Space to reflect

I had another blog post planned for today but when I sat down to finish it, it didn't feel right. 

I was planning to write to you about sugar cravings and some tips I've been sharing with my 1:1 coaching clients the past week (which I'll likely send next week because it is really, really good info!).

But something stopped me when I went to hit publish. I make most of my business decisions from my gut and so I knew I had to heed that hesitation and listen more closely for what wanted to be shared today.

So I took a minute and tuned in. I stopped what I was doing, took a few deep breaths and I asked myself "What would feel more in alignment here?" and the answer became clear.

Nothing new.

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With everything going on this week - the Jewish New Year, remembering 9/11, the hurricane (which hits particularly close for me as my grandparents live most of the year in Duck, North Carolina and I am actually supposed to be going down there next weekend) and the back-to-school/life/work really setting in, it didn't feel like this was a week to share or start something new.

It felt like this should be a week for reflection. For honoring where we're at right in this moment, for feeling gratitude for all the good in our lives (especially the things we take for granted on a daily basis) and for acknowledging our intentions for the year to come.

Holding space for reflection is so important, yet something that we often skip over in our fast paced lives.

We jump from one thing to the next and don't always allow ourselves to "digest" our life experiences (yes, experiences and emotions need to be digested too!).

Personally, I think a lot of the gut issues I've been experiencing lately are a result of this go-go-go mentality. Even if you love your job and fill your life with all things you enjoy, you still need space to just breathe and be.

   Photo by Seana Pasic

So today (or this weekend) I encourage you to give yourself just that. Take a break and go for a walk without your phone. Sit on a park bench or your sofa without a book, cell phone or TV for distraction. Leave an hour of your day unscheduled (or if you tend to schedule EVERYTHING, block off an hour in your calendar to do nothing).

The most important part? Let go of your expectations of this time. Literally, expect nothing of yourself. Don't expect to feel amazing or rested or restored afterwards. Don't plan for revelations, insights or big emotional ahas (although those may naturally happen).

In that time, first just breathe. Let your thoughts wander. Allow your gaze to linger. Just be.

And then if there is something that you know you need to reflect on or simply be with, allow yourself to go there. Have your thoughts, feel through your feelings and let your body and your mind digest it all.

This is not a "to do" but if you do try this out or if something I shared above resonated with you, I'd love to hear from you :) Leave a comment below and let me know.

My first podcast episode!

This past Saturday I was a guest on my very first podcast and the episode is now live! I had the honor of chatting with Alex and Corey of the Husband and Wife Talk podcast about building a passion business, laughing at yourself and having patience with life (a lesson I'm personally learning again and again and again).

I share more details about how I left my corporate job and how I started working with Robyn, as well as my tips for anyone thinking about doing something similar.

I had such a great time recording this episode and hope you enjoy listening!

Click here to listen to the episode.

Bonus: I'm hosting a LIVE Q&A this Sunday 9/9 at 11AM EST.

Over the past two weeks I've received an overwhelming number of questions about how I got where I am today and how I make this entrepreneur / health coach thing work for me. I definitely talk about this on the podcast, but I also wanted to have a chance to connect with YOU and answer your questions on the topic more directly.

This Sunday (September 9th - which also happens to be a new moon!) at 11AM EST I'll be doing a Q&A on both Instagram and Facebook LIVE to share more about my story (including some things I've never openly shared before) AND answering your questions, plus doing some coaching for anyone who joins live.

This Q&A will be targeted more towards the business side of things but please don't let that stop you from joining if you have no interest in becoming a health coach or yoga teacher or starting your own business. Even if you're just curious about my journey (personally I always love a good behind the scenes/how I built this type chat), come hang out for a bit :)

To join the Instagram LIVE - make sure you're following me @emilynachazel and log on to the app at 11AM. You'll then see a LIVE story pop up when we get started.

To join the Facebook LIVE - like my business page Emily Nachazel and log on to Facebook at 11AM. If you head to my page you should see the LIVE video pop up. You can also "turn on notifications" to get a reminder when we go live.

Can't join the LIVE Q&A but have a question you want me to cover? Comment on this Instagram post or leave a comment below and I'll do my best to chat about it on Sunday.

The Instagram LIVE recording will be available for 24 hours in the Instagram app and the Facebook LIVE will be available indefinitely on my Facebook page.

Have a great weekend and hope to "see" you Sunday!

UPDATE: Catch the Q&A Recording here: Sunday 9/9/18 LIVE Q&A with Emily

Tips for new health coaches

I received this contact form submission from my website last week:

Hey Emily! My name is Meaghan and I've been following your blog and instagram for the past few months. I'm very inspired and touched by your genuine, personable nature. I'm a relatively new integrative wellness coach myself, so it's been really nice to follow how you so wonderfully, creatively, and passionately approach the whole thing.

I just moved and am currently trying to establish myself in Brooklyn! Which is where I could use your help...

I'm wondering if you'd be willing to meet up so I could ask you a few questions about how you got your coaching practice up and running. I am happy to meet you wherever you are - your favorite cafe or your work space!

I SO appreciate any amount of time that you have to offer. Let me know :)

XO
Meaghan

Meaghan’s message immediately brought me back to 3.5 years ago when I myself was just starting out as a new health coach.

 

 

I wrote similar emails to a few coaches and bloggers I admired and I was so, so SO grateful for the ones that responded with kind words and an openness to meeting with me.

And so while life is really full right now with travel and work and personal projects, I knew I would make the time to meet with Meaghan.

I responded “Of course, I’m happy to meet up and chat with you.”

I get a lot of emails and messages from new or aspiring health coaches. And while I’d LOVE to meet up or get on the phone with each and every one of them (and you! I love talking to people!) I know that’s not possible or practical.

Today I’m passing along few of the tips I shared with Meaghan when we met up on Monday morning. Yes, these are specific to my experience and geared towards individuals getting started with a career in the health and wellness world, but they definitely can apply to ANYONE starting a new career or passion project.

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Here's my best advice for new coaches:

  • Try out a LOT - When I first left my corporate accounting job to pursue a career in health and wellness, I said YES to almost every opportunity that came my way. I taught at 4 different yoga studios, served sample smoothies at Whole Foods and even rainbow dyed my hair for Refinery29, an online beauty website. I volunteered to teach classes, give talks and participate in health fairs. I tried a lot on and from there was able to better discern what I actually wanted to do within the health and wellness field (and what I definitely DIDN’T want to do). Plus, I made some amazing connections and friends along the way.
  • Don’t be above the bridge job - Straight up it can be tough transitioning from a full time corporate job (with a full time corporate salary) to the freelance or entrepreneur life. Don’t be above getting   a “bridge” job - something that helps pay the bills that may (or may not) be in alignment with your passion or vision. Two months after I left my corporate job my health coaching practice was going well (as in I was getting clients and they were seeing success) BUT it wasn’t growing big or fast enough to pay my NYC rent and health insurance bill. So I decided to pursue a bridge job… which just so happened to turn into one of the BEST jobs ever.. more on that next.
  • Find a mentor or hire a coach - This is probably my biggest tip of all. Find a mentor. Join a mastermind group. Hire a coach. I know it can be scary investing in yourself this way especially if you’re already taking a financial risk starting a new career or project, but I strongly, STRONGLY believe that everyone needs a coach, especially during times of change or transition. ESPECIALLY if you’re looking to be a coach or leader yourself. I speak from my personal experience with myself but also with the experiences of the coaches and entrepreneurs I’ve coached - the expense is worth it. If you have the resources, I recommend working with a coach 1:1 for an extended period of time - not just one meeting or shorter program, but months if you can. Having someone that you know is there to support you, guide you and ultimately remind you of your goals and dreams is priceless.

 

 

Are you an entrepreneur or coach? What was YOUR biggest challenge when starting out? Leave a comment below and let me know!
    Photo by Seana Pasic

Tarot 101: What it is, what it isn't and why I LOVE it

It's been over a year since I started using and reading tarot cards - at first this was just something I did for fun, but pretty quickly tarot has become an integral part of both my self care practice AND my business.

Today's blog post has been brewing for some time. I've wanted to share more about tarot - share my story and why I think these little cards are amazing, but also clarify what these cards are NOT.

     

My tarot story

If you had asked me just over a year ago what I thought of tarot cards I probably would've shrugged my shoulders (and maybe even rolled my eyes). I didn't have any experience with tarot outside of how it's portrayed in the media: cards being read by turban wearing psychics who's eyes roll back into their heads when they're getting messages from the world beyond.

While I DO believe in energy and that there is SO much more to the world than what we can see with our eyes and rationalize with our brains, I've never been one to believe in someone who can predict the future. Even through my more recent experiences with oracles and energy healers the past year (I promise I will be sharing more about these soon!!) I still think that the future is up to us here in the present.

All that being said, I was skeptic when my friend Erika pulled out a deck of spirit animal cards during a weekend getaway last summer. Skeptic, but open (basically my motto for life these days ha!). We ended reading cards and talking about life for over 3 hours - sure, she knows me well but the cards allowed our conversation to go places and talk about things we likely wouldn't have on our own.

 

 

THIS is why I fell in love with and continue to use tarot:
the cards are a beautiful and REAL way to reflect.

 

WHY I LOVE TAROT

The tarot cards allow us to ask ourselves questions and open up the conversation around things we are dealing with in our lives, whether that's something we're conscious of (impending job change, a relationship, etc) or something that's more under the surface (belief systems, fears, patterns of behavior).

The cards definitely have a dark side - it's not all rainbows and butterflies, which I appreciate because life isn't all rainbows and butterflies. There's struggle, challenge, pain and discomfort along with joy, magic, peace and happiness. The tarot encourages us to look at it ALL - feel the feelings, learn the lessons and move forward.

I also love tarot because it allows me to connect to my intuition. I must listen to that inner voice when I decide what sort of spread to pull and how to interpret the cards that come up. It's been a really cool process learning to trust my intuition more and more through readings.

And while I do believe there is magic in the cards, I do not believe tarot cards can predict the future. I think the power is in YOUR interpretation  - what YOU hear and feel and see during your reading, and how that facilitates self-reflection, insight and, ultimately, action.

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Where did tarot originate?

The tarot originated sometime in the 15th century in various parts of Europe when a special deck of cards with additional trump cards with allegorical illustrations were added to the common four-suit pack.

The original purpose of tarot cards was to play games, and while some link tarot readings back to ancient Egypt and the Kabbalah, the first documented use of the cards for divination purposes wasn't until the late 18th century.

From there, the mystical tarot spread in popularity - likely through the upper classes of society - and different decks were created throughout the world.

 

HOW IS A TAROT DECK DIFFERENT FROM A DECK OF PLAYING CARDS?

Like common playing cards, the tarot has four suits (which vary by deck and by region). Each suit has 14 cards: ace through 10 and then four court cards (King, Queen, Knight and Jack, or like in my deck Father, Mother, Son and Daughter). These cards are known as "The Minor Arcana" (Latin for lesser secrets).

In addition, the tarot has 22 more cards known as "The Major Arcana" (Latin for greater secrets). These cards are said to be more powerful or more energetic than the other cards in the deck.

 

What exactly is a tarot reading?

A tarot reading is when you have one or more cards drawn from the deck and interpreted for you. There are an infinite number of tarot "spreads" - different configurations of cards drawn to address questions or areas of your life.

The most popular spreads I use in my readings are:

  • Single Card / 1 card - Great for beginners, and for a simple message. I often draw a Single Card spread in the morning or before beginning a big project for one card of guidance or inspiration.
  • Clarity Spread / 4 cards - To provide clarity on a specific situation. One card in the spread represents the situation itself, the other three cards provide clarity and insight.
  • Relationship Spread / 5 cards - To provide guidance on a specific relationship (can be done with another person, or with respect to your relationship with self/a project/a hypothetical person). In this spread each of the cards represents something: you, your challenge, the other person, their challenge and the uniting factor.

You can also have more involved spreads such as a Year Ahead spread or the fairly well known Celtic Cross spread. The person reading your cards will likely pick the spread (most readers have a few they prefer to work with) or ask you if there's something specific you'd like to address in the reading, and then choose the spread accordingly. Most tarot decks come with guidebooks with recommended spreads for you to experiment with.

A reading will typically start with the reader asking you to provide a bit more background on the situation, relationship or question that you have. He or she will then draw the cards and provide an interpretation, and there will be time for discussion and reflection.

 

Which deck do i choose?

If you're interested in playing with the cards yourself, you're first step will be to purchase a deck, which should come with a corresponding guide book to help you learn how to read and interpret the cards.

There are many, many tarot decks out there these days. The most important thing when choosing a deck is to pick one that resonates or speaks to you. Go to a mystical bookstore or crystal shop and browse through the decks - look at the art, flip through the guidebook and read some of the card interpretations. Use your intuition here and go with what your gut says YES to.

 

 

This is the deck I use: The Wild Unknown by Kim Krans.

 

Booking a reading

If this post has you curious what it's like to experience a tarot reading - you're in luck! I currently offer 1:1 readings over the internet and am available for small group gatherings and events in NYC!

 

 

1:1 readings - Click here for details + pricing!
Groups and events - Contact me for details!
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As always, I LOVE hearing from you (really, I do!!) and I'd especially love to hear your thoughts about tarot - have you tried it? are you open to trying it? what's your experience (or your resistance) to the cards?
Leave a comment below and let me know!

The best advice I received recently

Recently my gut has not been happy.

By recent I mean things haven't been quite right the past year, but the last few months I've been in a LOT more pain and discomfort. I tried to "fix" things myself - eliminating different foods, taking supplements, trying this and that healing diet, meditating more, doing more yoga - but nothing seemed to help. At all.

Which left me feeling frustrated, annoyed that I couldn't figure this out myself and honestly pretty angry at my body. Here I was eating so much healthier and being so much more careful with what I consumed than so many people, yet I was still in so much pain.

So I finally asked for help.

I went to see a GI and he's been sorta helpful. He ran some tests and suggested I give the low FODMAP diet a serious try, which I've been doing with some success.

But the best (and most surprising) advice I received around my current gut stuff came from Robyn.

We work together closely so she's seen me going through all of this.

 

 

After a particularly bad week I lamented TO HER:
"I'm tired of having to care about every little thing I eat. I'm tired of being more sensitive than everyone else. I just want to be normal."
Robyn's response?

"You ARE normal Emily.

There's just this one piece of you that needs a little extra care and attention right now."

 

She went on to suggest that I think of this piece of me (my gut!) like a baby and that I (the rest of me) needed to care for, protect and love this piece of me like a mother fiercely cares for, protects and loves her child.

This simple advice totally shifted my perspective.

First, I realized I was blowing things out of proportion.

Yes, my gut has been unhappy but my energy, my sleep, my skin, my mood and so much more have been good (for the most part). I'm not totally broken, there's just one piece of me that needs some extra support right now.

Second, it gave me a new way to look at my gut and how I needed to take care of it.

How does a mother treat a crying newborn baby? Well most often she tries to soothe the baby and would do anything in her power to find out what her baby needs to stop crying - out of fierce love, not just to quiet the cries (although I haven't been a parent and can guess that sometimes you do just want to quiet the cries...but that's not the point here).

 

 

Instead of being angry at my digestive system and avoiding certain foods as punishment, I'm looking at my gut like a little baby that I need to care for, love and protect like a mother would CARE FOR A SICK OR HURT child.

 

This shift has been profound for me.

Part of being an adult is learning to "grow up" - most of us are taught that we should get a job, pay our bills and be a law-abiding citizen, but there's more. Emotionally we must learn to take care of ourselves from a deep sense of self love. How (I assume) a mother or father feels for a new born baby. Unwavering, unapologetic, protective.

No matter how many loving parents, grandparents, siblings, partners, friends you have in your life, YOU must be your own best caretaker.

You must learn how to nurture, soothe and protect yourself, both physically and emotionally.

At 30 years old, even after a wonderful childhood and years of personal development, this is something I'm just learning. While there are still days where I feel frustrated with my gut for being bloated after one bite of gluten or having a stomachache so painful all I can do is curl up in a ball on my bed, I'm grateful for the piece of me for ultimately being my biggest teacher.

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Is there an area of your life or health that could use some unconditional love? A piece of you that maybe, like me and my gut, has been a point of prolonged pain, discomfort or chronic illness?

How can show that piece of you more care and love? Instead of judging, shaming and trying to fix yourself, how can you be your own best parent and nurture yourself?

<3 <3 <3