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Today's episode is brought to you by Mars, Inc., the makers of brands such as Pedigree, Eminem's and Benzer Retinol, the new campaign from Mars ensures more women's voices are heard across the world.
To do this, they're asking all women a question what needs to change so that more women can reach their full potential? Add your voice today to the Mars Global Study by visiting Be Heard on Mars Dotcom. 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.
Chapter one, The Seeds. Your life isn't about a big break.
It's about taking one significant life transforming step at a time. August 14th, 1978, it was a Monday, my first day working on a Baltimore talk show called People Are Talking, it was also the last day I had a job. Up until then, I'd been a news anchor and reporter. I knew I was not my authentic self in those jobs, and my bosses certainly made no secret of their feelings.
They told me I was the wrong color, I was the wrong size, that I showed too much emotion.
I've always said that the best part about that experience was meeting my best friend, Gayle, who was a production assistant at the same television station. I could feel I was misplaced, even though the six o'clock news was a time slot, most young journalists covid I was never fully comfortable in that seat. And when I look back at the tapes, I can still hear the pretend anchor voice I used on air. It wasn't until I was unceremoniously demoted to co-host of People Are Talking that I experienced the first spark of what it means to become fully alive.
During the show, I interviewed Tom Carvel, the Carvel ice cream man, and the actor who played Benny on All My Children, not exactly glamorous, but as we talked, I felt lit up from the inside like I had come home to myself. When the hour ended, there was a sense of knowing, resonating within my heart and radiating to the hairs on the back of my neck. My entire body told me this was what I was supposed to do as a reporter.
I had been exhausted all the time. I really had to drag myself many days into work. But after one day on this local talk show, I was energized in a way that fueled every cell of my being.
There was no doubt that the seeds of what was to give my life meaning and purpose have been planted. That day, my job ended and my calling began. Years later, The Oprah Winfrey Show would achieve a level of success no one could have predicted. It was an exhilarating experience and yet another little kernel of knowing was revealing itself to me, even at the show's peak. I had a deep awareness that a supreme moment of destiny still awaited me. That's why, after twenty five years, I trusted my instinct when it told me, this isn't it, there's more.
There's something else. The show was my home, the audience was one of the great loves of my life, but I couldn't ignore the flicker of certainty, telling me it was time to move on. The years following the end of the show brought many unexpected possibilities, and I had some daunting moments when creating a new cable network own stopping to consider my own advice of turning challenges into opportunities is what allowed me to move forward. This is a lesson I hope you take away from this chapter.
Your life is not static.
Every decision, setback or triumph is an opportunity to identify the seeds of truth that make you the wondrous human being that you are. I'm not talking just about what you do for a living. When you pay attention to what feeds your energy, you move in the direction of the life for which you were intended. Trust that the universe has a bigger, wider, deeper dream for you than you could ever imagine for yourself. Growing up in the church, one of my favorite Bible parables was about the mustard seed, if you have faith, even if it's as little as a mustard seed, you can move mountains.
Anything is possible. As a child listening from my seat in church, this brought me so much comfort, just as it did when I was struggling as a reporter in Baltimore. And as it still does today, the mustard seed is such a tiny speck of a thing, I am emboldened by the belief that all I need is a mustard seed of faith. And no matter what, I'm going to be all right. As you begin to identify the seeds of knowing along your own path, the first question to ask yourself is what do I believe?
Do you believe that you are worthy of happiness, success, abundance, fulfillment, peace, joy? And love, what I know for sure is you become what you believe. Beginning with Sue Monk Kidd, you say The Life of the soul. Evolves and grows as we move, the process isn't a one time experience, but a spiraling journey that we undertake throughout life. Life is full of cocoons. We die and are reborn again and again. What did you mean by that?
I think life is a process of that. You wake up, then you wake up some more. You die to oneself, you're reborn. It's an evolution of consciousness. I mean, if you look at the way God created the world, it's always about a seed and a sprout and a flower, and then it goes back to seed. It's always about process and unfolding. I think we're probably on a journey of greater and greater consciousness, becoming more compassionate, more loving, and that is a lifelong spiraling process.
So you were having Awakenings Awakenings awake. I mean, you could describe them as cocoons. I mean, you go into a cocoon and some new part of yourself emerges. And it's not that you leave oneself behind, it's that it's an integration. All of these selves come together and create who you are eventually. But yeah, I've had many awakenings, many little death and rebirth in my life.
Don't go anywhere. More to come after this short break. Here's another podcast that's a must listen now. Built to Last is a podcast by American Express that highlights the story's history and continued legacy of black owned small businesses that shape American culture in honor of Black History Month. American Express is continuing to shine a light on these black owned businesses with the release of a special episode highlighting Rose Nakad, the first known coffee vendor in New Orleans in the 1400's and Sipan Sonder, a community and well-being focused coffee shop in Inglewood, California.
If you haven't already, check out the debut season of Built to Last and hear host Elaine Walter Roth explore how the black business leaders of our past have inspired today's black owned small businesses. The season features small business owners like Pinki Cole of Atlanta's food truck turned restaurant, slutty vegan Anita Mowamba, a cutting edge designer, and so many other amazing small business owners. Plus, there's a special check in with modern day Renaissance woman. ICRA is built to last and covers and celebrates past and present stories of black entrepreneurship in America.
We hope to encourage all of our listeners to support these businesses and also the black owned businesses in your community. Check out the debut season of Built to Last on Spotify, Apple, YouTube or wherever you get your favorite podcasts.
This episode is brought to you by better help, it's important to take care of your mental health. And if you're looking for some tips on how to do just that, here's Angela Kinsey and Jenna Fischer from the Office Ladies podcast. I know a lot of times people make resolutions in the new year, but to make a resolution stick, sometimes you have to examine some of the deeper issues that might keep you from reaching your goals. For example, you say, I want to get in shape.
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And our listeners get 10 percent off their first month with the discount code stitcher get started today at Better Yelp dotcom slash stitcher. So it's interesting when you have come across the daily challenges of life, do you immediately go to prayer? Do you go to that inner contemplated part of yourself?
Sometimes I do. But as I said, prayer is so large for me. It's such an immense thing. Taking a walk is often what I do, you know, to walk along this corridor by the Gulf every day. That's a prayer putting feet to it. That feels like I'm getting in sync with something inside myself, anything that takes me to that interior place, that true self tim story.
I love the choice of the word mighty. Yes, because sometimes we don't feel mighty. Yeah, but we are a mighty person in the making.
A masterpiece in progress, a miracle in motion. Although you may have had many mistakes in your past, God still has a great plan for your future. If you do things his way, if you let him, he will mold you into a vessel of honor. Love that vessel of honor for his purposes. Yes, he will breathe life into you and change you. I love that. A vessel of honor.
Yes. And I'd never heard that phrase before. And that you really are a miracle in motion. Motion is movement. So we're not there yet, but we're in motion at all times. We are all going through recovery and discovery. At the same time, some people stop their lives because I'm in recovery. I just went through all this and I'm in recovery.
But you should be in recovery and discovery.
Oh, I love where you say to that. We should not waste our failures. Right, right. There's a lesson in every one of those failures. But the great thing about it is that we could fail forward. We could fail forward. It's not final because of these mistakes.
Dr. Shefali Sabari. I believe all of life is a process of evolution. What does that mean? Evolution means that we're always reaching toward holding onto the vine, which will take us out of this jungle of confusion. What is the confusion? We have forgotten there was some big forgetting that occurred at some point in our history that made us believe that we were separate from this oneness that surrounds us. There was this big epiphanic forgetting. Yeah, right. That we are one with God.
So we have forgotten that. And our entire life now becomes a quest to reclaim that. We are constantly evolving. We are, whether we like to recognize it or not, even the most unconscious person against their greatest will. They are on a process to evolve. Life gives us opportunity after opportunity to ask yourself, is this my true self or am I living the inauthentic self? Becoming conscious means to recognize when that moment arrives and it's coming. And it's coming.
And it's coming. Now, children, why do I talk about children as being the ushers of this greater evolution? Because they're the most conscious, they're the most untainted. They're still the closest to that remembering. Yeah. And we're all seduced to keep forgetting. But yet there is a will in us, all the spiritual seekers, the truth seekers, the light bearers to go back to that place. So becoming conscious is to recognize the moments that life offers you, which is really on a daily basis and with children on a moment to moment basis to start reclaiming who you once were, the most authentic side of us, which remembers that we are one with this divinity.
Pastor A.R. Bernard, you mentioned that the calling happens long before you even knew God. Do you believe that everybody has a calling?
Absolutely. And that calling is being designed for you by all of the experiences in your life?
Yeah. The prophet Jeremiah began to look at his own deficiencies when he got the calling and he saw his youthfulness. He saw his inability to articulate and communicate well. And the scripture says that before I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you and called you to be a prophet to the nations. So here this man has been called by God. He has a whole life designed and laid out before him that he knows nothing about. Now he has to trust the one who designed that life for you.
How do we open ourselves to that calling? How can we be more open to here and more open to find the path that is our calling?
First, we have to believe that we do have a purpose. It goes back to that eternity in their hearts. Every person has a purpose, every individual has a purpose. And when we begin to think that way, we will appreciate the sacredness of all life and not be destructive to any aspect of life who respect people better.
Yes, you know, what I think is so fascinating is that I believe that is true. But I think a lot of people get purpose, confuse with fame or notoriety for purpose. Yeah. Yeah. I think what was my purpose then? I should know what that is. And everybody else should also know what that is. And I should be known for whatever that purpose is. Right. I think we've lost a bit of that now.
Very much. We're lost in that. Well, that's well put by you and insightful because too often people think purpose is static. Yeah, it's that one thing for which I was born. Yeah, but what happens if you achieve that at age twenty seven, you have no reason to live beyond the correct purpose is not static. Purpose is dynamic. That's good. Purpose continues to be applied throughout your life. What your gifts, your talents and abilities that are given to you by God that remains consistent throughout your life.
But how you apply that changes as you live life from one level to another and you go through stages of life. Barbara Brown, Taylor, you're a priest, author, professor, do you think we can have more than one calling? I do. Anyone who's a parent and works outside the home has what I say.
You're calling. You don't have to worry about what your calling is of your parent, because that is definitely the big one, your by vocation or whatever you're doing that you're absolutely right.
And so I have relational callings. I have professional callings. I have a number of different callings. And I also think it's possible to be called away from things I have been called to in the past. But I've been powerfully called to some things and just as powerfully called away from them. So I think that's important, too. There are goodbyes as well as Helo's in our callings.
Don't go anywhere. More to come after this short break.
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You will also get a year of the Chopra app putting a comprehensive guide to well-being in the palm of your hand. Unlock the full 21 day meditation library now before it goes away forever. Visit Chopra dot com, slash Oprah and start your journey today. Oh, I love that because a calling doesn't have to be for a lifetime, no, because we're constantly evolving. You constantly are moving forward, right.
And if it has to be for a lifetime, we're failing all the time. Right. Because we ditched that calling to pick up on another one. Wow.
So how do you say we best hear the call and see if I had a formula?
Here's what I think we can hear the calling. There is a message, but it's folded into your life and it speaks to you in your language. And so all I can say is don't ever give up hunting and listening because it will speak to you today. And I highly resist formula and I highly resist, you know, three things or five pieces of advice because I just don't think lives act that way. It's a sailboat ride.
Oh, it is. It is. So so how can we hear the calling? Listen. Yeah. Let's pay attention to your life and enjoy the smooth sails while they're up.
And then enjoy the storms if you live through them because they'll make the best stories later. They'll make much better story. Oh and it makes sense to sail. Feel so good. Does doesn't. Where would we be.
Yeah. Without them all. Elizabeth Gilbert, there's still just huge swaths of women who never got the memo that their lives belong to them, and there's this instinct that they have that they need a permission slip from the principal's office for anything. That said, you are allowed to ask yourself some really important questions about your life. You're allowed to take accountability and ownership for your own journey. You're allowed to ask what serves you sometimes because I know you've been trained up to serve everyone, but you're allowed to turn that on yourself and honor your own life that you were given.
And I feel like it just got to people somehow that they hadn't quite put together. They could do that. How do you know, though, that you're being called to something? What are the signs?
You get the question. Here's the question. What have I come here to do with my life? You tell me you never got that question. That's the question that begins every single quest. What if I come here to do with my life? There's no one who hasn't had that question come to them. That's the call. That's the call. It's like which you have.
And you're just pretty. You're really not paying attention. You're really not you're really watching Breaking Bad at 4:00 in the morning and eating ice cream. And you're really not listening. You're not listening because everybody's gotten in one form or another. Yeah.
That if I call here to do with my what have I come here to do with my life. Now, you can choose to ignore that question or you can pursue it. And the pursuit is the beginning of the journey.
Jean Houston, I want people to really understand the power of love and loving. I want people to look out at the world and say I am a citizen of the most beautiful planet in the world. I have been given this holy incarnation extremely unlikely. I look at people, you know, don't put yourself down. You won the ultimate Olympics. You are the Sperm and the album that made it a million. Yes, a million. I always say that, too.
There they go. There's one I think it is to have a deep appreciation of the life that one is given and the life of others, and then to act accordingly in the depths of that appreciation to understand what Joseph Campbell said, the privilege of a lifetime privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Yeah, what is the soul? I believe that the soul is the essence of who and what we are. I personally believe that it transcends our leaving this mortal coil.
I think in part it is also that great friend that I talked about that it comes with codes and possibilities and the next layers of who and what we may yet be. It is often a pain in the neck because it says, wake up, it's time to wake up, don't go to sleep. I think it is also the lure of our becoming with what I think the.
So wow. I take that in a minute. The lure of our become. Yes. How did you even come up with those words? No, I'm talking to you more about how to use the lure of our becoming.
Wow, that's fantastic. And for me it is also part of the evolution of our becoming because we are coded, we are coded in our cells becoming we are coded in our hearts and we are God seeds. They come and God cells. Carolyn Maize.
If you have life, you have purpose as an exercise on the inside, if you have life, you have purpose. That's a good one. If you have life, you have a purpose.
And that is true of every one of the seven billion of totally it can't be otherwise. And this is why I absolutely love studying the work of the mystics, because this is what's so extraordinary.
The tiniest, tiniest truth is the same at the big level if you have life one atom. Is as purposeful as our planet, what is in one is in the hole. Wow, it can't be otherwise it cannot. Deepak Chopra. If you're arrested, if your mind is in peace, and if you're full of love and compassion, if you go from being and then feeling and then self reflection, then things will synchronistically fall into place because that's how nature functions.
Like to said yes. And every seed is the promise of thousands of forests, which is exactly what Hurby means. You have unique gifts, focus on the gifts, don't focus on the weaknesses because there are other people who complement your weaknesses and you'll complement that.
Do you believe everyone has a gift? Yes. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. You wouldn't be here. And that gift is when you're expressing yourself in that unique way and giving out gifts, you lose track of time.
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.