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

 

recovery

Rita James Rita James community maven. yoga instructor. living example.

Rita James is a community events expert who realized that if she didn't go within she'd go without. What resonates from within is teaching yoga and being an example to her children.

rita_james_feature

Prior to my recovery, life held no meaning for me. I couldn’t have cared less about a lot of things. Recovery opened up a gateway to investigating things other than alcohol and relieved me from that bondage. Through the gift of being sober, my life has so much more meaning.

Finding ways to be compassionate and forgiving is a way of living that’s the complete opposite of how I used to live. I thank God and the creator and the universe and everybody that I don’t have to live like that anymore. Being conscious and being present really help.

I’ve worked hard to learn to be present in this moment instead of being in a moment that happened a week, six months, or a year ago. A little mantra I say to myself is “Be present and be here.” That means knowing this isn’t a dress rehearsal. This is it.

Of course, there are times when I get off track, and they’re very unpredictable. But now my synchronicity with the universe and with myself is better. When I feel something coming on that’s taking me out of alignment, I remind myself to pause, to not react to the situation, and try to get to a place where I can respond in a better way. That’s usually through taking a really big, deep breath. Sometimes, at work, I go into the bathroom and slap my knees and say, “Okay, this is yours, this is yours.”

In those moments of need, I call on everyone – whoever’s out there, whoever’s listening – usually with a small little prayer for help to do the right thing. I’ll say, “Direct me to do what you would have me do.”

I quit drinking when my daughter was seven and my son was five. One of the commitments I made then was that they’d never again see me in that condition, and that I’d live my life by a moral code. I’m very honest with my children. I make sure we openly communicate about the things they’re walking through and feeling. I make sure they can see both sides of a story, that their views are not only one-sided.

My husband and I are examples for the kids, who see that we work out our problems. There’s no screaming or name-calling. We always try to find solutions – and there is always a solution.

Whenever something’s bothering me, I remind myself that I am the problem and I am the solution. Remembering that, and forgiving, definitely help.

– Rita James

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