Monique Ruffin is a celebration of living. She is one of those people that folks say has “A beautiful soul”.

And I completely understand why.

Monique grew up in the neighborhood of Watts in Los Angeles. Yes, that Watts. It’s where Sanford And Sons was set, and was where Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke duke it out in Training Day.

That neighborhood is not known for many empowering things, but it’s where Monique called home.

Growing up in an area impacted by crack, with parents in and out of jail, many wouldn’t have been surprised if Monique failed to transcend her environment. But she did, and in a big way.

Monique is a mother, writer, creator, coach, radio host and group facilitator. But most of all she’s an example of what it looks like to live with heart, authenticity, courage, vulnerability and realness.

In our conversation, Monique and I talk about her childhood, the lessons she’s learned as a mother, and how we can all grow beyond our circumstances.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

How to understand yourself so you can navigate life’s challenging circumstances
The power of being curious
2 profound takeaways from motherhood