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

 

nature time

Jonathan Ellerby Jonathan Ellerby outdoor explorer. diversity accepter. extension of earth.

Jonathan Ellerby, PhD, is a spiritual teacher, healer, author, and the CEO for the Tao Center for Inspired Living in the Mayan Riviera. [www.jonathanellerby.com]

jonathan_ellerby_feature

Nature is a place where I experience the intersection of nearly everything that’s good in my life. It’s where I feel nourished and most relaxed. It’s where I feel inspired and challenged. It’s where I like to spend time with my family and my son.

Growing up, I spent every summer and a lot of the weekends in the spring and fall canoeing and swimming and exploring in wilderness areas. Those trips gave me my first experience of spirit and my first experience of self. In those experiences I gained an innate sense of confidence in the world and curiosity about the world.  As a young person in nature, canoeing, hiking or exploring, there’s a very immediate demand for common sense, and self-awareness, and in more rigorous settings, self-mastery because as much as nature is nurturing, nature is also challenging.

The majority of my psychological, interpersonal, and spiritual qualities are rooted in my original experiences of nature. We are the environment. We are nature. Our businesses, our families, our bodies. We are extensions of the earth. We’re a part of the system.

A great example has to do with acceptance and diversity. In the natural world, you don’t generally look a cedar tree and an oak tree and condemn one for being too much like a cedar tree and one for being too much like an oak tree. You engage each on its terms. You accept it on its terms. You explore and inquire about its personality on its own terms. We simply accept that the natural world’s not going to change for us, so we engage it with a less judging mind, more a mind of curiosity.

Now I look at other people with a position of acceptance first, a quality of curiosity second, and third, a desire to find and appreciate the innate beauty in each, to understand how it all works together as a system, without judgment.

Connecting with nature has less to do with the setting and more to do with how we approach it. What makes all the difference is the quality of attention we bring to it. It has to do with slowing down our breath and making a commitment to just spending time meditatively. If you approach it with absolute present moment awareness, you will see it as a miracle.

– Jonathan Ellerby

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