Rank #1: Tina Knowles Lawson on Parenting, Marriage and Self-Love
"It was hard-earned and not the easiest thing to do, and something really drastic had to come along to say, 'Wake up! Like, come on. You know, you're working seven days a week and you're taking care of everybody. What are you doing for Tina?' And it was very little."-Tina Knowles Lawson I’m so delighted this morning to share with you one of my favorite moms to talk to – Ms. Tina Knowles Lawson. Tina is the mom of two incredible daughters who you’ve probably heard of -- Beyonce and Solange Knowles. While her daughters’ careers have exploded before the public eye, Tina has always been there behind the scenes helping to make sure her daughters were properly managed, cared for and supported along the way. I always find my conversations with Ms. Tina – as we like to call her – to be insightful when it comes to exploring what it means to be a mom, how to raise strong women, and how to maintain your own voice and identity along the way. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #2: Kathie Lee Gifford Reveals Her True Feelings On Leaving Today & Her Next Chapter
"I think because I've always defined myself since I was 12 years old as a child of God...That is what gives me self worth. Not Emmy Awards, not Tony nominations, not Grammy nominations. All of those things I've experienced, and they're lovely...But ultimately, at the end of a lifetime, it's, 'Who do you belong to? Whose image are you made in?' Because this life we live right here is temporal."-Kathie Lee GiffordKathie Lee Gifford is a dear friend and someone whose career I've watched with admiration for many, many years. This week is her last at the today show, and while I'll be sad to lose her as a colleague, I'm super excited for her to embark on this next really creative chapter of her life. I wanted to sit down with her for meaningful conversations because we have some of the most meaningful conversations early in the morning in the makeup room on the today show. And I got to thinking that most people don't get to see the Kathie Lee Gifford that I get to see early in the morning, the one who wakes up and talks about family and that talks about the Bible and who memorizes all of these verses and who's a really multifaceted person, who kind of has these ideas and barrels through and makes them reality. So I wanted you to hear from her directly. And even though she's leaving the today show, she's not going to leave our consciousness. Enjoy!If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #3: Father James Martin on How the Catholic Church Can Evolve
"There's a great story in the Gospel of Luke...the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector...and there's a line when Jesus reaches out to him, that says, 'all who saw it began to grumble,' and I often think, 'well, that's what's going on in our church, and online.' People don't like the fact that we're being merciful and they're grumbling. So frankly, it seems to me there's two places to stand: you can stand with Jesus who offers people mercy, or you can stand with the crowd who grumbles." -Father James Martin Father James Martin is someone who I have admired for quite some time. He is a Jesuit priest, a bestselling author, and the editor-at-large of America Magazine. He’s also someone who isn’t afraid to speak up and speak out about the Catholic Church today. Day in and day out, Father Martin uses his voice to advocate for refugees, migrants, the L.G.B.T. community, the environment, and more. His views aren’t always embraced by everyone, but I respect him for never wavering and for always standing up for what he believes. As a life-long Catholic, our conversation today is an important one to me because, well, it isn’t so easy to be Catholic these days. Father Martin’s perspective always gives me something to think about, and that’s why I wanted to share it with you here today. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #4: Timothy Shriver Reveals the Untold Story of Our Country
"There's a story going on in the country that we don't really understand yet. It's not the story of people who are progressive's hating people who are conservatives, or people who are conservatives, hating people who are progressives. That's largely a story told by politics in the media...But there's a whole other story emerging, which we don't yet have the name for. I believe it's the story of people at the bottom who value relationships more than anything, who value action and authenticity...They don't necessarily identify with a party, they identify with causes that matter to them deeply. They identify with a sense of moral, transformation. They, they connect to people...There's a sense of openness and trust...That's not the divisive story...It's not the story of we hate each other. It's the story of people who want to almost have a belief system that values openness and service and respect and dignity above all those other things."-Timothy Shriver Today’s episode is a Yippee Moment for me because I get to share with you a conversation that I recently had with my brother Timothy Shriver. Timothy, or Timmy as I like to call him, is the chairman of the Special Olympics, which our mother founded back in 1968. He is also the leader of the Inclusion Revolution and the board chair of CASEL, a collaborate that is working to make evidence-based social and emotional learning a part of our educational system. Timmy is a man who is on a quest to discover what matters most in life. Our conversations are always meaningful to me because we always go deep and really explore how we feel about the world today. We’re also both committed to living and leading from a place of hope, instead of despair. I have no doubt that Timmy will inspire you and make you think today! If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #5: The Toxic TRUTH About The Beauty Industry with Gregg Renfrew
"There's an incredible lack of awareness around personal care cosmetics because people think that the FDA, like it does in the food industry, has the ability to protect the American consumer. And the reality of the situation is, that we have laws dating back 80 years that are insufficient and chemicals of concern in the products we use every day." -Gregg Renfrew Have you ever stopped to think about the ingredients in the beauty or skin products you use every day? I have to admit, I never thought twice about it myself… at least not before I met Gregg Renfrew. Gregg is a friend and someone I like to call a “female business warrior.” As the founder of the company BeautyCounter, Gregg is on a mission to get toxic chemicals and harmful ingredients out of the products we use. She’s a wife and mom, like me, and like so many of you. She’s also built a movement of women who are pushing back against the beauty industry and trying to build a company that demands we all deserve better. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #6: Mary Pipher on How to Redefine Your Relationship with Aging
"I realized that the cultural scripts about older women, first of all, they are often misogynistic, but there are also primarily scripts where are defined by what we no longer have...The real story is this life stage is catalytic for growth. It's a walking into a portal where we have so much opportunity to develop our moral imaginations. our deep sense of gratitude for life, our sense for deep time in the long view, our own authenticity and self-acceptance. So that's what I wanted to do...I wanted to write about what I was actually seeing and experiencing with women my age." -Mary Pipher How can we age gracefully in the world today? And, more importantly, how can we age with dignity? I think a lot about these questions, which is why I’m so elated that I recently got to speak with Mary Pipher, the author of “Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age.” Mary wrote one of the preeminent books for teenage girls back in 1994 called “Reviving Ophelia.” Her new book, in her words, is a bookend that provides perspective and wisdom about what it means to be a woman later in life. Mary called me from her home base in Nebraska to talk about aging, the stereotypes surrounding it, and about how we can find more happiness and meaning as we get older. I love what she has to say, and I can’t wait for you to listen. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #7: Jon & Dorothea Bon Jovi Share a New Way to Change Lives
"This is about dignity. It's about human dignity. I have yet to meet someone who strives to be homeless, strives to be unemployed...People want their dignity...They want to come in, they want to be part of something. They want to give back. Everyone can contribute in some way" -Dorothea Bon Jovi This episode of “Meaningful Conversations” is a very special one to me because, this week, I get to share with you the voice of my dear friend Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea. I have known Jon and Dorothea for years and I just adore them as a couple. Not only are they a lot of fun, but they are also using their voices and their platforms to move humanity forward in a pretty incredible way. If you hear Jon Bon Jovi’s name and think you have him and Dorothea all figured out, then you’re wrong. Trust me, these two are doing important work – God’s work – both through their Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and through their JBJ Soul Kitchens, which are community restaurants where everyone is welcome and no one is turned away. It’s really quite amazing what Jon and Dorothea have built together and I can’t wait for you to learn more. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #8: Jen Sincero on How to Be a Badass and Create the Life You Want
"I think motivation is a muscle. I think confidence is a muscle. I think tenacity is a muscle...And like any other muscle, you've got to keep working it out if you want to stay strong and grow it."-Jen SinceroJen Sincero is a badass. That’s the truth. Ever since she released her book “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Yourself and Live an Awesome Life” in 2013, Jen has been motivating and inspiring millions of people to wake up to their own potential and create the lives they want. I wanted to talk to Jen for my podcast because I was sure she would bring a fresh perspective to the topic of finding purpose and meaning in our everyday lives. Jen delivers wisdom and a reality check in this episode that I can’t wait for you to hear what she has to say. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit my website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #9: Don Miguel Ruiz Shares The True Meaning of Love
"When you know what you are, you know you are love, you love with no conditions. You're not selfish...You just share yourself, you give yourself…When you receive love, you have so much gratitude, and that gratitude will change into generosity. The more you receive, you have more gratitude and become more generous. Then you rise in love, you don't fall in love." -Don Miguel Ruiz I am so excited for you to hear this episode today because I get to share with you the wisdom of one of my all-time favorite writers and thinkers, Don Miguel Ruiz. You probably know Don Miguel as the author of the international bestseller “The Four Agreements” or for his new book “The Three Questions.” I myself have admired him for years because he speaks so beautifully about the meaning of life and about the spiritual journey that we’re all on together. Today, I especially wanted to talk to Don Miguel about the topic of LOVE. It’s a word that’s tossed around so much in our society and culture, but what does it really mean? What does it really mean to us?Don Miguel and I explore those questions and more, in this episode. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.
Rank #10: Hoda Kotb on How to Build Meaningful Relationships
"Being present is more important than what you say. Being present is more important than giving someone the right quote or the right whatever. Being there, sitting there matters...And I think that sometimes it's as simple as that.” -Hoda Kotb On this episode, I'm joined by a dear friend of mine, a beloved colleague at NBC News, and, just an all-around beautiful human being whom I really adore. In our conversation, Hoda speaks about the impact that strangers had on her life especially during tough times. She also talks about channeling those profound experiences and sharing her journey with others to help them - whether it's on adoption or cancer treatment - and how that spirit of championing others has always been a part of her. I'm honored to speak with her about these intimate subjects. If you’re looking for more inspiration and words of wisdom, then please sign up for my free weekly email newsletter - The Sunday Paper. Visit website mariashriver.com to subscribe.