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

 

intimacy

Susan Hayden Susan Hayden library girl. love giver. social creator.

Susan Hayden is a mother, poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, montage artist, community builder, and grief center volunteer. She thrives on long walks and long talks, never-ending friendship, horses, Paris, good coffee, and Americana music.

How do I show up in my life, for myself first and then for others? How do I find meaning? Through intimacy. I define my days by connecting to the truth of where I stand, by letting those around me in, and by creating and building community.

I write poems and stories to identify my own truths. I share my words in public readings to connect to others. My mission has always been the search for identity and belonging and a home for myself on this Earth.

More recently, my work has been about healing from grief after loss.

I shared two decades with my husband and creative partner, a true companion who was the top layer of me, the other side of my heart, my emergency contact. When I lost him suddenly and traumatically, I was forced to rebuild my life from the ground up and raise our child alone.

After my husband’s death, every close relationship I had changed. I didn’t know who I was without The Other. Autonomy was an unknown concept. But, early on, rather than asking, Why did this happen to me?, I insisted on asking, How can I grow from this and be more?

The awareness of impermanence was and is a harsh but beautiful lesson in gratitude and presence. Our loss pushed me and my son back into the world. We re-entered the spirit of our family as active participants, engaged and exchanging with other artists. We yearned for live events and deep connection. We wanted to feel alive, to stretch time, to feel a part of something greater than us. For my son, that’s about writing songs and making music. For me, it’s about writing and reading and listening to the spoken word.

I yearned to start something new that would reflect where I’d been before but at the same time build community and bring new voices to the forefront. So I created Library Girl, a literary series at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica, where writers of my choosing come together and read from their work, based on a theme.

I don’t find meaning by hiding out, but by engaging in life, by diving in, opening up, and being available for connection. I create my life by showing up for myself and others. It’s about being uncovered and revealed. It’s being able to say, I wrote this and want to share it with you. I want to hear your words, too. What do you have to say? Come closer.

– Susan Hayden

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