Tag Archives: Maria Shriver

Intent of the Day: Beauty in Ourselves


What does beauty mean?
Does it mean you’re a model? Does it mean everyone wants to go on a date with you? Does it mean you make everyone envious? We find that more often than not, we have a complicated relationship with beauty. Sometimes the words we hear on the subject leave us feeling isolated and not enough. But that doesn’t make them true. As we find beauty in the world around us, we are finding that it first starts with how we see ourselves.

What is your measure of beauty?
Is it the skin you’re in?
Is it the posture of your heart?
Is it your actions or your words?
It matters.
If you can’t see beauty in the world, it may be because it is very hard for you to acknowledge what is beautiful about yourself.
So today our intent is to start there.
We intend to see the beauty in ourselves.
Because when we can accept beauty in ourselves, we can accept others in the same way.

You too? Here are 3 resources to help: Continue reading

I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E  A Ten- Step Plan For Creating Abundance In Your Life


By Kristin Meekhof, LMSW

A little over two years ago, I began sharing a bit about my writing journey. I embarked on an entirely different career while maintain my day job as a clinical social worker. I wasn’t sure how to write anything for a national platform. I didn’t have a literary agent, a publishing contract, any type of media connections or a marketing background. I simply wanted to share my story and that of other widows in the hopes that they would feel less alone. I did one blind entry about gratitude to the Huffington Post and to my surprise, they published it. They were not the only major company to open their arms to me.

What followed in the past two-and-a-half years is nothing short of phenomenal. I became friends with Dr. Deepak Chopra, who did the cover blurb for my book, “A Widow’s Guide to Healing”, and I began to contribute to Maria Shriver’s platform, and she also did a cover blurb. In addition, I was interviewed by Katie Couric, American Greetings, my story was on the USA Today website, and I found myself at ABC’s headquarters doing a live hour long tweet chat. Most recently, I was at the United Nations.  By the way, Deepak did not introduce me to any of these individuals, nor, did a publicity team garner this support.

The question I am most asked is this- How did I manage this on my own? 

Many of the practices I developed evolved as my own writing / publishing process evolved. However, I can share with you that I know that because I practiced what I call I.L.L.U.M.I.N.A.T.E. this ten- step program which I developed over time, my world is richer and brighter. These practices aren’t exclusive to the publishing world. Anyone who is interested in creating more abundance can integrate these steps. Continue reading

Happiness In A Woman’s Nation

Have you ever had a tough day, and someone says, “Boy, you look tired.” And oddly, that makes you feel better?

That’s what happened last week for millions of American women when the Center for American Progress and Maria Shriver released The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, a vivid portrait of women’s real lives and their changing roles. Many women exhaled a collective sigh and said, “Finally, you noticed.”

The news was mixed. Although there have been advances in education and career opportunities, many of the women Maria Shriver talked with say they feel increasingly “stressed, misunderstood, isolated and invisible.” They shared that “never before has so much been asked of them.”

In my own work, I meet women who are feeling the pressure:  balancing work with child-raising, worrying about layoffs, caring for aging parents, or staying at jobs that drain them so they can keep their health insurance.  

What Can We Do?

Clearly government and business policies need to adapt to the changes in American life. But what can women do until that happens? How do we handle day-to-day stresses so we can be happier?4 Strategies For A Happier Life

As author Jon Kabat-Zinn says, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” So how do you surf these waves of change? I believe you can do it, in part, by rewiring your brain and strengthening your body so you become more resilient to stress. You do it by learning to calm and soothe yourself during difficult times. You do it by creating your own emotional toolkit: a system to help you understand your stress points and practical strategies to boost your ability to respond effectively. Here are four of those strategies.

1. Connect. When men and women talk with a caring person about their worries, their bodies produce hormones that calm and relax them. But for women, estrogen magnifies and intensifies that soothing effect making you feel even better. Indeed, women are physically hardwired to connect with others. The next time you have a hard day, talk with your mate, a friend, your sister or a counselor. Share your story with others. Use your connections for logistical as well as emotional help. Create a support network like a rotating carpool, a college student helper or family back-up system.

2. Be Realistic. Many women have too much to do, and then blame themselves when they don’t do it all perfectly. If you can’t remove things from your plate, focus on success rather than perfection. Realize that when you strive to be perfect at anything, you set yourself up for failure — either you’re perfect or you’re a failure.  Stop all-or-nothing thinking. Aim to be good enough by asking yourself, “What’s the worst that would happen if I was good enough, and not perfect at this task or this role?” Chances are, you and everyone around you will still be okay.

3. Learn To Negotiate. As roles change for the sexes, becoming a true partner with your mate is critical. According to The Shriver Report, “An overwhelming majority of both men and women said they’re sitting down at their kitchen tables to coordinate their family’s schedules, duties, and responsibilities, including child care and elder care, at least two to three times a week.” If teamwork is the path to relationship and life success, then knowing how to negotiate is crucial. Take a positive approach to problem solving. Use “How” questions rather than “Why” questions. For example, “How can we make this work?” rather than, “Why does this always happen?” Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. Sometimes relationships aren’t always 50/50. They’ll be times when you get more and times when your partner will. That’s okay as long as each is guaranteed a turn.

4. Sleep. It’s no secret that most women don’t get enough sleep. The prescribed 7-8 hours can easily fall by the wayside when you’re too busy to go to bed or too frazzled to fall asleep. But you need to try anyway. Sleep reduces your stress by improving your ability to think clearly, lifting your mood and boosting your energy. Sleep can even help you lose the weight that stress helped you gain. If you’re not getting enough sleep, try these tips:

  • Write a To-Do list for tomorrow so your thinking won’t keep you awake.
  • Exercise: Take a walk during your lunch break or after dinner. If that’s not possible, try to move more during the day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or stretching your body before going to bed.
  • Cut back on caffeine, especially at night.
  • Practice deep breathing before bed to relax and slow your mind.

In A Woman’s Nation, there are more opportunities for both achievement and stress. I hope the day will come when our society figures a way to support both men and women in their quests for balanced and healthy lives. Until that day, having an emotional toolkit is vital to your happiness.

Darlene Mininni, PhD, MPH is the author of “The Emotional Toolkit,” producer and host of the Los Angeles radio program “The Dr. Darlene Mininni Show,” and a former UCLA educator. To learn how Dr. Mininni can help you live a happier life or to receive her free guide “3 Things Happy People Do,” go to EmotionalToolkit.com.




The Six Essentials of Feminine Success

On October 22nd I found myself standing in the middle of a spectacular ballroom in Long Beach, California. It was an astonishing scene.  Trailblazers Billie Jean King and Gloria Steinem stepped forward.  So did entertainment names like Rachael Ray and Jennifer Lopez. As did CNN media great Christiane Amanpour. The room overflowed with a palpable exhilaration. But it wasn’t just coming from the stage. It’s was a pulsating vibrancy brought to life by nearly 14,000 women who gathered for the California Governor’s Conference on Women hosted by First Lady Maria Shriver. The message of the day: Be Who You Are!

It’s no secret. The time has come for women. Our strengths are urgently needed in our communities, in business and in the world.  And, we are responding to the call. Like never before we are committed to advancing ourselves into positions of power.  We are dedicating our creative brilliance and putting it to good use. We are innovating and designing. We are launching entrepreneurial ventures, bringing our insight to corporate America and beyond.   We are igniting fresh possibilities. Most importantly, we are creating change.
As I stood in the ballroom in Long Beach, I was reminded over and over again of one simple fact: Real and lasting change begins within each of us.  It is up to us to take the steps. It is up to us to change our mindset. It is up to each of us to believe our vision possible. It is up to us to be the amazing and powerful women that we are.
“You cannot wait until the fear goes away – it’s through the action that the fear disappears.” Maria Shriver shares stories of her own occasional doubts.   It’s just one way of inspiring a greatest that she recognizes in every woman throughout the room. Billie Jean King reminds, “There is a leader in every one of us that expects to lead.” And then there are the words of CNN’S Christiane Amanpour, “When given half a chance, women can be real architects of change.”
But, where do we begin?  How do we unleash our real power? How do we stand true to ourselves and embrace our place in the world? Where do we start to define and design success by our own standards?    These are the exact questions I had asked myself nearly a decade ago. Since that time, my need to discover has taken me into the hearts and minds of women of influence, impact and inspiration … feminine leaders who are committed to living by their own unique definition.  What did I learn?  Plenty. Surely more than I can share in this article. But, there are six essentials that became my own beacon of focus and direction. Six essentials that opened my world to a new view of my feminine power and success.

Be willing to grow beyond the defined.
  Each moment you have the opportunity to be more of who you are.  Make a solid commitment to deepen your relationship with yourself and align with your truest nature. Instead of defining yourself with a list of yesterday’s standards begin to reflect toward the empowered aspects of the woman you are now, what you value most and what you desire to create.

Look for the ‘yes’ in all things.
 Know that every experience, every thought and every feeling is empowering you.   Allow yourself to evolve. Commit with certainty that every action is pulling you towards the ultimate fulfillment of your life vision.

Ignite the power of possibilities.   Ignite the power from deep inside that’s challenging you to lead a life by your own unique design.  Know what you require. Then, say yes.  Saying yes may take you in unexpected new directions and create empowered results beyond those you’ve yet to imagine.

Play with fresh curiosity.  Look towards every situation with fresh new eyes. Be inquisitive. Ask questions.  And then listen deeply to hear the answers. New discovery can be sparked through the smallest of apertures – a chance meeting, by asking the right question at the right time or simply allowing ourselves to notice the unexpected.

Collaborate with sheer trust. Real empowered success comes from a willingness to make an empowered choice. Say yes to new actions and allow yourself to experience new results. Find your way back to your creative, spontaneous self. Trust your intuition. It’s is never wrong.

Embrace your creative brilliance. Forge a genuine relationship between what you do and what you love. Your greatest, most empowered success can only come from being true to yourself, true to others and true to the life you live.

About Marsh Engle
Marsh Engle is a Life Vision Coach , author and founder of Amazing Woman’s Day. Her organization Marsh Engle Media is dedicated to enhancing creativity and advancing opportunities for women through ongoing training, promotions and multi media productions. As the author of the Amazing Women Amazing World book & journal series, Marsh has written about some of the most boldly successful – including the fewer that 30 women who serve among the 12,000 firefighters of the Fire Department of New York. She is nominated among the Power 100 Women in Entertainment and has earned a United States Congressional Proclamation for her leadership of Amazing Woman’s Day – a grassroots initiative dedicated to inspiring and empowering the lives of women the world over.



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