Internet entrepreneur and founder & CEO of Thrive Global reveals her Magic Cabinet which sparks joy and gratitude
Eugenia Chandris and I have been dear friends for almost forty years, since I wrote my book on Maria Callas, and I am so happy to be sharing my Magic Cabinet on her wonderful platform. My Magic Cabinet is my bedroom. As you might imagine for the author of a book called The Sleep Revolution, I take sleep very seriously. I’ve tried to make it a temple to sleep – not quite a Greek temple, but as close as I could come. And in that way I’m connecting to the ancients, who had literal temples devoted to sleep. They had the right idea about the importance of sleep, even if they didn’t yet have the science. But we do — and it’s validated by the fact that we should revere sleep. So my bedroom is full of things that give me joy and remind me of what – and who – I love.
Eugenia Chandris and I have been dear friends for almost forty years, since I wrote my book on Maria Callas, and I am so happy to be sharing my Magic Cabinet on her wonderful platform
I love my canopy bed. It’s my sleeping sanctuary within the temple. It’s got a great mattress, a tufted headboard, and, best of all, curtains I can pull shut to add yet another layer between myself (and my sleep) and the outside world.
It’s not technically in my bedroom, but its function is certainly connected. The Thrive Global phone bed is a charging station for your phone (and up to ten devices!). And it’s a key part of my bedtime routine. Our phones are repositories of everything we need to put away to allow us to sleep — our to-do lists, our in-boxes, the demands of the world. So putting your phone to bed outside your bedroom allows you to wake up as fully charged as your phone.
I almost always have fresh-cut flowers in my bedroom, especially peonies. They’re lovely of course, and they smell wonderful, but they also remind you that you’re alive, that you’re part of the life-cycle, that life is beautiful and fragile and fleeting and each morning we’re lucky to have another day.
A photo of my daughters
On my nightstand is a photo of my two daughters Christina and Isabella. They’re grown now, and the photo was taken when they were around 8 or 9. Isabella, the younger one, is hugging Christina from behind, holding on with all her might. Which, of course, is what all three of us are doing with each other. If they’re not the last people I speak to before I go to sleep (and they usually are), they’re the last faces I see.
My nightstands are overflowing with books, but one that’s earned a permanent place is Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The ideas of Stoicism – that we can’t control the outside world, but we can control our reactions to it, and therefore our happiness – have never been more relevant. I like to read a passage from it every night.
Artwork by my daughter
My youngest daughter is an artist — she makes these amazingly beautiful collages. Because they’re made up of small, repeating patterns, they become different works depending on how close you’re standing to them. Her work has recently become more political and she works in collage because she wants art to be more accessible and reflect everyday materials and experiences. She wanted be an artist her entire life, and I’m incredibly proud that’s she stuck with it and become this fully formed artist with a deeply thought out aesthetic.
Boy with June Bug
On one wall of my bedroom is one of my favorite photos, Boy with June Bug, by Gordon Parks. It’s just that, a photo of a young boy lying on the grass with his eyes closed and a June Bug resting on his head. It helps me put the problems of the day I’m leaving behind into perspective and gives me a sense of calm.
On my nightstand I keep a gratitude journal. It’s a practice I borrowed from my daughter Christina. Every night I’ll write a few things I’m grateful for. And it really works – it focuses my mind on the blessings in my life, large and small, rather than on the running list of items on my to-do list. For everybody, every day has blessings and setbacks, but it’s the latter that we tend to focus on when we shut off the noise of the day. A gratitude journal is a great way to put the spotlight on the blessings and put your life into perspective. And the items don’t have to be big – they can be gratitude for your friends or family, a person who made you smile that day, a piece of nature that gives you pleasure, or just gratitude for being alive.
Arianna Huffington is the founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books, including the international best sellers “Thrive” and “The Sleep Revolution”. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In August 2016, she launched Thrive Global, an electronic platform addressed both to companies and individuals aiming to help them improve their well-being and productivity. She has been named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. She serves on numerous boards, including Uber, Onex, and Global Citizen.