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, founder of lifebyme.com, is the single mom of an amazing 16-year-old, Leah, and wicked step-mom of 22-year-old, Sarah. They all live in LA. You can find them boxing, cooking, collaging, hosting brunches, laughing their head off or bickering over who’s washing and who’s drying the dishes.
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
I’ve been writing for 20 years with the deep dream of getting a book published. I’ve completed 14 novels (not 14 good ones, however!) and have almost gone all the way with two of them. I’ve lived in the intersection of heart and mind and craft that is writing daily, whether I was writing on a cocktail napkin when I was waitressing or on a kid’s coloring book when I was a nanny. If I’ve known one thing about myself, it’s that I write. It’s my practice. My prayer. My meditation. It’s my way of life and my way to life. I’ve stood at so many shorelines, watching so many sunsets, offering my dream of being published to the powers-that-be in hopes that it comes true. Twenty years of offering. Twenty years of rejection.
Finally, I realized something: writing is not who I am. It is of who I am. A few years ago, it became crucial that I make that distinction. I was miserable and realized I couldn’t go on feeling like that. I had to stop basing my well-being, self-worth, and even happiness on things outside my control. I had to take a good look at what it was to live in the present moment and surrender to outcome. What ensued was a new relationship with meaning. Did my life matter if I didn’t achieve my goal to be a published writer of books? How was that sort of thinking helping me in the first place? It wasn’t. Rather, it kept me in a victim stance, and with that came suffering. The meaning lay in the act of creating.
So I decided to commit to non-suffering. Which meant letting go of the future. It doesn’t exist in reality anyway. Nor does the past. What exists is the present moment. And the present moment begs a question: What are you going to create? Are you going to create being miserable? A victim? Or are you going to create personal responsibility and the freedom therein? I chose the latter.
It changed my life. Now I write in the sheer freedom of creation. If I like what I write, I submit it for publication. Then I let go; my work is done. If someone reads it and even loves it, that’s between the reader and my work. That doesn’t mean that dreams need to die, or that hope is not best kept alive. It’s the moment of creation that holds my hope. It’s the moment of creation that is the dream I dream.
- Laura Munson
Explore More Meaning
holistic helper. working mama. constant questioner.
Tara Hantske is a Board-Certified Holistic Health Counselor, a member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and Team Northrup, and, most importantly, a mom. She helps people, especially moms, create health and balance. [www.tarahantskewellness.com]
What’s your idea of a journal?