American Author Cleo Wade – who just released a brand-new book titled What The Road Said – is conducting a very entertaining virtual book tour by enlisting all of her famous friends to appear as guests on Instagram Live. Such guests include, Mindy Kaling, Jessica Alba, Ashley Graham and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The latter is an interview that we recommend playing via your Google speaker during a morning coffee – because the points both Wade and Paltrow make about general struggles of self are poignant.

Wade adopts a different interview style, one which has in turn got so much more out of her subjects when compared to a run-of-the-mill question-and-answer. The author rarely speaks about her book, instead using ideas in her plotlines to springboard into questions about her friend’s lives.

Speaking on the topic of feeling lost, Wade gently coaxes Paltrow into telling her listeners how she “finds the lights that help her find her way” on a metaphorical dark road.

“I have to say until I was about 40, I felt profoundly lost all the time,” admits Paltrow.

“I didn’t know why I was here. I didn’t know why I had long periods of discontentment or feeling like I could slip into a dark place. At the same time, I was having this life that seemed from the outside pretty glamorous.”

“It was actually in two phases. I felt the most lost until I had my kids,” the actress continues. “When I had my daughter, I understood why I was on the earth, and when I had my son, it was almost clarified and solidified. But then I had another period across a number of years where I still felt lost as a grown-up.”

Gwyneth Paltrow (Photo by Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage)

Paltrow says that around the time she turned 40 – an age where she says “you get an automatic software upgrade” – the degree to which she was able to centre herself again shifted.

“Around that time I realised that the reason that I felt lost was because there were real aspects of me that were out of integrity. I wasn’t always listening to my true self. I was doing things that didn’t feel right for me, but I was doing them because I thought it was the right thing to do or that people expected them of me.”

“As soon as I really made the commitment to be honest with myself and listen to myself – and acting and speaking from that place – I don’t feel lost anymore. I never felt lost again… I don’t feel that looming black abyss underneath me that I used to feel.”

Gwyneth Paltrow Skincare
Gwyneth Paltrow and her daughter, Apple Martin. Image credit: GOOP

Elsewhere in the interview Wade makes a great point about not praying for strength during a challenging time – because strength is indeed what we develop when we go through something difficult. Instead, she says, ask for “clarity”.

Highly recommended listening.