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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Shares the Sad, Beautiful Story About Her Mother’s Last Days, Shows How Universal Grief Is

By | Celebrities, Food for thought, Inspiring Stories, life lessons, love, oprah, Oprah Winfrey

Oprah has long been a guiding force for so many of us. But even our greatest muses can often use some guidance.

oprah-mother
Oprah Winfrey with mom Vernita Lee/OWN Communications

On Thanksgiving Day, Oprah Winfrey’s mother, Vernita Lee, 83 died at home in Milwaukee, surrounded by family. In the end, Oprah was able to spend some time with her mom, but she struggled with saying goodbye.

“In hospice care they have a little book about the little conversations,” Winfrey told People. “I thought, ‘Isn’t this strange? I am Oprah Winfrey, and I’m reading a hospice care book on what to say at the end.’”

I thought, ‘Isn’t this strange? I am Oprah Winfrey, and I’m reading a hospice care book on what to say at the end.’

“I just thought, ‘What is the truth for me? There isn’t going to be an answer in a book. What is it that I need to say?’ I was praying for a way in.”

In the end, she found what worked for her.

“This is the beauty of my life,” she says. “There’s not a thing that happens to me, that I don’t look at it as a teaching, learning, experience. I knew my mother was dying. I got a call from my sister (Patricia, who Lee gave up for adoption in 1963) that she thought it was the end. I was planning to go to launch Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, in Chicago. I hopped on a plane and I went early—I surprised my mother.”

“She’s sitting in this little room—she loves sitting in this room where it’s 80 degrees,” Winfrey says. “She just watches TV all day… She’s had nurses and so forth over the years. Even when she didn’t need nurses, she’s had nurses. She just liked having all these people.”

I said, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to make it. Do you think you’re going to make it?’ She said, ‘I don’t think I am.’ I had a conversation with her about what that felt like, what it felt like to be near the end. I started telling all the people who cared about her that, ‘She knows it’s the end, so, if you want to say goodbye, you should come and say goodbye.’”

“And that’s what happened. People would come in. She would tear up when she saw them. You could see the appreciation and love she felt for them. Then, I said to her, ‘What a wonderful thing to be able to say goodbye,’ because she’s completely coherent and perfectly understanding everything.”

“I waited for a way to say what I wanted to say,” she says. “I couldn’t find it that day. The next morning I woke up, and I was actually praying for, ‘What is a way I can have this conversation about the end? How do I close it?’ I just thought, ‘What is the truth for me? What is it that I need to say?

Searching for comfort and closure in music

Eventually, Winfrey turned to music, calling a friend, Wintley Phipps, who is a gospel singer. I thought, ‘What if I call Wintley and got him to sing ‘Precious Lord’ to her?’ Winfrey called Wintley, and got him on FaceTime. He sang ‘Precious Lord’ live to her from his kitchen table.”

She stayed with the music theme when she saw it bringing comfort to her mom, “I played another one of her favorite artists, Joshua Nelson, singing ‘How I Got Over.’ I could see that it opened her a little bit, because my mother’s been a very closed down person. I could see that the music gave me an opening to say what I needed to say.”

A moment of gratitude

“What I said was, ‘Thank you. Thank you, because I know it’s been hard for you. It was hard for you as a young girl having a baby, in Mississippi. No education. No training. No skills. Seventeen, you get pregnant with this baby. Lots of people would have told you to give that baby away. Lots of people would’ve told you to abort that baby. You didn’t do that. I know that was hard. I want you to know that no matter what, I know that you always did the best you knew how to do. And look how it turned out.’”

RELATED: Parents of Confident Kids Do These 7 Things Daily

Winfrey continues, “Then I told her, ‘You should be able to … you should go in peace.’ I told her because my mother has had diabetes. Three years ago she knew she should’ve had dialysis and she didn’t want to do it. It was her choice not to do it. I said (at the time), ‘You should do whatever your body tells you to do. Nobody’s going to force you to do what you don’t want to do.’ I said, ‘You made the best decision for you, but now your body’s shutting down. This is what’s happening. Your kidneys have shut down. Your organs are going to shut down. What you want it to be, what I want it to be, is as peaceful as possible.’”

Finding peace

“In that moment, my sister was in the room. My mother’s had real problems since my sister came back from the adoption. My sister said, ‘Please forgive yourself, because I’ve forgiven you for giving me away.’ It was just really sacred and beautiful. I would say to anybody—and if you live long enough, everybody goes through it—say the things that you need to say while the people are still alive, so that you are not one of those people living with regret about what you would’ve, should’ve, could’ve said.”

“I feel complete. I feel really, really moved by all the people who’ve reached out to me. I got a really lovely note, just yesterday, from Jimmy Fallon (whose mom Gloria died in 2017) saying, ‘My mom’s up there, too, so if your mom has a party, tell her to call my mom.’ I feel like it was as sacred and as blessed as a passing can be.”

None of us are ever ready for loss, but if it’s going to happen, being true to yourself and give yourself room to feel and grieve and say what you need to say will be the most comforting thing you can do.


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Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

https://www.goalcast.com/2018/12/12/oprah-shares-sad-beautiful-story-mothers-last-days-shows-universal-grief/

Oprah Winfrey Reveals the Universal Way to Know You’ve Found Your Life’s Calling

By | be yourself, career, Celebrities, Courage, dreams, Food for thought, Life, Motivation, Oprah Winfrey, Self-Improvement

There’s no denying media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s impossibly impressive life path. From talk show host and author to humanitarian, actor, and curator of an entire TV network, Winfrey knows what she wants and goes passionately toward it.

Oprah-Winfrey-at-award-showThough it’s tough to believe, Winfrey did not experience automatic success in life. Just like the rest of us, she had to learn the difference between a career and a calling before her passion and purpose could take off.

“Your real job in life is to figure out what you’re called to do and you use a job until you can figure out what your calling is — because a job is necessary to survive,” Winfrey says on her network, “In my early days, I had a job, until I could figure out what gave my life its purpose and meaning.”

Winfrey goes on to explain that she had gotten a job in Baltimore as a news anchor, where she was making $22,000/year at 22 years old. At the time, it felt like a financial dream come true.

“Gayle and I used to say, ‘Could you imagine if you 40 and you’re making $40,000? Oh! That’d be good!’” Winfrey recalls, “So that was as big as my dream was — just to make my age.”

But then, Winfrey was demoted because she “was the wrong color and the wrong size.” She was pulled from the news and put on a talk show because the network didn’t know what else to do with her.

“My very first interview was with the Carvel ice cream man and Benny, one of the characters from All My Children,” Winfrey reveals, “I finished that show and I felt like, ‘this is what I am supposed to do.’ All these years, I had been misplaced in news. I’d be out on stories and I’d be crying with the people — I felt I was exploiting the people with news — and the moment I did that talk show, I felt like I could be myself.”

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Finding your passion will energize you

Jumpstart Your Journey: Oprah Winfrey quote on reaching your dream

So how do you know you’ve found your calling? You’ll know what you’re supposed to do by how it feels. Winfrey goes on to explain that since that turning point in her career, she has never had a problem with her energy levels — she went from being an exhausted, burnt out news anchor to a TV host bursting with energy and zest for life.

“If you can find what your passion is, you never get tired, or if you do get tired, you’re fueled by the energy of your work,” Winfrey gushes, “I know I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this time.”

You won’t be fueled by financial gain

Oprah quote on gratitude - Be thankful for what you have

According to Winfrey, finding your passion also means loving what you do so much that you “would do it for nothing and find a way just to do it.”

While the now-billionaire certainly doesn’t have to worry about doing her life’s calling for free, she has without a doubt fought hard to get to where she is — but her resilience and unwavering belief in her passion has taken her incredibly far.


If you’ve made it this far and you’re craving a transformation of your own, we can help you get there.
Jumpstart your personal transformation and get on track to build your best life with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.
Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.
Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

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https://www.goalcast.com/2018/08/09/oprah-winfrey-reveals-the-universal-way-to-know-youve-found-your-lifes-calling/

Introducing the 5 Best Celebrity Graduation Speeches of 2018 (They’ll Give You Goosebumps)

By | Celebrities, Chance the Rapper, Food for thought, Inspiring Stories, Justin Trudeau, life lessons, Nikki Haley, Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Drew

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For countless college graduates around the world it’s a time of excitement, stress and a world of opportunities opening up, as commencement ceremonies kick into high gear.

Whether students are excited about life as certified adults or nervous about their prospects, inspirational speeches and words of encouragement that come from the heart are more important than ever.

Don’t confuse what is legal with what is moral, because they are entirely different animals. So do the right thing, especially when nobody’s looking.

Oprah Winfrey

Whether it’s about pursuing your dreams, seizing the moment, embracing diversity, living with the power of the vote or simply using common-sense social media etiquette, here are the most important lessons delivered by this year’s star speakers.

chance-the-rapper
Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

1. Oprah Winfrey – University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism

[embedded content]The queen of television and media encouraged graduates to embrace the power of voting and take active part in the country’s political life at all levels.

“People died for that right. I think about it every time I cast a vote, so don’t let their sacrifice be in vain,” Winfrey told an enraptured audience, adding stern warnings about living responsibly, being upstanding and being kind.

“You have no idea what your legacy will be, because your legacy is every life you touch. Pick a problem, any problem, and do something about it. Because to somebody who’s hurting, something is everything.”

2. Justin Trudeau – New York University

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Entertaining a grand audience at New York’s Yankee Stadium, the Canadian Prime Minister urged graduates to avoid intellectual and opinion eco chambers: “Make a point of reaching out to people whose beliefs and values differ from your own. I would like you to listen – truly listen – and try to understand them and find that common ground.”

Retaining the themes of diversity, tolerance and acceptance, the Prime Minister spoke of all the valuable lessons that people can offer. “Your teachers will come from every station in life, every education level, every belief system, every lifestyle. I hope you will embrace that.”

3. Chance the Rapper – Dillard University

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The Acid Rap author spoke of his icon – Michael Jackson, the man and persona who inspired his career. The musical legend who gave him life lessons he still carries with him: never setting any limitations to yourself and work hard.

The artist also encouraged his audience to push forward and persevere in the face of adversity, to ground one’s work in links to the past, but in a way that always build on it, improves it, changes it and expands it.

“The highest form of respect that we can pay to the people who came before is, the people who sacrificed for us and gave us everything, is to be better than them. Our parents, grandparents, ancestors sacrificed not so that we could keep doing the same thing that they were doing, but so that we can be better. To simply copy them would be almost an insult to their sacrifice.”

4. Nikki Haley – Clemson University

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The U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Clemson alumni warned of the dangers of social media. The all-too-perfect lives it portrays, the envy it creates, and how it erases real life connection and expectations. And most importantly, the way social media interacts with gratitude – not just as a feeling, but as an intention and a guiding light.

“Gratitude as a determination to take the things that have benefitted us and pay them forward. The institutions, the ideas and the people. Gratitude is ensuring that they’re preserved, protected and passed onto others.”

5. Sarah Drew – University of Virginia

Actress and UVA alumni Sarah Drew knows one or two things about performing, whether it’s onstage, on social media or our private lives. Which is exactly why, she encouraged UVA graduates not to focus on the (often fake) image of ourselves we put in front of the world and online, but on our true selves and living our own lives.

“Who are we out of the spotlight, when we’re not performing for an audience?” she asked.  The former Grey’s Anatomy star also emphasized the importance of building strong communities – both for discovering ourselves and giving back to others. “We are not meant to live on our own private islands. We are a tribal species. We are built for community. And it is only in community where we uncover our true value and our deepest worth.”

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Reconnect with your dreams and jumpstart your personal transformation with Goalcast’s new inspirational ebook, Explore Your Potential: Start the Journey to Your Dream Life.

Transformation doesn’t just happen. It takes a plan and a support system. This how-to guide is full of the top wisdom, tips, exercises, and success stories to inspire an old dream or create a new one.

Check out a teaser of what’s inside.

Introducing the 5 Best Celebrity Graduation Speeches of 2018 (They’ll Give You Goosebumps)