"Why have we, as women, gotten so uncomfortable wanting what we want?" ~Janine Rudder
Too many of us have never learned how to honor our real, true desires. This has come up in a number of conversations I’ve had with capable, creative, confident women lately. They’ve been hesitant to express the full magnitude of what they want, apologetic about wanting it, or unable to allow themselves to imagine what a satisfying life would look and feel like.
“Proudly owning my varied talents and interests required a reframing. I had to unlearn what I knew about success, and what is possible, and adopt a new way of thinking about what is truly important.” ~Janine Rudder
This topic speaks so loudly to me, and others in the creative space, that I’m amazed that I hadn’t broached it sooner. For years I’ve engaged in this internal struggle. My natural inclination to be enthralled by many activities and career paths at the same time negates much of what we’ve been taught in Western culture about adulthood, responsibility, and success.
“When we incentivize people to want to be great at everything we do so at the cost of neglecting to nurture our innate talents and individuality.” ~Janine Rudder
When I think of balance I picture grace, ease, skill, and health. In my mind balance is akin to perfection; a measure of one’s ability to carry all of life’s components without letting anything, droop, slide, or come crashing to the ground. Achieving balance is one of those ideas that we’re constantly programmed to strive for. The issue with pursuing balance is that life is motion. If you do capture the ever-elusive state of balance, how long will it last? A day, an hour, a week?
"Mornings are opportunities to create the conditions and momentum for the day to unfold how you want it to." ~ Janine Rudder
The term ‘morning routine’ is used so often that it feels somewhat cliché. Since beginning my personal development journey, the significance of establishing a solid and intentional ‘morning routine’ has been one of the most pervasive messages I’ve encountered. The phrase “conquer the morning, conquer the day” shows up at least once per week in the motivational videos I peruse on Youtube. The issue is that the morning routine’s prevalence almost reduces it to a platitude that we’ve heard a hundred times and ultimately gloss over.
When you prioritize the people and (free) experiences that make your life fun and exciting, you are essentially leveling up your life. ~Janine Rudder
I’m the type of person who listens to three financial podcasts in a row. I’m also a little obsessed with the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement; and I live for a good story about a couple who is a little frugal, a lot fabulous, and used their financial prowess to “beat the system” by becoming debt free, moving to Peru, and spending their days creating whatever they want as they live off of their investments.
“When you operate from a place of pure integrity in your relationship with self, you can rest assured in your beliefs, and not feel compelled by the views of others.” ~ Janine Rudder
Although I’d heard the phrase “Don’t take it personally” scores of times over the years, I first learned of the practice about five years ago. Don Miguel Ruiz’s insightful, powerful, and truly life-changing book, The Four Agreements, delves deeply into the overused term. He explains what it actually means to not take things personally, why it is essential to living peacefully, and how understanding this powerful practice can shift your perspective and change your internal dialogue.
Photo Courtesy of aarp.org
“Spiritually, I make every day my birthday. The dance floor gives me that feeling.”~Wanda Bamberg Tia
Wanda’s exuberance enters a room before she does. It’s as if an aura of energy and charisma permanently surrounds her.
I first met Wanda when I started teaching a Pilates mat class at Work It! - the vibrant, dance-based fitness studio she owned in one of D.C.’s most energetic neighborhoods. Fit, statuesque, and flashing a smile that is pure joy, Wanda is a woman on a mission. Her perpetually-packed Wanda Woman dance class was undoubtedly the heart of the studio.
“Dealing with what’s at the root of your fear, as opposed to creating stories that embolden it, shifts the power away from the fear and back to you.” ~Janine Rudder
During the weeks leading up to a recent work trip I avoided thinking about it. Whenever I opened an email about or accepted a meeting invite to discuss said trip, I’d let out an annoyed sigh and feel my stomach contract in frustration. I allowed my thoughts to run rampant with reasons to justify my displeasure -
“When you look at the vision you hold for your life, are your rituals a catalyst or a barrier?” ~ Janine Rudder
I’ve always joked that I have an additive personality type. By that I mean that I find solace, safety, and comfort in my routines. When I find something that works, which generally means produces my desired outcome at the level of effort I’m willing to invest, I stick with it.
"Venturing into unfamiliar, and sometimes, unsettling territory is often the path that leads to the life-changing transformation we are seeking." - Janine Rudder
I’m closing in on the end of another marvelous year of life. As I think back over the events of this past year I marvel at the vision for my life I dared to create, the various milestones I was able to push myself to accomplish, and the things that “fell” into place at the most favorable time.