by Suzee Connole

Joy Stone is a positive psychology life coach, yoga teacher, and new mom. Her coaching practice focuses on helping individuals find ways to thrive while living with anxiety, fear, and overwhelm. Her personal life focuses on her son, Jack.

Joy finds that, in both parts of her world, she reaps the benefits of knowledge gained in WBI’s Certificate in Positive Psychology (CiPP) course.

“Tal Ben-Shahar was right,” she says. “He talks about finding gifts everywhere, and my gifts have come from the most unexpected places.” For example, adopting her son. Joy wasn’t planning to be a parent, but it’s a newly acquired role that she absolutely loves.

“Adopting Jack was an opportunity, an unexpected surprise,” says Joy. “Becoming a mom to him is one of the most profound experiences of my life, and he is gifting me so many opportunities to put in practice what I have learned about planting seeds of greatness and seeing the good.”

Joy notes that Jack has helped her reassess how she communicates with people. “I focus conversations around praising effort versus results. Dr. Carol Dweck’s work in growth mindset is a huge theme in my house.”

An evolving mindset propelled Joy to where she is today. In her late teens, she was diagnosed with anxiety, and later with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I grew up facing tremendous adversity,” she says. “Yet, I know with all my heart that our adversity, past or present, doesn’t have to imprison us to a particular fate or outcome. Rather, we can weave every challenge—and strength—into our life experience to choose who we want to be and how we want to live. How we view those challenges and, more importantly, our capacity to navigate through adversity can be the difference between growth and suffering.”

Today, Joy uses her personal experience to relate to clients. “When I finished CiPP and coach training, I thought I’d just coach people with happiness,” she says. But she found that people needed something more. “Clients were coming to me asking why they were anxious, not why they were unhappy.”

The wisdom she’d gained from her own journey of healing turned out to be another unexpected gift. “I was looking at anxiety as if it were a problem, but it was actually an opportunity,” says Joy. “My personal challenge gave me tools to assist others. In CiPP, Tal told a story about how the Japanese use the same word for challenge as they do for opportunity.”

The difference is all in your perspective. “We can’t change our past, but we can change how we see it, so that it becomes valuable to our own growth, happiness, and well-being,” Joy reflects. “And we can change our future by examining what we are doing right here, right now. What a gift!”

Find out more about the Certificate in Positive Psychology.

To be featured in one of our upcoming alumni spotlights, contact Suzee Connole, WBI’s Marketing Assistant, at [email protected].

Suzee Connole is the Marketing Assistant for Wholebeing Institute. Part of her role at WBI involves highlighting how alumni, faculty, and guest speakers are taking positive psychology principles and applying them in the communities where they live and work.

Joy Stone is a Positive Psychology Life Coach and a yoga teacher. She combines the yoga tradition with modern positive psychology to help people move beyond anxiety, fear, and overwhelm, without medication or traditional talk therapy, so they can move forward in life and thrive. Joy works with individuals and groups from all over the country via phone and Skype, and locally in the Nashville area. Find out more at