Meet Ashley Rani Singla. Her journey has been one of much contrast. It was when she realized that ‘success” as society labels it wasn’t her path anymore, she found her true calling. Ashley cherishes her alone time and this recognition brought into a journey of redefining motherhood for herself, particularly coming from a culture where the role of the mother is quite enmeshed in the lives of those around her. Ashley grew up in a village, a family of 12 where they had not one set of parents, but three mothers and three fathers sharing in the raising of all the children in the home. This early life experience is something she has now travelled back to, in recognizing that she too needs the support of a village in nurturing herself and raising healthy children. Ashley’s intentions is to support mothers in pursuing their creative fulfilment, while their children learn from many others who take joy in being with them.
Early on in my childhood, I was exposed to much personal development and spirituality. Between a mother who was a very curious, life-long learner and a father who relied on his intuition and wisdom in the absence of formal education, the natural trajectory for us as a family was to continue to grow and morph constantly. This meant a lot of uncertainty, though that very uncertainty was also what allowed us as a family to explore life independently of one another and find our unique gifts while still having an open and honest home to come together in. No matter where I found myself or the industry I was in, from pharmaceuticals to real estate to now community-based healing, health and learning, I recognized a hunger to connect the dots on why so many struggled through life and how to create practical and empowered solutions for many. After years of experiencing challenges in early motherhood, I went through a deep process of healing myself until the experience of a near-death situation. That in itself shook me out of what I considered to be ‘normal’ and plunged me into a new, more truthful vision. It was in the months following that Raising Humanity was born. While I don’t see our organization fitting into any particular industry, I feel that I can bring all of my life experiences and skills with me. Just as most anyone joining our organization shares is true for them.
From my overachieving ways as a youth in a small town to easing into a more natural way in my now 40s, I feel that life has presented all sorts of opportunities to leave me changed. Many were not easy and some of those include deep loss by way of multiple miscarriages, shifts in our family framework and a growing disinterest in careers that I felt would be my path ‘forever.’ The greatest lesson to arise from most any change has been to let go with kindness. All life forms, including us and our children, are born anew with each season and this process I learned is not meant to be controlled by our limited thinking. I find a real sense of freedom now in remembering that everything is temporary. My practice is to remember that I am enough no matter what I choose. This helps me become more present and joyful in whatever stage I am moving through.
I would not recommend following anyone else’s path. There is a unique trajectory, based on exactly what you have experienced and the infinite wisdom within you. Your DNA composition paired with your personality is a perfect recipe for you to follow what excites and inspires you. If you feel compelled to be in service of mothers and/or children, I would ask – what about them and their journey lights you up? How can you support that? What superpowers do you have that you would like to express? What edges do you wish to explore within yourself? Follow that and be honest with yourself as completely as you can along the way. A diverse and authentic community who will believe in you, no matter the outcome, is a tremendous asset on the journey.
For me, women empowering women is how the torch of compassion, wisdom and innate power is passed from one to another in our world today. Women are the heart of our society; they are the mothers, the creatives, the nurturers of the land and of communities. They are the glue yet without them being healthy, I feel we miss the mark on creating a healthy society. Our organization, Raising Humanity, seeks to empower the creative freedom and authentic expression in mothers of all kinds; whether they have birthed children or are in the process of re-birthing themselves, a project or a new possibility. This especially includes women who are comfortable challenging cultural norms and can feel that something new is wanting to emerge from within them, yet they lack an authentic community that is both trauma-informed and willing to celebrate one another sincerely. At Raising Humanity, we feel that an empowered mother who has the courage to be her unique self fully also paves the way for future generations to live as their true and empowered selves.
It would be to go gently on herself through life. I look back at her now and see just how loveable and kind-hearted she was. I celebrate her, even though she doubted her own worth countless times. I would encourage her to take herself out and spoil herself from time to time, to spend her days in nature if that’s what her heart wanted most and to never forget her playfulness.
To live in your most truthful nature is your greatest contribution to the universe.
I’ve come into a deep appreciation for slowness. I love leisurely walks through the woods. I could sit all day with the sunshine on my face or with my feet in the sand. I enjoy my time in meeting farmers at the local markets and cooking meals slowly (with the kids, even more slowly!). We started a garden this past year which has been a fun adventure. Beauty is a key theme in my life, so I find myself exploring art and live music from time to time. I love taking adventures on my own and travelling to small, remote towns where a real sense of community is evident. While I spend a fair bit of time alone, I so much appreciate rich conversations and connections with friends and family.
I’m probably most found in nature, typically miles off the beaten path! If it’s too blizzardy or wet outside, I love finding shelter at a local coffee joint and some conversation with whomever I meet. You may find me lost in the aisles of bookstores occasionally. My time at home is really valuable too, either enjoying a bath or sitting by the fireplace. The kiddos and I love to create imaginary scenarios and dress up when we are house-bound. Travelling to foreign places rich with culture is a favourite pastime of mine, which I look forward to returning to!
Well, this was a big learning for me to decide what my priorities are in this current season of my life. As our family framework has shifted, I have more time and space for me to catch up on taking care of me when the kids are with the rest of their village. I find myself hardly carrying the guilt into my time alone anymore, which helps me focus on what’s important for me as an individual. When with the kids, I’m with the kids. When I’m with work, I’m with work (or playing as I strive to live by the little one’s motto ‘no work, only play!’). In more recent years, I find myself exploring the art of living. Can I be in the world that which I hope to spread the message of? Can I incorporate my ‘responsibilities’ into daily life in a playful way? It’s play-in-progress for me at all times!
We are so thrilled to be re-opening the doors to our village for mamas and children. We call it the Playground of Life and while we have stepped back from in-person events for now, we have mentors from all around the world who help families find an intuitive and authentic path forward. There are plenty of live sessions, forums and resources to support all ages and stages!