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Beautiful Voices is our ongoing blog series that highlights inspiring, empowering women. Our most recent Beautiful Voice is Tonya Ruanto. See what she says when Annmarie asks her some questions about her own personal beauty.
I live simply. I write. I read. I learn. I teach. I music. I love. I wife. I mother. I think all souls are equal…The way I earn money to survive is the least of what defines me. Check out Tonya’s blog Soul Pony and Instagram.
Who do you feel you are today?
Today, in this moment, I am a woman excited to share in this amazing space in the company of so many lovely people. I am in love with life. I’m in love with the sun, moon, stars, wind, rain trees, earth, hearts, minds and souls. I am happy.
What event has defined your life?
I couldn’t speak to this at all if I didn’t say it was having my children. I was a single mother for a lot of years. Seeing who my children have become makes me marvel at what we created together. They made me a better person than I would have been without them. My youngest son Skyler came to this earth with a soul more evolved than I am even today. When he looked at me, even before he could talk, I could see myself reflect in his eyes and I knew if I was on the right path. My older son Lance has a unique ability to make me laugh at my own ridiculousness. He finds a way to be happy through whatever he encounters and being in his presence makes those around him happy as well.
What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My greatest challenge was overcoming small town religious beliefs that held me like I was a prisoner thinking that perfection would be the only key to my release.
I never liked sitting in church listening to condemnation of any type. It never felt right to me. Then I found and read Kindle My Heart by Swami Chidvilasananda and it opened the door to the possibility that there was another way to think. Of course, that was only the beginning. After that, there was Marianne Williamson, Wayne Dyer and so many others who helped me move forward and out of such limiting beliefs. I can look back now and see the map evolving that got me where I am now by following the crumbs that were dropped just for me. It has been a magical path.
If money was no object what would you be doing?
I’d do what I’ve always done but it alone would make me a living so I never have to work a 9 to 5 job again. If you asked my father who’s the most stubborn person he’s ever met, he’d say me. And he’d tell you I was born that way. In my stubbornness, I’ve always went my own way. I’ve never understood what the heck peer pressure is. If money were no object I’d find a way to make as many people happy in life as possible. I don’t mind making them mad first. It goes back to my stubbornness. I’d rather make you not like me by speaking the truth than see you sad. I always speak my truth. If you do that you have to be prepared to accept the consequences. I have found over the years that in accepting the consequences that sometimes when it seems like in the beginning that you lost, in the end, you actually win. You’d be surprised how often that happens and that is why it is best to be true to who you are without fear. It is why I write the way I write and why I write about the things I write. If I reach one person with the frankness of my truth, the outreach could be immeasurable. They might teach another person to love purely and that person might take that act on down the road and teach masses. It’s endless if you think about it.
What makes you feel beautiful?
This may seem like I’ve gone off the rails but stick with me. I am in my car a lot so I’ve tried to make it into a sanctuary. One of the built-in compartments is full of different crystals, I have a faux sheepskin across the bench part of the backseat with a plush decorative pillow. I have a smudge spray that I use to keep the energy feeling nice in there. I love having the windows open even in the winter when I sometimes have to run the heat at the same time. I also keep an iPod filled with my favorite music and audio books. This car has something to soothe all the senses. So, now I’ve set the scene. I contemplated this question on my way to work this morning in this car. I just allowed myself to be filled with gratitude for the life I have. I have been enveloped by the two must gentle arms in the universe for almost 20 years now. My husband makes me feel loved exactly as I am. I have amazing grown children who make me feel so proud at their gentleness with the smaller souls of the world and who I know will not contribute to inequality in any form. I have a mother, brothers and a sister and their families who feel like another home to me when I am around them even though our views may never be the same. This is when I feel the most beautiful. When I sit in the calm and look at what I’ve been given. I am blessed beyond measure. I feel beautiful.
What are your words of wisdom to other beauties out there?
If you allow the way the world has molded you to melt away and try to bring forth the perfection you were at birth, you will finally be the you that you were meant to be. EXACTLY who you are is the answer.
Isn’t she beautiful?
“Teaching People About Beauty From the Inside Out”
(If you’re interested in being featured as one of our Beautiful Voices, please email us at [email protected].)