To people across the country, Marianne Williamson is known as a spiritual teacher, best-selling author and renowned lecturer. But to constituents in California's 33rd District, Williamson was recently something else: a Congressional hopeful.
Last fall, Williamson took many by surprise when she announced her intention to run for Congress, vying for the seat of retiring Representative Henry Waxman. However, Williamson's bid was unsuccessful, and she came in fourth (out of 16) in the primaries. Recently, the Return to Love author sat down with Oprah on "Super Soul Sunday" and opened up about her efforts to see a more meaningful conversation take place in politics.
In the above video from the interview, Williamson first addresses the importance of the win. "I felt that if I did the right thing, I would have a win no matter what that means," she says. "But it's difficult with that because a lot of people are invested in you. A lot of people sent money... So for that reason, you want them to get the return on their investment. You owe it to the people who are supporting you, who are volunteering, who are sending in donations, who are working for the campaign. You owe it to them to try your best to win."
She may have lost the vote, but Williamson did learn a valuable life lesson while on the campaign trail.
"It taught me what I should have already known: to only listen to myself," she says. Watch what else the 61-year-old says she learned as a political rookie.
Though Williamson was experienced and confident in delivering her message, she was also new to the political world and doubted her instincts within the relatively unfamiliar landscape. "I kept waiting for people to tell me what to do and [I] tried to hire people who would tell me what to do," Williamson says. "I should have just started lecturing all the time throughout the district, speaking my heart. That's all I needed to do, really."
With the chaos of the campaign behind her, Williamson now offers a broader perspective on what her run meant and what she hopes to have sparked with the political discourse.
"This conversation of the politics of conscience and the politics of the heart is much bigger than any one woman winning a Congressional seat," she says. "My losing the Congressional seat is small. What's big is the larger conversation."
As for her own role in that conversation, Williamson believes that she -- and anyone else who puts themselves out there hoping to effect change -- certainly does make an impact beyond a win or a loss.
"You impact the ethers, you know? That energy goes somewhere," she says. "That energy is in me, but that energy is in a lot of people."