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

 

embrace

Karly Randolph Pitman Karly Randolph Pitman teacher. connector. embracer.

Karly Randolph Pitman is the creator of a therapy – growing human(kind)ness – that fosters healing from eating disorders, overeating, food addictions, and suffering from weight and body image. [www.karlyrandolphpitman.com]

We all have “stuff” – stumbling blocks, painful habits, and skewed attempts at self-preservation. It’s part of this crazy gig called life.

My stuff is food and weight pain. I’ve ridden every ride in this particular amusement park. I’ve been a sugar addict, an overeater, a bulimic, a binger, a neurotic food cop, a chronic dieter, a starver, and a woman obsessed with the size of her butt.

If you’re like me and nearly every human being I know, you may have spent considerable energy burying your stuff, hiding from it, indulging in it, despairing over it, avoiding it, shaming it, blaming it.

None of these tactics bring peace.

We don’t heal our stuff by running, resisting, or fixing. We heal our stuff by turning towards it, by shining the light of compassion on all our dark spots.

When you do this – when you invite your pain in – it will blow your life wide open.

I know this is hard. We look at our stuff and believe what it says about us – that we’re unworthy, flawed, broken, hopeless, helpless.

It takes courage and a bit of audacity to examine all the evidence and say, “No. That is not who I am. I will not define myself by my stuck points.” It takes mercy (an open heart) to see past our habitual patterns to the kindness there – to see our intention to soothe life’s pain, even if on the surface it’s very, very messy.

We practice bravery when we resist the pull to run – or indulge – and instead stay. We practice humility when we embrace our very human neediness as something precious, tender, and valuable rather than something shameful. We practice grace when we hold our human neediness lightly and see beyond to the divinity underneath.

From this perspective, our stuff is not a punishment, but a gift designed to wake us up. It’s how we reconnect with our trustworthiness. It’s how we soften our identity of brokenness. It’s also the pathway to change – it loosens the habits that bind us.

Our stuff is the way to freedom. It’s how we come home. Fundamentally, it’s a journey through – and towards – love.

– Karly Randolph Pitman

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