For the record, I didn’t ask Sharon Stone to lift up her shirt on our Zoom call. And yet, there we were on a recent afternoon—her, brandishing her rock-hard abs in the living room of her Los Angeles home; me, trying to pick up my jaw off the floor in my Brooklyn apartment. “All you have to do is move,” the 63-year-old actress tells me of her workout philosophy, a motto that could just as easily apply to her life. After becoming a bona fide star thanks to early roles in blockbuster hits such as Basic Instinct and Casino, Stone’s career prospects plummeted in 2001 after she suffered a near-death stroke. Her recently released biography, The Beauty of Living Twice, paints a deeply intimate and emotional portrait of her recovery while touching on her upbringing in Meadville, Pennsylvania, and her complicated relationship with Hollywood. Through it all, Stone has mastered the art of staying positive, a mindfulness technique she has honed by focusing on “little things” to keep her grounded, which include reading Buddhist texts and a fitness routine of “arm jazz” and Suzanne Somers’s classic at-home workout tool, the ThighMaster. (Let the record show that Stone’s ThighMaster also made an unsolicited appearance on our Zoom call.) “We have to ask ourselves, ‘Have we contributed to our body wellness, our mental wellness, and our spiritual wellness today?’” Stone tells me of the daily self check-ins she performs to help keep the negativity out. “And if we have not, we have to ask which of those areas needs to be cleaned up.”

1. Work Out Wherever You Can

“People think that you have to go to the gym and you have to do 3,000 pounds of weight all the time, but you don’t. You have to move your body, and add a little bit of resistance. Periodically throughout the day, I just move my body. I do it when I’m on set. I do leg lifts and back kicks and pop down on the ground and do some jackknifes. My crew is always like, ‘That’s so cool that you just throw down and do some kickbacks.’ Also, I do all my ‘arm jazz’ with these lead weights. Pushing upwards for 15 minutes with a lead weight in your hand makes a lot of difference. I have little arm strap-on weight bracelets too, and I put them on while I’m on my computer or at my desk and just leave them on all day because you’d be amazed how much working out you can do on your computer with a couple of pounds on your arms. These little things make a big difference. I’m also very big on those late-night television advertisements, like, ‘Oh, look. You can buy this thing.’ I find them to be quite successful. I have a little plastic thing that looks like a skateboard that’s bent that you balance on and cuts your center core. I have the Suzanne Somers ThighMaster, and frankly, it is sensational. I put that between my legs while I’m watching TV, and my kids and all their teenage friends think it’s hilarious but they do it too. They sit around with me and do it with their arms, finding a way to do their biceps and their triceps. It is the kind of thing you can throw in your suitcase because it doesn’t take up any space.”

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2. Find Time to Meditate

“I listen to this meditation by Kiva called the Green Tara chant that I like a lot. Usually, I just sit at my meditation table in front of my bedroom couch, ring my bowl, and read from my texts. I have a variety of different Buddhist stuff, including a Buddhist book of lessons and these Buddhist scriptures by Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai that I look at. I also have different crystals that I like. Sometimes I chant. Also, Russell Brand has a really great site and he’ll do a little bit of Kundalini yoga. I usually break out from whatever I’m doing and go sit down and do that one exercise sometime during my workday.”

3. Eat Cleanly

“Leading up to my second vaccine, I had to have the cleanest system. So I just did tofu and vegetables and only clear flat water. Typically, I don’t have a lot of dairy and I go through periods where I just don’t have it for a few weeks at a time when I’m trying to clear up my skin or I don’t feel like my intestinal tract is as clean as I want it to be. I really like dark chocolate and stuff. At night, I usually eat some dark chocolate, but I just cut it all out. I cut out all the sugars, specifically. And I didn’t even drink carbonated water. For dinner, I ate black rice and kale and yams, and maybe avocado or hummus and tofu, and then once a week I had poached eggs. I’ve got one of those little Alexas that are for the kitchen that you can just ask for any recipes, and that’s been fabulous.”

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4. Create Boundaries

“What I’m starting to do is really look at what are my bottom line boundaries. When people are crossing them and then they start acting out, I say, ‘Here are my boundaries and they’re just not going to shift. This is how I feel about you. This is what I hope will happen. I’m happy to help you with whatever is bothering you, but I can’t do that if you don’t tell me. Your responsibility here would be to tell me. If you tell me, I can help you. If you don’t tell me, I can’t help you. If we don’t resolve it, then I guess you’re going to have to blow up.’”

5. Check In With Yourself

“Pleasure is the thing that lasts for a moment and happiness is the thing that lasts with some continuation, so if we’re not happy for several days, we start to notice. We notice that our body is dragging. We notice that our sleep isn’t right. And we have to determine, are these rudimentary things in place? Are we eating properly? Are we sleeping enough? And I think then we have to ask ourselves things like: Have we told the truth for the last few days? Have we been truthful with ourselves and others? And are we doing these pleasurable things in any kind of excess, whatever those things might be for you? Everybody has their own vices, but if you’ve delved too deeply into your vices, you might need to shake yourself out a little.”


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