Joya P. Gallasch is an intuitive entrepreneur, spiritual teacher and self-love activist who has overcome severe trauma and PTSD to step into joy, playfulness and self-love – and help others do the same. Her mantra? “Feel to heal, shift to uplift”. She shares her mission to empower women to fully express their gifts by connecting to their self-love, playfulness and magic.
Melinda Wittstock: Joya, welcome to WINGS.
Joya Gallasch: I'm so happy to be with you here.
Melinda Wittstock: I'm really happy to talk with you too because I know that you've gone through a very trying experience. It was a few years ago, but here you are, you're caught up in one of the wildfires in California some three years ago. It almost cost you your life, it lost you sort of so much of what you had, and you're still coming to terms with this. Tell me the impact that that has had on your life and your work as a transformational leader.
Joya Gallasch: Yeah. Thank you for that question. I have to admit, the journey has not been easy at all. And at the same time, I remember when I walk this Camino de Santiago de Compostela, which is like this long pilgrimage walk you know you would see everywhere that it's not the destination that's the goal, it's the journey. So I definitely have to remind myself about that because after such an experience like a wildfire, you're definitely, totally uprooted, and it's very unsettling, and it's confusing, and it's traumatizing. And what happened to me was that for a long time, I literally did not know who I was, where to go, what to do because also, parts of my business burned and my clients left the area, and their homes burned. It was just so fascinating to be with that, not knowing and as you can imagine, the ego, my ego and my mind did not like it. Because they were like, “Okay. Chop Chop.” You know, “What's next? When are we going to rebuild? And when are we going to do it?” And then there was like this void, this emptiness, and that was often, in a physical level, really I'm comfortable to be with.
So at the same time, I took it as a grand invitation to assess, to assess who have I been until now and you know how can I use this extreme experience of change as a chance, and is it actually a calling to reinvent myself, and maybe even create something new. So for some time for instance, I also questioned if the work, the transformational teachings and my workshops and retreats, if I was done with that. And thank god, I'm not. So it definitely is a journey, and as much as I can invite myself to embrace that journey day by day, moment by moment, and I'm sharing this with your listeners, to be really gentle and loving and caring and patient with yourself when you're going through a change or transformational crisis.
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh. It's interesting in life, how we get challenged. And I often wonder whether something's happened to us, or they happen for us. And when you're in the middle of something like that, you know just the pain and the loss and the fear and all the things that you know being in the middle of a wildfire and losing everything cause. When you stand back now, three and a bit years away from that, did it happen for you?
Joya Gallasch: Yes. Beautiful that you say that. Because out of this came a eight-step journey that I now get to share with people, that are going through big changes. And the number one step or key, or support is the question, am I a victim of the situation, or am I a victor? You know, can I go beyond? Can I grow above that? And certainly the question that I've asked people is, do you feel like this happened to you? And then I always ask them to just ask that question and where do they feel like it's happened to them, versus for them, and even through them. Because who knows, I started to question of course you know in the world of the law of attraction, where have I co-created here? And that of course that is the best question. Sometimes I had to let go of it because it just happen and I was a fact. And of course, life was right in front of me and I needed to see how to be with it and deal with it. So I love that that awareness, that it is a for you, rather than a to you.
Melinda Wittstock: It's interesting because I think a lot of the things that we think are making, you know we think about the things that allow us to help other people and usually it comes from a gap, a lack, a challenge, something, maybe earlier in our life or maybe something that happened to us as adults, but going through that ourselves helps us to help others. So I think you know I just went through this exercise and I led a lot of my folks that I've coached through this as well, we wrapped up 2018 by thinking about all the things that we were grateful for, and celebrating those. And celebrating even the things that were challenges. Because we got through the challenges and we're still here, we're alive, we're breathing, right?
And often in focusing on the goodness, you invite more of the good in you know, for this current year 2019. What's your process going through and into a new year, when you're deciding either deciding what your intentions are, or deciding what you want this new year to be all about? How do you go through that process?
Joya Gallasch: That's a wonderful question, and it's so fun to see how we seem to be in alignment because as part of my step two in my eight-step process, what shows up there is gratitude.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Gratitude is everything, isn't it? I mean it's the one thing that's gotten me through the toughest parts in my life.
Joya Gallasch: Absolutely. So yeah, I have a beautiful exercise there too, which I have shared in a specific completion workshop at the end of the year, and it certainly brings in the aspect of gratitude, where we look at each month and my clients or the participants would just sit with it. Just with the word January, and then I would ask a question you know, “What comes up when you connect with that month?” And ultimately, I'd like them to get to as you know stuff percolates and they started writing out things. I'd like them to get to one word and we'll do that with all the month, the different months, and then also as for myself, I just look at the gift of the word, or the gift behind that experience, or the gifts behind that, and I kind of summarize it for myself in another one word. So this is so funny because I'm not necessarily the best one to get to the point. My dad would always say don't start with Adam and Eve, and yet this exercise came through and it's definitely encouraging me to, “Okay. Go to the point Joya.”
And then I see whatever that one essence is. I mean the word, an essence, a quality, and I definitely bring that into 2019, and I always, if I can, I make specific time in the New Year where I just fly on the wings of inspiration and daydreaming, and just kind of feeling out the new year and then I'll see it in terms of action steps, what's showing up and I usually bring that into balance with of course this intuitive part where I do this, and then practical actions steps. What needs to happen every day, every week and that always feels really inspiring, rather than drilling myself, “You just sit down and figure out my new year.” I guess that's maybe kind of more feminine way to start the new year.
Melinda Wittstock: That's lovely. I mean do you live by kind of intention? Do you set sort of intentions like where are you going in the year ahead, and sort of like imagine them done? Or how do you do that?
Joya Gallasch: Yeah. I've done that and for instance last … I mean this last year, 2018, I actually went with the flow, and I signed up for a year-long program that was very business and marketing and sales inspired, and it was definitely, to a certain extent for the pixie and politics in me, a foreign world because oddly enough I have, in the past created my businesses and run them very intuitively. So for me to find out kind of all these guidelines and rules and regulations was like, “Wow! Interesting.” I've don't that and I didn't even know that I was doing something right with marketing, for instance. So it was a fascinating year because on the one hand, I was like totally in the structures and strategies and learning so much and at the same time, I allowed flow to see what I had to learn or do next.
And so ultimately, in 2019, I'm very much returning to intentions because I always feel like when we … I probably, well I can't speak I guess for your listeners, but I've noticed it with my clients. When we do set intentions and even they're small ones or they are like for an hour of the day or for the day, I feel like I'm becoming the captain of the ship. So it's not going … The sailboat it's not going, “Ha, where are we going?” But there is a direction that I give to the hour of the day or the actual day. And so yeah, I love the big vision for the entire year, and I love to also bring in the possibility of mystery and surprise. Because I have noticed when I plan everything out, there's hardly, if there's not a little bit of emptiness there, surprise and mystery can show up.
I mean I remember when I moved to the countryside, I have this voice in my head that said, “Okay Joya, and now let life take you by the hand.” That was a deep one.
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh. I mean that's lovely. That's that moment where … You know as an entrepreneur, I had a sort of very similar experience, where for a long time I was very much in my masculine. I was in this kind of … And I think it was just if you were ambitious in the you know kind of late … You know just date myself sort of like late '80s, '90s, you know aught’s, or whatever, I was often the only woman in the room and my only role models were men. And so the impulse was to very kind of you know driving, ambitious, kind of get it done, really all activity all in my head. And I achieved a lot that way.
However, it stopped working at a certain point and it forced me to get much more into my feminine energy, and where it's all come around now is rather than me thinking that my ego has all the answers or my left brain, I instead know that that's actually not true, that I have to ask kind of beyond myself. So like in the mornings now, with my meditation, it's kind of like you know that I don't know so therefore I'm asking. Please show me inspiration and allow me to act on inspiration. So I do the things that are in alignment and of most service to most people, and my mission on my business and that kind of thing. And the more I do that with a disciplined approach, the more I end up doing only the things that actually count. The things that actually, and speaking in business terms, the things that actually have leverage.
So if I do one thing, it manifest in multiple ways, or if I connect in a really heart-based way kind of magical connections happen as a result of that. You know that kind of thinking, and it's a totally different way of running a business, and it would seem so boo-hoo to so many. I think if I've heard myself, just say what I just said like 10 years ago, I would have thought it was a freak. Right?
Joya Gallasch: [inaudible 00:28:58
Melinda Wittstock: I've find that I'm having more and more conversations like this with more and more business leaders of more and more entrepreneurs. Do you think there's been a big shift in consciousness, that more entrepreneurs are leading their business in a heart-centered or conscious way?
Joya Gallasch: I love what you shared Melinda. I definitely feel that there is a shift going on, and it's wonderful. Because it doesn't mean that we were taking away something from the men or from most of the women that choose to focus on the more you know male energy inspired way to do business, and at the same time, I feel it is so important that we bring in these feminine qualities because I'm pretty sure that you would agree with me, you know some of these qualities is that we have an easier way to see the full picture. We think family and community. We want to make sure that we are all thriving so when we, as women especially, stepped out of the zone of competition or comparison, and we drop into collaboration, cooperation, creativity, co-creating, it's such a different modus operandi, and it's also so much more fun because for me if I … And I know you do that to Melinda, especially with them with the podcast.
When we start to see and hear each other and celebrate, when I celebrate your unique gift, how much fun and bands of energy does that bring into the field. And all of us really create a world where everybody gets to express and create for instance, a business that's based on our brains, our uniqueness, our zone of genius, oh my god, wouldn't that be a world of a lot of happy and inspired, creative people? And I almost feel like comparison and competition might not have any space in that.
Melinda Wittstock: No, I think it doesn't. Like there's comparison envy, just makes you feel trapped and guilt and shame and like not good enough. It's hardly empowering. I mean I think it's one of the problems with social media is people go on there and they compare themselves and what they know to be the truth and their truth to other people's highlight reels, and then it just reinforces all the negative self-talk, all the beliefs that they have, those limiting beliefs that are holding themselves back. So figuring out how to liberate yourself from that, and I know that you're a big proponent of self-love, and I want you to talk specifically about that because it's so hard to love other people truly, if we don't love ourselves. It's very difficult to value other people, or even create value for other people if we don't value ourselves. So talk to me a little bit Joya how you've arrived first off at this concept of self-love, and what it actually means in practice?
Joya Gallasch: Yeah. Yummy question. Thank you so much for asking that. Because it took me quite sometime and just you know as a footnote for your listeners, I actually at one point was diagnosed with a tumor because I had run my life and my business certainly with so much … I mean strength and at the same time force, and what it created was a level of hardness that then showed up in my physical body. And so I was sent on a 17-year long healing journey, where I was actually determined to heal you know this piece of hardness inside of my body, and well low and behold I guess my ego really wanted these success of like, “I … ” I actually, I was able with all my alternative healing to dissolve this thing. My healing journey involved a hospital and opening up to school medicine and healing at my parents house.
So that being said, this whole journey step-by-step, introduced different levels of self-love. And it got ignited actually because you might remember that I shared that during or actually after the operation, I had this is unbelievable near death experience, where there was a visceral field around me of golden light, and it's kind of hard to describe it with words. It was like the essence of love and it goes beyond words. It goes beyond descriptions. It's all-encompassing, it's embracing, it's enveloping, and of course when that happened I was also told to remind people of self-love and also you know there have been many times during the last year, where I again forgot about my own self-love.
So that today, I call a practice. And the more I'm able to love myself and to be in that place of softness and self-care, which is a huge component and so important for us as female entrepreneurs because most of us go, go, go, go, go until something shows up, and we're like, “Oops! how did that happen?” So one big, big area of a practical application of self-love is definitely self-care, and this can show up in many forms and shapes and ways. One way obviously is you get a massage, you take a bath with candle lights, you stop let's say every 90 minutes and you get up and you stretch or you just sit for a minute holding your heart. So self-love, yeah, if I don't know how to love myself, it's really, really, difficult to share it with my surrounding. That's just as simple as it is.
Melinda Wittstock: So let's get into what first made you an entrepreneur. So you came to the U.S. and you end up creating your first business. What was impetus for that? What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
Joya Gallasch: That's an amazing question, and I've given it quite some thought already. Well, I guess the inspiration probably was my dad was an entrepreneur, and he came … He was extremely poor during the war. And at one point, I remember, he shared with me that he was so sick and tired of being poor and feeling so powerless and at times, hopeless that he started his own business. So I've been around this field of inspiration that you can have an idea and then you create a structure and you start a business, and he was actually … As he focused on a niche, he was incredibly successful, and that was very inspiring although I have to admit my dad always thought that I was the Bohemian you know, the black sheep, the pixie, and I had no clue what it means to run a business.
And as I landed in the United States, it was actually kind of fascinating. One day, after Washington, D.C., studying in New York Manhattan, I landed in LA, where I never wanted to be in live for sure, yet I ended up there. And one day on my little Brother typewriter, I started to type muffin recipes, and I was like, “Well, that's kind of interesting. What are they for?” And what started to come through was a school of creativity, which then became an international film acting school. And it was so fascinating to witness you know that the steps and the openings and how it actually started. There was so many miracles how it started to happen because between you and me, it was a really crazy idea to have clients that were about 6,000 or more miles away from me, come to Los Angeles and study with us, and in a foreign language too. And at the same, it had such force and energy that it needed to happen, and it did. So that was my first business.
Melinda Wittstock: And so what are the biggest things you think you've learned along the way in your journey?
Joya Gallasch: You know actually the first thing that just popped into my head was I remember, especially my first 15 years of being really high-powered and working so much and I remember there were like 10 years, where I probably worked 16 hours a day. With my first business, I experienced a falling-out with my business partners. We're all friends again, yet something wanted to happen and when I was going through that transition, which was really painful and just oh, I sometimes didn't want to believe that this is what was happening. One piece that showed up was, that I truly regret it on all the trips to Europe, that I didn't spend more time with my parents, that I was you know I was up at 4 meditating and at 6 o'clock I went to some [sangha 00:39:56. And then sometimes we had breakfast meetings at 7 or 7:30. And I was just out and about, and it was fun to a certain level too, and yet when that transition with my first company, I really felt, “Wow!” You know, “What did all of that get me and how precious would it have been to always carve out more time with my family?”
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh. This is so, so important. So what is your big goal for this year? What's your big vision where you're going?
Joya Gallasch: My big vision is, as I think I mentioned to you, I'm creating a podcast too, which is called Women Uplift like my work and my website. And so I'm so excited about that. We hope to have everything ready January 15 because in a way it comes full circle for me. One of my professional endeavors, as I started out in Germany was I had a radio show. So I'm just so, so, so inspired by women like you and many other podcasters, female podcasters, and I can't wait to verse that project. And next year actually, I will bring back my signature retreat, which is called Embodying The Essence of the Feminine, and I'm actually, I found or I'm creating a new way where I'm going to travel in Europe and I'll start with the German-speaking countries first, and then I will also bring it back to the United States. And that is making my heart sing because it is such an amazing weekend, a long weekend, and it is so intense and profound and deep and fun and playful and magic. And I feel like a kid that gets to share the content of this retreat is just a huge blessing.
Melinda Wittstock: Gosh. It really is. Well, I want to make sure that everybody knows how to find you and work with you Joya. What's the best way they should get in touch?
Joya Gallasch: Probably through my website, which is www.womenuplift.com. Very simple womenuplift.com.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Thank you so much for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Joya Gallasch: You're so welcome. Thank you so much Melinda.