Everybody knows Oprah – some call her teaching cheesy, some follow it wholeheartedly. I definitely have been inspired by her OWN networks programmes: Super Soul Sunday and Life Class. Her recommended books certainly inspired me and some of the spiritual thinkers she has interviewed were a good starting point on my own spiritual quest – as we know one book leads to another… I was curious about her book – What I Know for Sure: in short chapters, Oprah shares her wisdom, what she knows for sure. Her writing is simple, accessible and astonishingly humble for a celebrity.
Here are a few passages – out of many – that resonated with me.
In the book, Oprah candidly speaks a lot about her own suffering and childhood wounds. According to her, it is our own responsibility to heal our wounds (not that of those who have wounded us):
I know for sure that healing the wounds of the past is one of the biggest and most worthwhile challenges of life. It’s important to know when and how you were programmed, so you can change the program. And doing so is your responsibility, no one else’s. There is one irrefutable law of the universe: We are each responsible for our own life. If you’re holding anyone else accountable for your happiness, you’re wasting your time. You must be fearless enough to give yourself the love you didn’t receive.
I always try to remind myself to act from the place of stillness, which essentially connects me to the truth of my being, and I love what Oprah has to say about it:
So when I feel overwhelmed, I usually go to a quiet place. A bathroom stall works wonders. I close my eyes, turn inward, and breathe until I can sense the still, small space inside me that is the same as the stillness in you, and in the trees, and in all things. I breathe until I can feel this space expand and fill me. And I always end up doing the exact opposite of screaming: I smile at the wonder of it all.
Have you ever thought of communication as a dance? Even I, someone who loves to dance a lot, hadn’t…
The key to any relationship is communication. And I’ve always thought that communication is like a dance. One person takes a step forward, the other takes a step back. Even a single misstep can land both people on the floor in a tangle of confusion. And when you find yourself in that position—with your spouse, your colleague, your friend, your child—I’ve found that the best option is always to ask the other person, “What do you really want here?”
I write a lot about adventurous living on this blog and Oprah’s definition of adventure is definitely very close to mine:
The most important adventure of our lives doesn’t have to involve climbing the highest peak or trekking around the world. The biggest thrill you can ever achieve is to live the life of your dreams.
Oprah’s thoughts about relocating when you feel you have grown as much as you can in one place deeply resonated with me as I have recently relocated to Bali:
How can I realize my potential more fully? That’s a question I still ask myself, especially when contemplating what’s next in my life. In every job I’ve taken and every city in which I’ve lived, I have known that it’s time to move on when I’ve grown as much as I can. Sometimes moving on terrified me. But always it taught me that the true meaning of courage is to be afraid, and then, with your knees knocking, to step out anyway. Making a bold move is the only way to advance toward the grandest vision the universe has for you. If you allow it, fear will completely immobilize you. And once it has you in its grip, it will fight to keep you from ever becoming your best self.
Oprah has kept gratitude journals for years and here is what she has to say about the importance of being grateful:
I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your whole world. You radiate and generate more goodness for yourself when you’re aware of all you have and not focusing on your have-nots. I know for sure: If you make time for a little gratitude every day, you’ll be amazed by the results.