We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Living Joy Wisdom, my business, was inspired by overcoming challenges in my own life.. I was in a very difficult marriage. I suppressed my joy, When the marriage dissolved I was indeed depressed and lost my sense of inner joy. and freedom. I felt that I didn’t know myself anymore. I felt empty, had low self esteem, feeling small and lonely, I was a very unhappy and sad person. I wanted this to change.
I was encouraged by my spiritual teacher Lama Lar to look into Laughter Yoga. I took a journey to India shortly after I divorced and trained with Dr. Kataria in Laughter Yoga to become a Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher. In the process of that training I rediscovered my joyful spirit and discovered that my laughter was indeed contagious and uplifting to others. Just like when I was a child. I rediscovered how to love and enjoy being myself again.
Upon rediscovering my unconditional joyful nature. I realized I was not alone in the process of losing my joy by placing my happiness on something outside myself. Thus Living Joy Wisdom was created from my deep desire to help others live a joyful life with purpose, gaining wisdom in their own lives from their personal experiences.
I teach people to learn to care for themselves, unconditionally love themselves and live with a joyful purpose.
What should our readers know about your business?
I consider myself an energetic, creative, enthusiastic leader, and entrepreneur. What excites me about my work is seeing hearts, and lives change and thrive. What inspires me is my work reaches people globally and I wonder how it can grow to positively impact still others. What sets me apart from other certified laughter yoga teachers and life coaches and laughter teachers is my skills set and understanding of energetics. My knowledge in ASL, the language of the deaf. My spiritual education. Being competent in a number of modalities, I use a combination of energy medicine, Laughter, and heart centered compassion teachings to raise the vibration of each person I am privileged to serve. Guiding clients back to themselves to find their inner radiance and resources that are always there. Helping them remember the unconditional joy within, that is also always there, even if it feels blocked at times. I am delighted to facilitate a pathway for clients to get back to their unconditional Joy and true nature quickly. It is my joy in life to serve others and to be served by my clients. I believe we always teach each other something.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Seeing how I recently relocated from New Mexico back to California there are a number of wonderful places to see in the Monterey Bay Area to begin with and not limited your visits to: Carmel Valley, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Monterey Bay, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, San Francisco, Napa Valley to name just a few. The Monterey Bay Area is my hometown where I grew up.There are so many wonderful things to see in this area so in no particular order, that is, you can mix and match what order in which you will explore these amazing places. When sitting with a friend visiting from out of town I would list out all these activities in this way and then we can pick and choose our days and the amount of time we will spend in each area. First place I would love to take anyone visiting this area is the well known Monterey Bay Aquarium. This place mesmerized me as a kid, so many amazing wonders from the sea. Looking at the shark tanks, exploring the Sea pools where you can touch a starfish and other sea creatures. Then there is the Fisherman’s Wharf. My mother’s father was the first police officer that worked the Wharf. So when I walk the Wharf I recall a few stories my family would tell me about my grandpa and his son’s working on the Wharf and their heroic feats, helping others. On the Wharf there are a number of shops and restaurants. There are candy shops filled with cotton candy, my favorite treat, candied apples and an assortment of famous saltwater taffy and chocolates. And one of my favorite restaurants that serves Clam chowder, the “Old Fisherman’s Grotto” this is a place that also has family ties way back with Grandpa Amos. When Grandpa Amos was alive he helped the owner of this business out. There is a great story to this place so when I take my friends here, I will tell them the story of Grotto’s restaurants of my family and theirs. Then there are beautiful places to visit near the Ocean like Lovers Point where people play volleyball, sunbathe, snorkel, swim, kayak ect. And then there are other natural wonders like Half Dome in Yosemite, and the Redwood forests, Other beautiful Ocean views are in Big Sur, take a drive down the coast and head through the national forest of the Redwoods. Discover hidden beaches, trails, and gems along the way. Other wonderful nature activities include hikes in Carmel Valley by the Sea, Visiting San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge The Redwood forests national parks. These forests are so beautiful and lush. For those that like wine tasting, like myself, Napa Valley is the perfect place to enjoy different types and styles of wines. In Napa Valley you can go on a horseback riding trip, go wine tasting and have a fancy dinner and get a massage all in one day. If you want to stick to the shores more you can go to Pebble Beach which has a famous Golf Course next to the Ocean and listen to the bagpipers play the pipes at night in their wonderful restaurant at the Pebble Beach Resort. You can do just about any activity in the Monterey Bay area. After sharing with my friend about these places and understanding what they love to do. The more adventurous/ mover type of person I would take them out to Nature more often and be sure to add the Golden Gate Bridge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Fisherman’s Wharf, these, to me, a must see attractions before leaving the area.There is also a lot of different dining options in the Monterey bay area. You can find what you are looking for. Definitely you will want to return as you will not be able to see it all and do it all in one visit.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wish to dedicate and say thank you to everyone that I have had the privilege to know in my life. Thank you to the person who recommended this interview. My friends, my family and my former husband for if I didn’t know him I wouldn’t be who I am today. Also I wish to thank my spiritual teacher and mentor Lama Lar Short and the GEM meditation community for their love and support throughout this journey. I am grateful for the teachings from Lama Lar on the heart of compassion, and these books he has written which have greatly impacted my life. “The way of Radiance.” and “Opening the heart of compassion.” I want to thank Dr. Kataria for creating the Laughter Yoga University because I learned a great deal from him and his staff. A big thank you to my older sister Dr. Laura who has been such a huge support in my life journey. She’s a gifted teacher, healer, an amazing friend and traveling buddy.