A few years back, I was boarding a flight to LA with a friend. We were flying together to be part of a mastermind weekend and were chatting excitedly at the gate.

As we waited in our numerical lineup to board, a very kind woman was standing to our left and we could tell she was listening into our conversation in an open hearted interested sort of way–I did not at all feel like she was being nosy. She waited for a gap in the conversation and spoke up, “Hello, I’ve been listening into your conversation, and it seems we have a lot in common—I’m an author too.”

What followed was an amazing heart to heart conversation. She even sat next to me on that flight, we chatted about everything from work to our love lives, and we have been great friends ever since.

The woman I met that day is Dr. Shauna Shapiro; she happens to be a Master Teacher and Professor of Psychology specializing in Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is being present with kind intention and attention, landing in your body with full awareness of the present moment and what it brings. It is fully embodying what you feel and being aware of your breath.

Mindfulness is practicing life with a sense of inner peace and calm. And, as I have come to know Shauna well, it’s been a pleasure to see how fully she embodies this way of being. She is one of the most tender and kind people I’ve ever known, and she lives a truly Zen life.

When I met Shauna on the plane that day, I had no idea I’d one day be supporting her as she hit a big milestone in her career. Recently, I traveled to New York with her combining some business meetings with being her anchor friend as she prepared for her very first TED talk. (There’s nothing quite like giving a TED talk. The preparation is intense and you are also feeling the pressure to deliver the best talk of your life in 13-18 minutes!)

The funny thing is, after she went through all the stress over getting her words just right, life messed with Shauna a little. She ended up having to do her talk twice. The camera crew messed up the lighting on the first one as she was the first speaker that day. I felt obligated to stay through lunch as she delivered her talk again, and if you listen carefully—you can hear my laugh!

I am thrilled to share with you, my lovely friend Dr. Shauna Shapiro, in her beautiful TED talk: What You Practice Grows Stronger:

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