Life whispers to you all the time, your life is speaking to you all around from the time you wake up in the morning and every single experience that's coming into your personal space, into your physical space, all of those experiences are speaking to you. They're telling you something about your life and about your circumstances. It whispers. And if you don't get the whisper, the whisper gets louder. If you don't get the whisper, when it gets louder, it gets.
I call it like a little pebble, like a little thump upside your head. When I was a kid, if I was doing something my grandmother didn't like, she just turn around and thump me. She wouldn't even look at me. She'd just give me a thump. And I know that's that's my cue to stop it. Or you were going to get worse. The whispers, the message, the pebble or the thump upside the head. Usually it's gone into a problem.
You don't pay attention to the problem. The problem becomes a brick upside your head. The brick upside your head is a crisis. You don't pay attention to the brick upside your head. The crisis turns into a disaster and the whole house brick wall comes falling down. Jaycee Dugard was a young girl who was kidnapped at 11 years old and missing for 18 years, 60 times. Parole officers came to the house where she was being held captive, 60 separate visits they made to that house.
And nobody visiting that house at no time felt the energy of that household or cared to look 30 feet outside to the backyard and notice that a little girl was living there, a little girl who would become a woman who was raising two daughters there. And it wasn't until two women on the Berkeley campus were paid a visit by the kidnapper that all of their instincts went off. They heard the whispers, they felt the whispers, and they did something about it.
This is a police officer, Allison Jacobs, and police specialist Lisa Campbell from the University of California, Berkeley. So I understand that you, Lisa, met him first. Yes, I worked as a special events coordinator at the University of California Berkeley Police Department. So he came in wanting to host an event on campus and he says, you're going to love this. I need to talk to you. I've got something that you the entire world is going to want to know.
OK, so this is an unexpected me. It's an unexpected, unplanned meeting. I said, OK, so what is it about how does this relate to the University of California? He says, well, the FBI is involved. Everybody is going to want to know it's God's desire and it's God's purpose. And while he's talking, I happen to just turn it slightly. And I see the two young girls, they were standing on the outdraw. And how young do they appear to be to you?
Between 11 and 15. And I look over at the girls, as I said, well, whose children are these? And he says they're mine. So I said, hey, girls, how are you? Come on in. And they of just kind of stay propped. So he set it up so that he would create the distraction and they were just there, in my view. And so I looked at him and I look at the girls and he's going on and on and he's extremely animated.
And they are not they are actually it's the non-verbal. So the girls appear to be what, robotic to you or they were beautiful. They were pretty girls, but they just weren't animated. They weren't interactive. It was a nonverbal communication. It was just as though they were props. And they were talking about did that send off a red flag or a yellow flag of yellow? Just what's happening here. So what's happening is so you set up another appointment for the next day.
And then what? I went to Alice in and asked her if she could, and I told her what I had. I said, Ali, this is this guy is in my office. He's got these two young girls. Something's not right. So I go to the dispatch and I have them run his name and she prints out this rap sheet. Longer than I could imagine that he was on parole for rape and that he was a sex registrant and I was like, oh, OK, should as a sex offender.
Right. Right. So he's standing in front of Lisa's desk. The younger 11 year old is sitting down right in front of me and the 15 year old is standing at his side. So I'm sitting down and Lisa's listening to him and I'm looking at the 11 year old who is staring at me, unlike any other stare I've ever had at my child in my life. Now she's looking at me, just smiling, smiling, weird smile with her, like staring past me almost.
Because when you look into somebody's eyes, you can usually tell what their eyes are saying and they're very animated with their eyes, nonverbal communication. I'm not getting any kind of read from her at all. So I was kind of put back, which is not unusual for me in that I felt uncomfortable with this 11 year old staring at me. So then did you decide to have a conversation with the girls? I noticed that the 11 year old had this bump on her eye.
So I'm thinking, OK, maybe it's some sort of child abuse going on. So I asked her, what's wrong with your eye there? What happened? And she says, really robotic. It's a birth defect, it's inoperable. And I'll have it for the rest of my life. And I, I kind of felt taken aback. Oh, and then I feel uncomfortable. So it wasn't a normal response that you would get from a child. I'm looking at Lisa and I said, what did we get ourselves into?
Because there's something going on. What do we do? Something's not right. We knew something. We was just like, what can we do? What, what? Something. OK, so again, everybody, it's that feeling of No. One, something's not right. And then once you encounter it, you go, what was that exactly? We said in office for a second afterwards, it was like, all right. Well, yeah, well, then you call the parole officer.
So I called him and he said, why don't you go ahead and tell me what happened again? So again, went through the whole story from start to finish. And when I got to the point of, you know, his two girls, his two daughters, he says. He doesn't have any daughters. My heart just fell down into my stomach because here I am thinking, do we just let someone go who kidnapped these kids? What did I do wrong?
Later on that day, I was driving home from work and the parole officer called my cell phone and he was talking very quickly and very excitedly and he said, Oh, Ali, you are never going to believe this. You know, Phillip Garrido, he he's a kidnapper. And and the daughter you were talking about at home, she's been kidnapped for 18 years. And it was an FBI case and it was on America's Most Wanted. And and you help find her and you solved the case.
Congratulations. And I said, cool, that's great. And that was it. I mean, I was great. I'm glad that I helped this family. So, you know, the key message is instinct's the hairs in the back of my neck, such straight up as a woman, we have these natural instincts. Listen to them.
Good ladies on the hair on the back of your head is standing up. And that's really that's a really strong reaction. And you have to listen to. And the hair on the back of your head stood up when when I was in the office with Phillip and with the two girls. Yeah. He has this look in his eyes, his penetrating stare. It's just creepy. Something's not right. Something's not right. Something's not right. Everybody has it.
Everybody is born with it. And people say women have it because generally women are more acclimated to paying attention. The truth is, anybody who pays attention, who is an observer of the life around them, has the ability to go inside and feel what they're feeling in any given situation. Instead of what I have seen and I know you all have to people just numbed out, walking through their life, going through the motions, so busy with the details of everything thing thing, thing that you check out and you're not really paying attention to who's around you, to what's around you and not paying attention to your own life.
I think those women are heroes. I think Allison Jacobs and Lisa Campbell, their names, they they were able to give life literally to Jaycee Dugard and to her daughters. And because of that one phone call that Allison made, because she felt something's not right, that one phone call freed Jaycee Dugard after 18 years of being held captive. So I really get and have gotten for a long time the principle of life whispering to you, but even I have to be reminded sometimes myself, I will tell you, recently I was in Maui and was going to join some friends for a drink.
So I'm not going to stay for dinner. I'm just going to join you. I'll just do the cocktails and have a drink. And I knew what I was going to drink because when I'm in Maui, I drink margaritas. That's what mangosteen and a little tequila. But I was going to drive myself and then I was going to drive back home and I thought, well, should I really do that? Well, it's only one drink. And I know that one drink is really not going to affect me.
So I'll be able to still drive. And as I was going out the door, one of the guys who works in my house said, Miss Winfrey, would you like me to go and drive you? And I said, no, that's OK, I'll be fine, I can drive myself and I'm only going to stay for a few minutes, OK? I was getting ready to drive to pull out of the driveway, and I saw that same person walk across the lawn and say, are you sure you don't want me to go with you and drive you?
This is the second time I know how life works. I, I've heard it. Then I heard it again and would be afraid now to get in the car, having had the thought that I shouldn't be driving. Maybe I should. Maybe because that's what it feels like. Maybe. Yeah I think I can, I think I can make it, I can drink. But one drink of not going to be drunk. And the second time it happened I said, you know what.
Come get in the car. You should drive. You should be my designated driver, even though I know I'm only going to have one margarita. And I did. I only had one margarita and I still think I could have driven back. But I had the story of Tracey Gold in the back of my mind.
You'll see, I first met Tracey Gold in 1986 at age 16. She was a teen star in the hit sitcom Growing Pains. She came back to the show in 2005, this time after a shocking arrest that was all over the headlines. Before midnight on September 3rd, 2004, Tracey Gold was returning home from a Labor Day barbecue with her family. She lost control of her SUV on the freeway. The car veered off the road, rolled over three times down an embankment, injuring her husband and two of her three children.
When police arrived, Tracy was arrested for driving under the influence, her blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit. In court, Tracy pled guilty to drunk driving and was sentenced to a one month work release program, 240 hours of community service and three years probation. Please welcome Tracy. Go.
You're going to be fine. I know you must be nervous. Oh, my God, you must be nervous. But this is the thing. What you're going to admit to is what so many people have done, including myself. We didn't get caught. And you're being in front of the TV right now. For everybody who sees this, this is your wake up call. This is your wake up call. We're going to learn from your mistake because this really could have been tragic.
Oh, my God. This could have been tragic. So and you said it was hard to be in your skin after this accident. What did you mean by that?
I had never felt like that before. I mean, it was the lowest point of my life. And I have always been a really optimistic person who tries to see things, you know, clearly and see things that they can turn out OK. And I'm always proud of who I am. All of a sudden, I felt so much shame and I felt so much I was embarrassed to be me. OK, so let's start from beginning what was going on that day?
It was a great day, you know, it was the end of the summer. We had gone to a barbecue for my husband's work and he drove in our relationship. My husband always drives, went to the barbecue. And it was a very nice kind of family thing. I had had some wine over the course of the evening, had been sipping it as I was with the moms and we were hanging out and it was just a nice night.
And at the end of the night, it became apparent that my husband could not drive home because he'd been doing what you're doing more than just, you know, having a sip. So all of a sudden, it's not like him. It was sort of an unusual thing. So I was like he said to me, he said, I can't drive. And it's like you have to drive. And I my first instinct is, well, I'm not going to drive because the truth is and this is something that people will look at with skepticism.
And I understand that. But the truth is that I am not a person who drinks and drives. But that night these circumstances came about and he said, I want you to drive. And I said, well, no. And he's like convinced me that it's OK. He said, you've only had a couple of glasses. There's no way that I can drive. And I watch your show and a big fan of you and you always say your inner voice.
And I didn't listen to my inner voice. What did your inner voice tell? You know, my inner voice said no, because my own code of ethics is that I don't drink and drive. I'm not a person who drives a lot and I don't do that. You know, it's just my thing. I'm always kind of a conservative one in the group is always like, well, no, I'm driving, so I'm not going to have a drink.
OK, so and you're one of those people you if you have a drink, you don't drive. If I have a drink, I don't drive.
OK, so did you feel intoxicated at all? No, I didn't feel like intox. I obviously was.
I mean, let's get you in the car, OK? You're in the car. I'm in the car. And you come over the children, the car there in one is all the way. And my oldest son was also in the backseat. My two other children where we were in an SUV where in the middle seat. And my husband was in the passenger seat and I was driving my husband's I get on this freeway, I'm getting on. And the only way I can explain is the car felt like it lost control.
It felt like the car swerved and I tried to bring it back.
So your SUV rolled over several times, rolled over three times up at the bottom of the embankment. One of your children was thrown from the car. Right. OK, does that mean he was not wearing a he was wearing his seatbelt? Absolutely. Absolutely. Wearing they were all three wearing their seat belts. You know, it's just chaos. It just happened really fast. Police come and they asked me, did I have anything to drink? And you said what?
I said, yes, I was honest. Yes, I had. But I you know, I told him the truth. And he then did a whole sobriety test on me and then did a breathalyzer test on me like three times. And it was twice that was almost twice the legal limit.
It was it was almost. And, you know, for me, you know, at that point, I mean, I just it was to say it was a surreal experience and it just I felt like a dream. Like it felt like I couldn't believe that this was happening. Five minutes ago, I was at a barbecue that was a family, nice barbecue. Everything was OK. Everything was great. And a flash things had changed.
So when I was interviewing Tracey Gold about her drunk driving incident, I was particularly trying to get her to see that it wasn't one of those things that just happened.
That is not the case you never expect is going to happen to you. It's not something I expected would ever happen to me. It's not something that is not how I live my life. Anything I had ever come close to anything. I live my life every day as a responsible, careful, good person. I think I really try every day to try and do the right thing. And I made a horrible, horrible, horrible choice that evening. And it.
You know, that night, I, I was saying that was the worst night of my life, worst night of my life. My husband reminded me that was the luckiest night of our life because something truly catastrophic could have happened. And I consider myself extremely blessed that I that I have my family and that I I had this lesson and I said, why is this my lesson to learn? Because it was not where they go. Oh, well, we knew this was going to happen.
It wasn't like that. It was it was like. Tracy, how did that happen to Tracy? And for a while it was like, why? Why did this happen? I don't understand it. How many times has this problem shown itself to you and other areas? And you didn't respond? Because my my theory is the way I have seen life work and I know this is true for myself, but I've seen it for other people. I haven't tested it on the world.
But by the time it comes in this form, sure, it's this big where it can cause this much havoc. Yeah, it means that has been whispering to you for a long time. As I say, God speaks to you. Life speaks to you in a whisper. First you don't get the whisper. You get a little pebble upside the head.
You get a brick, you get a brick wall, then you get the whole wall come falling down. This is your wall. But I know just as anybody else who's watching here, what appears to be an accident out of the blue. For this to happen in your life this way means it's been whispering to you. It's been coming. It's been coming. And other forms that you did not pay attention. And this is what it took for you to pay attention.
Absolutely. And I agree with you. Things don't just happen, like out of the blue. No, they don't. They don't. And it's not a rock falling from the sky. It happens for a reason.
And for you, it was about you compromising your own inner self, your own inner self.
What did you get at this time?
Got it. Had that strong you know what? And I really, really I really get it now. My inner instincts and my inner voice, they're good. Yeah. When I listen to them, yeah. They lead me down the right path when I don't listen to them and I listen to maybe somebody else's, maybe not might be on the right track, then that's where I go astray. And that is the lesson for everybody.
The whispers are not that dramatic that come to us, but in everybody's life, it's happening all of the time. And when I've interviewed people on the show who've been in crisis situations that happen, I am always trying to get back to what was the original whisper, because I know that that's a principle in life. Things don't just come out of the blue and happen to you when you had some contribution to the thing happening. It just doesn't. Everybody else's life is so busy.
I got so much going on. How am I going to have time to hear whisper?
Well, first of all, everybody does. Everybody does here. You cannot tell me that you haven't had that. Hmm. Something's off here. Feeling everybody gets that. Anybody who's in a bad relationship knows exactly what I'm talking about. We've all been in situations where people were being toxicity to your life, where things didn't appear right and you overlooked them because you didn't want to believe that they were as bad as they could be. It happens all the time in relationships.
When I look back at my career, when I look back at my life as a business woman, the many times I ignored seeing things, ignored the way other people treated, some people ignored it because I thought I didn't want to believe that it was as serious as it was or because I thought, I don't want to look at that now. It's the same thing. Poison comes in many forms. And what I learned from all of these multitude of shows and stories is that no room for judgment on my part.
Just look at my own life.
I'm so happy I get to share this with you, because if you can get this, if you can just get if people get this, your whole life changes because your life is about the energy that you're putting out and the energy that's coming back to you. And it's also about you being an observer, waking up and paying attention. And if you're asking a question, if you're wondering if something's going on, if you are questioning anything in your life, there's so many signs coming at you all of the time.
Everything that's happening is signaling you to be a better you. It's coming in. It's like a vibrational frequency coming in to try to help you get better. The answers are there. Pay attention, pay attention to your life and don't wait for the brick wall to fall down, up on you, whatever that is in your life. Get it in the whisper and the brick wall doesn't have to come. I'm Oprah Winfrey and you've been listening to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast you can follow Super Soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
If you haven't yet, go to Apple podcast and subscribe rate and review this podcast. Join me next week for another super soul conversation. Thank you for listening.