I am off on a new adventure! Over the last few years, I have been working on a middle grade mystery. I’m now at the place where I am seeking a literary agent and decided to move all of my work into the same professional space. My new business name is Julia Shier (also my pen name). Through there, I will continue to offer sessions that blend all that I have offered through Spirit Earth with my understanding of how story works – story meets self-development! There is also a new community and more!
Come check out the new website and get signed up on my email list. I look forward to seeing you there!
Love to all!
PS. Just a heads up – I am using the name of Julia Shier professionally going forward, so don’t be surprised when I sign my name as Julia on the new website! If you see me out in the world though, I will still answer to Nancy! I’m just trying to make it less confusing for the new people I meet going forward. See you on my new site!
Follow the link to an email sign up on my new website!
I am so excited to start our new 30 Day challenge and I thought you might like to join in, too!
Do you ever find yourself swallowing your words or repressing your feelings? Does your neck or jaw get tight? Do you get headaches or tired eyes?
I know I do!
The throat is the gateway between our head and our heart. When we shove down our feelings or feel restricted in expressing who we are, that energy pathway of our fifth chakra (the throat) gets blocked, making us feel depressed, irritable and uptight.
That’s why I am starting a new 30 day challenge this month to help!
The idea is to create new habits – ones that make us feel uplifted and empowered. By committing to 30 days of a new activity, we can shift how we feel and create more balance in our lives.
In August and September, my Spirit Earth Facebook group did two different challenges. The first was a dance a day and the second was a walk a day. Everyone that joined in said it shifted their mood and made their day go much smoother!
The next challenge is to sing a song a day.
Singing opens the throat chakra which is what allows energy to flow between our heart and head. Do you ever feel trapped in your head sometimes? Opening this chakra will slow down your thinking and help you relax into your body. You’ll be amazed at how much happier you feel.
And singing is also a great way to clear trapped emotions…which reminds me of a super effective technique I just learned to help with that! I’m including it at the end so you can try it out.
But back to the challenge…
How the Challenge Works
Dates of the 2022 Challenge: Begins 10/15 – Ends 11/15
Who Can Participate: Anyone!
What to Do: Pick one song a day to sing! You might want to create a playlist that you can use after the challenge is over. You can also choose a theme. You can sing a different song each day or make a shorter list of favorites that you sing as the mood strikes!
Accountability: Join my free Spirit Earth Facebook group if you’d like to be on our group accountability thread. You can also find a friend or loved one to do the challenge with you. Check in daily with each other to keep on track with the 30 day goal.
Love Exchange: Free!
Are you joining me?
I can’t wait to see how we feel at the end!
Sending much love to you all!
PS. Here is the technique I mentioned earlier from author and spiritual teacher, Sonia Choquette…
Bonus Technique to Clear Trapped Emotions
How it Works
You create a playlist of 6-10 songs that reflect an emotion you are struggling with. For example, maybe you have repressed anger or grief. You would look for songs that help evoke that emotion. The songs evoke the emotion most strongly at the beginning of the playlist and then become lighter as the songs progress, ending with a song that makes you feel happy, uplifted and positive. Sing the playlist all the way through and let the emotions flow! You can repeat this as often as necessary. I did it recently and the second time through, I had no trapped emotion left! Another tip – if you don’t have time to do the longer playlist, make a shorter version of 3-5 songs.
Have you ever felt swept up in a mental loop and unable to stop your mind from snowballing? I know I have! Over the winter season, I have been doing a training with Alex Howard (a therapeutic coach I discovered through the Trauma Super Conference) in a program called RESET. It focuses on teaching body-based techniques to move into a secure and stable nervous system state (think a pile of puppies), instead of having a nervous system in fight, flight or freeze. I’m halfway through and loving it!
The STOP technique is a means of redirecting your attention when you begin to follow a train of thought that is activating your nervous system into fight/flight/freeze. As I tend to find the word ”stop” a bit alarming, I decided to use the word ”pause” instead. You can use any word that works for you. The goal is to break up the habitual pattern to go into overwhelm and restore a feeling of grounding and safety. Since we really can’t effectively problem solve when we are in fight or flight, prioritizing being centered means we will be much more able to navigate whatever challenge is coming up in our lives.
Say your target word (stop, pause, breathe) and use a hand gesture to indicate this. You can use any hand motion that feels good for you.
Ask yourself if you would like to choose a different response to whatever is worrying you and commit to taking a different path.
Breathe: You can use whatever technique works for you. I like to breathe in on the count of one, breathe out on the count of two, breathe in on the count of three, out on the count of four, etc up to ten and then start again.
While you are breathing, turn your attention to the present moment and your physical self. You can focus on your feet and do a slow scan up the body, or just notice any part of your physical system that would like your attention. This isn’t about fixing anything, it is about being there with yourself, keeping your energy and attention on yourself and not on what is worrying you.
Continue the breathing until you feel less triggered and back to your center.
A few additional tips based on my experience…
EFT/Tapping while you are breathing can be really helpful to stay focused. There are many wonderful videos on You Tube for free that teach the tapping technique. I love Brad Yates, Nick Ortner, or Jessica Ortner.
Energy Medicine techniques are also a great way to keep present with your body and it also helps to balance your system. I love Prune Harris and Donna Eden! They both have tons of free videos sharing different techniques on You Tube. If you want a personalized suggestion, you can set up a coaching session with me and I can teach you some techniques based on your needs.
Don’t go immediately back to the problem after you finish the Stop process. Wait until you are able to approach the challenge from a place of secure and stable. If you don’t feel able to do that, then get some support.
Ask yourself if the challenge is real. Often after I am out of overwhelm, I realize that what I am worrying about doesn’t even exist! For instance, maybe I am worrying about what might happen in the future or something that happened a long time ago. When I pause, breathe slowly, and come back to the moment, I know that everything is really okay. I can let go and enjoy what is happening right here, right now.
I hope this technique helps you the next time you are feeling triggered!
When my son was little, I used to put a little present in his stocking for each of the 12 days of Christmas. It was such fun! My son is all grown up now, but I thought it might be fun to do a virtual version with my Spirit Earth community!
How to Participate
I will be sharing a daily gift of empowerment in my Spirit Earth Coaching Facebook Group from 12/2 to 12/22 (ending the day after the Winter Solstice – and on my birthday!). The group is free, but private, so you will need to request access. Mention Spirit Earth Secret Santa when you request to join!
Have you seen the TV show Blind Spot? I’ve just started watching it on Hulu this last week. For those unfamiliar with it, the show begins with a beautiful woman, covered in tattoos, being delivered to the FBI – with absolutely no idea who she is. Each episode, they solve one of the clues from her tattoos which moves her closer to her identity (while also stopping the bad guys from committing crimes!).
I wanted to share about a scene from one of the episodes, as it holds a powerful coaching tool. In this particular scene, the woman who they call Jane Doe is talking to her therapist. She’s struggling with the fact that she remembers nothing about herself. She can’t even decide what to order for takeout as she has no idea what she likes! The therapist listens and then hands her two cups – one filled with coffee and one filled with tea. When she reiterates that she has no idea if she is a tea or coffee drinker, he suggests she try them both. She does and discovers she likes coffee. He then tells her (I’m paraphrasing as I can’t remember the exact words),
“Every time you make a choice, you find a little more of yourself. You aren’t lost. You can find yourself by trying new things and letting your body remind you of who you are.”
Wow! I love that!
Now let’s apply that as a coaching tool.
While no one wants to experience real amnesia, we can use our imagination to help. Try the exercise below…
Sit somewhere comfortable where you won’t be disturbed. Take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. Imagine that you have just woken up and you have no idea who you are. You aren’t afraid (because in this scenario this is just temporary). You just realize that you don’t know your name, who you love, what you love to do, where you love to be, or anything at all about yourself. Sit with this for a few minutes, breathing calmly, knowing you are absolutely safe. Then ask yourself…
What do I choose…
To talk about?
To connect with?
You can do this solely from your imagination or even better, you can physically try things, just as Jane did with the coffee and tea.
Would you still choose what you are choosing now? Did you discover anything new that peaked your interest? Do you have limiting stories that stop you from trying those things in your day to day life?
What if all those past experiences or stories about who you are didn’t exist?
What would you be choosing?
If you find that your past is stopping you from doing or exploring what you are passionate about, then maybe it is time to clear away the hold the past has over you. Each day is a brand new day. Choose and let those choices connect you more and more deeply to your true self.
I’d love to hear what you discovered, so feel free to share in the comments!
Yow! Sharp stings stab my arm, feeling like a million yellow jackets jabbing me all at once. I look at my arm, only to see tiny bumps, more like a rash than a sting. Confused, I look back at the plant.
If you’ve ever been stung by stinging nettle, you know it hurts! On this occasion, I was on a family trip to Ireland, out in a sheep pasture, with no first aid supplies. At the time, I’d recently started studying Eden Energy Medicine and I remembered a quick response technique Donna Eden had shared. I started drawing figure 8’s with my fingers over the rash, again and again. Within about 30 seconds the pain was gone and as I continued to do the figure 8’s for another few minutes, the rash disappeared too!
Since that long ago day, I’ve been using figure 8’s daily. And guess what? This simple technique works with everything, even emotional things! Have a stomach ache? Draw some figure 8’s over your belly. Headache? You guessed it! Figure 8 the spot. Feeling sad? Imagine your sadness as a bubble and draw figure 8’s in it.
All I can say is try it! I’ve used this to stop the flu, to calm someone having an asthma attack, to settle anxiety, balance hormones, and shift my mood. There’s really no limit to things it can help with.
So why does it work?
According to Donna Eden who is able to see the human energy field, figure 8 patterns show up all over our energy system. When we trace the shapes, we remind our energy body to return to its balance and flow.
A few tips…
Removing Pain: I like to use the back of my hand or fingers to clear an imbalance. Then I do figure 8’s with the front of my hand or fingers to bring in good feeling energy.
Include Laughter: Laughing, imagining yourself laughing or even repeating “I laugh” over and over again is another tool that works great with the figure 8 tracing. Laughter is a great way to reset your system and quickly restore harmony to all aspects of your being. If you can’t bring yourself to laugh (understandable when you aren’t feeling well), then just say it in your head or imagine a tiny version of yourself laughing at the place of discomfort. It really works!
Use Figure 8’s daily: Getting into a practice of using figure 8’s means you are training your system to respond to this technique. Plus, it keeps your system running optimally, often preventing illness from even happening!
Well, what you believe has a big effect on what you experience, but if you are willing to open your mind to it, figure 8’s can be an empowering way to stay healthy and thriving!
Miles thinks. Beckett does. So is the motto of the Fowl twins in Eoin Colfer’s wonderful new series about the twin brothers of Artemis Fowl. Miles Fowl is very like his older brother, a child genius with a well-developed ego in a tailored suit. Beckett Fowl is the complete opposite, opting for a minimal amount of clothes and an optimal amount of dirt, except for the goldfish tie he’s made from his best friend, the deceased goldfish Gloop.
So why am I sharing about a children’s book here? Well, first, because I think we all need a bit more lightness in our lives these days, and all of the Fowl books offer that in abundance.
The second reason is the message offered by the Fowl twins division of labor.
When the brothers get into their misadventures, dragging in their fairy world allies in the process, it is Miles who must outwit their enemies with his highly developed intellect. Truly, Miles is a child genius, and his brilliant ideas are important in the survival of the twins. However, without his idiot brother, all of Miles brain power would have been useless.
As Miles encounters situation after situation that requires action to extricate them from disaster, it is Beckett who shines. A master of all things physical, he and his targeted cluster punch, leap to the rescue, saving the day again and again! His optimistic confidence is infectious, as is his ability to befriend the friendless.
So who do you need more of in your life?
Me, I need more Beckett. As someone who comes from a long line of thinkers, who always find ample opportunities to think about things that never even happen (and when I say think translate as ”worry”), I need to start channeling my inner Beckett.
How about you? Feel free to share in the comments!
And if you are looking for some lighthearted fun, check out the Fowl Twins at your local library or bookstore!
My parents’ dog, Buttons, tilted his head from side to side, looking at me with adoring brown eyes. Would I please give him a little morsel of my dinner, pretty please?
My cat, Rosa, scratches on the side of the bed, catching my arm in the process. Would I get up already and get her some breakfast?
These two approaches to getting what is wanted have lots of lessons for us humans, who often find getting what we want challenging. Why? Because unlike dogs and cats, we are a hodgepodge of learned behaviors and a melting pot of conflicting interests. By applying some wisdom from our animal companions perhaps we too, can effectively get what we want.
Dogs are descended from an Asian, now extinct, grey wolf. While they have moved a long way from their wild counterparts, they still exhibit some of wolf-like instinctive behavior. Wolf pups will use licking and fawning behaviors to get the attention of the adults in the pack so they’re fed. The pack instinct is to provide food based on rank and to ensure the survival of the pack as a whole. Buttons has learned that when he does the cute head tilt, the humans in his world (or at least some of them, my father remains unmoved) will give him what he wants. He also knows exactly what he wants. He’s angling for a bit of chicken, not for a walk in that moment. His clarity of intent and single focus has a good chance of succeeding, just as his wild ancestors would choose an animal in the herd to target when hunting. Also, Buttons is dedicated and loving to his human family. His affectionate attention also means that the humans in his life want to make him happy. Like wolves, dogs operate from a pack mentality. They want the whole to thrive, not just the individual.
HUMAN APPLICATION – Like Buttons, we too could benefit from being kind, sweet and charming to others. If you want someone to help you with the dishes, asking in a playful or loving manner is a good way to get some help! Having clarity of focus and a community mindset is also a winning strategy. Learning to focus less on our human wants and more on what is needed for a thriving ecosystem for all living things is essential for our survival. Finally, being focused is neccessary. Buttons isn’t easily distracted in that moment! He wants a piece of chicken and he’s using all his charm to get it! When we are clear and put all our energy toward a single objective, we have a much higher chance of getting it.
House cats, and their wild counterparts, are ambush predators. This means they aren’t looking for direct confrontation, but instead prefer to attack from behind. This is why cats love to stare at you, until you stare back, at which point they usually look away. They want to observe, unseen, and unnoticed, until they are ready to pounce! Rosa applies some of her wild instincts, to scratch the bed in the morning until I wake up. She knows that I don’t want her to scratch me or the bed, which usually means, I get up and get her some food. Cats are not pack animals. They are less concerned about their human companions needs being met and more concerned with their own. Rosa wants food, so she uses a quick and efficient method to get it. Cats are very charismatic. Because they are often aloof, when they do bring attention to you, it is hard to resist! They also are very confident. They aren’t going to beg you for anything. In fact, they expect to get what they want and they usually get it!
HUMAN APPLICATION –
Like cats, we can benefit from expecting to succeed at whatever our goals are. When we boldly and confidently pursue what we want, our energy sends out a powerful message to the people around us. Being direct is also a good strategy. Instead of hoping someone will guess our needs, directly asking for them to be met can work really well, though perhaps employing some dog charm in the asking might be helpful too. Rosa is also very content in her own company. She will wander around near us, but is completely content doing her own thing. When we give off a vibe of being self-assured, this sends a message to others that we are capable. Employing a little cat confidence can go along way to getting what we want!
So how about you? Do you use dog charm or cat confidence to get what you want? Or do you use a mixture of both? Share in the comments! I’d love to hear what works for you!
Do you worry? Most people will admit to worrying from time to time (and some of us to a lot of the time!). Mostly, worry doesn’t bring about any positive results, instead it increases stress and distracts us from working towards our goals.
But what if you could make that worry habit work in your favor?
“When you turn worry on its head and start worrying in a positive way it’ll change how you react. Instead of shutting down, you’ll be inspired.”
Brilliant right? So let’s look at a few examples from well-known characters from movies and books.
Anne Shirley (from Anne of Green Gables and the Netflix adaption, Anne with an E) dearly wants to have auburn hair and be beautiful. Positive Worry Example: – What am I going to do when I have so many suitors because I am so lovely?
Richard Castle (TV Show called Castle) wants his new book series to be as popular as his last Derek Storm series. Positive Worry Example: What am I going to do with all the money from my second bestselling series?
Bradley Jackson on The Morning Show wants to moderate the democratic debates. Positive Worry Example: What am I going to do when I have multiple offers from several networks to be their evening news anchor because I did such an amazing job with the debates?
Are you seeing the pattern?
As we shift to worrying about positive outcomes, we create a very different energetic vibration – one that attracts what we are seeking, even quicker!
My loved ones and I, like a lot of the world, have been watching the series Ted Lasso. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Ted is an American football coach who gets hired to coach a British soccer team in the UK, even though he has no experience with soccer. Ted’s unshakeable optimism and kind heart made season one utterly heart-warming, something we all need a bit of right now. This season, Ted’s back story is being explored. We discover that behind this cheerful, optimistic, “can do” persona lurks a deeply traumatized man.
SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t watched Season Two yet, then maybe skip the rest of this until you do!
At the end of episode 11, we were all shocked when Nate, the insecure water boy whom Ted promoted to assistant coach in season one decides to tell a reporter about Ted having a panic attack at a recent soccer match. It was appalling! How could Nate do that to someone who has been nothing but kind to him?
An initial response might be to write Nate off as an idiot and wait for him to get his inevitable comeuppance when the repercussions of his actions rain down on his head (I haven’t seen the last episode yet, so perhaps that gets resolved then). For those of us who like to look a little deeper though, this interesting set up gives us a chance to learn a lot about relationship dynamics, and the gifts that come from their challenges.
So let’s start with Ted. We know from Ted’s work with the Team therapist, that Ted’s father committed suicide when he was a teenager. While Ted is angry at his father, he’s also angry at himself, feeling that if he’d only made his dad feel more understood, he wouldn’t have ended his own life. With Nate, Ted tried to make up for Nate’s lack of recognition and respect from Nate’s own father, by seeing what he had to offer and giving him a chance to shine. The result – Nate’s unresolved issues lead to him humiliating Ted, just as he is working through this old, deep trauma around his father’s death. The gift? Ted has an opportunity to truly release the believe that he is responsible for his father’s actions or for the actions of others, including Nate. He can give himself permission to do what’s best for him, instead of being driven by this subconscious need to prevent others from hurting themselves. Ultimately, this will free him to help others in a balanced way, one that is both nurturing to himself and the other person.
Next, we have Nate. In Season One, we see Nate as someone who is picked on, put down, and shamed both by his father and many of the other characters in the show. His insecurity and deep subconscious need to feel better about himself, controls him, even after he begins to get the recognition and respect he’s seeking. Instead of him being kind to others who are struggling, he instead treats them, as he has been treated, using anger and shame to dominate and control. For him, there is a desire to pull Ted down, so that he can climb on top of him and feel better. No matter how many others he pushes down though, it will not change the internal belief he holds about himself. Hopefully, the writers will have Nate get the help he needs to move beyond his deep wounds, instead of setting himself up for more pain.
How about you? Can you resonate with one or both of these characters? Have you experienced a relationship that pushed your buttons? I know I have!
Perhaps we can all learn from Ted Lasso, finding a way to be grateful for the wonderful opportunity for growth that challenging relationships provide!