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April

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My daughter Katherine texted me the first picture of Caitlyn Jenner. At first I didn't realize who it was. When I did, I stopped, took a deep breath and realized the world had just shifted.


I then watched a short video wherein Caitlyn said once the world had seen her Vanity Fair cover she would finally be "free."


Finally Free.


I started to think about that phrase: "I'm finally free," and I wondered, What would make me (or you) feel that way?


Do you know? Do I?


Caitlyn Jenner aside, the desire to live free, to live your own authentic life, is a deeply personal desire, a deeply personal quest. Some go on that quest at a very young age. Others wait for children to leave the nest to finally ask themselves 'Am I living the life I desire/want?' Others never answer that question at all.


As Caitlyn said, “If I was lying on my deathbed and I had kept this secret and never ever did anything about it, I would be lying there saying, ‘You just blew your entire life. You never dealt with yourself,’ and I don’t want that to happen.”


The question in front of all of us is: How do you know whether you are or aren't living your authentic life?


For me, it's pretty simple, I think it's a feeling. 


I remember in high school feeling I wanted to be a journalist. It was just a feeling I had that it was where I was meant to be. It didn't make sense to many of the people in my life, but it made sense to me. And so I followed that feeling. I checked in with myself along the way and that's something I continue to do.


Many I have spoken to saying living with a sense of freedom is a financial luxury. Others have said it has nothing to do with money, that freedom is a state of mind. It's not just about the country you live in, it's how you live within yourself.


It's up to you to organize your life in a way that grants you that feeling. Because the feeling of freedom is based on your tribe, your passion, your heart and yes, also the country you live in. I feel so blessed to live in a country that was built out of the quest to live freely. Living free, living from an authentic place and/or space is my wish for every human being — regardless of gender, finances or nationality.


May we all support those on a quest to find that free space with love understanding and acceptance. Let's give that peace to ourselves and to others. #PassItForward

 

With love, 
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This Week's Top 5 Stories from our Architects of Change 


A Note to Sheryl Sandberg From a Fellow Young Widow by Kathleen Fordyce


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Like many, my heart has been breaking for Sheryl Sandberg since hearing the news of her husband’s death last month. And it breaks a little bit more every time she shares another gut-wrenching post describing her grief at the loss of Dave Goldberg on Facebook...


+ Read more from Kathleen Fordyce


The Secret to Raising Happy Children by Sean Grover 


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“What’s the matter with him?”

Arthur’s mother, looking exhausted and furious, fixes her eyes on her ten-year-old son who sulks quietly beside her on the couch. Angry tears appear in the corner of his eyes, trickle down the sides of his face, and fall silently onto his red high top sneakers. ...


+ Read more from Sean Grover


The 8 Most Important Things to Do When Planning for Elder Care by Stuart Furman

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I recently saw an interview with Maria Shriver and Rob Lowe talking about how he was blindsided by his aging parents’ care needs. As Ms. Shriver says, this is a subject that affects just about everyone and deserves a national conversation.

Despite having been an estate and elder care attorney for more than thirty years, I, too, was stunned by the planning I needed to do in anticipation of the elder care journey for my own parents. ...


+ Read more from Stuart Furman, Esq.


How to Shave 10-20 Years Off Your Body's Age by The Good Men Project


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One of the latest and greatest websites is how-old.net. It analyzes a photograph and based on loads of data points, it reveals how old it thinks you are in the photo. Now, I feel pretty young, and many people in my life tell me I look younger than I am, but one recent photo I entered on the site has me at 45. I’ll turn 45 in October. Not bad, I guess, but I was expecting lower. Then I put in the same photo with a sepia tone filter, and the website said 40 years old. So, my longevity advice for you is to live… in sepia tone! ...



A Healthy(!) Recipe for Hazelnut Chocolate Salted Caramels by Amelia Freer


Chocolate-Caramels

Seriously decadent and truly delectable, these salted caramels are hard to resist. Make them to share with friends or when you know you won’t be tempted to eat the lot! ...


Read more from Amelia Freer


              The Shriver Spotlight   

Stories Worth Seeing and Sharing      
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This week the Shriver Spotlight shines on financially successful blogger Monika TournaudRight after giving birth to her first child, and still working as the COO of a recruiting company, Monika felt so burnt out from running a company from home, juggling a newborn, postpartum self-esteem she threw in the towel five and a half months after giving birth to become a stay-at-home mom. 2 weeks after the transition she realized she needed an outlet, a way to share her life and bring women together without judgment or bullying. It would be a safe place to talk about any topic: from breastfeeding, to postpartum depression to how intimacy changes after having a baby; as well as a space to share some beauty secrets, companies she loved using and so on. MomEtc.com was born and this week, Monika share 16 tips: 8 things to do BEFORE starting the blog, and 8 things to do AFTER. 



*Join Maria for her final year as chair of the Best Buddies Challenge!

For the last 12 years, Maria has proudly served as the chair of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, starting Team Maria six years ago. Over $12 million has been raised in support of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With less than 6 months to go until the ride, it’s time to get registered, start training, and ramp up your fundraising efforts. Join us in September on an awesome ride!


*Mourners Pay Respect to Beau Biden in Delaware

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Biden family. May God hold them all. Delaware residents gathered at the state Capitol on Thursday to pay their respects to former Attorney General Beau Biden. Biden, eldest son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46.



For more information and inspiration that will ignite your life, go to MariaShriver.com. To ignite the world, join us at AWomansNation.org.


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 © 2013 Maria Shriver




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