Photo: George Burns
I keep a little bottle of bubble-blowing potion and a bubble wand on my desk. And when the day gets too heavy and I'm feeling overwhelmed, I may actually blow a few.
Blowing the perfect bubble requires bringing your attention to your breath and placing it in the space of the present moment. Kind of like bubble meditation. Being fully present automatically lifts your spirits. Clears your mind of distractions. Brings clarity. Even some joy, if you're open to it.
Blowing bubbles reminds me of happiness. It makes me think of lying flat on my back on a bed of grass, taking in the sky (sky meditation). Or standing in a grove of trees (tree meditation). Or walking through the woods with my dogs (dog-walking meditation). The best is when I get to do all three in one day.
In our current economic state, we have a choice: We can reside in a place of desperation, panic, and fear—or we can literally give ourselves some breathing space. Take in a few deep breaths. Exhale. And focus on what we need instead of what we've been striving to have.
When was the last time you thought about what really makes you feel good? Just thinking about that walk through the woods with my dogs brings a smile to my spirit.
What fills you up? What matters most to you?
For me, it's finding teachable moments in every experience. I'm happiest when I'm either learning or teaching. But I can do neither without giving my full attention to whatever or whoever needs to be in focus. That means listening with my whole body, all senses attuned to the moment.
Being able to tune in this way is why, even after 23 years of doing the show, I still have aha moments.
Meaningful things happen when you give someone your undivided—undistracted—attention. Because that's what everyone is really looking for: to be validated, appreciated, heard. To be raised up by their interactions, and not put down.
I know for sure: When we connect to what's alive in another person, the feeling is mutual.
And we both get a lift.
From the May 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!