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Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: It’s Getting Better…

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”  — Chinese Proverbour fears.” 

Last week, I wrote that things are going to get better. This week, there were several examples that I was right!

For one, there was a huge breakthrough in the global race to find a cure for AIDS. News outlets reported this week that a London man was cleared of the HIV virus after doctors successfully replicated a stem cell transplant procedure that cured another man 12 years ago.

This news is huge, and it gives me so much hope. It gives me hope for those who are still struggling with the disease. It gives me hope for the scientists and researchers who have spent endless weeks, months and years working to find a breakthrough. It gives me hope for all the advocates and activists who have been pushing hard on this issue, as well as on other diseases that still have no cure, like Alzheimer’s. (I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll find a treatment or cure for it soon.)

This story is just one example that breakthroughs happen when you stay at it. That’s good news not just for doctors and researchers. It’s good news for all of us who keep grinding and striving to do better and get better for ourselves.

What exactly does better look like? Well, funny you ask because, this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about this question myself.

I’ve been thinking about how we’ve become far too accustomed to watching people behave badly—screaming, ranting and throwing tantrums—on TV and in public spaces. We’ve seen this behavior so much lately that all we do anymore is shrug our shoulders.

That’s why people were shocked when they saw my friend Gayle King sit calmly and quietly while R. Kelly went off the rails during their CBS News interview. Think about it: we weren’t shocked to see R. Kelly go off. No, instead we were all amazed that Gayle behaved so well in the face of that on national TV. Isn’t that something? We were taken aback by her calm, her dignity and her experience. This should give us all pause. (Let’s not forget that Gayle has been a journalist for more than 40 years.)

There were other examples of classiness this week as well.

How classy and strong was Alex Trebek when he calmly shared the news about his heartbreaking cancer diagnosis? How classy was Oprah when she calmly interviewed the two men who bravely shared their stories of alleged childhood sexual abuse and Michael Jackson after HBO’s Leaving Neverland?

Calm, strong, classy and dignified. That’s what better looks like.

Better looks like humanitarians who calmly and diligently go about their work on the frontlines of humanity. May we shine more light on them. May we also shine a light on those who are calmly and indefatigably searching for answers to our most deadly diseases. May we admire the calm that lives within them, and may we also seek it within ourselves. Trust me, calm does live inside you. Class does as well.

Class looks like the professor who held a student’s baby while he taught so that the father could take notes. (See the video in our news section.)

Class looks like the guy on the subway who took off his shirt to clothe a man who didn’t have one.

Class looks like Sen. Martha McSally, who shared her story about being raped at the hands of her military superior in a calm, measured, yet forceful, way.

All of these images, along with many more, have convinced me that the desire for better is all around us. The desire for calm responses, calm engagements, and calm dialogue is all around us, too.

I, for one, can hear better when someone speaks to me from a place of calm. I am more inspired by leaders who remain calm and clear about their values and their vision. They make me hopeful and assure me that better is on the horizon.

So, the next time someone rails at you, do what Gayle King did and calmly respond. Or, just quietly get up and walk out.

This Lenten season, let’s give up the drama. Let’s turn off the soap operas. Let’s challenge ourselves to seek out examples of calm, quiet and resolve each and every day.

Better comes when we realize we deserve it. Better comes when we challenge ourselves to be strong, calm, classy and dignified. Better comes when we honor those qualities in others. Better comes when we can see it, so open your eyes. Better is blooming.


Dear God, please help me remain calm, strong, classy and dignified, no matter what life throws my way. Amen.

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Gregg Renfrew Is on a Mission to Transform the Beauty Industry and Protect Women’s Health

Architect of Change Gregg Renfrew is the founder and CEO of Beauty Counter, a company and a movement to make our cosmetics healthier and safer for all. This week on my podcast “Meaningful Conversations,” Gregg shares how she found her calling and passion and offers inspiration for how you can, too.  and 

Meet Kara Goldin, the Woman Behind Hint, a Refreshing and Healthy Beverage Company

I was happy to sit down with a true changemaker for an inspiring TODAY show segment this week. Kara Goldin, a former AOL executive, is the woman behind Hint, a beverage company that offers a refreshing take on water with hints of fruit.

Dr. Sara Gottfried Tells Women How to Start Prioritizing Their Own Health

Women’s health is in a troubling state, with high rates of anxiety, insomnia and Alzheimer’s. This week on TODAY, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Sara Gottfried, an expert on brain and body health, to hear how, and why, women need to prioritize their own health. 


How The Riveter Is Redefining the Workspace For Women

Collaborative workspaces are on the rise across the country, and The Riveter, a Seattle-born company with a special mission, is one of them. This week for TODAY, I sat down with CEO and founder Amy Nelson to hear how she’s bringing women together.

Parenting Expert Dr. Shefali Tsabary Reveals Why Moving Beyond Reactivity is Essential

Architect of Change and best-selling author Dr. Shefali Tsabary offers a ground-breaking approach to mindful living and parenting. Her unique blend of clinical psychology and eastern mindfulness sets her apart as a leader in the field of mindfulness psychology. 

Eager for practical tools to improve your family dynamic? Our friends at 1440 Multiversity are hosting Dr. Shefali from April 5-7, 2019, for Deep Dive into Conscious Parenting, a weekend workshop. Participants will explore Dr. Shefali’s groundbreaking approach and work through practical examples and solutions. 


1. ‘CBS This Morning’ Gayle King Remains Composed During Explosive Interview with R. Kelly: I’m so proud of my friend Gayle King for her journalistic skills and for her composure during her explosive interview with R. Kelly, the musician accused of sexually abusing multiple women.

2. Michael Bloomberg Is Not Running For President But Will Be Active in the Issues That Matter to Him: This is an interesting piece from Michael Bloomberg. Though he will not be running for president, he wrote this week that he will expand his environmental philanthropy through the launch of a new project, Beyond Carbon.” 

3. The Signs and Symptoms of Stroke: The untimely death of actor Luke Perry at age 52 from a stroke has many people worried about their own health. We thought we’d share the signs and symptoms of stroke to look out for directly from the CDC website.

4. Be a Mentor and Leave a Legacy: I’ve always loved the concept of mentorship, and this interesting piece from the New York Times explores just how beneficial this role can be for seniors. 

5. Spending Just 20 Minutes in a Park or Outdoors Can Make You Happier and Improve Your Health: I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible. And according to a new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, spending time outside, especially in green spaces, is one of the fastest ways to improve your health and happiness.

6. Our Culture of Contempt: This is an interesting piece from the New York Times. Columnist Arthur C. Brooks says that our current cultural divide is not due to incivility or intolerance, but to something far worse: motive attribution asymmetry—the assumption that your ideology is based in love, while your opponent’s ideology is based in hate.

7. One in Three Seniors Is Lonely and It’s Hurting Their Health: I always stress that community and companionship are so important for our mental and physical well-being. Now the National Poll on Healthy Aging finds that about a third of seniors experience loneliness and isolation, which “can impact older adults’ memory, physical well-being, mental health, and life expectancy.” 

8. The Religion of ‘Workism’ Is Making Americans Miserable:  This is an interesting piece from The Atlantic sent to me by my daughter Christina. It explores how one’s profession, especially for the college-minded elite, has morphed into something called “‘workism.”

9. The Creativity of ADHD: Christina also sent me this story, which reveals the positive aspects of ADHD, the ability to think more creatively.

10. Yippee Moment of the Week! What a cool and progressive professor! When a student couldn’t find a babysitter, his professor held his infant daughter during class so he could take notes.


Women Are Twice As Likely to Get Alzheimer’s. Here’s What You Need to Know.

On International Women’s Day, I traveled to SXSW in Austin to bring the message that Alzheimer’s disproportionately impacts women. Joined on stage by Dr. Farida Sohrabji, Broadway singer Alexandra Socha and Buzzfeed’s Ashley C. Ford, we had a dynamic conversation about why Alzheimer’s is a women’s issue and what we can do to spread the word. We also launched a new PSA campaign from the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the Alzheimer’s Association. 

THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT is a global movement of game changers, groundbreakers, and cultivators of hope. We’re working to wipe out Alzheimer’s and change the future for all minds


This recipe for Shrimp, Tomato and Chickpea Stew was created by Dr. Annie Fenn, a physician, chef focused on Alzheimer’s prevention, and founder of Brain Health Kitchen. It’s a hearty and satisfying meal that’s also great for your brain! 


In honor of Women’s History Month, we are sharing a poem from Anne Bradstreet, the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet.

SHOP, SHOP SHOP! AThe Maria Shriver Collection: Good for You, Your Mind, & the World 

Visit the shop on 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!


Do you have feedback on The Sunday Paper? Do you have ideas for content or changemakers that we should feature in an upcoming edition? If so, connect with us below.