Ramona Okkema of Michigan Turning Hearts Toward Hope

By Carol A Santella

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Carol: Your unique gifts, Ramona (of which I see many) that separate you from other coaches?

Ramona: I am a very compassionate emphatic person. Usually, I can enter any room or gathering and sense the moods of people without them ever saying a word. Some of those moods are not healthy for themselves or others. I am drawn to helping usher a client from place where they are willing to release fears that have haunted them to one of peace in their hearts and a desire to seek out the Joy in life for themselves.

Life is a gift from our Heavenly Father. Until we start using that gift, we will never know our own potential. Joy Coaching® sessions are like helping someone unwrap that gift. Instead of ripping open the package, time and careful unraveling of the gift help to appreciate the Giver of the gift, as well as, the gift itself.

Carol: What are some common misconceptions that a person might have about Joy Coaching® and your work?

Ramona: I am not a Psychiatrist. I am not massage therapist(yet)…this is one of my goals in the next two years and do not give massages. What I am is a relaxation therapist, a grief coach and someone people can hear a message of hope from.

Carol: What are some of the pitfalls that a potential client may have about your services?

Ramona: Expecting Joy to show up in one session on a silver platter. Joy Coaching® sessions are a time of introspection. As a client relaxes on a massage table or hospital bed or in a wheelchair, my goal is to help create a time where mending of broken hearts and emotional wounds can take place. Very rarely does that take place in just one session.

As one client stated: A Joy Coaching® session is so personal. Healing is needed throughout life for different reasons. We all need healing.” With turning hearts towards hope or as it has been now dubbed: h2h or “heart to heart” Joy Coaching® sessions, finding hope and joy takes place as the layers of our wounds are exposed and cared for; gently and at the pace of the client. Relaxation takes place as clients experience the calming that comes with sessions.

Carol: What other perceived obstacles do you see that might be preventing those suffering from hurting hearts from seeking this type of help?

Ramona: Some people prefer to be private. Each Joy Coaching® session is different as with each person/client. One does not have to talk. Some people cry, some lay silent, some just smile and some share what comes to mind in bits and pieces over the course of several sessions and some people experience a whole range of emotions during one session. That later is most normal.  

With Joy Coaching® sessions, nurturing comes from the combination of the 5 senses being utilized, using the scents from the oils, the natural benefits of the oils on the body, the imagery of the songs being played and the light whisper touches received by the “Joy Coach”. You may ask…what about the sense of taste. Now and then my clients enjoy a smoothie that contains some essential oil drops…like citrus flavors; lemon, lime, orange, tangerine or even mint flavors. Other times it could be a piece of real chocolate. There is plenty of information on the web explaining the many health benefits of eating dark chocolate.

Carol: Do you have specific niche, Ramona?

Ramona: As part of the Joy Coaching® Program, as students, we are asked to recognize our Niche’s within the program. This took considerable thought. I knew I could share the benefits with my immediate family and teach others to do the same, but as far as a specific niche, I had never considered that much. After giving a session to a psychologist for a local Veteran’s Hospital, she inquired if I did any volunteer Joy Coaching® Sessions for the Veteran Community. She had expressed a great need for these faith-based relaxation experiences. In her opinion, many would benefit from such.

I then considered this as one of my top niches. However, I am a dairy farmer and understand the farming life firsthand. With hundreds of farms closing doors last year, in Michigan alone, I knew many farm families were experiencing grief and stress in portions like never seen before.

Most people do not realize the suicide rate amongst farming families is 5x that of the military veterans. Both sets of numbers are staggering. Having grown up on a dairy farm, married into a dairy farm family overseas; The Netherlands and operating a 3rd dairy farm in Michigan I know firsthand the need for farm women to receive Joy Coaching® Sessions. There is always hope. Sometimes it just takes a listening ear and heart from a fellow farm owner to share tried and true words of encouragement.

Carol: How very sad. Our world is certainly much different than it has ever been. Hopefully, can the sessions be done remotely?

Ramona: Despite the challenges of rural living Joy Coaching® is made possible with the internet and apps like Zoom. Sessions can be done online or even on the phone. The ideal session would be done in person, but with the current environmental challenges many are taking advantage of ZOOM…. Normally, a client would come to me for a session. When someone may be confined to a living situation or bed ridden there is the possibility I could come to their location.

Carol: Joy Coaching® is a faith-based program. Why did you choose a faith-based program of study?

Ramona: I rely on God for everything. I am a faith-based person. I was not always so. As a farmer and Shepherdess, I have seen miracles happen in the barn and in the pasture that left no explanation except by the hand of a Compassionate Creator. To find a program that is faith-based, also enhances the compassion of God. Through the music and oils, I can help point people towards the Healer in the Healer’s Touch Method. Deep Consolation and lasting comfort comes through Christ. I consider it an honor to be a conduit for such work. Mending broken hearts is tender work. My heart is so congruent to this kind of work. I cannot think of any greater Joy in my life than to see someone transition from tears and deep grief towards looking forward to their next day, their next discovery in the gift of life. It is my belief and experience firsthand A compassionate God is, waiting like a Gentleman to lavish His gentle mercies on those willing to receive Him. He is never rude and does not force us to do anything we are not comfortable with. Joy Coaching® is very much like that. Every client has walked away feeling loved and cared about.

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Carol A Santella

Carol A Santella is a Right Hand Advisor and Consultant to Business Professionals; is a Best Selling Author, Health Consultant, Strategist and Publicist. Carol is also a Radio Show Host for Business Innovators Radio, Host and Founder of Inside with Carol covering Innovators and Trendsetting Influencers in the Fields of Business, Health and Wellness, Medicine, Leadership and Animal Related Industries. Carol is also a Contributor to Business Innovators Magazine, Small Business Trendsetters and the Founder of the Health and Wellness Leaders and Influencers Group; is world renowned for her Acknowledgment and Recognition Model of those who stand out above the rest and assisting them with The Power of Positioning TM. Carol is the founder and operator of The Listener Network which now encompasses her health, communications, publishing and business consulting work.