About Joan Jakel

Allow me to introduce myself.

I’m Joan Jakel.

Life Coach Joan Jakel ready to empower you!

Welcome to my electronic world, which is an extension of my physical world.  I’m glad you peeked in.  Let me share a bit about myself & my journey.

First of allwho am I?

I am an Empowerment Instigator.

Definition of Empowerment Instigator: Equal parts Life Coach, Advisor, Entrepreneur, Artist, Spiritual Junkie, Ass Kicker, Cheerleader

Over the last 22 years, I’ve advised, coached and counseled hundreds of people as they turned their personal and business dreams into reality.

I’ve designed a unique blend of coaching programs, workshops, VIP days and retreats to guide people using a variety of tools, exercises, activities, creativity, and sensory, nourishing experiences to discover and step into their fully self-expressed, authentic lives. I help people uncover what is truly important to them, to release what isn’t serving them, to develop an empowering belief systems and supportive mindset to take concrete steps to define their goals and put them into action.

We work together to build a support system and create a tool belt of resources to address any challenge, resistance, setbacks and fear that will arise as they develop new habits to maintain focus on the goals and unfolding dreams.

I’ve helped clients as they’ve learned, grown, succeeded, failed, celebrated and expanded. We focus on accessing their truth and true desires. They develop the courage to step into the fullness of life. As the transformation evolves, so too does their access to peace, joy, self-acceptance, self-expression, authenticity and purpose.

Nothing brings me greater pleasure than playing a role in guiding people to create purposeful, authentic lives that exceed their wildest expectations!  My desire is to ignite your passion to follow your unique path and revel in the discoveries that await you. 

How did I get here? Definitely by following the road less traveled.

The Early Years

I was raised on a farm in Minnesota in a town with a whopping population of 600.  For as long as I can remember, I couldn’t wait to grow up and move to a big city.  As a 5 year old girl, I developed a firmly held conviction that anything is possible while lying on my back on the grass in my front yard watching planes fly overhead. I fantasized about where they were going and the adventures on which they were about to embark.  Oh the stories I created!  And I longed to be on that plane!  I was born knowing I would leave the small town for the big city.  And it couldn’t come soon enough.

a photograph of Joan Jakel in kindergarten

Yes, this little girl knew she had big things on the horizon!

But it did come, as did the whirlwind that followed. I traveled from the tundra to the desert to enroll at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.  From a population of 600 to a college campus that enrolled more than 41,000 students. My world exploded!

The College Years

A photo of Joan on ASU graduation dayI put myself through college, worked full time at restaurants where I developed my love of food and wine, and kept up my grades which meant great scholarships.  Given my schedule, I became a natural night owl, which continues to this day.  I went to school all day, worked until late in the evening, came home and did my homework until 2-3 in the morning, then I ran the streets of Tempe to unwind and take in the energy that flows from the solitude of a sleeping city while reveling in another successfully completed day.

I graduated at the top of my class, summa cum laude, not due to my brilliance, but due to my sheer desire & commitment to excel. While it was an accomplishment, it stemmed from a need to be “good enough,” which had been a driving force for my lifetime.  It did not create the internal fulfillment that I truly desired. 

My First Professional Role – Life as an Attorney

What’s next? Well, since second grade, I dreamed of being a lawyer. I wanted to be a female F. Lee Bailey.  So I moved from the desert to the forests of Spokane, Washington and transformed from a Sun Devil to a Bulldog at Gonzaga University School of Law.  More accolades and accomplishments in my desire to find that elusive internal fulfillment.  By all accounts, I appeared to be on the right course with success looming on the horizon.

Photo of Joan Jakel standing next to the Gonzaga University Monument

After graduation, I moved back to the Valley of the Sun, where I passed the bar,  worked for a law firm, then I ran the legal department of a corporation, then I set up my own law firm.

When did I do that, you ask?

Immediately after 9/11.  Which was my birthday. Happy Birthday to me while watching in horror as the Twin Towers collapsed in front of my eyes while watching the Today show.  I was both horrified and overcome by how many people died  and how many of them had never followed their dreams because they thought they had “tomorrow” to do it.

 What if I don’t have tomorrow?

I couldn’t imagine anything worse than dying with my music still in me, never having pursued my big dreams.  My big dream was to be an entrepreneur and run my own business. 

What business could I launch right then and there?  

The answer was obvious – do something utilizing my current skills: set up a law firm.  I immediately set up my own law firm and my employer became my first client.  I hit the ground running and figured out how to run my own business while on the job.

(p.s. There is NEVER a perfect time to set up a business.  You have to decide and commit to do it and DO IT. If you wait for the perfect opportunity and time, it will pass you by.)

I Lost Myself

More accomplishments,  more community involvement, boards, committees, more clients to serve and employees to grow and whirlwind days filled with busy activities in a busy life all served up at a frenetic pace that never allowed me to complete my growing to-do list.  It consumed me and I got lost. My identity got consumed by my roles and I forgot who I was. Actually, I couldn’t remember if I ever really knew who I was. And the fatal blow was my divorce.  I hit rock bottom and found myself trapped in a primordial ooze of being utterly and completely lost. I realized I didn’t have a purposeful, fulfilling life and it was time to create one. One that truly mattered. That was authentic. That brought me bliss and joy. That allowed me to use my skills and talents and make a bigger difference in this world. That allowed me to connect with my self. My real self.

I Discovered my Authentic Self

My journey led me to places of great challenge, of ugly insights, of truth, of sadness, of joy, of release, of love, of compassion, of acceptance, of forgiveness, of healing and ultimately to creativity and pure passion. It was a dedicated journey of self discovery that burned away the remnants of what and who I was to release the Phoenix of who I was meant to be. It was a gift I got to unwrap every day as I explored, learned, grew and became. The external search for achievement was replaced with a centered, internal knowing that I had nothing to prove. The liberation of knowing I only had to show up in life. My only requirement was to follow the path of my heart and soul, to release the external holds to discover the internal guidance to my sacred path. It has been an arduous and rewarding journey. One that, if given the opportunity, I would not change.

I Followed my True Dreams and Passions

I turned to art and writing. I took my first art class – a watercolor class – and I was hooked.  My soul started to sing and come alive.  I also wrote prolifically about my life experiences and my transformation in my journals.  These journals led to the content of my first book.

I followed my dreams and moved to Napa.

A photo of Joan Jakel in front of the Budget Truck she drove from AZ to Napa

I started creating art and learning as much as I could about art forms and techniques (which I’ll share in the following pages).  I enrolled in coaching, training and teaching programs to hone my unique coaching style and message.  I re-connected with nature and became an avid trail runner, competing in trail races and even winning a couple.  

A photo of Joan Jakel running a half marathon on the trails of Bothe park in Northern CA

Photo of Joan Jakel holding 1st place ribbon for 1/2 marathon trail race she ran at Huddart Park

A photo of Joan Jakel mid Spartan race as she comes out of sloppy water ready to take on the rest of the race

I discovered that “balance” was the source of my power – the wellspring from which all things were possible in my life.  My world opened up and it was filled with possibility.  And the results were divine.

After years of practice, I’ve officially adopted the title “Artist.”  True to form and following my dreams, I set up an art studio in Napa where I create art, teach workshops and gather people in a nourishing environment to engage in meaningful conversation while providing guidance to help them step into their fully self-expressed life on purpose. 

As a result of this journey, I created a workbook about the self-discovery process and revealed how you can turn your biggest obstacles you’re your greatest opportunities: 21 Days to Create Your Inspired Life.


A photo of my studio after it was remodelled

An image of joan jakel at her canvas on an easel painting
In 2018, I graduated from a nine month artistic training program, Color of Woman, which took me on my personal vision quest, a shero’s journey, during which time I learned much about myself, my creative talents, my teaching abilities and how to intertwine them to guide others on their individual journeys.  I was immersed in the Intentional Creativity process which is designed to connect us to our sacred nature and teach us the skills to use the tools of creativity to guide others on their sacred journey t0 heal, transform and connect to what matters in their lives.  I’m now a proud, certified Intentional Creativity teacher and member of the guild.

An image stating: Color of Woman - Intentional Creativity Teacher with an image of half a lady's face, with a green eye and a red flower off the side of her head

Join the journey!

On the following pages, you will find stories, encouragement, art, resources, books, inspiration, empowerment, beauty, passion, connection, compassion, acceptance, forgiveness, healing and a centering, safe place to guide you in your own self exploration. Enjoy the journey, share your adventures and insights when you are moved to do so, and know that you are in extraordinary company with a community of co-adventurers who are striving to create an authentic, purposeful life. 

If you want to contact me personally, here are all the ways you can reach me: reach Joan Jakel.

I look forward to our conversations!

Carpe Diem!

Joan Jakel

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