Welcome to my Site
Yearning..... to discover what makes you tick and how that affects your future?
'WHAT NOW? Life Coaching Portfolio'
I will assist and equip you to find your direction, navigate the mazes, inspire you, motivate and mentor you;
uncovering and removing your self- limiting beliefs and behaviours in a safe and relaxed environment.
Live..... your PASSION!
Fulfil .....your PURPOSE !
Sign up before 01/06/20 and get the first
2 Sessions FREE!
My name is Joanne Robolakis (my friends call me Jo.)
I grew up in Adelaide South Australia and experienced a curious upbringing. It really was 'never a dull moment' and our weird
holiday jaunts, activity, adventures, disastrous choices and countless impulsive decisions kept life interesting! Chuck into the mix the expected high standards of performance, hard work, compulsory sport, and STRICT obedience. What resulted was a personality with an unquenchable thirst for life and the determination to live life my own way.
At the age of 20, I was eager to explore different parts of the world, and so donning a backpack I set off for Europe.
I met my Greek husband - who happened to live in South Africa- on a ship travelling from Athens to Crete.
We really hit it off and over the next three weeks, we fell in love. With the prospect of us having to go our separate ways, I felt compelled to ask him to marry me. I assured him that after the rest of my European adventure, I would travel to South Africa to start making our plans for building a life together.
What followed was a whirlwind of ideas and crazy strategies - he needed to come to Australia to meet my parents, have our engagement party, explore my country and then within a few short months of him returning home, I'd join him and we'd get married.
That's how I ended up living in South Africa!
We quickly had our four children, and I threw myself into 'saving the world' through our local church. My gusto behind this new
adventure came about due to my newly acquired faith.
However, I had suddenly found myself in a space where I had responsibilities and, as an evidently irresponsible individual, I needed to construct a life-plan that would facilitate a reasonably secure environment for my children to grow up in. This was tough to do on my own as my own impulsive initiatives were often very difficult to reign in.
Gratefully, I've had some wonderful, wise and patient people who have, along the way, supported, mentored, counselled, encouraged me and guided me along imperceptibly towards discovering my life purpose.
They were my unrecognised Life Coaches!
During this time I discovered that I was suffering from Major Depression, and then years later I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Affective Disorder.
The challenges that have come as a Bipolar sufferer have often seemed overwhelming. When I was diagnosed I was told things such as: "You'll find it difficult to hold down a secure job." "On the medication that you're on you probably won't be able to complete your Master's degree." "As a church leader, you mustn't let anyone know that you have mental health issues." However, being the irrepressible individual that I am, I was determined to prove them wrong. I completed my Master's Degree in Theology Cum Laude,
I have written and published two books and am currently working on my third. I write and present leadership and equipping seminars and workshops for women to take their places in church leadership. I speak publically and have set up my own business.
I've learnt to work around my challenges and embrace the bonuses that come with being a person with a mental illness. I've embraced my quirkiness, creativity, spontaneity and developed a sense of humour - especially the ability to laugh at myself!
If I've been able to achieve these things you too can do and be whatever you set your heart on!
Another huge challenge has come from being a leader as a woman in the church; a mainly male-dominated arena. This is something I have been wrestling with for more than three decades and I've felt the pain, rejection, condescension, and countless closed doors. Through my theological studies, and my Master's Thesis, in particular, I have discovered that God uses each and every one of us according to our gifts, and not our gender. My seminars and workshops along with my book "Redeeming Pandora" have largely come out of the research made from my Thesis.
What is Life Coaching?
Counselling? Business Consultant? So.......What is Life Coaching?
Isn't Life Coaching the same as Counselling?
No. Many people, after coming to hear about Life Coaching automatically think of counselling. However there is a fundamental difference. Counselling and therapy
involves working with past trauma, dealing
with present issues, and fixing general life problems. It's about achieving a measure of wellness.
Is it like having a Business Consultant?
No, a consultant is someone who is an expert in their field. They are hired to help people
improve their business performance and grow by solving problems. Their job is to use their own expertise to strategize, market, and give their opinions.
They are hired to fix problems.
Life Coaching is all about the future. It's about moving forward towards a fulfilling life. It's about removing those self-limiting beliefs and behaviours, replacing them with beliefs that are truly empowering. A good Life Coach will not strive to fix a person's life because the coaching
process involves the individual taking ownership of their lives, discovering and unlocking their own potential, abilities, strengths and dreams. Just as a sports coach inspires, challenges, motivates and stretches an athlete towards becoming a champion; so a Life Coach will use those same elements to help you reach the heights of your potential, and become the champion of your own life!
Why choose 'What Now?' Life Coaching?
Are you at a crossroad in your life right now? Is there a crisis in your life? A major change? Unexpected news? A sudden turn? Are you feeling stuck? Frustrated? Anxious? Confused? Overwhelmed? Have you been hitting 'dead ends'? Are you wondering which way you should be going? Is the future clouded? Is your vision cluttered with too many options?
Are you asking yourself "WHAT NOW?"
What Now? Life Coaching
Offering a unique slant on the Internationally accredited ‘New Insights Life Coaching’ training along with a theologically-grounded, scientifically-proven, and a psychologically-sound foundation, 'What Now? Life Coaching Programme takes a holistic approach.
Together, we will work to find the best path that will work for your individual life-context, while at the same time incorporating the best, proven methods, tools and procedures used in the New Insights Programme.
Coaching offered via Face to Face, Skype, or Phone
Living with Bipolar
After experiencing two psychological, emotional and physical breakdowns in two years I started to realise that something was very
wrong. Triggered by years of an accumulation of ongoing stress, pressure, trauma and bouts of major depression I realised I needed
help. I was admitted to a psychiatric clinic where I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2. I felt like my life was crumbling around me and I didn't
know what to do. Sitting opposite my doctor, I was told that my life from that point on would be one of careful management. At the
time, I was studying for my Master's degree in Theology and was warned that there was every possibility that I would not be able to
complete it. Holding down a job would also be a difficult challenge due to the fact that on my bad days I may not be able to go into work.
Taking and staying on medication would become a part of my daily routine, as these would play a crucial part in managing my condition.
I read extensively on the physiological basis behind mental illness and learnt that:
1. It was not my fault, so guilt was not something I needed to carry.
2- I was not alone as many people suffer from some form of mental illness.
3 - it could be managed and fulfilling life could be attained.
And 4- There were positives associated with the condition, in the way of creativity,
thinking outside the box,
and being able to achieve great things due to the determination and the ability to take risks,
qualities that often came with an acceptance of our individual makeup.
Women Leaders in the Church
It was both a shock and a revelation to me when I was told that, as a woman, I was not permitted to take a leadership position in the
church. A shock because I couldn't believe that the Bible would teach that, and a revelation as it gave reason to why I had been
continually marginalised and patronised. I had experienced great confusion, shame, doubt and anger for over 20 years.
I undertook the process of finding out for myself and enrolled at a seminary to study Theology. However, an inspirational goal only became evident when I was deciding whether or not to continue towards gaining a Masters Degree. It suddenly became clear that I should use the opportunity to write a thesis on the role of women in leadership positions in the church, and in-so-doing, gain an educated position. I also hoped that it would gain me the credibility that one would expect to result from a measure of expertise. Whether the latter has been accomplished has yet to be seen.
What has resulted, however, is a passion to equip and raise up women to gain the confidence and knowledge to stand up, and in unity with our male colleagues.
What is in my Portfolio?
'What Now? Life Coaching Portfolio is a multifaceted approach to guiding people into wholeness, potential and purpose. As such, along with Life Coaching, I offer counselling, training seminars and workshops, resources, and public speaking.
As a theologian, pastor and Christian Counsellor, I offer a holistic approach to therapy that includes spiritual wholeness in conjunction with the aspects of emotional and psychological healing.
In my seminars /workshops and retreats, I offer opportunities to learn and grow in practical and interactive settings.
I aim to be a 'directional signpost' for those seeking various resources towards learning, growth, healing, encouragement and deeper insight.
I accept invitations to speak in various forums - corporate, community, churches, etc.
Scroll down for the specific details of my multi-faceted portfolio.
My motivation for studying to become a Christian counsellor was driven by my own experiences of having no-one to whom I could turn when I desperately needed to talk. I felt terribly guilty about being a burden to my friends, and so I tried to bottle up whatever I was struggling with, and carry on. I knew that I couldn't fall apart because of my responsibilities as a mother of four, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to cope if I was judged, labelled and rejected as being unstable. I knew I needed help, but I didn't know where to get it.
Psychologists are generally very expensive and the guilt I would carry for spending that kind of money would make things worse. I was trapped.
My decision to push through and become equipped to become someone to whom others could turn to for counselling was made as I realised that others needed the liberty of knowing that they are not alone. Being able to relate to other people's pain saw my deepest struggles become a strength, not only to the people who came to me, but also an encouragement to many others.
I have now been counselling since 1998 and the thrill of seeing people attain different measures of healing has often been overwhelming.
R300 per hour
Rates based on a sliding scale can be discussed upfront
Workshops / Seminars / Retreats
Dare to Dream!
The Image in the Mirror
When was the last time you dreamt BIG plans for your life? What disrupts and nullifies our dreams? What makes us 'just give up'. Circumstances, fear, disappointment, discouragement, self-doubt, comparisons with others, intimidation, lack of confidence, false humility the list goes on. Yes, we go through many seasons in our lives. We have responsibilities and time constraints, but too often these things can become excuses for why we can't afford to dream. This seminar/workshop will help you to recover your dreams and the confidence to 'go for it!'
The word 'expectation' allows for a neat little package to be formed in our minds of what we expect to see, hear and happen. EXPECTATIONS OR EXPECTANCY - What is the difference? Expectation is a noun and therefore doesn't require us to act but to rather expect someone or something else to do, be, and bring about. It involves assumptions and preconceived ideas, resulting in rigidity and the
inability to expect the unexpected! Expectancy, however, is a verb requiring us to be part of the solution. It requires us to let go of our own expectations and allow for life's 'curve-balls' and the opportunities that come with them. This seminar/workshop will help you to live and thrive in a state of expectancy!
Whom do you see when you look in the mirror? Is that person ....Ugly? Worthless? Fat? Or Beautiful? Talented? Valuable? Self Image is the personal view we have ourselves, like an image in a mirror. We also have many other 'mirrors' in our lives. Other people and the way they treat us, media, education, social settings, wealth, success, etc. A negative self-image binds us from moving forward and blinds us to the greatness of who we've been created to be. However, if your self-image is positive you can take on challenges, unleash your potential, and live in your fullness. This seminar/ workshop will inspire and equip you to see yourself as you truly are!
Have you ever wondered about the reason you're alive? Do you believe that you were created for a purpose? Do you believe that you have a destiny? Do you know what it is? The truth is that we are all destined to be and do something great; to leave a legacy; make a difference; bring positive change to someone or something. Destiny means that we have a destination. It will appear foggy and bearly discernible at first but as we get closer it becomes clearer. Then in spite of the twists and turns, storms and seemingly insurmountable challenges, with the help of our Creator, we can find our way. This seminar/ workshop will equip you and inspire you towards discovering your destiny!
Strength in the Feminine
Ladies, is it possible to be strong and powerful without losing our femininity? For so many years it was thought not. On the word feminine, many dictionaries relate it to words such as gentleness, delicacy, softness, docility....whereas the word masculine relates to strong, powerful, confident, brave.... But, I believe what this writer said; "You are a woman of strength, courage and destiny; one who values herself and fights for what she believes in. A woman who won't give up on her dreams regardless of how many obstacles come her way. If that doesn't make you beautiful, I don't know what does!" This seminar/ workshop will equip you to discover, own and live in your feminine strength.
Walking in the Light
Who of us haven't 'hidden behind masks'? How many of us with our hurts, fears, sin and haven't hidden our true selves with behind the facades of acceptability? We hide from others and even ourselves, afraid of what might happen if someone found who we really are. WE try to keep certain doors to our souls closed afraid of even allowing God to shine His light into those dark places. If we keep those things buried, out of sight from prying eyes, everything will be fine, right? Yet God longs us to reveal our hearts so that He can lovingly leal and cleanse us.
Bipolar Affective disorder
What is a leader exactly? How do you know if that's you? Well, that depends on your understanding of what constitutes a leader. It starts by identifying your own strengths, gifts and passion, and then having the humility to ask trusted friends and colleagues for feedback. A good leader is not born a good leader. It takes time, experience, knowledge, skills, character, grace, integrity, etc. to shape a person into a leader worthy of being followed. This seminar/workshop will help you to identify those in your circle of influence and teach you some of the skills needed to help you grow as a leader.
"I can't do what?? I must do that?? Who am I then? What can I do?? What must I do? I daren't let anyone know that I'm Bipolar!" Receiving the diagnosis of Bipolar Affective Disorder can, for some, feel like a death sentence. It ushers in with it feelings of shame, guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, helplessness and stigma. Being told to 'pull yourself together, or "what have you got to be depressed about?" and wishing that it were that easy can be soul-destroying. However, there is hope. This seminar will be of help to those suffering from the condition and to family and friends. Let's start this creative journey towards finding your purpose., and loving who you are!
Seminar & Workshop Prices by negotiation
Thesis: The Role of Women in Church Leadership
Women in the Church
N.T. Wright explains 1 Timothy 2: 11-15 Women's role in church leadership.
N.T. Wright is a leading biblical scholar, former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England, and
current Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at St. Mary's College in the
University of St. Andrews. He studied for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and was ordained at
Merton College, Oxford. Wright holds a Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University in addition to
several honorary doctorates. Wright has written over fifty books, including the multi-volume work
Christian Origins and the Question of God.
Recognising whether you, or someone you know may be suffering from Bipolar Affective Disorder.
REDEEMING PANDORA God's Plan: Astonishing Atonement
Author: Joanne Robolakis
The story of the epic history of the evil schemes wrought by the enemy to destroy God's precious
daughters; and God's promises of redemption. Set against a backdrop of Scripture, history, religions
and cultures, God's purposes unfold. "This book takes us on a unique journey of discovering God's
will and purpose in creating women. Through a series of captivating mythological and
true-life stories, which not only educate us historically but also forces us to identify with the
emotional pain and struggle often born by women in a world of inequality."
Endorsed by Quinton Howitt. Professor of Theology and Education. Vineyard Institute.
A Life ABOUT GRACE
Author Joanne Robolakis
The shame of my abortions were a dark secret that had haunted me for many, many years, and
one that threatened to kill me emotionally, spiritually and even physically. Even after meeting
Jesus my secret shame was too heavy to reveal. My desperate need for forgiveness and healing,
I believed, were not mine to have. This is my story about how God astounded and shook me in
order to begin His healing plan!
DANCING WITH GOD DANCING WITH MADNESS: CONFESSIONS OF A BIPOLAR PASTOR
Author: Paul Cameron - Mental Health Advocate.
This is a deeply personal story, at once both harrowing and hopeful, of Paul's struggle and courage
to forge a meaningful life whilst living with Affective Bipolar Disorder.
This book helps to break taboos around mental health, especially in the Church. Endorsed by
Alexander Venter, Author, pastor, speaker. Association of Vineyard Churches.
DEPRESSION AND THE CHRISTIAN JOURNEY
Author: Paul Cameron
Depression, it is said, is now the common cold of mental health disorders. In this informative and
uplifting book, Paul interfaces the journey of Christ with a personal journey of healing and hope
for those grappling with depression. This book has emerged from Paul's own experience and deep
reflection, it places the Trinitarian God in the centre of depression recovery.
ROOTED IN HEALING
Author Paul Cameron
A 30 Day Devotional
Contact Paul for more info about his resources:
My Name is Sins, But You Can Call Me Crazy
Author Joanne Robolakis
A Novel. Release date November 2020!
What my Clients are Saying
I was given the incredible opportunity of attending Joanne's ‘What Now?’ life coaching session. I found the session both informative and inspiring and enjoyed Joanne's approach which was intuitively understanding, and compassionate. Throughout the session, I felt morally and spiritually uplifted thus inspiring happiness and hope. At the end of my session with Joanne I was clear on the goals, I would like to achieve. I felt very empowered and ready to make changes in my life. Thank you kindly, Joanne for a beautiful session.
Dr Eleanor Holzapfel Psychiatrist MBBCH (Wits), FC Psych (SA), MMed (Wits)
'Coaching with Jo felt safe, interesting and easy going whilst touching on serious life issues. From my initial session, I’m very keen to take on the full course. I see the potential for learning how to set goals in a positive and supportive space. The format of the course feels achievable and is tailor-made for the individual pace. A positive aspect is the opportunity to work through wholistic interrelated areas covering work, relational, physical and spiritual space.'
Vongai PP Pasirayi Architect, Von Design Group
In 2017, over a period of a few months, I undertook a journey of Life Coaching with Jo Robolakis . At that stage, I was considering starting up an Airbnb from my home. During Life Coaching, I was helped in many and diverse ways to clarify and achieve my goals within a set period of time. Not only that, but through the Life Coaching, I learnt how to change my negative and limiting self-talk into affirming and positive beliefs about myself in that I could attain my goals; how to stop projecting my weaknesses onto others; and how to improve my self-confidence spiritually and emotionally. Doing this course with Jo has helped me to soar to new and exciting levels of living life.
Gillian Venter. Church Leader -South African Association of Vineyard Churches