There is a misconception that “holistic” is interchangeable with “natural.” While those who choose to live a holistic lifestyle often appreciate natural (organic food, non-synthetic materials, a reduction in chemical exposure etc.) living, the essence of “holistic” stretches far beyond home-grown.

To live holistically is to recognize the value of the “whole” through its interconnected parts.

Let’s take human beings for example. You have probably heard the term body/mind/spirit. It’s a bit overused in a “new age” sense, but for good reason. Body/mind/spirit is the essence of who you are. Put another way, you have experiences in the physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual realms. To negate or dismiss any of these parts of yourself, significantly limits your full potential to experience optimal health, sustainable healing/recovery, and elevated creative expression.

A visionary trusts her intuition and steps forward into ideas through imagination and wisdom. She trespasses when necessary, gives voice to those whose speech is silent, and knows she is always co-creating her reality.

There are many holistic visionaries among us; some are well-known, others shuffle by nameless.

I’m here to give a shout out to 15 holistic visionaries I recognize as powerful healers and extraordinary teachers, who have creatively used their privilege to help repair damage where damage has been done. I will highlight the qualities that have touched me, wowed me, and left me wanting more.

In alphabetical order…

Abraham (by way of Esther Hicks)Esther Hicks

Abraham is a metaphysical teacher who helps pave the way for the everyday-human to experience simplicity, joy, and abundance. Taken from the website of Esther Hicks, Abraham is defined as “a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension.” Based on the theory of the law of attraction, Abraham’s messages are brought to the surface through the voice, books, and teachings of Esther Hicks. In simple terms, Abraham explains that you manifest what you focus on whether it is what you want or don’t want. With a bucketful of humor, Esther Hicks opens the gate to Abraham’s teachings as we learn to make the connection between our “vibration,” and stepping into the “vortex” in order to live in alignment with our desires. One word for Abraham—transformational.

Brian ClementBrian Clement

Brian is the director of the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. He and his wife, Anna Clement, have carried on the tradition of “living food as medicine” from early visionary, Ann Wigmore. Dr. Clement’s dedication to cutting edge research in the field of nutrition and health, along with his no-BS delivery, has supported the institute’s ability to provide true “medicine,” resulting in the transformation of many people from chronic “incurable” dis-ease to wellness. One word for Brian Clement—compelling.

Christiane NorthrupChristiane Northrup

Christiane is an author and OB/GYN physician who has been a pioneer in women’s health for decades. She does not mince words when teaching about your “inner game,”—your mindset that produces bliss or leads to catastrophe. Dr. Northrup, however, does not focus on what can go wrong; she advocates for everything that is “right” about you and your health right now. Dr. Northrup’s newest book, Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Wellbeing, is mega-inspiring as it provides a complete twist on what it means to grow older. One word for Christiane Northrup—empowering.

Danielle LaPorteDanielle LaPorte

Danielle is a teacher, author, and blogger at DanielleLaPorte. She delivers daily “truth bombs,” a.k.a. profound daily inspirations via email, social media, and a deck o’ cards. In a take-it-or-leave-it-fashion, Danielle reflects on life lessons based on the spiritual practice of paying attention to her emotions and intuition. Her latest and wildly creative book, The Desire Map, will take you through an in-depth journey to discover your “core desired feelings” and teach you how to use them to design the life you want. Danielle is surrounded by a dedicated community of women entrepreneurs in the online space. One word for Danielle LaPorte—fresh.

Dan McDonald a.k.a. “The Life Regenerator”Dan McDonald

Dan brought me back around to veggie juicing via his YouTube channel in 2010, after I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type II. Dan, a “raw foodist,” advocates a simple, basic (rather than gourmet) path of living by eating healing foods—fresh, organic fruit and vegetables. He is a teacher who combines solid, plant-based nutrition with spiritual practice. I have watched countless, inspiring videos of Dan making a variety of vegetable juices while explaining the healing benefits of each plant and herb. Dan does not hide his vulnerability; when he falls, he’ll take you in, when he rises, he’ll lift you up. One word for Dan McDonald—vibrant.

Emily RosenEmily Rosen

Emily is the director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here you will find Emily wearing a couple of different hats. She oversees the institute’s business development strategies through online education and is a master teacher of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind Body Nutrition. Emily is a co-host of the Psychology of Eating Podcast along with the institute’s founder, Marc David. Having healed her own struggles with food and body image, Emily reaches out to help others combat similar struggles. Her heart-centered compassion shines boldly through her audio presentations and video blog. One word for Emily Rosen—genuine.

Isabel Foxen DukeIsabel Foxen Duke

Isabel takes a glaring stand to alleviate women’s suffering from self/body-hatred. She has helped women move away from a diet-mentality mindset in order to break free from the debilitating, food-fighting-crazy-making vicious cycle. To “stop feeling crazy around food,” Isabel will teach you that before your behaviors can change, your thinking needs to change. Isabel sends out free weekly coaching emails, has a kick-ass free guide, How To Not Eat Cake… really fast, standing up, when nobody’s looking, and has wait list only availability for individual coaching. Isabel’s free video training series, Stop Fighting Food, has just relaunched, and the Stop Fighting Food Master Class is open NOW. One word for Isabel Foxen Duke—outspoken.

Joseph MercolaJoseph Mercola

Joseph is an author and osteopathic physician who provides a continuous, steady stream of articles that break down the complexities of up-to-date, cutting-edge, and oftentimes heavily-biased research on health, illness, prevention, and recovery. Dr. Mercola is dedicated to exposing mass media hype and corrupt, corporate and government propaganda that is meant to mislead you down a road of pill-poppin’, health-poverty, and chronic dis-ease. Dr. Mercola will tell you what works in natural medicine, why and how it works, and how you can integrate into your daily lifestyle practices. One word for Joseph Mercola—trustworthy.

Julie PiattJulie Piatt

Julie is a musician, yoga teacher, and plant-based chef. I first became aware of Julie when I heard her speaking on her husband, Rich Roll’s, podcast. Julie shared how in the beginning of her relationship with Rich, she tried very hard to change him into something he wasn’t. Through her practice of meditation, yoga, and music-making, she was able to release the confines within her own mind, and set herself and her husband free. Shortly after, of course, he did the changing all on his own. Julie moves from a spiritual base, as do all the healers on this page. Her delectable plant-based meals show up in true color on Instagram, and you can find her eCookbook, Jai Seed, and 30-minute meditation program, Jai Release, on her website. One word for Julie Piatt—authentic.

Kris CarrKris Carr

Kris is an author and creator of the Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution, an online community of folks taking back their health one plant-based meal at a time. Kris went through her own profound transformation, kickin’ cancer to the curb and set forth to share her message of natural health and healing. The go-go-go life of an entrepreneur with an online business and so many social media outlets can create a fast-paced rhythm for sure. Kris teaches by example how to slow down, align with the pace of the wilderness where she lives in Woodstock, NY, and take refuge from the chatter. Kris has fun contests on her website where she gives away juicers and blenders, and has an array of Crazy Sexy books to choose from. She is an animal lover and an advocate of animal rescue. One word for Kris Carr—compassionate.

Marianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson

Marianne is a thought leader, author, and transformative spokesperson for our generation. She is a spiritual teacher and lecturer of A Course in Miracles—a self-study course that examines a spiritual thought system based on love, as applied to everyday living. In 1992 (I was twenty-seven years old), Marianne’s first book, A Return to Love, burst the culture wide open with messages from of A Course in Miracles. I learned there are basically two emotions—love and fear—and everything else is a branch of one or the other. I could choose a thought system based on love or default to one based in fear. Through the decades I have been profoundly moved by Marianne’s teachings on love, fear, anger, relationships, communication, money, spirituality, and work. Over the last decade, Marianne has integrated spirituality within a strong social context and awareness toward cultural competency. She speaks out for our children, those in poverty, and our brothers and sisters at the mercy of the prison system. One word for Marianne Williamson—magnificent.

Matt MonarchMatt Monarch

Matt is the owner of The Raw Food World—an online marketplace for high-quality raw foods, supplements, juicers, blenders, books, natural beauty products and more. Each month he offers “at cost specials” where you can find your favorite items at significantly lower prices and discover many new products as well. Matt is an educator, lecturer, and passionate raw foods/whole foods advocate. Over a decade ago, Matt learned the health benefits of eating living foods and switched to a 100% raw food meal plan overnight; he has never looked back. Matt and his wife, Angela, and their daughter Oria, moved from the U.S. to Vilcabamba, a village in the southern region of Ecuador, where the air quality is known to be pristine. Matt teaches spiritual alignment through the path of a whole foods/raw food lifestyle and has set out to reach the masses through his YouTube channel and Google+ hangouts. One word for Matt Monarch—passionate.

Michael FrantiMichael Franti

Michael is a singer, songwriter, rapper, and outspoken voice against the plight of oppression as it relates to everyday people. Through his lyrics and videos, Michael seeks to break through limiting beliefs of “us and them” that have continued to oppress targeted populations with classism, racism, sexism, homophobia, and able-bodyism. Michael and his San Francisco Bay Area based band, Spearhead, make heartfelt music that elevates the spirit, exposes corporate corruption, and helps people rise up from despair. Michael is a practicing yogi with a thriving community of fans, supporters, and wellness advocates. Michael Franti and Spearhead’s latest song and video, Once A Day, can be seen here. One word for Michael Franti—revolutionary.

Pedram ShojaiPedram Shojai

Pedram is a film maker, host of The Health Bridge podcast, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and self-proclaimed “urban monk.” Pedram’s two recent films, Vitality and Origins, are beautifully landscaped to take you on a mystical journey, exploring questions about where we came from, how our planet is existing in its current state of toxicity, what our “healthcare” system is really about, and what steps you can take to improve the quality of your life. For the past 20 years, Pedram has studied yoga, meditation, Kung Fu, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and medicine. Through creative expression of art, film, audio, and written word, Pedram shares insights discovered in his exploration of East West integrative health and healing. One word for Pedram Shojai—creative.

Will TuttleWill Tuttle

Will is an educator, speaker, musician, and author of The World Peace Diet. This is a book that tilted my perspective and gave me one of those once-in-a-lifetime ‘aha’ moments. The subtitle of Dr. Tuttle’s book says it best, Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony. Dr. Tuttle believes that the root cause of suffering on our planet starts with the unfathomable suffering of our animals, and the healing of our planet and all species can only occur when we ceasefire to the unnecessary slaughter. Due to the nature of the abuse—cruelty, power over, and death—The World Peace Diet can be challenging to read and digest fully. However, facing the truth of this phenomenon that exists all around you (though often tucked away in barns and silos made invisible to the public eye), provides the opportunity to face the truth head on and make informed decisions about your place in the world. On a lighter note, Dr Tuttle’s solo piano orchestrations will take you on a journey of inspirational and delicate, light-heart-openings. One word for Will Tuttle—peacemaker.

There you have it… 15 holistic visionaries you need to get up close and personal with. Their experiences, research, information, transformation, and heart goes a long, long way. If you have stories to share about these folks, or any other holistic visionaries you’d like to give a shout out to, I’d love to hear what YOU have to say in the comments below.

Peaceful healing,

Dr. Nicki