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Meet Trailblazer Renee Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Renee Johnson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Renee. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
For me, yoga and meditation have never been about attaining a crazy-difficult pose or sitting still for hours on end chanting: they are about experiencing your mind and body where they are in this moment.

Yoga and meditation are about seeing yourself without filters, without the stories we love to tell ourselves, or who we desire to be tomorrow. It’s simply about honoring who and where we are right now.

Before starting Infinite Lotus Yoga and Meditation, I had been a stay at home mom who worked a few office administration positions throughout the years but my focus had always been on my children.

And before I knew it, 19 years slipped by and my children grew up to be beautiful, caring adults who no longer seemed to need me. Now I know I should have seen that coming but surprisingly I wasn’t prepared. Then I came to the difficult self-realization that although I had no regrets, I had been living my life through my children. Now, what do I do?

After my kids graduated, I found myself taking another office position but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled and it seemed like something was missing. I realized that whenever I felt out of balance or needed to feel grounded because of the stress of a divorce, a move, or just because of life’s many tribulations, I always found myself literally and figuratively in a yoga class.

So, I returned once again to my yoga mat and realized that after a personal practice that has spanned over 20+ years it was time to teach what I loved to do. I began teaching in the studio where I had been a student for the past 10 years and then began teaching other places including the Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix.

This is absolutely not where I thought my life would be right now but I can honestly say I feel fulfilled and blessed that I am getting to do and share with others what has made a real difference in my life.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road has been manageable with a few bumps along the way. I have found that you just need to take one day at a time (and honestly, sometimes hour by hour).

I have had to learn many new skills from creating websites, to posting on social media, to writing a blog, to licensing and insuring my business… the list goes on and on. I am my own IT department, accounting department, marketing department, and even the janitor. Each role carrying with it a new skill set.

Sometimes, it’s frustrating learning these new skills but I have learned to not to be afraid to ask for help. That may mean taking a free webinar or sitting on the phone with the technical support but there are people out there that can and will help. You just need to ask.

Another lesson has been learning to network. A great resource for small business owners is other business owners. Networking is a great way to gain business connections, create friendships, and develop a strong support system.

Volunteering is another great way of networking. If you want a specific skill, find someone who has it and see if you can follow them or interview them. Give your time to an institution or a cause that you care about and the results can be life-changing. (This is how I got my opportunity to work at the Mayo Hospital because I volunteered my time at another hospital and gained experience working with cancer patients.)

Share your ideas with others. If you find something that works for your business don’t be afraid to share it. Pay it forward.

So, as you begin your journey down your road… learn new skills, ask for help and advice, share your knowledge, network with others, and volunteer your time!

We’d love to hear more about Infinite Lotus Yoga and Meditation.
My mission is to introduce yoga and meditation to students in such a way that is accessible, practical, and enjoyable; and to bring these practices to everyone, especially to those students who may never step foot into a yoga studio.

I often hear people say, ‘I can’t do yoga because I am not flexible’, or ‘I’m too heavy’, or ‘I’ll embarrass myself’. In regards to meditation, I hear ‘I can’t stop my mind from chattering’, or ‘I can’t sit still for that long’.

I promise you, you don’t have to be able to touch your toes, be a size 2, have perfect balance, or the ability to sit for hours on end. Both yoga and meditation are about showing up on the mat each time, without anticipations or expectations and accepting the unfiltered, exposed, REAL you. These practices graciously meet you right where you are today and every day with open arms and without judgment.

For private in-home and corporate sessions we work together to create a yoga/meditation practice specifically suited for your goals and needs. I bring all of the equipment so there is no need for you to buy anything!

My specialties include Hatha yoga, Yoga Nidra guided meditations, yoga and meditation for cancer patients and survivors, working with stress and anxiety, beginning students, prenatal, corporate sessions, and private sessions. I also do lectures and workshops in meditation and yoga.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
As a mother with a daughter in her early 20’s, I find this question especially pertinent. I would (and do) tell her:

Be willing to grow and challenge yourself. Growth happens outside our comfort zones.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and don’t be so hard on yourself when you do make them. The lessons we need to learn are often in how we handle ourselves after the mistake has occurred not in the mistake itself.

Give yourself time to find your authentic voice. As you gain experience your voice will become stronger and when it does… embrace it. Truly own who you are and what you think.

And finally, one of my favorite quotes is by Christian Nestell Bovee and I think it says it all…

“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.”

YOU GOT THIS!

Namaste

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Stacie Siferd Petrini (white shirt photo only)

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