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Joli Knott of Bodhi Mindful: “Pace yourself and reinforce the boundaries you set each day”

Pace yourself and reinforce the boundaries you set each day. It’s really important to make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself right out of the gate when first setting up your business. There are a lot of different aspects to consider and it is too easy to feel burn-out if you try to tackle all these […]

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Pace yourself and reinforce the boundaries you set each day.

It’s really important to make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself right out of the gate when first setting up your business. There are a lot of different aspects to consider and it is too easy to feel burn-out if you try to tackle all these aspects all at once.

For me, this falls into the category of setting boundaries. If you don’t have a clear outline of what you want to achieve on a given day, then you won’t know when to stop. And time has to be a factor, too. Part of the reason to have my own business is to build in more time with my family, so even if I haven’t finished a particular project by dinner time, I leave it for the next day. It’s important to honor these parameters every single day.


The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joli Knott.

Joli Knott is a holistic therapist and intuitive astrology coach, and the founder of Bodhi Mindful.

Using a variety of techniques, including energy work that incorporates nervous system health and education, Joli seeks to provide a nurturing space to those people seeking further self-development and self-understanding. From relationship dramas, sexism in the workplace, to fertility issues and identity struggles, Joli’s journey has led her to study a variety of healing modalities. She uses them all to illuminate a better way to achieve balance and mastery in life.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Yes, of course! I was born and brought up in the USA, but my parents are originally from India. They immigrated to America in the mid-1960s and eventually settled down on the East Coast, where my father practiced medicine. As a result, I grew up straddling two very different cultures — one that emphasized all things traditional while the other was about all things modern.

This was hard for me to reconcile at first. I felt like I was two different people depending on whose company I was in and where I found myself. Within the Indian community where I grew up, I ate traditional foods, wore traditional dress, and participated in ritual ceremonies. And in the everyday environment of the school in an American suburb, I was a moody teenager, wishing I could have a boyfriend, attend school-dances, and have more freedom in general.

So, the 1970s and 1980s were a time of constantly switching roles for me, and I remember an elderly relative in India asking me who I thought I was. He told me I looked Indian, but my speech and sensibilities were more American, which in his view made me neither one nor the other. This was a challenging concept to deal with from the perspective of a twelve-year-old, but I never gave up hope that one day I would find a way to acknowledge and integrate all the different sides of me.

And I did find a way when I went to Japan for my junior year abroad in university. The country has a marvelous way of preserving traditional ways within a modern context, and observing this amalgamation of old-world values with new world ways was eye-opening for me.

I fell in love with Japan and proceeded to return repeatedly after graduating from university, spending a total of 20 years there. My experiences in that country taught me a lot about how we all have many sides to ourselves and how some sides lie dormant until triggered by an event, a person, or even an epiphany. I learned that it is possible to integrate these different aspects of ourselves and elucidate our uniqueness in the process.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Marcus Aurelius stated, “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” I’ve always been fascinated with how the mind and the body work in tandem and have found again and again that our mindset can have a profound effect on our ability to be resilient.

A good example is when I was dealing with fertility issues and struggling with what my life might look like without the children I always dreamed about. After 2 rounds of IVF and a miscarriage, I had enough of the roller-coaster that dream was causing me, and made the conscious decision that I would find other ways to bring children into my life. Adopting a second Beagle helped, too. I was content that I had done all that I could. And then — just like that! — I was pregnant and gave birth to my daughter exactly one year to the day we brought the second Beagle home. I was ecstatic, of course, but I think it was the self-compassion I was finally able to generate for myself in the wake of the miscarriage that led to that happy result.

Just as ‘junk’ food cannot lead to a healthy body, I do believe that ‘junk’ thoughts cannot lead to a happy life.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

I remember reading Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie just as I was finishing high-school and being amazed by the premise. Upon the stroke of midnight, August 15, 1947, India is born as an independent nation, and at that exact same moment, a boy is born with telepathic powers. The nation’s growing pains in a post-colonial world are mirrored in the boy’s life. And his ability to ‘gather’ all the children in India born at a similar time — all possessing varying degrees of special powers themselves — reflects the need of the country to somehow bring together all the disparate parts of itself.

The book has stayed with me on so many different levels. There are the historical and mythical aspects of the story that feed my love for history and culture. And there is this feeling — and question — of fate, which is one of the reasons astrology fascinates me so much. If astrology can describe future events — and it is a description, not causation — then how much latitude is there for free-will? And up to what point is an event fate?

I think the book also helped me understand a little bit more about my cultural background, but in a modern context. We are the stories we tell ourselves, so changing those stories — even one story — should engender change we can feel, experience, and recognize as such. I’m fascinated by whether we can transcend where we are in any given moment, and if so, then how. Rushdie’s book was instrumental in helping me see how things can look so different depending on how we want to see them.

Lets now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I’ve been blessed with a variety of roles for work over the course of my adult life. After graduating from university, I returned to Japan with the government-sponsored Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme. I divided my time between teaching English to secondary school students and working in the local education office where I lived in Ishikawa.

Following that year, I stayed in Japan but moved to Tokyo. I had stints on radio and television before taking on work as an account manager at a firm specializing in brand-naming. I then took some time off to go back to school and study history at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the UK.

After the course finished, I tried to find a job that would allow me to stay in London. I found a job with a small trading firm but the catch was that I would have to spend time in Chicago before I could move back to the UK. I spent two years in Chicago working on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange before realizing that it was unlikely I would ever be sent to the London office. Then a chance meeting at a friend’s wedding turned into a job offer in Hong Kong, which then eventually led me back to Japan.

I worked as a broker in the financial markets for almost 10 years before quitting to start a family. When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, my husband and I weathered the storm for a few years but then decided to move to the UK where he is originally from.

Applying for grants from the Japanese government, I managed to start teaching Japanese language and culture in a local primary school. As this was only part-time, I went on to find work in a multidisciplinary clinic in the area. There I had two roles: one was as a Patient Care Partner, where I assisted patients in understanding their care protocols, and the other was as a Reiki practitioner. The clinic offers a suite of services across different disciplines and centers around helping people with back pain and recovery from physical injuries. Given how little was understood about COVID-19 at the time, the clinic closed its doors until further notice when the first lockdown was implemented back in March 2020.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

At the time, everything felt so surreal, and I was feeling a little bit from the temporary closure of the clinic. Reiki, as a modality for energy healing, can be delivered remotely as distance healing, so at first, I was thinking this was an obvious path to develop. I had a few sessions with clients online which went well. But it felt like the whole world was hunkering down, so my schedule for online sessions was far from full.

I decided to take some time to immerse myself in my long-time love for astrology, which I had been casually studying off and on for almost thirty years. I adapted a dormant Twitter account to tune in to astrologers in that space and watched some of my favorite astrologers on YouTube. My interest continued to snowball and I found myself reading everything I could get my hands on as well as listening to countless podcasts, webinars, and conferences as the summer wore on. It felt obsessive, but I couldn’t stop myself from turbo-charging my learning by literally cramming astrology into every moment I could — whether I was walking the dogs or washing dishes!

Can you tell us about the specific Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

A good friend of mine, Linda Mueller from the Expat Partner Coach, told me about a free 5-day challenge on Facebook hosted by Cathy Heller from the Don’t Keep Your Day Job podcast. At this point, I was looking at the birth charts of anyone and everyone I came into contact with, and Linda encouraged me to build this into the website I had offering Reiki.

I missed the first couple of days of the challenge, but by the time I caught up with everything on Day 3, I was hooked on the idea that I could properly launch an online business using astrology as a springboard and be successful! One of the things Cathy Heller said that resonated for me was “if you don’t work for your own dream, you will be stuck working for someone else’s dream”. This hit me in such a profound way and before I knew it, I had signed up for her entrepreneurial course to build my own business.

How are things going with this new initiative?

I am very happy with how far I have come so far. By adding astrology into my menu of offerings I feel like I’ve rounded out what I can offer potential clients and give them a choice in terms of how they might want to work with me. I started off by offering astrology consultations within Cathy Heller’s Made To Do This business community. This allowed me to grow, tweak, and improve what I was offering outside of casual sessions with family and friends. It also gave me confidence in the value of what I was doing.

This then led me to completely rebuild my website. There was quite a steep learning curve at the start in terms of getting to grips with what works and what doesn’t when using that medium for business. I have managed to convert all of my remote services to paid offers and have already had clients return for further work with me, so it’s been a wonderful start in that regard. I am now exploring different ways to engage on social media, as well as other business models I might tap into in order to increase the scope of what I offer.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Actually, there are two people I am grateful towards — my parents! I admire how they have navigated spending time — 55 years and counting! — in a culture so different from the one they knew growing up. And then they managed to walk that fine line between helping me learn about and appreciate my old-world origins, while also making sure not to clip my wings in a new world society with values that sometimes seemed alien to their own.

Every time I chose to go abroad, they supported that choice. Every time I changed jobs, moved house, switched industries, and enrolled in online courses to up my training, they both were cheering me on. d I know this helped me feel like I could do anything I chose if I only gave it focus and followed through on it.

There was one time, though, that my father at least thought I needed a bit of help… I had just turned thirty and my parents had flown to Hong Kong to help me celebrate. They stayed with me and I had given them my bedroom to use.

When they left, I found a newspaper specifically for Indians living abroad, which my father had been reading. It was folded back to the matrimonial page and there, my father had circled certain ads for people looking for partners within specific parameters. I was absolutely mortified! But my mother made me realize that my father was just worried about me being on my own. Unfortunately for him, it would be another seven years before I announced my engagement, but both my parents were over the moon when it finally happened.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

In the past, my husband used to roll his eyes whenever I would start talking about things from an astrological perspective. My Reiki work had already stretched his notion of how an alternative therapy might work, but I think the idea of finding a treasure map to ourselves in the stars was a bridge too far for him.

But, in helping me rebuild my website, he couldn’t help but read the testimonials of all the different people I was working with and I think he experienced a shift in how he saw what I was doing.

The proof of the pudding came when I overheard my husband speaking to a friend on the phone. He basically told our friend that regardless of where one might stand on the subject of astrology, there was no getting around the heartfelt words that were coming from people I barely knew after having a session together.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Pace yourself and reinforce the boundaries you set each day.

It’s really important to make sure that you don’t overwhelm yourself right out of the gate when first setting up your business. There are a lot of different aspects to consider and it is too easy to feel burn-out if you try to tackle all these aspects all at once.

For me, this falls into the category of setting boundaries. If you don’t have a clear outline of what you want to achieve on a given day, then you won’t know when to stop. And time has to be a factor, too. Part of the reason to have my own business is to build in more time with my family, so even if I haven’t finished a particular project by dinner time, I leave it for the next day. It’s important to honor these parameters every single day.

2. Give yourself ample time and space to set up shop and learn how to integrate the best of you with your business.

Early on, I saw some people in the entrepreneurial program absolutely killing it on social media. Others seemed miles ahead with podcasts and videos on YouTube. It didn’t take long before I felt like everyone was ‘ahead’ of me in getting their business off the ground.

But we each have our own timeline and we can’t allow FOMO (fear of missing out) or anything else derail us from where we are in our individual journey. As soon as I realized this, I was able to enjoy the process of setting my business up at my own pace.

More importantly, I was able to take in what seemed to work well for some people and what clearly did not; this allowed me to pick and choose what methods or techniques I would incorporate into my business and which ones I would not.

3. Find people outside of your family to hold you accountable for your work and also cheer you on when you need it.

It’s so important to have people around you who are familiar with what you are doing and not afraid to push you to stretch outside of your comfort zone. And what I found was that it’s often better if these people aren’t family members.

It’s equally important to have people who can give you emotional support. There will be times when things will feel hard and that’s when having people who can hear you out is so important.

There were several times when I would ask my husband for his opinion, but I eventually realized that he isn’t part of my target audience. This means he can’t hear things the way people I hope to serve need to hear me.

I definitely didn’t appreciate before starting this journey just how much my progress would be down to people specifically spurring me on, and cheering me on, too.

4. Learn from others doing similar work to you and engage those people to build your network.

Kirby Ferguson made a video called “Everything Is A Remix” and he is right! Often the value in our work lies less in presenting something original and more in HOW we are presenting it. Potential clients will be drawn to your individual style and authenticity.

Having said that, it’s always a good idea to get to know who else is in your field, and if possible, build such contacts into a network. Sometimes a client might be a better fit elsewhere, and if you know just the person to whom you can refer the client, you’ll build a reservoir of goodwill from both the professional contact and that client. And this can further enhance your reputation and standing in the community you are serving.

5. Don’t be scared of niching down and picking a target audience.

I really resisted this in the beginning. I didn’t want to limit the kind of person who might work with me. But it’s hard to attract clients if they don’t know why they should choose you over someone else.

A friend explained it to me this way: by starting out with a focus on women with fertility issues — something I am passionate about — I can help women who are treading the same path I once was on and hold their hand. If they are happy with the results, they may well tell friends and family about it, and may then refer some of those people to me anyway, regardless of whether they are on a fertility journey or not.

Picking a target audience doesn’t have to be forever, it’s just a place to start, so go ahead and pick a niche — one that pertains to an area of life that you are uber-familiar with that has to do with money, health, relationships, or beauty.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

In the holistic side of my practice, I emphasize self-care routines that include taking time throughout your day to actively engage with your body. This means really taking the time to ground into your body and noticing how you feel on the inside. Watching the news can make you feel jumpy, irritable, and anxious. Once you become aware of this, you can intentionally switch your focus to something that makes you feel good, like reading a treasured book, listening to a much-loved song, or even making your favorite hot drink.

When these activities are done consciously, I believe the effect in altering our body chemistry is amplified, so it’s good practice to do these things regularly throughout the day.

With my background in aromatherapy, I also love looking at how essential oils can influence our body chemistry. My family loves it when I diffuse orange essential oil around the home. And if we’re out walking with our dogs, I sometimes put a couple of drops on a cotton ball and smell that periodically. It’s thought that the molecules from the essential oil travel from the nasal cavity to the brain and impact those areas that moderate our moods. And smelling my favorite essential oils definitely helps me change my moods!

The other thing I love to do is drop into the heart-space. The heart generates a larger electromagnetic field than the brain does, and in fact, the heart starts beating before the brain is even formed in utero.

So once again, it’s important to consciously move your awareness from up in your head to down and around your heart. Simply placing your hands over your heart is a good way to show this intention physically. Starting on the exhale, take three or four slow breaths and place your attention on your hands over your heart. It’s wonderful how quickly such a small action can work in calming the whole body down.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I love the idea that true community is the art-form of diversity. People in the US and the UK in particular are living in such polarized environments that I sometimes feel we forget how true community works. I believe there is a way to honor individuality while also striving to work together for the collective good.

In order to achieve this, people need to be educated on the value of understanding nervous system health. When the nervous system is healthy and working as it should, people have the ability to relax and are more open to other points of view. In the current world, people are continuously stressed, and living in flight-fight-freeze mode means people — whether they realize it or not — are closed off to doing anything other than simply surviving.

So building true community can only come from ripple effects of having a healthy nervous system. Inspiring a movement where people can value the mind-body connection and actively work to develop it on a daily basis would make me very happy indeed!

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Caroline W. Casey was one of the first astrologers to help me see the value of astrology as a remedial language — not necessary for survival as such, but a study that could help the average person incorporate symbols and metaphor into daily life, and thus live a richer life as a result.

Her work also introduced me to the work of people such as David Bohm, the theoretical physicist, and George Gurdjieff, the philosopher and mystic. And her interpretation of where astrology can lead us has always resonated with me deeply, so to have lunch with her would truly be out of this world!

How can our readers follow you online?

I have a Facebook page called Bodhi Mindful, and an Instagram account, @bodhimindful.

My LinkedIn profile can be found at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joli-knott-1803341/

Finally, my website contains the most informations and it can be found at: https://www.bodhimindful.com/

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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