STORIES FROM ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE

STORIES FROM
ARCHITECTS OF CHANGE

‘Angst’: Film About Anxiety Evokes Hope

‘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...

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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...

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...

A Jazz Club Giving Hope to Youth on Probation

"What if we could create a really safe environment that allows the youth to be seen for who they are, not just mistakes they’ve made?" - Teresa Goines  We’ve talked a lot lately about bridging the divide. Teresa Goines is someone who lives and breathes it through her...

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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