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

 

here + now

Michelle Vink Michelle Vink innovative marketer. yogi. whole-picture see’er.

Michelle Vink is a Brand Strategist for her company, VinkMedia. She is a dedicated yogi and lives with her dog, Kazuki where they try to do their part in making the world a better place, appreciating every moment. [www.vinkmedia.com]

I was standing in the elevator watching everyone on their smart phones – e-mailing, Facebooking, Foursquaring, Tweeting, Yelping, texting and ignoring the people around them. Not even a kind gesture as the doors opened and everyone pushed their way out. We were so detached from each other.

As a publicist in Los Angeles, I was constantly on my phone and always in a rush. I was as guilty as anyone. However, I had just started reading a book called Be Here Now and immediately noticed how disconnected we were, even with all of these new forms of communication.

Around the same time, I decided to try out a new yoga studio. I’ve always found yoga postures to be helpful with relieving muscle tension. Not to mention, it always gives me 90 minutes of “me” time. After stumbling upon a little yoga studio near my home, I met yoga instructor and guru Shad Cruz.

Walking in for the first time, I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace. Then he opened the class with a vibrating OM that lingered for what seemed to be the most harmonious minutes of my life. It was clear this was much more than a yoga class. This would be a transformational experience.

So it began. Every day at 6pm: yoga. At the end of each day, I could regain perspective, clarity, focus, strength and gratitude. Shad’s beautifully articulate chants and postures helped me to find balance, improving both my physical and mental health. I was so hungry for more knowledge that Shad suggested I explore yoga further and recommended several books. This new inspiration naturally made me want to know everything.

I was beginning to see the whole picture. All these years of attending yoga, I had focused only on the physical elements. I never understood that the breaths and postures were not only a vehicle to gain physical, mental and emotional strength, but also an opportunity to find a higher purpose in my life.

For the first time, I felt truly connected to my mind, body and spirit. I was starting to understand what it meant to live in the now. I was starting to connect with other human beings in a meaningful way, outside of technology.

Now I understand what it means to truly be here now, and I don’t want to miss a minute of it.

– Michelle Vink 

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