Lululemon Legacy Ambassador- My Story
“Owning our story is standing in our truth.” Brene Brown
Hi, I’m Maria Johnson, a devoted mother of 4 amazing humans and the owner of the Settled wellness brand, encompassing a Registered Yoga School through hosting 200 hour yoga teacher trainings and international custom luxury wellness retreats in Europe and Costa Rica. I was also a two term brand ambassador for Lululemon, now legacy status.
I was asked to share my story at a Lululemon event with fifty industry professionals from our area. The event, the Art of the Story, was hallmarking the off-boarding of myself and several of my fellow ambassadors from our store.
Even with the nearly twenty years I have taught and practiced yoga and then featured as a four year ambassador with Lululemon I have never shared certain parts of my story or past. I have intentionally left them out in fear of being defined, judged or discredited by those details.
It has taken this long to feel like I can share finally share my story while co-existing with the fear of rejection.
The melodic wisdom of Trevor hall comes to mind, “you can’t rush your healing.”
I felt like an improbable choice for a Lululemon ambassador at first, not because I was not capable or qualified but because I held onto self limiting patterns of thinking that led me to second guess myself in a state of insecurity.
You see, I came to my vocation as a yoga teacher and eventually as a two-term ambassador for Lululemon after barely navigating through the ups and downs of my childhood and teenage years where all too often I allowed my shame and self limiting thought patterns to keep me stuck and blind to my own stifled potential. Others judged me too and assumed that I was a lost cause. It felt like I owned the title “damaged goods”. I lacked the the conditions I mistakenly thought were necessary for the honor of being a Lululemon ambassador, like owning a studio and having thousands of Instagram followers.
My experiences, my story made me into the capable, confident, accomplished, vulnerable, benevolent, compassionate and graceful person I am and endeavor to be while humbly admitting that I am and always will accept myself as a work in progress and in need of mindful practices that keep me in line with my highest truths.
It makes me feel very uncomfortable to share the parts of my story I am ashamed of. I appreciate the work of women like Brene Brown that “brave this wilderness” and encourage others to do the same.
Even my closest friends would describe me as very private and that I have “trust issues”. Especially with trusting the sincerity of others.
Sharing the uncomfortable details of my story in public was a first for me. This vulnerable moment was a first in front of fifty respected industry professionals in our region. Rather than reading my script, I just spoke and quacked and delivered a shaky unrefined speech from the heart and in the moment. Showing and sharing my shame has been at times painful to reveal but an essential step toward establishing myself in a state of true belonging and equanimity. The lotus blossoming from the mud.
I was introduced to the gym for the first time and my first yoga class after experiencing a miscarriage at 19. I had dropped out of high school and moved out by 16 years old. I polluted my body and mind and cared very little for myself or wellbeing. It’s no understatement to say I’m very lucky to have lived through this time. I’m sad to say the shame of this chapter of my life still surfaces to haunt me in spite of all the mileage between then and now.
I believe purpose, My love of history and reading lead me to yoga and I found and knew my vocation as a yoga teacher through the truth of my healing process and personal practice.
I have always been a dreamer with a powerful imagination, full of ideas and aspirations. However, it was not until I was introduced to the practice and discipline of yoga that I ever believed myself capable of the many accomplishments I celebrate today including my 17 year marriage, raising four children, graduating with my BA degree in History Cum Laude, starting the business and developing my yoga teacher training course and my legacy as a Lululemon ambassador.
My Lululemon legacy includes:
- 3 summers of teaching to hundreds at “State of Mind” Utah State Capitol series
- Annual Bend at the Bird Snowbird summer series sharing yoga in the mountains with hundreds
- Events teaching yoga NHL professional athletes from the Utah Grizzlies
- Travel to Colorado to teach at Camp Yoga
- Wanderlust Snowmass
- And the list goes on…
Owning our story is standing in our truth.--Brene Brown
I only got stronger and gained so many friendships and experiences along the way because I said YES and tenaciously pursued sharing my expression of sharing the tradition of yoga with others despite the presence of fear and insecurity.
There is a principle in physiology called the principle of overload.
In order to get stronger, the amount of resistance or load you are experiencing must be more than what you are accustomed to.
The principle of overload applies in life on many avenues. Physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually.
Some of the “loads” we knowingly choose and take on with equal parts trepidation and ambition. However, many of the loads we are shouldered with in the seasons of life we do not choose to bear and so we have simply try our best to survive being momentarily overwhelmed with the weight of the challenge until our constitution grows stronger.
There were so many times I feel overwhelmed and overloaded by the enormity of how vulnerable and exposed and helpless I often am in the face of the challenging teachers I encounter on my path.
I accept myself as a work in progress and continue the daily practice of getting out of my own way to transcend fear and embrace trust.
I am so grateful for my experience with Lululemon and the endearing experiences and relationships that have elevated my life and career.
- What form do your dreams and aspirations take?
- What are your self limiting patterns of thinking that may be holding you back from greatness?
- How can you get out of your own way to fulfill your heart’s calling?
- How can you align your reality with your highest truth?