Archive for September, 2009

26 sep

The Quality of Life Project

My friend Kit Cooper is a successful entrepreneur who started a wonderful movement called The Quality of Life Project.

His mission is to help us all see our lives through the lens not of money or success but of contentedness, happiness, being more conscious of our day-to-day lives. He interviews incredible people who are often very successful but have managed to find a true balance and retain a quality of life. They are healthy. They have authentic relationships. They often have a spiritual path and nearly all of them find great joy in giving, serving, contributing to others in some way.

He is very quickly becoming a library of incredible wisdom and best practices for really having and enjoying a quality-filled, balanced life.

He’s interviewed people from Richard Branson—who kissed me many years ago, but that’s a whole other story—to Jacqueline Novogratz, the founder of the incredible Acumen Fund that helps with micro financing around the world, to Gary Vanderchuck, the legendary social-media expert.

Kit gave me the honor of being interviewed for his project a few weeks ago when I was in L. A. He just posted clips from our interview together. As you will see from the taping, his questions are terrific in getting things out of people. He asked me things like

-What are my daily practices?
-How do I find joy/balance?
-How do I take care of my health and energy?
-What’s my diet?
-What have I learned about relationships?!
-How do I deal with tough times?
-How do I manage my time?

and then other questions about my various perspectives on life.

You will learn the one thing I have next to me at home/work no matter what, what you’d notice if you shadowed me for a day, what I do before every meeting and some tips that really help me never get sick.

I hope you enjoy this. Let me know anything you found interesting, surprising, unexpected. And do check out the other amazing interviews he’s done.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on September 26th, 2009 in Ariane, Global/Social Change | No comments Read related posts in

20 sep

The Optimists’ Manifesto

happier_confidenceI’ve had the privilege of interviewing thousands of people for my book, The First 30 Days, who are navigating change in their lives. For some it’s a career change or a shift in their relationship, for others it’s a health diagnosis or a change in their finances. And for others, it’s an inspired course of action they are passionately pursuing that can change the world. So, I’ve been able to be the detective, always on the lookout for why some people are good at change and others take “the elevator straight into the basement”! Why do some of us initiate a change and keep going while some of us never get started? I detail 9 principles in my book, The First 30 Days. Please pick up a copy if you haven’t already done so, for yourself or someone you know going through a change.

I am often asked what is the one thing that really makes the difference? While I always think words are limited, if I had to pick one, it would be Optimism. Optimism in the context of creating and navigating change is about a different set of beliefs. It is about once and for all choosing empowering beliefs about ourselves, who we are at our core, how we see our potential rather than what limits us or what our mind has led us to believe for too long. Beliefs that life is on our side, always, no matter what, and that life is conspiring for us, in the direction of our growth. Finally, it is about believing that regardless of whether we are pursuing a change that is ultimately termed “successful” by our society, that something good will come.

Optimism also comes from believing in something bigger, our spiritual essence, a reminder that we have an infinite amount of Grace supporting us if only we fully trust it to be there for us and stop trying to take control. Optimists can navigate the darkness, the uncertainty and find rest and safety in fixing their focus on God, The Divine, Being, Grace, whatever we want to call it. That part never disconnects from us. We are the ones who disconnect. People who are true change agents have always believed in something greater than themselves. They know they are not alone as they journey through life.

When everything around you is changing, look for that part of you that never changes, that is calm, detached, that witnesses your life, that guides you at all times. Busyness is always the one excuse that gets in the way of your connection, and yet, this connection is always the answer you crave. As you step up to become a true architect of change, answers do not come from a full and overwhelmed mind, they come from a peaceful and calm state of being.

Do whatever you can, daily to cultivate this. A yoga class on the weekends doesn’t quite count here. I am talking about daily quiet time, reconnection, prayer, setting intentions, journaling, contemplation, doing nothing, reading, purifying the mind and body. This should be first on the list, not what you get to if and when you have time. Your courage, commitment and passion to create change will have a very different foundation if calmness, presence and optimism is what feeds it every day.

Let me know some of the ways you stay connected, what you do to remain optimistic no matter what, what tools you find that can help others stay on a path of wisdom and higher truth.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on September 20th, 2009 in Ariane, Global/Social Change, New Directions | 1 comment Read related posts in

09 sep


goinggreen_lushgreenparkI’ve been struggling through some of my own stuff, personally and professionally, and the only word I keep getting to is Patience. Not my favorite word, believe me. I have never made that word my friend. I’ve been mad at people who say it to me. I’ve also been good at comparing myself to others who didn’t seem to have to learn the patience game. Today, I’ve decided to bring that word into my vocabulary again. And calmly observe how my life changes. I will report back and please do the same!

Read more »

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on September 9th, 2009 in Ariane, New Directions | 2 comments

09 sep


Well, here goes my story. I’m only 17 years of age, in Highschool, and I have already gotten Depression. This will be my 3rd year. I’m not really THAT depressed, but I’m still depressed. And it’s not as simple as you may think it is – I hear like mumbling sounds inside my head. It may seem weird, but that’s what occurs daily.
Read more »

Posted by First 30 Days on September 9th, 2009 in Personal Stories | 1 comment

09 sep

My World Upside Down

I am 53 and going through a divorce, not by my decision, but my husband’s. There is so many things that are involved with this change that I don’t really know where to focus first. He is going through a midlife crisis (claims he will never get old with his earrings and now tatoos, as they are working for him) having an affair with a mutual friend (who is obese) (whom I shared my life and problems about my marriage with – unbeknownst to me that she would use that against me) She shares the same 1st name as mine, has become very best friends with my 16 year old daughter, now my daughter has pretty much regected me. My husband is verbally abusive, and now with this new realtionship become more of an alcoholic. Due to the abusive problems I had to leave in a hurry and leave my daughter behind. We tried 5 times to put things back together over the last year but the other women would not leave him alone and he didn’t do much to discourage this as they work for the same company. Read more »

Posted by First 30 Days on September 9th, 2009 in Personal Stories | 2 comments