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Maria’s Sunday Paper: Try Starting Your Day Like This…

Here we are in a new year, with the promise of a new day. New days. New years.

Earlier this week, my dear friend Oprah Winfrey delivered a powerful speech about a new day being on the horizon. I love that imagery, I love her, and I love that truth.

I, for one, believe this new day is already here, and that its arrival will make 2018 our best year yet. (Read NY Times columnist Nick Kristof’s excellent piece about why 2017 was also the best year yet for humanity. It will really make you think.)

Last week, I wrote that my intention for this new year is to lead from a place of love. Shifting my perspective in that way has already enabled me to make another unexpected shift — one that is changing my day-to-day life for the better. Now, instead of waking up each day and saying, “I ‘have to’ go to work… I ‘have to’ write something smart and insightful… I ‘have’ to meet with so-and-so…,” I have decided to turn my “have to’s” into “I get to’s.”

Bam! Everything has shifted since doing that. Now, I wake up and tell myself, I get to experience this new day! I get to go to work! I get to interview Architects of Change like Joe Biden and Dr. Valter Longo — both who I sat down with this week and whose conversations I share with you in today’s Sunday Paper.

I also get to spend time with my kids. I get to take a walk. I get to formulate new dreams for this new day and this new year. How blessed am I? How blessed are all of us for whom these things are still possible?

The list of my “get to’s” goes on and on. I get to wake up in the greatest country on earth. I get to support a free press. I get to exercise my right to vote. I get to use my voice in areas that are important to me (like fighting Alzheimer’s through my nonprofit, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement).

I get to imagine my vision for this new day. I get to evolve and grow and learn. Yes, I get to learn new things every day, if I so choose.

Virginia Woolf once wrote that a person who isn’t evolving or growing isn’t alive. I couldn’t agree more. The world we all inhabit couldn’t be more alive. And, thank God, its citizens couldn’t be more awake

I feel like we’re really awake to what is going on around us. We’re awake to the injustices our fellow citizens face. We’re awake to a changing climate. We’re awake to inequity and to a changing gender dynamic. We’re awake to the tragedy that is happening in my home state of California right now, where 17 are dead and many more are missing. This story, which I don’t feel has gotten enough attention, reminds us of how fragile life can be. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”

Yes, “time’s up” on a whole variety of things, and I, for one, think that’s exciting. Time’s up on our silence and our denial. Time’s up on our belief that someone else will fix what we don’t like. Time’s up on complacency. Time’s up on inciteful language like we hear time and again coming out of the Oval Office.

For me, a new day is a new opportunity to build the world we want to live in. It’s a new opportunity to build the world we want to leave for our children.

Tomorrow, our nation will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day. It’s a national day of service, but it’s also a day to think about Dr. King’s dreams and about our own.

What does each of us want to do with this new day? Today, each of us has the opportunity to stand up for something we believe in, or to speak out about something we believe is important. We get to be a part of creating the kind of world we want to live in.

We don’t “have to” do that. We get to do that. How lucky are we?

That’s what I’ve been thinking about. How about you?

Want to receive Maria’s perspective, as well as other inspirational content, in your inbox each week? Sign up to receive Maria’s Sunday Paper newsletter by clicking HERE.

P.S. My new book “I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life” is coming out 2/27/2018. Pre-Order Now



This week, I had the great honor of sitting down with Architect of Change and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. In an uplifting conversation, Biden shared his powerful perspective about why, in this age of uncertainty, we should remain optimistic about the future of our country.


To further this week’s message of how to live with optimism and hope, my dear friend, Architect of Change Angie Johnsey, has written an inspirational piece for you this week on how to turn your negative thinking around and make your self-thoughts work in your favor.


Architect of Change Dr. Valter Longo, author of the compelling new book “The Longevity Diet,” stopped by this week to share the latest findings from his research into how our diets can be used to slow aging and fight disease.


Architect of Change Katy Bowman‘s passion and purpose is teaching others how movement can change their lives. Today, she shares step-by-step instructions on how to start adding more natural movements into your everyday life and how doing so can make a big difference.

Also… Continuing our New Year’s “Health Reboot” series from our friends at ph360, Dr. Kareem Samhouri shares with you today what he knows about how our body types can dictate the choices we make for leading a healthy life.


SELFLESS TEENAGER MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN THE FIGHT TO END GLOBAL HUNGER AND POVERTY: This week, we honor 16-year-old Joshua Williams as our Architect of Change of the Week. This amazing changemaker took it upon himself at a very early age to rally his fellow youth to “stomp out” hunger after witnessing the injustice of a homeless person on his local streets. His organization Joshuas Heart Foundation is now committed to ending world hunger. 


1. Holly Butcher’s Dying Philosophy Will Make You Stop and Think: I’ve always said that life is both fragile and precious, so when I came upon this story featuring life lessons penned by a 27-year-old woman dying of cancer, I knew I had to share. It’s poignant, yet powerful.

2. After Facing Tragedy, the Spouses of Two Dying Memoirists Fall in Love: The spouses of two dying memoirists who wrote bestsellers about their final days ultimately came together and fell in love. I love that this story illustrates how the power of love can transcend death.

3. Nation’s Employers Assess Impact of Losing Immigrant Work Force: With the Trump administration ending temporary legal status for Haitians and Salvadorans, employers who rely on them report that they are going to have a difficult time finding people to replace them. 

4. How the Location of Amazon’s Second Headquarters Could Help Promote Diversity in America: In this thought-provoking piece, Ana Ma, former COO and Chief of Staff at the Human Rights Campaign, suggests that CEO Jeff Bezos has a prime opportunity to “solidify a new course for corporate America — one based on morals rather than profits.”

5. Hundreds of Men Show Up to Support Students Without Fathers: This story made me so happy. I’m so proud of all the men who showed up to mentor fatherless boys at a Dallas school’s ‘Breakfast with Dads’ event. Watch the moving news report below.


In honor of his birthday on Monday, I wanted to share the wisdom of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for today’s Sunday Reflection. This particular quote really spoke to me, as it reminds us that within each of us is the capacity to forgive.is morning.



Get Empowered. Pass It Forward.

We’re so excited to announce that we’ve added a few new items to our shop! Check out our stylish apparel to fight Alzheimer’s, created in partnership with Art With a Purpose. You can also order our newest product, the “Maria” candle – the same scent used in her office and home. Visit the shop on MariaShriver.com to learn more.