Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
The space around us is not empty, but full. I like to imagine this space full of little particles of magic that help create opportunities, inspiration, and possibility for us. There are words for these particles. Some call them Chi. Others refer to them as Mana, Prana, or The Holy Spirit. They remind me of The Force, in Star Wars. These particles infuse our spaces with light-ness. With potential. With hope. I constantly create space around me for these particles to enter my life.
All of us surround ourselves with stuff. Such items embody where we’ve been, who we know, and what we’ve accomplished. They also keep us pointed backwards in time. I know that my stuff is heavy. My stuff is filled with stories from my past and memories and emotions. Whereas I can appreciate this history, I know that my most precious memories and experiences don’t live within these items. So, just as I create space within my body to ingest and digest new food and make use of the nutrients they provide, I make space within my living and work environments. And within my mind through meditation. And my heart through tears.
Once I’ve made space for things to come into my experience, I create snapshots of my heart’s deepest desires and surround myself with things that symbolize those intentions. Things I feel are beautiful. Not things I sort-of like. Not things I tolerate. Things which bring more life into my life. Things I love to look at. Art that inspires me. Books that remind me of the stories contained within. Photos that have relevance to my life now, today. People whose wisdom I’d like to remember. And I imagine those items being surrounded by little particles of magic working to attract what matches.
I make space because I know I can’t pick up something new in my life until I put down what I’m holding onto. I place things on purpose and with purpose. And then I ask for the things that they symbolize to show up in my life with perfect timing for me and for all others involved.
Finally, I offer a blessing, as if it’s already accomplished. The blessing: It is so and so it is. Thank you.
- Ariel Joseph Towne