Last year, I had the opportunity to attend Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul Sessions. This was a day I looked forward to for some time. Who wouldn’t look forward to the day when you actually get to see Oprah Winfrey walk across a stage within range of your cell phone camera?
As I sat in the auditorium looking around at the attendees who were also in anticipation, I had a flashback to the days when Oprah announced her “Favorite Things”. The giddiness, wonder and child-like enthusiasm was palpable. We all knew we would gain something from this day, from this gathering of seekers and from this moment with Oprah.
But what that “something” would be was left to be determined.
One-by-one each of the speakers lined the stage giving their perspectives on how to authentically participate in the highest unfoldment of your life. Each talk (session) packed in so many inspiring suggestions until you almost felt like saying, “Stop. Enough already. I can’t take anymore.”
Although summarizing is not adequate to relay the power of the sessions, here is my attempt at what stood out the most:
Shaka Senghor: A leading voice on criminal justice reform, whose story of redemption after serving 19 years in prison for murder, presents forgiveness, grace, authenticity, and innovation as gateways to transformation to choose the person you want to be.
Marie Forleo: While moving through her childhood years observing her mother’s unyielding can do attitude, Forleo formed the belief that “nothing in life is that difficult, and everything is figureoutable.”
Cheryl Strayed: There is an emotional and spiritual toll when we don’t act upon our most important intentions. Now having lived through “feeling the fear and doing it anyways,” Strayed imparts that we have the courage step into opportunities and be open to where life is trying to lead you.
Caroline Myss: “Woundology.” Myss postulates this is characterized by a person’s reliance on the power of illness for manipulation of his or her world, as opposed to attaining an independent, empowered state of health.
Amandla Stenberg: My Authenticity is My Activism. The title of Amandla’s session says it all.
Kris Carr: The most important question to ask when dealing with an illness, “Can I participate in my wellness, instead of participating in my illness?”
India.Arie: After a four year hiatus, Arie now expresses herself from a place of soul-led truth that she has defined and will continue to determine.
Dr. Shefali Tsabary: According to Dr. Shefali, “…children serve as mirrors of their parents’ forgotten self,” and our role as parents is to preserve our child’s true self and wholeness by healing our own brokenness. “Your children are not here to be extensions of your ego.”
Eckhart Tolle: By asking the question, “Who am I?” the point is to be drawn into presence, not into interpretation.
Winfrey began her session after the first half of the day and up until this point, it was still not clear what my big takeaway from this day would yield.
At the start of the event, Winfrey made it clear that she believes we are all here with a purpose, and that “the real work of our lives is to become aware and awakened; to answer the call.”
Winfrey clarified that SuperSoul Sessions is not solely about her intention. She led in a moment of silence and asked us to quietly contemplate our own intention for the day and what we really want for ourselves.
In Winfrey’s opinion, “most people can’t answer the question, “What do I really, really want to do?”” Maybe a lot of people do in fact have a hard time with this.
But what about those of us who do know what we want to do, and instead have the question of, “Can I really do what I want to do?”
Winfrey talked about commitment, and a hint of clarity began to crystallize. The intention I set for myself earlier that morning to receive exactly what I needed to hear, was about to be realized.
I can honestly say that after all the articles, events, seminars, books, personal discussions and good intentions, the one thing I have been missing is full commitment.
Step-by-step I have moved through the trek out of the fear, out of the doubt and away from the dark abyss of self-negating thoughts. I’ve worked consistently and intently on moving away from making choices that only stem from a place of fear. And I’ve made progress. Lots of progress.
However, in all of my “moving-out-of”, I cannot definitively say that I’ve moved closer to full commitment.
The lack of unyielding commitment to my personal pursuits demonstrates that after all the inner work I’ve done, and after all the moments of undeniable grace I have experienced, I still have the capacity (and nerve) to indulge doubt.
It’s like a tired relationship with an ex-boyfriend, you already know what you’ll get will be disappointing, but yet you entertain the idea of getting back together anyway.
I make sincere attempts at being authentic, making decisions and taking actions that I think (and hope) will help me to participate in the highest unfoldment of my life.
But sometimes I miss. And on some days I don’t want to be spiritual.
Sometimes I want to be afraid, uncertain and filled with doubt. Why? Because for so long that was my uncomfortable comfort zone. I know how to navigate that terrain. Just sit and worry all day, every day.
This is in fact the commitment I held true to for years. But now, this “worrying all day” commitment feels like wet clothes, like something I just want to get out of, right now!
When I think about why it’s been difficult to stand in the commitment of my pursuits and let go of worry, the hesitation seems to stem from the insecure feelings that come with not knowing how something will turn out after my best efforts.
Commitment to a higher pursuit in the midst of the unknown is a whole different beast.
In my mind, commitment means there is no more room for subjecting yourself to the daily wavering and questioning if the supposed dream can really come true, or trying to make yourself fit back into the hole you just climbed out of.
So how does one stand committed to something you really want to create when you can’t control all of the outcomes? When you can’t address the unknowns? And when anything can happen?
Well, I suppose that’s exactly how…by believing that anything really can happen, especially surprisingly wonderful, unimaginable things.
So thank you, again, Oprah, for all you’ve done, and for helping me to see that at minimum I can make the commitment to being committed.
Originally published at medium.com