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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.

On a regular basis I am also going to be posting other peoples articles that I find inspiring – and also inviting people to submit a piece – on the topics of: environment, animals, humanity, health, parenting, and anything else that inspires thought, connection and supports us in being the best that we can be.

I was led to Kendra’s website by a lovely email she wrote to me thanking me for my website and inspiration. I of course was inspired by Kendra…her story, her writing and her light and inspiration. I knew I had to share her honest and beautiful writing. In her words below:

My name is Kendra and I am a 29 year old stroke survivor who has a new lease on life. You can call me Stroked to Life :).

After surviving a cerebral venous thrombosis at 25, I have found myself drinking in life. (For the complete story you can click here and here) I try to savor each and every experience. I am a stay at home mom to a beautiful little girl as well as an interior designer. I love all things art, interior design (obviously), photography, reading, and writing. I love KU Basketball (how could you not?) and laughing with friends and family.

I want people to know that even when you have the worst of experiences, there is a life after the ickiness and it can be filled with as much beauty as you want it to be.


In Pursuit of Forgiving

2013 was just like any other year, full of high points and really low points.  My last post was in November and after rereading it, shedding more tears over it, and discovering that it resonated with several people in my life-I sat back and realized that I have a problem–

a serious problem-


not a fleeting, express it, and it’ll pass anger but an anger that I know that if allowed to fester I am in danger of becoming someone that I am loathe to become.

I’ve seen what anger does to individuals. How it erodes someone inside and out, how it pushes away the people who want to love you, and how it becomes a poison that no one wants to willingly partake of. .

and so since my last post I set out on a quest of forgiveness. I told my sisters I was going to call it 365 days of Forgiveness. . .

the only problem is–I did not have the foggiest idea where to start.

I tried a couple of things but the anger came back around. . . .

and in the midst of it life continued, things happened. Depression set in–

of course I told very few people,

and they all lovingly gave their varying opinions as to what I should try. . .

and each suggestion sounded good. . .

until I realized that there was a bigger problem underneath it all-

underneath all my anger, depression, frustration, exasperation. . .

I wasn’t happy.

Life is good.

I am blessed. .

but the days are stretching on and each day seems less like a blessing and more like a never ending void that is soon to swallow me whole.

I know that I have to do something, to change, because this isn’t what I want my life to be. I want my life to be full.

Back in July, when my sister Jen had given me my birthday basket she included the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I read a few pages at the time and then life took over but last week, I picked up the book and read because even if it didn’t contain all of the answers I am searching for, it contained an answer. . .

so I read. .

and by the end of the introduction I had decided that 2014=My Happiness Project.

I wrote down my monthly resolutions-every thing that I have been wanting to do since my stroke but have been too overwhelmed, too unwell to attempt, was listed..

Hope started to bubble

and I wondered if I became happier if I would be able to forgive. . do forgiveness and happiness go hand in hand I scribbled down?

“Happy people,” I read, “generally are more forgiving, helpful, and charitable, have better self-control and are more tolerant of frustration than unhappy people. . . .”–an answer!

so 2014 is my happiness project–the year I tackle all the things I’ve been wanting to and the year

I get a bit closer to becoming myself.

I don’t know if it’s going to work, I don’t know if by reading this book and doing 12 months of resolutions I’m going to be happier, but it is something I am certainly willing to try

because as a friend said

“Isn’t happiness worth a try?”


(One of the suggestions that Gretchen makes it to have a photo a day or a one sentence journal for each day-I’ve opted for a photo a day, and to keep it from getting too boring my photos will go hand in hand with the theme of my monthly resolutions)


What Journey are YOU on?