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
When I interact with people, I always do my best to come from a heart place and treat people like I want to be treated.
A few years ago, most of my decisions came from a head place and were based on what I thought would fulfill my needs. Then Gandhi entered my life, just prior to the occupation of Iraq, and encouraged me to come from a place of love.
I created a ten-foot-tall Mahatma Gandhi puppet to support the Mill Valley Seniors for Peace at their weekly demonstrations, which I attended for over a year. Every week, I connected with the spirit of Gandhi through the puppet. I would tell him, “Do with me what you may.” He certainly has.
If I could, I’d speak with Gandhi and thank him for his influence in my life. He believes love is the answer, and so do I.
When I start making decisions based on what I think I need, I know it’s time to get grounded and in touch with my heart. To do this, I visualize a cord of hearts traveling down my spine to the core of the Earth, which it wraps around to hold me tight.
I’m trying to get to a place of non-judgment, of being able to see people as pilgrims on a path to peace, knowing that we’re all just doing the best we can in a challenging world.
Sometimes, we don’t think we can make a difference in the world. We feel overwhelmed and powerless and just don’t know where to begin. What helps me is to focus in on an issue that lights me up and to do something simple to feed that passion and see where it takes me. I listen to my heart. If I’m feeling light and joyful, I’m on the right path.
I think people are just beginning to tap into our power. Eventually, we’ll begin to feel our strength as a group and take it to higher levels.
– Jes Richardson