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

 

appreciation

Leigh Fortson Leigh Fortson author. powerful healer. inspiration.

Author Leigh Fortson's personal and universal story shows how her thoughts and emotions dictated the well-being of her cells. She helps others understand what it means to heal. [www.embracehealingcancer.com]

I’ve lived a privileged life, always. As a child, I never went hungry. My mother loved me and showed it. We belonged to the country club. I could swim and play tennis every day of the summer, order a hamburger, French fries, and Coke, and go home to a comfortable house where I’d watch Bewitched and dream of all the things I’d do if I could wiggle my nose that way.

Growing up has its struggles and my family was imperfect – even so, those decades and the ones that followed were good. My taste for country clubs, food, and entertainment changed and my passions grew. I fell in love, got married, and had children. Yet, somewhere along the way, I adopted an outlook steeped in lack and rooted in judgment. I didn’t truly see that in myself until I got cancer – for the third time – and began looking at the tenor of my thoughts and deeply questioning why I’d copped the attitude I had about life.

During that inquiry, I realized I had the glass-half-empty syndrome. But when you’re led to believe you’re on the brink of losing everything, including your breath, your world turns upside down. That’s when my half-empty glass became half-full.

And it felt great. Rather than focusing on what wasn’t right, I saw beauty. I began turning my gaze from the things I’d judged and criticized and instead started noticing the little things surrounding me at any given moment that were remarkably perfect. My appreciation ranged from the simple design on a dinner plate to the magnificence of the night sky to the mess in my daughter’s room to the dancing brows above my dog’s eyes … to the woman I saw in the mirror.

Now, my glass is not only half full – it’s brimming over. I’ve learned that if I pay attention to what’s wrong in my world that’s what becomes my world. So I avoid heavy movies, sad books, and controlling humans. Instead, I feed my newfound love affair with life by creating a habit of focusing on what’s before me at any moment in time – seeing beauty and perfection, love and frailty, meaningful symbols and abstract mystery.

I believe I’m cancer-free today largely because I changed the tone within myself to the same pitch as the music and elegance and rightness of the world. It took more than wiggling my nose to get here, but sometimes it takes more than magic to know the truth about life.

– Leigh Fortson

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