“I have to be real with myself about which of my actions are impactful and which may be harmful.” ~Janine Rudder
The events of the past few weeks have consumed me - The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor by police, the country opening up despite Covid cases increasing in many states, and U.S. Covid deaths exceeding 100,000. As a result, I’ve become uncontrollably attached to my phone. Group chats, social media posts, and the news app have me glued to my screens.
“Having a plan can help calm my angst and bring a sense of control even if the future is completely uncertain.” ~Janine Rudder
As the country loosens quarantine restrictions I’m becoming increasingly uneasy. It’s too soon and I’m afraid. I feel like people are uninformed and impatient. And that’s fine if their actions only impacted themselves, but we know that we are totally interdependent right now. My neighbor’s actions impact me. My behavior could affect you even if you’re in another city, and most terrifying of all is the decision-making power of politicians and the motivations behind them.
“Acknowledging fortune and opportunities doesn’t mean that you’re diminishing pain and loss. You can honor both.” ~ Andrew Della Rocca
About a week ago while helping my husband, who is also a coach, prepare a virtual workshop, I posed a question that had been nagging at me for a few days. The workshop was focused on helping people access the inner resources needed to thrive and not just survive during this time. One component of the workshop asked participants to identify the gifts of this moment in an effort to shift their perspective, explore their creativity, and increase energy.
“How do I overcome the guilt I feel for highlighting the benefits of this situation?” I asked.
"I went from feeling sluggish and stagnant to powerful and productive while social distancing." ~Janine Rudder
Today is my twenty-fourth straight day at home. With the exception of walks around the neighborhood and brief grocery store runs, I haven't left the house. Neither has my husband or my bonus daughter. We are all just here waiting and wondering together how life after the Covid-19 pandemic will look and feel.
I’ve elevated fun from a “nice to have” in my life to one of my core values, and amazing things have started to happen. ~Janine Rudder
My supervisor is retiring. To celebrate her, the members of her team are creating a video montage of us describing our fondest memories of her. I spoke about her laugh – big, scandalous, and unapologetic. I also highlighted that she has this delightful gift of making fun of most of the situations she encounters. She has made fun and joy an intention in her life, which made her a more effective leader because people believe that she cared about them, not just their work product. I ended my 60 second farewell video by emphasizing that I am better for having known her, and I really meant it.
“I love learning lessons from other people. I don’t think that we all have to live the same tragedies.” ~Priscilla Irvine
Priscilla and I both roamed the halls of Boston Latin Academy in the city’s Roxbury neighborhood with over 1,000 other wide-eyed, yet ambitious teenagers. She was one grade my senior. However, we didn’t meet until, totally by chance, I took a position in the office where she works.
We worked together for over three years. During that time, I was able to witness her transition into motherhood (Priscilla has twin four year old girls). I became especially enthralled and inspired by her pursuit of herself. While striving to be an amazing mom, she also sought to be curious about, and make significant investments in what really matters to her. Priscilla’s goals and visions for her own life never languished.
“It drew us out of our private bubbles and compelled us to confront the reality that a pristine, smiling photo on Facebook doesn’t convey.” Janine Rudder
Over the past 10 years, I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with Christmas. The suffocating consumerism, frenzied pace, and pressure to overspend began defining the holiday season for me. Immediately following Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday, the coupons would flood my inbox, and multiple renditions of the same 5 Christmas songs become life’s soundtrack. I find none of it uplifting. To me it is all a distraction from what really matters.
“I’ve outgrown the self that allowed doubt, fear, and apathy to take the driver’s seat.
I decided to let my brazen, adventurous and rebellious side lead.” ~Janine Rudder
Exactly one year ago, November 2018, I knew that I was on the brink of a transformation, but had no idea how momentous it would be. I had been creating the conditions for change in my life since the beginning of the year and had built up good momentum to leap into what was next. Although I hadn’t fully formed all of the details of the vision, I knew the essence of what I wanted my life to be. That turned out to be enough.
“I wanted to lead in the dance with my finances, not the other way around.” ~Janine Rudder
Since January of this year, I’ve been saving 50% of my after tax income from my primary job and its been surprisingly very satisfying. Full disclosure, I have a few other income streams – teaching Pilates, private coaching practice, and income from my rental property. However, the revenue from all of those sources combined is only a quarter of what I earn from my 40 hour per week job, so it doesn’t yet cover my essentials (housing, food, transportation, etc.). One of my goals for 2019 was to drastically shift my relationship with money. I wanted to lead in the dance with my finances, not the other way around.
“As a woman of color it is absolutely vital that I show up in full command of my self-worth and value.” ~Janine Rudder
We’ve all heard the phrase “walk in like you own the place,” at some point or another. Typically, it’s with a negative connotation and refers to someone’s over-inflated ego or self-aggrandizing behavior. Usually, the phrase user is implying that someone could behave more modestly or adopt a more unassuming approach in a given situation.