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.
I met Leilihana and her daughter whilst shopping at Coop – they were doing demos of their wonderful products – and I just loved the purity and sacredness of what they were creating. I see so many people buy products filled with chemicals, with no idea how harmful it is! Lalila Beauty is truly a beauty product line that you can trust and which is amazing for your skin!
My journey with botanical aromatics and oils begins in India, where I was born. My female ancestors have always produced all their snack-foods and body-care cosmetics at home, due to strict rules of purity in accordance with our Brahmin culture. I was always around the herbal ingredients traditionally used and loved watching the womenfolk concoct all their wonderful aromatic stuff at home. You might say that I am genetically programmed to produce cosmetics by hand!
In 2012, my daughter decided to join me in the business.
I myself handcraft all my cosmetics in small batches. I am much, much less a businesswoman and more a traveller on a path, as there is a very ancient sacred path attached to the blending and using of genuine flower oils. In this tradition, the flowers and their exquisite oils are viewed as the sacred body of Goddess Mother Earth, and as such are to be treated with utmost respect, reverence and love.
1) What inspired you to embark on this Journey with botanical aromatics and oils?
Botanical aromatics and oils have been a huge part of the culture I was born into. In India, aromatics have been used for health, beautification, rituals and worship from time immemorial. There are ancient documents (clay tablets) from Egypt from over 5,000 years ago that describe ship-loads of aromatics being imported from India.
As a child, I used to go to the old traditional Attar Bazaars, set up throughout little lanes in Old Delhi, and I was fascinated by the tiny hand-blown vials filled with just a soupcon of highly fragrant scents. In our home, I watched the women-folk of my family hand produce all of their own body-care and cosmetics due to the strict laws of purity we followed. This was something women in our culture had been doing for centuries.
When I grew older and was living in the States, I found myself chronically unsatisfied with body-care products I purchased, so I started making my own at home and would give some to friends as gifts. Pretty soon everyone wanted to buy the stuff from me. So I fell into the business more or less by accident. I have always been a big fan of fragrant flowers, so it was very natural for me to connect with the study of Aromatherapy.
2) There is a very ancient and sacred path attached to the blending of precious flower oils…Do you personally make all of your own cosmetics and if so share with us a little of this sacred process…
There is in fact a sacred path attached to the production of pure botanical body-care products. It has to do with the Great Mother Goddess – Mother Earth. Flowers and herbs are seen as her sacred body and are to be treated with great reverence and respect. Rather than treat botanical cosmetics as inanimate items that exist solely to perform a service for us, we prefer to go to these cosmetics with love and humility and request to share in the infinite beauty of Mother Nature.
I don’t grow and process the flowers myself – though some day I hope to! At this point, I am just the blender/creator. I tell people that Mother Nature creates the magical molecules and I’m just her humble conduit. I blend her ingredients and fill jars with them. The main sacred process involved in the creation of my line is that one has to be committed to walking on the path of integrity, love for all the universe and living a life with a guileless heart filled with unconditional love and free of all judgement, anger, hatred, violence, greed, selfishness, etc. You get the picture!
It isn’t enough that one’s heart is pure only while blending the oils. One needs to try to be in this awareness all the time if one is to attempt connecting with the Goddess. It’s a way of life. The oils pick up on this energy and start to work so much more efficiently in bringing balance and beauty to us.
3) You say: “The aromatic oils and lipids (waxes) contained within flower petals are amazing substances.” Tell us about the powerful healing effect that these can have upon ones skin and our brain chemistry?
Flowers oils and lipids are extremely rich in instruction or information molecules. They add this intelligence or information to the cells in our skin, hair, nails, etc. The language that these instructions are written is a language that is understood by human cells, animal cells, etc. It is a common language of living systems. The main instruction in flowers is to “make attractive” all the cells they come in contact with. This is because the plants depend upon the flower being as attractive as possible to attract the pollinators since the future life of the plant depends upon this. Flower oils and lipids, quite miraculously, seem to create a wormhole or shortcut right through the foundation of health and take us straight into the realm of beauty. It may sound weird, but they grant us good health by default by taking us into the realm of beauty.
Amazingly, but not surprisingly, flower oils have been shown to balance brain neurochemistry as well as better connect the two hemispheres of the brain. The aroma of natural flowers stimulate pleasure centers in the brain and this triggers the production of beneficial de-stressing neurotransmitters. Stress chemicals in the blood stream can be physically neutralized by flower oils. This improves health overall, especially as so many illness are caused and/or made worse by stress.
4) 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?
The greatest challenges in my life were the loss of my father at the tender, young age of 12 and then the loss of my firstborn child at the age of 22. These incidents have colored my life forever. The flower oils have been indispensable tools in helping me overcome the extreme grief over the years. They’ve helped immensely in my journey of spiritual soul-growth.
5) What is your greatest hope for our planet at this time?
My greatest hope for our planet is that our heart, as the collective human race, becomes full of love and reverence for our great Mother Earth. When our hearts are filled with love, we will be more willing to make the sacrifices needed to make the necessary changes that will heal our biosphere. It all goes back to love in the end – as indeed love was there in the very beginning of creation itself.
What Journey are you on?