In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, the 63-year-old author — who is set to launch her first Cadence13 podcast Meaningful Conversations with Maria Shriver this month — opens up about how her 25-year-old son surprised her with the sweetest of gestures.
“I’ve learned a lot from my kids of what is meaningful and what matters,” says Shriver. “They have taught me a lot about this moment, about being present. They didn’t want big things from me, they wanted me.”
She continues, “My son last week sent me a note that said, ‘Hey! Just wanted to check in on you and say, ‘I love you’ and I was like, ‘Do you need something?’ and he was like, ‘No.’ I was like, ‘[Do you] want something?’ and he was like, ‘No.’”
“He was just sending me a text to say he loved me and it changed my whole day,” says Shriver. “I was like, ‘Wow, that is such a gift, thank you.’ If you had asked me at 20 if that is what would make me feel loved I would be like, ‘What?!’ But these are the things that one learns and brings you peace.”
(Shriver has three other children with her ex-husband Arnold Schwarzenegger: Christina, 27, Christopher, 21, and Katherine, 29, who recently become engagement to actor Chris Pratt.)
It’s those heartfelt experiences and relationships that Shriver will explore in her new podcast which will debut its first episode with her longtime friend Rob Lowe.
“We talk a lot about parenting. Our kids are friends,” she says. “We talk about politics, relationships, careers. We talk about creativity, a lot about taking charge of our careers. I don’t know what we don’t talk about! That’s what makes it fun and we, obviously, don’t always agree [on things].”
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She adds, “The goal is to show you can have very in-depth conversations and I believe those are the conversations people want to have and it’s what makes people feel connected to other people.”
Other guests on Shriver’s podcast include spiritual teachers and bestselling authors such as Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Jen Sincere and entrepreneur Dave Asprey.
Meaningful Conversations with Maria Shriver debuts on Jan. 21 across Apple Podcasts.