Tag Archives: Oprah Winfrey

Reflections: What Are You Most Grateful For…?

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie

Reflections: What Are You Most Grateful For…?


TEDxSF – Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude

“Since 1996 I had accumulated more wealth, more responsibility, more possessions; everything, it seemed had grown exponentially – except my happiness. How had I, with all my options and opportunities, become one of those people who never have time to feel delight? I was stretched in so many directions; I wasn’t feeling much of anything. Too busy doing… But the truth is, I was busy in 1996 too. I just made gratitude a daily priority. I went through the day looking for things to be grateful for and something always showed up.” Oprah Winfrey. What I Know For Sure O Magazine November 2012

Recently, I was reading the November issue of O Magazine when I came across the above comment from Oprah. It was on the last page in her What I Know For Sure editorial. We all get busy in our lives and, as Oprah suggested, it is quite easy to find ourselves skipping some of those spirit lifting, shape shifting tools that help us stay balanced. Then, thankfully, when a friend or a situation reminds us of that imbalance, we can revert to our spirit of gratitude again and find some peace within.

For Oprah, it was the difficult struggles with building OWN that tilted her off her daily gratitude scale. After ten years of writing a daily gratitude journal on five things she was grateful for each day, she found herself slipping. There have been times this year when I have found my spirit waning and the beliefs I hold dear felt tired. Then we catch a glimpse of someone making that extra push, or someone says an encouraging word and we reach deep down for those reserves. We reach for what I call our Life force … and then we remember – I Can Do It! Yes, the effort is worth it. I’m most grateful for the Life Force; that spark within that keeps us breathing, believing and doing… Without life, nothing else matters. More below.

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Inspiration: Aging Beautifully…

“The age of a woman doesn’t mean a thing. The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Inspiration: Aging Beautifully... Somali woman

Written in a Carefree Mood by Lu Yu
Old man pushing seventy,
In truth he acts like a little boy,
Whooping with delight when he spies some mountain fruits,
Laughing with joy, tagging after village mummers;
With the others having fun stacking tiles to make a pagoda,
Standing alone staring at his image in the jardinière pool.
Tucked under his arm, a battered book to read,
Just like the time he first set out to school.

What does aging beautifully mean to you? When I spent time in my father’s village, many moons ago, I observed that the elderly were revered. My grandmother and her friends were consulted for their wisdom and experience, and the prevailing attitude was one of respect and reverence… From that vantage point, I saw aging as a gift; something to honor if/when we get there, and a place we all get to eventually, if we are blessed with longevity. When I first read Oprah‘s Life Lesson #7 on Aging Beautifully, (see below) I wanted to write a post about it, but I didn’t. Instead I wrote a general post about the first 10 lessons. How do you broach such a subject without delving into the ups and downs of aging? How do we age beautifully, even with the aches and pains and the daily dismissals that many experience after a certain age? To age beautifully is to make peace with the many changes going on inside and outside. It is to embrace our body and treat it with loving care; exercise, good food, good reads and company, and even enhancements/treatments if that entails our vision of beauty.

Elizabeth Berg shares 3 Things Nobody Tells You... while Val Monroe shares 6 Things That Happen to Your Body… on Aging.
♥You understand that time moves—and has always moved—in inverse proportion to your desire for it to slow down.
♥You get over yourself.
♥You can stop speaking in questions.
♥You may develop “turkey neck”
♥Your hair gets frizzier and more brittle
♥You’re more prone to facial redness
♥You may start to see spots
♥Your legs start to resemble a roadmap
♥Your lipstick starts to bleed into the lines around your mouth

How many of us take the time to consider all the wonderful, beautiful, life-affirming events that have shaped our lives and made our age worth celebrating? Our stories matter.

“A person is always startled when he hears himself called old for the first time.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Inspiration: Aging Beautifully... Tibetan woman by Luca Galuzzi

When You are Old by W. B. Yeats
When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

When I was gathering materials for this post, I read on poets.org that most poems about aging are rarely happy. They are often sad and filled with regret, loss, anger, reminiscences on the passage of time and death… I chose to add one, by Lu Yu, that was playful above because we don’t have to see aging as the termination of life and our enjoyment of it. Life only ends when we take our last breath or when we choose to sit and wallow in misery over past things we no longer can do or change. Aging beautifully is also about letting go of past hurts and jealousies. It is about forgiveness and sharing stories and family history with loved ones so the kinship can continue. Many of the beautiful stories I heard growing up, were shared by my granny and elderly uncles and aunts who have long passed on. Yet, those stories have stayed with me and will be part of my family legacy and history… Passing the stories on is aging beautifully.

An Aging Exercise via Oprah’s Life Lesson 7
♥Write a brief description of yourself at the age you are now.
♥Where are you judging yourself according to what others may think about you?
♥Do you have a number in your mind of the age when attractiveness ends?
♥Are you lying about your age? Why?

If we see our lives as over after a certain age, then why express horror at the swift, downhill spiral that becomes our lot? Our thoughts and beliefs become our self-fulfilling prophesy… Live! More below. ;-)

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Reflections: Everything Is Energy…

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”  John Muir

Reflections: Everything Is Energy... depiction of Newton's 3rd Law of Motion

This week, Oprah‘s life lesson course tackles the law of Karma; at least, that is how some of us would interpret Lesson 24: Newton’s Third Law of Motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. How aware are you of this law in your life?  Everything is made of  or generates energy; our bodies, our minds, thoughts, emotions, money, intentions and our life force. Whatever we do, is already done…meaning every action we take has an outcome, a response, a reaction, and with it comes our energetic reward; an outcome that corresponds with the tenets of Karma, The Golden Rule, and perhaps Retributive Justice. For those who are aware of the impact energy has on every facet of our lives, the advice is to be mindful of our actions, thoughts and desires/intentions… What we put out comes back to us; both positive and negative energy.

“It is only when you have both divine grace and human endeavor that you can experience bliss, just as you can enjoy the breeze of a fan only when you have both a fan and the electrical energy to operate it.” Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Reflections: Everything Is Energy... energy motion blur

The course also offers us more three (3) more questions to consider on the subject of Action = Reaction.  Where have you put energy into the world that feels bad or “off”? Intention is Different from Wants: Who do you want to be in this life? Think of someone you know with unpleasant energy: Where are you creating the same energy in your own life?  When we make a conscious effort to act with integrity, and from a place of sincerity, our actions create corresponding energy channels to assist us. It could be as simple as the community work we do now creates positive dividends in the form of recognition and say, help getting a new and coveted job. Conversely, if we have put our energy into the world in a way that feels bad or “off” or condemns/negates others; say we’re constantly badmouthing people in our community, our negative energetic feedback would be mistrust and a level of disdain by other members of our community.  More responses to the questions below… ;-)

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