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
I don’t view freedom as a nebulous, free-wheeling, barefoot-dancing, sky-flying way of being. For me, freedom is having a clear, authentic, grounded view of myself that opens me to power and to confidence that lets me truly choose to be in and act from who I am. Freedom is having the consciousness to choose authenticity during beautiful as well as ugly moments. Freedom is accessing our always-available greatness and goodness easily and consistently.
I initially tasted that sense of freedom when I was ten and came in second-to-last in my first running race. The mental and physical dance required of me under duress unveiled a joy that – even to my young self – felt like truth. I felt so free that I had no intellectual connection to my poor performance. I’ve devoted my life to exploring that experience. What I understood then and have continued to explore, is that freedom is really amazing when it isn’t easy to acquire. We find freedom when we’re comfortable in discomfort, peaceful in the face of the storm.
Freedom can show up in the feeling of appreciation for my strong body after I’ve run for hours in the desert in 120-degree heat, in seeing the beauty and goodness in a loved one in the same moment we’re having a heated disagreement, and in knowing I can always be at ease in the truth of the struggle – if I let myself.
When I became a professional triathlete, dealing with the elation and significant rigors of day-to-day immersion in training, racing, and travel, I learned that freedom is the combination of balancing body and mind while realizing that what I have access to is limitless. I am limitless. This limitless freedom allows me to be open to the next opportunity of creating something big from nothing.
I bring that sense of limitlessness into adventure racing, ultra running, adventure travel, mountaineering, and nurturing my business – and the adventure continues. In all my endeavors, I’m free in knowing that I’m not living a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” life. I’m living in the eye of an authentic life.
Freedom comes when we’re being in and adapting to whatever is presented to us now. Big freedom is simply being comfortable in now.
– Terri Schneider
Explore More Meaning
award-winning journalist. mommy. limit-defying potentialist.
Catt Sadler is an Emmy Award-winning journalist. She founded and is president of the Hollywood chapter of Women Like Us, a foundation started by her mother to enhance the lives of women in need around the globe. [www.womenlikeusfoundation.org/hollywood]