Johanna Rossi

Founder of Raising Women

Johanna's Story

My story has many beginnings, many end of chapters, but as yet, luckily for me, my story is yet to have an ending. There are many ways I could begin my story but, for the sake of the length of this post and to give meaning to the 'why' behind why I created Raising Women I'll start with the birth of my son. Leandro Alexander Carlo Rossi came screaming into this world on the 10th November 2008. The birth was long, the birth was traumatic for both of us and it was the moment my son literally cracked me open. I didn't realise it then but his birth marked a huge turning point in my life. My very long short 31 years before that moment had been, well let's say, bumpy. My good friends always say to me, « You just weren't dealt a great hand ». Even though life hadn't been easy for me up to that point I always had some faith that one day it would mean something. Don't ask me how, perhaps intuition… Don't get me wrong, some times I felt like I was going through hell and that I wasn't going to make it out the other end. Life settled down a bit in my late twenties, but after so many years of struggling, I let life carry me along for a while and as a result lost direction and purpose. I knew that life didn't feel the way I wanted it to feel that there was 'more' out there, that there were other things I wanted in my life and for my life, but being young and somewhat bruised from my past experiences I didn't actively look for more, I was half asleep.

So when you hear people talking about 'awakenings' that happen to them, that is exactly what happened to me. The birth of my son, little did I know it then, was like the alarm clock going off to start a series of events that, I believe were destined to unfold, only in that raw, awakened state that only the early days of motherhood can put you in.

The whole 'baby' thing was new to me. I think I'd only ever changed one nappy before I had my son. So for me the traumatic birth and then the breastfeeding troubles were like a huge slap in the face. I remember coming home after almost a week in the maternity ward, in pain, so. much.pain… thinking of all these other mamas you see posting how happy they are, and how full of love and how overjoyed they are to bring there new babies home. I felt cheated. I questioned myself and wondered if there was more I could have done to be more prepared. I announced to my husband that one day I was, « going to write a book for first time mamas about real birth stories, and what it was really like in the first few weeks »… because every book that I had bought about raising babies left me feeling inadequate and alone and they all went in the bin when he was 3 months old. He did nothing by the book. Nothing ! As time passed the book idea became a support group and then a place where mums could go and talk and kids could play and then it became a retreat for busy mums… Little did I know I had planted a seed with these ideas that was to come to fruition years later !

As Leandro grew, so did I. Motherhood shook me up. It grew me up. Leandro didn't do it by the book and it reminded me that when I was growing up, neither did I. In every little stage, phase, milestone I saw reflections of my former self, or more importantly reminders of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to be or wanted to create in life. My experience of motherhood forced me to reopen my creativity and my difficult moments pushed me to find solutions and look for answers that I had left unanswered for so long.

I had a series of really important awakenings. One of the most important was my grandmother passing away. She left us on boxing day and I decided that that year I would make a series of new year's resolutions/goals and stick to them. On each page of a new sketch book I stuck an image and wrote below what it was I wanted. I was inspired at the time, but little did I know how important this step would be in the big scheme of things 7 years later. I've kept that book on my desk all these years and recently for the first time in a very long time I opened it and was amazed at how many of the goals have come to fruit in ways I could have never imagined.

Another very important event happened. A dear friend of my cousin passed away from cancer. She was young. She wasn't ready to go, in her words, « she still had so many things she wanted to do ». Her parting marked me so much more that it should have done. She was someone I respected deeply, it tore me apart to see my cousin in so much pain, but we were aquaintances, I'd only met her a couple of times. But, her words went straight to my core and to this day they mark me. She was gone but I was here and I could do something, I could do some good in the world and I had the chance to make things happen. All the hestitating and false starts were over and from that point I haven't stopped. I've dug deep, I've tried to learn as much as I can about myself, about life and about what I want for myself and for my family, and more over want I wanted to put out into the world.

After studying for a year to become a holistic health coach I launched a business called Life A Nourishing Life. I delivered local organic vegetbles to door, I taught people how to eat better for health and I coached people on how to live life more mindfully. This was my first real solo business after running a restaurant with my husband for 7 years, and it was a steep learning curve and it was a great lesson for me to understand what I didn't want from a business and what I did. And only by getting out there and doing it would I have learnt that. So no regrets here because it has brought me to where I want to be today. Through my work as a coach I set up a six week course called Nourish Camp. I started working with a number of amazing mothers and realised that although they were all doing different things and bringing up their children in their own unique ways, they all had things in common and they all wanted similar things from life. I began to love coaching these women and loved being able to connect them and be a facilator of support. I felt like I had finally finally found my place and for the first time in years I felt like myself.

This is where my second child comes in. Sienna Mae Rossi born the 20th January 2013. I didn't want to have a second child. My first birth and the frist couple of years of motherhood had been so hard that I wasn't willing to go though it again. But, I faced my fears and my little girl was born in such different circumstances, in a natural birth, that followed a more natural start to being a mother of two.

Sienna Mae, so strong and yet so soft at the same time taught me how to cut the bullshit. She inspired me to not be afraid of changing course or realigning my sails, and helped to remind me that I could finally find my place in the world by being myself and probably more importantly help me remember who that person was/is.

So I made the decision to let go of what was no longer serving me and my business and decided to concentrate on coaching these wonderfully inspiring mothers. Once I had made that decision a new path opened up with all the possibilities that I could create by following what I really wanted. So I went back to the drawing board and worked out a way I could create a business that would allow me to align what I loved doing with what I wanted for my family with a way I could share my values with the world.

So Raising Women was born. A community of connection and support that gives back to women less fortunate. A podcast to help mothers feel less alone and a coaching service to be able to do what I love, supporting women to reach their potential. I still have so many goals to fulfill and hopefully many many happy chapters to write, but I hope that my story (even though it is highly edited) so far might inspire you to take some action and courage to live life the best way in your own unique way.

Inspired?

If you'd like to go on your own journey of self-discovery and raise your woman within, but you're not sure how or where to start. Or if you're feeling overwhelmed by growing a business and raising a family, contact Holistic Health Coach and Raising Women's Founder Johanna Rossi to find out more about how you can #raiseyourwoman within.

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