"For what will you be remembered?" is a question that echoed in my soul when I sat in my car in the Fedex parking lot alone and immobile with an ear splitting headache and numbness in my left side, blurred vision, and a brief loss of consciousness. I remember opening my eyes and looking at the bright blue sky, the white snow on top of my windshield, and I knew something was wrong.
A few minutes later, I found myself at the local hospital emergency room, holding my heads in my hands, crying uncontrollably and desperately trying to use the breathing techniques that I had learned and taught to so many people over the years to center themselves. Unfortunately, with each breath I took, my cries turned into sobs. I was consumed with feelings of guilt, shame and helplessness.
"I am better than this," I said to myself.
I prided myself on having an impeccable appearance because it symbolized my attention to detail and my commitment to always being prepared. When you saw me, you felt my passion for life and felt energized by it. However, I was tired and stressed.
On that day, my mascara painted black streaks on my face, and I knew that I had to recommit to my own self-care. My body demonstrated stroke like symptoms because of undue stress. It was hard for me to accept that I had become part of the 78% of Americans who reported feeling physical ailments due to stress. After all, I meditated and taught mindfulness. What I did not take into account was the importance of all sources of energy, such as sleep, healthy foods, and exercise. Yes, I meditated, but I needed to create a more balanced life with proper sleep, healthier foods, and sufficient exercise.
With the guidance of my mentors and coaches, I reconnected with myself and committed to helping other leaders to do just that!
So, I am here today to tell you that your well-being matters. You do not have to hit rock bottom to place yourself on your priority list.
You work so hard and deserve to live a JOYOUS life while you are achieving professional and financial success. JOY is possible with a refocus on our internal wellness; we have to care for our physical bodies, our emotional and mental health, and our intellectual and spiritual growth. When we ignore our own well-being, we are unable to be best that we can be.
If you are looking for some inspiration to get you into action, contact me.
"Be the change you wish to see in the world” are the famous words of Mahatma Ghandi that Johane strives to live by in her personal, professional, and social change endeavors. Johane is a certified transformational coach, motivational speaker, experienced trainer, Reiki and aromatherapist practitioner. She teaches targeted breathing techniques, self-leadership strategies, mindfulness, and aromatherapy to alleviate the negative impact of stress on everyday life. She is committed to helping others create joyous spaces in their lives that nurture the heart as well as the brain while accomplishing high levels of success. Johane is currently writing a book, called The Joyous Edge Method, about how people can effectively tap into their joy.
Johane received a B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Albany, a Master in the Arts of Teaching (M.A.T.) in English Education from Union College, and an Ed.M degree in Educational Leadership from the Summer Principals Academy, Teachers College, Columbia University. A native of Haiti, Johane grew up in an inequitable educational system and immigrated to the United States at age 10. Her childhood experiences helped shape her great passion to serve under-represented youth and make it possible for them to obtain not just an equitable education, but an excellent one. During Johane’s tenure, schools have been recognized for their academic excellence and positive school culture, receiving various nominations and awards, such as the National Blue Ribbon of Excellence Award, the Invitational School Award, and the ASCD Whole Child Award. She has trained hundreds of aspiring leaders in curriculum and supervision as an adjunct instructor in the Summer Principal Academy at Teachers College, Columbia University. She presented to members of Congress on practical life skills and mindfulness tools to effectively combat trauma and stress suffered by students.