This week, Jimmy sits down with the former trusted cohost of the Love Good podcast, Janaya Trudel! Janaya embodies the mission of Love Good as few others do, and she has been sorely missed by the team. In this episode, she updates Jimmy on her most recent life adventures, including touring nearly non-stop through her native Canada, working several jobs, and gathering strength and inspiration to launch her own solo career. Sit back and enjoy this conversation between friends, and let Janaya’s warmth and wisdom inspire you today.
Jimmy opens: “Welcome back everybody. We have a special guest joining us all the way from Honeymoon, Saskatchewan. Welcome back Janaya!” Jimmy asks Janaya to fill everyone in on what’s been new in her life.
Janaya says she’s been doing well, has been busy traveling – England, Italy. Back home, she picked up a few jobs, and has been on the road every weekend with the Trudel family band. Jimmy mentions how he has only ever seen Janaya play solo, except for a time when her dad accompanied her with a shaker. Most of Canada, however, would recognize her as being a member the Trudel family band. She was a provincial celebrity at the age of 5 – “Is that like the Shirley Temple of Canada?” Jimmy asks.
Janaya laughs. “I was the oldest of my family. My parents were super musical. I loved being on stage, I was very free, I didn’t care about anything. I would be hired for festivals to sing. It’s never stopped since then, and the six of us as a family travel through the summer. As soon as I get home from this trip, Jo and I will jump back on the road. It’s a continuous thing that has its seasons.”
Jimmy reflects on how often family bands show up in the Love Good studio and on the podcast. “It’s part of our DNA,” he muses.
“It’s so fun to have you back in Nashville,” he continues. He talks about the apprenticeship program; Janaya has had a chance to share some of her wisdom with the apprentices. She led the Love Good Academy twice during her time in Nashville on leadership theory, small group development, and character development. Janaya was present at the very beginning of the Love Good academy, and now she’s able to see how far it’s come in the year.
“I do feel like an older sister to them,” she said, “And also just a unity in the shared desire to grow as individuals. It makes a lot of sense to me… it’s amazing to receive from it, and to share.” Jimmy agrees – “It really is a year about becoming more human, more fully alive. The more we step into our humanity, the more distinct and gloriously different we become.”
He turns the conversation to how much easier it is to touch base with one’s humanity when surrounded by nature. It can be very difficult when in an urban setting – or more difficult, anyway – to stay in contact with the most important things. “I’m embarrassed to say how many Apple products I actually have in my possession,” he says. “How was the transition from country to city for you? Especially Nashville?”
“The transition wasn’t easy,” she said, “It kind of rocked my world. I came in with an embarrassing amount of skepticism in me. I had to be convinced that real culture, community, and vulnerability could occur in a place that was so different from what I grew up with. There was something so clear to me as a kid watching the farmers plant and then pray, or watching a calf be born in a barn with my dad – these things conveyed big things about life to me, and I wondered if you could have those same insights within a city setting.”
It’s more obvious in the countryside that you’re depending on the laws of nature instead of your own efficiency. You have a more tangible understanding of the fact that you need less to survive than you might think.
“The more possessions I have – even the more friends, endless connections – they can end up diluting everything. I was given everything I need and more growing up. I saw my parents work really hard to make that a reality – it demanded sacrifice. There’s something about poverty that leaves people free from distraction. It’s harder for us who have been given much to be connected to what’s true, and this is true in country and in the city.“
She talks about the wild desire that’s born out of lack: when you skip a meal, you become hungrier. Jimmy talks about his extroverted desire to hang out with people – at times, to excess – after not being around others for awhile. He says he wants to live with wild desire – the trustworthy kind of fire, the fire that’s been purified.
Jimmy asks: “What’s the hope for people who feel like they’ve wandered away from a sense of excitement and desire? Folks who may not be as artistic as you? How do you bring beauty to the forefront?”
Janaya considers this thoughtfully. “People have come up and said that they just wish they had some talent, or stayed with piano lessons, etc. So many people aching to participate in this act of creation. It breaks my heart: not because I feel sorry for them, but because I am one of them! I know the ache between feeling a wild desire and my own deficiency. Somewhere in there, though, is this preserved reality of us being gifts – just as we are. I might lose my musical artistry someday. It would break my heart, but I would still be myself. I would still be able to give – I would still be as much of a gift – just as myself. I think everybody feels in their bones that we were created to create. Every artist that’s being honest with themselves can sense that it isn’t actually all them. No artist has actually had an original idea – sorry! – and we shine it through the unique prism of ourselves. But we’re kidding ourselves if we think we’re making this stuff up. It’s intrinsic, it’s innate.”
Janaya shares about her own insecurities and fears about her potential solo career. Her sister reminded her that her greatest artistic medium is – herself, which she will always have. Yes, hone your craft. Share it whole-heartedly. But try not to worry about the rest, try not to sweat the details, the outcomes.
Listen to Jay & Jo’s album “Grounded and Light” on iTunes!
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