One of the things that she seemed to keep going back to is how important it is to listen to your inner voice and use that as your guide to your true purpose in life. For me, I call that voice the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit. He's my connection to my Heavenly Father, and he's my little inner thermometer that tells me if I'm getting warmer (closer to God) or colder (farther away). The more I listen and act on my impressions, the closer I get to God and His true purpose for me in my life.
I'm not sure if Oprah mentioned this or if it's just something that came to me as she was talking, but I realized that at every moment of every day I am either doing something that gets me closer to a better me or farther away. Like most people (I think!) I often find myself spending time doing things and then asking myself, "What am I doing? Why am I doing this? Should I be doing this? Should I be doing something else?" The constant struggle can be overwhelming and confusing.
However, I've found that if I just pause in whatever I'm doing and ask, "Is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this what I'm supposed to be doing? Is this bringing me closer to my purpose in life?" I begin to feel those subtle promptings from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, like if I'm lounging in front of the tv or surfing random websites on the net, the answer is, "This isn't helping anyone and it's not making you a better person. Time to refocus." Sometimes it's, "You can do this for a moment just to take a little break, but you know what you should really be doing." And the best feeling is when it's, "You're doing just fine. Right on track. Keep it up!"
Right now as I'm writing this I'm getting a combination of the second two. I know that sharing these thoughts and feelings through my writing is a big part of my life's purpose right now, but at the same time I know that my children are at a special time in their lives and any time I'm at the computer is time away from them. I know how much they cherish and enjoy my presence in their lives so I know I need to put them first.
The beauty of asking that simple question is that when you're not on track you can get back on track, and you don't feel like you're confused about the decision. And what I really love is that it's helped me to focus and be more present when I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. When I'm thumbing through a magazine and my kids are in the other room watching a movie, I can ask myself, "Is this bringing me closer to my purpose in life?" and it's pretty obvious that I need to put the magazine down and call my kids in to read stories with me on the couch. As I snuggle up to them and we read books, I will have complete peace and satisfaction in my heart that I am exactly where I'm supposed to be and doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing at that time.
Really, that's where the true joy in life lies. It's when you know for sure that you are exactly where you're supposed to be and doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.
So I'll leave you with this simple challenge: this week, as you go about your daily life-cleaning, emptying the dishwasher, helping kids with homework, running errands- ask yourself, "Is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this what I'm supposed to be doing?" You'll know the answer. Trust me. You'll know.
To find out more about what I believe as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please visit www.mormon.org. :-)