Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Turn Off the Noise. Turn Up the Hope.
“Happiness depends more upon the internal flame of a person’s own mind than on the externals of the world.” — George Washington
National emergency! National emergency! National emergency!
After the news broke, the TV pundits started chattering nonstop about the president’s impending declaration. They haven’t stopped since. I can feel my anger rising every time I hear the noise.
Then, I let their words fade into the background and I stop to think about all the other issues that I believe actually are national emergencies. These are emergencies that, for one reason or another, don’t get mentioned in the State of the Union, much less on the nightly news.
Isn’t gun violence a national emergency? Isn’t the Alzheimer’s crisis and our caregiving shortage a national emergency? Isn’t the way we treat our veterans a national disgrace? Isn’t the homeless crisis (particularly in cities like my own) an emergency? What about climate change? Or our educational system? Or the millions of Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck?
The truth is, there are so many important issues that don’t get enough attention on the national stage. There are also countless citizens who are doing important work on the frontlines of humanity each and every day. We don’t hear enough about them, either. Meanwhile, everyone in the media is screaming about one impending national emergency and one specific person. Enough already. I mean, really.
When I turned off my television the other night, I redirected my thoughts toward the people and stories that I actually find inspiring. I know I’ve said this before, but it really is up to each of us these days to redirect our thoughts if we want to stay positive and not go insane. If we don’t stay focused on how we want to make a difference and move forward, then the echo chamber will pull us down into its gloomy abyss.
I think that’s why so many of us are feeling a sense of hopelessness and despair these days. It’s why we’re all suffering from anxiety, loneliness and a sense of fear. You really have to work hard at not getting caught up in all of the noise.
That is why I find myself trying to consciously focus my mind on the good, the hopeful and the meaningful in my life. Thank God, there are examples all around me. (There are examples all around you, too. Trust me.)
For one, I felt a deep connection this week when I gathered with friends around my kitchen table. We played games and engaged in meaningful conversations. It was such fun.
Then the following night, I felt a sense of comfort when I got to sit and have a deep conversation with my brother, who happened to be in town. It was such a blessing.
I also felt hopeful this week when I got to meet with state workers who are committed to wiping out Alzheimer’s. Together, we are building a task force that is determined to help California pave the way when it comes to research and caring for the families that face this debilitating disease. It was inspiring to be in the room with such smart and motivated individuals.
My experiences from this week just reminded me that hope is all around us. Connection is right in front of us, too. Hope and connection are what we need to calm the mind and the body. They are what we need if we want to reduce the anxiety that is turned up to emergency levels on social media and TV.
So, if you find yourself feeling anxious about this impending national emergency, then just turn down the noise. Really. Connect with someone who cares about you. Make room in your week for meaningful conversations and connections. Walk out into nature. Play. (Yes, you read that right. Rediscover play.)
Turn off the news and instead watch one of the many inspiring documentaries that were released this year. Here are a few Oscar-nominated recommendations to get you started:
1) “RBG”: an inspiring documentary about the incredible life and work of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
2) “Free Solo”: a National Geographic film about professional rock climber Alex Honnold. (His story will take your breath away.)
3) “End Game”: a documentary short that profiles extraordinary medical practitioners who work with terminally ill patients. (I wouldn’t exactly call this a fun film to watch, but it is definitely moving and profound. “End Game” will motivate you to engage in a meaningful conversation with your loved ones about how you want to die. It will also really get you thinking about how you want to live right now.)
This week, open your eyes and look for the hope that is alive all around you. And, if you’re seeking a way to get more involved, then start right where you are. Examine your own life experiences and consider how you can use them to help others.
I never thought I’d be the one in my house saying “turn off the news,” but these days, I am. The noise really is at peak levels, and if you ask me, that’s a national emergency in and of itself.
Dear God, please help me stay focused on all the good that you have created in this world. Help me embrace the power of hope and connection and allow them to make my life, and this world, a better place. Amen.
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INSPIRING VIEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
This Week’s “Meaningful Conversations” Podcast Features “Badass” Bestselling Author Jen Sincero
Jen Sincero, author of the hugely popular New York Times bestselling book “You Are a Badass,” is a real “badass” when it comes to motivating others to move their lives forward. In this week’s podcast, I sit down with the author as she reveals how she finally gave herself permission to be authentic and to live a meaningful life of her own. and
Filmmaker Jennifer Fox Reveals How to Start the Healing Journey After Trauma
No one should have to suffer in silence from the pain of past trauma. In this exclusive essay for The Sunday Paper, sexual abuse victim Jennifer Fox, who told her story in the HBO film “The Tale,” gives advice on how to start the healing process.
Author Cheryl Richardson Gives a Candid Account of How to Find Renewed Purpose at Midlife
Architect of Change Cheryl Richardson is an internationally recognized coach and New York Times bestselling author who has empowered many to make positive changes in their lives. In her latest book Waking Up in Winter, Cheryl reveals how, at midlife, she found renewed contentment and purpose.
Christina Schwarzenegger Speaks to Psychologist Kelly Rohan About a New Approach to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this time of year and the condition, which manifests as depression, is typically treated with antidepressant medication or light therapy. In this interesting piece for Goop, my daughter and Sunday Paper editor-at-large Christina Schwarzenegger speaks to psychologist and researcher Kelly Rohan about a revolutionary new treatment.
Why Self-Care Is the Foundation of Self-Love
I love this article from our content partner Spirituality & Health magazine. The author stresses the importance of self-care as a practice we should be doing “every single day in order to honor the one relationship we’ll have until the day we die: our relationship with ourselves.”
INFORMATIVE NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
1. California Governor Appoints Maria Shriver to Lead State in Preparing for Alzheimer’s Crisis: During his first State of the State address on Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he has appointed our very own Maria Shriver to lead a newly-created Task Force on Alzheimer’s Prevention & Preparedness.
Also: Read Maria Shriver’s LA Times op-ed about why we must all better prepare for the Alzheimer’s epidemic.
2. Feminine Hygiene Products Are Now Required to be Available Throughout the U.S. Capitol: Zoe Lofgren, the chair of the House Administration Committee, ordered this week that menstrual products be made “widely available” throughout the Capitol, not only in restrooms, but in office supply stores as well.
3. Opinion: Why Students Should Be Required to Take a Course on How to Be a Citizen: As we recognize Presidents’ Day tomorrow, I found this piece from the Los Angeles Times to be worth sharing. Author Sandy Asper asserts that our children should not just be learning historical facts and figures in school, but that they should also be learning “how to be a citizen in the United States of America.”
4. How the First 10 U.S. Presidents Helped Shape the Role of the Nation’s Top Office: How much do you really know about our first presidents of the United States? In honor of Presidents’ Day tomorrow, we thought we’d give you a little history lesson.
5. How to Make Time with Those You Love Matter: It’s so important to spend quality time with the people you love. This interesting piece from the New York Times explores how to help face-to-face, meaningful relationships thrive.
6. Taking Vacations with Friends Could Improve Your Health, According to Science: Researchers have found evidence that “hanging out with friends can increase production of oxytocin, the feel-good cuddle hormone that our bodies make when we’re happy.”
8. Yippee Moment of the Week! This is such a sweet story of true love about a little boy and his dog. Five-year-old adopted Little Buddy, who went through the foster care system, found friendship and a bond with dress-alike Australian Labradoodle named Reagan. Yippiee for man’s best friend!
THE SUNDAY PAPER IS A PROUD PARTNER OF THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT
The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement’s Purple Evening Raises Funds to Advance Women-Based Alzheimer’s Research
The inaugural Purple Evening, held February 1st in Los Angeles, was an empowering night of information and inspiration around the topic of brain health and Alzheimer’s.
The highlight of the evening, which was generously underwritten by Nadine and Fred Rosen and sponsored by HBO, was Maria Shriver’s conversation with Dr. Jill Goldstein, the Executive Director of the Women, Heart and Brain Global Initiative (a collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), and Dr. Joshua Grill, Director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at UC-Irvine
A RECIPE FOR YOUR SUNDAY DINNER
|This recipe for Deconstructed No-Noodle Lasagna was created by Elana Horwich from her book “Meal and a Spiel: How to Be a Badass in the Kitchen“ This delicious dish is replete with eggplant, meat sauce, and mascarpone and makes for a great, healthy lunch or dinner.|
|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
Excerpt from the book ETERNAL ECHOES
SHOP, SHOP SHOP! AThe Maria Shriver 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!
PRAISE FOR THE SUNDAY PAPER
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