I've Been Thinking...The Journal: Inspirations, Prayers, and Reflections for Your Meaningful Life

I've Been Thinking...The Journal: Inspirations, Prayers, and Reflections for Your Meaningful Life

by Maria Shriver


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This inspiring, interactive journal encourages readers to explore what they've been thinking.

"I've Been Thinking. . . is one of my favorite books of all time and this journal is the perfect companion. It's a great way for us all to think about our lives." -Hoda Kotb

In her instant #1 New York Times bestseller I've Been Thinking. . . , Maria Shriver shared her own insights, thoughts and prayers, and the ways she has learned to create a deeper, more spiritual and more meaningful life.

Now, Shriver has created a journal that encourages readers to write about their own lives and what really matters to them.

With an inspiring new introduction and creative, thought-provoking prompts, and complete with many of Shriver's own prayers and quotes, it's a perfect companion to I've Been Thinking. . . and gives readers the space to reflect on what a meaningful life looks like to them.

"Maria's book was a gift to the world; inspiring, uplifting, and empowering. This journal is yet another gift. It's here to hold our own thoughts, our own stories, our fears and hopes and joys." -Martha Beck

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781984878021
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/31/2018
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 9,723
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Maria Shriver is the mother of four, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, the author of seven New York Times bestselling books and a bestselling coloring book, an NBC News Special Anchor, and founder of The Women's Alzheimer's Movement. When she's not thinking or writing, she can be found hanging with her kids.

Read an Excerpt


Dear Friend,

As you open this new journal of yours, the first thing I want to do is thank you for having the courage to think about your own life. The fact that you even picked this up should tell you that you're already on the path to a meaningful life. You wouldn't be reading these words if you weren't. So, bravo!

The truth is, no matter our age, no matter our background, we all could use some guidance, wisdom, and inspiration to help us live a life that is uniquely our own. My book I've Been Thinking . . . was my attempt to share with you my own thoughts about a meaningful life. I hoped in doing so that it would get you thinking about what you value. About what you believe in. About what's really important to you.
The response to the book was incredibly humbling, and along the way, many people asked if I would consider creating a journal where they could write their own thoughts as well. Well, voila! Here it is!

Writing has always been one of my most therapeutic tools. Time and again, it's helped me figure out what I'm thinking and feeling. It's also helped me get centered and get clear. In this journal, I wanted to give you the space and the encouragement to explore your own thoughts and feelings for yourself. I hope it helps you gain clarity and that it centers you on your path forward.

Throughout this journal, you'll find writing prompts inspired by the essays in I've Been Thinking . . . . There are inspirations for each week of the year. I've made this a weekly guide, because I myself sit down once a week to gather my thoughts and write.

My hope is that this journal will be a tool to help you make time each week to reflect on your life and write down what you've been thinking. You see, I believe that everyone is a writer, even if they don't think they are good at it. If you can think, then you can write. Your voice deserves to be heard as much as mine or anyone else's, so start using it here on these pages. (And if you need more inspiration, then pick up I've Been Thinking . . . , which has additional writing on all the topics covered here.)

In addition to providing space for you to respond to the writing prompts, I've also included additional space for you to reflect midweek and for you to write down your "yippee! moments" of the week as well. "Yippee! moments" are what I like to call any experience or encounter that made me smile or jump for joy. Sometimes those moments are big. Other times they're small. But trust me, even during our hardest weeks, there is something worth celebrating.

As with I've Been Thinking . . . , you can use this journal in whatever way suits you best. The essays are organized according to the seasons and holidays of the year, but feel free to jump around and respond to whatever inspires you in that moment. This is your journey and your journal. How you use it is up to you.

In addition to the weekly inspirations, you'll also find quotes and prayers to inspire you and make you think. In I've Been Thinking . . . , I wrote about how I use "Dear God" to start my prayers because those words reflect my faith and my beliefs. That said, I know that not everyone prays to the same God or uses that word. Some don't pray at all. That's why in this journal I've included my own prayers, and left space for you to write your own. That way you can fill in the blank however you'd like.

I've also included a "midyear check-in" within the pages of this journal. That's because I like to make a point of allotting time throughout the year to stop and take stock of how my life is going. Is my year going the way I expected it to go? If not, can I redirect myself to better serve my goals, hopes, and dreams? I like to ask myself these questions every few months so that I can evaluate where I am on the path of my life.

I'm so excited for you to start this process. I hope you'll dig deep in this journal, as I did when writing I've Been Thinking . . . . And, when you're done with your writing, I hope you'll be brave enough to share some of your words with others. That could just mean sharing an essay with someone you love. Or it could mean sharing it online with a community of other people seeking wisdom and inspiration. If you ever feel ready to share publicly, I invite you to visit my website at www.mariashriver.com/sundaypaper/ and submit your essay to my team. We'll consider publishing it in a future edition of The Sunday Paper newsletter, which is where all of the essays in my book I've Been Thinking . . . originated.

So, off you go. Turn the page now and get started. I wish you all the best on your personal journey to a meaningful life.

With love,


Every morning, I start my day with this version of Saint Teresa's prayer. I included it at the beginning of I've Been Thinking . . . , and I wanted to include it again in this journal because I really do believe it's a great way to start things out. I hope it helps you. Enjoy.

May today there be peace within

May you trust God that you are exactly

where you are meant to be

May you not forget the infinite

possibilities that are born of faith

Maybe you use those gifts that you have

received and pass on the love that has been

given to you

May you be content knowing that

you are a child of God

Let this presence settle into your bones

and allow your soul the freedom

to sing, dance, praise, and love

It is there for each and every one of us.

-Saint Teresa of Avila


Week 1

What I'm Carrying with Me into the New Year

"I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copy-books; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end." -Laurie, in Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A new year is always thrilling because we have the chance to make it our best one yet. At the beginning of each year, I like to make a list of all the things I want to leave behind. I also like to make a list of the positive things in my life that I want to carry forward. I encourage you to try this same exercise. As you enter this new year, ask yourself: What do I want to bury from my past, and what do I want to bring with me into the future? Also ask yourself: How do I define a meaningful life, and how do I want it to look for me? What steps do I need to take today to begin this journey?

Dear God, living with regret and guilt for my past mistakes is a heavy burden to carry. Free me from the chains of remorse over things I've done that I wish I could do over. Please help me know in my heart that I can make a fresh start whenever I decide to. Free me to look ahead and not keep looking back. Amen.

Dear                              ,

MidWeek Reflection

How are things going for you this week, so far? What more can you do this week to focus your intentions and move forward on your path to a meaningful life?

My Yippee! Moment of the Week . . .

What brought you joy or made you smile this week?

My Intentions for the New Year . . .

(A little more space for you to reflect on your goals for this year.)

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I've Been Thinking...The Journal: Inspirations, Prayers, and Reflections for Your Meaningful Life 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This journal is an excellent way to reflect on each week, consider the 'YIPPEE Moment' that made me smile, and really focus my thoughts. I love the way it pairs with Maria Shriver's book but has plenty of space for me to add my own thoughts. The very act of putting pen to paper helps me to organize and commit. The thought-provoking questions inspire consideration and evaluation but don't feel too intrusive. I definitely recommend this journal for everyone.
vickipp More than 1 year ago
Maria Shriver understands that for many of us writing is therapy. This Journal is a gift to her fans and followers who admire the way she shares her thinking with us in her outstanding, inspirational, best-selling book, I’ve Been Thinking, and in her weekly publication: The Sunday Paper. She has provided the perfect vehicle for us to analyze and express our own thinking. I started writing in The Journal this week, the first week of a new year. I love the way it begins with the words of Saint Teresa of Avila. Maria asked us to list what we want to leave behind, carry forward, and bring into the future, to record a note to self, a midweek reflection, a yippee moment of the week, and included additional space for intentions for the new year. Each numbered week begins with a quote and a recommendation to contemplate. I have skimmed ahead to read upcoming quotes and prompts. I found the inspiration I need to move forward with my goal to live a meaningful life, to become the “Architect of Change” I would like to be. Another five stars from me!
BooksandTunes More than 1 year ago
I am working my way through I’VE BEEN THINKING...THE JOURNAL from the always inspiring Maria Shriver. It’s an interactive journal with writing prompts, inspirational quotes, encouragement ~ every tool you need to walk yourself on a path of reflection and growth. Leap to be kind to yourself as the new year begins. As Maria says in her introduction, "So off you go. Turn the page and get started. I wish you all the best on your personal journey to a meaningful life."