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
Surrender is a loaded word, conjuring up images of defeat. Growing up with five brothers, I learned early on that only the strong survive. Life was about winning. Our days were a series of board games, contests, and secret clubs in the attic where we had to prove our worth to belong. Surrender was unthinkable unless we were being dangled by our feet over the third floor stairwell, and even then we did it with our fingers crossed behind our backs. Surrender was for sissies.
This philosophy framed my thinking as I ventured out into the world. I would win at life, too. I knew the rules. I knew how to be nice to others and work hard. Winning was fantastic! That is, until I started losing. Losing sleep, losing interest, losing a sense of real meaning and purpose to life amidst all the frenetic activity and endless repetition that filled my days. Something important was missing.
My marriage and family began to fall apart, and I along with it. I was so tired of competing that I wanted to fling the game board across the room and turn my head so I didn’t see where the pieces of my life scattered. One bleak day, I raised my white flag and did the unthinkable. I gave up. I put my future in God’s hands. When I look back now, I see that it had nothing to do with weakness.
Surrendering was the strongest moment of my life.
Choosing surrender as a lifestyle is about letting go of shoulds and musts and embracing life as it unfolds. It’s about living in the present and accepting ambiguity as part of a divine process. Trusting in a greater power to teach, guide, and reveal opportunity for good works when the time is right. Accepting that each of us is a Helper Bee, not the Queen. The moment I stopped controlling outcomes and threw away the almighty checklist was the moment magic, grace, and profound peace found their way back into my days.
It’s difficult to let go of cultural expectations. From a very young age we’re taught, consciously and subconsciously, what happiness is supposed to look like. Surrender demands that we push our hand, palm out and fingers spread wide, against the seductive pull of a materialistic culture that promises a deep, lasting peace it cannot provide. Letting go of these limiting cultural myths and norms allows us the freedom to reach within ourselves and find out who we’re meant to be.
– Susan Pohlman
Explore More Meaning
loss educator. transition encourager. hope infuser.
Carole Brody Fleet is a popular motivational speaker, helping people touched by the pain and challenge of loss, regardless of age. She's been a regular guest on local, regional, national, and international media programs. [www.widowswearstilettos.com]
mom. TED-talker. no-bullsh**er.
Sophie Chiche, founder of lifebyme.com, is the single mom of an amazing 16-year-old, Leah, and wicked step-mom of 22-year-old, Sarah. They all live in LA. You can find them boxing, cooking, collaging, hosting brunches, laughing their head off or bickering over who's washing and who's drying the dishes.