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

 

compassion

Chisa Yamaguchi Chisa Yamaguchi grateful daughter. dancing inspirer. gentle pusher.

Chisa Yamaguchi is a performer and the Education Director of Diavolo Dance Theater, an internationally renowned modern acrobatic dance company. She's also a yoga instructor for IRIS, the new Cirque du Soleil show. [www.diavolo.org]

Every day I’m becoming exactly who I want to be. I choose to take risks, step into challenges, and push boundaries. I wake up and think, I asked for this. I asked to change the world and change myself in a better way. It’s so meaningful to know I can do that as a performer, creator, and educator. So many facets of my daily life circulate around the same ideas: How do I continue to grow while being of service to others? How do I make the world better through what I do?

Everything I do comes from a place of compassion and empathy. This is due to my upbringing and especially due to my mother. She’s such a heart-centered person. Throughout my life and career, she’s been there, selflessly supporting me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her understanding and compassion. Feeling connected to that energy is very healing and driving. It predominates the way I conduct myself and the choices I make.

A gift has been instilled in me. This isn’t a gift I need to cherish. It’s a gift I need to give away! Even as a performer, all this effort is an act of service. It stems from love. I will lovingly exert myself on stage to inspire someone else. I hope the effort I put out will help someone change – leaving the performance different from when they came in.

I hadn’t envisioned being a professional dancer. I found this path because I was raised to be open to all possibilities. I was so supported by my mother that I was not afraid to take risks and make mistakes. We all need compassion, love, and kindness to propel ourselves forward.

When I teach children or mentor other dancers, I try to pass along that same support. It’s a balance between understanding and a loving push. Some days we need to support others by gently pushing them and helping them to tough it out. Other days, we support them by letting them break down and cry, realizing that they’ve been pushed to the limit and need time to rejuvenate.

Compassion and support are contagious. I teach my students to be proud of who they are, without shunning the efforts of others. I work to build a community where we all essentially lean on each other. I’m not afraid to lean on you, and you know you can lean on me. By nurturing each other, we achieve our goals – not in spite of each other, but because of each other.

– Chisa Yamaguchi

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