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
My mother died about five weeks ago. I was with her through the last few weeks of her life and at the actual moment of her death. The morning after she died, after they’d taken her body away, I went back to her condo alone and sat on her bed, where she’d spent most of her life for the past five years. I sat there and meditated.
My relationship with my mother had always been very difficult, but in the last five or six years it had transformed into one of appreciation and love. It’s not like I stopped seeing the things that were in the way – it’s that I saw them and I loved her.
As I meditated there on her bed, I did what I tend to do every morning when I meditate and whenever I go to highly emotional or spiritual spots – I empty and see what comes in. That morning, I found myself thinking about some of the difficult people in my family and how my mother loved them anyway. She loved them in spite of their foibles and the ways they were that made them difficult. I’d gotten to that place with my mother. I’d come to accept the difficult things about her and still love her.
I realized then that that’s my work for the next part of my life – to do that with everyone, to get past the judgment. Not to be oblivious to whatever I might find to judge them for, but to see the human patterns, to see where people are creating suffering for themselves and others, and get to a place where I see that and I still love them.
According to legend, the Buddha set a good example of this. When someone presented themselves to him, he not only saw where they were in the present moment, but also all of their past lives and all of their future lives. He saw where they currently were on their journey. And he was compassionate. That’s what my Tibetan friends would call skillful means. It’s something I’m trying to learn.
We’re all flawed, so this way of being with people applies to me, too. I can see myself, we can see ourselves – flaws and all – and still love.
We can improve and transform. Without transformation, the world’s going to be tomorrow as it is was today. With it, there’s the possibility that things will actually get better.
– Mickey Lemle
Explore More Meaning
former dieter. current helper. self acceptance discoverer.
Julie M. Simon, MA, MBA, MFT is a psychotherapist, life coach, personal trainer, speaker and author of The Emotional Eater’s Repair Manual: A Practical Guide for Putting an End to Overeating and Dieting, based on her 12 Week Program. [www.overeatingrecovery.com]
happy mom. adventure planner. champion of family.
Jenny Solar is married to Josh and they have three kids, Max, Ava, and Lia. They created The Happy Family Movement to encourage and inspire family togetherness through memorable family experiences and simple ideas for happy family living. [www.thehappyfamilymovement.com]