oprahThis morning, I participated in the Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey 21-day Meditation Challenge, Day 3.  I love Deepak’s sonorous voice and his gentle accent, as he pronounces “sham” like “shum,” and uses phrases like, “I’ll mind the time.”

I enjoyed his last meditation challenge on abundance and thought it would be fun to join the mass meditation on health.  Until I heard the first recording, and my distaste for Oprah came flowing back on a river of resentment.

Oprah introduces each meditation.  Oprah gives her observations on the subject before Deepak begins his teaching.  Oprah tells us what she loves.  I’ll never forget the Oprah show where audience members were asking questions of Sir Elton John, and she answered for him, as if he weren’t there, telling the audience what he thought, and how his creative process worked.  I remember being so horrified by her arrogance that I vowed never to watch again.

It was, therefore, thrilling to see one commenter on the meditation site lamenting how Oprah “insinuated herself” into the process.   Finally! Validation!

I chafed to see another commenter thanking Oprah for “organizing” it.  Seriously?  Deepak did just fine without her last time, yet there she is, with her name and her trademark personal commentary.

I suppose Deepak doesn’t mind.  And Deepak is far wiser than I am.  But, dang, that Oprah woman really provokes my inner brat.  She bugs me.

It’s not you, Oprah, it’s me

As the thoroughly enlightened coach that I am, I realize that the reasons Oprah annoys me have to do with my shadow side—the unpleasant traits that I possess but don’t want to own.  I see them reflected back to me in my dark mirror, and I want to smash the bloody thing to bits.

I want to be recognized for my achievements.  I want to be the smartest one in the room.  I want credit and acknowledgment (and some cash wouldn’t be unwelcome) for my creativity and my work.  And in the wanting, I unconsciously judge myself lacking, and overcompensate with annoying traits of my own.

My desire for outside validation takes me out of mindfulness, out of the present moment, and into a world where I’m not complete, not whole, not good enough.  Where I curse my smallness and rage against my emerging body of work.  Where I possess the arrogance to think that only those I judge worthy can be my teacher.

Why does Oprah bug me?  She doesn’t.  She’s just doing her thing, living her dream, living large.

I bug me.  When I don’t want to own it, refuse to shine light on it, or lose my sense of humor about it, I’ve succumbed to the siren song of my dark side.   I’ve lost my sense of connection and instead of focusing on my passion and connection, I’ve chosen to limit my participation in the vast energy of all things bright and beautiful, having given over a part of myself to the misery of resentment for what I don’t have.

I guess I should be grateful—I’ll always have Oprah to blame for that.  Namaste.


22 Responses to Oprah Shmoprah

  1. LOVE this authentic and saltily REAL post:) Thanks Amy- I will be sharing!

  2. Teresa Lynne says:

    Don’t be too hard on yourself. She made an interview with James Taylor all about herself and I got annoyed too. I’m sure we are not alone.

  3. Oh, Amy. You are not alone. Remind me to tell you my Oprah story sometime…

    Oprah bugs me. I bug me.

    Same. Same.

    • amysteindler says:

      You’re already one of my best friends, but this totally raises you in the pantheon. When will you tell me your Oprah story???

  4. Nancy says:

    Wonderful article! I so relate to what you say here!
    Bravo and you are GREAT! It’s such an important point to make in our celebrity culture. It is so easy to disown our own LIGHT and project it onto the celeb. Let’s all own our gifts now! xx Nancy

    • amysteindler says:

      Thanks, Nancy–so good to know I’m not alone–it’s scary to admit that I don’t love Oprah, and even scarier to admit that I continue to keep myself small.

  5. Janet Jones says:

    Oh Amy. Great post – and I’m right there with you. In the words of Kathy Griffin…”I love her, but she thinks she’s Jesus”. Thanks for this — I absolutely hear myself in it….”but IIII want to be the smartest one in the room!”. Oh dear! Many thanks!

  6. I just flat out love you when tell the truth.

  7. Amy, this is a great post, thanks so much for sharing. She bugs me – I bug me. Yes and yes.

  8. Wow. I can totally relate with that self-diagnosis.
    Now I’m all, “I need to fix that in me”, which often whirls me into a funk. Yikes!

    Writing any follow-ups?

  9. Mariette West says:

    Loved this! It let my shadow side come to the surface too. I will be sharing as well ~ thank you!

  10. Marilou Burleson says:

    It’s funny, I hear you. And I can relate. Especially with the opening comments for the meditation challenge, and the book club. But I love Oprah! There. I’ve said it.

    She stands up to names like “the antichrist” and gives people like Eckhardt Tolle, Marrianne Williamson and even Deepak a larger congregation. I just roll my eyes at the other stuff.

    And I love YOU too!

    • amysteindler says:

      At last–someone to defend dear Oprah! Everything you say is true. “Antichrist” might be a tad harsh, and it’s interesting how she has become my teacher, helping me recognize where I feel my cup is only half-full. to you, Marilou!

  11. back says:

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for novice blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • amysteindler says:

      My experience with blog writing is that you just have to decide to make the leap from “aspiring” blog writer to “practicing” blog writer. Write for yourself–whatever wants to be written about–without any attachment to whether anyone else reads it. When you’re ready, let your friends know you’re publishing. As you gain more confidence, look for other bloggers who write about related things, and share links. See if there are curated sites that compile blogs on the topic(s) you write about, and submit a blog for them to publish (I was fortunate to find The Wayfinder Post–www.thewayfinderpost.com–which publishes the “best of” recent life coach blogs.

      If you’d like to talk about it further, feel free to contact me directly via the website. And so sorry if the website ate your response! I have no control over its appetite for words…

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