Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

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 Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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 Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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 Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

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 Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

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]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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 Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

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]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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 Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

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 Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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 Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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 Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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 Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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

 

nourishing

Benjamin Atkinson Benjamin Atkinson culinary artist. gracious foodie. grapefruit huller.

Benjamin Atkinson launched The Dry Gourmet to re-make cooking wines. Along the way, he re-connected with food and grace. It is a journey he recommends for anyone. [www.drygourmet.com/the-story]

benjamin_atkinson_feature

From an incomprehensibly complex universe comes our source of life, joy and sharing. Food has become a study in grace and community for me.

For most of my life I’ve been adept in the kitchen, but my cooking lacked art, for lack of a better term. Then a friend lost his medical license for self-prescribing narcotics. He entered rehab, found happiness and is living a sober life. A year into his sobriety he told me the one thing he missed most about his pre-sobriety days was cooking with wine. He asked me if I could make him a non-alcoholic cooking wine.

It was this challenge that led me to explore a deeper meaning in the food we eat. Cooking with wine is one among countless cooking techniques and traditions. The act of cooking itself can be a gesture of love, sympathy or compassion. Or, it can be the obligatory end to a harried day. So much of ourselves is revealed by our attitudes toward food.

While researching culinary techniques and recipes, I was reminded of the profound connection between food and life. I realized I had been taking food for granted. By forcing myself to slow down and prepare food deliberately, I re-kindled a passion and gratitude for food. My food tastes better now.

When I’m anxious, it helps to make something…anything…in the kitchen. Make your spouse a cup of tea. Make a casserole and freeze it for later. Peel some potatoes, or hull some grapefruit. Use your hands and your heart to prepare something nourishing for yourself or for loved ones. The act of cooking helps keep me grateful.

Gratitude to a higher power makes for a gracious and graceful person. Without grace, life is short and brutish. An anchor in eternity makes mortality bearable. Once you’ve grappled mortality to the ground, life becomes more colorful.

My kitchen has been the place for me to remember to slow down and reflect on all the blessings given to me. Preparing food has become a process of taking gifts given to me (ingredients) and preparing a work of art (a meal) for my loved ones. It might be something as simple as tuna salad, but it reminds me that I am sustained by the love of God, and that I can help nourish others with my love.

– Benjamin Atkinson

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