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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.

3 weeks ago I asked 8 parents to answer the question: What Journey are YOU on? Their responses were so beautiful, heartfelt, honest and touching that I knew I had to do it again…and again! So here is Part 3 of “Parenting Journeys” featuring 3 inspiring mothers.

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.

Yashoda, mother to 4 year old Narayan and four teenage step-children, creator of Cosmic Women’s Tribe, yoga/meditation teacher.

yashodaAt the age of thirty-one becoming a first time mother with my son and acquiring four teenage step-children through my partnership was an awakening experience.  To parent a toddler and teenager at the same time has been expansive.  It allows for me to see into the future, past and present.  I have learned a lot from my partner and all the year’s of his conscious parenting. It has really stretched me out of my comfort zone, belief system’s, pattern’s, trigger’s and allowed for me to let go of what I think I know based off my childhood upbringing, life experience, etc.  To stop thinking small and start thinking broad. I silently observed and implemented what was most authentic to my heart.  It is ever evolving.

If I could simplify what my journey has been thus far it would be having the awareness of raising conscious children while truly honoring the unique expression of each of their beings.  To find a balance of providing wisdom, tools, love, support, guidance and really allowing for the individual soul to unfold before me.  I am not interested in creating a mini me.  I am interested in creating a dynamic generation that is brighter, more loving, conscious, aware, open, free, peaceful, authentic, deeply wise, etc than I was.  True evolution.

As I journey within myself I see that what my heart desires most is freedom from the time bound self, infinite possibilities and genuine, ridiculous happiness.  To allow for my karma to be frictionless and to absolutely live my soul purpose/dharma.  As a parent I could only hope to give that to my children.  To step out of their way so they can live their purpose sooner than later.  To show them they are the universe embodied and that everything is possible.

My son is my heart and the absolute love of my life.  I know we have traveled through many life times together.  I see it in his eye’s when he looks at me and I feel it in my heart.  We are so deeply connected.  I really honor him as a powerful, all-knowing soul and at the same it is important to me that he learn from a strong, loving, compassionate, conscious, balanced, wise, successful goddess.  This inspires me to go beyond myself and be my fullest potential in this lifetime.  A walking example of what I preach.  Mind you it is a humbling practice that he has inspired me to embody.  Motherhood fiercely shows me my depth, best self as well as what absolutely no longer serves me.

I always say that children come to us to teach us real unconditional love and what we have not been able to learn on our own.  Finding grace, wisdom, love, compassion, wellness, gratitude, etc is all that I practice in parenthood.  My biggest intention as a parent is to really see the big picture; the macro.  To parent for the future and be in the now.  To trust in the all knowing self and know that each soul that lives in my house with me is bound to me through karma and dharma.  All is perfectly, imperfect.

Andrea Meyer. Author. Journalist. Screenwriter. Mom. And not necessarily in that order. Mom to Aidan, 5.

Bahamas lobbyMy journey began five and a half years ago, when my son, Aidan, was born. To say it was the most wonderful day of my life is an understatement. This was a thunderclap. This was a lightning bolt. This was total transformation. (You can read the whole messy tale here:  http://www.babble.com/pregnancy/giving-birth/giving-birth-story-long-labor/)

As Aidan and I got to know each other, as our rhythms fell into sync, as my feelings for him deepened, my world shrunk down to the size of this one small boy. When Aidan was about two months old, my husband dragged me out to a Bruce Springsteen concert. I kicked and screamed, but went along because it was his birthday—and spent the whole night crying and moaning to my babysitter/mom on the phone about how much I missed him. As the months went on, I would force myself to get a sitter for a couple of hours and go to a coffee shop to write. But instead I would gaze at pictures of my son on my computer and whimper. Writing became a thing of the past, a hazy fantasy I couldn’t quite seem to wrap my hands around, a frustrated desire that kept slipping through my fingers like water.

When Aidan was almost a year old, I started a blog: http://dreamama.wordpress.com/ I called it I Don’t Have Time to Write This! Here’s a bit of what I wrote in my very first post: “I have a baby and he consumes every second of my waking life. When I’m not gazing into his big brown eyes and singing to him about how he’s the cutest boy in the whole wide world or chasing him around the kitchen island saying, ‘I’m gonna getcha, I’m gonna getcha’…when I’m not changing his diaper or helping him crawl up the slide at the playground or fishing a eucalyptus leaf out of his mouth with my finger, then he’s probably asleep and I’m probably…lying comatose on the couch wishing I had the energy to write, but knowing that I have mushy mommy brain and should probably take a nap or wash the dishes or puree some more zucchini. ‘Cause god knows I don’t have it in me to write… I love this boy more than I ever could imagine loving anything. And I never for a minute resent him for taking my time. There is nothing I’d rather do than spend every minute of my day with him. And yet, in Life Before Aidan, I didn’t have just any job. I was a writer. I loved my work so much I would do it for free… I loved writing and I loved being a writer… I loved aching to write and wishing I could write and procrastinating for hours so that I could get one really good paragraph down on the page. I loved walking around New York City hearing bits of my book playing through my head and rushing home to write them down and being one of the lucky few who truly love what they do with their lives.”

Aidan is five now. It’s been four years since that first post and I am still struggling to find the balance between motherhood and my creative life. Aidan is in kindergarten, so I have more time to myself, but it is still a challenge. Since my professional heyday, I’ve moved from New York to Los Angeles to Boston, and I’ve lost bits and pieces of myself along the way. Some of them I was ready to shed. (Or if I didn’t realize I was ready at the time, at least now I know that being the best mom possible to Aidan is more important than seeing five movies a week or getting invited to the best film biz parties.) But there are still things from that former life that do matter to me. I was lighter then. I laughed and danced more easily. I was proud of myself for what I had accomplished professionally. Along with the beauty and wonder and wow!, motherhood brings with it worry and compromise, and I’d like to be able to tap into some of my earlier carefree spirit. And I still want to be the best writer I can be. I want to find the space in my life for that.

Like I said all those years ago, in that first blog post, “I miss that part of my life… And while I don’t blame a lot of my mommy friends for giving up their jobs to be full-time moms—I totally get that choice—I can’t do it. I love writing too much. It’s a part of my identity that I cherish and I’m not ready to give it up.”

What’s my journey? My journey is finding my way back to myself, all the while being the best, most present mom possible to Aidan. Finding the balance I’ve been seeking. Finding that sweet spot that will bring happiness and peace to my husband, to my son and to myself.

Cat, a mom to 6 year old Gunner and 11 year old Blade, human napkin, charm peddler, cancer kicker, bully fighter, bag knitter, good food foodie.

551206_10151867607747418_673500053_nAs the oldest daughter in a family with 6 children, I was born to be a mom. I knew it early on. I babysat my siblings early and moved on to changing the diapers of many kids in town. Later in college, I became a nanny for a wonderful family and loved every minute of it. When I moved out of state, I was welcomed into folds of another family and I joyfully help mold and nurture 3 beautiful young ladies.

One day, I finally became a mother myself. Oh, Happy Day! I always thought my biggest fear would be that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed or that I wouldn’t hear my babies cry at night. Oh no…that was a piece of cake. Down the road it was leaving an unhealthy marriage so that my boys would be protected. I wanted them to feel safe. I wanted them to BE safe. So I packed up a few backpacks and headed north on a midnight train with 2 young ones. I know, this sounds like a Victoria Holt story line…but I assure you it was far from romantic. Was it an act of love? Absolutely.

Fast forward one year…and the words “breast cancer” is thrown into the mix. Oh, sure. Bring it on! What’s next?? JK…do not ask that question. EVER. Seriously. DO NOT EVER. I TRULY am blessed as I march forward to slay this beast with a phenomenal team of doctors by my side. After 10+ surgeries and chemo, I am left with slew of health issues all while still being Mom/Dad/Chauffeur/Cook/Referee. Oh, my word!! Bring back the worry about breastfeeding, please! Now I worry about how they are dealing with a mom with cancer. Are they afraid I am dying? Do they fear THEY will get sick next? Will I be able watch them grow up? Who will make them healthy non-GMO meals? What if I can’t be here to teach them how to love, respect, honor, cherish, be brave and seek God in all things? What if………? Just Breathe. Then be still and listen. I had all the tools I needed. Faith…Hope…and Love.

As hard as it was on some days, I never asked “Why me?”. Nope. I said “Thank you, Lord, that you chose me….and not my children”. I learned to Trust The Journey…..it was mine and I was going to own it. I lost my hair, my breasts, all of my “girly parts”, and most of my modesty….but never the inner tiger that this mom is. You can’t steal that, cancer, no matter how hard you try! These days I am off and on as fibromyalgia has joined the party. Wheeeee! I have good days and I have bad days….but they are MY days and I am blessed.

http://www.journeyforearth.com

What Journey are YOU on?