The Question Oprah Asks in Every Interview
Oprah Winfrey once mentioned a question she insists on asking in her interviews, a question that throws off the poor interviewee every single time. The question is this:
So tell me, what is your spiritual practice?
She described the general reaction as such: the interviewee would first stare at her, trying to come up with a polite response, searching for words, then they’d shift uncomfortably in the chair, smile awkwardly and settle on a casual but often self-justifying response.
To the most common response of “Well I’m not religious, Miss Oprah!”, she would gently say: “I didn’t ask you what your religion was. I asked you what your spiritual practice is. What do you do to ground yourself everyday?”
And that’s where she had me hooked by highlighting the importance of your spiritual practice for building a healthy, happy and massively successful life.
What Do You Do to Ground Yourself Daily?
What do you do to ground yourself, to find that center, to feel balanced, so that you can go through the day guided by tremendous love and power, the source of which comes from nowhere but within you?
A spiritual practice can be the practice of your religion – or not. It can be prayers and psalms, prophets and pilgrimages. It can also be the poetry of Rumi, the heavenly sound of a musical instrument, a quiet meditative walk in nature, or a daily writing habit. It can be your time alone reading and studying that which adds to your inner wisdom.
Your spiritual practice is whatever routine that helps you shut out the outside world to dwell on the inner world. It is the practice that gets you closer to the true self because therein lie all the answers to your life’s questions.
Your spiritual practice is whatever zen habits that grounds you in your own truth and helps you get to know your real self. Who you are. Why you are here. What your purpose is. Where your path lies. Where your service to humanity comes to life. Where you celebrate your existence.
Your spiritual practice gives you access to your inner sanctum, where your most powerful gifts lie quiet, awaiting your bidding. Your spiritual practice opens the door and lets you walk through. Your spiritual practice brings you home so you never feel lost, confused, overwhelmed or abandoned ever again.
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You Are a Celebration of Life, not a Burden to It!
You are more powerful, more beautiful, more magnificent than your mind has the capacity to imagine, and this is not to boost the ego which then sets off to abuse these gifts for its own end goal. You are all this with the responsibility to use these assets you’ve been endowed with for the higher good.
You are a celebration of life, so do not be a burden to others no matter what your life has been like, instead, rise up to be a gift to everyone who crosses your path. If you are having a hard time doing this, grounding yourself through a spiritual practice can be your answer.
Grounding yourself daily allows you to be present in the moment and connect to your core desires, your creative genius and your true self. Because whoever you are, you carry those gifts inside – core desires, creative genius and true self. You may be completely oblivious to them, or knowingly neglect them or worse, believe that God or the universe forgot to endow you with anything special at all.
None of that changes the truth: You have core desires that are worthy of pursuing, of believing and of achieving. You have a genius that you can cultivate and put to service of humanity. And that your true self will guide you to inner peace, joy and happiness. You must only be attuned to it in order to benefit from it.
How Deep Are Your Roots?
To access these innate gifts, you must be balanced, you must be centered, you must be grounded in who you are and what you are about as strongly as a 3000-year old oak tree that withstands windstorms, hurricanes and massive downpours from the sky above.
The tree withstands it all because it is deeply rooted in the ground. It knows where it belongs, and it has no intention of letting anything steal his gifts. It stands tall and yet remembers its roots. You must remember your roots.
To be deeply rooted like the oak tree, you must learn how to ground yourself. You must know that all power resides inside of you, in your core, in your very center, you have an abundance of peace, faith, love, joy, resilience, determination, desire, and power to do anything – anything at all.
When Your Life is Out of Balance …
When your life is out of balance, when nothing is going as you had planned or hoped, when you feel as if you’re just reacting to your world, instead of moving through it with intention and purpose, then you’ve lost touch with that core – with your most treasured part.
You have disconnected. You have turned off the lights, walked out of your home, and are sitting in a dark, dank and desolate place by the side of the road, hoping against hope that someone – anyone – will show you how to get back to your own home.
The worst part, the absolute worst part of this is that you are doing all of this by choice. Your choice!
How can anyone help you find your way home, when you are the one that left home by choice and you are the only one that knows how to find your way back?
It is for this reason that, whoever you may be, whatever your religion, your theology, your organized – or unorganized – belief system, you need a spiritual practice, one that can meet and respond to your needs.
Feel grounded as the oak tree, strong against the winds of life, balanced in chaos, and flexible when you need to bend and re-adjust your position.
Develop Your Spiritual Practice: 3 Questions to Ask
Spirituality is simply a connection with your highest self, with your true purpose in life, with finding the path that brings you peace, joy, happiness so that you can then spread the fruits to those who cross your path in life.
Since you are unique, your practice needs to be unique to you. A spiritual practice can come in a thousand shapes and colors. There are no boundaries, no rule-books, and no right or wrong way to do it.
The purpose of a spiritual practice is 3-fold: It leaves you feeling grounded, balanced and flexible.
If you are just now learning how to start your own spiritual practice, start with these 3 questions:
- When I feel at complete peace with my life, what am I doing?
- When I am out of sorts, what calms me down and makes it right again?
- Where is my sacred “happy place”? Describe it.
Your answers above are a great start of getting to know yourself and what you need and how you can build daily habits of a spiritual practice. And don’t be surprised if your spiritual practice takes over the inner demons that make you miserable, and begins to envelop you in peace, joy and utter happiness.