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Wayfinder.

(& yogini, ice farmer, writer)

Julie Roads

I am training in Wayfinding by Martha Beck (MBI). I am a willing and thrilled student of her Wayfinder Life Coach Training program. I am a 500-hour certified Professional Level Kripalu Yoga Teacher – and I taught yoga and led & designed well-being, discovery, and yoga workshops for several years at Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA. I am the Chief Creative Officer at an agency (within a massive communications company) that designs and builds live meeting experiences for blue chip companies. I earned a master’s degree in Education (which more accurately was a degree in Communication). Through it all and as far back as I can remember, I am a writer. I live on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard in a cottage in the woods with the love of my life and two teenagers (when they feel like it). In my spare time, I am an ice farmer – which means I make ice in our freezer all day in preparation for my daily ice bath – a practice which has changed my life. Finally, and he would say most importantly, after a lifetime of being a dog person, I was ensorcelled by a cat named Smudge who is now my lionized overlord and the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

So…what’s WRITING ROADS?

In 2006, early in the wee hours while nursing my baby girl, I decided to start a marketing writing company. And so, in quick order, I did. From nothing. Literally, I created an entire portfolio out of thin air – I made up an entire book of writing samples. Some prospects thought I was ridiculous and sent me on my way; but others, oh those wonderful Others!, thought what I did showed gumption and grit, and they hired me on the spot. This was right at the opening of the floodgates of blogs and social media – and that became my thing. I taught people how to use it all, and I ghostwrote their blogs, websites, and books for them. I loved it. And then 4 years in, I took a gig writing for a company that eventually hired me and effectively absorbed my company…and I wrote for them, then I became a Creative Director, and then their Chief Creative Officer.

My company was Writing Roads. I was Writing Roads. The name and everything that goes along with it was such a big part of me. The tagline was: Write Where You Want to Go. And so when I started this coaching practice, and I thought about Wayfinding…it just felt like the same thing. When I wrote for people, I listened, I helped them take what they were thinking and feeling and transform it into something real and doable. Wayfinding is the same. Maybe you, dear client, aren’t a writer – but through our discussions and collaborative creativity, I do believe you will be ‘writing’ your way to your own composition. On down your road to your self. Let’s go.

Elements:

  • My favorite food is butter – sometimes I even spread bread on it.
  • I spent 9 summers of my early life in northern Minnesota at the best camp in the world – I grew up and became myself here.
  • I have practiced asana and meditation (very nearly) daily for 25 years. It sincerely and powerfully informs my work. I believe that discovery & movement and solving & movement are inextricably linked.
  • It was finding my breath through yoga and meditation that released me from paralyzing anxiety attacks (which left me unable to leave my house) in my 20s.
  • My spiritual practices have also helped me recover from a life plagued by eating disorders and body dysmorphia. Let’s be honest, though…in this culture of abhorrent misogyny in the U.S., it is a constant struggle. As I age (now 49), new layers develop – of both the body confusion AND the self acceptance. Fascinating process and journey.
  • I went through a period where I felt vehemently that the only answer to surviving corporate life was to leave it. I’ve worked hard to reframe this – and I did so by realizing my experience was completely up to me – I am not a victim here, and that it is possible to have a different and positive life in corporate America. And while I know that I will ultimately leave this professional relationship, I won’t need to burn it down in the process. It will be a copacetic departure.
  • I was born on Friday the 13th. And just like several other words/concepts that have been hijacked by the patriarchy, 13 is a magical, powerful, and wonderful number and has been since the beginning. It is not something to be feared or removed from hotel floor numbers…unless you fear powerful, undeniable women, of course. Imagine a clock face – if you stop at 12, you just go round and round in a never-ending circle. It is that 13th step that creates an evolving spiral of growth and expansion. 13, baby.