Don't Know Why A Spiritual Practice Is Necessary? Let Oprah help.
Trying to start a spiritual practice is a bit like trying to save money when you're 23 and have no dependents. AKA if you don't know why you're doing it, you'll probably never start. Or is that just me? I'm a woman of endpoints, a human whose strategic brain needs to see the whole big picture before making a first step and this is both my biggest asset and my cruelest downfall. While it's great to know that I'm working towards a 70's-boho-velvet-goddess-Diana-Ross-meets-tomboy-French-#girlboss vibe for my fall wardrobe, it's a little harder to achieve when the focus is on the end result and not the individual pieces that are going to get me there. Similarly, it's great to know that one day I want to be an earth-mama-radiant-being who spews sage advice and holds space for loved ones (without sacrificing her own energy!!!), but not all that beneficial if I can't cultivate a practice that encourages this growth day-by-day. This lesson is one of those ones in life that just won't go away until you really learn it. You know – like when you get 9 parking tickets in six months and have to finally face the fact that you don't take the time to read street signs. Just me again? Cool.
Anyhow, when I watched this interview of Oprah last week – and she uttered these words: "The way through the challenge is to get still and ask yourself, 'What is the next right move? What is the next right move?' and then, from that space, make the next right move and the next right move" – I was blown the eff away.
Here was a woman so successful, so accomplished, so clearly strategic yet so deeply aware of the daily, moment-by-moment work it takes to come back to the present. As she put it, "although with [more financial success] I could have more shoes, my feet stayed on the ground...And I can understand. I could understand that it really was, because I was grounded. I’ve done the — was doing, and continue to this day, to do the consciousness work. I work at staying awake."
If that's not a call to action, I don't know what is. If we want to be like Oprah – and let's face it, who doesn't? – we have to put in work every day. We "cannot do it unless [we] take the time to know who [we] are and why [we] are here," she continued. Taking this time for ourselves, as we've established, can look like anything you want it to as long as you approach these practices with intention and "you have a level of self awareness, to be connected to what is the inner voice, or the instinct." This is an idea my BFF Oprah calls "your emotional GPS system [which] allows you to make the best decisions for yourself."
And like any good tool that gets us from place to place – i.e. cars, spiritual practices, razor scooters – our emotional GPS systems need a good tune up here and there. If we want them to work efficiently for us, we need to dig deep under the hood and assess what's working. We need to ask ourselves, as Oprah does, "What's my spiritual practice?" What do I do to take care of myself? What do I do to stay tuned up? It's only by answering these questions every day that we gain the power to get still in those moments of great challenge and act from the depths of our true selves.
Check out the Queen below or read a transcript of the interview here.
- Lenea Sims
Image via Stanford Graduate School of Business