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
An open heart, divine presence, and intimate connection are the most meaningful things to me. For a long time now, they’re how I’ve chosen to live my life. They’re the greatest gifts we offer this world. Regardless of our personal stories and dramas, when we choose to actually “be” while with another, in full focus and love and attention, that’s absolute perfection. In that moment, all things are possible. In that sacred sharing space, we’re invited to the awakening of our inner magnificence and we find healing and celebration.
The challenge to this way of life is that we get caught up in little things that mean absolutely nothing yet seem to mean everything. I learned a long time ago that the greatest joys are the ones that come from within. Our most important gift to the world is our innerness, our heart and soul. Genuine heart presence expressed with everyone we encounter and connect with is holy magic. When we resonate with the energy of unconditional love, it gives birth to the freedom and ability to awaken those around us. It’s a universal offering, and everyone and everything benefits from it.
Many years ago, after having what I call a spiritual breakthrough, the immediate result of my deep surrender was an awakening to freedom. My entire life changed in a moment and I was profoundly able to see and understand the deep, rich meaning of why we’re all here sharing life’s breath.
Not only were my personal world and my relationships transformed at that time – my professional world all of sudden had new meaning and purpose. I was catapulted into a new expression, one I’d never have consciously chosen, but which spoke my heart song and continues to do so.
I’ve been blessed to reach and touch thousands of lives over the years as a result of that one day when I found myself locked in my bedroom on my hands and knees in deep reverence, calling out, asking “someone or something out there to please help me, to take me or use me.” That was my prayer then. My life today is that same prayer being answered.
Without the ability for deep meaningful connection with ourselves and others, we run the risk of never knowing who we really are or sharing our unique, authentic heart song with the world. So please, open your heart.
– Cathy Matarazzo
Explore More Meaning
grateful student. generous teacher. unionizer.
Kira Ryder is grateful for all her teachers and the teachings that have been shared with her. One of Yoga Journal’s Top Teachers Shaping the Future of Yoga in America, her teaching emphasizes tuning into the alignment within your own heart. [www.lulubandhas.com]
early riser. mystic identifier. self opener.
Bob Walter is an editor and executive with several not-for-profit organizations, including the Joseph Campbell Foundation, an organization that preserves, protects, and perpetuates the work of influential American mythologist Joseph Campbell. [www.jcf.org]
spiritual psychologist. philanthropist. happiness harvester.
Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, radio show host, professor, and lecturer specializing in happiness, filmography, felicitation and philanthropy. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, InspireMeToday.com and PositivelyPositive.com. [www.HarvestingHappiness.com]