Maria Shriver has come a long way since she was born into the famous Kennedy clan.
Her parents Eunice and Sargent Shriver founded Special Olympics and helped President Kennedy launch the Peace Corps. “Everybody was here to change the world, and you start when you’re 5 or 6,” she said at Mindful Boca 2020.
“I was in hurry until eight or nine years ago and some other things shifted me,” former California first lady said to audience laughter.
She found Boca’s meditation series Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life on social media. That’s how she met gurus Barb Schmidt and her daughter Michelle Maros. They interviewed the noted broadcast journalist before a packed house in the Wold Performing Arts Center at Lynn University.
Shriver was candid about everything from her state of mind to her priorities. Her passion now is “solving the Alzheimer and aging issues” since her late father’s diagnosis. She wants to inspire a generation of professional caregivers for an aging population. She’s funding research into why more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “Two-thirds of [family] caregivers have to quit their job and end up with no money themselves,” she said.
Shriver joked about her “mom” relationship with her four children with Arnold Schwarzenegger but didn’t mention his name. She turned to a Transcendental Meditation teacher “to help me sit still without crying. That made me a better parent, sister, human being and being kind to myself. That was a huge shift…” she said.
Shriver talked about normalizing mental illness. Mentoring. Listening to other points of view. Treating people with kindness. “Create a tribe of people who have your back,” she said. Shriver brought her cousin Courtney Kennedy Hill and a school friend to the lecture and kept referring to them. They all spent some time in Palm Beach, the former winter white house and Kennedy compound.
“Success is having people who will go through the ups and downs with you,” she said.
The interview kicked off this year’s Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life wellness series at Christine E. Lynn Women’s Health & Wellness Institute, part of Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
Lynn University president Kevin Ross and Maureen Mann, institute executive director, introduced Schmidt and Maros. The evening was sponsored by Schmidt, Elaine Wold and Christine E. Lynn.
By Marci Shatzman