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
What’s most meaningful to me now is not the same thing it would have been ten or fifteen years ago, but now that I’m a mom, my kids and my family are most meaningful to me.
I take mothering very seriously. It’s about more than just giving birth. When I became a mother, it was natural for me to decide to do it all the way, but that didn’t actually happen until I had my new baby in my arms. I’d like to say it happened while I was pregnant, but it didn’t. I experienced a beautiful pregnancy and was certainly looking forward to motherhood, but it wasn’t until I was home and had my new baby in my arms that my perspective completely changed.
Soon after I had my first child, I realized I didn’t want to do anything else. At first, I went back to work, but I hated it. I wasn’t focused and wasn’t doing a good job. I had a pretty good career ahead of me, but I saw that it wasn’t going to fulfill me at all and I started to become a half-assed kind of person. I couldn’t think of anything but getting back home to my baby. My perspective completely changed. I embraced the role of full-time mom, loving it and feeling proud to do it.
On some level, motherhood has taken me deeper into having a determined focus. I make my own way in the world and have never been conformist. I’ve never been afraid to walk away from something I didn’t enjoy anymore. Now it’s important to me to unplug from the status quo and be an active part of my children’s lives.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve found a true path for myself. I’ve realized who I actually am. The next level beyond that for me is to go further, to be the best Laurette I can possibly be, and deliver to the world the best thing I can deliver.
The most important connection we can have in life is not necessarily to our spouses or our best friends, or even to our children, because we can’t connect with them until we know who we are. We have to connect with ourselves first. Embracing the beautiful, meaningful role of motherhood taught me who I am.
– Laurette Lynn