I'm Oprah Winfrey, welcome to Super Cell 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.
The great blessing of being broken open is understanding that no experience, nothing that's happened to you is wasted. Challenges are just life's way of moving you forward in another direction.
Sometimes learning to live from this place of gratitude helps you see past the pain until you reach a state of grace you never even imagined.
I talk a lot about paradox because I have found paradox. The tension between seeming opposites. They've always been great teachers for me. We can't deny our humanness. We need in fact, we need to accept our human. Having an open heart means feeling at all. So, you know, I was just writing the other day about being grateful, thanking God that my experiences have hollowed me out like a hollow bone. But I was never thankful while I was being hollowed out.
And I think that's very human, so I think the thing for me, when I have experienced difficult things with family or friends or in life situations, it's very hard. You know, I certainly wasn't thankful to the pain in my stomach when I was recently ill. I didn't want it to be there. But trying to hold the larger view at the same time is where gratitude lives. So let me give you an image. If we're at sea and you're in a raft.
And the swells of the sea are huge when you are lifted to the top of a wave, you can see for eternity. Mm hmm. When you come down into the belly of a wave, you can't see anything. The kind of gratitude we're talking about is not to deny the fact that you're in the belly of a wave and that wave might crash on you. But to never lose sight of the horizon, even though in this moment you're not seeing.
Did you go through your wi me period? Why me? No, don't feel sorry for me because that's just wasting your time to feel sorry.
Did you ever in this period. Of being stroked, feel sorry for yourself. No, no, you never felt sorry. No, no. It just is a new new stage of life. Did you think you came to understand what's being spiritual meant in a different way?
The stroke? Yeah. How so? Suffering is grace. Not the stroke itself, but spiritual life is in the moment, in the moment is where you see God. Not in the past, not in the future. Past and future, I thought just thought, oh, this moment this is the moment where God lives.
Yeah, right there in the stillness that's right there in this moment is God lives beautiful.
Practicing gratitude, I've said this many times, I cannot say it enough, because if you didn't hear it the first time and also maybe you didn't try it, but gratitude is the single best way I have ever discovered of changing your personal vibration. Yeah, you can instantly do it with gratitude.
I love this Latin term more forthe love of fate instead of bemoaning your fate. And sometimes our fates are terrible. But we love our fate more fatty. It's a way of being grateful. I'm going to love what happened to me because I trust that it's here to remove a veil. I'm going to search for what's happening to me in this time so I can take away yet another misconception.
Do you follow Grace, you follow Grace. It's important to understand what Grace feels like. It's where you feel all of a sudden overwhelmed by God's goodness, and you didn't deserve it. You didn't merit it. God just gave it to you because God loves you.
That's Grace. To the degree that we follow Grace, instead of trying to get out ahead of it and explain everything, Grace will lead us to the reconciliation point that you're talking about, reconciling our minds and our hearts, our souls and our intellects, our doctrine and our spirituality. The reconciliation point is there.
If we will follow grace and how do we follow it by what we feel about what we feel, by what we feel, grace has an affect to it.
I will live my life in love and service, gratitude and trust, how is it that you all came? Because there are all these innumerable virtues why gratitude and trust?
If you have gratitude, you don't have room for fear. And that was one of the biggest things, is that fear holds us back. So much fear is what causes so much of our bad behavior and our poor choices and gratitude can't live with fear in the same way that love really can't live with yourself. You're grateful you move to that place of love. And then how does trust trust is God, of course, trusting soul to soul and God.
And those two, or we call them the Soul Sisters, is knowing that there's a power greater than yourself at work here and trusting it'll all work out. Yeah.
Trust grateful for everything that has ever happened in my life, the good and the bad.
And you roll it into your life. If you're in a car wreck, you're grateful that nobody was hurt to see if they hurt you, grateful that they didn't die, did die, grateful for the chance you had to know them. It's an expandable gratitude. One size fits all. Put it in your heart and use a.
When you eat, you're feeding this, you're not feeding this, I mean, you are ultimately, but you're feeding your body. And I think for a long time I didn't get that that you were feeding your body. Yeah. I mean, I was eating for comfort because I was sad. Because I was lonely. Because I was grieving. Because I was ashamed, because I felt unloved. But I didn't quite get that. The food going in the mouth was not about loneliness or comfort or sweetness or whatever, or because I felt empty, but that I was feeding this.
So that's one thing. The other thing is just gratitude for having a body at all. Just shared these arms and these legs and this heart and this liver have left me have taken me from place to place for so many years. And what have I done to it? I have basically just said I'm lonely here. Eat this. There was an appreciation. It wasn't thank you body. I think about that a lot, particularly.
I think you think about it certainly the more mature you get and thoughtful about yourself in your life, like, wow, my heart has been pumping for sixty two years.
Wow. I know when you go to the doctor and you do like wow I go wow you're beautiful. Yes. You have a little girl. Yes. That's pretty amazing. It is amazing. And we don't know where you are in your life right now.
Your heart has been doing that without you for thousands of times a day, without you asking.
Do you think that every person has that truth within them to speak, whether they can write it or not?
I do. I do. I mean, obviously the work I do is as a writer, but the life I have is as a human. I think that every time you take that, that you find that strength to show your true self, you know, risk showing that self that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, a little like you might be, you know, found out to be the weird one after all that, almost always when I take that chance, whether it be in small talk or in a book, well, not just risk.
Be brave enough to be brave enough.
That's right. To be brave enough to break your own heart, which is your quote. That's my quote.
And what that's about is being brave enough to risk intimacy, to risk rejection, to risk failure.
And all of the best things come when you do that, because it's about really when you risk all of those things, you are really daring to be more human.
You are. You are. And I think that sometimes you learn things the hard way and you never forget it.
You never, ever, ever forget.
And so being brave enough to break your own heart is is about being brave enough to make the decisions that end up being really right for you. Yeah. And also brave enough to sometimes make a decision that wasn't the best one on the end. But you learn from it and there's no decision that you can't learn from. Hard times will come. But you know, what else will always come is a sunrise and sunset. And so it's up to you.
You want to be there for it, be there for it. I think it's that's about perspective and gratitude. And those two things are so key to, I think, a happy life. How does Grace work works like this? Oh, this is good. We're going to get the answer to that question.
Do you ever have that in an argument with someone where you got so fired up and you thought, oh, I could just say this? Yeah.
And all of a sudden the voice said, you sure you want to do that? Yeah. You want to say that because it's a game changer. You say that. That's Grace. That's Grace. The grace that comes in and says, don't say that, because you can never take it back. You can never take it back. There's some places in an argument everybody who's married knows this.
The voice that comes in and says, I'm going to prevent you from doing something, really ruin this right now. That's Grace. Here's Grace. Grace is the kind of thing that comes in and says, you'll be all right and goes away. Grace is the kind of thing this is put your hand on that person just for a minute. Oh, and you could feel an energy go through you and an energy calm them down. Yeah. And it doesn't give you an explanation.
No, it just says when you are flushed with worry and you think, am I going to be all right? And then you suddenly know. Yes. Yes, you are. OK, now I tend to think that I live in the space of grace, I just feel that I'm flooded with it all the time. I literally see it all the time.
And then sometimes exactly what you described also happens.
But I feel that are we not in a constant state of grace, grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment to something better. I love that.
OK, yeah, it transforms this moment to something better and it takes us with it. The sky sale is now on and who doesn't need a pick me up at this time of year? So get award winning Sky TV and our best ever Wi-Fi with ultra fast broadband together from just 50 euro a month for 12 months. Well, that's nice. That's a feel good saving from us. So save big on the sky sale search sky 50 today, new sky customers only availability subject to location, minimum term and further terms.
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Unlock the full 21 day meditation library now before it goes away forever. Visit Choper dot com, slash Oprah and start your journey today. Do you think that being happier made you a more soulful, connected, spiritual one hundred percent? I'm the least mindful person on the planet and really working on it like this really helped me connect to a more spiritual way of living.
It seems like also living a life that allows you to be better than before, living a life where happiness and mindfulness is at the core of your center. It would bring you to a greater sense of awareness and fulfillment and gratitude like you would live in the space of gratitude.
No, absolutely. I mean, I think the sense of thankfulness, appreciating the grandeur of everyday life, just the ordinary day and really taking the time to take it in is is absolutely crucial. And then when you have that thankfulness also, then so many other negative emotions get washed away like resentment and anger and grievances, grudges, because you're just so thankful for what you have.
And it also it's better with a sense of humor that helps me keep my sense of humor, because it helps me keep my sense of perspective.
Originally, they found that if you woke up every morning and practiced saying three things, you're grateful for it new, they have to be new each day. You have to come up with new things you're grateful for. They found if you did this for 21 days, even people were testing as low level pessimist. On average, we're now testing as low level optimists 21 days later. Now, that doesn't sound that huge. But here's the amazing thing. We can do this with.
Eighty four year old men with genes for pessimism. Not at all. Eighty four year old men are pessimists, but we found some that were. And if you do this for 21 days, what we find is that even if you practice pessimism for eight decades of your life, even if you were born with genes for pessimism, when people practice these, I would never guess before this research that literally two minutes could trump your genes and your environment. So you just do it for two minutes each day, only two minutes.
Listen to this. Just like I have found that gratitude changes your vibrational frequency in the world. So you're saying the same thing.
We're finding the research literally changes what you draw to yourself.
It changes your outlook. Gratitude changes your vibrational frequencies.
That's that's exactly it, because you're constructing a world based upon the facts that you have. And if you're looking at all the negative facts, you've got a negative world. But if you're looking for the things you're grateful for, you've got a world that that your behavior matters. Right. And that's what happens when you do these happiness habits. OK, so two minutes of gratitude, two minutes of gratitude, 21 days for 21 days. Another thing you could do is think of one meaningful experience you had over the past 24 hours.
One meaningful thing that's happened to you doesn't have to be huge. It could be something like a conversation or a sunset or somebody held a door open, held up a door for something meaningful. And in two minutes, you just write down every detail you can remember. And the reason for that is you're trying to get your brain to relive the experience. We can't tell much difference between visualization and actual experience. When we journal about the meaningful experience, we literally double it.
And if you do it for twenty one days, it creates this connection between that meaning in our life, we actually find a trajectory of meaning running throughout our lives. They sound like tips or tricks, but they're actually the building blocks of how human beings can change.
I think there's a lot of misconceptions about passion for people to find their passion, and oftentimes we think that that's outside of ourselves and this is one of the biggest lessons I've ever learned. The secret, ironically, to finding our passion is to bring passion to everything that we do. It's like a muscle that we can build through use, through strengthening it.
So it's like even waking up in the morning making your bed. You can either make your bed like, oh, I got to make this bed is no fun. Should somebody else be doing this for me or I don't want to do it or go and wash your dishes and like, oh, this again. Or you can actually bring passion and enthusiasm, a sense of gratitude in life to everything you do. That's what I think is missing, because people are looking for it outside of themselves.
Rather than saying, I have passion inside, I'm going to bring it to everything that I do.
I think a lot of people who watch Super Bowl Sunday are going to be surprised that you are one of our spiritual thought leaders because the music industry, the fashion industry are two of the most ego associated industries. I think there are. So my question is, has it been a struggle to keep your ego in check and remain on the path of consciousness? In the midst of all the stuff. Well, I think this stuff really teaches you and you can learn it, people who are really rich have a big struggle because they keep wanting more and more.
And people who are really poor are told that they need more. And so that causes the same kind of suffering people in the middle ground. Sometimes I think the research says that they're usually happier because they kind of let go of it, you know. Yeah. And it never really associated their life with the stuff or the lack of stuff. But it's a comfortable seat, right? We want in life is a comfortable seat. And that's what they mean.
They say operate from abundance. Or this idea of being awake and happy can only happen in the present moment. You've been the greatest proponent of an idea that although taught in every scripture and promoted by every prophet, is not been on the tip of people's tongue. Yeah, they still know it is still.
I know my favorite Bible verse. You'd say that if we explore our relationship with money, we can have this as a spiritual practice that leads to wholeness, sinfulness in every other area of our life. But I think when you say, everyone, let's explore your relationship with money. People start with what they don't have. They start with the. Well, give me more. Give me more. Yeah. Good for you, Oprah. You can sit and explore, but I don't have enough to explore.
What would bring me great joy is to know that after our conversation today, there were people who listened to us that really would take the question of what is my relationship with money seriously and look at that. And how do you begin what are the questions one needs to ask oneself?
Well, I think one needs to look at what bounty and blessings have I receive from the universe that I want to acknowledge and celebrate. What do I want to celebrate about today? What happened today that I can celebrate, that I can be grateful for? And rather than waking up in the morning, I didn't get enough sleep and going to bed at night with I didn't get enough done. Which is bookending your days of scarcity. I think this is interesting for us to think about how many times a day that tape plays.
Not enough, not just in money, how many times and not enough shows up. But what if we woke up in the morning and are so grateful for the sweet territory of silence and sleep? What if we go to bed at night? I love that. Hold the moment. The sweet territory of silence and sleep. I like that. Go ahead and you can wake up that way. You can actually tell yourself to do that. Our mind is very obedient, even if it's just for hours and be grateful for that.
And then at the end of the day, rather than looking at what didn't get done, that's going to dribble over into tomorrow, which is where we mostly end up each day. Yes. To look at what I accomplished today, what I celebrate today, every day is such a blessing. And I, I have a wonderful teacher now, brother David Stendal Ross, fantastic Benedictine monk. And he's the icon of gratefulness. And he says that gratefulness is the experience of the great fullness of life.
And when you're in the great fullness of life, the bowl of life is so full, it's almost overflowing, but not quite, not yet dribbling over the edges and your one with God, one with the universe. And there is no other when you stand in and live in the great fullness of life. And that gratefulness is so powerful that it overflows into a fountain in a bowl of life. And that puts you in this other branch of gratitude he calls Thanksgiving.
And when you're in the branch of gratitude called Thanksgiving, the bowl of life is overflowing. And you're so grateful that there's an other because all you want to do is give and share and serve and contribute. And that's so fulfilling. It puts you back in the grateful life. So so you can live in that cycle. You can actually live in that cycle no matter what your financial circumstances. And I say that people stand in this context of enough sufficiency that overflows into natural, true abundance are the people who are living a life that really, really matters.
And when people are around them, they feel valued. They feel seen. They feel heard. They feel loved. They feel treated with reverence and respect. And that's the source of our prosperity. That's really the source of it. You know, the the word wealth, the etymology of it is well being. And each of us has a well of being. That is infinite. That is infinite. That's the source of my. Well, that's true.
Well. One of the things that we talk about all the time here is gratitude. Did you have any inkling that the gratitude video would go viral? Was that your idea? Was that your intention? It was part of a TED talk I did about nature and beauty. And when they posted it, it know kind of hung there for a while and then, boom, it went viral. And I really had no idea it would do that. But I think it resonated with people.
I think there is a hunger out there where people want to connect to something that's bigger than themselves. And I think through the portal of nature, it can open your heart and you can develop gratitude for the little things in life. It's so easy to be grateful for a flower, for a bug, for a beautiful day. Mm hmm.
This is what I've come to know, that nature is our greatest spiritual teacher. You know, I see God as nature, nature as God. I see it all intertwine. So what has nature taught you? Oh, it is. It is God. It is because it is life personified. And to be able to capture it. And the way I do it with time lapse and slow motion, I'm able to kind of unveil the mystery of nature.
Yeah, there is a quote that I love from Meister Eckhart, who was this 13th century mystic who says, If the only prayer you ever say in your life is thank you. That would be enough of that. Mm hmm. And you say if you had one image of God, it would be thank you. Spelled out. Yeah.
Yes, because my friend Martin Marty is a great theologian, University of Chicago for a great many years. And I was walking with him in Vermont one day and I asked him what was the shortest description of worship you can give me, said one word of gratitude.
Worship is granite. Yes.
And actually that image that you described so beautifully of the people and the rhythm of laughter, that is the same thing, isn't it? It feels like it has always felt that way. Yeah, yeah.
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.