MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Media mogul, political activist and author Arianna Huffington was in downtown Minneapolis Monday, urging women to embrace what she calls the secret to her success.
The founder of the Huffington Post told members of the group Women Winning that they need to get more sleep. To illustrate that point, Huffington talked about her new bestselling book, “Thrive”, which describes her wakeup call after a physical collapse from exhaustion in 2007.
The book not only tells her story of recovery from burn out, but offers a how-to on how sleep, meditation and regularly disconnecting from your smart phones and computers can transform your life.
The book begins with her lying face down in a pool of blood after a 2007 collapse.
“I hit my head on my desk, I broke my cheek bone and had four stitches under my right eye,” Huffington said.
She had founded the left-leaning Huffington Post two years before. It would eventually sell to AOL for $300 million, but she says her life was out of control.
“It wasn’t just me. So many of my colleagues and tens of thousands of people were completely burnt out, exhausted, sleep deprived,” she said.
She shared her story with 1,200 members of the Women Winning group, which supports women candidates. It’s a message she says women, no matter what their job or financial situation, should embrace.
“The more adversity you face in your life, the more important it is — as they say on airplanes — to put your own oxygen mask on first,” she said.
Huffington was introduced by U.S. Senator Al Franken. In 1996, when she was a Republican, Franken and Huffington teamed up on TV for political commentary on Comedy Central’s “Strange Bedfellows”.
In one clip from the show, Huffington is sitting next to Franken in bed and says, “Even though my role is to bring compassion to the Republican Party, I am not compassionate enough to have sex with Al Franken.”
Huffington says it was the sparring with Franken in these segments that lead her to switch political parties.
“I think he definitely deserves a big amount of credit,” she said of Franken.
Strange Bedfellows ran throughout the 1996 presidential campaign. While the segment helped lead Huffington to switch from a conservative to a liberal commentator, it also raised Franken’s political profile as well.
When asked about the criticism she receives for changing political parties, Huffington says her change was just a part of a natural evolution. She was always pro-choice, which made her switch easier.