During a recent event to promote her new book, The Moment of Lift, Melinda Gates sat down with researcher Brené Brown to talk about feminism, her philanthropic work, and her life.
During the discussion, Brown asked Gates how she continues to remain so grounded in her values throughout her and her husband’s success, throughout motherhood, and during her journey to becoming a global public advocate.
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In response, Gates listed three practices that help her remain calm and true to her morals.
Melinda Gates practices yoga and meditation 5 to 6 times per week
Gates said that she turns to yoga almost every morning during the week in order to clear her mind.
“It’s so fundamental to my life,” Gates said.
Gates finds time and space to practice meditation even when she’s traveling, admitting that this especially comes into play when she’s in certain places that make her a bit anxious.
“When I’m in a place like New York I’ll actually meditate in the car because the noise is hard for me,” Gates said.
Melinda Gates takes walks with friends every Monday morning
Next, Gates revealed that she has gone on walks with three of her best friends every Monday morning (that she has been home) for the past 18 years. While this practice helps keep her healthy, it also keeps her honest and grounded.
“You want to talk about showing up as your most authentic self? I would never do something that I couldn’t show up and talk to them about on Monday morning,” Gates said.
Gates revealed that she tells these friends absolutely everything, so she would never want to do anything that leads to a disappointing story the next Monday morning.
Melinda Gates calls her mom often
Gates admitted that her favorite drink to this day is iced tea because her mom would make a pitcher every day and be ready to listen to her stories after school while she drank a refreshing glass at their kitchen table. “I’m a good listener because of my mom,” Gates said.
During stressful times at Duke University or Microsoft, when she was pregnant, when she was raising children, Gates would always call her mom. “She has always, always, always been there for me,” Gates said.
Even though her stressful career days are over, and her children are all above the age of 15, Gates and her mom still talk on the phone very often.
Gates’s mom, who she described as a “very vibrant” 78-year-old, also taught her the very important lesson of setting one’s own agenda, so that others don’t set it for you.
While not everyone has as close a relationship with their mom as Gates does, she stressed that it’s important to find people you can truly rely on in life.
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