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.

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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

 

god

Shareen Mitchell Shareen Mitchell innovative designer. fashion trendy. in-flight companion.

Shareen Mitchell founded Shareen Vintage in 2004 out of a small booth at the Fairfax Flea Market. She has since launched Shareen, Inc., with vintage locations in Downtown Los Angeles and New York City. [www.shareen.com]

Thirteen with braces, trying hard to be grown up.

We took off from Logan.

I asked him if he was alone.

“Yup,” he said. “My first flight without my mom and dad.”

I asked if he was ok. He nodded his head like a tough guy, in spite of his turned up nose, bangs and braces. “Oh yeah, it’s cool. I’ve flown a lot.”

“Oh, OK,” I said. Impressed.

When we were up in the air, I had trouble with my Wi-Fi, and he helped me. He had trouble using his gift card, and I helped him.

He offered me his Pringles, and I declined. “Oh, you don’t want to go down that road,” I said. ”Those things are dangerous for me. I’ll go through your whole box.” I smiled.

When we were almost in New Mexico, he asked me if that was the Grand Canyon. “Oh no,” I said. “When you are over the Grand Canyon you know it.” And we spoke on the Canyon and did some research on my iPad and found out it was in Arizona.

Just past Arizona, where we did not see the canyon, he passed me the Pringles box and said, “Do you want them?” I peered into the box as this thirteen-year-old boy said,”There are only three left. You can have them now. It won’t be dangerous.” I took them, thanked him, and told him that I had been hungry.

When we were in the base of California he said, “I guess we’re going to make it.” And I, surprised by the remark, said, “Oh yeah, we’re going to make it. We’re safe.”

“Uh, huh,” he said nodding like a cool dude, looking out the window, all casual. Then he said, “You know, I admit that when we left I had butterflies in my stomach a little.”

“That’s normal,” I said. “See, if everything goes well it’s easy to be relaxed. But we think about if something goes wrong, and then, it’s scary being without the people we love.”

“Yeah,” he said looking at me as if he was surprised that I might admit that.

I looked away and back to my work, just to be casual about it. Then I said, “Just so you know, if anything goes wrong, I have your back, OK? I’ve got you covered.”

He looked at me. His little haircut, his braces, just barely past his moms lap.

“Cool” he said. And then after a moment, looking out the window and across the blue sky, he added, “Well, just so you know. I’ve got your back too,” looking at me as if he was climbing a mountain.

“Oh, wow. Thank you,” I said. “I appreciate that very much because, you know, I’m flying alone too.”

We sat back in silence.

And I thought, right there, that is God.

I loved that boy. I would have died for him.

– Shareen Mitchell

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