Tomorrow it will be one week since I felt so awful. But you know what’s worse than having an aching body or coughing so much that your chest feels it’s on fire. It’s being a parent side by side your partner who has the virus too. Then hearing that outside, the hospitals are literally having to choose whose monitor they are going to turn off, because they don’t have enough beds. While you’re literally trapped, in your own house, with your covid husband…and two young children just keeping it together. The world is strangely and almost comically moving around you.The people in the northern hemisphere are on tropical holidays, sipping cocktails, because they have all been vaccinated. Here, cars still go by on the motorway in the distance, this city is still operating, but so many people are dying. I can’t help but think, fuck, have we gauged this all wrong?! It’s so surreal. Should we be taking more medicine, beside all these vitamins that we are already taking? Should we have consulted the doctor that we have Corona? Should we be doing something else, other than what we are already doing ? What if the virus comes to get us while we are sleeping? What about our children? Because this is where I realise the source of all the fear is! The children. What if something happens to my husband tonight, what If he stops breathing? what will I do? The hospitals are all full! I could never just take him and leave him without being by his side even if there was a bed? What if we both have to go to hospital and they put us to sleep, and then have to choose whose monitor to turn off, between my husband or me?

He seems ok. I seem ok. We sound awful, we both feel awful, but we seem ok. Right? Why are other people dying out there, while we’re in here. Are we next? The psychological fear that this virus has instilled in me, in so many others out there is not just a fear. It’s an actual calculated fear. A healthy fear? People are dying, and because I have COVID and my husband has COVID, we are also a potential statistic too. What’s healthy for me to realise is that I’m feeling so vulnerable because I have small children and they are dependant on me, on both of us. My need to stay alive is real. The necessity to protect my children is my priority, and so I look at my midnight thoughts from a distance and feel safe in the knowledge that I am having healthy fearful thoughts. I think it’s fair to say, I pray to God it’s not me, and I pray to god it’s not my husband out there in the hospital wards. I am grateful we are lying here together at home in bed. I pray, and I thank God that we are ok, and now I will sleep.

If you struggle to sleep and you are not much of a writer, come join me in the Inspirational Interviews podcast studio! My inspiring interviews with brave-hearts from all over the world will take you right out of your head and far away from your scary thoughts. I am with YOU, throughout the entire conversation, I take you with me on the journey. Listen now!

If you need someone to talk to, I offer once off conversation sessions, they are miracle workers. Much like how I take a guest on a journey of self exploration in the Podcast Studio, I do the same with your entire life story. It's a game changer, truly. message me here for more details.

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Some people run, others talk to a friend .. we all have our own vices to get the clutter out of our heads, to gain perspective on things. I urge you to find one that works for you.

I always wonder how do other moms do it! How do they run businesses sometimes even three, four at a time when they have kids. My head goes completely fuzzy and full with my kids around.

Perhaps because I find it so conflicting to put them on the side line, and this is most often the way it has to work if you want to run companies .. someone has to look after the kids.

This is me right now .. writing to get things clear so that I can do what I need to do with limited time!!

I’ll share my method with you for those that NEED TO GET UNSTUCK or gain clarity on an area in your life

💡💡Get yourself a cheap notebook A4 size and a pen that writes like silk dissolving on a page — no traction! Very important -the type of pen! A cheap one that does this is easy to find.

I literally just write at least three pages a day, and write whatever comes to mind ..totally messy and the angrier I am the more crazy the writing- any thoughts, rambles, wonderings.. all get transformed into ink.

When this happens — the noise goes out of my head and it’s translated into words.

There’s something miraculous about this process-it’s like an automated scrabble program.

Suddenly solid ideas reveal themselves in writing in front of you.

It’s very powerful and transformative when you get the clutter OUT! Most of it, is nonsense revealing itself as fear and anxiety. It’s best to release it onto paper.

The real deal, the proper ideas, the relevant thoughts and the profound feelings become solid words on that scrabble board — and they make a very clear and workable statements.

At this point your energy will change to a feeling of inspiration, clarity and motivation. You’ve got this:)

Guys if you are feeling so stuck that you don't even want to write, then come join me in the studio! I interview people just like you, some famous some not. My guests are just tapping into something that makes them tick and I deconstruct how they got the inspiration, how they got to be where they are today, and really understanding what drives their journey. It will take you right out of your funk! Have a listen now !

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I am sitting in a café in one of Johannesburg’s wealthier suburbs, Morningside. The music is blaring, huge echo around me of hip and trendy people meeting, chatting. The coffee cups clinking behind me on the coffee counter. To tell you the truth I can hardly think it’s so loud, let alone begin to fathom what my first blog should be about. I’ve been advised, that I need to write to my Podcast audience, so that they can get to know me better. The volume is high all around me, as well as inside my head! I keep thinking and feeling like I am going to have a panic attack! I can’t do this!

Everyone else seems to be tuned into their meeting, others chatting with their friends intently. The people on their laptops all look like they are in great flow, focused heavy in concentration, and they know exactly what they are doing here. I on the other hand do not!

If I do have a panic attack, what will I do? Will I just get up and walk out, without paying. I couldn’t possibly do that, that will bring more attention to me. What if I just, freak out without any control, and shout so loudly, that all this clanking and chatting comes to a shocking silence and everyone stares at me! That will be so incredibly embarrassing. Keep your cool Jen, stop thinking!! Then the cycle of thoughts goes over and over in my head again, like a hamster on a wheel.

All this silent inner trauma, while I’m sitting alone at a table in a busy café originally coming here with the idea to write my first blog. The sound gets even louder, I must gain focus on my cappuccino. It’s not a fucking joke! I must pull my shit together. I know why I’m feeling like this. I am afraid of what people will think of me! I’m afraid I’m going to write something, and people will think it’s stupid! I’ll lose my audience. I’m afraid I don’t know what’s going happen to me, next month, or in the next six months. I don’t have a stable normal job. I haven’t since I left my recruitment company. I’m thinking that I’m throwing myself out there like a fool, for what, a silly idea, a dream in my head to be a well respected interviewer, podcaster and talk show host. What if this all fails?

I’m afraid my efforts will amount to nothing.

This cafe is called Naked. Of all names, Naked. I feel bloody naked! I feel super naked and exposed! On all levels. As I mentioned, I’ve been advised that I must write something personal so that my listeners and followers can get to know me a little more. Who is Jen Rodd? Well, right now Jen Rodd is sitting in a café to do something she doesn’t want to do. To do what I have been told to do, and Jen Rodd feels vulnerable, exposed, and ironically NAKED!!! That’s who Jen Rodd is right now.

If my Italian friend Giuliano were hearing my thoughts, he would pull off my accent and say … “ohhhh I feel sooooooooo exposssssssed”. I would burst out laughing really loudly, because while I understand the loaded nature of that mocking sentence, I know he loves me anyway, and it would take me straight back to the moment, and the island where that sentence became a stamp to my name.

Roughly eight years ago, we were riding our bicycles on Texel Island in The Netherlands. It was one of those experiences which I didn’t enjoy doing.Looking back HOWEVER, I see colour and I feel alive.

Actually… Stay with me for a moment now…because I seem to be veering away from the panic attack. I’m gaining focus, I have less attention on myself in this café, sitting here all alone, and somehow, I’m caring less about what others could be thinking of me now. Perhaps now I’m starting to look like I too, actually have a reason to be here, somehow now I feel that I do have something to share …

A story for you… Myself, and my husband Camiel, were spending a weekend away on Texel, one of the famous Dutch islands, with our very best Italian friends, Sara and Giuliano. We all lived in Amsterdam at the time, food brought us together and food will forever keep us together-a story for another day.

They all decided that we should go on a bike ride to see the island. I on the other hand was not so enthusiastic. In Holland you cycle everywhere to get from A to B, so cycling was not a novelty, rather a necessity, and in Holland the weather most of the year is pretty darn cold!! I pictured sitting by the fire, reading a book and having a few good laughs.

So, peer pressure and majority rules. There we were on a bike ride through Texel. Now on this day, it was very cold, and I really don’t fare well in any temperatures below 10 Degrees. I go into a state of rigor mortis. It’s pretty flat in The Netherlands as whole, and the islands are no different. There’s a lot of water, sand and longish wispy grass.

Texel is known for its lamb, so you will see a whole bunch of lamb dotted all over the island grazing in the fields.

As you cycle, cold and merrily with your friends, carving through the grassy flat fields, the colours which will lock into your mind’s eye, are greens, whites, yellows and then grey on the tarmac, and a lighter grey in the sky above you. Perhaps you see the odd black spotted lamb, among the many white ones.

Eventually after cycling for what seems like forever, on the repetitive canvass, you’ll arrive at the ocean.

Here you will meet the North Sea. A rough blend of faded-brownish-blue-green water mass, with a lot of white sea horses fighting for the shore. It’s a windy day!

You will get off your bicycle, because you have cycled all the way to see the sea. You will walk down onto the ice-cold sand. Standing there bewildered now, as to your own whereabouts and why you cycled all this way in the cold so see this, You’ll be distracted by a few colourful kites flying in the sky, and you will see a good few brave men, doing pull ups into the cold air, as their kite surfers get yanked with the wind, high above, into the grey clouded mass.

My bones were brittle, my toes numb. I don’t have the flexibility to enjoy the moment.

There were no cafes to lose time in, or drink wine in and warm up our frozen bones. So, we got back onto our bicycles. I was desperately wishing that I was already back at the lodge. Meanwhile realising that I have another forty minutes to cycle still! Another forty whole minutes before I could feel warmth, comfort, a fire on my skin and a drink a glass of red wine.

I really had to put negative talk aside and soldier forward!

So, cutting our way back through the icy wind we went. Back through the same canvass of long wispy grass, enveloped by the same greys, greens, browns and yellows. The same many white lambs and the odd black spotted one. It was probably about halfway back home when we passed an area which had a gust of wind so strong that not even ten thousand men would have been able to fend off. There I was, on my bicycle cursing whose ever idea it was to hire these bikes in the first place! The others were laughing so loudly, thinking this was a huge joke. Of course, they are all Europeans and know what cold is. I on the other hand come from South Africa and cold for us is a maximum of three months in the year, and a normal one layer of clothing, and a jacket will do the trick. Not in The Netherlands!

We ventured into this day to cycle around this iconic island, and to see the beautiful ocean; carpe-bloody- diem, I thought! We went, we saw, but the journey was not yet conquered! Laden, with layers upon layer of clothing and thick winter coats, pushing each peddle, felt like a ten-kilogram weight at a time. “For what” I was thinking? A couple of lamb, wispy grass and a few fucking kite surfers! Getting home felt like forever, repetitive and never ending!

This gust of wind that invited itself from out of nowhere, was the final blow. At this point I shouted out so loud to the other three… “I fucking hattttttttttte this!! I feel so exposed!” To which everyone burst out laughing.

Since then, that sentence has never managed to lose itself in time and space. It is forever stuck to me, glued on my forehead. I am always reminded of it in any given opportunity by my friends and my husband — the joke is on me!

Now to this day, I have come to understand myself better, that I really don’t like to be in a situation where I feel I have no escape, and no control. Where I feel I have no protection, and the wind, rain, the cold, and the sun are beating down on me without my permission. I don’t like the cold! I hate it if a draft blows on my skin, I really don’t like to go out when the wind is blowing at all. I even hate the sun frying my skin to a raisin. But I mostly hate, having layer upon layer of clothing on me so that I can’t even lift my arms up properly. I like to be in control, and in my comfort zone.

But you see, this is the thing! If I stuck myself in those last two sentences above: in control and in my comfort zone… I would have nothing to share with you. I would not have lived. I would not have moved to London and started my own recruitment business. I would not have had my heart broken so many times and fallen in love even more. I would not have been booed by three hundred people in a public live talk show when I asked a vulnerable and brilliant question to man just released from jail, to be told afterwards by the directing crew, that was the best interview they had ever seen; and then to learn that I must own my own shit and believe in myself if this is what I am going to do — ask questions. I would not have stood up on stage in front of a thousand people to make a fool of myself because the events manager failed to inform me of the missing award-winning film in the segment that everyone was expecting while presenting the final best documentaries at a major documentary film festival. Then to learn, that actually, I made it out alive and that I have what it takes to stand up on stage in front of a thousand people and make it work. I would not have started my own podcast show and learned about all these beautiful and wonderful life stories, which I have had the privilege of sharing with so many people, in the hope and understanding that these stories have in fact changed so many lives. And, right now, I would not be back in South Africa after 23 years away, close to my family, in my unstable homeland, and feeling a great sense of pride, and that I have come a long way. I would not forever be the laughingstock, of my closest people, in the reminded that to be exposed, is in fact living! To feel naked is being alive. To be sitting here in this café, scared of what others, and you my dear reader, listener, or follower — might think of me, is the exact gust of wind I need to brave through, so that I can understand and learn the next best thing about myself. In doing so, perhaps my exposure and vulnerability helps you just a little bit in some way.

The point is friends, we all need people around us to take us out of our comfort zones, and we all need to be exposed to the elements of life. Be it the natural elements of the universe, or the even to be exposed to the harsher elements of judgment. We must brave the uncomfortable and the uneasy, so that we can feel the heartbeat of life. Otherwise, we will just sit by the fire, and it will be Groundhog Day forever.

Expose yourself, and let’s be naked together.

Come check out my Podcast show guys The stories will bring love, inspiration and light into your day.

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