The Day I Was Born – Oh What a Mistake!  

February 14th, 2018.

Today is my birthday! Fifty-some years ago today, my parents gave birth to “ME”!

It was 4:59 PM on February 14th, that my mother and father welcomed me into the world. No doubt they ooh’d and ahh’d over their newborn baby girl. Best of all was that they finally had a daughter that they hoped to have for so many years.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered there was a “mistake” that fateful day. Yes, that’s right. There was a mistake right from the start on the day I was born.

Over these past 50-some years, I have lived a life that has felt less than I was meant to be. I’ve always felt unsettled when thinking about who I really was and why I never quite felt “right”. Some might say I was living a life that wasn’t mine, or lived in hiding, or wasn’t true to who I am.

And so today, on this my birthday and in honor of my most genuine self, I’m am embracing my truth with self-love of who I have always been.

This is my truth – I am not Joanne Angeli. Nor am I Joanne Marie Angeli; the name I adopted in 5th grade when everyone had the middle name of “Marie” — except for me. (Thanks, Mom, for taking me to City Hall to change it.)

It might not seem to be a conundrum that such little attention and value is placed on the meaning and sensitivity of a name; until you realize that it’s not YOUR name.

Several years ago, I discovered my original birth certificate. And what to my wondering eyes did I see? It was that my birth name was actually Joanna Angeli. No “e” at the end and certainly no middle name. It was when I added Marie as my middle name that we accidentally changed my name from what it was always intended to be.

Oddly, I remember as a child pretending that my name was “Johanna” – the German version of Joanna. Huh? Had I known all along? Don’t know! I just knew I liked it…way more than I liked “Joanne”.

Thus began my quandary and questions. Did that explain why I’ve always despised my name? (Sorry to all the Joanne’s in the world. I’m sure you’re beautiful.) For me, it always left an “ick” taste in my mouth when I said it. It never felt right. It made me uneasy.

Over the past several months, I’ve met many new people. A staggering number of them responding with, “Hi, Joanna, (insert pleasantry).” Hhhhmmm. To top things off, several of them went on to say that they had a hard time calling me anything but Joanna, as that seemed to be who I was. Hhhhmmm. Maybe they knew something I didn’t.

I began to look into the meaning of my name and came to understand what really felt right for me. I discovered that there is most definitely a distinction between Joanna and Joanne.

If you search the Urban Dictionary, you’ll find the meaning of “Joanna” to be this:

The most sincere, good-hearted, and gorgeous girl to grace the world with her lively presence. Pretty much the most awesome person you can ever hope to meet. Be wary though, Joanna is a complete badass.

Compared to:

A girl who seems innocent, but also knows how to have fun. Joannes are usually beautiful, have slender and sexy bodies, extremely smart, and get all the guys.


There it was. In print. I am JOANNA! The very essence of who I am as reported by the most reliable source, the Urban Dictionary. 

As of today, I officially shed the name you’ve known, along with all the “ick” that it has created for me so that I may live into who I truly am – sincere, good-hearted and a complete Bad A$$.

In peace and joy,

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A Matter of Life….And Death

A Matter of LIFE…And Death

October 12, 2017

Several weeks ago I shared my excitement that I would be making an announcement of a new business model for New Heart Coaching on October 1st.  At the time, I was working closely with a creative and inspiring mentor to create a life-changing opportunity for those brave enough to face their deepest fears, turn limiting beliefs inside out and paint a personal image of awesomeness with high def clarity.

That was then.

Late last night life happened, as it often does when we least expect it.  In this case, it was death that happened.  I learned that on Sunday, October 8th, the world lost a beacon of light and I lost a mentor, friend, coach, and guide.  After a very brief illness, Pat Schuler’s life came to a sudden end.

As I mourn the loss of Pat’s physical presence, I am faced with a sense of vulnerability and fear, along with the question so many of my clients ask themselves, “NOW WHAT?”

What will I do without her guidance and inspiration?  What will I tell you about the new business model?  What will I do to get back on track to rolling out a life-transforming program?  Now what?

Pat’s husband, Brian, shared these words:  “To trust and allow became Pat’s benchmark, her compass, and her solace throughout this experience.   Each of us can learn a profound lesson from her example.”  He went on to write, “I believe very strongly that if you allow yourself to embrace your stillness….that you will still be able to hear her guidance.”

And wouldn’t you know it!  He was right.  Within a matter of hours of receiving Brian’s message, I was driving on the highway with Pat on my mind and in my heart.  I kept asking, “Now what?”

And there it was ~ a big, white truck with nothing printed on it except the words,

“Whatever it takes!”

As a believer in spiritual messages, I know that it was Pat’s answer for me.  


For today, as I process my sadness, my NOW WHAT is to admit vulnerability in not being ready to release the new business model and to share with you that life happens to each of us.

More importantly, today I will “trust and allow” a deep and cherished connection with Pat’s continued guidance.

Now what?

Whatever it takes!

Rest in peace, Pat.


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Had I Known Then….



It’s official….the new year is here!  Happy NEW year to you!



The holidays were fabulous for me because I was able to spend time with my children and their significant others.  The gift of time was the best gift I could have EVER wished to have received.

The holidays were a very reflective time for me as I experienced (in AWE) the amazing adults they have become.  My beautiful children are now adults thriving in their lives in their worlds…exactly how it was meant to be.  And yet I couldn’t help but remember the years of worry that plagued me as a single mom.

Had I only known then what I know now!

So what about all that ANXIETY, FEAR and FRUSTRATION that we shared as they were growing up?  

So many fears…Of them not being ready for college….Of not getting straight “A’s” that seemed to be the gold standard….Or of all those dinner conversations that went south because we didn’t have time to understand each other’s perspective.  

It was so very real at the time, as it consumed us and of our time together.

Now that they are adults and living their lives far from home, I’m saddened by how those anxieties, fears and frustrations robbed us of our precious and limited times.  What I know today is that, even though those were very real pains for us, there would have been ways to reduce (and even eliminate) those anxieties, fears and frustrations.

…had I just known then what I know now.

Although I can’t turn back time, what I CAN do is offer insights through experience, systems and process to bringing joy and connection into the lives of students and parents.

As an academic life coach, I work through the very same challenges that I experienced as a parent with my students and families.  They learn to use systems, process and strategies that lead to better communication and confidence in learning.

Clients identify their core motivators, learning and memory styles, and how to put them to use.  They learn core life skills that reduce stress ~  something as simple as how to effectively use a planner and how to organize a backpack. Yes! It makes a huge difference.  Thry also go on to create personal mission statements using powerful communication skills.

Starting 2017 with a new perspective and plan will open the opportunity for connection and joy within your family.  Here’s a link to my website to find out how to schedule a complimentary clarity call ~

There IS an easier way!  Academic Life Coaching brings connection back to families.


Had I only known then what I know now!!!

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White picket fence……syndrome?


Well, it finally happened!  After many years of dreaming of a home surrounded by a white picket fence, I finally have one.  A cute, little cape cod on a tree lined street…and now a white picket fence.

After spending hours painting the new fence a pristine white, a friend made the statement that it “begs the question, ‘Why a white picket fence?’”  Hhhhhmmmm…I began to wonder.  What was it about a white picket fence that has had me so captivated since I was a child?

So I decided to google it.  And there it was.  Urban Dictionary’s definition of “white picket fence”…only they added the word “syndrome”.  

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Beneath the Gingko Tree

gingko-treeThe weather has been unseasonably warm for mid-late October here in Wisconsin. As the beautiful day outside beckoned me for time in my hammock, it was in honor of my love of being outside that I headed out the door.

As I lay beneath this amazing gingko tree that loomed more than 40 feet above me, I began to notice the seeds that hung heavy from its branches. Truth be told, they made their presence known by dropping on me…one…after another…and then another.

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Choosing a Coach


As a life coach, I resonate with Dr. Romie’s approach to choosing a life coach. It’s an important decision, so consider the 7 questions she believes can help those seeking a life coach to find a professional that is right for them. Continue reading

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With Autumn Change, Hope is in the Air


What an amazing day this is already. The beauty outside my window this morning is inspiring. Those leaves of abundant color once gave shade on hot summer days; the sound of wind swishing through them often lulling me to sleep.

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