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

 

shareasaurus

Katie McClain Katie McClain unique individual. differences encourager. life magician.

Katie McClain coaches moms and their boys to dispel thought-fueled angst and create radical self-acceptance. She finds home with her family and dogs, by creating magic with clients, and on visits to Paris. [www.katiemcclain.com]

Family closeness is very important to me. It’s something I’ve always wanted, even before my son, who’s now thirteen, was born. In our family, we celebrate each of our unique personalities. We believe this creates a strong family bond.

I was one of the youngest of six children. Each of us was very different, and I learned at an early age that certain differences were not acceptable. Being yourself was not encouraged.

I was a precocious little kid with a ton of energy. Instead of greeting my unique personality with an attitude of “Look at that, it’s so interesting that she’s full of life,” my family made it known that my behavior was completely unacceptable.

For a long time, I was shy about who I really was, but I’ve learned to embrace it more and more. I love to share. When I learn something new I want to share it with my family and my friends, sometimes with anybody who will listen. I’ll often write about it in blog posts. In fact, my good friend refers to me as a shareasaurus. I love that, because it’s really me. I’m becoming who I’ve always been.

Often, the uniqueness of who we are gets squashed in youth. As a culture, we’re conditioned to exclaim when something is a little different or seems strange. I encourage parents to allow and accept individuality, even when it doesn’t resonate with them.

When faced with a new situation, it’s important for us as parents to check in with our own thoughts before jumping into comments, suggestions, or even questions. We can ask ourselves, What kind of thoughts are going through my mind? Are they negative or positive? How we react to a situation is based on how we feel, and how we feel comes from our thinking. If you feel negative about the situation, clear that negativity out of your head before you discuss the situation with your child. Then, in a loving and curious way, be interested in what’s going on.

My husband and I really try to support our son in being himself. There are times when I’m taken aback, but I do my very best to give him a smile and be interested in what he’s sharing with me. In return, our son has become very easygoing and nonjudgmental. My husband and I think he’s pretty extraordinary.

– Katie McClain

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