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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

Still I Vote -- and I Hope My Son Will Too

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 3:47 PM

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Today I took my son to our local polling place and into the voting booth with me. He is 7 years old. We are black and decedents of slaves. My son's great-grandfather was killed by white men in Mississippi in the...

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The Secret Epidemic, HIV

(0) Comments | Posted June 28, 2014 | 4:58 PM

Several weeks ago, HBO aired The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo, a film about Ned Weeks, a gay American who founded a prominent HIV advocacy group. The film portrays the early years of the AIDS crisis in New York's gay community and how the group united to fight...

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A Dose of Meditation for My Self-Hatred

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 1:14 PM

A while back it dawned on me. Well, it actually fell on me like a ton of bricks--my faithful companion was a nice dose of self-loathing. This wasn't the passing hatred that you might feel when you've been betrayed by a lover or mistreated by a superior in the office....

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Why Father's Day Is So Important For Daughters

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 3:02 PM

For nearly three weeks I've been facilitating The Father Project for some sixty-plus women. The project is designed to assist participants in healing whatever emotional trauma they encountered in their early childhood experiences with their fathers. The work can be deep and difficult for some women as they...

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Momma Was a Bad Mutha... 'Shut Yo Mouth'

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 3:19 PM

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Momma Was A Bad Mutha... "Shut Yo Mouth" , a one woman show written and performed by Fee King, directed by Sammie Wayne IV tells a universal coming of age story about Felisha King (A.K.A Fee).

Fee performs the story...

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Longing for a Father

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 2:05 PM

Until I got married and had a son, Father's Day had been a horrible day for me. Before then I'd never really understood the love between a father and his children. I was raised by my paternal grandmother because my father was a drug dealer and addict. I never expected...

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The Father Project

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 3:24 PM

Recently an old friend shared with me his sad story about the challenges he's facing co-parenting his daughter's mother. "She doesn't follow the court-appointed schedule. It's been weeks since I've seen my daughter. When she needs a sitter, why doesn't she call me?" The sadness in his eyes and the...

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Ancient Feminine Practices for a Contemporary World

(0) Comments | Posted May 13, 2014 | 12:55 PM

For the last decade I've been engaging in a growing conversation about feminine power. People are looking back at ancient understandings and exploring anew what it means to be feminine; what it means to embrace the goddess and bring balance to our hyper-masculine world. These voices are asking "Why do...

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12 Years a Clipper, Yawn...

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 9:20 AM

What I'm about to say will be very disturbing for many people, I understand. However, this recent outpouring of anger about Don Sterling, the owner of the Clippers, and what he was allegedly recorded saying by a woman he obviously trusted is sad and distasteful at best in my view....

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The Gay Wedding That Ruined My Idea of Marriage

(0) Comments | Posted April 27, 2014 | 5:17 PM

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Photo of Ray Ford and Roman Zenz, director of Urban Fruit, a documentary.

We stood at his door with the box marked Crate and Barrel. He marveled at the wedding gift, astonished that gifts would start arriving at the house right...

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My Final Thoughts on '12 Years a Slave'

(4) Comments | Posted March 7, 2014 | 10:34 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 | 8:26 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 | 11:14 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 | 2:31 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 | 11:37 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 | 1:59 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 | 9:39 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 | 3:00 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 | 3:41 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 | 8:36 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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