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
I spent a large portion of my life being a busy person, working 70 to 80 hours a week. I used to think that meant I was a good citizen and highly productive, but the wealth of my life is actually in my relationships, in the love and truth I share with others, in the present moment that can’t ever be replaced.
I’ve had a couple of near-death experiences which have made me more aware and awake and interested in being present. My first near-death experience happened because of an adverse reaction to a drug I was given during the birth of my son. The drug arrested my breathing and I almost bled to death. During that experience, I observed my body from another part of the room. As my spirit left my body, I realized that my body can die, but my spirit can’t. I was part of everything in the room – not just the other people, but everything. The whole energetic field of the room was part of me.
That experience gave me a deep sense of peace. I know now that I’m an immortal being. I’m a spiritual being here having a human experience. I used to think I was a body that had a soul, but through that near-death experience I realized I’m a soul that has a body. Because I no longer fear death, I’ve gained an extreme sense of relief and release.
My spiritual journey has made me the person I am. I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences I’ve had. I started my spiritual journey by asking questions about my own existence and the purpose of my existence. I’ve seen that when you start a spiritual journey and begin looking for answers, the answers are revealed.
I’m trying to eliminate all judgment from my life. It’s a huge challenge. We tend to look at things and immediately sort them into piles: This is good. That’s bad. But all things have purpose. It doesn’t help to judge the roles people or entities play. I try to remove myself from anger and recognize the paradigms that exist and that need to shift.
I can’t change anyone else and I can’t make the world a less judgmental place, but I can make myself less judgmental and maybe that change will be a pebble in the pond and have a ripple effect on everyone around me.
I try to take responsibility for myself. That’s a big enough job.
– Gwen Olsen
Explore More Meaning
bestselling writer. comedic caregiver. ambulette driver.
Bestselling author Jane Heller's romantic comedy novels entertain readers around the world. Her latest book is nonfiction. You'd Better Not Die or I'll Kill You: A Caregiver's Survival Guide to Keeping You in Good Health and Good Spirits. [www.janeheller.com]