It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Maria Shriver is the mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor reporting on the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. She creates socially conscious television, books, films and digital media with the...
Maria Shriver is the mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor reporting on the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. She creates socially conscious television, books, films and digital media with the purpose of informing, inspiring and igniting hearts and minds in a discussion that produce positive impact in the world.
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We Have No Time To Waste

We Have No Time to Waste - Maria Shriver Maria Shirver's Sunday Paper
Getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better!
Ingrid Bergman

I've Been Thinking...

This past Wednesday, I sat in my hotel room in New York and watched President Biden deliver his one-year anniversary speech. 

During his address, Biden spoke about what he felt he had done well during his first year in office (including passing the infrastructure bill, getting 63 percent of the country fully vaccinated, and reducing unemployment). He also spoke about what had surprised him (like Republicans not really wanting to help him at all) and where he felt he could do better (including communicating with the American people, getting out of D.C. more, and reducing inflation). 

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What Are Your Wildest Dreams?

20220117-140357maria1.18 Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: What Are Your Wildest Dreams?
“Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”
—Coretta Scott King


I've Been Thinking...

I woke up Friday and went about my usual morning routine. My house is quiet in the early hours, which means I can hear every creak and crack as I make my coffee. 

“It’s going to be a good day,” I whispered to myself. “My essay is done. My schedule isn’t packed. I’m looking forward to my morning meditation and the day ahead.”

Then about 30 minutes later, just after this feeling of ease had set in, I picked up my phone. My eyes scanned my morning email newsletter from The New York Times and fell on the headline of David Brooks’ latest column: “America Is Falling Apart at the Seams.”

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Who Are You Right Now?

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"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom."  
Aristotle

I've Been Thinking...

“At this moment we must decide what kind of nation we are going to be,” said President Biden in his speech on the first anniversary of the January 6 insurrection. “Are we going to be a nation that lives not by the light of the truth but in the shadow of lies? We cannot allow ourselves to be that kind of nation.”

Bam.

Decisions can be hard to make. Yes, some are easier than others. But making the decisions that will change your life? Well, that can be pretty difficult. You have to be brave to make hard choices. You have to be willing to push through the discomfort. You have got to stand in your truth and be willing to see it through.

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Do You Feel Seen and Heard?

mariaS12.21 The Sunday Paper
"The song is ended, but the melody lingers on."
—Irving Berlin

For many of us, the holidays are a complicated time. So many emotions come up. So many memories flood our brains. It almost requires a daily practice to keep them all in check and from bubbling over.

I’ve found that this time of year requires a delicate dance. You may be feeling festive, joyful, or celebratory one moment, and then all of a sudden feel flooded with emotions from holidays of the past. You may find yourself missing people who are no longer part of your life, longing for traditions you no longer have, or struggling to implement new traditions. You may find yourself caught up in the madness and then find yourself trying to do your part to do less and keep it simple.

I find myself really cognizant of people’s swirling emotions at this time of year. Some fear that they can’t give what others are giving, others are anxious about not being able to keep up or keep it all together. I’m also mindful of my own emotions. One moment I’m decorating the tree with my granddaughter, laughing and dancing to Christmas songs, and the next moment I’m overwhelmed by memories of my kids when they were little and tears fill my eyes.

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If Not Us, Then Who?

mariaS12.14 Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper
"Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
—Henry David Thoreau

I've Been Thinking...

Who knew what, and when?

That’s the question swirling around Capitol Hill in regards to the January 6 insurrection. In a court of law on Thursday, former President Trump lost again trying to claim presidential privilege when it came to his actions on that fateful day. The judge ruled that, as it turns out, it actually is in the public interest to know who knew what, and when.

That’s good for all of us. It’s good for our country to know who is trying to undermine it, as well as who is trying to protect it. On Monday, the January 6 committee will decide whether or not to hold former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt. I hope they do. He is in contempt, and he should be called out for exactly that.

The anniversary of January 6 is less than one month away, and what an anniversary it will be if we actually wake up to what that day was and is all about. It’s about who we are. It’s about our elections. It’s about our democracy. It’s about what we cherish, what people have fought for and given their lives for. It’s also ultimately about who we want to be moving forward.

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Check In With Yourself

maria12.7 Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
Helen Keller

I've Been Thinking...

I must confess, this week I found myself thinking again and again, "What the heck is going on in our country?"

What is going on in our schools? In our families? In our Supreme Court? In our media? In our cities? In our stores? Here we are in the thick of the holiday season, a time when we're supposed to feel joy and gratitude, and yet it's hard to focus on feeling those positive vibes when everything around us seems completely upside down.

It’s maddening to think that we now live in a country where kids go to school and learn active shooter drills alongside lessons in math and science. It’s hard—impossible, actually—to understand how a 15-year-old could walk into school and start shooting his fellow students. It’s hard to understand why he would show off the gun on social media. It’s appalling that his parents bought him the gun. It's hard to comprehend that when one of his teacher's found him searching online for ammunition, the boy's mother texted him: “LOL I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.” The boy's parents have now been charged with involuntary manslaughter and one can only hope that other parents will now make more of an effort to ensure firearms are securely locked away.

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Manifest Your Future

mariaS11.30 The Sunday Paper
"Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so."
William Shakespeare


I've Been Thinking...

How was your Thanksgiving holiday? Rushed, stressful, or just right? Do you feel like you got a break, or was it all too much? The travel, the food, the emotions.

Now here we are looking ahead to what is described as “holiday madness.” We are inundated with messages to “buy, buy, buy,” lest there be nothing left. We are bombarded with images of gifts that are out of reach, trips that others are taking, and picturesque family gatherings that leave many feeling alone or less than.

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Giving Thanks

marias11.23
"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow." —Melody Beattie

I've Been Thinking...

I love Thanksgiving. I also love the week that leads up to it. This has always been my favorite holiday and favorite time of year.

I love Thanksgiving not just because it focuses on food, family, faith, and football, but also because it is steeped in gratitude. Gratitude is always in the air at this time of year. I can feel it, I can sense it, and I love expressing it to the people in my life. I also love being on the receiving end of it.

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Where We Find Ourselves

CreditJohnEdmond2.141446 Maria Shirver's Sunday Paper
"This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful:in a word, more alive."
Alice Waters

I've Been Thinking...

I just had one of those weeks, but I don't mean what you think.

Usually when someone says “I had a week,” they mean that things were tough, overwhelming, or stressful for them. And Lord knows we’ve all experienced a lot of those feelings lately. In fact, if you were glued to the news this past week, you probably felt all those things as you were inundated with stories about supply chain woes, the devastating news from the Astroworld Festival, record inflation numbers, and yet more stories about our fragile democracy and the former president trying to block his records from going to the bipartisan committee investigating what happened on January 6, 2021.

I heard all those stories this past week as well, but on my birthday last Saturday, I told myself that whenever I get anxious about the news of the day, I need to stop, pause, and listen to myself instead. Listening is an art, and for decades it’s been my job to listen, learn, and share what I’ve learned. But it wasn’t until late in life that I afforded the same listening skills that I brought to my journalism career to myself.

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Let's Light The Way

mariaS11.921 Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Let’s Light the Way

 

I've Been Thinking...

It was my birthday yesterday, and I've gotta say, I feel so blessed this year. 

I feel blessed to be alive. Blessed that my children are healthy and that they all came home to celebrate with me! Blessed that my granddaughter lights up when I walk into a room! Blessed to have friends who have stood with me through the years and who have guided me, laughed with me, held me when I’ve fallen apart, and picked me up when I couldn’t get up. They have reminded me more than a few times of my value, my worth, and my love.

I am also blessed that my work feels meaningful. I feel like I have a purpose bigger than myself, and part of that feeling comes from being in community with each of you each Sunday. That means a lot to me.

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Finding Hope Beyond Fear

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"How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it."
Judy Blume


I've Been Thinking...

Halloween used to be one of my favorite holidays. When my kids were young, I loved dressing up with them and going trick-or-treating. I enjoyed watching the looks of amazement on their faces as they ran from house to house in our neighborhood. They alternated between looks of terror when they encountered scary decorations, and then looks of thrill beyond belief when they scored a Kit Kat or Reese's peanut butter cup. 

Fear and joy all in one night! That’s what Halloween represented for our family.

I thought about that this week as we approached this holiday. I experienced great joy a few days ago as I got to watch my granddaughter dress up as a daisy for her very first Halloween. It was beyond adorable. I felt so much joy getting to share this experience with her.

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It's Time To Get Creative

marias10.25.jpg
"The creative adult is the child who survived."
—Ursula Le Guin


I've Been Thinking...

I was talking to my brother Bobby the other day when he mentioned that a few people had told him that they listened to the podcast I recently recorded with my friends Hoda and Oprah. 

On the podcast, both of them talked about getting what they called the “truth talk” from me. I think Hoda even asked Oprah, “Have you ever had one of those conversations with Maria where she just gives it to you straight, and you are like, ‘What just happened?’” 

“You bet I have,” Oprah replied.

Bobby told me that he laughed when he heard that because he, too, has had those types of conversations with me. But then he said something that really got me thinking.

“You know, Maria, you have to be careful who you tell the truth to.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Because most people don’t want the truth,” he said. "We want the lie. It’s more comfortable. We can’t handle the hard truth, and we sure don’t want to deal with the truth. I’m like that sometimes. And so are you!”

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What We Truly Need

marias10.19
"To lose patience is to lose the battle."
—Mahatma Gandhi


I've Been Thinking...

I'm a journalist and my beat is life. I’ve always been a curious person, because I want to discover how one can build a life of meaning, joy, purpose, and love. I’m curious how we are meant to survive all that life throws our way without losing hope, joy, and ourselves along the way. I'm curious how we can build lives that stand on solid ground and that are capable of responding to the moment, whatever that may be.

 

I think about this a lot. I think about building my own meaningful life, one that is spiritual, purpose-driven, connected, loving, and joyful. A life that makes me feel full, happy, and hopeful about myself, my loved ones, and my country. I apply those same values to this publication. Its focus is on helping guide you to a place where you feel safe, seen, and supported on your path. Its focus is on making sense of all that is going on around us with an eye to the future. It’s about now and about what’s to come.

 

Every week when I sit down to write, I think about that. I think about what is going on in our world and how to make sense of it in a way that makes sense. I think about you reading what I write and how I want it to bring value to you. I want it to make a difference.

 

Sometimes I don’t know what to write. I sit and nothing comes up for me, or too much comes up at once. Usually when I’m unsure what to write, I walk or I talk to someone. And then, for some reason known only to God, I find my theme.

 

This week’s theme comes from a conversation with my friend David.

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Thank Your Mind

mariaS10.12 Maria Shirver's Sunday Paper
"When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."  —Fred Rogers

I've Been Thinking...

Today is World Mental Health Day. Before you read further, I'd ask that you take a moment to check in with yourself this morning.

Check in with your mind. Sit with how you feel for a bit and don't judge. Think about all your mind does for you. Think about all it keeps track of for you. If you are like me, you probably drive it too hard. You probably put too much on its plate. You more than likely berate it for not being what you think it should be.

Pause.

The truth is, your mind is extraordinary and uniquely your own. Sure, it may drive you nuts at times (I feel you). You may wish it were different—maybe smarter, quicker, or better at retaining everything you want to remember. Maybe, like me, you wish your mind were less dark. I get that. But remember: your mind is yours and yours alone. Today, my wish is that you honor your mind's beauty. Honor its unique abilities, its perseverance, how extraordinary it is, and all it does for you. 

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We Have to Get Louder

mariaS10.4
"If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else."
—Booker T. Washington


My friend Steve sent me an article the other day that I couldn’t get out of my mind or my heart. It didn't make me just pause and think for a moment. It made me do a full stop in my tracks. 

The piece I'm talking about came out in early September, but it still resonates a month later. (You can read it here). One of the lines that really struck me was this: “We're going to need more good people becoming louder about what is and isn’t within the bounds of civilized society. We are going to have to name what is unacceptable and demand decency and safety for all of us.”

I couldn’t agree more. Dignity, decency, and safety have got to be the mission of each and every one of us, and we have to get louder about proclaiming that to be the case. There is no doubt in my mind that everywhere we look, we are up against rage, hate, division, and fear. We are up against our fellow citizens behaving in a way that I never thought was possible in the public arena. We are up against public officials who lie, demean, and are trying to ruin the very fabric of our democracy.

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When We Believe

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"The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it."
J. M. Barrie

I've Been Thinking...

The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who studies politics for a living. Networks, podcasts, and political junkies seek him out for his judgment. My friend and I were both bemoaning the state of politics and the state of our discourse and divide today when he said something that really hit home. 

“We need a Ted Lasso in our political world,” he said. 

Amen to that. I love the TV show Ted Lasso, and I recommend you give it a watch if you haven’t yet. (It’s on Apple TV+ and won the Emmy for best comedy this year.) I love Ted Lasso not only because I watch it with my son Christopher, who turned me onto it last year. I love it for the reason so many other people do: because it’s a show that inspires, makes you feel good, and offers a sense of hope.

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Dear Maria . . .

mariaS9.21.2_20210920-125435_1 Maria Shriver - Sunday Paper
the friction
inside your mind
will keep overflowing
into your relationships
 
until you process
your emotional history
and understand how it shapes
your ego, perception, and reactions

—yung pueblo


I've Been Thinking...


I got a letter the other day, and I was so excited when I saw my name on the envelope. I knew right away that it was a handwritten note.

I love getting handwritten notes in the mail (and I must say, I don’t get many these days). They really stand out amongst the stack of bills, mailers, and other junk that we all get. You just know a handwritten envelope when you see it. You know that it's something personal, and that it's probably from someone you care about, or who cares about you.

At first, I thought the envelope was from one of my brothers or cousins, as they do still write handwritten notes. (My kids do too, but they don't mail them.) But then I opened it and realized it was a note from me to me! Can you believe that?! Allow me to explain how it happened. 

When I went on retreat this past August, I was encouraged by the retreat leaders to write a note reminding myself of how proud I was of the deep work I did at the inner bootcamp. My note said, "Maria, I’m so proud of you for all the hard work you've done. I hope you remember how you felt at this retreat, standing in your light and feeling strong, powerful, tender, and whole."

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It's Time

mariaS9.14.21 Maria Shriver's - The Sunday Paper
There’s something about deep wounding that can be a pathway to deep, deep love.
It’s a very beautiful thing when the wound becomes the doorway."
—Henry Shukman

I've Been Thinking...

Dear friend,

How are you? I’d truly love to know.

How was your August? Did it go by slowly or was it way too rushed? Did you travel or stay home? Did you gather with friends or spend time alone?

Have you immersed yourself in the news of Afghanistan? Have you read the stories of the brave soldiers who gave their lives? Do you live in an area ravaged by Hurricane Ida or the fires and need support? (See below for ways to help.) Did the Texas ruling make you angry? Has the Delta variant got you isolating again? Have the ongoing vaccine and mask wars left you discouraged? (I’m happily vaccinated, and I see wearing my mask as a public service.)

However you feel at this moment, try to pace yourself and breathe. There is a lot going on in our world at large, and that’s probably true in your personal life as well. My hope is to always meet you where you are. I hope my words each Sunday help you feel seen, supported, hopeful, and less alone on your journey to what I call The Open Field.

As for me, I find myself feeling a whole range of emotions about our country and about life right now. But I am in a good place overall. I’m in a place of self-compassion, self-love, and self-acceptance.

These days, I greet myself in the mirror with words of gratitude and appreciation, not with a self-critical voice like I used to do. I’m calm, at ease, and at peace, which is huge for me. This is all despite my deep concern about Texas, the California recall, and about our country’s deep division, which I have a real desire to help heal.

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Let's Take A Break

mshriver.81
“A hallmark of wisdom is knowing when to grit and when to quit."
—Adam Grant

I've Been Thinking...

Happy August!

Can you believe that it’s August already?! Wow, wow, wow. Or as a friend used to say, damn, damn, damn! 

Also, August 1 was National Sisters Day, so I want to begin by honoring all the sisters out there. I have four wonderful brothers, but no sisters, and it’s something I always wanted growing up. To me, sisters always seemed to have a built-in best friend. I know that’s a simplistic view, but nonetheless that’s how I felt. That’s why I was so glad when I had two daughters. I was happy they would have each other to navigate the twists and turns of life.

I know there were many times along the way, especially when they were younger, when neither of them liked having a sister so close in age. But today, thank God, my girls are super close. They are each other’s best friend. It doesn’t mean that they see eye-to-eye on everything and everyone (and I’ve learned along the way to not get in between them), but they are committed to each other. They are protective of each other and they are there for each other in good times and tough times. So in honor of National Sisters Day, I asked them to answer some questions about their journey through sisterhood. If you have a sister, I hope their journey might help inspire yours!

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Bet On Yourself

mshriver7.26
“I dwell in Possibility, a fairer House than Prose..."  —Emily Dickinson


I've Been Thinking...

“OMG, your past is speaking to you. What a validation of your truth!”

That’s what my friend Nadine said after reading my column in The Sunday Paper last week. In it, I wrote about the concept of leaving and about my parting words with Winnie, a woman who cared for my brothers as we were growing up.

 "You knew your truth all along,” Nadine continued. “You knew what it was, and yet you didn’t believe yourself. You sought outside validation. Perhaps now you will trust yourself!”

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