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

 

heart

Kaleigh Somers Kaleigh Somers budding author. life rewriter. scribble lover.

Kaleigh Somers studies Media Arts & Design and Creative Writing at James Madison University. She wants to publish a young adult novel and work for a non-profit dedicated to empowering young women. [www.kaleighsomers.wordpress.com]

I believe love grows into an action, into a way of being.

This is what’s meaningful to me: using my hands, my skills, to create love out of thin air.

For me, what’s good used to be easy to spot. The summer after high school, I fell blindly and accidentally for The Boy All The Girls Wanted, and he picked me. I spent late nights playing road races on the highway with boys I’d never met and I ended my evenings at the local diner, slurping a thick milkshake through a straw.

Then college rocked my world and, somewhere along the line, that Boy fell out of love with me and in love with the rest of the world, as if the two were mutually exclusive.

I turned to two vices to get through that long winter: controlling everything I ate and fumbling through classes in a hazy depression. I hit rock bottom and wanted to stay there. By mid-January, I ended up in therapy. In two years, I’d lost nearly 25 pounds.

I’m five feet tall on a good day and I’ve always been skinny, so when the weight fell off me in buckets, I looked like a walking dead girl from an infirmary in one of those low-budget horror films.

None of my friends at home understood and my roommates watched me like hawks, ready to see me start living my life again.

That summer, my family reminded me how much I loved Italian food and freedom. By August, I’d started a blog about little life moments and loving yourself.

When the emails and messages stacked my inbox, I realized that girls fell out of love with themselves all too often. Their words of hopelessness and despair keep me writing, wanting to help.

That was the first thing I was good at, and it’s the thing I remind myself of whenever I feel ready to hang my head and walk away.

My favorite novel, The Truth About Forever, by Sarah Dessen, keeps bringing me back to an image: a heart in an open palm.

Heart in hand. Doing something out of love.

That I can understand.

I’ve fallen in love with the girls who write to me and their stories. I write to remind them that love is an action and they deserve someone who loves hard every day.

We are defined by the actions we take – not by the people who stopped loving us.

– Kaleigh Somers

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