8 - Becki Chernoff

Two decades ago, Becki Chernoff was living the so-called American Dream. She bought her own home at age 23, held a lucrative software job at Ford for 10 years… and was bored to death. So she packed up and moved to LA to work doing the two things she really loved: ceramics and “car hunting” (a profession we admittedly didn’t realize existed until now). She’s given up on the idea of having life figured out, and she couldn’t be happier.

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7 - Shira Lenchewski

Shira Lenchewski loves food so much, she never wants to make a choice between looking good and feeling good. That’s been her motivation to help others as a clinical nutritionist, whose practice has reached cult status in Los Angeles. (Yes, she writes for Goop.) Her goal: Teach people to enjoy the shit out of their food—and maybe watch their blood sugar along the way.

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6 - Aja Gabel

Aja Gabel has never loved anything as purely as she loves writing. When we sit down to discuss her debut novel, The Ensemble, our conversation quickly veers to the existential. Aja explains how she found her voice by learning to be comfortable alone—and that it’s ok to not live life according to a grand narrative.

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5 - Sister Mary Sean Hodges

Sister Mary Sean Hodges chose a lifetime of serving others when she was 17 years old. At the age of 60, she charted a new path of service, working with prison inmates to help them integrate back into society. She shares with us the things she’s learned along the way, including the universal need for balance and forgiveness.

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4 - Wendy Egyoku Nakao

According to Zen Buddhist Wendy Egyoku Nakao, life is not a straight line, or even a circle—it’s a spiral. In this fascinating conversation, we go deep about living in the present while recognizing past experiences, developing “spiritual muscles,” and the importance of choice.

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3 - Soraya La Pread

When Michael Jackson came over to hug her father Soraya La Pread knew her situation was unique. Born and raised in New Zealand to a Persian mother and the bassist of The Commodores Soraya now lives in Los Angeles working as a music producer and DJ.

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BirdDancer, Madonna, Reshma Gajjar, India
2 - Reshma Gajjar

Sometimes the world just isn’t ready for you. Dancer and actress Reshma Gajjar learned that early on, when she struggled to book gigs because of her ethnicity. But eventually the universe caught up—after a transformative experience working with children in India, Reshma returned stronger than ever to forge a career that has included film, television and  touring with Madonna.

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1 - Natalie Johns

Natalie Johns is an Emmy-nominated director who has devoted her life to sharing the stories of those without a voice. Her highly personal work has brought her profound understanding of the human experience—plus some compassion for herself along the way.

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