Born June 26, 1982, in Silver Spring, MD (just outside of Washington, DC), this former member of the United States Women’s National Team has long taken the world by storm.
She last played for the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League. Previously, she played for the Washington Freedom and Philadelphia Independence and was the GM of the Washington Freedom Futures, the Washington Freedom Soccer Club’s W-League team.
Defining Your Mission
Her triumphs on the field are only the start of this truly amazing woman’s career, for Joanna wanted to leverage her success to impact women around the world. In the last decades, she has used her voice to shine a light on human rights and traveled the world and running programs in less developed nations that promote gender equality, conflict resolution, cultural understanding, and economic development.
“The mission of my life is to help individuals and groups discover their beauty by living an unabashedly authentic life based around deep-rooted acceptance and discovering a comfort in their own skin,” explains Joanna—who Simon Sinek, Optimist and New York Times Best Selling author of “Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last”—describes as a force of nature.
“Joanna is a thunder clap of inspiration!” Sinek shares. “From the moment I met her I was struck by her ability to help people feel safe in their own skin, to feel proud to be who they are. She has been a positive and inspiring force in my life and now she can be one in yours too.”
Defining Your Purpose
Superstar tennis champ Billie Jean King, founder of the Women’s Sports Foundation, says: “Joanna is a bold and dynamic force for good. Her courage to fight for social justice, live authentically and inspire others to do the same is at the core of her commitment to create tremendous positive change.”
Abby Wambach, Joanna’s former teammate who is also a Women’s World Cup Gold Medalist and Olympic Gold Medalist, shares: “I have known Joanna as a teammate on the soccer field and even more recently, as an activist. Over the years, it has been a pleasure to see Joanna grow into her own power and share it joyously with the world. She is someone who truly lives and loves wholeheartedly and has the capacity to inspire others to do the same.”
Defining Your Beauty
To help others live up to their personal and professional potential, Joanna has launched Define Your Beauty, a program that aims to inspire women (and men) to find comfort and joy in their own skin by expanding their view of beauty.
“You’ll discover, define and ultimately love the qualities that make you unique, allowing you to bring that love to others and contribute to our global community in a way that only YOU can,” says the dynamo who is a leader in personal development and radical acceptance. “This course will take you on a journey into your heart and soul to find what makes you come alive. Through real life stories of vulnerability and adversity, you will create a brave space for deep personal reflection that enables you to uncover unique aspects of your identity, and love what those aspects contribute to the world.”
By Joanna Lohman
It’s not every day that you get reminded of your true purpose on this planet. That is exactly what happened to me one fateful morning in November at the International Women’s Forum World Leadership Conference in Toronto.
For that one week, I was surrounded by women who are literally changing the world. I got to hang with Canada’s first and only female Prime Minister, two Nobel Peace prize winners in SCIENCE. The first woman to walk in space, Olympians and paralympians in all different sports, and the founder of Capital Sisters, giving microloans to women in poverty and helping to lift them out of it. So much badassness.
On top of all of that, something happened that I will never forget. It was the first morning of the conference and I was getting into the elevator to head down to the morning sessions. I was dressed professionally and had my makeup on. For me, that’s like hitting my feminine peak. It was the first day of the women’s world leadership conference so I was feeling powerful and confident.
When I walked into the elevator there was a male employee cleaning the mirrors. With full Canadian gusto he says, “Good morning SIR!!!” In an instant the wind was taken out of my sails. I respond in my feminine voice, “Good morning”. He looks back at me in pure confusion and angst for mis-gendering me. I can feel his awkward gaze and I say, “I am a woman”. He quickly apologizes and we ride 22 floors down in uncomfortable silence before we reach the lobby.
Now, to put it into context, this is not a unique occurrence for me but typically happens when I am in my sports clothes with no makeup on. Luckily for me, I had 22 floors to process and when I stepped off the elevator, I honestly had the biggest smile on my face because it was such a human moment and it powerfully reminded me how closely we cling to gender norms, stereotypes, and assumptions. We all have biases and this situation proved that they exist without us even knowing it at times. And these biases hold us all back. They stunt progress and limit growth.
That morning, I felt no shame, only pride and affirmation of why I was put on this planet and that is to define my own beauty and help others define theirs.
Getting to the point where I feel proud to be unabashadley myself has not been easy. There have been many occasions where I have bent my body and broken my soul to fit in the restrictive boxes society presents us as realistic options for identity. I lived the first 21 years of my life as a straight woman. Now, I am a gender non-conforming, androgynous, gay human who has overcome devastating injury, defeat, heartbreak, and traveled to over 45 different countries. I faced situation after situation that forced me to question my character and deep rooted identity. All this time, I have never stopped exploring – eyes wide open, understanding we are all connected through our desire to love and be loved.
Now, I want to help you feel the same comfort in their own skin and I have created a way to do it. My online course, Define Your Beauty, is a journey into your heart and soul to discover the qualities that truly make you, you.
- Through real life stories of vulnerability and adversity, participants create a brave space for deep personal reflection that enables you to uncover unique aspects of your identity, and love what those aspects contribute to the world.
- Participants learn to harness the power of your uniqueness and gain confidence to share your beauty with the world.
- Growing into your beauty, you will understand how to bring it out of others, in turn, creating a community of belonging where everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential and define their own beauty.
When I think back about being called “sir”, while in Toronto, I often wonder if the mis-gendering was more than appearance. Was it also because I walked in with such confidence, the hotel staffer assumed I had to be a man? Was it because I unapologetically took up space in that small elevator? Whatever the reason(s), I refuse to shrink to others assumptions. I now know I have the power to define my beauty and I am giving that power to you!