Hi Ria, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important thing I feel I have learned through my journey is that uncertainty is certain. When you connect into who you are, you become fearless. You become one with the unknown. The unknown is where the magic to create lives. When you become perfectly comfortable with the unknown, you learn to enjoy the ride of uncertainty. You begin to allow each moment to unfold as a divine surprise. You become less attached to what happens and know deep down it’s exactly what you need to experience you. You begin to trust. You begin to trust the force that we are connected to. You begin to trust in yourself, and safety becomes real. This journey into ourselves can be difficult or effortless. It’s up to us. What will we choose? Love or control? Fear or hate? Trust or insecurity? Illusion or truth? Ego or spirit? It’s our path. It’s our choice. I do my best to use my time wisely. I heal every day. I believe that every moment is an extension of the conscious or unconscious self. If you have created pain in your external environment, then there is pain stored inside you that needs love. This is sign to heal…to breathe. That very act gives the conscious self an opportunity to create a soulful existence…a life that is meaningful to you. every day we get a chance to heal and turn more of our fear into freedom…taking us closer and closer to true contentment. It’s this practice of every day healing that allows me/us to stay connected to the innate nature of the universe…to stay in the flow of you. When we create experiences that are euphoric, remember…the moments that are uncomfortable are the very thing that create the moments of bliss. SO…allow the natural ebb and flow of life because all things are divine and all things connect. Each time you remember that, you will appreciate right now. You will begin to recognize that nothing has ever been certain and that it is actually uncertainty that makes the magic possible…it’s what creates space for a miracle. Being able to change is a requirement. Allow it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a self-taught artist and healer. Life’s circumstances gave me a big push into everything I didn’t know and couldn’t see. I ran with it and chose to create a life outside of the box. I didn’t want to be confined by the world’s conditioning or my own unconscious programming. I wanted to dig deep and find the answers to the questions I didn’t even know I had. I had a genuine need to find a way to heal and uncover the meaning to life was. It was urgent for me. I was in such a state of grief that I needed find a cure. I had no idea what was inside of me or even that there could be something within me that could create beauty on canvas or in humanity. As I began my journey within, my healing process and my painting organically emerged. I began to trust myself and uncover my self-doubt all at the same time. I opened the Pandora’s box. I opened my soul. I unleashed my creativity. It has been both euphoric and tumultuous and heals me every day. My art (my healing and painting) was my path into myself and over twenty years later, it still is my way to listen to my soul. It taught me how to let go and trust in myself enough to not need anyone to validate me. I learned to respect my own natural rhythm and flow. As I continued to persevere, the act of creating and trusting myself naturally ushered those I needed to continue to deepen my art. Over time, I strengthened my vision and designed my mantra collection, products that support and assist you in your daily ability to sustain your truth. I immersed myself in my creativity and in the lessons of love. I am in awe at the connections made and learning involved in creating. None of it was easy but all of it was a beautiful labor of love. The biggest challenge was to let go of an overall goal and timing. Nothing was on my minds time. Because my creation is about the acceptance and expression of spirit I could never get away with pushing or forcing anything into existence. It all an energy of its own. The moment I let go of control, it was the moment it all came together as if it emerged out of thin air. Every part of my brand emerged from healing myself. Nothing was or is premeditated. Again, the moment I think I know what’s about the happen is the moment the cosmos lets me know I do not. And in those moments, I am deeply humbled and dropped into this state of grace, willingness and miracle. We are a part of something so much bigger. And in the intimacy and vulnerability within myself, I learned to flow. I learned create without attachment and as a channel of beauty and light. The invention of all parts of my brand, brought me the practice of living life like are…of allowing all moments to unfold into a perfectly perfect surprise. I am grateful. Our creativity comes from source which means when we create, we are blessed to tap into the most sacred and meaningful parts of ourselves.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
This is a tough one because I have so many favorites. I would start with a cortado and pastry at GTA on Abbot Kinney mixed with a nice stroll then a blow out at Matthew at his salon Matthew Preece Salon in Santa Monica. He makes me feel SO loved which would only start the day off right! From there pop into Superba for cheesy eggs or avocado toast. Head downtown to the Broad. Love it there. I would chill there for a bit and maybe head to Bottega Louie for lunch and Nutella beignets. Yummy. Or come back to abbot Kinney and either do Plant Food and Wine or Gjelina. From there we could drive up the coast to Malibu and do some shopping at the Mart or hang on the beach. Then come back down to ONE Spa at Shutters for a massage and a glass of champagne before and after. Have to keep breathing in the incredible ocean air.. Then finish with a late dinner at Capo down the street. Again, this is a tough question to answer because Los Angeles is filled with so much beauty and uniqueness…so many nooks to enjoy.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
This is a tough one because I feel like every single person I have crossed paths with has inspired me to become more love. I find it incredible how a perfect stranger and adversary can absolutely change your life. I would not have become who I am without the simultaneous death of my family. My father, mother, brother, sister are without a doubt the catalyst for my spiritual awakening and my deep desire to serve every day. My grandparents Thomas and Rosie were the two people who gave me the unconditional love I needed to believe again. Mwalimu Imara was one of the most extraordinary humans I have ever known. He will always hold space as the person who saved me and introduced me to myself. He was the kind of spiritual leader the world needs…raw, real and in the trenches with us all. He introduced me to the God/Universe/Cosmic Evolution that is all loving and powerful…the part of all of us that we need more than ever right now…the part of us our planet needs from every single of one. us. May he and my family be truly resting in the most peaceful place possible. Joanne Laboy is a selfless artist and therapist who is the one who held space for me during the worst part of my grief. Without her, I would most certainly not be here. She is alive and creating and living her dream. Makes me so happy. My children, Jacob and Lia are my absolute greatest healer and teacher. Together they taught me how to embrace my darkness, dream, and soul. They force me into the part of me that needs me. There is no greater gift I could ever. ask for. I have lived an amazing life full of so much pain, beauty, and miracle. I am unbelievably grateful to each soul I have met and every experience I have had along this golden walk into the spectacular unknown. We all need each other to believe in the best parts of humanity.
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Anne Yarbrough Photography