Are You In The Ready Position?

Are You In The Ready Position? | Sedruola Maruska

While driving down the highway I slowed slightly to see if the car at the on-ramp actually wanted to get on the highway. . . they’re not ready. . . I drove past.

As I got to the top of the hill, I slowed my car because the upcoming intersection is a tough one to turn left from. . . I flashed my lights, they sat there, I flashed again, they sat there. . . They’re not ready. . .I drove down the hill will the endless row of cars following behind me.

Soul-Led Social Justice, Equity & Anti-racism Assets

It’s a phrase my high school volleyball coach used to say to us us over and over again. It’s a phrase I hear ringing in my head whenever I feel something slightly amiss, “Get in the ready position!”

At our volleyball meets, as we stood behind the net, waiting for the serve, we’d lean forward and put our hands on our knees. Anyone looking on would think “They’re ready!” But we weren’t, we were allowing fear and doubt to keep us un-ready.

“Get in the ready position!” he’d yell from the sidelines and instantly our hands would drop from our knees, down to our sides and then we knew, we were ready. We were no longer relaxed with our hands on our knees.

You see, when you’re leaning forward with hands on your knees, you’re in position to fall forward, flat on your face, not to attack the ball when it comes. It’s inertia. It’s simple.

The ready position is legs apart, leaned forward and arms at the ready by your side.
Anytime we took the right stance, we’d accomplished more because we were ready.

Are You In The Ready Position? | Sedruola Maruska

Ready for Life

It’s the same in life. Placing ourselves in the ready position gives us more leverage than relaxing, looking like we’re ready, but having our hands on our knees.

Ready doesn’t mean perfect, it means open. That ball is coming any second now, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to fall forward and miss, or are you going to put your hands where they need to be so when it comes you’re ready to hit hard?

Many of us are sitting in the on-ramp of life waiting for an opening that will give us a lot of time to get revved up and moving. That can take a long time.

Your Policies Suck, That’s Why We Have a Problem

Others of us put our cars in the ready position and watch for the slightest opening to go for it!

Some of us wait for both sides of the road to be completely clear before we creep in to make that left turn. Others are pulled up as far as possible, watching faces and headlights to see when our opening arrives.

Work, prepare, then get in the ready position. Your opportunity may show up as fast as that served ball. You need to be hands down and ready when it comes.


Your policies suck, that’s why we have a problem

Your policies suck, that's why we have this problem | Sedruola Maruska

We moved a lot when we were young. My immigrant father was focused on getting an education, and providing for his family. So, wherever the opportunities were, that’s where we went.

Which is why in the summer of 1977 we moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. My dad was accepted into the University of Utah’s doctorate program so we moved into family student housing. I was 9 years old.

When my brother and I started school we were the only two Black children in a school of over 200 students. We stood out at a time when I didn’t want to stand out.

Salt Lake City

During our time in Salt Lake City I remember wondering a lot about the way I looked. I asked my mom why I couldn’t wear my hair down instead of in braids. I’d stand in front of the bathroom mirror and pull up my nose to be more “pointy” like my friends. At nine years old we’re formulating our perceptions of ourselves. We’re figuring out where we fit in the world and I didn’t fit.

One day (and this is relayed to me by a friend I found on Facebook years later) while in class a boy was teasing me about my color. He started talking about how I looked like poop, laughing and carrying on. As I’m enduring this abuse, I begin to cry and complain. Instead of the boy being disciplined, the teacher told me “If you can’t stop disrupting class, you’ll need to go out in the hall.” I’m nine years old and I have to control my reaction to the abuse being inflicted on me by a white child.

I was sent to the hall.

Personally, I don’t remember that moment. I remember others with the same theme. I’m the problem so I need to suck it up. Endure what’s happening. Be strong. Be the bigger person, the better person. While those who are inflicting the pain, go unpunished. Because they’re white and so therefore they must be right.

Your policies suck, that's why we have this problem | Sedruola Maruska

Ignoring The Signs

As I look around the country right now, I’m reminded of that ignorance. We watched as armed white people storm the capital building with no repercussion. We watched as police officers looked the other way to allow these terrorists to cross barricades, take selfies with the perpetrators and claim overwhelm, while the lawmakers inside had to cower for their lives.

All over social media parallels are being drawn on the different responses to acts of terrorism when the perpetrators are white vs. when people of color and Black people are protesting policies that threaten their lives.

Just like in my fourth grade classroom where I became the problem and I was disciplined, Black and Brown people are always dealt with harsher than white people. Here’s the kicker, it happens all across the country in every discipline and industry.

It starts with students and goes through the workforce. It’s easier to punish the victims than it is to confront a system that benefits you and demand that system change.

White terrorism

What’s the consequence? The consequence is white terrorists running around the country killing with impunity and being treated as human. While those they are terrorizing are treated like the problem.

White people are allowed to do as they please when they have a “bad day” while the rest of us must swallow our pain.

White people are allowed to have mental health issues while the rest of us are “too sensitive” or “genetically prone to violence.”

White people are allowed to be angry, protest, lash out maim and kill while their vegan, vacation and huger needs are taken care of. The rest of us better be happy we didn’t die at the scene.

The consequence, as I wrote in this article is a country where everything and everyone suffers because of tolerance rather than justice. We, all of us, are left reeling and wondering what’s the next logical step to take? What part can we play in creating change?

Proof in Policy

Companies are creating products to placate when we know it’s changes in their policies that create real change. Yes, we appreciate removing “Aunt Jemima” from your products, but what does your C-Suite look like? Thanks for putting out that statement, but are your employees of color comfortable in your culture?

Corporations have the power to push governments to make real policy changes needed to move the needle. Yet, in Georgia, and across the country, where these giants with power are headquartered, voter suppression laws are running rampant. The wording is more nuanced and vague, but we know, we ALL know they’re intentionally directed at people of color, especially Black people.

It’s time to stop pretending we don’t know what do to, and do what we do know. Do the hard things. Corporations are made up of people. Those people need to stop hiding and do better. Say NO. Look to the future and make the hard decisions in the present. Invest in your people, your policies and revamping your cultures.

We the people appreciate the surface stuff, but we’d all, including yourselves, be better served with real policy changes and more bravery.


How well do you know yourself?

Sedruola Maruska | Personal Development Coach

One of my least favorite questions/statements/conversation starters of all time is ‘Tell me about yourself.”

It’s not really a question and it’s not a statement. Although it’s meant to start a conversation, I don’t ever feel excited to start there, you?

Your Copy of “Sleep: The Secret to Increased Productivity” is ready!

But then I think to myself, how often do we think about who we are? The quick thing is to talk about the roles we play in our lives “I’m a married mother of two…” or our jobs “I’m a Life Coach focused on helping women find leisure and productivity in their lives…” But are those things who we are?

One of the very first questions I ask anyone that works with me is who are you? The answer is usually “what?” , but then I ask again “if I stripped every label from you, who would you be?”

Powerful Lessons Learned from Girls Trip

I ask because knowing who we are, leads us to truly knowing what we want, which leads to prioritizing in our lives, which leads to more happiness, which leads to better productivity, which leads to true success.

If you don’t know yourself, or if you’re not learning about yourself, how can you know what will truly work for your life?

So I’m asking you, how well do you know yourself? Who would you be if all the external labels were removed (mom, sister, daughter, wife, partner etc.) and you needed to express your soul. . . would you know yourself?

Maybe it’s time to get personally intimate with yourself.