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To guide herself on her journey of self-rediscovery, Maria wrote a list of goals that evolved into the pledge in her book. It's an exercise she encourages everyone to do for themselves.

Read Maria's pledge.

One of Maria's pledges is to stop using the word "just" to describe herself. "I won't say I'm just a mother, I'm just a student, I'm just an assistant, I'm just an ordinary person," Maria says.

This is a pledge Oprah agrees with. "I stop women when they say that to me," she says. "I say, 'Stop saying that.'"

Maria's toughest pledge was to give 10 minutes of silence and stillness to herself every day. "I think women often think [taking] any time for yourself, whether it's going to visit a friend—whether it's going off by yourself—that that's selfish. And I didn't grow up with a big example of that, and so it was really hard for me," Maria says.

From her toughest pledge, Maria says she's learned an important lesson. "The greatest gift I can give my children is for them to see me living my life," she says.
FROM: When Your Life Doesn't Fit with Maria Shriver
Published on January 01, 2006