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Some things happen for a reason—like the fact that Joy Dushey was given her name.

The New York-based holistic lifestyle coach and breathwork facilitator’s life changed when she suffered a debilitating stroke at only 29 years old. Her process of healing, both physically and from the emotional scars that she feels contributed to her ailments, opened her eyes to all manner of alternative mind-body-spirit healing. Ultimately, she trained in multiple holistic modalities and launched, The Joyful Approach, a lifestyle system and platform for inspiring positive impact.

Her upcoming Joyful Approach Experiential Retreat in Ibiza (from May 3-8, 2020) will immerse attendees in an intensive, life-shifting sensory experience, including a 5-star hotel stay, garden dinners under the stars, whole food organic dinner made from ingredients grown on property, plus transformative breathwork, sound healing and yoga. 

Here, in advance of her self-love-themed upcoming event on  February 23rd at Process Studio, she explains why the universe offers endless possibilities:

Live The Process: Growing up, were you aware of alternative healing? What was your attitude towards life?

Joy Dushey: I wasn’t raised with awareness of alternative healing; however, I was a very curious child and I believe that curiosity was the pilot that led to pathways of alternative healing. I felt strongly connected to the cosmos and other realms, which I believe allowed me to stay open to possibilities outside the traditional lifestyle I was raised with. 

LTP: How did having a stroke, at such a young age, impact your journey?

JD: I was 29, in my third month of a pregnancy and a mom of two little girls when I suffered an ischemic stroke. One day after strength training, I came home experiencing unusual dizziness and fatigue and was lightheaded. Moments after, I lost most of my vision, speech and brain cognition and had facial distortion. I was rushed to the ER and fell into an unconscious state for 12 hours.

Ultimately, I was diagnosed with an ischemic stroke, resulting from three pre-cursers: a clotting condition, a PFO (small hole in the heart) and a protein deficiency due to abnormality in pregnancy. At that time, my doctors prescribed a sedentary recovery for nine months during which I couldn’t—literally or metaphorically—“run” from the emotional pain that I had grappled with until then. I began going inward, confronting the deep internal pain and sadness that I’d carried since my brother’s tragic death nine years prior, and began seeking deeper meaning in my life.

Simultaneously, I found alternative ways to heal and was awakened to a whole new way of living—under holistic fundamentals and spiritual principles integrating the mind, body and spirit. I let go of the life of numbing with external fulfillment. It felt like I was born again, now with a chance to live a multidimensional life guided by enthusiasm, vitality and optimism. To celebrate my regained health, I set out to run a marathon a year after the onset of the stroke. It was just the beginning of an infectious love affair with long-distance running because of how much spiritual nourishment I experienced along with the physical benefits.

I came to realize, from working with esoteric healing, that the stroke was indeed a physical response to the severe emotional pain of losing my brother. When I’d describe the severity of the pain somatically, it felt like “an excised hole in my heart.” The physical symptom was a clot that travelled through the hole in my heart to the brain. The emotional feeling was of suffering—until I bled through the rupture in my heart.

Yet, this was also the rupture that would ultimately change my life for the better. After my experience, I had a great understanding of the metaphysical in healing, which is why I feel so driven to help others mend their emotions.

On my reawakened journey, I invested in endless learning and trainings and, today, I am certified in holistic lifestyle, breathwork, crystal healing and reiki. My greatest life mission is to help share what has worked for me with others and help others live a “Joyful” life.

LTP: How did you come to launch The Joyful Approach and what does the system involve?

JD: In 2010, I was certified in holistic lifestyle at the C.H.E.K. Institute. With my great appetite for holistic living, I launched a small practice of coaching two years later. I was also a full-time mom, and so I felt myself compromising that role.  I put coaching on hold for several years.

In 2016, I experienced  an extraordinary second spiritual awakening in which l was woken at 4am one night with the download: “Create a Joyful Approach Platform offering tools for transformation and evolution through a life system cultivated with spiritual and holistic principles to come into joyful alignment.” At that time, I also found breathwork—a three-part pranayama that allows us to move stagnant energy and trauma and helps us to heal the heart, mind and soul. This active breathing technique goes beyond the cognitive mind to pull up unconscious material and stuck energy in the body. I experienced radical healing from even primal years that led to euphoria, self love and freedom.

The Joyful Approach is an integrated holistic lifestyle that supports joyful alignment of the whole self. The first tier of this system focuses on the areas that can have an immediate impact on our lives: sleep, hydration, nutrition, breathing, thinking and movement. The second tier addresses our emotions and how we navigate relationships with ourselves and others. They are self-love, authenticity, boundary-setting, motivating intentions, core values and daily practice. These are the deeper layers of our emotional life that help support long-term experience of joy, freedom, and love.

One-on-one sessions are provided with safe place for meeting the client wherever they may be in their life, with deep listening, empathy and compassion. We begin to unravel layer-by-layer what’s disrupted their life with intuitive therapeutic talk, intention setting and offering new strategies or perspectives, as well as manifestation guidance and offering optimal resources. We then move into “Alchemical Breathwork” serving as the magnificent tool for healing the mind, body and heart. I conclude the alchemy with a melting sound bath to harmonize the physiological body, nervous system and balance the chakras. People leave feeling more connected to their authentic selves, lighter, renewed, more connected to their heart, awakened to new realizations, heightened creative awareness and more energetically awake.

I also provide workshops, sanghas bringing community together and destination retreats.

LTP: How does your philosophy and practice help people practice self-love?

JD: The Joyful Approach methodology creates a wellness and vitality within, so people can wake up to a deeper experience of themselves to connect back to their true authentic self. Two fundamental components of “The Joyful Approach Life System” are authenticity and self-love. Self-love requires that we accept our whole selves—both our attributes and shadows (the unseen parts that we sometimes don’t feel we want to visit).  Once we can fully accept ourselves, we begin to experience a beautiful intimacy. We begin to show up in a more authentic way and that is so freeing!

I love the practice of journaling and mirror work with affirmations on self-love. Even if you don’t fully believe the affirmation at first, neuropathways are created and you begin to eventually ditch the negative inner critic and  communicate love in a reflective manner to the self. 

LTP: What does happiness look like to you?

JD: Happiness is in a new waking day to experience more love, more joy, more presence, new possibilities and human connection. 

LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?

JD: To “Live The Process” is to journey inward and integrate the mind, body and soul in self-inquiry,  self-reflection, a daily practice and activation through movement.

We can first begin with silence, clearing the noise around us, allowing for the intimate connection to the heart and soul. 

Cover art by Nareg Taimoorian


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