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Alanis Morissette: Is Happiness Temporary? (Maybe That’s Okay)

2017-08-23 | 🔗

Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette reflects on passion, art and the spiritual lessons that helped her become grounded. Alanis is candid about the toll that fame took on her life. After admitting she didn’t laugh for two years, Alanis shares what she has come to realize about happiness: “I think happiness is a state, and it’s a temporary state. … Sitting in the seat of awareness can give some relief … but I wouldn’t call it happiness. I would call it the bliss, or the joy, of consciousness.”

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
I'm over Winfrey welcome to supersede conversations the podcast. I believe that one of the most valuable gives you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us starts right,
A ladder sooner twin brother Wade were born in nineteen. Seventy four in Ottawa, Canada, raise Catholic Atlantis, was a self proclaimed God girl recognising a deeper connection to what she calls the divine early on. She was also drawn to music at an early age, landing or first record deal at fourteen. After releasing to pop albums in Canada, she took a big risk moving to LOS Angeles in ninety ninety four, at the age of nineteen. It was in California, where she began exploring and edgier more introspective approach to her music, resulting in her first. U S. Release bag it little pill, the album one for Grammy's and sold more than thirty three million copies breaking the record for a day view by female artists in the? U S, but life in the spotlight took its toll, Aladdin struggle with eating disorders and was plagued with bows
depression and anxiety buckling under the pressure to live up to the image of a fearless female rockstar. She found herself isolated and alone, searching for deeper, meaning and purpose a lioness set out on a path towards self healing a path she continues to this day. I excited to so many people first came to know you through jagged little pale. Yes, that was nearly twenty years ago, and now you ve recently turned forty and call that a seminal moment I've. I thought jagged little pill. That was a seminal moment was it does so in a moment, then. I'm only able to process now for having PTSD my way through the last twenty years in response to the mayhem that was that chapter, so jagged little bill came out yes and it. Just just turned you into a phenomenon,
we were playing one hundred cedar clubs, and then we were playing stadiums, so it went from zero to six hundred and fifty three point five seconds wow, and what does that, due to your personal psyche? What is it? What happens? I'd had a model version of it in Canada had a couple of representing Canada. That court on quote did well bye, bye, bye, canadian standard, so it has my teeth, cut a tiny bit in terms of prep, but my head spun around three sixty and I just remember, having been the person who love to sit and watch people, I remember I would just sit at outdoor malls and just watch people all day. Imagine their lives, and then I immediately became the watch ed, and that was really does starting sore. Remember looking down a lot, I remember it and laugh for about two years. A lot of self protection people would bring, to my hotel room. While I was doing a show and leave notes and take things, and so there was a lot of invading of boundaries and
and I also remember setting boundaries backstage all the time and did you think you know who you were at the time? I think I started figuring out who I was about a week ago: yeah yeah so unity, because by my thing I've said for years that if that big, that fain thing it's you and you not grounded- are rooted in something this in an identity? Yes and certainty about that? Yes, then you just sort of get taken over by it. It's like a second
big huge way, I'll take a model that taken under yes it does. You feel that I feel like the desire for fame as an end, as opposed to a means to an end which, following what no more than anyone fame, can be a means to an end of servants? Yes, but when it's just famine- and I in I was subject to the two fame offered as anyone would be- and it was just ass- it was disconcerting and it was disconnected. Actually, I had the bill of good soul to me that I be able to be here. Johnny Depp and you know you and I would be you know, chatting everyday and having tee, and then I came to see that it was actually quite isolating. I felt disconnected from people. I felt there were a lot of, Actions and a lot of assumption, the lot of misperceptions, which felt violent time, so it wasn't connective, as I thought it would when you do, you use the term PTSD. What do you mean really by that traumatized? Because
some level I think, becoming famous and wanting fame. There's some trauma. Did you want it again course? I don't think it happens Wednesday for anybody frankly, and then the traumatized person in this case me gets traumatized by the very thing that I thought would be the bomb. I thought that all would be helped and healed and soothed by fame, because when I get this I will be less lonely and I will be understood and I will be loved and that love will go in and heel and here the broken parts and the truth is there is no difference between fame or you know. When I get then or when I get rich or when I get the right guy. When I get the job they are, we get babies, then I will open and retire when I retire, then I will be happy, I will be healed that will be say me. Ok, everything I'll be! Ok, yes, as though, somehow we ass humans can be exempt from pain. One of the big lesson
I've learned over the last of the has been that if I can become comfortable with pain, which is different that suffering yes, five can be I'm comfortable with pain as just an indication and its potentially a daily thing. In my case, it often is then there be my living in the future. All the time that one day, if and when happy or as a one of our guests, at learning to walk in the dark being com. Double embracing when the dark shows up yes, and even if I'm not comfortable doing that, I'm very uncomfortable in pain. I hated yeah, we'll run from it with all kinds of addictive fun things. You know temporarily fun things by, but at least knowing that it's a portal and that, on the other side, there is this great sense of peace that that goes beyond. This is ego development, but I was having a hard time because I didn't have a sense of self you didn't No, I had a really robust self from what people were telling me and from what my career said. I was doing certainly yeah. That's it
interesting, and I now really Canada usual. Unfortunately, while strange for people did because When people are looking from the outside, but I think that the self is so concrete yeah, they think it so concrete, which has its own challenge to hear. If the south is that concrete- and you know I think of it in many ways- and I've heard lots of people say this famous people- talk talk about this I think in many ways I was so blest actually because I got famous for literally being myself movement was that self, something that you knew did you know New did you know this is Oprah Cuttenclip yeah, ok make great yeah, and so I was a you know Is it I think I became famous is because I broke the mould of trying pretend to be, you know Barbara Walter's or trying to be like somebody else and then just sort of being myself and so the differences. Is oh so when you see when you see me on the street, I am that part
there's a concurrence yeah, that's putting for me now. What you just described is happening for me now and I had aspects of it that way one dimensional ized and I was seen as singularly angry, which you know if you're gonna be sorry singularly anything angry, not terrible than I was singularly spiritual than singularity academic and then in certain moment, singularly stupid or flaky or fill in the blank. So now it feels like- and I dont know whether is because consciousness as evolved to the point where we invited to be more in in a whirlwind. Yes, Heaven forbid that were known as multitudinous being yes,. So have you always been a seeker? I've always been hung and I've always wanted to go to the lowest common denominator. So I like getting to the essence of what's going on hate my own lying lying to myself, lying to other, so I'd like getting to the bottom, where there's no lie left well, I love that getting to the bottom, where there was no light
and is that what you're your music was all about, because you know it struck such a chord with me and with the Rhine motion with the anger, with a vulnerability where you living. What we're writing. I have big dualistic thing going on in that. When I would write in the studio, I felt safe cuz. I was alone frankly or I was with the producer with whom I felt safe, so I would just go for it uncensored, but the goal for me was to apply that authenticity to my day to day life? So a lot of people would notice the split they say on stage your lyrics, you're, so authentic and so direct and then in person you have this serve persona ends we make even cause. I was you were having trouble with the south. Will I'm off introverted and yet temperamental highly sensitive. So I have this combination. Gemini of being both. Stage, the ham, the outspoken commit crazy, intense sweaty, glittery, parliament now, but then
quietly alone in the studio, writing reprinting introverted, like could be happy reading for six hours somewhere Laana rights issue, That's a little known thing about me is. I could be happy alone with your forty zero socks. He asked yes, when my softly to happy best best week of my life. I shall I get lonely, and then I want to start your website. The door. So is it true that you didn't laugh for two years night? I didn't I just amber thinking the only way to survive this I would land at airports and people would be there with Sid we're trying to get my hair and get a piece of my skin literally physically try to get a piece of my skin and they be jumping on the cars will now they just want to Elsie asked the selfish God was, and I live.
Getting selfies. But in several who does actually ok. This is interesting. You have. I read where you ve said the same thing that I felt for years that are used to say this. All the time on the show that fame is just a magnifying glass on who you really are, or what you're grappling with in that mom, you're grappling with their just. You know that nothing really changes. It just puts a big old, magnifying glass on it and all that stuff gets amplified and shows yes, Sir Self doubt or their oh, if their self hatred, if there's anything and frankly- and God bless those you have those on the public guy who are here in the perfect time and their stated development kept her teeth and figure it out then thrown into the public is as a young person whatever it is, it just gets amplify. Yet what did it amplify in? You a certainty around arts. I am nothing if not an artist activist and the activists on behalf of expression.
And the irony of it is that I don't not my not having had a sense of self yet things so dogged dogged Lee wanting expression to happen. You know going to speak to conquer I remember on behalf of artists when the digital world came into play and is fighting for the artist in fighting for that expression, us a certainty we were also shed here- are rain. Wilson here said arts no different than prayer. It's the same thing art and an inner child and ardor inextricably linked to absolutely that's, what's being expressed its beautiful, delicate part? So I think what was amplified as well might have been numb this. This propensity for service after JAG little pill, the tour, the tour but that was finished. I didn't want to do it anymore. I remember going into a studio and just thing: I'm done I often hear that with different artists, your burnt out, you know they really want to, throw in the towel and are not joking, and I remember
making the only way and the only reason I could move forward as if service was imbued into this craziness. So then it became really fun in that way. So then did your art become an active service. Yes, why I actually think artists. Anyone in the public eye is. This is a social activist whether they want to consciously embrace that are not they're doing that people are defining themselves in accordance to you, you're service person. Then I saw people would come up to me and say you know you really help me through my parents, death or my divorce, and so I thought well me just being mean, and it sounds like you may have set a version of this a moment ago. Which is so beautiful to me me being me in the studio, was helping people, so I thought, even if I don't entirely understand that I want to keep doing it. So that's. Why do back in. It's interesting to me that your music was so liberating and healing forces,
many women in particular, and I wondered did it ever. He did it he'll you, I yes one. I would listen back to eight years later, so there are times quiet. Little moments apparently so private anymore, by driving and almost into a song and all to solve the whole way through it because I'll listen to it as though pass self is was singing for me now really When you were doing it and writing it and in it it was not. It was not the same. There would be a movement of energy, and I actually think that art itself is cathartic, but it's not healing. I thought that I could get away with writing. You ought to know in writing. The songs and it would absolve me and redeem and clean up, but having son, you ought to know night after night after night. If I ran into that person, I would have likely in catapulted right back to feeling uncomfortable and terrified and an awkward. So it showed me that the process is cathartic of creating and moving energy, and it can.
Kick start it can be a catalyst to investigate, but unless there is an actual relationship going on or her, maybe I'm singing the song of the person across from me that there was not a lot of healing afforded. You would through some really challenging times, because you at Anoraks Anvil emu front you. So what did eating disorders? Teach you about? The self willed taught me how women were and still are, reduced to objects and a lot of ways or sexual sexual pieces of meat to be to be really direct about it and that what I why I love being perceived as the angry white female on the cover rolling stone is because I thought well at least I'm not, perceived as just a sex piece of need that don't. This is an angry woman is a thinking woman.
An angry woman is responding to what's going on in the culture and society around or so, but eating disorders. For me, food with such an amazing way to call my anxiety to still its to lose food work and love addiction for a long time on an active recovery full of addiction. So those are my top three and then I have a hundred secondary what an active recovery for love addiction. It means for me playing swill implicitly believe details. So briefly, probably briefly, I e a year, if not a little bit more five days, a week therapy in basically doing my own version of number one commitment: recovery from love, addiction, the withdrawal with love addiction is, is harrowing. It's probably the worst pain, I have felt in my life so treating a human being, as that object focuses its an impersonal experience. As long as that person isn't interested or if there really interested in me, I would tweak it so that they would be horrified and want to run.
And it was game on when I say, love addiction. The word love, ideally in my mind, would be includes because it's not actually love. It's a succession of suppression and its fear. Love is just this natural state of absolutely recognising that we're all connected in that we're one. Oh, my goodness, but you know I remember doing show. But his years ago I mean the sunshine everything in the end. What have you not just guy now itself, this idea of, but you don't so many women and men- don't recognize, I think, is easier. You know you're a sex attic than you know. Your lover sex attic is easy. Insects ass. We sat as you're just gonna, kick it enough and it's the seduction part to the sexting yeah, but love addiction. That's how did you figure that out? I figured out because of repeating the excruciating pain of the same pattern of dissolving those same relationship over and over again with many people and the deep pain, and I promised as part of my recovery,
journey to not commit to a new relationship for a year and that met dating different people and not committing to them, which has a love attic. I wanted to commit my propensity with technology. If that person, then to be the person to run away to run away- and they don't run away at first strike- is a nurse there like yeah. Yeah
enough for you and then his leg yeah. What is this and then, and then it's not love anymore, and then that's when I also started applying horrible Hendricks imago. I read keeping the love you find when I was fifteen. I thought here is a model that explains to me healthy love and active participation in both peoples healing in your partners healing, and so I had this fantasy, the polluter keeping love you fine, I read, will I hope you know I had harville on here in like whenever he wrote getting the love you want. I would not still being relationship with seven had I not remain data it that bull shit, it's the best relationship of Spain's at all. It explains everything everything and it's so merciful.
Then it's so intelligent and blends for me. That stages of development chart not only explains how to navigate the relationship but how to navigate this relationship and flew in order to really been also. For me, it showed what you are attracting into your life. Why you're trying to develop, and that would put that getting the love you want principle, do and the idea of being the active, because a lot of people say will you know there's these this, this economists movement, that is going on for a long time like do your individual work. Yes now and then there was the other side which you know, do all your work and relationship, and I actually think it's both. Yes, you you're an advisory over and know that you could be an active participant in your partners healing and that's that third phase, most people when they, the three phase thing of three met, three phase of the committed journey of infatuation. Can't you get your hands off each other. Second phase start conflict
because it's gonna happen. Most people jumped ship, especially in Hollywood. By about now I've. My eye was over the mine that, like face too, this is just where the it gets good. You know that where we get to help each other and go to the face three, we are helping to twenty ten was a big year for a line. Is she married, Mario Tread Way, a fellow musician, better known as so. I am a couple: welcome their son ever on prisoners day that same year, so he had some high profile relationships, yeah and then you met your husband was the sole welcome. So what was different and how did whatever? That was very angry. I would change. I just remember meeting him thinking that he had a ceiling listening to him.
Whether it was spiritually or the womb conversation are ancient Egyptians or intellectually yours like a logically or artistically stream of consciousness. We all of that. I would. I would date people, and there would be something about me that would hit a brick wall with whomever o sitting across from and with soul. I, when I first met him, I could see that there was this limitless near to where we could go and that I was even a little scared thinking. Oh god, this I'm gonna be going into it territories that are outside of my jurisdiction outside of my comfort zone. If I hang out with this person. You remind me of a competent of my whole family and and this will get really interesting and really challenging and really beautiful. So you got marriages has in turn, and you are fascinated by that thing- that horrible Hendricks describes as those three stages of committed relationship.
Now romantic love, then there's the battle, wills power struggle. God bless you for knowing that threatened, and, finally, the whole sort of like healing part of a possibility possibility, as I had a lot of growth in relationships, growth, growth, growth, growth and its dignity from healing right? Yes, very interesting from you. So I was just so hungry for healing always wanting to offer it to people, but but desperate or it for myself how his that process did there's romantic love. Everybody goes this obligation, yet there The infatuation yeah she's really in Africa and Asia is like that's how we procreate, because we weren't all over each other. Why were you keep making babies right right to theirs? The romantic then there's a battle for struggle for power. Yes, did you will get
through that, we're still in and are still in its but but we're, but we're onto ourselves. Harville says basically, five to seven years on average were entering into our fifth year, so you have moments of still being mired in the power struggle and then we have moments of really being our best selves and actually just stopping our natural knee jerk reactivity. Do you feel like you're in the healing space? Definitely! Yes! Yes, because you know the other thing that
from one of my spiritual, cheaters Gary's. You call is that what you want is not a marriage which want to spiritual partnership between equals. Yes, for the purpose of spiritual growth, yes and harmful would say that your track, if you are attracting there's that buzz. Yes, your intellectually matched, and that might not mean you have the same education but you're, intellectually matched that your level of willingness to do the work and relationship is matched and your wounds or mashed. So I could deftly tells the land I have complimentary. Traumas going on and in our education is really different, but our brains operate. Similarly. Similarly, I'm telling you it's when you get that and you're in a relationship, it just changes. Every three: are you actually feel like as an adventure? You don't feel like you're being re traumatized. The only problem is that a lot of
patient shifts and I've been in tons of them. I was up for this whole idea of getting in the canoe the sweet metaphor that the harvest user- yes, but the other person was like gonna, know we're fighting too much. This is the end and I was devastated because I just thought no, I know with this portends, for I know what's possible yeah. You know in our interest to fighting earlier is an opportunity for a major breakthrough, but but when the fighting state, when it states five angels of using your retry monetizing each year get the while we gotta, we gotta, take a little breather here, but that's usually when people say agony jump out and get infatuated again with someone else. They go through the same thing my case over and over again, because I was waiting for someone to see the value in sticking out well and you got that it so
Only that you got a boy, sweet boy, sweet boy. So what is the most important lesson you want to teach ever that he is this filter for love and consciousness and God to Korean threw him at varying rates in his case, feel like the life stream courses, sir him very quickly, so that and that what we're doing here is we're doing a dance of self definition over and over again, and that who he is is a miracle. You know the search for contentment, which you know, everybody really basically is on and can't even feel it because there's so much trauma and anxious out there, but for you did it shift in ninety ninety seven, when you went to India it did. I had what I now consider to be a glimpse of bliss And lasted a month why it was not abiding, it was abiding firm up and I would meditate before
four hours and I just saw the only judge. I would love to do that. Ok, let's do it! Ok, ok, bye! go off to India sitting in the Himalayas the item on a Monday. At a month, a bliss I had a month of live in. It ten you'd when I might arise for a month. A brilliant, opaque, okay, so wouldn't kill, but do not be so. You'll have to kill, we now have to give you the figures of without salt, which is that feel like. It feels like my having seen through the illusion of of my own ego and of this dance and of the separatism. This big big lie is that where it again, this big lie that we're disconnected, and I I was doing it as much as anyone else was. I was disconnected from the sense of God. I was disconnected from my relationships disconnected in here. Everything is fragmented, and so I was believing that that was when I was so. How did you come to that? Do meditation? I slipped away from
had very often ashram. Where were you I went, I went hiking in the Himalayas. I did a bunch of exercises where I thought a member hiking up into the mountains for days up no one around, except for the odd animal on the odd kick ass village, and I just remember thinking I'm going to try to not talk about the future or any one else only talk about now. So there were exercises like that that I would try on. I would meditate in in India. Every street corner is an altar others innocence is, I love India very ago. I love Yazzi. If this grand invitation really yes and show, was it the ito, not a lot of people, not everybody. I know he's gonna have a chance to get to India, but if you do go now that you ve been yes, can you have India in your own backyard? Yes, I remember saying that to my friend we were meditating and we were in that transcendental place.
So it came to for lack of a better turn. My friend said all we have to stay here. I said no was just bring it back and I was able to bring it back, but it lasted about a month really, and then it quickly slid away into the work of public ethers, not to say that I dont have glimpses of it in my, and this serve connection with. All that is access is, is not abiding for me. It's just moments. She, I think the real work for all of us, because, my God, my God, bless do you have the opportunity and the time to go into this out on Emily and my writing down framework on anything but the real work is staying in it in the day to day ordinary walking down the stairs at sea, the dogs and your kids idly angle yet and on Monday, in the ninety one day in the sweet Monday. Yes, and for me this presents form presents fulness such a degree that I can not be obsessed,
What's going on in right now, this culture is such a work, a workaholic work, addicted culture. How good are you at living in the observers space? You talked about their earlier and watching all this stuff. How good are you at being rarely get at it? You are I mean I don't do it all the time, but I love it is probably probably because of how I'm selfishly thinking, how relaxing it is from my body just to be in the server and also having grown up with a lot of activity, a lotta personalities, lotta chaos watching was a normal orientation. You know we do a large talking on the show about happiness and I've read where you ve said that confusion
and anger and even fear and sadness are of equal importance to happiness. Do you feel that there's too much happiness too much emphasis placed unhappiness? Why think happiness is states and it's a temporary state or so, if we're chasing a temporary state were setting ourselves up to fail us not part of the human? invitation really it's who just field one feeling at any given time sitting in the seat of awareness watching this, like the movie that it is, can give some relief. And and show the dance of emotions that are temporary. That move through and thoughts move through, and there like boats to me and my suffering is dependent upon how quickly I jump into the boat and follow that stream. But if I can sit back and watch it there's some relief, but I wouldn't call it happiness. I would call it the beliefs of the joy of of consciousness show also, I know, trends
currency has always been very important to you and you said the transparency about what you're going through levels, the playing field. Why is that of such value? To cause? I live for connection and I and I'm suffer deeply with disconnection and I've been made fun for that in a lot of ex boyfriend, see we're saying, you're obsessed with consistent connection, and I remember thinking I could think of worse things to be happy yeah, but you I think connections has always been what I've been obsessed with connected with Self God and other There was a time, though, were you actually hid literally? He had like spiritual books If you're are spiritual interests, sticking books enjoys because You were ashamed of what our judgment and being laughed at
made fun of people saying you're, a real war. No movie and I've been a coup, telepathic impact and topics, psychic all the words that you could possibly use. We were girls since before I could speak because, as far back as you couldn't remember, you ve been a little God girl, yeah, I love God, I'm I'm I'm in devoting a student. If nothing else. If I could only be one archetype, it would be the the Boeing girl really, yes, the best really relaxing by the way, I'm sure you know you're praying and how yes praying children. You pray, pray on time and energy and sometimes used are in silence. Yes, sometimes just silence. Sometimes reading writing journaling is huge. Dancing. Move sweating. You know what I'm working out. I can definitely feel the connection. So for me it's about continuously moving the energy cuz stagnation and in my body and a lot of traumas held in there. So just move
as a forty year, all wise mother, sister friend artist activists. All what makes you feel most alive today This conversation that really takes. Takes what's going on in the world and what we all ache Our hearts for to a new place that opens up new ideas and new possibilities for people to my most exciting thing, the essence of what we're up to this moment. Yeah me too man. What is the lesson that taking you the longest to learn? Is this work addiction, one- and I think it's trauma stuff so for me to just keep continuously working through the systematic, because I can tend to be a little conceptual little Hetty to stay in my heart stay. My body in so doing a lot of so matic experiencing in a lot of deep tissue Heller, work and a lot of processing and blending all the therapies and modes together that there
one model for me that that is the panacea for all of it to blend them offer for me to keep coming back to who I really am, but I'm still still working on it tell me how creativity feature soul. It moves energy, so stream of consciousness. I feel like I'm letting me be the filter than I am and be used in our whether I want to call it channeling or whatever, sometimes having channeling is a little too heavy handed, but I just feel like I'm being used by I know a bit of a heavy handed at all now as well as you just said that you know better word than yeah. Tell me I know what it is. This is hit me so good. I'd is dreaming through you. Their gods stood alive stream, but so modern half it
the two thousand and eleven I got live streaming gag screaming and that I would be as open to that is possible as often as possible so finishes since the world needs connection. A sense of connection music is music. Is the greatest gift for me and it's the soundtrack from what for life? Love is oh man there. So many love is most felt when it's a verb and when it's an action and a lot of people, think will I'm doing this for you and I think we re. If you were really attempting to love, you might want to check in with the other person what would feel like love for them? Yes, so what it vice? Would you give to younger self? Oh, I love this close, the sweet question. I would say
everything's going to be okay and you can be young, you can be a young person you can enjoy ends is a lot of stuff going on around that I felt like I had to manage at the time, so I would say to her. I would come in as a forty year old and say I got this. You can go play. I got this perfect. All thank you for having me really is wasn't, as finds this amazing governor, I felt it was so good. I move ruined free and you ve been listening to supersede conversations the pod cast. You can follow super soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you haven't yet good apple pod catches and subscribe rate.
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Transcript generated on 2020-02-05.