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.

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.

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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

 

bridge gap

John March John March musician. activist. artistic mentor.

John March is a musician, teacher, producer, writer, activist, Buddhist facilitator in training, and single dad. He mentors artists and develops modern rites of passage for fathers and sons. [www.zenguitarguy.com]

PostMARCH

I talk with a lot of people. When I make a genuine connection with someone, when they speak from the truth of who they are and how they are, when a new way of seeing things comes up in our interaction – that’s meaningful to me. In my life and through my connections with people and with myself, I try to bridge the gap I see between my life and the world around me, a gap between what’s real and what’s not so real.

After a lecture I gave at a university once, a student came up to me in tears. He said, “I’ve been thinking I might go crazy because of all the things I want to know and may never learn.” My response was, “What makes you think you won’t go crazy trying to learn those things?” And then I started to cry. As we stood in the hallway, I wasn’t a teacher. We were two human beings, interested in the same things, expressing our concerns. It felt real. We’d made a real connection on a deeper level. We’d bridged the gap.

Part of being a musician is to listen. I listen a lot and people get comfortable talking with me. I don’t really have an agenda, which helps. I’m happy to hear whatever stories people want to tell. What I’ve noticed over the years is that the content changes from person to person, but the essential message is always the same: “I don’t want to suffer like this anymore.” At the same time, people are always asking the same question: “How can I end suffering and make a fresh start in a real way?”

My Zen teacher says, “The quality of your life is dependent on the focus of your attention.” Years of meditation and compassionate observation have shown me how my mind operates, how insubstantial my projections of reality can be … so I practice non-attachment as best I can.

By committing to a process that’s based on mindfulness, I’ve learned how ephemeral and gossamer-like my thoughts are. Even if I’m very upset or confused or engaged in a powerful interaction, as long as I’m willing to let go of anything I know to be true in that instant and focus on the moment, with compassion, my attention shifts toward availability, toward connection rather than separation. I become responsive rather than reactive. I focus in a way that’s uplifting. I choose to bridge the gap.

– John March

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