Category Archives: Joyful Life Quest

The Habit of Gratitude

img_2957One of the challenges to living in a state of joy is keeping the mind at peace.  Our minds have been trained to look for things to worry about.  We are used to working on “problems” or trying to avoid things that can cause us pain.  While there is a time and place for that to occur, often we are worrying rather than solving problems.  Yet, trying to redirect the mind when it thinks it has found something to be concerned about can be really tough!  Recently, I started a new technique that I’ve been finding really effective, so I thought I would pass it on to all of you.  I’m calling it the “habit of gratitude.”

Basically, what I started doing was when I noticed myself getting uptight or worried, I started looking around for things to be thankful for.  I would start mentally saying thank you for everything that caught my attention. For example, this morning when I was walking, I started mentally saying the following, “Thank you for the beautiful blue sky.  Thank you for these warm clothes. Thank you for my comfortable shoes. Thank you for the warm sun on my back. Thank you for the beautiful green bushes. Thank you for the refreshing breeze. Thank you for my strong muscles that let me walk easily. Thank you for my health. Thank you for the palm trees.  Thank you for my loved ones. Thank you for this opportunity to be walking. Thank you for my Angels.”  After just a few minutes of this, I was feeling lighter and happier. My whole energy system had shifted and I was smiling!

I have heard it said that it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  I have just started this practice, so it hasn’t become a habit for me yet, but I hope that I can stick to it and make it one.  Want to join me?  This month, let’s get into the habit of looking for all the wonderful things to be grateful for.  When you aren’t sure what to think about or if you start feeling worried, shift your focus and start saying thank you.

Ohio Events

dscn0005I will be back in Ohio for a month and wanted to share some in person opportunities to work with me while I’m home.  Looking forward to connecting with you!



Upcoming Ohio Events

10/25, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16 Live Your Joyful Life Protocol Class (Held at Medina Massotherapy in Medina, OH):  Learn a process that will empower you to move out of fear so you can manifest your dreams in a loving, peaceful way. This four class series will walk you through bringing body, mind and spirit into balance.  Full details here:  Live Your Joyful Life Class

10/29 Soulful Saturday (Held at Conversations and Co in Tallmadge, OH):  I’ll be doing empowerment readings at this event.  Call to schedule your time slot! There are also massage, foot reflexology, yoga, intuitive Reiki, and Pet Communications plus 25% off in the boutique.  Call: 330-633-2432 to schedule.  To learn more about Conversations & Co visit their website:

10/28:  Empowerment Readings at Conversations & Co in Tallmadge Ohio – I had three people request readings on Friday who were unable to make the Soulful Saturday event, so if Friday works better for you, there are time slots available on that day too! Readings are $20/20 minutes for this opportunity. Call the store at 330-633-2432 to schedule.

Sending much love,




Choosing Your Center

Here’s a post I posted recently on Spirit Earth.  Be sure and check out the other posts I have posted at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

Years ago, I heard a man speak about how to settle the nervous system. He was lecturing to a group of 40 some anxious people. Being empathic, I could feel the tension in the room when he started. He had a very calm manner and proceeded to talk about how our nervous system is responding to things in our environment all the time, sometimes in ways we aren’t conscious of. He talked about how in family dynamics, it is often the person who is most uptight that becomes the center of the family nervous system. They are the ones who have the most dominant presence, often radiating their imbalance. He explained that in a collective situation, everyone’s nervous system will sync with the most dominant energy in the group. That means that if someone who is dominant is very angry, everyone’s nervous system begins to resonate with the anger, causing all kinds of upheaval. He then went on to demonstrate what can happen when someone in a peaceful state becomes the center. He took a few moments and brought himself to a place of deep peace. The energy in the room changed instantly. All those anxious people suddenly settled! Recently, I’ve been reminded of this dynamic. Families are often built around crisis because the person who is most dominant is the one who is most unsettled. This reminded me that our families are just a reflection of our own inner world. We hold all the archetypes (personality aspects) of our loved ones in ourself. Which brought the question of which archetype am I letting be the sun or center of my inner world? I realized, in the past, it was often the wounded child. When our energy is centered around our woundedness we continue to draw to us those things that resonate with the wounds. So what happens if we shift that sun archetype to the part of us that is most joyful? Wouldn’t that mean that all the other aspects of our personality would come into sync with that piece? The demonstration in the room of anxious people would suggest that it would work that way. So would the concepts of quantum physics which suggest it is our beliefs that are constructing our experiences in our world.

Try It

Find time to do a little inward searching. What part of your personality tends to be the center of your experience? If it is a wounded aspect, consider putting out the intention to let your most peaceful and joyous self be the sun in your world. Try it for the day and see what happens when you turn your attention to the happy self inside of you instead of focusing on the fearful one.

Nature Inspiration

While I was writing this passage, I was sitting by the North Fork of the Skokomish River in Washington. In front of me was a heart shaped rock. The energy of the water flowing by with the sun reflected on it was very peaceful and soothing. Spend a few minutes connecting with it to support you in moving your joy to your center.

Choosing Center

Wisdom of the HoneyPot Ant

Here’s a post I posted recently on Spirit Earth.  Be sure and check out the other posts I have posted at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

One of the processes of the quest is to learn how to teach what we are learning about living a joyful life. We have been building a class series to share our learnings and to inspire others to take the quest, In the process, we have come up against the ideas or fears we have in our own foundations that inhibit our ability to stay coming from love. To help us, we used a totem pole spread from a book called Animal Totem Tarot Cards by Lizza Robertson. We decided to start with the first card of the totem card reading which represents the earth that you are planting your dreams in. The card that fell out for me was the Hanged Man with the animal of the HoneyPot Ant. Having some previous experience with the tarot deck, I was less than thrilled about the card that fell out for me. The Hanged Man in traditional decks is all about a man hanging by his feet unable to move. It is a “let go, let God” card that is all about surrender. Being someone that enjoys being able to act, that is always a card that I have dreaded and here it is as the foundation of my joyful life! With some intuitive insights from Jacob and Ryan, some deeper insights into the animal totem connected to the card, and some of my own intuitive guidance, I have come to realize, though, that it is actually the perfect card for me. The HoneyPot ant is an ant who is stuffed with nectar and other food substances and then it spends its life regurgitating the food to the members of the ant family, so they always have food, even in the harsh desert. At first, this seems a card of sacrifice, but as I started to connect deeper, I realized it is actually a gift. The ant that fills this role always has enough food. It is literally filled to overflowing with nectar and sweetness. That excess is then shared with the other members of the ant colony. It is also the ultimate card of allowing the Divine to work through you. It calls for a deep, heart-centered devotion and faith in the Creator and a willingness to let the Divine lead. It also calls for a position that places your heart above your head. For me, this is the ultimate gift. I have a strong mind that is used to leading. This card is saying at my foundation, my heart is the one that leads and I have found that is the only way to truly experience the joy I am seeking.

Try It

What is the earth you are planting your joyful life in? Are you comfortable with what you have chosen to come from in your experiences? Today, ask to connect to the animal energy that is the best one for you to build off of in your joyful journey (and if you are interested in some help, call us to schedule a reading!). Connect to the animal’s energy and let it support you in the creation of your day and your life.

Connect with Nature

One way to be still and find the essence that you need at your core is to be in nature. Below is a photo from Rialto Beach in Washington. Connect with the flow of the tides and let the wind blow in some fresh perspective into your experience.

20160719-Honey Pot Ant

Interested in discovering your own “ground floor” animal totem? Email Special Offer for August – $35 Written Reading

Feel Good Thoughts

Here’s a post I posted recently on Spirit Earth.  Be sure and check out the other posts I have posted at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

One of the challenges to living a joyful life is keeping your thoughts positive. So often, the mind, which is trained to look for things to worry about keeps pointing out anything that might be a potential danger. That makes it tough to stay in a joyful frame of mind! A few days ago, we saw a quote from Abraham Hicks. Essentially, the message was to choose the thoughts that feel good – to make that your top priority. I started thinking about that and pondering how it could help with our quest. What came to me was the realization that our bodies always know when we are lined up with what resonates with our highest good. When we think things that are negative or untrue, our physical system reacts with tightness or discomfort. Using this information, I decided to “test out” some different thoughts until I found the ones that my system opened up to. The results were astounding! My energy shifted drastically and I found my heart wide open when I stuck to the thoughts that were in resonance with my system. The next step was continuing to reaffirm them, even if it looked like on the surface they weren’t true. Even though, I’ve just started the process, I feel confident that this is a great tool to help us start living from love not fear. I’ve put out the intention to have my thoughts match what is true and resonates with my being. That way I can stay in a state of love and the joy will flow!

Feel Good Thoughts

Peace Begins with Choice

There has been a lot of frustrations brewing in the world lately. The political climate along with more violent occurrences in the news has been challenging everyone to stay in a positive mindset. So how does one stay committed to coming from love when it seems there is so much anger and fear going on in the outer world? That is a question we explored with a client recently and we felt what came through might be helpful for others. For us, we are doing our best to keep our eyes on the natural world and look for guidance there. The bald eagle has been coming up in card readings and we actually saw one fly over as we were working on this entry. The bald eagle represents the ability to fly high above what is going on below. It sees the big picture and only dives to the earth when it has a specific aim in mind. As you fly over your own life, look for the peace, joy and abundance you are seeking. Choose to fly towards that over getting pulled into the whirlpool of fear and negativity. What to do when those around you are caught in the fear and want to pull you in too? Be courageous enough to acknowledge their fears and then redirect to a more peaceful topic. So often, we get pulled into verbally rehashing and worrying at the things that frighten us to no effect. Ask yourself, “Is there some positive action or insight that can come from this discussion?” If not, be willing to politely excuse yourself from it if you are unable to shift the focus to a topic that is more able to uplift and empower. Fear breeds fear. Our job right now is to keep focusing on love, so that is what grows in our world. We are the co-creators of our reality. What frightens us in the outer world is what is being reflected from within ourselves. Where are you not loving, respecting and supporting yourself? Where are your boundaries not being respected or where are you ignoring your needs? Be kind, be loving, and keep your eyes on the big picture. Chaos is sometimes needed to bring change and with that change new growth can happen. Choose that the new growth be that of love and peace. Don’t fight the darkness in yourself or the world around you. Send love to it instead. That is the only way it can truly be transformed.

Try It

Make a list of things you love to discuss. What good books have you read lately? What favorite recipe have you tried? What interesting experience have you had or beautiful place you would love to visit? Make a list of topics that uplift you and keep them handy. As the fears start kicking up around you, try shifting to one of your favorite topics. By helping to get others interested in something else, you are doing your part to spread the love.

Nature Inspiration

We recently spent a day at a beach in the state of Washington. The tide pools were teeming with life. Here is a photo to help you connect with the fascinating world of nature.


Self Respect

Here’s a post I posted recently on Spirit Earth.  Be sure and check out the other posts I have posted at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

We have been continuing the process of excavating those things in ourselves that are at odds with coming from the heart in our decision making. Astrologically, the energies of the month are offering a lot of opportunity to help with this. Ryan described it as having buried shrapnel in our psyches and having a big magnet going over the top of us to pull it out. Not always the most comfortable process, but in the end we will be glad for the clearing. One of the gifts of this process has been recognizing the role of self-respect in living a heart-centered life. It isn’t always easy to follow the path of the heart, especially when it seems to be going against a more logical course. That is where self-respect becomes crucial. Focusing on your own feelings about your choices and always checking to see if you can respect yourself taking this path really helps to soothe some of the unease. Joyful living isn’t something that is all that common and there is a reason for it. We have a lot of fear-based systems that keep us checking over and over again for what might be going wrong. Building a strong basis of self-trust and respect can help to navigate the moments when it is tempting to fall back into fear.

Try It

Today, start your morning off by having a conversation with yourself in the mirror. Praise yourself for all that you have been doing to step away from fear and come from love. Notice all that you have done well and even give encouragement for the places where you may have fell short. Finish with the statement, “I love, honor and respect myself. I am proud of who I am and who I am becoming!” If you start to feel the fear kicking in again, ask yourself what could you do in that moment that you would respect? Do that!

Nature Inspiration

Here is a photo from a beach along the Oregon coast. While it is a beautiful place, the wind gusts and blowing sand can make it tough to enjoy. Imagine yourself there, but build in a bubble of protection that is created by your love and respect for yourself. Keep that around you all day!


Slow Down

Here’s a post from Spirit Earth from when I was in Mammoth Lakes, California.  Be sure and check out the other posts I have posted at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

We have been using the Fool Oracle card deck by Sonia Choquette. One of the cards is called the “Breathless Fool” which was very fitting for me today. Sometimes, I get very revved up and start talking a mile a minute. This usually leads to me getting ungrounded and starting to worry needlessly. Thankfully, Ryan has the patience of a saint and he always manages to get me back to slowing down and looking at things more objectively. This led to the recognition that this is a common situation in our world. Usually, when things get stressful we start moving faster and the faster we move, the more stressed we get. By slowing down and being still, we allow our systems to settle so we can be more objective about what is happening. Just that can sometimes clear the problem. If there is still stressful things to deal with, by slowing down and settling the nervous system, we are better able to manage them.

Try It

Today, if you are feeling anxious or stressed, start moving very slowly or get very still. Give your full attention to the physical tasks in front of you. Put your vision as your primary focus, observing what is going on in your immediate environment. You can also start naming the things around you since usually we are stressed by something in the future, something we are thinking about or something in the past. When we breathe deeply, move slowly, the body will be convinced that the crisis is over and your system will settle.

Nature Observation

Here is a photo from a small pond at Mammoth Lakes, CA. It was very quiet and peaceful in this place. Allow yourself to soak up its stillness and come back to a place of peace.


The Spirit Earth Story

Just wanted to share with you what and who Spirit Earth is.  Be sure and check out all my posts at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

The Birth of Spirit Earth LLC

Last summer, I had a life changing experience when my son, Jacob, and his friend Ryan, joined me on a week-long spiritual retreat with Dr. Jaap Van Etten. The three of us instantly bonded and started having powerful spiritual experiences. This led to the inspiration to go into business together to create a community and offer services that brought the principles of living a spiritual life into the physical experience of living close to the earth. This lead to the start of the joyful life quest we are currently on and will be working together to grow Spirit Earth to be a place to inspire and empower you on your own quest to live your most joyful life.

The Spirit Earth Team

Nancy-Nicholas-2-WebNancy Nicholas (me:)) has always had a deep love of nature, wild places, and the mystical aspects of life. She experienced a spiritual awakening in 2000 which started her on a quest that led to the blossoming of her intuitive gifts, her Reiki training, the publications of her books, and a career as a life coach.  In 2015, her life took another turn when her son, Jacob, and his friend Ryan entered her spiritual work.  This led to the creation of Spirit Earth and their joint commitment to pushing past fear-created boundaries that inhibit the flow of love and joy in this life.  Since then, Nancy has expanded her training to include shamanic practices and is on a new quest – one to prove that by living close to the Earth, to Spirit, and in harmony with one’s true nature, a life of joy where love leads is not only possible, but inevitable.  She is currently traveling to wild places to reconnect with living simply and sustainably, writing a book about her experiences, and teaching through online classes, wilderness workshops, and private sessions.

IMG_0713Ryan O’Toole has always been passionate about nature, wildlife, and living close to the Earth.  He spent much of his childhood backpacking, camping, rock climbing and exploring the wilderness near his home in Evergreen, Colorado and areas further out, including three weeks in Costa Rica. He continued this love through participating in an Outdoor Leadership program, volunteering at Mission Wolf, attending Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracker School, and working at Outdoor Lab in Jefferson County where he taught geology and composting to sixth graders. In the summer of 2015, he attended a week long retreat learning about earth energy centers, dowsing, and other spiritually-oriented programs taught by Dr. Jaap Van Etten.  This led to his collaboration with Nancy and Jacob in Spirit Earth and his new path as a shamanic life coach and spiritual teacher.  Ryan is currently traveling the country with Nancy where they are working on a book about living a joyful life by living simply and sustainably, teaching online classes, wilderness workshops and offering private sessions.

IMG_0686.JPGJacob Zimmerer spent his childhood captivated by nature and connection, always focused on personal growth and understanding the world around him. In 2009, Jacob visited Colorado for the first time. This adventure marked the beginning of his spiritual quest. In 2014, after years of focused intention and regular visits, he moved to Evergreen, Colorado. Within 6 months of living in Colorado, he began working for Jefferson County Public Schools as an intern at Mt. Evans Outdoor Educational Laboratory School. Jacob spent 16 weeks working with over 1,000 6th graders from across the county. His primary focus was reconnecting these visiting students to not only nature, but also themselves. In the summer of 2015, Jacob went back to Ohio to visit his mother. He invited his friend, Ryan, to accompany him on this journey. This summer marked the beginning of Spirit Earth. The bond between Nancy and Ryan blossomed within hours, creating a triad of talented and passionate individuals. The experiences of the summer provided Jacob with the spiritual awakening that led him forward into another 16 weeks as an intern and an early graduation from high school. Upon his graduation, Jacob created Spirit Earth LLC alongside Ryan and Nancy as well as his own web consulting business.

AND YOU…Thanks for being a part of our team (if you haven’t already be sure to join us at our new organization by clicking here).  We are working to build a world centered on love not fear.  Please continue to share your experiences with us and spread the word so others can join too.

Loving and Respecting “Your Way”

Here’s a post from Spirit Earth from when I was in Arizona.  Be sure and check out the other posts I have posted at Spirit Earth and sign up to join me on my Joyful Quest by clicking here.

As I have taken off on this adventure across the country, I find myself having some internal wrestling going on. Part of me has always wanted to fit in to a more “normal” way of doing things. It is the part that finds going on such an endeavor without at “plan” to be very unsettling. I’ve found though that what is working best for me is sticking to my “way.” What is that exactly? For me, it is to let my Spiritual Support Team of Angels and Spirit Guides lead the way. I have often become very frustrated with myself because I feel like I get flighty or can’t keep focused on what is going on around me. I am so much in my inner world and perceiving what is happening from that point of view that I can miss the things that are right in front of me. What this experience is teaching me is that to be in joy, I have to stop judging myself for not being as focused and embrace the fact that my way works beautifully. My conscious mind might not know exactly where I’m going or what is happening, but I always get led exactly where it is best for me to go.

Try It

Discovering your way can be an adventure in and of itself. Ryan’s way is to use his observation skills and intuitive knowing to instinctively choose. Mine is to rely on my Spiritual Support Team. Jacob uses a combination of intuition and logic. To discover your way to navigate through life’s choices, see what approach brings you the most peace. Today, try letting your “way” be the one you choose. See what the results are!

Nature Inspiration

This is a photo from Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona. Spend a moment communing with the rocks as you acknowledge the gift of you and your unique approach to life.