WHAT I BELIEVE
“Never be limited by others’ inability to think of you in terms big enough or dreams grand enough. Never allow yourself to define what is possible for you in your life by others’ limited visions of what they believe is possible for them in theirs.”
When this piece of wisdom came to me more than 10 years ago (an ‘illumination‘ as I would later refer to such Divine-inspired writings/musings), I had no idea of its deeper meaning for me and the way it would serve both as a powerful foundation and guide for how I would begin consciously and intentionally deconstructing and then re-creating my life; creating and living my own Life … by Design!
I believe each of us are born with innate gifts, talents, and strengths – each of which are powerful, invaluable, purposeful, and deeply needed in the world; and uniquely so through us. I also believe we each come to this life with the knowledge of how we most desire to express those gifts, talents, and strengths through the nature of our lives, the character of our living, and in service for the world. And I believe that when we are able to do just that, we both receive into our lives and offer to the world immeasurable happiness, joy, abundance, and love.
Happiness, joy, abundance, and love, in their purest forms, I believe, are the reasons for our very existence – it is that from which we come, it is that which we most desire to experience in this life, and it is that to which we will all return.
However, all too often we live in societies and cultures that socialize us away from that which is innate to us and in so doing away from the happiness, joy, abundance, and love we most desire in favor of living our lives in ways we are told we ‘should,’ ‘have to,’ ‘must,’ is ‘expected,’ is ‘what everyone else is doing,’ or worse, is ‘the way it’s always been done.’ As a result, I firmly believe it is our right, our privilege, and our duty to take back the defining nature of our lives; re-create the character of our living; re-define the content, rules, and structure of our work in and for the world, in order that we would all allow ourselves to create and live our own lives … by design!
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED
“I looked up the road I was going and back the way I come and since I wasn’t satisfied, I decided to step off the road and cut me a new path.”
~ Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
A great friend and colleague once asked me to describe to him the careers of people I most admire. My answer was as much revealing as it was prescient. I said, “I admire most those people whose careers are in their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th acts – the lawyer turned baker; the hedge fund manager turned jazz musician; the athlete turned social entrepreneur; the researcher turned novelist; the office worker turned artist; the physician turned organic farmer; etc. – because they example the beauty and courage inherent in our efforts to step off the road, cut a new path, shift, transition, evolve and allow more of our whole selves to be in the experience of our lives.” They also example what I believe most about us as human beings: that we are powerfully dynamic and magnificent in all our transitions as we evolve into experiencing more of our truest and highest selves. As multi-faceted, multi-talented, multi-gifted beings of depth and breadth, we were meant to experience this life through all the opportunities that bring forth the different gifts and talents we possess in all the depth and breadth we desire to experience them.
We were never meant to do/be just one thing and only that one thing for the whole of our lives. We were, and are always, meant to be and experience more.
Grantmaker/Philanthropist/Nonprofit Leader turned Coach/Speaker/Author/Yogini
As we step off current life roads in order to cut new paths, our life transitions and next chapters are never uninformed or uninfluenced by what came before. In fact, all of our experiences are essential stepping stones that serve as the building blocks of our life journeys; they are crucial ingredients in the ever-evolving recipe of the delicious dish that is our lives. We take the experiences from what came before and build upon them, learn the lessons, embody the joys, and leave the rest in order to craft ourselves anew into all that our next chapter has to offer. And with every subsequent transition, we do the same.
Through my 18+ years as a grantmaker, philanthropist, and leader in the nonprofit sector, I learned the difference between skill and talent, ability and gift, work and service, reason and purpose, effort and impact. I learned that meaning, significance, relevance, and resonance were powerful motivators for me; far more so than I had ever realized before. I learned that what initially drew me to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector – the ability to powerfully touch and impact people’s lives for the better – remained a deeply rooted and guiding value for me. I learned that there was more to the life I wanted to live and what I wanted to offer the world than what I was currently living and doing. I learned that my life was calling for me to change; to step off the existing road I was on and cut me a new path. I was being called to transition from an imbalanced life of disconnected, hard work to a harmonious life of meaningful balance and joyful service; to use my talents, gifts, and purpose to impact people’s lives directly and in ways that were deeply relevant, resonant, meaningful, and significant; for both them and me.
So rather than continue doing what I was doing because it was what I’d always done, I began my own process to Create & Live MY Life … by Design!
I took the best of what I learned in my 18+ year career in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector and I chose to cut myself a new path – the path of entrepreneurship. In 2008, that path led to the creation of my company Sunrise Consulting, LLC, my coaching/speaking/health & wellness practice. This was not just a job or a career change, but a conscious, courageous choosing of a life transition to redesign my life in ways that would allow me to be more by offering my gifts and talents as a holistic life and transition coach, speaker, author, yogini, and health/wellness practitioner on purpose and in service to the world; that I might continue directly and positively impacting people’s lives with the relevance, resonance, meaning, and significance that had always been guiding values for my living.
Ms. Judy M. Ford | Life…by Design!℠, reflects the next evolution of the company I founded nearly 8 years ago; the next chapter on that new path I cut for myself to use my gifts of coaching, words, and wellness to support women everywhere to: Create & Live YOUR Ideal Life…by Design!
“Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the road back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.”
~ Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
WHAT I OFFER
“Everything is meant to thrive under its ideal design … including your life!”
Create & Live YOUR Ideal Life … by Design!
How much of your life is by your own ideal design?
I mean, aside from the material things you intentionally possess, what is it about:
the way you live;
how you live;
the work you do;
how you feel about your life;
the experience of your life;
the ideas, beliefs, values, & behaviors that define your life;
the relationships, situations & experiences that make up your life; and
the overall quality of your life, everyday …
how much of all that can you truly say is on purpose; by your own conscious, intentional, and ideal design?
Everything is meant to thrive under its own ideal design, including our lives. And the transition spaces of our lives are the ideal opportunities to reclaim that ideal design.
Are you in the midst of a personal, professional, or other life transition?
Are you thriving, or just surviving?
Are you creating and living your ideal life by your own design?
Would you like to … FINALLY?
If you’re ready to begin the journey of reclaiming your life for you and to creating and living your ideal life by your own design through the tools, techniques, and practices of personal and professional development; life skills advancement; yoga, health & wellness; emotional; and/or spiritual evolution, my Life…by Design!℠ Signature Coaching Programs & Services are for you.
Ms. Judy M. Ford is a nationally certified and internationally credentialed holistic life and transition coach for women; inspirational and motivational speaker/trainer; registered yoga teacher; health & wellness practitioner; writer; and author of the book, The Light in Your Pocket: Illuminate Your Life in 140-Characters or Less. Through her signature coaching programs, speaking services, writing projects, and yoga & wellness offerings, Judy works with women in the transition spaces of their lives – helping them successfully navigate stages of personal, professional, emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual transitions in ways that honor their essential truths, innate wisdom, natural sovereignty, and authentic power to support their progress forward along their evolutionary journeys. Grounded in a focus on and commitment to leveraging and maximizing individual strengths, Judy offers a comprehensive and holistic approach to personal and professional development that emphasizes healing, self-awareness, self-mastery, wellness, wholeness, body-mind-spirit alignment and integration, personal values, balance, inner power, authenticity, whole-life evolution, change, transformation, impact, and action.
Working with individual women, women leaders/emerging leaders, and women entrepreneurs, Judy helps her clients reclaim and redefine themselves, their lives, their work, and their living for themselves; and in ways that consciously and intentionally align with the impact, difference, and transformative effect they want have in the world – helping women create & live their lives … by design! Through the full complement of her service offerings, Judy illuminates the power of her own light as a ‘healer, wisdom-bearer, and space-creator for the revelation and experience of the soul’ – her purpose in and for the world. Since starting her coaching practice nearly 8 years ago, Judy has worked with a diverse portfolio of individual clients, women’s groups, conferences/meetings/seminars, professional trainings, leadership development programs, yoga studios, community centers, wellness festivals, and retreats. In addition, Judy has provided her services to the staff and/or membership of companies, organizations and/or associations across the country including: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Asian Law Alliance, Neighborhood Funders Group, Bank of America, The Center for Leadership and Public Values, the Louisiana Effective Leadership Program, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, Southeast Council on Foundations’ Advanced Leadership Institute, Grantmakers in Health, American Public Health Association, Maryland University of Integrative Health, and Oneness Festival.
Judy brings to her work over 18 years of experience and expertise as a leader, volunteer and mentor in health & wellness promotion, philanthropy and the nonprofit sectors. Through her service in senior leadership positions with national, regional and local grantmaking foundations, as well as national nonprofit service organizations, Judy also volunteered her time serving as chair, vice-chair and/or committee chair on the board of directors, steering committees, funding collaboratives, conference committees and/or working groups of national, regional and local nonprofit organizations and professional membership/leadership development associations. Judy’s honors and awards include: the 2013 ICF Advance Scholarship from the International Coach Federation; being invited to join the L.I.Q.U.I.D. Studios Experts Network; graduating from the 2005/2006 Emerging Leaders International Fellowship Program and becoming a Life Fellow of the Joint Centers for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University and the University of Cape Town South Africa; and, in 2013, being among 31 women leaders from across the United States selected to participate in the Standing in Our Power Transformative Leadership Institute for Women of Color Leaders.
Judy holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in anatomy and physiology, health education/health promotion and public health from Boston University, The University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University. She received her coach training and certification as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through The Coaches Training Institute and is credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation. Judy completed the Blue Heron Wellness Yoga Teacher Training Program (a Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga School); is an associate member of the Women Speakers Association; a member of the Holistic Entrepreneur Association International; a current member of Yoga Alliance; and maintains the Yoga Alliance RYT200 credential. In addition to her book, The Light in Your Pocket: Illuminate Your Life in 140-Characters or Less, Judy’s writing can also be found online at Black and Brown News (BBN), Huffington Post, and Spirit in Action Blog.
In addition to her service work, Judy spends her time in close communion with her family; co-creating, supporting, and nurturing life-long friendships; and creating a bold, new world, individually and collectively, as part of a powerful community of visionary sister-women from across the country and around the world. Judy is a voracious reader (who still prefers books with pages – library books are even better), a life-long journaler (journal #45, currently), creative poet (free verse and haiku), and an avid world traveler who is “intent on navigating this life successfully and on my own terms; while creating and living the most radiant, joyful, and fulfilling life experience possible…by my own design, as I support others in doing the same.”