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.

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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.

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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.

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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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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.

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be present

Danny  Miller Danny Miller writer. book editor. daddy.

Danny Miller is a writer and book editor. He's a contributor to the Huffington Post and regularly writes in his own blog, "Jew Eat Yet?" [http://dannymiller.typepad.com]

danny_miller_feature

My world changed on April 27, 2009, the day my twin boys were born four months early. After a picture-perfect pregnancy, my wife inexplicably went into labor at 24 weeks. Every effort was made to stop the contractions but our sons were born by emergency C-section a few hours later. I remember being shoved into the operating room and seeing teams of doctors working on two impossibly tiny babies, each barely over a pound.

I was in such a state of shock that I felt myself lifting up out of my body and looking down from the ceiling. I watched myself spinning down below, looking dazed and confused. I saw my wife being sewn up and the doctors’ frantic attempts to save the lives of our babies. I remember using every ounce of awareness I could summon and uttering the mantra, “Go back, go back, go back, this is your family, these are your sons.” I felt myself falling back into my body and, though I was filled with adrenaline, I began taking in what was happening around me.

Our son Oliver died 12 hours later, creating a hole in our lives that can never be completely filled. But his brother Charlie fought an amazing battle and survived through four months in the neonatal intensive care unit.

My tendency had always been to catastrophize life events. It was part of my dramatic Jewish “shtick,” and I often used my fear-mongering to comedic effect. But I couldn’t do that in this situation. Thanks to Charlie, I learned to live in the moment, to focus on what’s happening RIGHT NOW and not panic about all the scary things that could happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. I had to be there for my son every day as he fought for his life. He almost died many times and had to undergo six surgeries, including three on his brain.

Today, Charlie is thriving. He’s a roly-poly, good-natured, loving baby who lights up any room he enters. Although he’s only two years old, he’s already taught me so much. I feel more present for everyone in my life, including my wife and my 16-year-old daughter.

I don’t know what challenges the future will bring, but whenever I feel that familiar panic setting in, I think back to those terrifying days in the hospital when I had to hold steady and I’m able to pull myself back to the present. This gift may have been born in tragedy, but I’m grateful for it every day.

– Danny Miller

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