About Mary Ann Johnstone

Mary Ann Johnstone is a Master Certified Life Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and working world wide.

Why Hire A Life Coach?

Life Coach is by far the cheesiest sounding occupation.

But I AM one and proud of it, because coaching works (and I love it).

And we haven’t come up with anything else that doesn’t sound even cheesier. (Lifestyle Engineer? Really?)

But why hire one? If you don’t have a coach already you may be wondering what the heck they are good for.

Or perhaps you are considering hiring a life coach but are unsure if they can really help you with your unique situation.

Here are the 6 top reasons clients work with me.


1. Something Wonderful Happened!

Congratulations! You are getting married, got a new job, had a baby, launched your business, etc. All good? Not usually.

It can be terrifying and disorientating to undergo such radical change.

Essentially you are letting go of the “old” you and taking on a brand new identity– but you’re not there yet!

It can be very painful and frightening letting go […]

Why Complaining Wrecks Our Brains

Goats Hate Rain.

And they will tell you and everyone else in a five mile radius ALL about it.

If they have shelter (and they should), you will find them indoors at the first hint of mist.

They will complain and yell endlessly, causing the neighbors to complain and yell endlessly, and start circulating petitions behind your back.

Last storm, I heard one of our neighbors over the fence yelling “SHHHHUT UPPPPP!!!” His sheer frustration could have blown the barn down and it immediately made my neck go into a spasm.

Since I couldn’t make it stop raining, I did my best to keep the goats amused till the storm blew by.

Keeping goats amused isn’t difficult. You just need a bucket, or a rake, or a yoga ball, and they are entertained for hours.

The problem is when we stop entertaining them because we need to eat, or work, or have a life, […]

Spoon Bending 101: Priceless Lessons From Ruining Perfectly Good Silverware.



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Here’s what some of the participants discovered in the

Spoon Bending 101 Workshop:

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Magic, Money and Goats

My husband knows how to make a woman happy. For Valentine’s Day he gave me a card with a handmade coupon that I could redeem for a pair of goats. He did this because he knows that I adore them and they make me laugh hysterically. And he adores goat cheese.

Learning to do more of what makes me happy and less of what makes me miserable, I notice more magic showing up and my life flows effortlessly. And even though it’s counter-intuitive, creating more joy increases productivity, creativity, and most surprisingly, cash flow.

Creativity disappears when there are too many stress hormones racing through our veins. I wish I knew this scientific fact years ago when I was constantly working under heart pounding deadlines. I always noticed I came up with my best ideas riding my horse.

This video is a great example of this crazy magic.  I made […]

Self Care: DIY or DIE


Danielle LaPorte doesn’t ask the usual question, “What are your goals?” but asks us

“How do you want to feel?”

I have found my answers to be a great road map for self-care. Knowing my desires directs my actions throughout the day. I want to feel:

  • Healthy
  • Happy
  • Loving

“Healthy” is absolutely most important to me. I use it as a mantra and that takes away any ambivalence I might have about exercise, or if I should blend up a green smoothie. I just do it, without the struggle, without resistance. The same goes for happy and loving. These simple words are a compass for my daily choices and behavior. My choices become effortless, and how I treat others, a given. What I read, do, speak, all guided by this notion of being true to how I want to feel and be […]

It’s 3:00 AM, What Are YOU Worrying About?


At 3am I used to bolt awake and worry about my llama, Sabrina. I’d worry about how she was sleeping or if the coyotes had finally squeezed through a loose wire in our pasture fence.

Then I’d worry about our goats, my health, our bank account, and if I should drink less Chardonnay. Next on the list, my husband’s weight, my chihuahuas teeth, and my elderly friend Denise who lives alone.

For the record, most everything I worried about at 3am never, ever, ever, happened and thank goodness I finally learned a very simple way  to fall peacefully back to sleep. No pills required.  It’s called “Loving-Kindness Meditation”, great by day and even better in the dead of the night!

  1. First take 3 slow, deep belly breaths in and out. This simple act resets your brain and allows your body to shift from the sympathetic […]
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