STORIES FROM ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE

STORIES FROM
ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE

Creating Space to Do Nothing

Creating Space to Do Nothing

According to researcher Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries, empty time is one of the best things we can do for our mental health, for several reasons. It can be an incubation period for future bursts of creativity, he posited in a paper on this subject, and, it can also be...

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Nancy’s Cauliflower and Potato Mash

YIELD: 8-9 Servings, about 1 cup each Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (general purpose, Yukon or red) (1 Qt cubes) 1 large head Cauliflower, cut into florets, stems included (2 Qts florets) 1 Tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin (or to taste) 1/4 tsp Black pepper, freshly...

Lessons to Be Learned From a Family’s Dynamic

Both of my parents are one of seven when it comes to their sibling count, which means I have the pleasure of having a diverse group of aunts, uncles and cousins fill up my life. Ever since I was a young, my aunts and uncles represented more than just family. They...

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

Reposted with permission from SUCCESS magazine I don’t know his name, but his messy, shoulder-length hair hides a pair of hauntingly blue eyes. It’s a warm September day in New York, but he’s sitting under a mountain of ragged bits of clothing, towels and blankets. In...

Nancy’s Cranberry Fruit Nut Holiday Sauce

YIELD: 25 Servings (2 Quarts) Ingredients: 1 1/4 pounds Fresh raw cranberries (rinse & remove any soft or rotten berries) 1 cup              Pear, any variety (ripe, leave skin on, diced; may substitute ripe grapes or plums) 1 1/2 cups      Apple, ripe, skin on, diced...

Cristina Ferrare’s Holiday Cheer Smoothie

I serve this smoothie during the holiday season to my family and guests. Just because it may be cold out doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this heart healthy drink, which includes the star of the season, pumpkin! Pumpkin is filled with potassium, fiber and Vitamin C, all...

Gratitude: The Eyes of the Heart

Gratitude is a big word. As humans, living in a society that demands we constantly be productive, we get pulled into this vacuum of thought where we desire more and more. We strive for this perfect life, which is an illusion of sorts. We find ourselves wanting more...

The Power of Having an Open Heart

In this life and these times, we are all moving at a supernova speed. It is exciting, it is empowering; however, it can also be challenging. And for some reason, there never seems to be enough ‘time.’ We are moving so fast to stay on top of our goals and priorities...

How to Find Inner Peace Through Scripture

The widest river in the world is not the Mississippi, Amazon, or Nile. The widest river on earth is a body of water called If Only. Throngs of people stand on its banks and cast longing eyes over the waters. They long to cross but can’t seem to find the ferry. They...

Cristina Ferrare’s Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Aren’t these beautiful? I love sweet potatoes and this is one of my favorite ways to prepare them — Hasselback style. The skin is crispy and the insides, smooth, creamy and sweet. (This recipe is in my new cookbook, "Food for Thought" out on December 4.) One sweet...

How the Teachings of Dharma Can Benefit Us All

Many Buddhist practitioners have questioned what to do in these turbulent times. More than anything, I believe the world is in need of a spiritual perspective. The Dharma teachings of generosity, virtue, loving-kindness, and wisdom are non-partisan. The benefits of...

Cristina Ferrare’s Turkey Meatballs

I prefer using only turkey sausage for meatballs because I find that they come out lighter and tastier then beef meatballs. You don’t have to add a lot of seasonings to the mix because the meatballs get their flavor from the seasoned sausage meat! (This recipe is in...

The Burden of My Survival

For several years now, I’ve looked forward to October 26th. I’ve been fortunate to be allowed space on mariashriver.com on this date each year to share my story, and to be included among Maria’s pantheon of Architects of Change. Given the company I’m in — people whose...

Cristina Ferrare’s Healthy Brownies

When I started to experiment with the brownie recipe, I wanted to add nuts into the batter because I love nuts in everything! I needed to find out first if the brownie would be moist, and the texture would be pleasing. These brownie delivers that and more. It has a...

We Must Allow Ourselves to Dream

“In a dream you are never eighty,” Anne Sexton wrote. Whatever happens to the body, what toll age takes on the physical, the spirit does not grow old. In our dreams, in the way we ourselves see ourselves, we are forever becoming. Our dreams are always the vision of a...

Finding Courage in These Fearful Times

Years ago, Gavin de Becker, the well-known security expert, wrote a book called The Gift of Fear. The focus of the book was on the small voice inside all of us that often serves as a warning about imminent danger. It’s the voice that floats outside our thoughts, that...

How to Bridge Our Divides By Owning Our Experiences

We are living in a time of shadows. What is ugly in our world is rising out of the basement where we have locked it up for a long time. Countries, communities, and individuals are divided into extremes: left and right, rich and poor, citizen and foreigner, Muslim and...

The Power Behind Asking Yourself, “What Do I Want?”

I am big a believer in saying what you mean and meaning what you say. My delivery can come off blunt and direct, especially when I am asked for my opinion on something related to relationship, career and life advice. The shy, awkward and timid, 12 year old me would be...

Between Men and Women, Where is the Hope?

Tension runs high between the sexes as women are attacked on the national level.   I found hope for the relations between men and women at a table on a sidewalk. Six people were sitting at the table, both benches filled, no room for any others. There was tension, even...

Why We All Need to Practice Self-Empathy

One reason we resist practicing self-empathy is that we mistake it for self-pity. We view it as a soft and fuzzy euphemism for self-indulgence. The difference is that self-indulgence can become a destructive force that allows you to give in to anything that makes you...

The Seasons of Life

We can live wisely only when we accept the reality of change. Where I lived as a Buddhist monk, impermanence was central to the curriculum. We deliberately contemplated change, our moods, the seasons, the passing of visitors, our aging, and the movement of our breath...

Learning to Release Control and Ease Through Transition

There’s an odd theme in ancient Asian art: a jolly man playing the flute while riding on an ox, backwards. Obviously (not), this is a metaphor for true wisdom. In Taoism, the ox represents the vast, powerful flow of energy that runs through all of nature, including us...

The Unconditional Love Only Grandparents Can Give

The qualities of empathy, self-understanding, kindness, and acceptance are the building blocks of character. The more we have, the better our world will be. Of all the many ways in which grandparents help their grandchildren, nurturing their moral imagination is our...

Pando Pilgrimage Celebrates Unity Amongst Us All

PILGRIMAGE TO PANDO is a contemplative journey to the home of the largest living thing on Earth – a massive aspen grove in remote south-central Utah and named Pando. Pando nourishes itself from the waters of Utah’s Fish Lake and ranges for 106 acres up the neighboring...

I’ve Been Thinking …The Aspen Grove

An old friend drove me into the Santa Fe National Forest so we could walk the aspen grove. We stopped along the way to smell some Ponderosa pine. I stuck my nose into the crease of its bark and cupped my hands around it. The tree smelled like vanilla. We continued up...

I’ve Been Thinking … From Longing to Belonging

Once a year I travel ten thousand miles to be with my community. We’re a mixed bunch, that’s for sure. We come from every continent except Antarctica. Some of us live in huge cities, others in tiny villages. Some of us aren’t even human. But when we all come together...

I’ve Been Thinking … The Gift of Listening

 We each have within us a beautiful capacity for understanding one another. Especially in difficulties, we must learn to listen in a new caring way. Some years ago, one of the greatest primate biologists, George Schaller, came back from studying gorillas in Africa....

I’ve Been Thinking …Three Green Lights

We don’t need as much confirmation as we think we do.   I spend a lot of time on planes. I mean, a lot. People are everywhere, and I like to be with people, so planes are just a part of my life. Last year I flew almost a half million miles. They call me “Mr. G” at the...

Kate Snow Shares Suicide’s Impact on Her Family

The following piece is reprinted from Today.com. "There aren’t many days that go by that we don’t think of him. But this past week has been particularly difficult." It’s been almost eight years now, but it’s still fresh. Not just for me, but my entire extended family....

I’ve Been Thinking … ‘Every Day is Kids Day’

I have two magnificent sons. Being a father to Reece and Blair is the greatest gift I could ever receive. It is also the greatest responsibility, one that I strive to uphold. A couple of years ago, one of them asked, “Dad…there’s Mother’s Day, there’s Father’s...

I’ve Been Thinking …The Confidence Gap

I have read much of the literature and attended many conferences about women’s issues in business. One of the first things you always hear about is the confidence gap—that women don’t feel sure about their leadership abilities, that they are hesitant to take risks,...

I’ve Been Thinking … There is Always Hope

I’m not a crusader, but maybe I should be. Maybe it’s my obligation. Maybe my duty and my payback as the survivor of a suicide attempt is not only to take care of myself, but also to devote my energy to eradicating a terrible, preventable scourge. Kate Spade’s death...

I’ve Been Thinking … A Day of Reverence

On June 5, 2004, as a dense fog burned off, my father took his last breath. Moments before that breath, he opened his eyes, which he hadn’t done in nearly a week. And they were blue again, which they hadn’t been in more than a year. As Alzheimer’s conquered more and...

Iris Apfel: Woman of Style and Attitude

“I never expected to have a one of a kind Barbie doll made in my image.”- Iris Apfel As the saying goes: don’t judge a book by its cover. But in the case of Iris Apfel, Accidental Icon: Musings of a Geriatric Starlet, you should. The vibrant cover photo is an...

I’ve Been Thinking … Money Is Not the Goal, Time Is.

This post “Money Is Not The Goal, Time Is” originally appeared on Millennial Money. “Happy Friday,” the woman at the checkout counter says, “We finally made it.” Every week it feels the same in the corporate world – my friends are excited it’s the weekend, clients...

Try This Blueberry Cobbler

INGREDIENTS 1 cup old fashion oats 1 cup whole wheat flour 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 tablespoons lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 6 cups fresh blueberries 3 tablespoons Monk fruit sweetener*...

I’ve Been Thinking … The Power to Heal

This essay by Timothy Shriver was adapted from a recent speech he gave at Mount Sinai's 2018 Icahn School of Medicine commencement. In a special way, mothers and fathers, and by them I include any people who have mothered or fathered these graduates, nurtured, held,...

I’ve Been Thinking…Knowing When to Heal

When it comes to healing emotionally and mentally, it can be difficult at times to even know where to begin. Knowing where to start unraveling years of being hurt by the words and actions of those around us can be a daunting task. I always suggest to my clients, to...

I’ve Been Thinking…What Mother’s Day Means to Me

A friend of mine, whose mother recently died after years of dementia, told me that toward the end she allowed herself a rare moment of vulnerability with her mother. They had always had a challenging and difficult relationship, one marked by disdain and indifference...

I’ve Been Thinking … Motherhood and Faith

This essay by Savannah Guthrie was adapted from a recent speech she gave at a Catholic luncheon.   Motherhood and faith go together. I couldn’t do one without the other. You need faith to get through motherhood. Wine helps. But faith is crucial. Motherhood tells us...

A Mother’s Love and Legacy to Her Sons

Some say there’s no bond like the one a mother has with her son. Given the close relationship that I have with my mother, and the close relationship that my fiancée Nick has with his mother, I believe that statement to be true. Needless to say, we are both...

I’ve Been Thinking … Regaining My Faith

Five months pregnant and on a flight to Seattle in 2015, Allison Pataki's seemingly healthy, 30-year-old husband, Dave Levy, suffered a sudden and massive stroke. Following an emergency landing, Dave was rushed to the hospital. When he awoke, he had severe memory loss...

I’ve Been Thinking … Together Moving Forward

Walking up to the Seaport World Trade Center Boston to claim my husband, Jeff’s, bib for the 122nd Boston Marathon, I saw a banner depicting a sentiment that resonated with me the entire weekend and will perhaps for the rest of my life – "Together Forward." Seeing...

I’ve Been Thinking … Making Authentic Connections

I had been known to put these massive walls up when it came to meeting new people. It was a defense mechanism that immediately went up like an invisible fortress. This was partly due to my years of being bullied as a kid as well as the experience I had living in Los...

I’ve Been Thinking … A Lesson in Faith

I have met many famous people of deep religious faith, including Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Anwar Sadat, Menachem Begin, and Billy Graham, some of whom have had a direct and beneficial effect on my life. There is...

I’ve Been Thinking … Embrace Your Battle Scars

“Show us what you have been through. It tells us what we can survive.” All of our presidents age in office. It is practically a national pastime of ours to marvel at the toll the job takes on the face of our presidents. During President Obama’s second term, I remember...

I’ve Been Thinking … Finding Your Rock

"The Rock, the Road and the Rabbi," chronicles Kathie Lee Gifford's personal journey to the land of Israel where she went to discover a deeper understanding of the Bible's ancient text. In this excerpt, she recounts the moment her late husband, Frank, had his...

Jay Shetty’s Goal Is to Make ‘Wisdom Go Viral’

Have you ever met someone who inspired you so much, it changed the path of your life? It is exactly what happened to Jay Shetty who is a very successful millennial content creator and motivational speaker with millions of followers Facebook. At age 18, Jay went to...

I’ve Been Thinking … Letter to a Shelter Dog

Dear Paloma, There you were, standing on your hind legs with your two giant paws up on the kennel door, like you’d been waiting for me. Perhaps you knew I’d just binged on a stale, two-day-old birthday cake in the break room of the San Diego Humane Society, where I...

I’ve Been Thinking … The Heart of Forgiveness

“Hatred never ends by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law.” No matter how extreme the circumstances, a transformation of the heart is possible. Once on the train from Washington to Philadelphia, I found myself seated next to an...

I’ve Been Thinking … Teach Us to Pray

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 11, Jesus prays alone, off by himself. When he is finished, the disciples ask him, “Lord, teach us to pray” (v. 1); and he replies, “When you pray, say: ‘Father . . .’ ” (v. 2). This word is the “secret” of the prayer of Jesus; it is the...

I’ve Been Thinking…When the World Feels Awful

“So there you have it: two things & I can’t bring them together & they are wrenching me apart. These two feelings, this knowledge of a world so awful, this sense of a life so extraordinary—how am I to resolve them?” ―Richard Flanagan There is something to be said for...

I’ve Been Thinking … Seeing The Goodness

“It never hurts to see the good in someone. They often act the better because of it.”- Nelson Mandela  When we bring respect and honor to those around us, we open a channel to their own goodness. I have seen this truth in working with students, refugees, prisoners and...

I’ve Been Thinking … Purpose is Power

With no formal position or power, the teenage survivors of the recent Florida high school shooting have sparked meaningful national dialogue around gun rights and gun control where the most influential politicians and celebrities have failed to gain traction. I think...

I’ve Been Thinking … Redefining ‘Awesome’

Before the glossed, material girls of the San Fernando Valley became, like, so sure about what was grody and what was totally tubular, the word awesome was more likely to be heard describing waterfalls, arias and peacock feathers than leg warmers, Olivia Newton-John...

I’ve Been Thinking … All Shall Be Well

I have a variety of coping mechanisms to deal with my anxiety about our country and the world. Some are more thoughtful than others! Recently I have been re-reading Revelations of Divine Love, a book by the 14th century mystic, Dame Julian of Norwich, who is said to...

I’ve Been Thinking … About Integrity

My life goal right now is to be just one thing. I don’t mean a Nobel Prize winner or a tycoon, I mean literally just one thing, a single being, consistent in all times and places. Because that’s the literal definition of the word “integrity.” After decades of study...

I’ve Been Thinking … About the Power of Words

Words spoken in our minds have the power to control how we behave and interact with others. Words determine if we embrace others with love and compassion. They determine if we ignore and avoid others and push them away out of fear. Words have the power to build up or...

How to Eliminate the ‘Shoulds’ From Your Life

'Beware the barenness of a busy life' - Socrate And now we come to the final word that I want to draw your attention to – and then kick to the curb. Should. Should is a word that implies obligation and expectation and often comes as a box-set that’s gift wrapped in...

How To Get Through To Your Man

I teach both men and women what I call Fierce Intimacy – taking each other on, standing up to one another with love. In Patriarchal culture, power and connection are split. You can be loving and accommodate, (as women did for years) or you can find your voice and...

How to Discover Your True Life’s Purpose

We all have a unique purpose. Exodus 9:16 says, “But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” There is a greater purpose at work than your personal happiness or satisfying ego....

Don’t Hate on Love

I am a sucker when it comes to Valentine’s Day. The balloons, the candlelit dinners, the lovey-dovey messages…they all totally get my heart beating. Yes, I love this holiday that’s filled with chocolate heart boxes, cupid-shaped cards, and stunning red roses. In fact,...

How to Make Your Mind Work For You

Welcome to your Personal Health Reboot! Firstly, congratulations on choosing to be here. Making the time to learn and understand all about your body, mind, and spirit - and how to care for and support each part - is a wonderful first step to a healthier, happier, more...

How to Discover Your Own Unique Spiritual Path

Welcome back and congratulations on reaching stage 3 of your Health Reboot! This week we will be looking at your spirit, what it means to reconnect with this part of yourself, and how to be guided by your intuition and spirit. When we talk about health, talking about...

How to Stop Internal Mental Abuse

What is the difference between a healthy push and self-imposed mental abuse? Have you ever heard someone say, "You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself"? For many of us, our inner dialogue can be incredibly cruel, harsh, and relentless. We mentally abuse ourselves...

How Just a Little More Movement Can Change Your Life

It’s 2018, and according to public polling, topping the resolution list for most is the same thing: get more exercise! I’ve been teaching movement for over twenty years, and one thing I’ve learned is that adherence to exercise programs is often thwarted by how we feel...

Kindness Is Not a Seasonal Brand

As I was listening to the radio the other morning, someone on-air said, “Isn’t this the time of year when we are all supposed to be nice to each other. It’s the holiday season and we should all be kind to one another, right?” This sentiment struck me as disruptive on...

10 Ways To Have Yourself a Merry Little Holiday

It’s that time of year again: the modern miracle known as "The Holidays," when into the dark little months of late November and December, we squeeze Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years Eve, and a myriad of other celebrations, from ancient Solstice rituals to...

It’s Time For a Kindness Revolution

A much better writer than I could ever hope to be, Zora Neale Hurston once said, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” What of the years that do both? What of the months, the days that do both? We stand today in a world filled with questions, and...

10 Ways To Give Back to Architects of Change

If you've been inspired by the Architects of Change Maria has interviewed this year, then may we encourage you to consider them when making your charitable giving this holiday season. We've certainly met some extraordinary individuals this year who have devoted their...

Tips For Managing Your Holiday Stress Levels

The holiday season is upon us, which has many people’s stress levels on high alert. For some of you, just the thought of traveling or being around family can ­bring on those deep breaths of anxiety. Please kindly allow me to be blunt: family parties and the holiday...

What Does Love Really Mean?

Before we define love, it’s important that we first look at the two different aspects of ourselves, because each aspect has a different view and need of love. Let’s make this simple to understand by looking at ourselves as the child part and the adult part. Some...

How to Stay Merry and Mindful This Holiday Season

Remember what Ram Dass said about spiritual progress? If you think you’re enlightened, go spend time with your family! The holidays are in full swing and so are our triggers, blind spots and shadow selves. As the year winds down, so do our spiritual reserves but the...

A Love Letter To My Brain

Nadine Schiff is an accomplished journalist, a great mom, and a beautiful writer. She is also a dear friend of Maria's. Today, she shares this poem that she wrote entitled, "A Love Letter to My Brain." I want to thank you for allowing me To view the Grand Canyon, Hear...

Social Media and the Pressure to Be Perfect

When I kicked off 2017, I made a pact with myself to make it my most honest year yet. I wanted to be truthful about how I felt and I wanted to put my integrity stamp on every decision made. For some of you, that may sound like an easy resolution to conquer. However,...

‘Angst’: Film About Anxiety Evokes Hope

Anxiety isn’t cool but talking about it is. Why a movie about anxiety and why now? I get involved with and make social impact films about topics like empowerment, bullying and screen addiction because I believe film is the most powerful medium on the planet. I also...

Mom of Sandy Hook Victim Chooses Love

Five years ago, my six-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was shot in the forehead in his first-grade classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He was murdered by a former student, alongside 19 of his classmates and six educators in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S....

The Night I Was ‘John Doe’

I have always tried to reflect on the past, but not to dwell on it. That has not always been easy. 2016 ended as a year that stirred deep emotions for many of us, and, in some cases, a feeling of powerlessness (a feeling, definitely not a fact). I don’t know about...

Ways to Protect Your Mind, Body and Spirit This Fall

The cold winds of change are upon us and so is cold-and-flu season. Have you ever noticed that when the seasons change, we start wishing we could change, too? While springtime and summer inspire creativity, fun and reinvention, fall and winter guide us to look inward...

There’s More Than One Way To Be A First Responder

First responders have been in the news a lot lately: brave men and women who rush to those who need them in mass shootings, weather catastrophes, and war zones. Their courage is worthy of our support. But recently I’ve been wondering, who gets to be called a first...

A Millennial Making a Difference For a Brighter Future

Erin Schrode, 26, has developed eco-education and action platforms to inspire, educate and mobilize millions of people from all over the world. The internationally renowned millennial was recognized by the White House in 2011 as “a dynamic, passionate and ambitious...

Why Trusting in Yourself Can Make All the Difference

What motivates you to want to make a difference, to want to create change in the world around you? Are you motivated by fear and pressure of what will happen to you personally if you don’t do something, or are you motivated by true compassion and creative inspiration?...

The Unexpected Health Benefits of Pumpkin

It’s time to usher in the fall! I get so excited when I start to see pumpkins and pomegranates everywhere I go to shop for food. It signals the start of the holidays, cozy blankets, candles, sweaters, and wood-burning fireplaces. My family has already made our trip to...

How to Leverage the Power of Service

One of my favorite quotes about service comes from the late Muhammad Ali, who said,“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Service is an obligation, not just something you do as a stepping stone. Learn to take joy in serving well and...

The Kindness of These Women Will Inspire Your Heart

Lauren Paul and Molly Thompson met as film students while attending Pepperdine University. They soon discovered that they shared a bond over bullying incidents they each experienced in their youth. Motivated by similar wounds, the women embarked on a cross-country...

A Mom on a Mission to Reform Gun Laws

Shannon Watts is determined to use the power of her one voice to save the lives of millions of others. As the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, Shannon is fighting to change laws and change minds. No...

A Tip for Using Your Mind to Open Your Heart

"Sometimes the desire to be lost again, as long ago, comes over me like a vapor. With growth into adulthood, responsibilities claimed me, so many heavy coats. I didn’t choose them, I don’t fault them, but it took time to reject them. Now in the spring I kneel, I put...

Feeling Empowered Through Forgiveness

What can we learn about forgiveness? It is a question that continues to hit the core of our souls and hearts throughout our entire lives. Forgiving usually comes when we have been dealt with some kind of level of hurt. Hurt is often unexpected and can knock you to the...

Saying Goodbye to a Child

Have you ever heard a story about something really tragic happening to someone but somehow that person finds a way to turn pain into love? I experienced it in real life this month when I interviewed Eric and Jana David who lost their 10-year-old son Dylan to brain...

The Science Behind How Desire Shapes Our Beliefs

  People love propagating information and sharing opinions. You can see this online: every single day, four million new blogs are written, 80 million new Insta­gram photos are uploaded, and 616 million new tweets are released into cyberspace. It appears the...

The No. 1 Salad Green You Should Be Eating Now

  I eat a lot of salads with different kinds of lettuce and greens. Not all greens are created equal, but I was surprised to learn that the top-rated salad green is not kale, but watercress! Watercress contains the highest percentage of your daily recommended intake...

Stop Trying to Change Others. Start Within Yourself.

Byron Katie is an esteemed author and thought leader who has spent years helping people around the globe do "The Work" needed to change their perspective on the world. "The Work" is a simple, yet powerful, process of inquiry that teaches you to identify and question...

How Loss Strengthened My Faith in the Power of Love

Architect of Change Sally Quinn is a veteran Washington Post reporter and the wife of the late Ben Bradlee, the paper's legendary former executive editor. In her new book Finding Magic, Sally bravely opens her heart and shares what it was like to gradually lose the...

Why We Are Living Amidst a ‘Blessed Crisis’

We are going through a moment in which our system as a whole is collapsing. Every area of society is in crisis: the political system, the economy, education, the environment. Even though everything seems to be falling apart, I consider this to be a positive moment – a...

Summertime Tips for Cultivating a Reverent and Open Heart

“Reverence” is a feeling of deep respect tinged with awe. If you’ve ever been spellbound by the crashing of waves, the silver of moonlight or the sound of a child’s laughter, you know the gift that is reverence. If you just thought, “I don’t have time for stuff like...

When Was the Last Time You Performed an Act of Kindness?

Have you felt it lately? I know I have for months now. Many of my friends and family agree that something feels heavy, negative and disconnected. I am referring to the energy surrounding how we have been treating each other as if a heavy cloud is lingering over our...

Want to Strengthen Your Family’s Values? Try This.

Architect of Change Sean Covey, a motivational speaker, the EVP of Global Solutions and Partnerships for FranklinCovey, and the New York Times-bestselling author of the books The 6 Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make, The 7 Habits of Happy Kids, and The 7 Habits...

The Permission to Live Openly

Admitting who we are is truly a powerful feeling. For me, that was choosing to acknowledge what I had known since early childhood, yet had been scared to admit out loud for fear of rejection from family, friends, roommates, community, teams, co-workers, and church....

The Secret to Longevity? Change Your Habits.

"Remember, your cells are continually dying and new ones are taking their place. If the new ones that come in are not healthy, then you can imagine what happens to your body: it starts deteriorating." Elaine LaLanne is a fitness inspiration to us all. At 91, the...

Sheila Nevins Keeps Us Honest About Aging

Architect of Change Sheila Nevins, the head of HBO's documentary unit for over three decades, is one of the most powerful voices in the film industry today. Her wisdom has influenced some of the most powerful and award-winning documentaries of our time, including...

Learning to Command Your Time

"It’s time to set your schedule in order so that you don’t look back on the day of your death and wonder why you never really lived." I have always had a troubled relationship with time. I don’t like the way it passes, taking every material form along with it. I don’t...

Everything I Know About Freedom, I Learned in Prison

"Yet sometimes the best way to fully appreciate something is to live without it. Or better yet, to have to redefine it." They say you can’t form accurate memories until you have the language skills to assign meaning to your experience. I disagree. We moved to Alaska...

America: Still the First Place I Would Go

"Many of my American friends at the moment feel estranged from the government. Traveling to Hong Kong and Paris (where I’m writing from now) reminds one how far the U.S. has fallen behind, in matters of simple infrastructure and efficiency. America’s glory days as an...

Every American Should Serve For One Year

"America needs to get back to its roots. Throughout history, we have empowered our citizens to create change and break down barriers to overcome our greatest challenges. A year of national service has the power to do this once more, binding our country together in...

Put Down Your Phone. It’s Time to Look Up.

We spend far too much time looking at the screens, rather than looking into people's eyes or listening. I think we can learn more about ourselves, society and the world at hand if we look up more as we communicate and look down less.  I have been to a few year-end...

How I Learned to Lead From a Place of Authenticity

An honest evaluation of the self requires the acknowledgment and acceptance of gifts and weaknesses, both of which are necessary for balance. Twenty-eight years ago, I embarked on the first day of my clinical psychology internship. What I learned about courage that...

Seeking Acceptance? Start With Yourself.

This moment in American history is begging all of us to rise up and join together to demand that America lives up to her promise: Freedom and justice for all instead of for a privileged few. Glennon Doyle Melton is a powerful voice with a lot to say about identity,...

From Dad at 16 to CEO Inspiring Men to Lead

I want men to know how incredible their presence is in the lives of their children. As a father, I discovered that my sons loved me just the way I was. I didn't need to possess expensive clothes, shoes, cars, or objects. I only had to be me. Cole Williams was 16 years...

Finding My Father Through Letters From World War II

So, this Father’s Day, I may not be able to give my father a tie or even a crayon-colored handmade card as I did so long ago. But I can give him a greater gift. I can offer him the daughter that I have become – one that I hope he would be proud of. As Father’s Day...

Lessons on Love We Can Learn From Our Grandmothers

"Love is so powerful, the most powerful form of emotion you can possibly feel. When it is bounced back from person to person, the energy of that feeling is indescribable. So, when you have that special bond with someone in your life, whether it is a family member,...

Three Ways to Break Free From Mental Clutter

Mindfulness is the ability to be attentive and aware of yourself and your surroundings. It involves a judgment-free openness to all the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that the day might hold. Some days the world feels crazy and overwhelming. Are you feeling it? I...

How to Remember the Fallen This Memorial Day

Memorial Day is many things to many people. For most American citizens, it is a welcome reprieve from a Monday of work. For a small sliver of Americans, it is a solemn reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by men and women throughout generations to keep our nation...

Six Ways to Find Joy in Troubling Times

"We need to do what we can to help. But we are not all super heroes." A friend said to me the other day, I can’t find any joy this year. The world is just too mad. Humans are too stupid. I agreed that it’s hard and that the news is tragic. But people suffering far...

This Newtown Mom Has a Mother’s Day Message of Hope

"No matter the story, speaking Emilie’s name brings light into our family." One night not long ago, I was reading a fairy-tale story to Madeline and Samantha at bedtime. The story closed with the conventional ending for fairy tales: “And they lived happily ever after....

Celebrating Mother: In Every Sense of the Word

"It feels good to take a moment to honor her – the Mother. May we all do that today in our own ways." Mother. She’s the “bomb.” Probably the number one brand in the world and the most recognized archetype of them all. Who is this woman? Illuminated and idealized,...

Prevent Stress From Aging You Inside Out

"When under stress, our brain is bathed in cortisol, a potent stress hormone." When I was 10 years old, I couldn’t comprehend how my mother’s cousin could be younger than my mom. To my eyes, she clearly looked much older. It didn’t make sense. “How could that possibly...

5 Tools for Changing Your Life on Your Own Terms

"Choosing to make a change comes from a place of strength, but keeping that conviction to do so should be supported by the simple fact that change takes time." There are plenty of self-help books and Instagram quotes that encourage us to “make a change” in our lives....

7 Simple Steps to Connect With Your Heart’s Center

"In your mind, you can rationalize all kinds of things you may want for yourself and others, but the crucial choices you make come straight from your heart." Technically, your heart is the primary muscle of your circulatory system — located on the left side of your...

Matthieu Ricard: ‘The World’s Happiest Man’

"It is essential to wish for others’ happiness because the pursuit of selfish happiness is bound to fail." Every week in Maria’s newsletter publication The Sunday Paper, we honor individuals who are using their voices, their hearts and their minds to Move Humanity...

One Woman’s Marathon Toward Healing Her PTSD

"When I reflect on the past four years since that tragic day, I am reminded of immeasurable blessings mixed with unbearable pain." My story begins at a finish line. On a bright Patriot’s Day in 2013, I stood at the finish line of the Boston Marathon waiting for my...

What Gets You Up in the Morning?

"Purpose is a uniquely powerful source of fuel – and satisfaction." In the last several weeks, I had two radically different experiences spending extended time with leaders at two large, global companies. A long, alcohol-fueled dinner with the first group was a pure...

3 Ways to Stop Trying to Control What You Can’t Change

"It’s important that we be at peace with ourselves and others before we can tap into the energy of passion that is required to move forward in life in a happy and fulfilling way." In Maria’s fourth New year’s resolution of 2017, she vowed to get out of the “ridiculous...

Four Easy Ways to Get Yourself Moving More Every Day

"The more we sit in chairs, the harder it becomes to do anything else." What if we told you it’s possible to not only maintain your strength and mobility, but also improve them, no matter how old you are? Joan Virginia Allen, Shelah M. Wilgus, Lora Woods and Joyce...

Women: We Stand With You, Always

"I think a lot of it boils down to fear and the running old topic of what is masculine versus feminine." I have made it a point and my purpose to write about my love for women and show my gratitude to the women in my life who have influenced me, motivated me, and...

Why a Busy Brain Is an Unbalanced Brain

"A well‐functioning PFC is crucial to your ability to rewrite the negative stories you tell yourself. " Many of us have at least some familiarity with the “busy brain” feeling of being overwhelmed. We all have days when instead of catching up, our task list seems to...

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

"It’s possible that we are being spared instead of punished when things don’t go the way we think they should, even though we may not see it that way at the time." This week it’s time to bury Maria’s third New Year’s resolution: making comparisons. “Even though I know...

How to Overcome Fear in Your Life

"Knowing you are supported will help bring your mind out of confusion." In Maria’s New Year’s Day essay, she mentioned that she wanted to bury the fear in her life in 2017. “ I want to grab my fear by the you know what. It’s got no place in my life in 2017. Time is...

The Two Things You Need to Achieve a Winning Mindset

"When we form habits, those habits form us." As players from the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons walk into Houston’s NRG Stadium on Sunday, it will, for many of them, be the culmination of a life’s effort both on and off the field. Meanwhile, as millions...

5 Essential Goals I Work on All Year Long

"When you get rid of negativity it removes misery and pain from your life and always promotes the opposite — joy and peace." I like to set goals and stretch myself; to learn new things by taking online classes, reading and always trying to know myself and grow. It’s...

Life Lessons Learned on the Track

"The motivation is seeing your end in sight, no matter how far off it may seem." Since they were five years old, my daughters have been champions, record breakers, and Junior Olympian track stars. It’s been a great run so far. We’ve had our share of injuries, setbacks...

4 Tips for Accountability in the New Year

"My experience in moving forward in life has a lot to do with taking accountability for my own actions, life decisions and personal choices." I’m not one to shy away from planning personal goals months in advance. Strategizing, outlining and checking off boxes is...

Scott Hamilton’s Story of Resilience Can Inspire Us

It would be hard to find two more inspirational people on the planet than Scott and his wife, Tracie. They are devoted to each other, to their family, to curing cancer, and to saving Haiti. Scott was recently diagnosed with his third brain tumor, yet despite this news, he and Tracie remain eternally optimistic. 

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