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

 

myself

Emily Montez Emily Montez writer. free mama. weirdness embracer.

Emily Montez is a mama, creator, writer, and the founder of MamaFusion: Merging Mom & Me. She believes in following God with purpose, embracing her own weirdness, and becoming the Foxy Mama she was created to be. [www.mamafusion.com]

When I became a mother, I thought my life would be full of meaning. I now had someone, a beautiful, precious, amazing someone to live my life for. Instead, I felt overloaded with chores, errands, and trying desperately to live up to the image of the mother I thought I was supposed to be.

I was such a great parent before I had kids. I’d always said that I wasn’t going to be “just a mom,” that I’d never be that woman who brought nothing to the table except spit-up and dirty diapers, that I’d remember who I was pre-kid. After I had kids, though, things didn’t turn out quite the way I expected.

I constantly felt like I was failing – not because there was anything wrong with my children, who were healthy and happy, but because I was working so hard to be something I was never meant to be. I looked around and felt surrounded by women with perfect makeup, perfect houses, and seemingly perfect lives, whereas I was happy just to be out of my pajamas and having relative peace in my life. I was stuck in a bubble. I got so caught up in what I thought my life should be that I forgot to live it.

Finally, I realized that being a good mother isn’t about having a clean house. It’s not about the bows in my girl’s hair, or matching socks. Being a good mother is about loving my girls, having fun with them, making magical memories with them. I realized that I was already the perfect mama for my girls, just by being myself. And my eyes opened to a whole new sense of meaning. 

I realized that my life truly is dedicated to being the best version of myself, so that I can be the best example to my girls. I want them to be free, to feel good about who they are, to not bend to pressure. And if I want that for them, I also need it for myself. 

Life is about embracing weirdness. It’s about understanding the unique gifts we bring to the table – and loving them. It’s about standing back up when we fall, and turning around when we realize we’ve spent the last year and half trying to live someone else’s life. Stand tall, dream big, fall often, and always stand back up. That’s what life means to this mama. 

– Emily Montez

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