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
When I was 40, I lost my husband to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Then I was alone with our child and couldn’t seem to find the help I needed. There were so many things, from financial to emotional, that nobody was talking about. Then it dawned on me that I couldn’t possibly be the only widow who felt that way. If I couldn’t find the help I needed, I’d create it. So began my healing journey.
Loss is not just death. Whether someone loses a job, a home, a pregnancy, or a marriage through divorce, loss is loss. There’s no type of loss that’s harder. There’s no one who hurts more. There’s only different. Loss of any kind can be devastating. It can leave us feeling hopeless and alone, but we don’t have to remain that way.
No one is meant to live a life stuck in emotional or spiritual poverty. In order to move forward, we have to deal with loss in a healthy and productive way. We can’t circumvent the pain, but we can work through it. If we continually avoid our grief, it will revisit us again and again.
Think about putting makeup on your face. What happens if you don’t take the makeup off at the end of the day? If, instead, you piled on more, day after day, the skin underneath would suffer. It’s not healthy. The same is true with grief. If we keep avoiding it, if we keep putting on a mask to show how strong we are, the soul suffers. We end up tired and run-down.
There are going to be challenging days, and that’s okay. When I wake up feeling emotionally exhausted, instead of fighting the pain, I embrace it. I give myself 24 hours to feel really lousy, to feel self-pity and to feel that life isn’t fair. The next day, I pick myself up and move forward.
Yes, there is absolutely a time to grieve and mourn, but we’re also meant to live as abundantly as humanly possible. It’s okay to discover a new sense of identity, to find something you’re passionate about, and to regain your purpose. I found new purpose through writing and service. They give me reasons to get out of bed every day, and that’s where it all begins.
– Carole Brody Fleet