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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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kiss sorrows

Jennifer Boykin Jennifer Boykin grief embracer. courageous survivor. midlife midwife.

Jennifer Boykin's vision is to "rebrand a gazillion crones." She speaks, teaches, and writes as the Creative Visionary and Chief Rabble-Rouser of the MidLife Reinvention site Life After Tampons. [www.LifeAfterTampons.com]

Two years ago, I married an Italian man with three sons, so between us we have six sons. All my life, I’ve been around male energy. As I’ve started embracing more of the feminine in my mid-life, I’m being reintroduced to myself.

The work I’m doing now is the twenty-year culmination of my life vision of being an inspirational speaker and writer. I said that out loud for the first time after the death of my only daughter.

That loss was so deep. One of the things that’s frightening about the experience of deep suffering is the feeling of drowning, of never coming out the other side. I used to freak out when I started to feel myself bottoming out, until I realized that what we resist persists.

Going through something with a really long shelf life – like the death of a child – meant I needed to set some boundaries. Someone shared a tool with me which really helped, of making appointments with my sorrow or bereavement or anger.

I’d say, “My first bereavement appointment is from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m.” I’d set the kitchen timer for 15 minutes and just suffer – I’d stay with the loss. Then I’d stop and say, “Okay, my next appointment is at 11:30.” At 11:30, I’d sit down and find that I didn’t really have 15 minutes of sorrow, I had two that played over and over again.

Then, an hour later, if I started having sad thoughts about my dead baby, I’d say out loud, “Stop! Right now isn’t the time for that. Right now I’m driving on the freeway. There goes a Ford Taurus.” I’d say aloud what was in my personal present. “Right now I’m talking on the phone in my Vagina Room.” (That’s my pink room where the boys aren’t allowed.) “I’m looking at all the frilly things. The candle is lit. This is what’s actually going on right now.”

This tool also tells me if I’m a liar or not. Do I really want to get better? As the mother of a dead child, it would be socially acceptable to remain in pain and misery for the rest of my life. But I don’t honor my daughter by doing that. I honor her by being willing to experience the transformation of loss and suffering.

We only get better by going through. If we turn around and grab our sorrows by the ears and kiss them smack on the lips, they don’t have the power to scare us anymore.

– Jennifer Boykin

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