Maria’s Sunday Paper: Finding a ‘Yippee!’ Moment in Every Day
A profoundly simple idea came to me last weekend.
It came way before I watched the Comey interview. Way before the Time 100 list came out. Way before Jeff Bezos told us how many Amazon Prime customers there actually are. (OMG.)
The idea came to me as I was sitting in conversation with three old friends and a dog. I don’t know exactly whose idea it was, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the dog’s. 😉
The idea came out of one of those conversations that traversed the news of the day, the bumps of life, and the challenges at hand. As we were talking, we collectively decided that we all needed more joy in our lives. “Yippee moments,” to be exact.
What is a yippee moment, you ask? Well, it’s a moment you consciously celebrate. It’s a moment where you decide that you get to feel joy-filled at least once per day, since most of us don’t focus on finding joyful moments on a daily basis.
Most of us are so bogged down getting through life and attending to life’s never-ending stream of responsibilities that before we know it, we aren’t playing anymore. We aren’t celebrating anymore. We aren’t thinking “yippee!”
Instead, we have our heads down in our computers or phones. We’re dealing with evolving relationships, changing kids, sick friends, our own health, aging parents, and bills. Lots and lots of bills.
Sure, you can stay on this path and say, “well, that’s just life.” Or, you can consciously decide, like I have done, to find a daily “yippee!”
Even though this new practice is only a week old, it’s actually lightened and lifted my spirits and changed my thinking.
Yippee! My kids asked to come over!
Yippee! I got to meet Bob Goff this week, whose playful spirit and view of love made my day and got me thinking more expansively about love and life.
Yippee! I got invited to my daughter’s place for dinner, which made me swell with pride.
Yippee! a friend called to check in on me. Another sent a text out of the blue simply to say they were proud of me!
Yipee! A friend jumped in to help me with Move for Minds and donated money without me even asking her. Wow!
Yippee! My brother called to say he would come to town to celebrate his birthday with me.
Yippee! My son called from college and he didn’t ask for money. He just wanted to check in!
Yippee! I got to do a loving-kindness meditation with the legendary Jack Kornfield and his wife, Trudy, Thursday night. Lucky, lucky me!
Now, to be honest, there were moments this past week that were also challenging and emotional. (On Friday, I gave the eulogy at my friend Nancy’s memorial service and there were lots of tears.)
But, focusing my mind on joy this week — focusing on celebrating, on clapping my hands, on hugging a friend, on twirling in a skirt, on counting my blessings — well, it just changed my week. It changed my outlook and my spirit.
I’m hoping that this “yippee!” thinking might do the same for you. I know it might sound young and childlike, perhaps even silly. But that’s the point. That’s the gift.
Look, life is a gift. And for God’s sake, it’s short. There is no doubt in my mind that we could all use more yippee moments in our lives. We could all use more laughter and more joy. If you don’t believe me, just turn on the news.
P.S. “I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life” is still on The NY Times Bestsellers list! OMG, thank you and yippee! Oh, and it’s almost Mother’s Day! Yippee, yippee!
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WHAT OTHERS HAVE BEEN THINKING
I’ve been thinking about the individuals featured below and how their views on the world rise above the noise…
TIMOTHY SHRIVER TALKS ABOUT HOPE AND A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR OUR COUNTRY
Any opportunity to sit down with my brother, Architect of Change Timothy Shriver, is a joy. Recently, Timothy, who is the chairman of the Special Olympics, spoke with me about the hope and promise he’s seeing for our country as he works on the frontlines of humanity. He reminds us that if we travel the country, instead of divisiveness, “you see a completely different America, a creative, resilient America.“
JACK KORNFIELD AND TRUDY GOODMAN DISCUSS ‘THE POWER OF THE PAUSE’
This past Thursday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with my dear friends and Architects of Change Jack Kornfield and Trudy Goodman from insightLA! During this insightful conversation, we discussed the importance of pausing in our lives, especially during uncertain times, and the lessons learned in my new book “I’ve Been Thinking…”
BOB GOFF TELLS US WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO FIND LOVE FOR EVERYONEFROM ALS
Sitting down with Architect of Change Bob Goff is such a joy, and I loved how he made me feel, so uplifting and inspirational. In his new book “Everybody, Always,” Bob talks about why we need to learn to love and accept everyone in “a world of setbacks and difficult people.”
CRISTINA FERRARE SHOWS US HOW TO MAKE YUMMY, SUGAR-FREE TREATS
I always love when my friend, Architect of Change Cristina Ferrare, stops by my office. She always brings with her yummy, mind-and-body-healthy goodies that we can all make at home. This week, Cristina taught me about some delicious treats that are naturally sweetened by Mother Nature!
IVELISE MARKOVITS MAKES IT HER MISSION TO FIND COMMUNITY FOR HOMELESS YOUTH
This week we honor Ivelise Markovits, a 2008 Minerva Award-winner, as our Architect of Change of the Week. Ive, as she is called by friends and family, began her career as a placement officer for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and was responsible for finding residential treatment facilities for female wards of the court.
Frustrated by the difficulty of placing teenage girls in foster care, she founded Penny Lane in 1969. Named after the upbeat Beatles song, Penny Lane has grown into a multi-service organization that serves 3500 children, youth and families and employs over 500 full-time social service providers and support staff.
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
I’ve been thinking… these news stories will inform and inspire you.
1. A Special Thank You to Barbara Bush: I am grateful to have known former First Lady and Architect of Change Barbara Bush. As a tribute to her memory, I thought it would be appropriate to share this piece written by Tom Rosshirt from 2012 that was written about Mrs. Bush, who made it her purpose to end the stigma surrounding people suffering from AIDS.
2. Technology Company Wants to Disrupt Smartphone Addiction: I love that a technology company is trying to reduce digital screentime addiction. The mission of Boundless Mind, run by a group of young neuroscientists and engineers out of Venice Beach, CA, is to disrupt America’s addiction to smartphone technology.
3. China and India Cope With Too Many Men: This is a very sad situation. Due to a combination of cultural preferences, government mandates and modern medical technology, men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India. This gender imbalance has wreaked havoc on the world’s two largest countries, creating among other things, an epidemic of loneliness.
4. Fed-Up Women Are On the Political Frontlines: We’re seeing more and more stories like this these days. Tired of issues like lack of school funding or inadequate gun control, fed-up women have been driving the political cycle since November 2016 with protests, walkouts and strikes.
5. 9-Year-Old Girl Creates “Buddy Bench” For Lonely Kids at Recess: There’s nothing more important to a child than to make friends at school. That’s why 9-year-old Sammie Vance designed and created a “buddy bench” as part of a community project to remind students to watch out for one another.
6. Pope Francis Invites Public to Search For Higher Moral Ground: I love that the Pope reminds us that we are all subject to human frailties. Last week, he issued a document on holiness, stating that “’the lack of a heartfelt and prayerful acknowledgment of our limitations prevents grace from working more effectively within us.’ Humans — every single one of us — fail, falter and fall.”
7. Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie Make Time’s Top 100: I could not be more thrilled for my dear friends Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie, who made Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People of 2018. I was honored to be the one to write about them for this unique moment in “time.”
In this final week of National Poetry Month, we feature the work of Lang Leav, an internationally renowned, best-selling poet and novelist. In her poem “Flowers,” she reminds us to stop and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
A SONG TO LIFT YOUR SPIRITS
In addition to great poetry, I also love great music, which is why I am so delighted to share with you this morning a beautiful song called “Grateful” by my dear friend, the actress-singer-songwriter Rita Wilson. The song is from her new album “Rita Wilson.” The lyrics remind us to be “Grateful” for everything that happens to us, good or bad, and to use life’s lessons to move us forward.
The song begins:
It hasn’t always been this way
But now I’m living for today
And I’m grateful
I breathe a purpose in every breath
It’s finally peaceful inside my head
And I’m grateful …
JOIN US FOR MOVE FOR MINDS 2018!
I’ve been thinking… you might want to join us for Move for Minds 2018! This initiative of my nonprofit, The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, returns this June to Equinox Sports Clubs across America. Join me in person at these events as we work to make a difference in the fight to wipe out Alzheimer’s.
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