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Monique Ruffin
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Author, activist, life coach, and mother, Monique Ruffin has dedicated her life to living and teaching that we will change the world with a spiritual approach to all of life's experiences. Raised in Los Angeles by her grandmother, Ruffin was the child of drug-addicted, often imprisoned parents. This challenge, along with her grandmother’s life-saving love and guidance, serve as her activism’s foundation and inspiration.

Ruffin received her BA in political science from Howard University and a master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica. She has worked and studied with some of the leading spiritual teachers of our time, including Dr. Michael Beckwith of the Agape International Spiritual Center and Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of Calling in “The One.” Today she coaches, writes, and spends lots of time with her son. Her mission is to assist in creating a world where the secular serves the sacredness and well-being of all people.

Entries by Monique Ruffin

My Final Thoughts on '12 Years a Slave'

(4) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 9:34 AM

Now that all the Oscar fanfare is over, I'd like to call attention to what Lupita's Nyong'o's portrayal of Patsey really means for me and possibly other black American women who are descendants of slaves.

When I saw 12 Years a Slave, I found myself squirming in my seat....

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Matthew McConaughey Thanks God at Oscars

(1) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 7:26 PM

I was really surprised by Matthew McConaughey's Oscar acceptance speech at the Oscars. I've attended a handful of the award shows, most recently the NAACP awards show where every award recipient thanks God. When McConaughey took center stage last night I was not surprised. Everyone I know who...

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The View on Breastfeeding

(2) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 10:14 AM

The sight of a nursing woman's breast does not make me uncomfortable. As a matter of fact, it has the opposite effect. Because I breastfed my son and recall the feeling of oxytocin being released when the baby latches on, seeing a mom breastfeeding triggers a feeling in me of...

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My Third Metric Life

(1) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 1:31 PM

Because I was raised in the United States with our culture's focus on income and status, I must continually force myself to look within at what I've achieved. Seven years ago I gave birth to a magical child -- a child full of life, bouncing off the walls...

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Mid-Life Dating: It Can Be Great

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2014 | 10:37 AM

My latest episode of Generation Sex, about midlife dating, was the most fun to shoot thus far. I found myself completely surprised by my guests' attitudes about dating. I was honestly shocked that contemporary women aren't willing to let a man know they are interested in him. I've never been shy about give a man the signals that I'm open to getting to know him. I was also surprised how much dating changes for men as they age. My guest Barry Selby, an author and love coach, proved that men are more open to love than we paint them to be. Midlife dating, in my humble opinion, is not like dating as a young person. At forty-five years old, I'm not willing to wait around to be chosen by a man. I remember years ago sitting by the phone, hoping he'd call. Or even worse, crying my eyes out because he hadn't called, and I thought for sure he was the one. I bet I thought this about a hundred or more different men. Today I can look back at who I was in my twenties with love in my heart and gratitude for journey I've taken to get here, to my true authentic self.

So many of us are surprised to find that we are back in the market, having discovered that happily ever after sometimes means happy until you're not any more. In fact, for over 50 percent of us, divorce happens, and that means we get to do it over. And the best part about doing it over is doing it differently than we did it the first time around. We have a chance to date with new eyes and new attitudes about life.

My main suggestion for midlife dating is to date with intention. For instance, when I date now, my intention is to always be authentic, have an open heart, and have fun. We call ourselves forward with our intentions, and when I say forward I mean just that. We don't get to hide from ourselves or keep secrets from ourselves when we set an honest intention. For instance, when I was younger, my intention in dating was to get married. That was it; I wanted to get married. This meant I had an intention that required someone else's participation for its fulfillment. That was pretty dangerous, because we can never control what others want or desire, and we're sure to have many disappointments when our happiness is attached to the choices of others. I think an intention should be something we desire for ourselves that we can partner with the universe to create. With an intention that puts me at the helm of my experience, I'm not waiting or needing anyone be anything but himself, and I'm being myself in order to have a good time. And don't kid yourself that you have to be some "ideal" person to get someone else's interest; I've had more second dates, proclamations of love, and requests for long-term commitment now that I show up with an intention to be authentic.

I heard a guest on Bethenny suggest that men love women who are indifferent to them--therefore a "take it or leave it" attitude is the way to "land" a relationship. But to me this advice might fly in the fact of one's authentic self. We can't really fake indifference. I can't tell you how many people told me years ago that I should act like I don't care. "He will come to you if you can just act cool," they'd say. But is "acting cool" who we really are? Either we feel coolly toward someone or we don't. If we're too thirsty, we're too thirsty. The best thing we can do is bless it and keep it moving. If we try to be someone we're not, it's bound to reveal itself in the long run. It's like holding pee, the need might go away for second but you know it hasn't actually left. The only "cure" for being desperate and thirsty is acknowledgment and self-love. We must love ourselves right where we are, release the tendency to judge and blame ourselves as often as we need. And when it's time this energy will release us into fulfillment and bliss. (Therapy might help also!)

Midlife dating is proving to be very fun for this girl. I love meeting new men and having great conversations. I'm relishing how surprising life can be, and I've realized I don't know half as much as I thought I did. I've gotten to the point where even my bad dates are good, because these experiences just give me more information for the next time. And it's entertaining--I couldn't make up some of the stuff I've been...

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Single on Valentine's Day

(1) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 12:59 PM

Several years ago my now ex-husband, then boyfriend, told me that his prayer for me was that I would know how beautiful I was. These words penetrated deep inside of me because I had never been told I was beautiful in such a pure way. In addition to those heartfelt...

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Beyoncé Giving Us Goddess

(5) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 8:39 AM

Beyoncé's recent Grammy performance has generated a lot of discussion about what's appropriate behavior for a woman, mother, and wife. Seeing Beyoncé twisting and turning, scantily clad on stage in front of millions of people, has hit a national nerve.

There was time when I would cringe at the...

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How My Church Hijacked My Vagina

(7) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 2:00 PM

Just like the Christian church asks us to believe that the earth is only 6,000 years old (rather than 4.5 billion years), it also asks us to believe that a female sexuality is something that creates obstacles for men, rending them weak and helpless. Therefore a godly woman is a...

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What Blocks Our Sexual Freedom?

(0) Comments | Posted January 10, 2014 | 2:41 PM

I am one lucky woman, because I have the opportunity to speak openly and honestly with women about my favorite subject all day long--female sexuality. I seem to have an energy that makes most people feel comfortable, and they freely to reveal things to me that they've rarely or never...

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Devouring the Forbidden Fruit

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2014 | 7:36 PM

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Naomi Wolf's latest book, Vagina, is my new bible. And yes, this from a licensed spiritual practitioner and former devoted Christian.

Two years ago I started on a very deliberate journey to discover what I was...

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Let Anna Mae Eat Cake

(1) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 10:48 PM

Artistic expression has the power to transform and transcend cultural norms. It is the artist who can push a society pass its boundaries and divisions into a new ways of thinking. For me, Beyoncé's eponymous new album does just this for women who strive toward a feminine, empowered expression in...

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Joelle Bercovitch: Moms Change the World

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 1:49 PM

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Photo Courtesy of Anthony Pino

Joelle Bercovitch emanates a particular kind of sweetness, along with a rooted sense of confidence that everything is and will work out just fine. Her new endeavor as a restaurant owner has proven to her...

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Moms Change the World: Manda Ghaferi

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 2:49 PM

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I often tell people that I've never met a mom who doesn't work. This is my response to those who want to have what I consider the ridiculous conversation about whether moms should moms work or stay at home. What I've learned from...

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Moms Change the World: Kali Sampson

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2013 | 11:56 PM

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Small and strong, Kali Sampson is overflowing with power and happy energy. When you look closely at her you can see the muscle definition in her body, and you know this mom means business. Her...

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Moms Change the World: Deanna Kendall

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 1:33 AM

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There is a spirit to motherhood that nurtures, that exudes compassion and loves unconditionally. These qualities are not exclusive to women who give birth. Deanna Kendall is one of those moms. She has worked for over twenty-three years educating people about...

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Moms Change the World: Cynthia Occelli

(0) Comments | Posted June 10, 2013 | 1:28 AM

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Cynthia Occelli might very well might be an incarnation of Venus, right here on planet earth, and we should listen to what she has to say. Occelli, the author of Resurrecting Venus, has made it her mission to assist women...

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Moms Change the World: Rosanna Llorens

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 7:53 PM

There's nothing I love more than marveling at a mom who has discovered her ability to make something out of nothing. You know those women who can take two sticks, a rock, and some dirt and build a home. Okay maybe that's a little far-fetched, but you get my point....

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Moms Change the World: Wendy Ida

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 11:31 AM

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Wendy Ida's dream is to help women over forty find the strength and power within themselves to change their lives--and she is living her dream every day. Ida believes that you can change everything about your life at any time, if you...

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Moms Change the World: April Peveteaux

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 4:56 PM

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April Peveteaux possesses a quality of southern warmth accented with a subtle sophistication . Her height and beauty could easily land her on the cover fashion magazine and her humor will have your belly aching from laughter. However, for this...

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Moms Change the World: Clemence Gossett

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Walking through the farmers' market in Santa Monica with Clemence Gossett, you'll discover that she's a bit of a celebrity in her community. Several times she stops to speak with vendors and farmers. With her youngest son sucking on a strawberry, red juice dripping down his chin, she...

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