Maria’s Sunday Paper: Finding Your Way in Times of Transition or Uncertainty
As I’ve traveled the country these past few weeks for my new book “I’ve Been Thinking…”, I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of people.
In my conversations, I’ve been struck by the number of people of all ages who have told me that they feel as though they are in “transition.”
Yes, that’s the word that keeps coming up over and over. Transition.
“I just got out of college and I’m in transition.” “I just left my job and I’m in transition. “I used to be a lawyer and now I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I’m in transition.” “My kids just left for college…” “I just got fired from my job…” “My boyfriend just left me…” “My mother just died…” “I’m a caregiver and I can’t make ends meet and I’m in transition…” And the list goes on.
Even Bishop T.D. Jakes preached about transition last Sunday when I attended his extraordinary service at the Potter’s House Church in Dallas. He preached about transition and all of the confusion that comes with it. (You can watch our conversation below in today’s Sunday Paper.)
Transition, for so many of us, is indeed confusing and scary. It requires us to step into the unknown, and then reside there for a beat (or for quite some time). It requires faith. It requires courage. It requires strength, stamina and trust. Lots of trust.
Another thing I’ve learned is that transition requires silence. It requires getting quiet so that we can hear that small voice within. We have to still ourselves so that we can find that voice of ours that resides below the confusion and beneath the noise.
That is the voice that isn’t confused. That’s the voice that is clear. It’s clear, it’s strong and it’s all-knowing. It’s our inner voice, and it’s ours alone.
At times when we may feel confused or unmoored, our inner voice is not.
And so, what I find myself saying to people I meet (and what I’ve said to myself in times of transition before), is to stay the course. Keep moving forward. Put one foot in front of the other. Take it one day at a time.
I learned this by watching my mother stay at it through the disappointments, tragedies and hardships she faced along the way.
I also learned this from my father. Keep the faith, he would tell me. Keep going. Have a purpose that’s larger than you and keep your eye on that.
I’ve also learned this lesson from others I’ve watched and listened to and admired over the years. All who navigated rough terrain. All who weathered transition. All who were able to stand up and move on. My goal with this Sunday Paper newsletter each week is to share with you the voices of people like these. Individuals who have moved me, uplifted me and made me think about how to keep focused on the path ahead — especially in times of uncertainty or transition.
So, if you’re feeling in transition today, keep going. Stay the course. You are strong enough. You have what it takes.
What I’ve learned is that slowly, the confusion you feel will fade away and clarity will break through. It’s there for all of us. Just take a breath (or two or three). Get up. Keep moving. And stay the course.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE BEEN THINKING
JACK KORNFIELD SHARES A LESSON IN HOW TO FIND THE GOOD IN EVERYONE
This is yet another beautiful essay shared by my dear friend and Architect of Change Jack Kornfield. In this poignant piece, Jack tells the story of how one teacher profoundly changed the lives of her students by having them each share something they admired about each other.
POPE FRANCIS TEACHES US THE ‘SECRET’ TO PRAYER
‘TAKE YOUR PILLS’: NETFLIX FILM EXPLORES THE LENGTHS SOME GO TO KEEP UP WITH OUR FAST-PACED WORLD
I am very proud of this new documentary, which I executive produced with my daughter, Christina Schwarzenegger. “Take Your Pills,” directed by Allison Klayman, explores the rise in popularity and abuse of prescription, performance-enhancing drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin. The film debuts this Friday, March 16, on Netflix.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIPS AND COMMUNITY: A CONVERSATION WITH T.D. JAKES
I had such an incredible experience attending a service at T.D. Jakes Ministries’ The Potter’s House last week in Dallas, TX, last week. In speaking on-stage with Bishop T.D. Jakes, we discussed the importance of personal growth, friendship and community in our lives.
AUTHOR ERIN LOECHNER: WHEN THE WORLD FEELS AWFUL, THINK ABOUT THIS…
As an author, mother, and founder of the blog Design for Mankind, Erin Loechner is a brilliant observer of life and the world around us. In this insightful piece she shares with The Sunday Paper, Erin writes about how she’s come to embrace the good and bad and recognize that “we were all created from the same dust and rubble and clay.”
CHANGEMAKERS MOVING HUMANITY FORWARD
This week we honor Dr. BJ Miller as our Architect of Change of the Week. After a near-death experience in his teens, Dr. Miller went on to launch Zen Hospice in San Francisco, a center where his mission is to help change the experience of dying and caregiving by creating a space for living that offers the opportunity for individuals, their loved ones and caregivers to find comfort, connection, and healing.
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
1. PARENTS INSPIRE JOY BY PAINTING SCHOOL’S BATHROOM WALLS WITH UPLIFTING MESSAGES: This is a feel-good story out of Arlington, TX. Eight parents from Mary Moore Elementary School worked together over a weekend to clean bathroom stalls, paint them black and then add inspirational quotes. Their messages will make you smile this morning.
2. STUDIES REVEAL THAT TEENAGE GIRLS FACE IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS, NOW MORE THAN EVER: Though we may be living in the “age of girl power,” today’s young women are still facing overwhelming stressors due to the pressures of social media and unrealistic expectations. New research reveals the health consequences of all of this.
3. NBA STAR KEVIN LOVE OPENS UP ABOUT HIS PANIC ATTACK: It’s so important for men, especially those revered in the public eye, to openly discuss their mental health issues. NBA star Kevin Love recently experienced a panic attack during a game and is urging other boys and men, who were brought up to be “strong,” to get help.
4. DO AMERICANS PREFER DAUGHTERS OVER SONS?: I found it interesting that there may be a shift in a long-standing parental gender preference. New evidence suggests that while having a daughter versus a son used to make parents more likely to try again for a son, the opposite is now apparently true.
5. TEENS WHO VAPE ARE INHALING CANCER-CAUSING CHEMICALS: It’s unfortunate that the e-cigarette industry promotes to teenagers that the use of their products is a safe alternative to smoking. A recent University of California, San Francisco study involving teens reports reveals that those who vape e-cigarettes have a higher level of cancer-causing chemicals than nonsmokers do.
6. A HISTORY OF STUDENTS TURNING TO ACTIVISM: As I mentioned in a previous Sunday Paper, I admire those student survivors of the Parkland, FL, school shooting who spoke up and spoke out about the need for gun control. Of course, this isn’t the first time young people have turned to social activism to create change. This is a fascinating historical review of their successes (and failures):
7. IN THE MIDST OF GRIEF, WOMAN LEARNS THE IMPORTANCE OF TURNING ANGER INTO POSITIVE ACTION: I was moved by this piece written by a woman who, following the mysterious death of her son–which occurred during the 2016 elections–discovered that “we need to turn our anger into something positive rather than letting it leak into nearly every interaction, poisoning our ability to create anything new.”
8. JOURNALIST FOUNDS ‘MEMORYWELL’ TO EMPOWER ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS TO SHARE THEIR STORIES: I love that Jay Newton-Small, a national news correspondent, used her talents to create a company that allows those suffering from Alzheimer’s to tell their personal stories for posterity.
ON THE ROAD: WHAT I’VE BEEN THINKING
WHAT MAKES A MEANINGFUL LIFE: While I was on the road last week, I attended the Women’s Foodservice Forum Conference in Dallas, TX. Onstage, I had the pleasure of sitting down with my friend Hattie Hill, WFF’s president and CEO, to talk about “I’ve Been Thinking…” and about why we should all recognize the divine gift that’s within each of us. WATCH NOW
JOIN US ON THE “I’VE BEEN THINKING…” TOUR
John O’Donohue is one of my favorite poets. It has been some time since I sat with his words. Recently, a new friend gifted me with his book, “To Bless the Space Between,” and this is the first poem I opened to. For me, it was and is so moving, so gentle, so true.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
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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.
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