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 is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
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 has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
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]
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, 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]
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 is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
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 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]
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 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 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 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]
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]
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
When I was younger, like 17 or so, I deduced that the goal of the human life was to not need anybody else, to be completely independent. This is both incorrect and impossible.
I’ve come to realize that my relationships and the intimately cooperative effort of this adventure together as a human beings are the most important things.
One of the definitions of Yoga is Union. The sages suggest that we are already in a state of Union, or Yoga. The practices or techniques of yoga are designed to help us remove the obstacles that are keeping us from seeing and experiencing this fact. So, simply through the practice of yoga, I have been graced with a shift in understanding that we are intimately interweaved or more simply, stuck together.
Every time I am lucky enough to be with others with the common intention of connecting, I get to be reminded of this. And perhaps just as powerful a reminder of how important this feeling of connection is when I am experiencing its opposite: disconnection.
It is the human condition to continually be tempted to feel separate and isolated and then afraid. One can literally feel the shrinking in body, heart and mind. An easy and accessible way back into the feeling of connection is to focus our awareness on a person, being, place or thing to whom or that we feel connected and let this connection hold our attention. The entire interior landscape will soften, often warm and relax.
The mechanism of the brain loves habit because it is perceived as efficient. Learning new things is difficult and energy consuming. It is very difficult to have a meaningful experience without being required to let go of old methods and learn new skills. The only force powerful enough to overcome this natural laziness is Love. Without Love or at least desire, very few of us are equipped to climb out of the mundane.
Thank goodness there is a backup plan. Because this life wants us to know its depth and meaning, so no matter how much we resist, usually events will turn to cause us to rise up to the occasion.
And, the same mechanism in the brain that can cause us to get stuck will also work in our favor once there is enough real and observed experience that to swim freely in the flow of Love is the fastest and most efficient path.
– Kira Ryder