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.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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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]

 
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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.

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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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testing

Edward Vilga Edward Vilga yoga instructor. canine comrade. moviemaker.

Edward Vilga is an internationally known yoga instructor and author who has had six books published (many of which involve yoga) and written and directed two feature films. [www.EdwardVilga.com]

There was a lot of both the magic and the tragic in my childhood. Early on, I began to try to understand religion and philosophy. I remember reading yoga books when I was a young teenager, as a way of trying to figure out my life and be happier. That’s where things began for me.

Since then, I’ve continued to dig deeply. People often don’t want you to test and fine-tune things when it comes to belief systems and religions, but that’s what I love to do. It’s interesting to explore and play around with things like the Law of Attraction – to not be afraid of testing. I try to gain a better understanding of life on a spiritual level, in a way that really makes sense to me, even when that takes a turn toward the unusual.

One of my greatest teachers has been Belle, who’s a dog. I’d been teaching yoga in New York for several years at a place where I had to give a short talk that tied in with a spiritual theme at the start of class. Because I’d gotten endless inspiration from Belle, more and more of my talks involved her. At first, I was nervous that people would think of me as that crazy guy with the dog, but people actually found the talks and conversations about Belle appealing and helpful.

There’s something universal about Belle’s appeal. She’s amazing at so many of the spiritual concepts I strive for in my practice, like letting go, being in the present moment, and loving unconditionally. In some ways, she’s become my teacher of all the philosophical and spiritual truths I’ve wanted to increase in my own life.

Our incredible partnership evolved into Belle becoming my example of how to be happy, enlightened, and living in the moment. Because she’s so temperamentally suited to simply being and to loving people, I’ve had her certified as a service dog by the Humane Society. There’s real power in her presence, which reminds me that who I am and the energy I’m giving out is much more important than anything I can say.

Belle’s complete authenticity and honesty are so reassuring. She does more by being herself and being loving than a million words could do. She has an intrinsic sense of her own worthiness, which we humans sometimes don’t – we’re brainwashed to believe that we have to prove our worthiness. Belle doesn’t do that. She’s a constant, powerful reminder that we don’t have to justify our existence.

– Edward Vilga

Edward Vilga’s free eBook about Belle is available at www.UpwardDogBook.com.

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