Maria’s Sunday Paper: The Power of Shifting Your Perspective
Maria’s Sunday Paper: The Power of Shifting Your Perspective
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of shifting your thinking.
I’ve written in the past about shifting my own thinking from “I have to…” to “I GET to…” I also wrote last week about my shifting my thinking on time from “It’s happening to me…,” to “It’s happening FOR me…”
Shifting your thoughts can shift your perception of a person, of a place, of an event, or most importantly, of yourself. How you view yourself is truly dependent on how you think about yourself and your life.
Do you see yourself as a victim? If so, try shifting to survivor. Tell yourself, “I am a survivor.” Just use the word over and over again.
Do you see yourself as weak and indecisive? Then tell yourself that you are brave, clear and confident instead.
Do you see yourself as someone over the hill and no longer relevant? Then shift your take on that, too. Tell yourself, “I’m in my prime. This is my time. It’s my moment and what I have to say needs to be said, heard and validated.” Say this out loud. Say it clearly and confidently.
Shifting your internal language is powerful. I know this because I’ve done it myself. To be honest, there have been times in my life when I thought my voice didn’t matter. When I should have spoken up, but didn’t. When I thought, “others know more than me, so why should I share my perspective?” There have also been times when I thought, “God, if I say this or that, there will be hell to pay…”
But I’ve discovered that just because someone knows more than you about a particular topic, that doesn’t mean your voice isn’t worth using. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t speak up. (I’ve discovered this first-hand in the world of Alzheimer’s research. Everyone said women weren’t more vulnerable to the disease and that I was crazy for having that hunch. But guess what? I was right and they were wrong!)
Let’s be clear. No one has your voice. No one has your opinion. No one has your individual take. Your take on life is just as valid and just as important as someone else’s. Yes, that’s true.
Even if someone else appears to be smarter or more powerful, it’s important to shift your thinking away from “Who do I think I am?” to “I am smart and powerful, too, and what I have to say is useful, interesting, and maybe even life-changing for another person.”
That shift in thinking could just change someone’s life. (Kim Kardashian West did that this week when people ridiculed her for speaking up about prison reform and pushing the president to commute the life sentence of Alice Marie Johnson. They said, “Who does she think she is?” Well, Kim didn’t pay attention to that, and whatever you think of her, she effectively used her voice and her power to change the life of someone else.)
So, imagine how you can do that with your own voice. Imagine what speaking up can do for someone else, or for yourself and your own life narrative. Imagine that you tell your survivor story, not your victim story. Imagine telling others what it’s really like for your family to be affected by Alzheimer’s, instead of hiding and hoping no one will find out. Imagine sharing your story, and in turn, finding your worth and finding your “I AM.” (Listen to my radio interview with OnBeing’s Krista Tippett this week on how I’ve done that in my own life.)
Not too long ago, I made a mental folder of negative thoughts that I was carrying around with me. Several of the descriptors came from other people and I had taken them on as my own. They weren’t serving me at all, and in fact, they were adversely affecting me and harming my sense of self.
I filed them away under other people’s names (which is where they belonged) and put them into storage in the back of my mind. If these thoughts try to come up, then I very consciously shift them away. And, guess what? I immediately feel freer, lighter and more confident.
So, this Sunday, shift away from any thoughts that keep you down. Shift away from any thoughts that keep you feeling small. Shift away from any thoughts that tell you “your time is up.” Shift away from any thoughts that tell you, “I’m just…” And, in light of this week’s news about Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, if you find that you can’t shift your thoughts from darkness to light — if you find your thoughts scary or harmful, or if you feel desperately alone — then please seek help. Know that this is not your fault and that you are NOT alone. Find at least one friend or professional and reach out, as my friend Clay Russell so bravely reminds us to do in his personal essay in today’s Sunday Paper. At the end of last week, I actually found myself reaching out to numerous friends just to check in. And thankfully, one friend reached out to me seeking support. It was yet another reminder that we all need to do a better job of listening to each other’s voices and taking care of one another.
So today, shift away from that voice that brings you down inside and instead find the one that can lift you up. Use it proudly. I can’t wait to hear what you have to say, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
“I’ve Been Thinking… Reflections, Prayers and Meditations for a Meaningful Life” has now been on The New York Times Bestsellers list for 14 weeks in a row. Yippee, yippee! If you haven’t read it yet, consider it for your summer reading list. It doesn’t take a lot of time to read, and it might help you with the way you look at your time. [ORDER YOUR COPY OF “I’VE BEEN THINKING TODAY]
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…
GREG O’BRIEN BRAVELY SHARES HIS GRIPPING PERSONAL STORY OF LIVING WITH EARLY-ONSET ALZHEIMER’S
I was recently interviewed on Boston’s NPR affiliate WGBH alongside fellow journalist Greg O’Brien, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s nine years ago. In this compelling interview, Greg shares his gripping personal story on living and coping with the disease. [LISTEN TO OUR INTERVIEW HERE]
TALINDA BENNINGTON REMINDS US WHY WE SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID TO DISCUSS MENTAL HEALTH WITH OUR FAMILY
In light of the news this week, I thought it would be worthwhile to re-share my Architects of Change conversation with Talinda Bennington, wife of the late singer Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, who committed suicide in 2017. Today, Talinda works every day to fight the stigma of mental illness and shares her family’s story in hopes it can help change the lives of others. [WATCH NOW]
AUTHOR GAY GADDIS TELLS US HOW TO TAP INTO OUR INNER ‘COWGIRL’ TO FIND CONFIDENCE
I love the concept of the new book,”Cowgirl Power: How to Kick Ass in Business and Life by Architect of Change Gay Gaddis. In her narrative, she profiles the inspirational stories of some “kick-ass” women and explains how we can translate their lessons learned into personal power. [READ MORE]
SUICIDE ATTEMPT SURVIVOR CLAY RUSSELL TELLS US WHY WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP, EVEN IN OUR DARKEST HOURS
Architect of Change Clay Russell is a Sunday Paper contributor who was deeply touched by the tragic suicide of designer Kate Spade. As someone who is a suicide attempt survivor himself, Clay wrote this exclusive piece for The Sunday Paper with the hope that it “might spark even a brief instant of ‘maybe there’s something else’ for people in distress.” [READ MORE]
HATTIE HILL EXPLAINS WHY WOMEN SHOULDN’T LET PERFECTIONISM HOLD THEMSELVES BACK
In an exclusive essay for the Sunday Paper, Architect of Change Hattie Hill, President & CEO of the non-profit Women’s Foodservice Forum, tells us not to allow perfectionism to hold us back from moving forward. [READ MORE]
THIS PRIDE MONTH, MATT JACOBI REMINDS US TO EMBRACE THE POWER OF LOVE
In honor of LGBT Pride Month, Architect of Change Matt Jacobi writes an exclusive piece for The Sunday Paper about what this celebration means to him and how he hopes to share a better understanding of the meaning of true love and equality. [READ MORE]
PIZZERIA OWNER MAR DIEGO HIRES DISTRESSED KIDS TO INSTILL THEM WITH PASSION AND PURPOSE
This week, we honor Mar Diego, owner of Dough Girl pizzeria in Van Nuys, California, as our Architect of Change of the Week. Once a troubled youth herself, Mar turned her own life around and opened what she calls a “purpose-driven business,” She hires homeless and distressed kids from the community with the mission of giving them hope and purpose. [LEARN MORE ABOUT MAR BY WATCHING THE VIDEO ABOVE]
NEWS ABOVE THE NOISE
Because the media was dominated this week by several unfolding political stories, you may have missed the other news that rose “above the noise.” Below we share a few stories that caught our eye and got us thinking…
1. 6 Signs of Depression to Never Ignore: The tragic suicide deaths of designer Kate Spade and chef Anthony Bourdain reminds us that if we are not able to shift our negative thoughts, we must seek out the help of a trusted friend, doctor or therapist. This piece from TODAY provides the six signs of depression to never ignore. [READ MORE]
Unfortunately, Spade is among a growing number of women, ages 45-64, who are committing suicide, a troubling new report reveals. [READ MORE]
2. Making History, Saudi Arabia Issues Driver’s Licenses to 10 Women: In a historic move last week, Saudi Arabia issued driver’s licenses to 10 women, a lifting of a ban that was championed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a son of the Saudi king. [READ MORE]
3. How To Stop Time From Passing Us By: Sometimes the passage of time can feel like a blur. This interesting piece from TODAY.com explains how to slow things down and make life more meaningful. [READ MORE]
4. Many Americans Are Experiencing ‘News Fatigue’: This news is not surprising. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018, almost 7 out of 10 Americans feel worn out by the amount of news being reported these days. [READ MORE]
5. Seasonal Depression Is Not Just a Winter Condition: Unfortunately, depression can present itself in so many ways. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can also occur during the summer months and is often difficult to diagnose. [READ MORE]
6. #GlamForGood Empowers Social Change Through Style: This is a great story from our friend Stephanie Ruhle at MSNBC. This week as part of her #GoodNewsRuhles segment, Stephanie’s team profiled #GlamForGood, an organization that helps outfit high school students in clothing for job interviews – free of charge. [WATCH THEIR STORY]
7. Smithsonian to Feature Exhibit About Oprah Winfrey: If you happen to be in Washington D.C., go see Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture. This huge honor is so well deserved, and I am very proud of my dear friend. The exhibit examines the impact that Oprah has had on modern culture. [READ MORE]
8. Friends Make Good on Pact They Made to Marry If They Were Still Single at 50: I love this feel-good story about love prevailing in the end. These high school sweethearts recently tied the knot, making good on their years-long pact. [READ MORE]
9. Husband Learns to Do His Wife’s Hair After Stroke Prevents Her From Doing it Herself: This sweet story illustrates this man’s devotion to his wife. After Teresa’s stroke prevented her from doing her own hair, her husband, Andrew, went to a salon to learn to style it for her. [WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW]
This week, as we mark the 50th anniversary of my uncle Bobby’s death, I am happy to share this beautiful quote, shared by Sunday Paper ambassador Stephanie Sarazin. Uncle Bobby was certainly a person who found and used his voice to move humanity forward, something we are all capable of doing. Thank you for sharing, Stephanie.
INSPIRATION FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
THE MARIA SHRIVER COLLECTION: GOOD FOR YOU, GOOD FOR YOUR MIND, & GOOD FOR THE WORLD
SOMETHING TO TRY THIS WEEKEND
JOIN ME AND EXERCISE YOUR BRAIN: This week, I’m proud to announce my partnership with Brain HQ and the launch of our new program to raise the bar on women’s brain health. Women’s brains have a special journey, with different experiences and challenges from those of men. Together with BrainHQ, we’re now offering women a practical and scientifically-proven tool that can improve their cognitive health and can fit easily into their busy lives. [SIGN UP NOW AT WWW.MARIA.BRAINHQ.COM]
SOMETHING TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
“The Migraine Solution”: This weekend, this program I hosted for PBS debuts on public stations across the country. In this show, experts and patients debunk myths and discuss the best practices for managing migraines. If you suffer from them like I do, I encourage you to check this out. [CHECK YOUR LOCAL PBS LISTINGS FOR AIR TIMES]
SOMETHING TO BUY THIS WEEKEND
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, DVDs of her PBS Special “Brain Secrets,” Rivet Revolution bracelets benefiting The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, and our limited time Koral Move for Minds leggings!
SUPPORT MOVE FOR MINDS THROUGHOUT JUNE!
THE MOVEMENT TO CHANGE THE FUTURE FOR ALL MINDS CONTINUES!
We want to say thank you and express deep gratitude to all of you who joined us on our nationwide tour this June for Move for Minds. If you weren’t able to attend in-person, here are other ways you can get involved in our fight Alzheimer’s throughout Brain Awareness Month and beyond…
BECOME A SUNDAY PAPER AMBASSADOR AND SUNDAY HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! SIGN UP HERE
As a loyal reader of The Sunday Paper each week, we value your input, ideas, and help in spreading the word to your family and friends. Now you can become a Sunday Paper ambassador and help us expand our “digital” paper route. Refer your family and friends to become readers and as soon as just one of them has signed up, we’ll add you to our invite-only Sunday Paper Facebook Group.