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
Right out of college, I worked at a desk job and went through a period of complete stagnancy and depression. Through yoga, inspirational writing and art, and daredevil friends, I finally got the courage to leave that job. Since then, I’ve made it my life’s mission to help others discover their bliss, and to keep my own inspiration tank very, very full. True, sustainable happiness takes a lot of work, but, boy, is it worth it!
I often ebb and flow. I laugh about how that still manages to surprise me. I used to work in short bursts of creativity and extremes that left me feeling burnt afterward. I’ve worked to create rituals in my every day that keep me connected. A walk with our bulldog without my cell phone. Enjoying a tea in silence. Taking the time to write. Time on my yoga mat, even if I’m not doing anything particularly spectacular. Just time to listen and create a bit more space.
I work every day to find a balance that allows me to grow, create, and shift, while at the same time keeping me grounded and connected to my tribe. That connection – whether to my fiancé, my lovable bulldog, my friends and family nearby or across the globe – is integral to my bliss. The members of my tribe inspire me, hold me accountable, and love me unconditionally. It’s funny how no matter where I go, I always end up meeting new additions to my tribe.
I’ve learned to be in tune with what makes me really happy: eating fresh, delicious food; sweating every day; connecting with my partner in an authentic way; spending time alone; and spending time with close friends. If I notice that I’m not doing at least a couple of those things in a day, I know I’m off track and it’s time to hit the pause button. We’re creators of our lives, but that starts with how we design our days. It can be really fun when we get creative with it.
So often, we allow fear to stand in the way of bliss. Fear cripples us. Fear of not being enough, fear of letting someone down, fear of failing, fear of being amazing. There are so many tools to help us loosen fear’s grip, if we’re willing to find them.
What makes you come alive? Listen. Obey.
– Mary Beth LaRue