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.

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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.

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

 

serve

Nancy Bardacke Nancy Bardacke mindful midwife. inner peace seeker. be-er.

Nancy Bardacke is the founding director and leader of the Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting program, and an assistant clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Nursing. [www.mindfulbirthing.org]

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been aware of suffering and had a strong inclination to help and be of service. It seems logical to use my energy while I’m here to do something that leaves the world a bit kinder than it was before I came into it.

The reality of impermanence – knowing there are more years behind me than ahead of me – is a great motivator for living my life as fully as I can in the present moment. There’s no time to waste. Sharing the work I love while I’m still here to share it brings me meaning and joy.

My life has constantly guided me in finding my particular way to serve. When I was ten, I witnessed the death of my father. When I gave birth to my first son, I felt the calling to serve by becoming a midwife. Then, 30 years ago, I began a mindfulness meditation practice and began regularly attending silent meditation retreats. 

My most profound turning point came when I attended a training retreat for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, which teaches mindfulness meditation to people with all sorts of physical and mental health challenges.

There was a moment during that retreat when everything shifted and a passion was ignited to create a childbirth education course with mindfulness meditation as its foundation. In that moment, I saw a way to bring together my two passions – mindful meditation and serving expectant families. I’ve described life after that moment as feeling like my hair is on fire.

Sometimes, though, I find myself caught up in thinking about the past or worrying about the future. Sometimes I’m just plain tired, because I’ve been spending too much time in doing mode and need to make time for just being. So I slow down. I do less and just be more. Then the deep caring, creativity, and happiness that motivate me return all by themselves.

In my younger days, I spent a lot of time running around looking for answers outside myself. It was only when I began to meditate that I discovered the inner compass that’s helped me find what’s meaningful for me. Now I know how important it is find a practice of inner discipline – a meditation or movement practice. Anything that helps you train your mind, body, and heart to be in the present moment will help you cultivate patience, ease, and joy as you find your way to what’s truly meaningful for you.

Nancy Bardacke

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