Tag Archives: Arianna Huffington

Intent of the Day: Getting More Sleep

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The nights are starting a little earlier these days and while you might’ve expected that you would naturally start climbing in bed a little earlier, you might be more like us and find that your bed time is creeping later and later. Mornings are getting harder and harder. Before it all gets out of hand, we want to reset. Today our intent is a simple one- to get to bed early.

You too? Here are 3 things that might help: Continue reading

The Inspiration of Arianna Huffington and “Thrive”

Arianna HuffingtonArianna Huffington is at the top of my list of women who intrigue me and whom I truly admire. Having met and heard her speak many times, I am always impressed by how articulate and smart she is. (Her relationship with my father, Deepak Chopra, dates back decades to when my dad saw her mother as a patient. Both Arianna and her sister, Agape, have become family friends who we see at various events.)

HuffingtonPost was the inspiration behind the original Intentblog – I loved the idea of bringing together real voices on a platform to explore and share big ideas. I truly cheered watching HuffingtonPost become such an incredible success story, because it was entrepreneurial, original, and a venture launched by a woman! Her name on lists like Time’s 100 Most Influential People and her face on the cover of magazines was so well deserved. And every time I met Arianna at book parties she hosted or at conferences where she spoke, I found her to be authentically interested in sharing ideas and expanding the global conversation.

But in her book, Thrive, Arianna admits that while many of us who have observed her years saw the success, she was suffering in other ways. Lack of sleep, exhaustion stress from 18 hour days, seven days a week, led her to actually fall one day and break her cheekbone and get a nasty gash on her eye. And, she was forced to ask herself questions like, “Was this what success looked like? Was this the life I wanted?”

In her book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-being, Wisdom and Wonder, Arianna explores what it means to lead a good life. She explains how we need to go beyond defining success merely in terms of money and power – that the third metric consists of four pillars: well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving.

When I read Arianna’s book, I had many a-ha moments. In fact some of the themes like meditation, noticing coincidences, and trusting your intuition are action steps I am writing about in my upcoming book. I loved her stories about her family, as well as tapping into her heritage and the lessons learned from Greek mythology and great philosophers of our time. There is a lot of research in the book, as well as resources on how to meditate, as well as a great list of apps to help you work more efficiently and without distractions!

One big take away for me was the importance of sleep, and how as a culture, we boast about our lack of sleep when on every measure for success, good sleep seems to be a critical factor. Since hearing about the importance of sleep in Arianna’s talks and the book, I have become very strict as a mom of making sure my girls get enough sleep every night. She references a study in Science that calculates that an extra hour of sleep can do more for daily happiness that a $60,000 raise. I have also followed her tips on de-connecting from the electronic devices. Who knew it would be so hard to go to sleep without my Iphone next to me!?

What I love about the book though is that Arianna goes beyond wellbeing, and includes cherishing wisdom, celebrating wonder, and giving as the other pillars for a life well lived. She writes in the epilogue, “I wanted to share my own personal journey, how I learned the hard way to step back from being so caught up in my busy life that life’s mystery would pass me by. But it was also important to me to make it clear that this was not just one woman’s journey. There’s a collective longing to stop living in the shallows, to stop hurting our health and our relationships by striving so relentlessly after success as the world defines it – and instead tap in to the riches, joy, and amazing possibilities that our lives embody.”

Arianna’s call to live with intent and joy is inspiring, and one I hope many people, of all generations, will embrace so we strive to live fuller, more meaningful lives.

One World: Arianna Huffington on Viewing Life with a Wider Lens

Arianna HuffingtonSo often in modern society, we look at success as being defined narrowly as attaining money and power. Particularly in the business world, there is a tendency to forget that there should be other measures of success including health, well-being, empathy and morality. These are the things that make up the Third Metric and there is a move by many in the business world to ensure that more emphasis is places on these things. Arianna Huffington is one business leader who is speaking passionately about this move.

When Arianna recently sat down with Deepak Chopra for a One World discussion regarding the Third Metric, she emphasized the importance of her mother in introducing the concept of the Third Metric to her. “She had always lived differently by putting relations and the heart and connections at the heart of everything and I had to catch up with her and to recognize why this is the only way to live.”

The entirety of that conversation is available now on NEWSWIRE.FM and one of the more striking points about the interview is that despite Arianna’s successes in digital arena, she is fully aware that being too wrapped up in technology is not conducive to well-being nor is it conducive to continued creative success. She explains to Deepak Chopra that “It is no longer possible to dismiss the value of meditation, sleep, learning to unplug from technology and reconnect with ourselves.” Human beings need more time alone, more space for self-reflection and a time to find the sources of creativity within ourselves.

Adrianna’s new book Thrive: The Third Metric to redefining Success and Creating Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder, which will be released this month, focuses on the ways in which we must take care of their own bodies and minds to achieve success. Without our health and well-being, money and power will never be enough to satisfy us.

The Third Metric does not however only focus internally. Rather, as Arianna explains in the One World episode, giving is also a critical part of what makes a person thrive. “We can now see how giving and compassion are one of the fastest ways to happiness.” So much of what makes a person stressed is their inability to look beyond themselves and at the bigger picture. Conversely, when we focus on being giving and compassionate people, we are viewing life with a wider lens which more often than not is a way to put our own stressors into perspective.

So much of the purpose of the Third Metric is ensuring that we are viewing our own lives from the right perspective. “Very often, life has a bigger imagination than we have and we just need to be open to it” Arianna explains. Not everything will always go as planned but finding happiness and truly being able to thrive requires openness to the changes in life and a willingness to face them with genuine intentions and a clear mind.

Homelessness Myth #10: Serving Is Tiring

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know:

 

                        The only ones among you who will be really happy are those

                        who have sought and found how to serve.

                                                                                                            
- Albert Schweitzer

 

I am fortunate to know some very busy people who, through their service, help make this world a better place to live.  Even though they seldom take time off for rest and relaxation, they continue to work tirelessly for the benefit of all of us.   They are happy, even joyful people who get up every day to serve again.

 How do these busy service providers defy the law of nature that says energy expended must be replenished?  How do some people see the unvarnished misery of their fellow human beings and not be physically and emotionally drained?  How do some people continue to create beauty through art and music when the world can seem so dark?  Why do they continue to serve humanity in a myriad of ways often with little support or encouragement?

 Intrigued by these questions, I asked some amazingly selfless people what energizes them.  I am very grateful to them for their comments that follow.

 "We are all born with an instinct for altruism and giving as surely as we are born with instincts for survival, sex and power.  But like muscles that need to be exercised, our generosity and compassion can only be developed through regular workouts.  And, like working out, volunteering and service leave you with an inner buzz."


- Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Huffington Post

    "Every day I run into a formerly homeless person who has graduated of St. Vinnie’s – in airports, everywhere I go.  Recently, I was in the hospital and the nurse and other hospital staff were all graduates of St. Vinnie’s!  We have two graduates on our board of directors.  I’m constantly running into graduates from St. Vinnie’s… that’s what keeps me going! That’s where the energy comes from."

– Father Joe Carroll, President, St. Vincent de Paul Village

 

  "It was a ‘challenging’ question. My ‘one word’ answer would have to be EMPOWERED….. which may seem strange, after all, how could giving something to others be empowering?! But for most of my adult life, when thinking of the poor, I would just get very frustrated.

Sure, dropping a dollar or some coins in the buckets of bell-ringers for the Salvation Army, or to the man with his sign on the street corner is the ‘decent’ thing to do- but it just never seemed ‘enough’. And answering the call of organizations to donate cans of food or piles of clothing – I understand it makes a difference – but for how long?  Do my efforts really change someone’s life for the better…. can one person really help?

It wasn’t until I actually walked into a soup kitchen to drop off the food that I saw ‘close up’ what one person can do. Each one of those volunteers- giving ‘straight from the heart’- was doing more than serving food, they were affirming that those receiving were ‘worthy’….. despite poverty, unemployment, substance abuse problems- whatever their reasons for needing help……. someone cared about THEM….. cared enough to give, not just money or food or stuff – but themselves, their time, their effort, their concern.

For those who have nothing…. living in fear & pain….. that affirmation that their lives still have value to someone means the difference between giving up or getting up. One needs only to visit the soup kitchens, the day centers or the shelters to feel that power. Each one of us can make a very big difference."

– Rose von Perbandt/agent for artist Ed Miracle/Art at Work

  Despite not having had a vacation in years, "a phone call, an email of success, meeting a graduate of our program for homeless people… keeps me going.  I get that a lot.  Our graduates become successful and they call me 5, 10 years down the road.  When graduates come from graduation, I feel like $9 million bucks!”

 – Bob McElroy, President, The Alpha Project

  “Service refreshes my spirit, giving me a new perspective on life — my own as well as that of others.  It renews my commitment to live well and wholly within the larger Spirit that encircles us all with love.”

– Karen A. Shaffer, President, The Maud Powell Society for Music and Education

 "A person who really hasn’t experienced life yet, if they haven’t experienced helping someone in need."

– William Butler, M.A., M.Div

 "Many times after anxiety-inducing budget or policy  meetings, I find that spending time with the clients in the program can have a calming effect. Just listing to others and helping them through their day benefits the client and the caregiver. It does not matter if the client is irritated about an issue or dealing with a particularly difficult time in their life, in social services if all interactions with others are looked at through the lens of empathy no ill will or aggravation can be transferred.

– Paul

 "What motivates me to help people?  I feel blessed that I have so much, so it is appropriate for me to share what I have.

 Service to others satisfies a desire in me to give back because I can’t say that all that I have or where I am in life is because of myself alone.  Someone helped each of us to get to where we are.  I am doing a payback to give to others what has been given to me.  None of us is here on our own. 

As a Big Brother, I felt very fortunate that I could help children who had no father.”

– Former Big Brother in the Big Brothers of America Program

 "It concerns me that there are so many needs out there.  So many people are struggling.  They can’t even buy food or find a decent place to live.   

I don’t work directly with clients, but I work so that life is a bit easier for them.  My hope is that what I am doing from day to day will help someone, somewhere live life with less stress and ease of mind.

            This is what keeps me going;  it keeps all of us going."

– Hannah Cohen, Policy Consultant on Issues of Housing and Homelessness, President of the Cohen Group

  “As a photojournalist, I have had the opportunity to talk to many of San Diego’s homeless. Each time we engage in a conversation, a cup of coffee, or just sit and watch passers by, I feel a communion with the person we call "homeless." It’s a very special time for me.

 It moves me deeply to smile along with someone else who has little yet offers a smile in return. I will continue to be an advocate for realistic and essential change in the criminal justice system and in finding answers to eradicate homelessness.”

 

– Susan Madden Lankford, author, Downtown USA

 

 

 "Remaining silent or passive in the face of injustice is simply not an option for me, since that would be tantamount to being complicit in that injustice. So I am fortunate that being part of struggles for social justice — work that is utterly necessary if the world is to become a better place — nourishes me both physically and emotionally. The struggle, itself, infuses me with energy."

– Susie Curtiss

 I look forward to your comments.  Thank you.

Christine

 

 

The Ambiguity in Women’s Lives

A good friend revealed to me recently that when she first got married, she found herself doing all sorts of “Little Miss Homemaker things.” She was ironing her husband’s shirts, making him lunch, and waiting for him to come home at the end of the day. “I have never ironed in my life!” she said. “I don’t know what came over me.” This was a woman who had been on her own for 15 years, was successful in her career, and was what most would call an “independent woman.”

Something shifted though when she got married. She began to lose her sense of independence and started to crave being protected and cared for by her husband. She started losing focus on her career, would often second-guess her decisions, and felt her ambition dwindling.

Arianna Huffington

On September 17, Arianna Huffington wrote a blog in The Huffington Post entitled, “The Sad Shocking Truth About How Women Are Feeling.” She was responding to a series of studies conducted by The General Social Survey that showed women are becoming more and more unhappy.

Arianna asks: “When you think about all that has happened over the last four decades — with women securing greater opportunity, greater achievement, greater influence, and more money — the decline in our collective state of mind seems to defy logic, and raises the vexing question: What in the world is going on?”

Although there is some controversy over the studies, the issues being raised are MaureenDowdimportant ones. For example, last week Maureen Dowd in The New York Times wrote a piece titled, “Blue Is the New Black.” In it she says: “When women stepped into male-dominated realms, they put more demands — and stress — on themselves. If they once judged themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens and dinner parties, now they judge themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens, dinner parties — and grad school, work, office deadlines and meshing a two-career marriage.”

I think it’s hard to argue against the idea that the expansion of women’s roles has brought on more stress for women due to the shear demand of responsibility. Add this to what Maureen Dowd talks about — a wider audience of judgment (women, don’t we all want to be perfect?). What’s missing here is a mention of perhaps a deeper stress that comes from an ambiguity that certain psychologists and sociologists believe lies within women. Hint: Think of my friend above.

Ever hear of the Cinderella Complex?

Colette Dowling, New York psychotherapist and author of The Cinderella Complex, says that women have a deeply embedded wish to be taken care of and "saved." She CinderallaComplexsays in her bestseller book: “We may not always recognize it … but it exists within us all, emerging when we least expect it, permeating our dreams, dampening our ambitions.” Ms. Dowling suggests that this wish goes back to the days of cave living, when man’s greater physical strength was needed to protect mothers and children from the wild – but, she says, such a wish is no longer appropriate or constructive.

Or is it?

Although Ms. Dowling published her book more than 25 years ago, these questions apply today. Is it possible for women today to be independent, ambitious, successful career women and at the same time still be taken care of and "protected" by a partner? Or is our secret need to be "saved and protected" sabotaging our ambitions and fulfillment as successful, career women?

What do you think?

 

Tabby Biddle is a writer and editor specializing in helping women entrepreneurs and emerging authors get their message out. She lives in Santa Monica, CA.

Bumper Stickers, Lapel Pins and Sound Bytes, Oh My!

I remember the first time I saw one . . . a white on black bumper sticker with large clear lettering:

1.20.09

There was small print underneath it, too small for me to read. At an intersection, I inched the bumper of my car as close as I dared to the car sporting the date so I could read the words. Now they say things like "Barack Obama Inauguration Day," and "The end of an error," but the originals read:

Bush’s Last Day

This was a few years ago. I smiled at the time. And said something like, "Amen," out loud.

On Thursday evening this past week, I watched the outgoing president’s thirteen minute farewell to the nation speech. Speechless is how he left me. History, by its nature is subject to revision because of the permeability of memory, but I have to agree with Arianna Huffington’s summation on The Rachel Maddow Show. She said (in her magnificent Greek accent), "I have to go with Art Garfunkel on this. ‘Still crazy after all these years.’"

It’s hard to strike me dumb, but #43 managed it. Afghanistan is a young democracy encouraging girls to go to school — and having acid thrown in their faces for their trouble. Iraq is a friend of the United States in the Middle East — Hamas is bombing Gaza at the same moment. New Orleans is doing just fine thanks after Katrina. The bottom line? According to his lapel pin flagged self, America is a better America because of George W. Bush.

The Great Rabbi of Nazareth teaches a spectacular lesson about bearing self-witness in the Gospel of John. "If I bear witness of myself, then my testimony is not true." The law of the land at the time insisted that three witnesses were necessary to establish truth.

Mr. Bush has had plenty more than three witnesses. In fact, the full complement of the American people have watched the past eight years in varying degrees of shock, awe, incredulity, and acclaim. His revisionist, self-witnessing history remains appalling.

And yet, and yet . . . on Tuesday, we enter a new era with new bumper stickers, new lapel pins and new sound bytes. Perhaps Mr. Obama might take a page out of the masterpiece of L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?

What he needs to be a great leader are three things he has developed over the many years of his public service: a brain, a heart, the noive. The October 1900 issue of Kindergarten Magazine characterizes these archetypes as "the really thoughtful Scarecrow, the truly tender Tin Woodsman, and the fearless Cowardly Lion."

Let’s see Mr. Obama taking the Oath of Office, swearing to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States with thoughtfulness, tenderness, and fearlessness. I’ll gladly bear witness to that.

 

Visit Susan Corso’s spiritual blog or subscribe to Seeds at www.susancorso.com.em>

Originally posted for The Huffington Post

DNC 2008: New Video Intents

I talked, Twittered and blogged about some of the people I met last week at the Democratic National Convention. Here’s a quick video tour of the minds and personalities I came across.

Arianna Huffington and the Huffington Post sponsored a wellness lounge with yoga, massage and vegan and organic snacks. It was a wonderful respite from the general agitation of the convention.

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