To have a conversation with Melanie Jolicoeur or to listen to her speak is akin to being transported by the art of raw storytelling…storytelling that is so vivid and full of the intricacies of the human condition. Jolicoeur is something of an anomaly for a woman of her age, because the sheer extent of her life experiences to date (some profoundly sad and others profoundly exhilarating) would be expected from someone in their 90s, not their 40s.

Jolicoeur, a woman who has been searching for her true place in the world for almost 40 years, who has travelled to and lived in over 30 countries, is currently exploring Costa Rica as a more permanent destination. But her story started lightyears away from the tropical scenery she wakes up to every morning. Her early years were marked with equal doses of carefree childhood experiences and dramatically challenging events, culminating into a spiritual awakening that would change the course of her life forever.

Jolicoeur was born and raised in St-Hippolyte, Quebec, about 45 minutes north of Montreal. The youngest of three children, she recalls idyllic family road trips and lots of quality family time. “It was the kind of town where you rode your snowmobile or boat to get to your friend’s house,” she laughs. Her grandparents lived two doors down, and her uncle and cousins lived just across the lake that was the center of happy childhood experiences surrounded by nature. “My parents were always really connected to nature, and I got that from them,” she says.

She describes her parents as very loving, strong, and resilient. “My mother was the kind of woman who would get down on the floor, snow or dirt and play with us, but yet could be elegant and classy at the same time. And she is the most beautiful example of unconditional love,” says Jolicoeur. “My father was an extrovert that had an impact on everyone. He was someone you could meet just once in your life, but you’d never forget him! He had so much presence and was such a brilliant man.”

When Jolicoeur was just a toddler, her older sister, Dominique, passed away due to a misdiagnosed case of meningitis. Although she recalls very little of that time or of her sister, Jolicoeur has always felt a spiritual connection to her deceased sister. “I think my subconscious knew more about her than my conscious self, and this is why I would sometimes be playing in my room but felt like I was playing with my sister, even though there was no one there,” she says.

Despite this early tragedy in her family’s life, the Jolicoeur family was a strong unit. “We all did everything together and were always at each other’s houses,” she says. Her father was best friends with his brother, Uncle Pierre, who Jolicoeur says was like a second father to her. Uncle Pierre passed away from lung cancer at just 41 years old, when Jolicoeur was only eight years old. At this point, Jolicoeur’s aunt and three cousins moved into her house, with everyone under one roof. It was a challenging time, and though Jolicoeur was quite young, she remembers the impact of it all.

“So now with my little cousins in the house, it was like I had gained three more brothers,” she says. “My older brother Fred was always and is still my best friend, but in those days, I was the only girl so sometimes it was tough… I love all of them so much but it for sure had an impact on my masculine and feminine energy imbalances,” she says. It wasn’t until many years later that she discovered how to reconnect with her feminine energy.

“I feel that being brought up with boys had nourished my ego and I felt like I always needed to show that I could do anything by myself and that I was enough. Sometimes it served me well, and other times it was destructive,” she explains. “But I know I’m 100% responsible for my transformation and everything in life is just opportunities for us to grow, and so today self-love is an everyday practice. Every mess has a message!”

The 7-Year Search
As a teenager, Jolicoeur says she began to get in touch with her artistic side and really enjoyed dance as her main passion, which she had begun as a child and now began actively pursuing. She began experimenting with drugs around age 14 within her circle of friends, which eventually progressed into harder drugs by the time she was 17.

Being as close as they were, Jolicoeur and Fred both experienced the wild ups and downs of drug exploration during this time, as they spent much of their time together and in the same group of friends.

In the 10th grade, Jolicoeur became ill with mononucleosis, and couldn’t attend school for several months. This infection as a teenager caused Jolicoeur chronic thyroid complications for which she still takes some medication for today.

Once recovered, Jolicoeur dove back into her artistic passions, but also into drug abuse. “It [doing drugs] was like being in another world, a wild world, one where you could just be without labels, and be whoever you wanted to be,” she says. “It gave me a space to explore my creativity in a deeper way, but it created imbalance in my life as I searched for myself and was trying to accept myself.”

When she was 17 years old, she received the call that her grandfather had been in an accident. He had a heart attack while working on his land and fell into the lake on their property. “It was a very dramatic scene at my grandparents’ house when Fred and I arrived, and it was all very chaotic and traumatic,” she explains. The family uprooted themselves once again and moved in with Jolicoeur’s grandmother during this difficult time.

Jolicoeur’s dependency issues continued to perpetuate throughout her young adult years, even as she began to pursue a professional dance career and get her first contracts, working for modelling and acting agencies alongside dancing professionally. “From stealing cars to get back home, to doing laundry completely buzzed out…working in bars and partying all the time, I knew I was getting completely unbalanced,” she says.

The Boiling Point
The 7-year wild search for herself all came to a screeching halt when her father sat her down one day to announce that he had leukemia, and that he had already had his diagnosis for almost two years. “I was completely shocked,” she says. “When he explained that he was going to fight to live and do whatever it took to stay alive, something clicked in my head, and I vowed to get as healthy as I could and quit drugs cold turkey. If he was going to fight to get healthy, then I was going to do the same.”

Jolicoeur and her brother Fred, just 22 and 23 years old at the time, entered intensive therapy together and were successful in letting go of their addictions while their father combatted leukemia. “I was done with drugs and did a deep dive into personal development and emotional intelligence,” she says. “I completely shifted into wanting to know everything about it and evolve into a better version of me.” Jolicoeur put what she had learned into practice and offered workshops on emotional intelligence for elementary school students as well as high school students who were struggling with social issues or drug abuse.

While being in a caregiver role for her father so that her mother wouldn’t be alone in the daily care tasks, it was around this time that Jolicoeur and her best friend from high school, Emmanuelle, decided to open up their own dance school, which quickly became successful. As Jolicoeur explored new ways of thinking and being, she learned more about running a business. She also learned a lot about the strength and resiliency it takes to combat a chronic or terminal disease as she cared for her father.

Through her father’s illness, Jolicoeur and her family learned to appreciate each passing day as a gift. Through each experimental treatment, hundreds of chemotherapy treatments and blood transfusions, the family stayed strong. “There was so much struggle but also so much triumph,” she says. “We could be crying together but then eventually the crying would turn into laughter because we just didn’t know if we’d have tomorrow…For 10 years, we lived like it was the last day, last weekend, last birthday, last road trip,” recalls Jolicoeur. Normand Jolicoeur passed away in 2009, with his entire family by his bedside.

With Emmanuelle as her business partner but also now her sister-in-law (Fred and Emmanuelle were a couple and had a baby together in 2003, but later separated), the pair blended their personal and work lives to support one another, even living under the same roof for a time. When Emmanuelle and Fred’s son was diagnosed with autism, Emmanuelle needed to take a step back from the business to care for her family.

While both Emmanuelle and Jolicoeur remained close as they entered into new relationships, more obstacles were thrown in their path. It was around this time that Emmanuelle was also diagnosed with cancer. In 2011, she passed away at the age of 32. For a few years after this shocking event, Jolicoeur and other family members helped Fred to raise his son. The loss of her best friend had a profound impact on Jolicoeur’s day-to-day thought process. “It woke me up big time,” she says. “I started waking up in the morning and realizing that I get one more day, so what do I really want to do with it? It was like living as if it was my last day brought me to a turning point.”

Jolicoeur’s boyfriend at the time was also struggling to come to terms with his own mother’s cancer diagnosis, so Jolicoeur once again stepped into a caregiver role.

The Turning Point
While running her dance school and diving into network marketing at the same time, Jolicoeur found herself with a lot on her plate, but was determined to be successful. A chance encounter with a stranger changed the trajectory of her life, and she hadn’t seen it coming.

While waiting for her cell phone to be repaired at the shop, an elderly man sat next to her and the two struck up a conversation. Before they parted, she handed him her business card, as she was selling health products at the time and suggested he call her if he wanted to learn more.

Three days later, the man called her and invited her to lunch so he could learn more about what she did for a living. At that lunch meeting, Jolicoeur learned that the man’s wife and mother died in a car accident when he was in his early 20’s, and he confided that he worked hard all his life to avoid feeling the pain of those losses. He told Jolicoeur that he had made lots of money in his lifetime but did not enjoy life. He was now in ill cardiac health, and he vowed that before he died he wanted to help random strangers he meets to achieve their dreams or grant their wishes if he sensed that they had a love for life. The man looked at her and asked her what her wish or life dream was.

“In that moment I felt like I had an Aladdin lamp in front of me,” says Jolicoeur. She explained to the man that because her parents were sailors and she had always loved sailing and wanted to return to the ocean, her dream was to get her sailing certifications and sail on a 40-foot boat. After showing the elderly man her plans and what it would take to achieve those goals, the man immediately wrote her a check for the entire amount of funding needed for her to go the British Virgin Islands and fulfill her dream. “All he asked for in return was a postcard,” says Jolicoeur.

At first, Jolicoeur didn’t feel as though she could accept the gift, but the man explained that her gift to him was to accept the money so she could achieve her dream. He said that money was meaningless to him now and the lesson was to enjoy life while you can. “He told me to just go do it. I thought of all the people that I loved that had died in recent years and thought, yes, I’m going to live and explore all my dreams, and this is how it started,” says Jolicoeur.

She went to the British Virgin Islands for a few weeks (bringing her brother along) to complete her certifications, and shortly after, she got a contract to shoot a documentary in the Bahamas for few weeks on a 50-foot catamaran.

Her adventures then took her to Morocco, where she walked in silence in the desert for several days. With the deafening silence of the desert all around her, Jolicoeur experienced a massive influx of deep questions. “I was asking myself, what’s happening? Why are we (modern society) so sick and disconnected and it was in that moment that I chose to dedicate my life to finding out, dive into my spiritual path and learn everything about holistic medicine,” she says. “I was ready for my next chapter, and it was all because of this man who gave me the opportunity to start exploring my dreams.”

Fresh Start
After Morocco, she fell in love and decided she was ready for her next mission. She closed her dance school and moved to Slovenia with her boyfriend, who was playing for the Austrian hockey team. The plan was to stay for eight months.

It was during this time in Slovenia that Jolicoeur made huge strides on her path to self-discovery and healing. “Suddenly I was in a country where my ego had no identification. I had no job, no one that was dying that I had to take care of, and it became clear that the only appointment I had was with myself,” she explains.

In her quest to find meaning and purpose to the many existential questions she had at that time, Jolicoeur took another deep dive into reading books and watching documentaries, and slowly but surely, a new truth emerged. “I began to realize that my path was to devote my life to serve humanity…I wasn’t sure exactly how, but I knew I had to create, to learn, to listen, to connect with my gift, use it to serve and to be,” she says.

She then discovered Yoga alongside other natural healing modalities and began organizing retreats all over the globe. Europe, Costa Rica, California, India and Thailand…these are just some of the places Jolicoeur has explored and taught, all while developing her own treatments and therapies. “I was searching for answers and had changed my lifestyle, my diet…and started to see so much transformation,” recalls Jolicoeur. “I was hooked. I made it my life’s mission to learn all about what could’ve saved the people I saw dying and to discover what would be the message behind these challenges and to turn it into a tool or message for humanity.”

Darkness & Self-Healing
While in Thailand, Jolicoeur began to feel pain in her lower belly and lower back. A hospital scan revealed what doctors believed to be a tumor. She was scheduled for surgery 15 days later.

“I got back to my room by the ocean, and I looked at myself in the mirror and said to myself, ok this is it, it’s now time to practice what you preach,” says Jolicoeur. She headed to the grocery store to load up on everything from vegetables to juice to roots to spices to essential oils and sage to create the best environment for healing herself from the inside out. She isolated herself for those 15 days and meditated, wrote, juiced, breathed, allowed herself to feel, to laugh and to cry.

“I did it alone as I didn’t want to have worrying energy in my way and realized that it was about me and my own demons and I was ready for living or dying or whatever life had for me. But the most powerful thing I did was to have a relationship with this tumor,” explains Jolicoeur. “At the start, I hated it and I wanted it out of me and then it shifted. I started to talk to it and say you are part of me now, you can teach me whatever you want and when you are ready you can leave or maybe I’ll leave with you but whatever happens, I’m going to love you.”

Jolicoeur says she started to put her hand on the tumor and give it some attention and love. “I’m sure that this is where the healing happened,” she says. 15 days later she was back at the hospital and the tumor had disappeared. The doctors still performed a surgery to be thorough, but all the testing came back normal. “It’s so hard to describe all of what happened in that room during those days, and this is why now my teaching is all about self-healing and resetting as I’ve done it so many times. We are energy and when the body talks to us, it wants our attention and that was a beautiful life lesson that empowered me,” she shares.

Consciously Creating
Through all of her learning, travelling and exploring over the past decade, Jolicoeur is now at a place where she is comfortable putting down roots in Costa Rica or any other green place with high vibration that her mission brings her to. As the Founder of Azaya Reset (, she has adapted her practice to meet the various needs of her students and workshop participants.

She is also the creator of Fly Therapy (, a unique treatment and hypnotic experience that dives into the healing power of the parasympathetic state. Using different holistic approaches, along with breathing, inversion therapy and sound therapy, participants are suspended by a hammock to decompress, realign, and relax the body, mind and soul.

Her goal would be to train Fly Therapists who could offer treatments all over the globe. But she is quick to emphasize that she is not a healer. “I am a guide that helps people to heal themselves,” she says. “Nobody can heal another person, but they can help them to find ways to heal themselves.”

As she is always creating and learning, Jolicoeur has several projects already in progress that she is excited to share with the world, such as leading retreats from Costa Rica, hosting her Azaya Reset seminar globally, writing a book, working on a documentary and making some of her healing modalities available online so they can be accessible to people all over the world.

Lessons from Dependency,Disease & Silence
If anyone can teach others about the root causes of drug abuse, it’s Jolicoeur. If anyone can enlighten others about the root causes of disease or the cycle of life and death and everything in between, it’s Jolicoeur. If anyone can empathize with a caregiver of a chronically ill loved one, it’s Jolicoeur. And perhaps most profoundly of all, if anyone can guide someone back to themselves—their true selves—it’s Jolicoeur.

“Silence is where you meet yourself. We are often scared of silence because we’re afraid of what we’ll find, but it’s in silence that we meet ourselves, and we can regain balance,” she says.

For those struggling with burnout or feeling unhappy or lost in their lives, Jolicoeur recommends making it a daily habit to try to sit in silence with oneself. “Self care is about knowing yourself first—not your ego—and connecting with the real you first,” she explains.

“Drug dependency isn’t really about addiction, but about feelings, emotions, thinking that you’re not enough. You’re not addicted to drugs, you’re just not addicted to your own self-love enough to choose a different path,” says Jolicoeur. “Every root of disease is emotional.”

Jolicoeur believes that we can all overcome profound challenges and struggles if we make the effort to be grateful for the time we have, because each day, we get one more day, but we might not have tomorrow. “Choose yourself. Understand that we can have more power over our lives than we think, and it all starts with creating a relationship with yourself,” she says. “And when you can’t do it by yourself, reach out to a guide who can help you find yourself.”

To learn more about Melanie Jolicoeur’s current offerings and projects, follow her on social media on Instagram @mel.azaya or on Facebook @Azaya or @MelanieJolicoeur and visit

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