May 14, 2015

A Thank You Note to Oprah

Dear Ms. Winfrey,
I cannot begin to fathom how many thank you letters you must get. Sadly, I would imagine you get your fair share of nastygrams too. But hopefully someone just tosses those in the recycle bin with nary a glance. I know that this note will never reach you, and that's okay. Because I know you, of all people, would understand the idea of simply sending the goodness out into the universe and letting it do it's own thing.

So here's some goodness...

I pretty much grew up watching The Oprah Show. I was right there with you when you started the book club. (I still remember getting Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone right after you chose the book for bookclub and devouring it on the couch in our family room in one day. I'm not entirely sure I even took breaks to eat.) You've introduced me to so many wonderful books, and for that I say thank you.

I find I'm naturally drawn to anyone who shares my love of books and reading and learning, the way that you do; so it's no surprise that I've been drawn (like millions of others) to all the things that you do...your shows, your book club, your magazine.

But I've watched you grow and evolve over the years, as I too have grown and evolved. And I could easily get lost in all of the various ways in which you've impacted me and my life, both little and big, (like introducing me to the work of Elizabeth Gilbert or that damn Oprah Chai...OMG that stuff is good!). Or I could wax poetic about how amazing it is that you have impacted, and will continue to impact, so many people that you will never even meet. What a gift.

But that's not why I'm writing this note.

Though there are many things I could thank you for, I am writing to say thank you for your program Super Soul Sunday.

My husband teases me about my love for this show, which I hoard on my DVR and then binge watch when he travels for work (or, like recently, when I am sick). I am tough though, so I can take the teasing. But here's what I need to say to you...

Thank you for giving me a church. I've never been one for organized religion. While I love the idea of the community and I would love a place to talk about all things spiritual and universal, I have never found a church doctrine that I could wholly adopt. And while Super Soul Sunday does not give me a local community to be a part of (I wish it did!), it does give me the fodder for thinking and discourse and text to learn from. It is a virtual church...and school.

I am continually amazed by the things that I learn and the ah-ha moments that I have when watching your show; and the kismet-like way in which your topics or guests often perfectly align with what I need to hear, or think about, or learn about at that given moment in my life.

This past weekend I binge watched four episodes of the show while laying in bed enjoying Mother's Day.

It was bliss.

On one of those episodes you interviewed Jon Kabat-Zinn (whose name I've always thought sounds like a delicious wine) and you talked about mindfulness.

The concept of mindfulness has been dancing around in my head for a few weeks now. Ever since I had the thought, following a vacation, that I would like to bring the vacation mindset into my day-to-day, not-on-vacation life. And it occurred to me, after a conversation with a friend, that being mindful is really what the vacation mindset is all about. It's living in the moment. It's being aware and present. It's not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow or what's on the to-do list because you are right here, right now. This is it. This is life. Right now.

So I dug out Kabat-Zinn's book Wherever You Go, There You Are from my bookshelves stuffed with past-reads and decided to (re)learn a little more about being mindful in my daily life. And even before reading the book, I'm already becoming more aware throughout my day of where I am...someplace else in my head, or right here, right now, in this moment. Thanks to you and Super Soul Sunday.

I also watched your interview with Dr. Christiane Northrup about her work and her newest book Goddesses Never Age. I was not familiar with Dr. Northrup's work and found it fascinating. Because, guess what? I've been struggling with aging since turning 40. It's been on my mind a lot lately. And your conversation with Dr. Northrup got me thinking differently about a few things when it comes to getting older. See what I mean? Kismet. It's kind of freaky, really. So, thank you.

I have similar thoughts and feelings after watching most of the episodes of Super Soul Sunday. My eyes open to something new. My soul sending out little waves of gratitude toward you and the person you've interviewed.

So, long-story-longer, I want to thank you.

Thank you for your show. And thank you for all you do.

You do good.

Amy Lorbach

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