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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.

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Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

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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.

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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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inner garden

Jeannine Parker Jeannine Parker strategist. cultivator. interactive media pioneer.

Jeannine Parker founded Infinite Solutions Institute, to educate and advocate for solutions that already exist, and co-founded The Wealth Garden, a global collaborative platform for social entrepreneurs. [www.infinitesolutions.org]

PostPARKER

It came to me once during a meditation that peace and happiness and beauty are outcomes. We don’t do peaceful. We don’t do happy. We are them. They’re states of being that emerge through practice. Peace is the natural result of the practice of harmonizing ourselves with our experience. Happiness comes about through the practice of love. Beauty is also a state of being. Beauty reveals itself through the practice of gratitude – what we find most beautiful, we’re deeply grateful for, and vice versa. The more deeply I delve into meaningfulness – what has juice for me, what gives my life dimension and scope and savor and sweetness – the more I return to these practices.

If all that shows up in my outer experience is simply a reflection of my inner world, projected onscreen in living color in such a way as to bring it to my awareness, then my first step is to accept and welcome my experience. If I notice that my welcome is anything less than warm and open, I know it’s time to cultivate, time to revisit my inner landscape, with the eyes and heart of a gardener. So I check inside.

If something in my world is out of alignment, it’s because something in me is out of alignment. Where is my harmony? I ask myself. If it’s not present, that’s my cue to stop, to breathe, to harmonize with the person or the situation before me. I bless the life in it, whatever it is. If it’s a person, I place myself in their shoes. And breathe. It only takes a moment and harmony returns.

Where is my happiness, my joy-filled center? If it’s absent, that’s my cue to pour more love into whatever I’m saying or doing. The well of love is always there, waiting to be tapped, once I release any ideas I might have about myself or the circumstance. When I have nothing to prove, I have everything to love.

Is this experience beautiful to me? If not, that’s my cue to ask What am I not appreciating here? What could I be truly grateful for? If I can’t find gratitude, that tells me that my context isn’t large enough. A shift in perspective is required. There’s always, always something to be grateful for.

Harmonizing, loving, appreciating: these are my cherished inner gardening tools. They call me to be compassionately yet rigorously honest with myself – another practice, into which I infuse as much humor as possible. Humor is divine. After all, I brought these experiences forward for my own enlightenment, did I not?

– Jeannine Parker

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