Name: Simone Johnson
Occupation: Entrepreneur, Conflict Resolution and
Communication Specialist & Coach
Current place of residence: San Lorenzo, Ca (East Bay Area, California)
Social media links/websites (optional): IG: @theconflictcoach
What is your upbringing? Where were you born, raised, who raised you?
I was born and raised in Houston, Tx by my mom and dad. I spent a great deal of time growing up in the church, as my dad was a deacon and my mom was on the usher board. I was on the praise dance team, choir, Sunday school secretary, and was also a part of Top Teens of America- Houston Chapter. I was cheerleading captain for multiple years, dance team captain, sang in the school choir from middle school through high school graduation, and STILL HAD TO WORK! Excellence and leadership have been the expectation of me since I was able to walk and talk. Even though I grew up in a nice 2 story home in a nice neighborhood, I never placed myself above others. I grew up with family and friends who were from tougher neighborhoods and was able to learn how to get along with people from all walks of life. I learned early the importance of only accepting information from good sources, which is why I constantly surrounded myself around older people, my granny in particular. She is and always has been my favorite person in the entire world, and I owe much of my wisdom and grace to her.
Who influenced you the most growing up, negatively or positively?
My mother has been the biggest influence in my life. She set the example of what a woman is supposed to look like for me. I have her to thank for my resilience, my leadership skills, my confidence in my ability to be the best at anything, and my beautiful big brown eyes and killer smile. :)Though her influence positively impacted me in these very important areas of my life, her influence also created a great deal of insecurity within myself. I remember her words like it was yesterday. "Drink a Slim Fast instead of eating that. That's way too much makeup you have on! Suck in! No man is going to want you if you don't lose some weight." Though I know her intentions were good, these words haunted me throughout most of my life and unfortunately, became my truth for a long, long time. Because I was not and have never really been "thin", when a guy did in fact want me, and let me tell you there were plenty, I would do whatever I could and put up with whatever I had to to keep him. Not to mention I was very insecure about the way my body looked. This resulted in me having many unhealthy relationships with men for the majority of my life. In fact, I believe my current relationship with the love of my life, John, is the one healthy relationship I've ever had. I guess when you look at it like that, she did me a favor. Because of all the terrible relationships I've endured, and that one relationship that I barely survived just 2 short years ago, I am able to appreciate the relationship I have now with everything that I have and for everything that it's truly worth.
What does "courage" mean to you?
Courage means to me being brave enough to be your own rescue.
Tell me your story of courage. What happened? How did you overcome it and how has it changed your life?
Before I moved to the Bay, I was in a 2 year relationship with a man who was mentally, emotionally, and eventually physically abusing me. After one unforgettable night of absolute terror and pain, I decided that enough was enough. With only my dog and my purse I fled in the middle of the night to a safe place. I was so afraid. What would my parents think? Where am I going to live? How could I face my friends after months and months of lying to them, pretending that I was okay? How would I protect myself from him? Was I really strong enough to make it through this? I was terrified, but God gave me the courage to overcome all of those things.
My ex really did a number on me. I was so sure of who I was when we first started dating, but by the time I had the strength and sense to leave, I could barely recognize myself. I was incredibly weak and insecure, and I knew the only person who could help me heal was God. I wrote in my journal every day to help me acknowledge and understand the emotions I was feeling. I prayed multiple times for strength and peace, and God heard my prayers. I felt Him with me every day, and with every new day that came, I grew stronger and so did my faith!
December 23, 2014 changed my life forever. If it weren't for that horrible night causing me to end my unhealthy relationship, I wouldn't have met the love of my life, John. Overcoming the pain of my previous relationship has strengthened my faith unlike anything ever has. It's also helped me tap into a power that I never knew I had, the power of peace. I have never been more happy than I am today, at peace, living in the beautiful Bay with the man of my dreams, building our dreams together, and courageously living in my purpose.
Describe the kind of work you do?
As a conflict resolution and communication specialist, I help people resolve their conflicts by using healthy and effective dialogue. I help my clients achieve this through either my professional mediation or conflict consulting services. I believe our peace is too valuable and absolutely too vital to allow conflict to linger around unresolved and poorly managed in our lives. We as a people have a responsibility to ourselves and to this beautiful world we live in to educate ourselves on effective conflict resolution and communication practices in order to restore peace, love and understanding within our families, our communities, and the world. I created Solutions with Simone J- Mediation and Conflict Consulting, to serve as a tool for people to use to educate themselves on ways to properly manage the conflict around them. Whether they choose mediation or conflict consulting, my clients will leave feeling peaceful and empowered through education, exploration and application.
What keeps you going and inspires you to do it?
Whenever I'm feeling discouraged, I remember why I'm doing this. Almost 3 years ago I made a commitment to myself that no matter what I would fulfill my purpose given to me by God and make my dreams come. Since I made that commitment, unimaginable challenges have come my way. I believe that it's all a test of my faith. God wants to know just how committed I am, but He also wants me to know that He is with me every step of the way. I keep going because I know that He is watching and counting on me to fulfill my purpose. I am a significant part of HIS MASTER PLAN, we all are, and I won't be the one to let Him down. That's why I keep going. My dream of leading and empowering THE WORLD to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life is what inspires me to never give up on myself.
What do you try to leave with your clients/audience when your day is over?
We are stronger together! Look for similarities, not differences. Listen to understand. Love is a language we can all speak. Peace is a place we all want to live in. Spread more love and peace, and watch the world shine brighter.