Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: A Moment of Decision
Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: A Moment of Decision
“The unending paradox is that we do learn through pain.” — Madeleine L’Engle
There I was last Sunday, sitting on my porch reading, when I came across a fascinating and inspiring article in the newspaper. (My porch is my favorite spot to sit, think, read, reflect, dream and write.)
The article, which appeared in the LA Times, was about Madeleine L’Engle, author of the wildly successful children’s book “A Wrinkle in Time.”
As a married mother of three, L’Engle spent years pursuing her passion for writing on the side. But, as the article states, she felt “spasms of guilt” for trying to write and never having much success. At age 40, L’Engle reportedly almost gave up writing altogether. But then, she had what she called her “moment of decision.”
That moment, according to the article, was when L’Engle realized that she had to keep writing for herself, even if she never successfully published another book again. And so, she began anew.
L’Engle got the idea for “A Wrinkle in Time” while on a family camping trip. She wrote the book, submitted to her editor, and then the rejections started to pour in. “A Wrinkle in Time” received “forty-odd rejections,” according to the article. L’Engle called each one “a wound.”
Nevertheless, she persisted, and “A Wrinkle in Time” went on to become the bestselling phenomenon that it is today.
I just love that L’Engle had “a moment of decision” that motivated her to keep pursuing her passion, even when the odds seemed stacked against her. I also love how L’Engle described each rejection she received as a wound that she managed to heal from and triumph over.
Triumphing over rejection — be it personal or professional — requires a decision to do just that. It requires you to pick yourself up and decide to persevere and continue to endure.
Each of us will face rejections in our lives and they will indeed wound us. I know this from firsthand experience. But, remember this: people who endure wounds are also survivors. In my opinion, they are the true warriors among us.
Our wounds are our openings. In a conversation I had with doctor and bestselling author Dean Ornish this week (you can watch it below), Ornish said that our suffering can be our gateway to transformation.
I love that idea. I love the notion that we triumph, not in spite of our wounds and our suffering, but because of them.
Wounds hurt us, but they can also make us more human. They make us more vulnerable, more open and more connected. Suffering can also lead us to discover our greatest selves. It can lead us to change and to become more evolved, more compassionate and more loving to ourselves and to others.
Since we are in the season of giving right now, I encourage you to think about this: What if one of the greatest gifts we can give one another this season is the gift of our own vulnerability?
What if sharing our suffering, sharing our wounds, and sharing our moments of decision could help another person see themselves anew? What if sharing our story could allow another person to have their own “moment of decision” to change, endure, persist, and triumph?
I love that L’Engle persisted. She didn’t give up. She wrote for herself and for her alone.
Knowing why we do what we do is critical. It’s essential for our own personal joy and happiness. It also gives meaning to our lives.
Recognizing that our wounds are assets will empower us — not weaken us. We have the power to start anew at any moment. We just have to make the decision to carry on.
So this season, tell someone your story. Tell them about your wounds, about your rejections, and about a moment when you decided to continue forward. I bet it will be one of the best gifts you give this year.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of life and for the opportunity to grow and evolve. I am so blessed to know that while things may not always go my way, I do have the chance to start anew and make the most of this precious time you’ve given me. Amen.
Want more from Maria? Get The Sunday Paper for free in your inbox each week. SIGN UP HERE
VIEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
Dr. Dean Ornish Reveals How We Can Reverse the Suffering of Chronic Illness Through Simple Lifestyle Changes
I had a fascinating discussion this week with Architect of Change Dr. Dean Ornish, president and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito. In his new book “UnDo It!”, co-written with his wife Anne Ornish, Dr. Ornish reveals that there are simple lifestyle changes we can all make today to help reverse chronic diseases. [WATCH HERE]
Rabbi Gil Steinlauf Explains How Hanukkah Can Light the Darkness to a Brighter Future
In this exclusive essay for The Sunday Paper, Architect of Change Rabbi Gil Steinlauf talks about the true meaning of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, and how this year the holiday reminds us that the “miracle of overcoming hatred, bigotry, and oppression can happen when we put faith in our potential to lift up the light.” [READ MORE]
Author Max Kennedy Challenges His Personal Demons in His Latest Book About an Adventure on the High Seas
“Sea Change: A Man, a Boat and HIs Journey Home” is a very personal sailing adventure by my talented cousin Max Kennedy. In this riveting journey, Max turns to his faith and love for his family as he comes face-to-face with his deepest fears while battling daily mishaps and real terror at sea. [READ AN EXCERPT HERE]
After Losing Her Father to Alzheimer’s, WWE Superstar Nattie Neidhart Wants to End the Stigma Surrounding the Disease
Like me, my friend Architect of Change and WWE Superstar Nattie Neidhart is a daughter of Alzheimer’s. In this exclusive Facebook Live interview, Nattie discusses her father’s recent passing and comes forward about her fight to end the disease’s stigma and let other families know that they are not alone. [WATCH HERE]
Poet Naomi Shihab Nye Illustrates How A Divided World Can Come Together Anywhere, Anytime
This is such a beautiful real-life narrative written by Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye. In ‘Gate A-4,’ Naomi writes about an interaction she had with a Palestinian woman at an Albuquerque Airport Terminal. This chance encounter ultimately unites the other waiting passengers and reflects a picture of a better world without any prejudice. [READ MORE]
NEWS CURATED…FOR YOU
1. Jenna Bush Hager Reveals Her Grandfather’s Views on Life and Death: My dear friend Jenna Bush Hager shared a pair of touching tributes to her beloved grandfather George H.W. Bush on Instagram as her family and the nation grieve the passing of America’s 41st president. [READ MORE]
Also wanted to share this letter President Bush sent to his successor Bill Clinton on Inaugural Day 1993. It illustrates that he was a true public servant who saw beyond party. [READ MORE]
2. San Diego Businessman Gives $1,000 Checks to Students at Paradise High School Following Devastating Fires: There really is so much goodness in the world, and this is another example of that. Bob Wilson, a San Diego real estate developer and restaurant owner, handed out $1,000 checks this week to aid the students and staff from Paradise High School following the deadly wildfires that largely destroyed their town last month. [READ MORE]
3. How to Cope with Feeling Bad About Your Feelings: This is another fascinating read from Greater Good Magazine, which reveals new research about how “meta-emotions” work and how to improve your well-being. [READ MORE]
4. Hundreds Showed Up to a Funeral For a Vietnam Veteran Who Had No Living Relatives: Another example that illustrates there are good and decent people who want to give back. Hundreds of people in Omaha, Nebraska, turned out to pay their respects to Vietnam War veteran Stanley Stoltz, who passed away November 18 at the age of 73. It was reported that the war hero was believed to have no known living family members. [READ MORE]
5. Why Are Young People Having So Little Sex?: This interesting story from The Atlantic was brought to my attention by my daughter Christina. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey, teens these days are having sex later in life. “In other words, in the space of a generation, sex has gone from something most high-school students have experienced to something most haven’t.” [READ MORE]
6. Actress Amanda Bynes Reveals How Drug & Adderall Addiction Changed Her Life: This is an illuminating piece that reminds us of the devastating effects of Adderall abuse. In a new interview with Paper magazine, Amanda Bynes reveals that she regularly abused Adderall for years to stay skinny. [READ MORE]
To learn more about the costly “American Phenomenon” of prescription stimulant abuse, I encourage you to watch Take Your Pills, the Netflix film I produced with my daughter Christina. [WATCH THE TRAILER HERE]
7. How to Make America Talk Again: This is a fascinating read from The Guardian. Columbia University’s Difficult Conversations Laboratory is pairing people with conflicting topical views and studying them as they hold conversations. The research will reveal how we might be able to understand how we behave when feeling threatened and how to break through to something more productive.” [READ MORE]
8. Puppies Bring Joy to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients: I love this story. An Ohio man and his 92-year-old grandmother wanted to brighten the lives of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients for Thanksgiving, so they visited four different senior living facilities and brought a very special gift: puppies. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW
BOOKS I’VE BEEN READING
“Food For Thought: Recipes For Ultimate Mind and Body Health” by Cristina Ferrare: NY Times bestselling author, chef, TV personality, and entrepreneur Cristina Ferrare shares delicious and brain-healthy recipes from the meals she makes for her family and friends. [PRE-ORDER HERE]
“UnDo It!: How Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Diseases” by Dean Ornish, M.D. and Anne Ornish: In this illuminating book, you will learn how to Fight cancer, diabetes, heart disease, weight gain, and even the aging process itself with one simple, scientifically proven plan to reverse disease—as well as prevent and reduce symptoms—from the world-renowned pioneer of lifestyle medicine. The book comes out January 8. [PRE-ORDER HERE]
“Sea Change: A Man, A Boat, and A Journey Home” by Max Kennedy: In this heartfelt true adventure, Max Kennedy takes readers on a wild ride as he relates the harrowing voyage to deliver his boat, Valkyrien, a 90-foot dilapidated wooden schooner, from San Francisco to Washington, DC. [GET IT HERE]
“Maverick and Me” Board Book Edition by Katherine Schwarzenegger: As a proud mom, I’m excited to announce that my daughter Katherine’s children’s book “Maverick and Me” was released this week in a board book edition. It makes the perfect gift for any child (and animal lover) in your life. I love this book, I love its message and, of course, I love her. Get it on [AMAZON] and [BARNES AND NOBLE]
RECIPES TO SHARE FOR YOUR SUNDAY DINNER
These look so yummy, plus they’re mind and body healthy and perfect for the holidays and your Sunday Dinner. You can preview the recipe on our website today but also find it in Cristina’s new book “Food for Thought: Recipes for Ultimate Mind and Body Health,” out Dec. 4th. [GET THE RECIPE HERE]
We hope you’ll keep sending along photos of your family dinners inspired by The Sunday Paper. E-mail us here and we’ll share them in upcoming editions of The Sunday Paper.
A SUNDAY REFLECTION FOR YOU
This is an excerpt from the beautiful poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. It reminds us that no matter the darkness we may face, the world is still a beautiful place, and we all have a right to happiness. To read the full poem, click here.
THE SUNDAY PAPER PROUDLY SUPPORTS…
The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Awards Seven Grants to Accelerate Women-Based Research in Alzheimer’s Disease
The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™ (WAM) awarded seven research grants this week to leading scientific institutions actively seeking to understand why Alzheimer’s disease disproportionately affects more women than men. I’m proud of the work we’re doing on this front and commend the groundbreaking women-research being conducted by our scientific partners. [LEARN MORE]
WAM educates, engages and empowers you to learn more about your cognitive health and care for your mind so that it can last you a lifetime.
[CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WORK]
THE SHOP THE MARIA COLLECTION: Good For You, Your Mind, & the World
Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to get Maria’s book “I’ve Been Thinking,” her coloring book for Alzheimer’s “Color Your Mind,” the Maria candle, Rivet Revolution bracelets benefiting The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, her new Maria BrainHQ program, and more!
READ MORE ABOUT WHAT I'VE BEEN THINKING
"Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” — Henry David Thoreau This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about the different speeches that have been on TV these last few days. Yes,...read more
"Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go." — T.S. Eliot On the first day of 2019, I sat down and meditated on how blessed I am to get this chance at a new year of life. I focused on my intention to embrace the year ahead as one big...read more
"For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice." — T.S. Eliot Another year is upon us. Isn't it amazing? It feels like just yesterday that I was embarking on 2018 and preparing to launch I've Been Thinking... into the...read more