Positive, powerful pick-me-up: My thoughts on 'I've Been Thinking...' by Maria Shriver

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I've long been a fan of—and subscriber to—Maria Shriver's The Sunday Paper. In her weekly e-newsletter, Shriver shares empowering, encouraging, inspirational thoughts and information on people making a positive difference in our culture, our world.

Shriver opens each newsletter with an engaging personal message  titled "I've been thinking...," on a range of topics relevant to world events and concerns. She follows up with powerful articles and tidbits by and about various "Architects of Change," as she calls the passionate "changemakers moving humanity forward." 

The Sunday Paper never fails to open my eyes and heart to the positive possibilities in our world today despite the doom, gloom, negativity, and nastiness proliferating online and off.

So when I was offered the opportunity to review I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life, Shriver's most recent book, inspired by the messages she writes and shares in The Sunday Paper, I naturally responded, "Heck, yeah!"

I soon had Shriver's compact hardcover in hand and began poring over the reflections on seeking a meaningful life.

I've Been Thinking... is a quick read. Shriver's 61 resonant essays are brief yet their impact long-lasting. Her chosen topics—the empty nest, aging; the power of peace, women, letting go, gratitude; faith, family, fortitude; health and hope; motherhood; making a difference—touched my soul, my heart, my mind. Her words reflecting sheer awe and gratitude on life, love, and others as well as the amazing opportunities we all have to move in ways that matter encouraged me to be better, more positive.

 A portion of the powerful pieces in   i've Been Thinking...  .

A portion of the powerful pieces in i've Been Thinking....

Shriver's honest, unflinching insights on issues we all relate to prove she's just like the rest of us. Full of questions, insecurities, gratitude, hopes, and dreams that we and our world can (and will) move toward a greater good. Yet in doing so, Shriver also shows she is so very unlike the rest of us —because she can deftly and poignantly put into words what we all feel, fear, and strive to be, in a more positive, impactful manner than any other wordsmith I can recall.

A relevant quote precedes each essay in I've Been Thinking.... Meaningful words of wisdom from movers, shakers, and Maria herself. An unexpected bonus of the book for the quote collector in me. The faithful Christian in me was equally appreciative of the personal prayer Shriver, a life-long Catholic, included at the close of each reflection.

 One of my favorite quotes from   I've Been Thinking....

One of my favorite quotes from I've Been Thinking....

 Just one of the many powerful prayers in   I've Been Thinking....

Just one of the many powerful prayers in I've Been Thinking....

Shriver's personal, grace-filled and gutsy reflections are the heart of this book. Yet those quotes and prayers make it so much more. I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life is also a quote collection, a prayer book, a primer on personal writing and reflection.

I've Been Thinking... is a manual on how to love God, love others, love yourself, too.

It's a treasure, a gem, and a book to pass along to others who need light, love, positivity, encouragement.

And who the heck doesn't need any—or all—of that?

I've Been Thinking... Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life by Maria Shriver, published in February 2018 by Pamela Dorman Books / Viking (an imprint of Penguin Random House ), is on sale now ($20 msrp) on Amazon.com (affiliate link; thank you!) and wherever books are sold. For more information, visit MariaShriver.com or follow Maria on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Disclosure: I received this book free for review; opinions are my own.