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Writing for Huffington Post

A month ago today, I flew up to San Francisco to attend the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. Though it is now in its fifth year and had more than 2,000 people in attendance, I hadn’t heard about it until just a couple months prior. I happened upon it when doing research on meditation programs inside organizations, which led me to an article in the NY Times titled Mindfulness: Getting Its Share of Attention.

The conference sounded right up my alley and there was still time to register, so I did, not knowing much more than what was available on the website. I will leave my review of the event for another post.

One of the speakers was Arianna Huffington promoting her upcoming book (her 14th), Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder. Follow this link to read an excerpt of the book, pre-order a copy, and receive a $26 DonorsChoose gift code to donate to the public school classroom project of your choosing.

In her deeply moving and personal talk — the contents of which I’ll share in my later post — Arianna put out a call for writers to share their stories of redefining success. But because, as she says, the HuffPo editorial process has become a bottleneck, she publicly announced her personal email address so she could help you sidestep the whole system. You can guess how quickly I wrote it down.

Shortly after returning home I sent Arianna an email expressing my interest (with butterflies in my stomach as I hit send), half believing I would never hear back. How could one of the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, respond to every email she receives? Surely mine would go ignored.

Three hours and 23 minutes later (I just checked), I received her reply. Of course I read it immediately, but I was so shocked, it took me longer to get back to her!

Maybe she has a team of assistants to read her emails and respond as if they’re her, maybe she uses templates, or maybe she has more time on her hands than we think. Whatever the case, her reply was enthusiastic and germane (and longer than my original email). She cc’ed her Senior Editor of Lifestyle, Jessica Rotondi, and told me she’d take care of me. Within less than 24 hours, I had a login to the Huffington Post blogger CMS, a very short list of style guidelines, and basically free reign to write and publish whatever I want. An editor has to approve it before it goes live, but there’s no pitch, no editing, no nonsense.

I’m officially a HuffPo blogger.

I published my first post on March 3, titled “What Can Happen When You Mindfully and Compassionately Send Criticism, or When You Don’t.” I was so pleased with the response and can’t wait to write another piece. I’ll be focusing on mindfulness and compassion in professional contexts, demonstrating what Arianna advocates as a redefinition of success beyond money and power.

Rather than write a bunch of opinion pieces, I instead want to tie these practices and lessons learned to things happening in the news. So if you come across an article on mindfulness or mindlessness, empathy or apathy, that’s making the rounds, please send it my way and perhaps I can use it in a future HuffPo piece.

As always, I’m eager to hear your feedback, welcome your participation, and hope what I write will be meaningful to you in some way.

My deepest gratitude and appreciation to Arianna Huffington and Jessica Rotondi for allowing me to be even a small part of this very special thing they have going. It’s an honor, and I hope it’s only the beginning.

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