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I've Been Thinking . . .
Cover of I've Been Thinking . . .
I've Been Thinking . . .
Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“[I've Been Thinking…] is beautiful...I felt your soul on these pages.” –Oprah Winfrey

“If you are feeling stuck, lost, or you just need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you. Shriver’s wisdom will fill you up.” —Hoda Kotb, coanchor, The Today Show

The ideal book for those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration on the road to a meaningful life.


As a prominent woman juggling many roles, Maria Shriver knows just how surprising, unpredictable, and stressful everyday life can be.

In this moving and powerful book, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers, and reflections designed to get readers thinking, get them feeling, get them laughing, and help them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field—a place of acceptance, purpose, and passion—a place of joy.

I've Been Thinking . . . is ideal for anyone at any point in her life. Whether you feel like you've got it all together or like it's all falling apart—whether you're taking stock of your life or simply looking to recharge, this is the book you will turn to again and again. Spend the weekend reading it cover to cover, or keep it on your nightstand to flip to the chapter you need most. Like talking with a close friend, it's the perfect daily companion—an exceptional gift for someone looking to move forward in life with hope and grace.
INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“[I've Been Thinking…] is beautiful...I felt your soul on these pages.” –Oprah Winfrey

“If you are feeling stuck, lost, or you just need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you. Shriver’s wisdom will fill you up.” —Hoda Kotb, coanchor, The Today Show

The ideal book for those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement, and inspiration on the road to a meaningful life.


As a prominent woman juggling many roles, Maria Shriver knows just how surprising, unpredictable, and stressful everyday life can be.

In this moving and powerful book, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers, and reflections designed to get readers thinking, get them feeling, get them laughing, and help them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field—a place of acceptance, purpose, and passion—a place of joy.

I've Been Thinking . . . is ideal for anyone at any point in her life. Whether you feel like you've got it all together or like it's all falling apart—whether you're taking stock of your life or simply looking to recharge, this is the book you will turn to again and again. Spend the weekend reading it cover to cover, or keep it on your nightstand to flip to the chapter you need most. Like talking with a close friend, it's the perfect daily companion—an exceptional gift for someone looking to move forward in life with hope and grace.
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Excerpts-
  • From the book The Power of Gratitude

    “Gratitude is a flower that blooms in noble souls.” —Pope Francis

    I believe strongly in the power of gratitude. And scientific research backs that up. It shows that making a daily conscious effort to be grateful does in fact make you a happier, more hopeful person.

    There are those lucky ones who come by their attitude of gratitude naturally. It seems like they were born happy, optimistic, and grateful. But most of us have to work at having a positive frame of mind. I’ve found that the best way to get that is to have a daily gratitude practice.
    So every morning when I open my eyes, and before my feet touch the ground, I thank God for the gift of my life. I give thanks for my health, my family, my friends, and for the country I’m blessed to live in. I’ve found that starting out that way makes for a better day and, in turn, I believe it makes for a better life.

    I seek out people who have a gratitude practice. I love talking with them and learning from them. They look at the world through a clear lens. They’re more joyful. When adversity arises, they bounce back faster. They know and feel that they have a good thing going. And they do.
    The truth is, you can never be grateful enough. So it’s worth seeking out people who are like this and asking them how they stay that way: their practices, their principles, and how they put those into action.

    The power of gratitude can turn a bad day into a good one. It reboots your spirit. It makes you look at your life in a different way. Being thankful can make all the difference in your day.
    So start your very own daily gratitude practice. Write down what you’re grateful for, reflect on what you wrote, and carry the gratitude into your day. It’ll make all the difference in the world.

    Dear God, thank you for all the times when I am blessed by the kindness of others. You have surrounded me with people who care for me and bless me every day with kind words and actions. Help me to show them the same kindness they have provided. Help me to know how deeply I appreciate them and to know that I treasure them as a gift from you to me. Amen.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    December 11, 2017
    In a collection of reflections that are more sincere than eloquent, Shriver (Ten Things I Wish I’d Known—Before I Went Out into the Real World) meditates on finding a meaningful life. The award-winning journalist, former First Lady of California, and niece of President John F. Kennedy writes informally about her four children, four brothers, and 60 years of learning and praying. She pays homage to her mother, Eunice, and her father, Sargent. When the latter developed Alzheimer’s, Shriver became adamant about working toward a cure for the disease, and her work raising money and awareness is mentioned frequently. Each short chapter (of which there are over 50) begins with a quote from a speaker, activist, writer, or spiritual leader such as Maya Angelou, Louisa May Alcott, St. Ambrose, and even Shriver herself. Each chapter ends with a prayer that flows from her heart, if not so smoothly from her pen: “Dear God, don’t let me be caught in resentment or any other form of fear and hate. If they appear, please turn my thoughts into prayer for my enemy or someone in need.” Among the topics she covers are kindness, mental health, peace, time to reflect, grief, and power—of the mind, of women, of the pause, of empathy. The honesty of this uplifting book will please Shriver’s established readership as well as new readers looking for inspiration. Agent: Jan Miller, Dupree Miller.

  • Kirkus

    December 15, 2017
    An award-winning television journalist muses on how to successfully negotiate the challenges of living in the modern world.Shriver (Just Who Will You Be?, 2008, etc.) grew up a member of the storied Kennedy family. Despite great privilege, however, she has continually struggled with defining what constitutes a "meaningful life," especially in an age when we are all "inundated with news and information about how terrible everything is." This collection, which emerged from the author's "I've Been Thinking" column in her digital newsletter, The Sunday Paper, provides a series of short meditations on everything from the power of gratitude and positive thinking to the blessings of love and family. Each piece begins with quotations from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah Winfrey, and Gandhi and ends with personal prayers that reflect Shriver's deep devotion to her faith. The author begins with observations on the need for cultivating self-acceptance and "intestinal fortitude" to withstand a world that has become increasingly hostile and "unsteady." As she celebrates female empowerment, she also remarks on the need for people--and women in particular--to care for their physical, mental, and spiritual health, now more than ever. In speaking of the work she has done in her life as a journalist and advocate for Alzheimer's education, Shriver notes that motherhood, "the biggest, most powerful, most all-encompassing job on the planet," has been her greatest challenge. Her four children have been bearers of important lessons in "patience, kindness, and acceptance" as well as the most difficult but necessary lesson of all: letting go. What partially saves this well-intentioned book from reading like a series of trite platitudes is Shriver's underlying understanding of current events. Beyond positive thinking, what we all need are "leaders who bring us together" and citizens who can "listen with open minds...to find a common thread."A heartfelt but unexceptional book.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    February 1, 2018

    Journalist Shriver writes about her quest for a meaningful life, borrowing from her digital newsletter, the Sunday Paper, along with "personal reflections, memorable quotations and prayers." She fully embraces the power of positive thinking, which sometimes makes for some rather lightweight affirmations. These include pithy recommendations such as, "Nothing like laughter to turn your day around" and "To keep going you must have hope." She does, however, encourage deeper contemplation on issues that stem from a mature life, such as the loss of parents, empty nesting, and social justice. Shriver shares nothing of her own brush with public humiliation; she considers herself a storyteller who opts not to share the intimacies of her public life and winsomely concludes that this book's singular purpose is encouragement--to compel others to think about what makes for their own meaningful life. VERDICT An optimistic reminder to be gentle with oneself.--Sandra Collins, Byzantine Catholic Seminary Lib., Pittsburgh

    Copyright 2018 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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I've Been Thinking . . .
I've Been Thinking . . .
Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life
Maria Shriver
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