Here are some TM-related highlights from this excellent interview in Prevention. Click on the title to go to the complete article where you will see answers to other questions, like what Candy was anticipating from Romney and Obama, what her tactic would be to get them to give her answers, how her moderating style was going to be different from Jim Lehrer’s, what it means to her being the first female moderator of a presidential debate, and how she has the confidence to not be intimidated by men.
How Transcendental Meditation, a vegetarian diet, and a serious ability to kick ass keeps Candy Crowley sane
It was a 1 a.m. dinner of pretzels and Twizzlers in a 7-Eleven parking lot that made Candy Crowley realize it was time for a change. That’s when Crowley, CNN’s chief political correspondent, decided she needed to ask herself some serious questions: about her diet and her stress levels, about how well she was managing both. Within the year, she’d gone vegetarian, her exercise regime, and most importantly, her ability to manage stress. Thank God, because she’s about to take on the night of her life.
At 63, Crowley is best known for her political reporting on CNN and as host of that network’s show State of the Union. But one of her greatest honors comes tomorrow, when she’ll become the first woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate. How does she plan to stay zen? Crowley’s secret weapon is Transcendental Meditation (TM). “It’s the only thing I won’t go a day without doing,” she says. Make that half a day; Crowley practices every morning and night. Prevention caught up with the meditating vegetarian days before the debate to talk TM, politics, and the Year of Candy.
PVN: How did you get into Transcendental Meditation?
CC: My TM [Transcendental Meditation] experience started right after the last election. Campaigns are just so hard on everything. You’re on the bus, you’re off the bus, you’re on the plane, you’re in a hotel. And that’s really your life: You think you’re not going to eat and then you eat too much, or you think you are going to eat and you don’t eat enough. You’re just so stressed out and tired.
When the 2008 campaign was over, I said, “How about if I promise myself that I will spend a year concentrating on getting healthy and doing the right things? If I hate it and it’s horrible, at the end of the year I’ll just go back and eat crazy.” My friends called it The Year of Candy. I had a friend who said, “You oughta try Transcendental Meditation.”
PVN: What’s your TM routine?
CC: It’s a relaxation technique. A TM teacher once said to me, “You know when you have a really wavy day on a boat, and you’re getting tossed around and there’s white caps everywhere? That’s kind of where we spend most of our time: on top of the waves.” But if you jump into the water and can get down to the bottom, it’s so still and quiet. That’s where TM is. I just sit in a chair in my room. I meditate in the airport. I meditate in my office in the afternoon. It doesn’t require a special place or even a lack of people.
PVN: How do you feel now, compared to your life before the Year of Candy?
CC: I feel better. Sustaining a Year of Candy can be difficult in election years, I’ve found. It’s still too easy for me to go, “If I could just have that extra hour of sleep, I’d be really happy.” I’m not good at coming home at 8 o’clock at night and running on the treadmill. I say this all the time to a guy that I work out with: “I want to love this, but I just can’t. I just don’t!” And he says to me all the time, “Just love how it makes you feel afterward. Just keep your mind on that.” That’s the only thing that’s ever going to get you out of bed.
PVN: Do you think that meditation has made you a better journalist?
CC: I think that it has made my thought process more ordered. When your stress level is lower, you make better decisions and you have a better thought process.
Do I still get angry? I do. Do I still get frustrated? I do. Do I still have stress? Yes. I don’t think that’s the point; the point is for you to be able to handle the stress. The point is that I don’t hang onto my anger nearly as long as I used to. It just takes the harsh edges of life and softens them up in a way that you can cope with them.
PVN: It’s the night before the debate. What’s tonight going to look like for you?
CC: Knowing me, I think I’ll be sitting in my hotel room with a stack of papers, making sure I’m up to date on what the last thing everyone has said about things. I’ll meditate, and then I’ll read some more papers, and then I’ll go to bed.
I’m hoping that it will be really mellow. By the way, all my kids are going to be in town, so it’s going to be a huge lesson in restraint for me not to want to go out and party with them.
PVN: Do you have a moderating mantra?
CC: Five minutes before I get on a show, I take deep breaths and settle in. I just say, “Listen,” because that’s the most important part that most people forget. You’ve got to listen to the answers. Otherwise, you’re not having a conversation. And that’s about the last thing I tell myself before I go on air.
Related stories: Daily Mail: Debate moderator Candy Crowley’s secret of success? Transcendental Meditation | Politico: Candy Crowley on Transcendental Meditation | HuffPost Healthy Living: Transcendental Meditation: Candy Crowley And Other Celebrity Followers | New York Times: Candy Crowley’s Debate Prep| Glamour: 6 Things to Know About Candy Crowley, Including Why She’s Causing So Much Controversy Before Tonight’s Presidential Debate| Access Hollywood: Healthy Hollywood: Wellness Wednesday – Candy Crowley’s Calming Secret!
Other related news: CNN anchor Candy Crowley gives Commencement Address at Maharishi University of Management | Candy Crowley visits KRUU-FM before delivering Commencement Address at Maharishi University | CNN’s Candy Crowley to give Commencement Address at Maharishi University of Management | Fairfield Ledger: Crowley speaks to M.U.M. grads | Los Angeles Times: CNN’s Candy Crowley has taken up Transcendental Meditation
Tags: Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent, diet, Governor Mitt Romney, health, lifestyle, mantra, mental health, moderator, politics, President Barak Obama, presidential debate moderator, stress levels, TM, Transcendental Meditation, Vegetarian, voters' debate