This 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.