Contemporary thought leader and spiritual teacher Panache Desai sat down with Oprah for an episode of "Super Soul Sunday" to answer questions from viewers about their spiritual journey. In this clip, Debbie from Winter Springs, Fla., asks Desai how to find gratitude when going through hard times.
"I've heard you say, Panache, that you need to be thankful for the difficulties that show up in your life, and I've had some things happen to me that weren't so good," Debbie says. "I want to know, how do you find gratitude for those things? How do you be thankful for that?"
Desai responds to Debbie's question and explains the first step. "The first thing is to recognize is that what's happening is not a punishment," he says in the clip. "That it's actually an opportunity."
When a challenge appears, Desai says, most people try and pretend that it doesn't exist. "The key is to actually feel it," he says. "The key is to actually be available for it."
Oprah adds, "And not resist it. I always say, 'See what it's there to teach you.'"
Desai says we need to go beyond acknowledging the challenge and actually embrace it. "Five years from now and 10 years from now, when you look back on it, you'll see it as a pivotal moment in your development," he says.
"I get it," Oprah says. "I get it, Panache. I always say you become what you believe, and the only thing you have to believe is that you are part of the divine. Because once you really get that, you know that no matter what comes, you're gonna be OK."
Nodding, Desai says, "That's right. That's the difference between knowing it on a cognitive level and experiencing it."
Desai goes on to explain that there is purpose behind life's challenges. "By all means, feel what there is to feel around what's happening," Desai says. "But just please, trust that it is leading you to something greater. And know that."