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Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Your Adventure Awaits

by | Jan 6, 2019 | I've Been Thinking, The Sunday Paper

Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper: Your Adventure Awaits

by | Jan 6, 2019 | I've Been Thinking, The Sunday Paper

“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 magical adventure. My mind raced at times while thinking about this challenge to myself, but as I slowed down and focused my breathing, I found myself feeling calm and hopeful about what’s ahead.

If I have one big goal for this year, it’s to approach all of my professional and personal decisions from a place of adventure in 2019. Or, as one of my favorite poets the late John O’Donahue writes, I want to “awaken my spirit to adventure” this year. (You can read his poem in the “Sunday Reflection” section below.)

This year, I want to venture out, venture forward and venture into the unknown. I want to make decisions by asking myself, “Am I going to see and/or experience something new by doing this? Will it scare me or push me outside my comfort zone? Will I be able to look back and feel like I learned something or grew in some way? Will it be fun, meaningful and worthwhile?”

If my answer to these questions is “yes,” then I’ll know I’m making the right choice.

In 2019, I want to push myself to try things I might have said “no” to in the past. I want to challenge myself to keep an open mind about new opportunities. I  want to stop looking at the items on my calendar as things I have to do, and instead, view them as experiences that I get to embark upon. And, I want to keep track of it all along the way.

That’s why I’m excited about “I’ve Been Thinking… The Journal,” which came out last week. This journal is a place for me (and for all of you as well) to write down what I’m thinking and experiencing throughout the coming year. It will also be a place for me to document how I’m feeling, what I’m excited about, what I’m scared of, and what I’m hopeful about.

There is a lot I’m hopeful about already:

  • I’m hopeful that inspiring voices will rise above the noise in our political space this year. I’m hopeful that new voices will rise to the surface and that our president might do what he is telling others to do, which is “calm down.” I’m hoping that we’ll hear from more voices that are focused on uniting us, not tearing us down. I’m hopeful they will call on us to be of service to our country and that they’ll find it within themselves to work together and make things better. I’m hopeful that we will all rise to the occasion and use our voices to move humanity forward in some way. Together, we can and we will make this new year more hopeful and more inspiring than the last.
  • I’m also hopeful that innovative minds will continue to pursue answers for finding a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s disease this year. That includes innovative and bold minds in the health space, the corporate space and the political space. We need bold visionaries from all areas to get involved if we’re going to accelerate our quest to solve the mysteries of this disease. I’m also hopeful that my own voice, which reports on this issue for NBC News and raises awareness about women’s cognitive health and funds women-based research through The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, will continue to have big impact in this space. (I’m saying “big” because that’s the kind of impact I want to have. Just saying it out loud helps me hold myself accountable.) I especially want to challenge myself to do more so that my children and yours will not end up bearing the burden of this crisis.
  • I’m hopeful that we can work together to continue to build The Sunday Paper and make it the preeminent paper of record for people who want to move humanity forward. I want to expand its reach, grow its stable of inspiring columnists, and further its impact around the world. Why? Because I believe there is a purpose to The Sunday Paper. Its purpose is to showcase that media can be a force for good and that it can inform, inspire and curate news that is both good for the heart and the mind. I’m going to have to work hard to achieve my goals with The Sunday Paper, but I’m grateful that so many of you will be there to help us, just as you have done in the past.
  • Finally, I’m hopeful that my decision to see this new year as an adventure will afford me more unique experiences in both my personal and professional life. I know I’m going to have to get out of my head (no easy feat for me) and push past my fears if I want to see my life as an adventure. I’m going to have to let go in many ways, give myself permission to act silly and embrace the unknown, and push myself to work less and play more. (Yikes!) I know none of this will be easy, but I’m sure it will be worth it. I can’t wait to see what God and this world have in store for me.

And so, I say to this new year, “I’m ready to take you on!” I’m ready to let go and dive in. I’m ready to embrace the unknown. I’m ready for the adventure of 2019. Are you?


Dear God, thank you for the gift of this new year. Please help me embrace it with my arms open-wide. Please guide me towards my one big, meaningful life and help me to always use my mind and my voice for good. Amen.

Want more from Maria? Get The Sunday Paper for free in your inbox each week. SIGN UP HERE



Angie Johnsey Offers Tips on How to Stop Negative Self-Talk in the New Year

Negative self-talk is something we’re all guilty of doing from time to time. That’s why I love this insightful piece by Sunday Paper Columnist Angie Johnsey. As we enter a new year, Angie reminds us that “mental reactions are a gift to us in that they show us our deepest fears …[and that] we need to release and heal in order to grow and evolve …” [READ MORE]

Exclusive: This Reflection from “I’ve Been Thinking…The Journal” Will Help You Recognize the Power of Your Own Voice

As I say in my essay, it’s time to make our voices heard. In an effort to help you find your voice, this morning I wanted to share an exclusive excerpt from “I’ve Been Thinking…The Journal.” The chapter is titled “The Power of Your Voice” and I hope it will help you find the strength to use yours. [VIEW EXCERPT HERE]

Author Bryan Robinson Explains How Changing Our Point of View Can Help Us Better Achieve Work-Life Balance This Year

Our health and happiness depend on maintaining a balance between our professional and private lives. In his new book, “Chill: Turn Off Your Job and Turn on Your Life,” author Bryan E. Robinson explains how to stop stressing and learn to “chill” through mindfulness. [READ AN EXCERPT HERE]

Author Barbara Van Dahlen Encourages Us to Take Responsibility for What We Say on Social Media in 2019

There is no avoiding the fact that social media will continue to play an integral role in our society for the foreseeable future. Barbara Van Dahlen, a licensed clinical psychologist and founder of Give an Hour, says that because online conversations will continue to shape the attitudes, identities and behaviors of future generations, we need to take responsibility for what we put out there. [READ MORE]

Author Celeste Headlee Explains Why Admitting You’re Wrong in a Conversation Is the Right Thing to Do

Admitting we are wrong is never easy, but it is necessary, according to Architect of Change Celeste Headlee, author of “We Need to Have Conversations That Matter.” Celeste reminds us that not admitting mistakes erodes trust and causes doubts in our relationships. [READ MORE]


1. Congress Is Starting the New Year With Historic Firsts: This is very inspiring. The 116th Congress will be the most diverse in U.S. history, with House lawmakers breaking new ground for women as well as for minority and LGBTQ representation. [READ MORE]

2. Why We Should ‘Bet’ on a Bright Future for Women: My son Christopher sent me this piece written by Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks. Nneka reveals why it’s time for women to reject the status quo and become empowered. [READ MORE]

3. Nancy Pelosi Discusses What It Feels Like To Be “Hated”: There’s so much dignity in responding to criticism with grace. In her latest interview, Nancy Pelosi talks about how she feels about her critics. [READ MORE]

4. Finding Female Friends Over 50 Can Be Hard. These Women Figured It Out: This is a great story about how to create your own meaningful community. After finding it difficult to make quality female friendships in a new city, Dale Pollekoff, 71, decided to start her own group. [READ MORE]

5. Meet This 95-Year-Old Fitness Inspiration: If you’re looking for a good reason to get active, let Phyllis Sues be your motivation. She has become a model of mental and physical fitness at 95 and what she’s capable of will make you want to get off the couch yourself. [READ MORE]

6. How to Make Your New Year More Meaningful: It can be stressful to decide what your New Year’s resolutions or intentions should be. So, Greater Good Magazine is offering some steps you can take to find meaning from your previous year—and purpose in the next one. [READ MORE]

7. Why Journaling Is One of the More Effective Acts of Self-Care: With the release of “I’ve Been Thinking…The Journal,” the timing of this New York Times piece couldn’t be more appropriate. According to scientific studies, writing in a journal can be “essentially a panacea for modern life.” [READ MORE]

8. What Bill Gates Learned at Work in 2018: I love this piece from Bill Gates’ blog “GatesNotes.” In his end-of-year assessment, he says that the questions he is asking himself at 63 are very different from the ones he would have asked when he was in his 20s. [READ MORE]

9. The Perfect New Year’s Resolution for 2019 Was Written 154 Years Ago: This is a wonderful reminder of how the wise words of the past still echo today. In a speech written 154 years ago by President Abraham Lincoln (and inscribed on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.), Abraham suggests “the need for a people to reflect not on their grievances and desires, but on their own shortcomings and their duty to the greater good and the fellow humans they have wronged.” [READ MORE]

10. Yippee Moment of the Week! I just love any video that makes me smile, and this one definitely did just that. American Airlines worker Jahmaul Allen said he dances on the tarmac regularly to keep warm and to keep customers entertained. [WATCH VIDEO]


THE WOMEN’S ALZHEIMER’S MOVEMENT: 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 Join us.


The Sunday Paper is committed to shining a light on the work of WAM. To that end, we share stories about Alzheimer’s, caregiving and caring for your cognitive health.

BOLD Act, Which Allocates $100 Million Toward Alzheimer’s, Signed Into U.S. Law

This is a huge step forward in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The BOLD Act, which allocates $100 million toward the prevention, treatment and care of Alzheimer’s and related dementias over the next five years, was signed into law on New Year’s Day. The act was unanimously approved by the Senate and received nearly unanimous support in the House of Representatives. [READ MORE]


This chili recipe we share this morning comes from my dear friend Suzy Amis Cameron and her new book OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet.” It is yummy, hearty and fully plant-based, perfect as a main course or side dish for your Sunday Dinner. [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.


I love this poem by John O’Donohue and thought it would be a perfect reflection for the first Sunday Paper of the New Year. He talks about the promise of moving forward in our lives and reminds us to trust the promise of a “new beginning.”


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!


And finally…if you love what we’re doing here at The Sunday Paper … join us! Become a Sunday Paper Ambassador and help spread the word!


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