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

 

understand

Kelly Lewis Kelly Lewis inner discoverer. gentle challenger. growth inspirer.

Co-creator of The Bounce Collective, Kelly Lewis inspires her clients to ask their own questions and find their own answers, developing a more compassionate understanding of themselves, others, and the world they impact. [www.wecanbounce.com]

My dad is a recovered alcoholic. He got sober when I was ten. Every Sunday morning he went to a Serenity Meeting. One day he said, “I want you to fully understand me. Let’s go to breakfast together every Sunday and then go together to the Serenity Meeting.”

My dad opened up his life and invited me in to ask questions. Even though I was only ten, he trusted me to be in that conversation with him. Thirty years later, we still have a relationship based on pure trust. If dad had kept me out of that part of his life, it could have turned into something that kept us apart. Instead, it’s brought my whole family closer together.

At the Serenity Meetings, I found an amazing learning community. People went to the meetings to understand, to fully support, and even to challenge each other. Together, they found the strength to make new choices, even when choices didn’t seem readily available.

Today, I create learning communities where meaning, truth, and understanding can happen both within people and between people. I’ve learned that to understand someone else, I must truly and deeply listen, see them fully, and be curious with them. If I’m lucky, the person I’m with is curious enough to want to fully understand me and I’m courageous enough to openly share.

Sharing our personal experiences takes courage. We have to be willing to look inside, accept the person we see, and have the courage to tell the truth. When we share from a place of vulnerability, we build deep, intimate relationships that allow us to be honest. We can fully give of ourselves and ask for what we need in return. Then our intentions come from a pure, honest place without a hidden agenda.

Yesterday, I went to the doctor. When I left, I was a little upset, so I called my husband. I knew I needed him to tell me it was going to be okay. I could have gone through the whole conversation being dishonest with myself and with him about what I needed. Who knows if he would have said what I needed to hear? Instead, I said, “I’m a little upset, and I need you to tell me it’s going to be okay.” He did, and that’s all I needed. Understanding is made so much simpler when we’re honest.

Kelly Lewis

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