My name is Annabel Ruffell and I am the founder of Journey for Earth, a global awareness company committed to inspiring change for humanity, the environment and animals, one choice at a time.
Gail Brenner, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and blogger based in Santa Barbara, CA. Her work involves helping people identify and move through undermining habits so they can realize that true happiness is possible. Her blog, A Flourishing Life (AFlourishingLife.com), offers inspiring articles for discovering that peace and joy are available in this very moment.
1) What Journey are You on?
The journey I am on is not about getting anywhere or finding something that is missing. It is the journey back to here, to presence, and the realization that true peace and enduring happiness are always available in this now moment. Our conditioned habits and attachment to the mind create stress and dis-ease. I have a great willingness to recognize all conditioning before it grabs me and to live fully, at ease with life as it unfolds moment to moment.
2) What has been one of your greatest challenges over the years, either with the work that you do or in another area of your life, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge has been to recognize that any limitations are self-created. I used to wonder why I didn’t know my purpose in life and why others were getting the recognition I thought I deserved. I spent my time feeding these thoughts about comparing myself to others and having the sense that something was missing in me, all motivated by unexplored fear. No wonder I felt limited!
I have since discovered that none of those thoughts define who I am. When I get out of the way by not attaching my attention to any thoughts or feelings, conditioning falls away, revealing the fullness of presence that needs nothing extra. There are no more concerns about purpose or recognition – only the in-the-moment living of this beautiful life.
3) What is your greatest hope for our planet at this time?
Hope is not a concept that is meaningful to me because it refers to the future, which exists only as a thought in our minds. If change happens, it happens in the now. What I do know is that when we realize the truth of who we actually are, we discover that nothing is separate from anything else. Everywhere we look, we see ourselves. Every tree, person, blade of grass appears as a separate form but in reality is one with the totality of life. From that perspective, all action comes from love.
I don’t hope for things to be different than they are, as this contains a subtle dissatisfaction with how things are now. But my prayer is for all of life to see through confusion and return to itself – free, unconditioned, infinitely generous, overflowing with possibility.
What Journey are YOU on?