In Society

Rusiana Mannarino, A Real Gem of a Woman

We all meet many people throughout our lives, but not many can we call a friend.  Friendship is a value I hold dear, and I chose one of my friends to be the first “Unforgettable person I have ever met” not only because I like her but because she has been such an inspiration to me throughout the few years we have known each other. I met Rusiana at a Yoga studio, and I liked her right away: her big smile, her twinkly eyes but most of all her friendly disposition.  As I got to know Rusiana, I realized that there was much more to this bubbly-smiley-person I was always happy to run in.  She had a background story that I would never have guessed in a million years.

Rusiana grew up in a poor neighborhood in Indonesia and had a terrible childhood. By the age of six, she had endured very tough circumstances and was lacking the role models most children have. Those feelings that something was very wrong with her environment, although she didn’t understand what was normal or abnormal, did cost her to lose her innocence.  Not knowing what she was doing Rusiana found a way to adapt to her surroundings by building a façade that could change at her will to please everyone and therefore avoiding the pain of being rejected.   Believing this was her personality,  this ‘act’ worked out for many years. Although Rusiana followed her passion for Marketing and Business Management and graduated from the University of Tarumanagara in Jakarta,  she chose to work as a flight attendant for ten years instead of working in her field. Over the years Rusiana felt completely cornered by her choices, and eventually, she chose to face reality. Maybe she wasn’t the ‘happy-go-lucky’ girl and realized she needed to make changes in her life.

That is the reason I believe that Rusiana is such an inspiration for women who are afraid to step out of their comfort zones.  I read somewhere that “Nothing great ever comes out of comfort zones.” Ain’t that the truth! Unfortunately, it is easier said than done. Rusiana’s strength is in her ability to step out of herself and take a hard look at who she is. It takes an enormous amount of courage to face oneself, but even more, to be honest with what you do not like about yourself. Rusiana felt that she did deserve peace and harmony as much as others did but she felt nailed down by her fears and limitations.

The first step Rusiana took was to accept her past and the second was that she wasn’t going to be a victim anymore.  She received her power back with the help of what she calls her “Higher Power”: she listened to what her soul was starving for all those years.  No matter how deep the wounds were, Rusiana now had faith. This faith was what she hung onto whenever she felt weak and afraid. Then came the real challenge: she was offered a business opportunity that allowed her to reach her goals and transform herself into the woman she is today although it meant facing her fears of success, failure, lacking skills, as well dealing with a  language barrier. The offer being in her field and leaning on her newfound faith she rose to the opportunity. Rusiana never quit. No matter how hard things got and how depressed she would get. Looking at the bigger picture helped her to stay focused, and today, she is a successful businesswoman. When Rusiana feels she is reverting to her old self, she uses gratitude, forgiveness, acceptance, and faith instead of the negative opposite such as fear, self-pity, self-hatred, and procrastination.

In all humility, Rusiana believes she was put on this Earth to deliver a message of love and wishes that everyone could see the perfection her Higher Power has shown her. She wants to guide others on that road less traveled, and that is why I believe she is one amazing and unforgettable person. I am without a doubt that she has found her deeper purpose and that as she continues to live her life, will help many others attain freedom from the fears and limitations that lurk in their minds. I am fortunate to count Rusiana as one of my friends, and I will always be inspired by her relentless desire to be the best person she can be.


Rusiana is an Independent Consultant- Area Manager at Arbonne Canada and is the co-author of “Dear Stress, I’m breaking up with you”  and “Dear limits, get out of my way” from the series of books “Dear Women Guide Book Series” published by Golden Brick Road Publishing House Inc.


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