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

 

teaching

Shelley Cassidy Shelley Cassidy muralist. creativity inspirer. permanent inker.

London native Shelley Cassidy's artwork has been displayed in numerous private homes, offices, upscale retail spaces, and Los Angeles International Airport. She teaches budding painters and knows there's an artist within each of us. [www.shelleycassidy.com]

What gives my life most of its meaning is my art. Not just the magic of creating it, because that can become very insular. Teaching others how to create art is what drives me. Everyone who walks through the door of my studio brings their stories into my life. They’re vulnerable and they allow themselves to be seen. I find meaning when they trust me enough to lean into the process of creating art and when I see them grow – not only artistically, but spiritually – and feel myself growing along with them. I put that back into my own work.

I’m at a stage where I want to step into balance in all areas of my life. I’d always let my art eclipse everything else, but through teaching I’ve learned to bring myself into more equilibrium.

Recently, I was pushed against a wall and forced to look at myself. It was very hard in the beginning to be honest and real. Before I could figure out how to cope with the things I had to deal with, I had to learn to actually feel. Writing helped. I write streams of thoughts and let myself feel. The more I write, the easier things are. When I read over what I’ve written, I understand what I’m feeling and can start to breathe into it and find solace.

When I’m teaching, if someone’s really hard on themselves, erasing every line they’ve made, I give them a pen they can’t erase and say, “Just put the pen on the paper and go.” They start to scribble and scribble and out of it comes a drawing, comes something, and they look, and wow! 

I find it works to take everything away from people who are very hard on themselves and make them start again using tools they’re not comfortable with. That’s a metaphor for all of us. We get so comfortable we’re terrified to try something new, but when we do, it stretches us. That’s a good thing.

I want people to know someone’s out here rooting for them. I teach in a place where it’s safe, where we can become so much more than we believe we can be. I need that for myself, too.

I didn’t understand how much teaching would help me until the recession came along and I had to teach. I said, “Oh, I don’t want to do this. I’m an artist!” But my whole life changed. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

– Shelley Cassidy

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