Mid Week Inspiration No.2

August 17, 2017

“And so I had a lot of great teachers, as we all do.  I mean, old boyfriends are some of the best”     ~ Oprah

(Video credit:  YouTube:  jamjar30002000)

(This post may contain affiliate links)

Something lovely for your Thursday

I'm going to leave this here without commentary, as I want it to remain as untouched and unstained for you as it was for me.  I hope it might change the trajectory of your week, as it has mine

An excerpt from “Harry's Last Lecture.”  A talk given by Oprah Winfrey at Stanford University in 2015.  It's one of the most beautiful speeches I've ever heard

— —

One of my greatest teachers was a man named John Diez.  We were doing a show called “Would you Survive?”

On Tuesday, October 31, 2000, Singapore Airlines flight 006, a Boeing 747 traveling from Taipei to Los Angeles took off with 179 souls aboard.  Four crew and seventy-nine passengers perished on that flight.

There was a typhoon rolling through at the time, and the plane went down the wrong runway.  John Diez was on that plane and had several, several, indications (whispers) that he shouldn't have gotten on, but he did anyway.  He managed to be one of the survivors

On the Oprah show, I asked him, “What do you think it was that made you one of the survivors?  Do you think it was your position on the plane?”

“Yes, I think it might have been my position on the plane, and also my quick thinking.  And the fact that I didn't stop moving”

So I said, “You don't believe?  You're not a religious man?  You don't believe there was some kind of divine intervention going on there?”

He said, “No, I'm not a religious person.  I don't believe that it was anything divine.  I don't believe that.  Although I did see, as I got knocked back into the plane, that it looked like Dante's Inferno.  With people strapped into their seats, and just burning

And it seemed to me, as I turned and looked backward like there was a light coming out of the tops of their heads.  I guess you could call it an aura was leaving their bodies.  And some lights were brighter than others.”  

“It changed me,” he said.  “It gave me a new kind of spirituality, in that I now believe somehow, I don't know how, but life continues on, somehow through that light.  I thought, you know, I'm not a religious man, but the brightness and dimness of the auras were how one lives one's life, so to speak.”

“So that's one of the main things that's changed with me since then,” he said. “I want to live my life so my aura, when it leaves, is one of the brightest ones.”

— —

And the real question is:  How does one lead a meaningful life?  Because ultimately isn't that what we all want?  We want to lead a life so that, however, we transition, people can say, “Wow .. that was a bright one”     ~ Oprah Winfrey

(Video credit:  YouTube: Stanford)

What's inspiring you this week?


ps:  For more Midweek Inspiration: What's your signature dish? .. Great advice about weight loss and loving yourself right where you are .. What podcasts are you enjoying these days?


(Featured Image Photo Credit: Instagram – @emilyblincoe)

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  • Reply Sam Jeffery August 13, 2017 at 5:21 am

    A good while ago I made these Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with poppy seeds. I was smart and they were delicious! Get thee a griddle (or fish it out from the back cabinet)

  • Reply Sabine August 14, 2017 at 6:45 am

    President Obama’s eulogy for Clementa Pickney. I sure miss his grace and generosity of spirit as our leader.

  • Reply Amanda August 15, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    You know… that totally controversial women’s empowerment book written by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg? Lean In. I’m so glad someone is saying the words she’s said about women in the workplace. They seem to be fighting words, but I’ll let you judge for yourself. xx

  • Reply Sirri August 15, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I try to find inspiration in all of the little moments, the quiet moments, the unexpected moments. It’s not always grand days or epic meals that provide me with the clearest inspiration.

  • Reply Sophie August 16, 2017 at 3:47 am

    I’ve been inspired by my grandchildren to Go outside. Even if that means going out on the patio to water the potted plants and dig around in the dirt while the cat chases lizards. x

  • Reply Lisa P August 17, 2017 at 7:15 am

    True confessions?

    I read your blog every day, although I don’t really read it for the recipes.

    I read it because you are real. You are genuine. You are you.

    Keep being you & doing what you do…it’s a refreshing rarity these days! xoxo

  • Reply Sheri August 17, 2017 at 9:35 am

    WOW. So moving. I believe there are divine powers out there, no matter your faith or religion. I believe we all have a bright aura and we can choose to make it shine. We should not go through life allowing it to dim, but to make it shine brighter every day.

    • Reply Vicky August 19, 2017 at 8:01 pm

      I too believe in divine powers- what ever that may be. I love the idea too of making our auras brighter by the day. Love this post and that comment!

  • Reply Vicky August 17, 2017 at 10:50 am

    I love Oprah with a deep passion and this is so spot on. How we live life MUST come from within, and we are all still coming into that. I love this. I LOVE that him seeing people’s auras leave their body changed how he viewed spirituality.

  • Reply Lindsay August 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

    My resilience has inspired me this week. As a parent and an adult. Sometime you feel you do not have the strength to carry on, but you do! Not for me but for my daughter.

  • Reply Sarah Bailey August 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

    What an inspiring sounding talk, I’ve not heard it myself before but I will have to sit down and listen to it all the way though as Oprah speaks so well.

  • Reply Tomi August 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

    What a thoughtful post. Hope has been my inspiration this week. So much tension going on in the world and it’s heartbreaking but I’m hopeful.

  • Reply Alli Smith August 17, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I was the speaker at our church last week and I talked about Wisdom. A verse I quoted in Proverbs has inspired me all week long.

    After reading your excerpt of Oprah’s speech, I was thinking if only we would learn to also listen to that still small voice . . . There have been so many times when I could have avoided heartache.

  • Reply Candy August 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Something like that changes your life forever. I remember singing that song as a little girl in church and teaching it to my grandchildren.

  • Reply Jeanette August 17, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Surviving the crash like that does change a person. I think it changes your perspective on life and what is important and what is not. That sounds like an inspiring story that can really help a lot of people.

  • Reply Lisa August 17, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    I am a religious person. I believe in God and afterlife. I can’t imagine living through something like that and not thinking there is something or someone bigger than us keeping you safe. I hope my aura is a brighter one.

  • Reply Debra J Hawkins August 17, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    Wow! This was so crazy to read. I love reading about people’s experiences during difficult moments in their lives. It always reaffirms my life to me.

  • Reply Pam Wattenbarger August 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I am a religious person, but I like his take on things. I would want one of my auras to be one of the brighter ones as well.

  • Reply Joely Smith August 17, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I believe that to live a meaningful life we need not have great success. We need not have wealth either. Health is more important and taking care of ourselves as best we can.
    Ultimately though, to live a meaningful life we only need to have GOOD CHARACTER!
    To me that is the ultimate goal – be moral, caring people.
    If we ALL deeply touch one other soul in our lifetimes we could change the world.

  • Reply Marissa Zurfluh August 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    I totally just got wrapped up in this lecture video. I didn’t even realize it was an hour long. Great message! I love Oprah.

  • Reply Mel August 17, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Such a moving post, full of emotion. It must have been such a tough memory to go through for John Diez when he described the traumatic experience. His outlook on life is certainly an inspirational one.

  • Reply Nicole Flint August 17, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    I’m a very religious person but I can see his take on things. That lecture from Oprah is still one of my favorites to listen to. Very moving and inspiring!

  • Reply Ketki Sharangpani August 17, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    Such a great experience.. potentially life-changing. I wonder how each one of us would react in similar situation.

  • Reply Jelli August 17, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    My kids inspire me. They inspire me to be curious, to drop everything and to have fun. To let go of the housework and check out how high they’re climbing in the guava trees or how many bugs they’ve collected since breakfast time.

  • Reply Liz Mays August 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    That’s such an incredible story! I’m glad the man was able to come away from such a horrifying experience with some positivity.

  • Reply Alicia Taylor August 17, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    Wow! That’s an amazing story. He’s definitely lucky to be alive – no matter what he attributes it to.

  • Reply Censie Sawyer August 17, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    Great story and something that needs to be shared. I believe in a divine power and I think his story supports that. I cannot imagine going through that. I love this speech from Oprah too!

  • Reply Cheryl August 17, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I think Oprah’s gorgeous. When I listened to her speech it gave me power and it makes me feel thankful for all people that are close to me, and the others that come and give you a lesson. Like she says “I’ve chosen love and peace rather than being right” and “It’s very big that you are here” So be thankful for that. It truly gave my a new horizon.

  • Reply Sarah Honey August 17, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    I found my birthday cake with this Angel Food Cake with Heath Bar Whipped Cream. It’s heavenly!

  • Reply Rachel August 17, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Letters of Note is the most beautiful site I’ve found in a long time. It’s filled with lost and found letters in history. I love the letter from W.E.B DuBois to his daughter. This letter from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) to his wife swells my heart. And Elizabeth Taylor wrote a letter to her lost cat… which I completely understand.

  • Reply Lisa Favre August 17, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    This is really something to think about – how do we lead meaningful lives? I think it changes for each individual over time, as values develop depending on their life experiences!

  • Reply Claudia Krusch August 17, 2017 at 6:40 pm

    This is a fantastic excerpt of Oprah’s speech. This week I am motivated to get back on track before school starts. I will have to share this post with my friends.

  • Reply Allison August 17, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    I love Oprah! She is truly an inspiration and one thing that always stands out to me is that it’s nothing but real talk with her. She doesn’t sugar coat anything and we all need to hear that from time to time.

  • Reply melissa August 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Oprah is the best isn’t she? I am always being inspired by her, she puts things into perspective and really makes me think twice about some things I never thought any differently about. I like getting to see things in a different light and when things force me to think differently it is quite amazing. I do wish I stumbled upon things like this more often.

  • Reply Sandy N Vyjay August 18, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Loved the account of the plane crash and about the aura around the people who were dying. Yes I do feel that what we do with our current lives and how we live it will definitely influence what our life is going to be after we die, in case there is life after life. Your post has set me thinking on the deeper meaning of life.

  • Reply Aditi August 18, 2017 at 2:16 am

    WOW. This was so motivating and inspiring. Oprah always inspires and brings out the bright in the dull days. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration to inspire us all Ali! <3

  • Reply Tushar Singh August 18, 2017 at 3:06 am

    Oprah is just great! Although, I’m not religious. I do believe in doing something valuable in our lives. The impact we have created can probably be associated with the light.

    There’s this quote I read the other day. It goes like, “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”.
    They say it’s by Benjamin Franklin. But I can’t confirm.

  • Reply Kailash Joshi August 18, 2017 at 3:53 am

    I’ve watched this TED Talk on creativity and success three times this week. It’s a perspective change about creation and mastery over the outcome. Take in these words: Embrace the near win.

  • Reply Anna August 18, 2017 at 4:03 am

    What an incredible story, I mean most of us would have certainly said it was God’s hand at work on our lives to survive and testify to the many.

  • Reply Vidal August 18, 2017 at 5:59 am

    I love the quote at the beginning about boyfriends being the best teachers of life lessons. Oprah has so much of wisdom.

  • Reply Vanessa August 18, 2017 at 6:46 am

    This week i have been inspired by Princess Moana to go beyond my comfort zone 🙂

  • Reply Faith August 18, 2017 at 7:38 am

    This is a really thought-provoking post. I would say my kids inspire me and get me to strive for more. Living a meaningful life is different for so many people.

  • Reply Brigette August 18, 2017 at 8:00 am

    We started our home school routine this week and I’m not going to lie, I was kind of dreading it. We were having so much fun just enjoying our days.. But this week when my daughter (has learning disabilities) read a poem that she had struggled with before, inspired me to keep going. She made me realize that we are doing what’s best for her and as long as we keep going, everything will work itself out in the end!

  • Reply Arv August 18, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Great..I was happy to have stumbled upon your post. That was quite moving experience. Especially it comes from an atheist. Thanks for posting it here for all of us

  • Reply Karlyn Cruz August 18, 2017 at 8:35 am

    I used to love going to church to sing “This little light of mine” as the kids and I walked around with fake candles. Still makes me feel so soft inside. This is definitely an inspirational song and something I really want my son to get into. Thank you for this reminder and the positive vibes you pass on daily.

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose August 18, 2017 at 8:58 am

    My kids always sing this song in church when they have school masses. This Little Light of Mine is One of my favorites as well.

  • Reply Tanvi Rastogi August 18, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I read the passage you posted. That’s an inspiring message. I do believe in living a life to the fullest. My quote goes something like, “When I am 80 on a rocking chair and looking back at life, I want to be able to say – That was a life well lived!”

    I will watch the speech later today! 🙂 Have a good weekend!

  • Reply Sue Tanya McHorgh August 18, 2017 at 10:36 am

    This is an inspirational post. There is so much crazy things going on. I love Oprah, she is one of my favs.

  • Reply Sabine August 18, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I’ve been inspired by my best friend to leave my phone at home. Instead, spend some time looking someone in the eye, listen to what they have to say, and respond with heart. Crazy, right? Who knew? x

  • Reply Kate August 18, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    This is really inspiring! My family always inspire me, my kids, my husband and everyone I love! Thanks for sharing this!

  • Reply Krizia Velez August 18, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    This story literally gave me goosebumps! This story did inspire me and changed my perspective on things.

  • Reply Tanya August 18, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Martha Stewart’s Blueberry Buttermilk Waffles. Why would you pancake when you can waffle? No flipping, fewer flops, and waffle holes designed specifically for maple syrup and blueberries. Yum!

  • Reply Made Adayasa August 18, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    I watch a lot here oprah Winfrey show . Your post is meaningful for me . I’m not a religious person to but only believe whit what call Karma . What I done before and now will bring me what will I have to be tomorrow and the future .

  • Reply Elizabeth O August 18, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    I remember that lecture well and it never ceases to move me. There is so much about life after life that we don’t know and that is why we ought to live our best life while we are in this body. It doesn’t have to be a dazzling life but, a purposeful life of service makes huge waves.

  • Reply Shawna August 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    What a great story! I am so glad you shared. Such a big impact she made, telling that story, with very few words. Amazing!

  • Reply Libby August 19, 2017 at 12:05 am

    Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. She was super fascinating and I’m loving this book. It was spawned by my love of F.Scott and my recent reading of The Paris Wife. If I ever have a daughter, I’m naming her Zelda … I called it.

  • Reply Anjali Chawla August 19, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Great story! I love Oprah! She’s such an inspiration. I’m glad I came across this today! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Reply David Elliott August 19, 2017 at 11:11 am

    It’s interesting that people find somehow that they can believe in a strange kind of spirituality without some form of deity. I do believe that we want to believe in some things and it’s interesting what we want to believe. What I do agree with Oprah is that we should live the kind of life that we have an honorable life and end.

  • Reply Joanna August 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    I am not a religious person but I did get chills when I read your story. Maybe because my biggest fear of all is flying… and I could imagine perfectly his description of the auras leaving the bodies… that is so powerful and so scary in the same time if you really think about it.

  • Reply Rochelle August 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Wow, this is one of the most enlightening posts I’ve read this week. I believe in having an aura because my dad can see them in people and he can tell which of the strangers we meet are bad and good ones. Having a bright aura is something we should work for.

  • Reply Megan August 19, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I’ve been inspired by my mom to be better with my finances and how important it is to know how to take care of ourselves in the world. So I’m all about the basics: bathing, smiling at strangers, remembering to buy toilet paper, how to fold fitted sheets, and how to invest in our Roth IRAs. The basics, right? Yes. xx

    • Reply Ana De- Jesus August 21, 2017 at 6:59 pm

      Your mum sounds like a wonderful person and its great that she taught you how to manage your money. Being about the basics is key !

  • Reply Maggie August 20, 2017 at 12:10 am

    The Kitchn’s Cooking School is 20 days + 20 simple kitchen lessons. The simplicity and solid learning is inspiring!

  • Reply Alice August 20, 2017 at 12:48 am

    I always love oprah and this post is very inspiring. All of us wanted to lead a a life that we all wish for. This will really change your outlook

  • Reply Anna Szoke August 20, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I’m in need of inspiration too this week. Some weeks we’re more input that output … that’s just the rhythm of life and I try to be honest about it. Loving everybody’s sweet comments and tips! x

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus August 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Wow now if that is not what you call a moving speech then I don’t know what is. Sometimes I struggle to find meaning especially when my mood is low but the comment about leaving behind a bright aura really struck a chord x

  • Reply Zainab August 21, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    I try and find inspiration in small things that will make my problems smaller tomorrow. And I really do agree with Oprah that old boyfriends make the best teachers! We learn so much.

  • Reply Kusum August 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Love this inspiration series you have started here and LOL can I just say that the caption up top by Oprah is the best! What’s currently motivating me is my baby boy, his smiles and the fact that I have to raise him to be a good human always keeps me going.

    xx, Kusum

  • Reply Zainab August 23, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Sometimes spirituality is the root of religion and a personal belief is more important than ‘getting it right’. I also love the picture at the top – Oprah is right! We do learn the most from our old boyfriends…. Inspiring me this week is the simple belief that I need to keep going.

  • Reply Claire Santiago September 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I don’t know really, what inspires me. But I have this drive to always go through with all the responsibilities I have for the day and the coming days.

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