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My name is Annabel Ruffell and I am the founder of Journey for Earth, a socially conscious media company that shares the personal journeys of inspiring individuals making a positive impact in the world.

I decided to ask 8 parents to answer the question: What Journey are YOU on?

Our journeys can inspire each other, create connection, empower. And I know for myself when I talk to another parent, hear about their journey, the love, the acceptance, the beauty, the ups and downs, the commitment to be better, to be more patient…it inspires me to be the best parent I can be…and also understand that none of us are perfect…we are just doing our best. I hope in sharing the journeys of these wonderful parents it inspires you too on your journey.

Nada, mother to Dillon 2 1/2  and Quinn 8 months, wife to a wonderful man, Brian, attorney, and all around music lover and spiritual explorer.

family picWhat journey am I on?  Wow, what a big question.

It’s funny. While I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about that question, in my day-to-day life, it is central to my very being. When I became a mom, my choices suddenly felt like they really mattered.  My choices for my sons, but equally important, my choices for myself, my husband, my family, my friends, and, ultimately, the world felt more palpable. What drives me to a great degree is the desire to raise good, strong, kind, empathetic beings in this world.  Little boys who are loved well enough, fully, deeply, so that they grow into strong, kind, just men. Men who will make this world better in at least some small way.

What I say to them, what I expose them to, how I nourish them, impacts how they will grow up. But I can’t be the kind of mother I so desperately want to be for my boys unless I live my entire life the way I want to be in the world — to be the best version of myself as often as possible . . . to live a life that opens me to feeling the peace inside, being love, feeling satisfied, living from that place.  When I live in that space, I am more patient with my sweet little monkeys — more loving, softer, stern when necessary, just protective enough to keep them safe while giving them as much room as possible to fly.  This fine balance is sometimes hard to navigate.  When I’m tight inside, living a life that feels wrong, I am tight with my boys, short with my words, harder, less loving.  So, I choose to consciously soften, breathe, be real, present, open, and loving — not only when I’m with them, but in each moment, with everything that I encounter. That is the journey I am on now.

Lisa, mother to Luca 3, Co-owner Organic Kids LA, actress, writer.

LisaLucaI hear a lot of people say “I never thought this is where I would be at this age”. I don’t think I ever thought about where I would be at any age. I certainly never planned to be where I am now at the age I am now but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Where am I now?

I have a 3 year old boy I live with who I bet I have known for a thousand lifetimes. I barely knew his dad when I got pregnant with him and I was pretty sure the dad was not for me but never was there a doubt the child was not for me. He is a constant mirror for all of my foibles. All the therapy I’ve done maybe has prepared me in some way but this child is now real life incarnate and I have no choice but to face up to all the “bad stuff” that has lived in me. All the guilt, shame, doubt, worry, fear, blahdy, blahdy, yuck stuff I don’t want to deal with. I no longer have the luxury of sleeping in and dealing with this or that “issue” after my morning meditation, my coffee, my workout, my leisurely stroll. I deal with all of whatever needs to be dealt with full on, day to day, sometimes minute to minute and as I look back at the last 3 years, I have never felt more alive, more fulfilled, more productive and more like all my dreams are coming true.

I am so far from being the best mom I want to be. I yell too much. I lose my patience too much. I sometimes giggle or gasp when I should be wholeheartedly understanding that my child just told me for the umpteenth time that his penis is big again and do I want to take a look.
But I remind myself that I am doing my best. And I know I am. So I can only hope that deep down he knows I am. After all that’s all we can ever ask of anyone, including, most importantly ourselves.

Raul, father to Melina 3.

Raul and MelinaI don’t think we’re ever on just one Journey at any given time. Right now, I think I’m on a Journey of Recovery, a Journey of Fatherhood, and a Journey of Self-Realization, all at the same time. My Journey of Recovery is probably the most unique of the three. Since my wife took her own life just before our daughter turned 3 months old, I’ve been trying to reconcile my own guilt over her death, determining my role in improving the way our society treats postpartum depression, learning to be vulnerable again, trying to raise my daughter, as a single parent, in a positive manner that also takes into account how I believe my wife would have wanted our daughter to be raised, and trying to rediscover/balance my larger purpose for this world beyond simply being a parent.

Deanna Dylan Scott mother to Ever 2 1/2, actress, writer, filmmaker, advocate for all animals, devoted vegan.

DeannaEVERI am on a journey of creation and compassion. I am an artist so my job is to express and create beyond reservation or fear. True art comes from within and just flows. The challenge is to leave the critiquing to the critics and keep moving forward.

I have a strong sense of justice and compassion so I feel it is my responsibility to stand up for those without a voice. When we degrade others and use them we become less not more.

For as long as I live I will fight for better treatment and respect for animals. It’s a horrible ideology to allow and support the objectification, abuse and murder of the innocent and different. Parents take their kids to petting zoos and have family pets to teach kindness toward animals. Then there is a slow conditioning to teach them to believe it is also “normal” and necessary to torture certain animals if they have something that is desired or can be used. This dichotomy is teaching children to be hypocritical. There is another way and I hope my family can be one example of living well without hurting others.

In everything I do there is a little person watching, my daughter and I want her to grow up knowing that standing up is necessary. Sitting on the sidelines and allowing injustice is not an option, even if it has become a cultural norm.

I am striving to become whole and live up to my potential. I know I will make mistakes along the way but each time I will pick myself up and try again to do my best, to do something. My journey will have twists and turns and be rich with mystery but I know I will create and my compassion will make a difference to those I am able to reach.

Dan Ewen, father of twins, Gardner and Moxie (5 next month), Comedy writer, vegan, Hummus aficionado. @VaguelyFunnyDan on your Twitter machine.

DankidsI am blessed with boy/girl twins, a complete set all at once. From a year on, my son began raiding his sister’s clothing drawer. To this day his interests are traditionally “female”, whether it’s helping Mama choose her outfits each day, or playing princess with his sister. I am on a journey to set aside my notions of what my father and son relationship would be. I am on a journey to make my son know that he is perfect, and that I’m just as happy taking him to ballet class as I would be to teeball practice. My journey is to embrace my children with unconditional love and acceptance, that they might become their best, most secure selves.
Laingo Raza, mother to Charles-Arnaud 2 1/2, Yoga teacher.

lllI’m on the journey of starting  my new  job as a full-time  Traveling  Vinyasa Yoga teacher, becoming a Mum for the second time in  December, and a mother of an unschooled toddler, gathering creativity and self-confidence with my husband as we were inspired by this path for our 2,5 years old son‘s education, so he can learn Life by his interests, get closer to nature and grow with a passion for life and travel.

I quit my job in an airline earlier this year, followed my intuition and took a four week yoga training in Brasil (after having practiced yoga for six years). We choose to live on less income but with greater awareness of the little joys life is offering. Raising our child in a natural way, trusting his and our intuition is often misjudged by other people, consuming in a more mindful way. We want to show that there is another way to live in this hectic life: listening to our inner force and trusting it, daring to make the necessary changes and adjustments no matter how radical and painful they can be. Light is at the end of the path and taking very good care and saving our planet’s resources.

We are really happy to share positive, encouraging  advice with anyone willing to make a change in their lives. We hope to raise our child in a tolerant, open–minded way, showing them to be respectful of nature and all beings, and to help people see that happiness is available for everyone when you let the sun in.

Neva Cole, mother to 23 month old daughter, Actor, Producer.

nevas2013. I think of how we are bombarded with information. Much is critical, worrisome, and/or downright criminal. Climate change, fracking, gun violence, war crimes, GMO’s, political stagnancy, pollution, and more. How do we navigate this and survive? How can we turn it around? How do we get better? These are things we ponder at some point, or even hour by hour. When I look into the eyes of my child. I am then bombarded with different information. I see endless wonder and curiosity. I see great compassion and honesty. Pure hope. True Love. It’s Love…LOVE. Then I’m reminded to come back to center. To do what I can in my corner of the world. To do, speak, conduct myself that best benefits each moment I can be active in. The more we, as individuals, and parents can do more of that – it spreads. It affects your household, your interactions with people, which touches your community and so forth. That’s what changes things. Your INFLUENCE and DILIGENCE on a micro scale effects the “macro” of all things. We will falter, stumble, and downright embarrass ourselves from time to time, but lets try to keep it to a minimum. Hold on to and find solace in that pure LOVE we find within our children -within our own hearts and we will make a WORLD of difference. That’s my journey…join me.

Axel Pforter, father to Alexander 4, who lost his Beloved, is on this parenting journey as a single parent.

axelMy journey at the moment is shared with my 4 year old boy. One of discovery and deepening connections, mother earth our guide. Seeking the moment, shedding preconceptions, exploring the beauty around us. To sit in awe at the miracle of a spider’s web. Play and let imaginations run wild. Climb trees, roll down hills, run barefoot. Sleep under the stars, walk by moonlight. Travel with eyes and hearts open, embrace situations and people as journeys meet. Close eyed, listen to the world and its many dwellers, large and small. Look inside often, observing. Embrace emotions as they bubble. try to apply patience and acceptance. As an individual, a father and part of this wonder, no happiness is greater than seeing things for what they really are.

http://www.journeyforearth.com

What Journey are YOU on?