Her 'I AM' message to the worldJun 26, 2019 05:28AM ● By J. Chambless
Angela Jo Manieri. (Photo by Richard Gaw)
By Richard L. Gaw
It was 11:11 on the morning of June 12, and Angela Jo Manieri sat at a table in the den of her Pike Creek home. She positioned a cellular phone camera in her direction, flashed her signature smile and greeted the many listeners who have stopped the churning machine of their day to tune in on their computers and laptops, as they normally do at this time every Wednesday, to hear her words of inspiration and hope.
It's Your A.M. Wake Up Call’s “We Get to Wednesday” was on the air.
For the next 15 minutes, she engaged her listeners on the importance of staying amazed.
“What if we stay amazed in every aspect of our journey?” she asked. “What if we choose to live our life with the anticipation of wondering what will happen next, even when we're going through our trials? What if we say to ourselves that despite the fact that we're having to go through this mountain, that there will be a story on the other side of it that will be greater?
“Sometimes, we read that the bigger the trial, the bigger the promise, but for those of you who are going through something right now that really feels exhausting, just know that on the other side of it, something great is going to happen. Stay amazed. There is such excitement in the unknown.”
The broadcast, now in its eighth week, is merely a stepping stone notch in the enormity of experiences in Manieri's life that seem to have been met by an equal amount of miracles and transformations that have informed her calling as an author, transformational speaker, presentation stylist and connector of people to the unlimited capacity of their potential.
And all of it – the highs and the lows of her life that have helped bring her to this point – has been guided by Manieri's unwavering faith. In 1992, she was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, and in 2013, she suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“It was during these times when I began to tell myself, ‘I am happy. I am healthy. I am whole. I am healed,’” she said. “These words became so pivotal to my healing process.”
And yet, while the private words of her healing reverberated during her recovery, Manieri knew that they were part of a larger mantra that had begun years before. In 2004, Angela Jo was driving when all of a sudden she heard an interior voice tell her, “You are to launch a project and it will be called 'Your A.M. Wake Up Call.' At the time, she and her business partner Mikki Lessard had just begun their company Dreambox Gifts, which connected customers to artisanal gifts made by artists, some with disabilities.
“I thought 'A' and 'M' – stood for Angela and Mikki,” Manieri said. “Maybe we we're supposed to do something in addition to Dreambox. We were so involved in traveling for our company and creating ways to inspire women, so even though we thought it would be a great idea, we just didn't have the time or the resources. But it never left me.”
In 2010, the 'A' and the 'M' connection continued, when she married her husband Paul Manieri, now having the new initials A.M., but still nothing in the way of establishing a radio show or project materialized. In 2012, she was listening to a CD by author and speaker Joyce Meyer.
“Joyce was talking about the time God was speaking to Moses about leading His people, when Moses asked God, 'Who shall I say sent me?'” Manieri said. “God answered Moses by saying to him, 'I AM that I AM has sent me to you.' “I literally pulled over and began crying. I realized that it wasn't about Mikki and me. It wasn't about Paul and me. It was about the God within us, The Great “I AM”.
While the idea for creating a forum for a radio show based on the “I AM” theme continued to blossom, Manieri attended a workshop at a conference, where the instructor gave her students a challenge to create something that reflected the mission of their business. Others in the class created logos for their company or marketing materials. Manieri instead chose to begin writing. She wrote in every nook and cranny of time and space that was available to her, and each entry began with the prefix “I Am.” “I Am Comfort.” “I Am Gentleness.” “I Am Kindness,” and each passage was accompanied by a meaningful quote, a Biblical passage and personal reflection, and a photograph of hers that all connected to the purpose of the message. Included on the “Day 9” page entitled “I Am Healing,” for example, is a passage form Proverbs 17:22: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” and a quotation from George Santayana that reads, “The body is an instrument, the mind its function, the witness and reward of its operation.”
Published in 2013, Manieri's writing and photography became Your 'I AM' Wake Up Call, an 82-page, 31-day devotional guidepost of inspiration and positivity. Nearly from the time it came off the press, the accolades for the book flowed, and continue to do so. Terri Levine, the bestselling author of 20+ books, including Coaching is For Everyone, wrote that when Manieri first shared her concept for the book, “I knew she was on to a way of inspiring others that would make a serious difference in their lives.” Monsignor Thomas J. Morgan wrote, “The author's message is brief. It is clear. It is simple. It is revealing of her beautiful mind, heart and soul.”
“When someone told me that this book was downloaded by God, I knew that, because I felt that I was simply his vessel,” she said. “It's helped so many people get through loss and transition in life.” In addition, a portion of the profits of the books goes towards helping create awareness and end human trafficking.
While the “I Am” inspirational component of Manieri's life – both book and online broadcast – continues to gain momentum, her work as a transformational speaker and trainer puts her center stage before leaders in business, education, law and human resources, hospitality and women's christian and entrepreneurial conferences. Each workshop and breakout session she does is specifically customized to its audience and aligned with that group's core values, objectives and overall desired outcome.
A few of her presentations include “Rise to the T.O.P. (Think on Purpose),” a fun and poignant message that stresses the importance of how to properly convey thoughts and words; and “Strike a Pose: How to Intentionally Stand in Your Power,” that examines the importance of what proper body language can convey.
Other presentation titles she's taught have included “Increasing Your Network...Increases Your Net Worth,” “The Art of Adding Value,” and “Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone.”
Over the past several years, Manieri has also become a well-sought-after presentation stylist, where she assists her clients with public speaking and presentation preparation – “to stand in their power, discover their voice and share their story with ease, eloquence and excellence,” she said. From writing to wardrobe consultation, Manieri will help polish a message, delivery and style, in order to WOW the audience. Whether it's for an important presentation or possibly a TEDx talk, before a large group or in the private consultation with a client, Manieri has her ears open to what both audiences' needs are.
“Whether you’re preparing to take the stage, do a video or photo shoot, or lead a workshop or presentation, Angela Jo Manieri will draw you out, so you can stand in your brand and step into a place of excellence, with poise and elegance,” said Donna Duffy of 3E Marketing Solutions & SAGE Success Studio.
“When it comes to what people are missing most, the word that comes to me is 'Identity,' she said. “People get lost in who they are, and a lot of this starts with social media. We're all trying to put ourselves out there, through our own invention of ourselves, but are we really knowing who we are? That's where my heart is with my 'I Am' message – to allow yourself to accept your own identity because you are created in the image of God.”
Another compliment to her business is being the Founding Director in the U.S. for Tocara jewelry, based in Montreal, Canada. She recently launched a fundraising arm of Tocara called Shine & Serve, partnering with non-profits and local organizations, to raise money through sharing jewels for their individual cause.
“It's a true blessing to be the first in the United States to set down a foundation for Tocara with its high-end style and avant garde designs,” she said.
When she was a little girl, Angela Jo, the youngest of four children, would often prepare ice cream sundaes for her family, first giving them a hand-drawn menu, with the choices of ice cream and toppings available, for them to check off which they preferred. She would then return to the kitchen and prepare sundaes for everyone.
“People used to tell me when I was younger that the name 'Angela' means 'Angel,' and I have always felt called to service and to being a messenger,” she said. “My belief is that we have a great commission, which is to lead other people to goodness and greatness, and for me, I’m able to do that because of God's creative power that is found within each of us.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].