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The Holistic Psychologist, Dr. Nicole LePera On How To Be The Love You Seek

Guest Interview

Hello beautiful souls! Dr. Nicole LePera is The Holistic Psychologist, and her new book How To Be The Love You Seek is entirely a testament to the need for spirituality and psychology to come together. Nicole says, “You are your intuition.” What I call Oneness, she refers to as Heart Coherence, and she says we don’t need to spend hours on our spirituality, but we do need to find micro-ways to center our hearts daily. When we do, we’re living by our intuition and we are fully our soul self. By doing so, we align with our higher self, living a life attuned to our inner guidance and embracing our soul’s journey. This episode invites listeners to explore the realms of consciousness and intuitive living, encouraging spiritual growth and self-discovery. 

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To learn more about Dr. Nicole LePera, The Holistic Psychologist:
Dr. Nicole’s book How To Be The Love You Seek is available from howtobetheloveyouseek.com
[IG] @The.Holistic.Psychologist
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Julie Jancius: Welcome back to the Angels and Awakening podcast. I’m your host and author, Julie Jancius and friends. We’re here today with the one and only holistic psychologist Nicole Lepera, who, um, just got done writing, just came out with her new book, her third book, if I am to be correct. More than that third book. How to be the love you seek. And it is just such a heartwarming story that, Nicole, I think you have this amazing ability to really reach in and grab people at their heart space with what they’re feeling. I don’t know anybody else out there who has the ability to mirror back to humanity like you do, the way that they’re feeling and really use that as a starting point to go deep within spirituality, psychology, and make life changes.

Dr. Nicole: I hear you share that, especially this book in particular. I put so much of my own journey into it, and I am just so grateful as I continue to hear the resonance and how it’s landing and the impact, ultimately, that I’m hoping it is of service for everyone.

Julie Jancius: Such service. So you start out this book and you kind of come back to it, uh, throughout the book with this idea of feeling lonely within your relationship. And I think it’s just something that all of us can relate to. Because I don’t know about you, but when I was little, you have these fairy tale stories of when you get married, it’s done, and that’s it. And it’s supposed to be perfect, and, uh, everything is just happy go lucky, and you’re not supposed to feel that lonely. And if you feel that loneliness, that means that something’s wrong. Explain this to people, because you have a completely different way of looking at it.

Dr. Nicole: For me, even this idea of the loneliness and the visceral feeling that is the first thing that comes to mind is a feeling that I can remember as long as I can really remember being a small child. For me, it felt like a, uh, pressure almost on my chest and an emptiness within that pressure. And again, without having language, without understanding. And to speak to your point, I continued in my life creating relationships once I began to date and have partners, searching for this ideal partnership, this perfect person in which I wouldn’t feel as alone as I had viscerally, as long as I can remember, had been within my family, not really feeling emotionally connected to my caregivers and seeking partner after partner, always looking for someone outside of myself without understanding where that feeling came from. Myself, I would always hold the person I was picking responsible, and usually I would lodge some version of the complaint, being we’re just not emotionally connected. And that absence of the feeling I was looking for is what would lead me into the next searching, ultimately for the next partner.

And now I’ve come to realize that this idea, and I think, uh, the way I describe it in the book, is being alone in a crowded room, or even alone within relationships, is not only quite a common one, really goes back to the earliest environments and relationships in which we were raised and when we didn’t have an emotionally attuned caregiver who was able to consistently soothe us, being curious about our emotions, helping us ultimately, over time, learn how to soothe our own emotions. What I did, like what many of us will do, is I began to disconnect or to dissociate from myself, my physical body. I began to suppress my emotions, feeling it was just far too vulnerable and predicting that people like my parents would not be available for me if I were to need support in any way. So I avoided sharing my emotions. So, in reality, I was playing such a foundational role in being emotionally disconnected from those around me, while at the same time, I was holding them responsible for that disconnection.

Julie Jancius: Well, it’s hard to ask for support, and you mentioned this a lot throughout your book, that there were things that would just irritate you when somebody asks for a foot rub or they ask for this or for that, and you’re like, they’re expressing their needs, but it just kind of took you home to, uh oh, I’m not knowing how to express my needs. And that’s, I think, just so human to all of us right now. For those of us who are really bad at asking for what we need and voicing it, where can we start with this? And how do we know that we’ve kind of got it under the belt like that we’re doing good at it.

Dr. Nicole: To be able to voice our needs. I even want to pull it back one step and honor the many of us who might have no idea what we want or what we need. We haven’t, as I spent decades, we haven’t paused to ask. We’ve always kind of looked to maybe care for other people, be the selfless individual who’s worrying about someone else. And so when even asked, or this concept even being brought up, as I discovered, I felt so angry and resentful as so many of my needs were going unmet without seeing the role that I was playing, I assumed it was just all these people who couldn’t meet my needs. 

And then I hit that pause and I discovered, well, wait a minute. If I don’t truly know what I want or what I need at any moment, and this is, I think, a natural tendency that we have, how would I expect someone to read my mind and be able to attune and anticipate and meet a need that I’m not even sure I’m having. So the first step is to begin to, as I think change really happens when we first become present to what our current habits are. And for a lot of us, uh, it is a habit of not being aware, not turning inward, not asking our physical body what we need, not checking in with our self emotionally, and seeing if we have the resources to even be present to someone else. 

And then, of course, there’s the many of us who, as we become more and more aware of what it is that we may want or what we may need, we struggle for all different reasons to voice it. Instead, we anticipate someone mind reading or hope that someone will mind read us. We might say it passive aggressively. I have a way of walking around still sometimes to this day, saying, instead of saying directly what I want or what I I need. Wish someone would be helping me right now. Well, uh, okay, Nicole. Well, what kind of help exactly might you need? Is what my partners might say back to me. And it’s like, oh, you’re right. I can be a little bit more. Could. Can you help me make breakfast? Can you help make my coffee? I’m running a little late. And it’s all of those moments because we’re afraid of being rejected. We’re afraid of being too vulnerable, even saying it, that we prevent ourselves from saying it. So the first step is always becoming aware. Do we have space if we don’t yet know what we want or what we need? We don’t have to shame ourselves. There’s typically a reason where we haven’t practiced turning inward. Or maybe at one time we did share what, uh, or what we want or what we needed. And we didn’t have someone that was available to us in the way. And so, ultimately, then, over time, practicing walking through that vulnerability, allowing ourself to share what it is as directly as possible. And then I think we know we’re doing well as we start to feel our needs are being factored into our relationships. As that resentment, which is the natural byproduct of having unmet needs over a period of time, as that begins to decrease.

Julie Jancius: I’m wondering, because there’s like, all right, so I’m a Capricorn goat, very stubborn, and I’ve done tons of therapy, uh, 42 now since I was about 13/14 years old when my parents went through a divorce. Lots of that underneath my belt. But I feel really dense sometimes because other people just seem to be so good at observing relationships, and they’ll point something out and they’ll be like, did you see this in your friendship, or did you see this going on? And I’ll be like, no, but now that you’re saying that, that’s been there for years. And not to put ourselves down or anything, but is it that we’re not attuned to it? Is it that because I feel present in my relationships, I think a lot of us do, or does it just take time to see things for what they are?

Dr. Nicole: I think that generally, this is, I think, a difficult reality for us to embrace. We are all subjective observers wearing filters. And so what I think one of the greatest values of having relationships of all sorts, which is also a great challenge, is having those moments where someone is sharing a perspective that in our blindered way of looking at ourself or our current relationship dynamic, we’re not focusing on doesn’t mean it’s not there, doesn’t mean that we’re just not fully seeing it. And then when we hear the thing, oftentimes we might even resist the reality of it, though it expands those blinders. And even I want to say something, because as, uh, a virgo who likes to analyze, even overanalyze, looking, isn’t always the most beneficial thing. If we’re in our thinking mind endlessly analyzing, observing relationships, and we’re not taking a moment to drop into our own presence in the dynamic at hand, or whatever the relating is, then that is, in my opinion, a form of protection against whatever is that we’re feeling that might, for many of us, be stressful or be overwhelming. So, again, that’s a similar scenario where if offered a piece of information about ourselves, we can churn it in our mind, even think we’re going to use it insightfully. What’s so important is always to drop into our body and to begin to become present to how we feel in the particular dynamics that we’re engaging in.

Julie Jancius: Well, that’s another element to your book, and I think your entire book, how to be the love you seek, is really a testament to the delicate balance that’s needed between spirituality and psychology, therapy, counseling. Because, and we’ve seen this from other scientific research, like grief research, that says if a person is to have a really good mediumship reading, in addition to counseling when they’ve lost somebody very important to them, their healing is just accelerated, or maybe on a deeper level. And we’ve got the work of Dr. Lisa Miller that shows the importance of spirituality combined with therapy. Your book really keeps coming back around to this message of, it doesn’t matter what your spiritual practice is. It matters that you keep coming back to that heart centered space and, uh, really tuning in. Because at one point, and I wrote it down in my notes, you said something, and I go, oh, my God. She just hit the nail in the head. And you said, basically, we are our intuition. And I thought, that’s it.

Dr. Nicole: Our heart is so incredibly powerful. And when I came about the information that I’m very grateful. The heart math institute is really at the forefront of measuring objectively and scientifically measuring the incredible power of our heart. And we’re energetic beings. And for me, being raised in a catholic religion, this is, of course, nothing against religion in general, not resonating with it. I struggled for decades around concepts of soul, and I didn’t know how. And the scientist in me was always looking for a space to define it or measure it or understand where it lived and how it expressed itself. And I didn’t necessarily have the language to understand. At the same time, I was so disconnected, as I said earlier, from my physical body to truly be able to attune to the deeper messages that were always, ever present.

Dr. Nicole: And then when I met the science of the heart and how energetically powerful those signals are now, I started to, I was looking for, for so long, started to have a location for kind of where this inner sensor is and how then ultimately we can begin to embody practices and choices to better attune to it though just continuing, even expanding focus on the body a bit. As someone who struggled very much with stillness, with slowing down, with quieting, or being able to remove my focus, I should say, because our mind never really quiets. What we can do is strengthen a muscle of choice of what and where are we putting our attention. And the large majority of us who are carrying trauma, stress, dysregulated and upsetting emotions in our body. Stillness, turning inward. There’s a reason why we’re lost in thought all of the time. We’re endlessly attuned, scanning, hyper vigilant to our environments or our relationships, because within our bodies, we don’t feel safe enough yet to be able to turn inward, as would be helpful to do, to be able to then attune to those deeper messages. 

So it really is building the foundation that many of us need to teach our bodies in adulthood, physiologically, how to be safe and secure in small moments of stillness. So then I can begin to turn inward and remove focus from the endlessly distracting world of our thoughts, the endlessly distracting, uh, external world that we’re living in. And then I can begin to maybe make sense of these concepts like soul and spirit and essence, and hear the language and the sensations and the messages that are coming within us, inside of us at all times.

Julie Jancius: You talk about as well, that when people are able to tune into that heart center, we’re really able to tune a collective consciousness. And you gave a lot of different examples within the book of the one in Washington, DC, when the crime rates were just so high. And they brought together these peaceful groups of meditators to meditate for peace, and they found that it lowered so dramatically. You said the police chief quoted, this would only be possible if there was like a 20 inch snowstorm in July.

Dr. Nicole: Yeah, it’s incredible. So this power of heart, brain coherence. So when we’re in a, uh, calm, grounded state, when we’re able to generate what we call positive feelings, feel loving, feel compassionate, feel gratitude for all that is. And again, I want to speak to maybe listeners who might not spend many times, much time embodying those feelings. It’s not because you are incapable of it. Likely. It’s because you don’t yet feel safe enough. Your body is in survival mode. That it’s truly difficult to embody that space, though, when we’re able to. Not only does those feelings in our heart generate a coherence or a harmony in our own body systems, us being physically healthier, us being more emotionally resilient or able to tolerate difficult emotions, studies have shown, and these individuals that were meditating at the same time during the day, generating, and we can generate by even just closing your eyes and thinking about something that allows you to feel those warm feelings of love, of kindness, of compassion, maybe thinking of one thing you’re grateful for. Those individuals weren’t even in the same room. They were spread out non locally across the city. And then what had happened? And these studies were replicated. I think another one that I cite in the book happened at wartime, in a country where there was active war that was happening. And they did a similar study where individuals, non locally connected, meaning in their different homes, were at the same moments of the day practicing this heart coherence. And what they saw in that study was the casualties around that particular day in wartime conflict, where the casualties were quite high, began to decrease. 

So I lead a case in the book, and I’m so passionate about this work and spreading it, because I truly believe this is individually how we can begin to create the change that we want to see in the world, especially at a time where I think a lot of us are beginning to feel powerless and hopeless as things are happening outside of some of our homes, in other places of the world that we’re familiar with. And I think a lot of us have this sense that, well, what can I do? And in my opinion, what we can do by creating the safety and the security within ourself, to be able to shift into these positive feeling states can actually expand to the world outside of our doors.

Julie Jancius: And just to kind of bridge this together for our listeners, what Nicole is talking about with this heart centered space is what I call Oneness on the podcast, coming into a vibration of oneness. What’s interesting is once you’ve done the work and you’ve gotten to a place where you are healthy. When I’m working with a lot of clients, and I’m sure that you see this too, I think is a lot of people feel like, well, where do you start? And is it ever going to get better? And there is so much to do within the world, but there’s so much to do within my own individual journey, therapy, spirituality wise, and there’s so many different content creators coming at them, um, on Instagram and everywhere else. It does feel daunting. Where do you think that people start and really relax into, I don’t have to do it all at once. This is going to be a journey. Where do people start?

Dr. Nicole: Change in general, even positive change, even the change into the information age, if you will, with all of this, possible changes that we could do, start beginning tomorrow, will challenge our nervous system. Our nervous system, at a very core wiring, physiological level, prefers our familiar way of being, whatever the habits are that are creating our current reality. Even if we become very acutely aware that we need to change some, if not all of them, our nervous system will drive us to repeat those familiar habits, because it’ll gain a sense of control in the predictability of, um, not only knowing what comes next, having lived the experience of dealing with what comes next over and over and over again. So it is especially important not only to understand that piece of information, because I think a lot of us carry shame if and when we commit to change. Some of us try to even overhaul our lives very well meanings utilizing all this new information. And even if we’re able to string together a couple of days, even a couple of weeks of new habits, before long, most of us meet that resistance. The endless thoughts telling us that it’s not working. Some of us, the difficult emotions in our body that we’re now becoming present to, overwhelming feelings and um, before long, we’re right back in those old habits, and then we feel shameful. We feel like we’re broken. We feel like maybe the outcome that we’re desiring for ourself isn’t meant for us. So for a lot of us, this piece of information that change will be difficult, can help us navigate those moments, though you even beautifully, wisely, Julie. 

The key to action is by keeping those commitments small. And the concept is a small daily promise. What is the smallest way you can begin to practice this new habit somewhere in your day? Understanding, too, that many of us have embedded lives. We have a lot of obligations. We have things that we have to show up for. And so it’s a really great practice to not only keep that habit small, but to build it on something else you do each and every day, and then to practice keeping that commitment day after day after day until that becomes a consistent new habit. And then you can expand it, build another new habit or expand that practice. Because now two things are happening. We’re beginning to change, and at the same time, we’re beginning to rebuild the confidence that many of us have broken. All of those moments where we haven’t kept our promises to ourself or where we have engaged in habitual behaviors, betraying ourself or neglecting ourself. 

And I think this is the roadmap just to touch on the amount of information piece in your question, as we build self trust and self confidence in ourself, in our own ability not only to move forward, but to make choices that are in service of us, perhaps those choices being attuning to our deeper self and our inner knowing. Now we’re going to be better able to discern, because the reality is information isn’t going, in my opinion, anywhere. There’s going to be a million more people in the next year talking about a million more new tools and techniques. Because I do get a version of this question asked often, like, what do we do with all that is out there now from all different types of people? And I don’t think we can kind of monitor or control the amount of information. I don’t think that’s helpful. I think what’s more helpful is teaching the many of us that have looked and deferred to others opinions, how to look inward and how to learn how to make sense of the information that’s aligned for us and meaningful on our journeys, and learning how to remove our focus from the information that isn’t.

Julie Jancius: When it comes to the building off of the habit that you already have in order to create a new habit? Is there any other way to kind of hack that biological system of us just wanting to go back to the old way of doing things? Or is that the best one that you found is to build upon a past habit or a current habit?

Dr. Nicole: We’re going to struggle when we do new things, even positive new things, with a level of discomfort, because we’re going out now into that unknown space. And what that means for all of us, actually, is our nervous system, always in communication with our mind, will become involved. We’ll start to feel the slight stress that comes with doing something new. And the reality of it is we have these ingrained habitual reactions. The more stressed we become, we tend to fall back on those older patterns. So the only hack, unfortunately, is truly teaching our bodies how to tolerate the stress that will come with these new choices, how to notice as our mind begins to race, maybe reflecting the tension in our body and the elevated heart rate and the quickened breath, as we’re feeling uncomfortable in this new way of being, as we’re starting to worry about what other people are maybe thinking of us doing this new thing and learning how to maybe take some calm, deep belly breaths, maybe refocus our attention from the racing thoughts in our mind just to how it feels to be in our body, supported upon the earth in whatever moment that we’re sitting or standing in, in that space. Because unfortunately, it is not until we teach our body how to withstand more and more stress, beginning with just the natural stress of change, that we’ll then be able to avoid falling back. So I continue wanting to normalize how that falling back into old habits is a continued, and will be a continued part of all of our journeys, there’s still a lot of moments as my stress level begins to elevate, as I begin to stop taking care of my body in the way that I need to tolerate that elevated stress level, what is right there underneath the surface and oftentimes ends up being the behaviors that I engage in are those old habitual reactions. So I just want to continue to normalize and kind of continue to affirm in some way that there is no way of thinking our way, hacking our way out of the need to train our body physiologically, how to change.

Julie Jancius: Well, and it’s interesting because there’s so many people listening, and I know that you have this a lot within your communities in general, just a lot of holistic women, men who have their own businesses. And so from the business owner perspective, where you’re doing million and one things, you’re often pulled out of that state of harmony because you’re constantly going to another level in a way that life is challenging you and you’re rising to meet the occasion, and you often have to bring on new team members, and that’s one part of it. But have you found any hacks as a, uh, business owner that we can all adopt or use that as we continually work within our businesses, that we really pause to give ourselves that self care so that we’re not working 24/7.

Dr. Nicole: Pausing and having moments somewhere within all of the obligations of, especially running a business, running a team, even that, uh, helps support our business, is foundationally important. And I think, too, because most of us, a lot of us at least, are very passionate about the businesses that we’ve created and the work that we do, though, to be able to be in flow or in service, showing up exactly the way we want to, in alignment within our business, not only treating those that are supporting us in the way that we want to treat them, but putting out the product or the work into the world the way that we want it to be. We have to be in that state of alignment, and that only happens when we’re caring for our body to begin with at that foundational level. So that means finding somewhere in our day to day life, whether it’s getting up a bit earlier or taking an actual lunch break. If you’re someone who maybe doesn’t take a break in the middle of the day, or maybe nighttimes are better for you, so it’s before, or, uh, right when you end your work hours, if you will, maybe ending them even a bit earlier. So that before you segue into home life or go to bed, you have some moments to make sure that you’re tending to your body. 

And I say this affirming that for me, it’s difficult. Especially because I love the work that I do, especially because in the past several months, I’ve been much more scheduled in terms of what my daily life looks like with podcasts, all opportunities that I love. I love to have conversations like I’m having with you. So it means that when I wake up in the mornings and I’m excited about the things that I get to do that day, I have to make sure that I don’t just dive right into doing the things that I have to do for my business that I do still take. And for me, it’s in the morning hours that fits into my schedule, and that I personally like to start my day feeling aligned in my body. And it’s small moments. I don’t have an extensive multiple hour long. It means waking up at a time where I can take a few minutes to sit in silent self reflection, reading from, uh, a kind of spiritually based book, journaling, just being in my own presence. It means a small movement routine of sorts. This morning, I think it was 17 minutes long. I do a version of yoga or pilates, depending on the day. So it’s a small practice in movement. Could be a short walk at that time, instead of a stretching or vigorous type movement in terms of pilates. But it’s like just time for me to be in my body, because that’s going to translate to how responsive I am when I’m navigating relationships with the team that I’ve built around me to help support me. 

It also means, I think, asking for support and getting support when we need it. I think, especially when we have a vision, professionally, of, uh, the way we want our business to be or to go. Some of us, at least, can struggle with knowing when we need support, with finding the support that we need, with allowing them to support us, right? Not just saying, I’ll do it all because I know how I want it done, actually finding people that are aligned and entrusting those people to do it, and then to give them the opportunity to take the time, energy, or the effort off of ourselves. And I think a version of all of that will allow us to stay present to ourself so that we can be of service to the business that we’ve created.

Julie Jancius: I had this thought, and I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this, but I’m just going to hope that Spirit brings it back. I was watching on Facebook today, there’s this guy talking about going back to the discernment piece, folks who. He started this business where he just teaches people how they don’t even have to be an expert at the subject matter anymore, just, uh, how to use AI to write books in order to generate an income. And I was like, wow, this is where people are going. Which hurts my heart as somebody who’s been a writer since a young age, because there’s just so much time and effort that we take to put into the books that we write with that intention. And when I was reading through your book, this is where I wanted to go. There was like an aha moment where you really talked about how much others can feel that heart space that you’re in and connect back with it. And I thought to myself, when I started the podcast, because there’s all these podcast courses out there, right? Like, how to start a podcast, get it all together, and come join us as hosts, which is awesome. But I recognized that when I started the podcast, I had had about three years where I was meditating multiple hours every day before I started the podcast. And if I was to do a course, I think that would be the number one thing that made the podcast as successful as it was, is just staying in that heart space continually. 

Dr. Nicole: Because, again, the reality of it is there’s going to be a lot of different ways to do a lot of different work, if you will, and a lot of offerings that come with that into the future. I think it translates in terms of the embodiment, the level of purpose and passion that that work represents, of the human creating it, that will translate then into the impact on the other side of it. And I say this too, because I get asked a lot, as when I was training to be a clinical psychologist, there was only two degrees that allowed you to practice one on one, um, offering therapy, and that was the clinical PhD, as I received, and then the Psy D. Since there’s many different types of licensures to obtain to practice, and in the more recent past, there’s many different ways to practice without necessarily a license, through coaching, et cetera. So the question I get asked is, what do I think in terms of how helpful are all the different versions of help that is out there now? And my response might be an unpopular, um, opinion, or a little surprising to people, but it cites research, which is in the field, clinical field, and the research is in what are the factors that will determine whether or not a therapeutic experience, therapy is successful. And we have been able to document on more than one occasion that the one factor that will predict the successful outcomes of treatment is the relationship, the bond, the feeling of safety and the security, the ability to open up. All that comes with the relationship between the practitioner, whomever they may be, and the client leading in. 

Then to my response to what do I make? And kind of going back to this idea of heart space, I am of the belief that you can, and the lived experience of humans who are purposeful and passionate in turning whatever suffering that they’ve experienced into now the work that they do, even if they don’t necessarily have the accreditation or the same title that I have, might allow and develop the safety and the security with particular individuals, to allow that individual who’s seeking support from them, uh, to create incredible transformation in their lives, because it is the relationship. And I think, again, the distinction there is what is the alignment of the person who’s doing the work or producing the work. And it can be felt. It can be felt in the relationship if there is one on one work happening. It can be felt in the way a book is received or a piece of product or a course is engaged with whatever it might be. And it all comes back to again, if we’re grounded in service and our purpose and our passion and that heart space and that, what do you call it? Oneness, I love that. Then I do believe it comes out in the receiver of whatever it is, the service that we’re providing.

Julie Jancius: That’s incredible. Well, and just to kind of mirror something to you real quick, I think that you have just this soul, because I believe that our soul has natural talents, gifts, abilities, and spirit says all the time that we call this a computer, and it is, but it’s just really a vibration. And there’s all these different vibrations that we have words for. You have a way of speaking in that. I could have heard something three or four times before, but then when you say it, spirit is able to use my imagination in a way that shows it to me differently. It clicks. And then even if it’s from your Instagram posts or something from your book, I’m really able to just integrate it so much more into my life. And I’ll give you an example of that, too. I forget the acronym that you used, but was it H-R-T in the book, there was like some, like, if you had more of it.

Dr. Nicole: HRV.

Julie Jancius: HRV, okay. When you talked about that piece in the book, I got this entire visual within my mind because my gifts came to me. I was working in corporate America. Um, my dad passed, and I just automatically was able to tune into him before I knew he was gone. All the time. People are like, why can some people tune in? Why can’t others? And it happens, just this spontaneous awakening when somebody passes. I think that could actually be a scientific study that forgot it already. HRV is, uh, higher within the people who have that spontaneous mediumship ability upon someone’s passing.

Dr. Nicole: So two things I want to share HRV in. Generally, it stands for heart rate variability. And it’s really simply our body’s ability to regulate after stressful or elevated upsetting experiences. Because our nervous systems are wired to shift into certain responses. I talk about them in the book when we become stressed. And then hopefully, as we were either taught through co regulation, through a safe, secure caregiver in our childhood, or teaching ourself in adulthood, as we talked about earlier, the ability to tolerate more and more stress and calm ourself down. Then we develop the ability to have a resilient kind of heart rate variability system, or essentially a higher HRV, the ability to get stressed and become calmer quicker, more. 

On a personal note, and just kind of mapping that on, I do believe when we are in that grounded state of awareness is when these connections, communications with our more 5d sensory systems become possible. The intuition that we were talking about earlier, that’s not possible when we’re stressed, when we’re upset, when we’re dysregulated. We have to be in that grounded state of presence to have our receptor open. And I truly believe we all have these unspoken ways that we’re communicating with the energetic world. Even if we’re not living in the embodiment or the activation of them. It’s not that we’re incapable of it. It’s probably again, that we’re not in that safe and that secure, grounded state to be able to receive them. 

On a personal note, my mom died a little over two years ago now, and she was sick. I mean, she was chronically ill for my entire life, but she was declining rapidly over the period of a couple of months. I did not know how rapidly. And I ended up getting a phone call one morning to be told that I needed to get in on an airplane more or less immediately. I thought I had a trip planned for several days from that moment to go home. And what I thought was going to be likely our last time, my last time seeing my mom to say goodbye. Though I had no indication, none of my family did, that it was going to be such an immediate rapid decline, um, because I would have changed my plane ticket anyway, long story short, I get called, I get ready, I zip to the airport, I get on a plane, and I had a moment where kind of energetically, I have chills as I’m saying it right now, where I just had a knowing that she wasn’t here anymore without again, my sister, when she called me to come home, she did not say, it’s going to be within minutes, you might not make it. I was truly under the belief that I would get home to say goodbye to my mom. And I just had this knowing in this moment that she was no longer physically present. And I had a fly from LA at the time to the east coast. So I was on the plane for several hours. No one texted me a word about anything that had happened. I got off the airplane, I texted my sister, to let her know that I’d landed and I was going to head over to them then in that moment, and at that moment, she told me that not only did my mom pass what time it was, and it was quite literally around the exact time when I had that experience of that knowing that she was no longer physically present.

Julie Jancius: That just speaks to it, just how profound our heart connection is to them on the other side. And I know that you know that she’s talking to you all the time, but I feel like she shows up for you not just with one sign, but just tons of different signs, constantly.

Dr. Nicole: My mom is an ever evolving conversation, um, for me, in my daily life, and even just a couple of weeks ago, it was a very interesting experience. It was the first time where I was promoting know, having this new book out in the world, and I got to travel to my hometown in Philadelphia, and I did an event in New York City. So my family came, and it was the first time I was back home since her funeral, and the first time that I was having an event that she wasn’t know. I just think that there’s just so many moments of not only her presence, but her acute absence in the physical body that is really dysregulating, an ever invitation for me to stay embodied in terms of my spiritual senses in those moments, because it can be so easy to go human, if you will, and be like, oh, look, well, she’s not here. I don’t see her. I forget what it was. But a couple of days before, we quite literally walked by. My mom’s name is Marguerite, so it’s quite a unique name. And I was walking with one of my partners, and we walked by and there was a sign that said Marguerite. And I was like, if that, like, thank you, mom, for that reminder that you are indeed here. Even if I was becoming overwhelmed with the physical aspect of my experience, not seeing you, um, it was just such a beautiful moment to have that reminder sent my way.

Julie Jancius: That’s so gorgeous. And I know that she’s just helping you with your work. I see this all the time. I think that, not that if you don’t have another person on the other side, that you can’t be successful, but just that when we do have that loved one that we were so close with, I almost feel like sometimes they make it part of their work because they were such an integrated part of our journey to help us. Like, I feel like my dad’s helping me with the podcast, and he’s just such a bridge.

Dr. Nicole: I absolutely agree. My mom is just so embedded. My mom, for me, is the core inspiration for the work I do. Watching all the different physical and emotional ways she suffered, really, over the course of her life because of her own childhood deep rooted pain and trauma, and her own lack of capacity or knowing or information to truly deal with that is just. I mean, I dedicated this book to her specifically because I think it’s just such a representation of the pain that so many of us are still carrying in our physical, emotional beings from all of the generations that came before, which can be an invitation for us to do this deep level healing work and not only be more socially coherent for those around us, but truly heal our lineages, I think, on the deepest level possible. So my mom is my work. Um, I am doing my work because of the pain that we have all shared through all of my personal generations in my family. And I know that really resonates, I think, with a lot of us who see all of the ways that we’re carrying on, even some of the dynamics or cycles that we swore we were going to never do or recreate in our own personal lives. Yet here they are. So, again, an invitation not to shame ourselves and to use that beginning point of awareness of what is present and what, as the subtitle says, right, what cycles we might be living, we’re reenacting and using that as an opportunity to create transformation for all of us, future and ancestral.

Julie Jancius: One of the things we have, like, uh, at our house, a marriage counselor, a counselor for our kiddo, and then my own personal counselor. But our marriage counselor always says, when you get healthy and you really kind of get to that place where you have more of that self regulation in your own heart space, that oneness more. It’s hard sometimes to keep those past relationships that maybe other people haven’t done the work yet. They’re not at that healthy space. And I think that that’s something that’s, uh, really coming up now for a lot of people. How would you speak to that?

Dr. Nicole: I would first affirm the reality. I think that some of us have an expectation that relationships don’t shift or change over time, however it is that we entered a relationship, whatever dynamic it once was. We have this idea that that’s how it will always be or feel dynamically with this person. And I say that because that, I think, can cause a lot of suffering as we grow, as we evolve, as we shift, as we change, especially as we do so on different timelines. And for many of us, even just kind of allowing ourself to rest in the evolution of our relationships, where we don’t expect someone to be exactly where we are or doing the things that we’re doing might relieve some of the conflict that comes with that expectation. 

That, however, I don’t think resolves a very natural tendency that I think we have as compassionate creatures, humans, which is we want what we think is best or might benefit our loved ones, especially if them doing a little more of or a little less of might benefit our interaction or our feeling and dynamic with them. So really understanding that we can put support in place, we can give resources, maybe like how to be the lovey, seek right to our loved ones. We cannot create the change for them. It is a daily commitment that they will have to create for themselves to changing in whatever way that they internally desire to change. Because I do think a lot of conflict then, is created as we try to push or demand or manipulate people into changing in whatever way that we either desire for them because of the benefit it would have for us and our relationship with them, or for their own best interest. Because even going back to what you’re talking about earlier, being a different vantage point or perspective, we might see a lot of patterns and things that they could be benefited by doing differently. So it’s so difficult not to just kind of demand that them see that from our perspective. 

And so, uh, really understanding again that people will continue their journey. And that might mean our relationship over time, looking different, feeling different, there being a different dynamic, a different maybe space within the relationship, and continuing to put the focus back on ourselves. What can we do to continue to move forward in a way that’s aligned for us? Assuming that the person or our loved one that we’re hoping will change, assuming that they’ll just stay exactly the same. And then, of course, we could support them in the ways that they need it. I think this is another area where we assign support. We assume, I should say, that people receive support in the same ways that we would receive support. So we give the same things that we essentially want, and that might not register as supportive. So directly asking, if there is someone that is suffering, what can we do to help you in this moment? Or someone who is involved, engaging in the beginning of a healing journey, what do you need from me in this moment? And that’s the way we can truly then support someone where they’re at. 

And I think then the final difficult reality is when relationships change to the extent that there is distance, separation, maybe even physical changing of the dynamics, and that then welcoming in all of the grieving that will come with a relationship that has ended or a separation that has occurred. Um, again, I think some of us, especially the longer we’ve had a relationship, we assume that we’ll have this relationship forever into the future. And it’s a really difficult reality. And a lot of sadness and loss comes up, possibly even touching deeper sadness, loss from our own past childhood experiences, as relationships come to an end or as separations happen.

Julie Jancius: Beautiful. Thank you so much for that. There’s a couple of comments in our live audience and, uh, questions over here, so I’m going to read you a couple of these and then can wrap up with these. Kate asks, how does one understand or see the difference between the needs or being needy on yourself or others? Actually, I’m going to let you answer that one and then I’ll ask the next one.

Dr. Nicole: That’s a very interesting question, I think, because being needy is often a, uh, concern, especially for me, who was always worried about being a burden. That would be the language that my subconscious mind would use within that. I think the difference happens when we identify and directly, maybe verbalize a, uh, need. And at the same time we have either within ourselves or within another support system that we’ve created for ourself, hopefully the ability to ensure that that need gets met. I think neediness is when we’re totally, or what could feel like this is when we’re totally reliant on someone or something to meet our need. And if that doesn’t happen, then our need goes unmet. Which is why I think two parts of the journey are so important. Of course, we all need support. We do need those safe and secure relationships to go to in those moments where we need support, or go to and express whatever physical or emotional need it is that we have. And at the same time, building that foundational practice of making sure or practicing over time, our own ability to meet our need. And this is one of the biggest motivators for me of creating the online community. Creating the membership community is giving ourselves the possibility of creating relationships that can feel supportive outside of those primary relationships. Because this is kind of back to this idea that there’s this one person who will make me feel some different way. And then within that expectation, we put on this person that they meet all of our needs in any given moment, at any time, we have them, and that’s just not possible. The person who’s unable to meet our need at any moment might be unable to meet it for reasons outside of even our relationship with them, because they’re going through a stressful period emotionally because they have things coming up at work or a million different other reasons. So I think, again, the shift happens and usually when we can feel needy, even in those moments where we’re not relying. That’s why I use my example of being a burden. So really understanding kind of our own conditioning and patterning is that every time you express a need, you feel needy. Um, and again, maybe relearning some of the language that to have a need is not to be wholly dependent on someone and to practice at the same time finding ways to self soothe that need or other places to go to.

Julie Jancius: For the amazing, amazing. Stacey says in the past, I would test my partner to see if he would stay with me or give up on due to abandonment and trust issues from childhood. Emotionally, I needed that confirmation he wasn’t leaving, and part of me always thought he was. I find when I am overwhelmed and super stressed, some of those old behaviors sneak in.

Dr. Nicole: I appreciate that, Stacey, your honesty there. I think this is a question that probably can resonate with a lot of us out there. Um, again, this is kind of going back to our earliest childhood experiences and these deep rooted beliefs that get ingrained in our mind and our body around those deep rooted experiences. And if and when it’s a large majority of us hadn’t had consistently present and emotionally attuned caregivers able to soothe us in the moments that we needed it. Uh, we do develop this kind of abandonment or rejection based wound where we believe we’re deeply unworthy in whatever ways, and it’s only a matter of time before the person finds our unworthiness out and then likely leaves us, because we go back to that same early script that we believe to be true at that period of time. And then we apply it again and again and again. And then in the kind of body piece of this ingrained habit, not only maybe do we look for cues that they’re going to leave, we enact, we recreate, we push someone away, test them as I think the language was, create a situation where we make it likely or increase the likelihood that they leave, engaging then in this self fulfilling prophecy. And then we start to feel nervous. And I see this in myself going back again to this emotionally alone girl who felt really unconsidered, inconsiderate emotionally. I will at times, especially as stress goes up, when I need support the most. All of that running narrative of, uh, no one really cares about me anyway comes to mind. And in my behavior, I act either like I don’t need the support I need, I don’t show it. I say it in all these indirect ways, like I shared earlier, increasing the likelihood that they don’t show up. People don’t show up in service because they don’t know or they’re not picking up on the cues, the passive aggressive things that I’m saying. And then I validate exactly as I thought. Oh, they’re not considering me or I act in a way. I like to use this example where I kind of put my hand out in front of me with daggers on my palm, and I say, why aren’t you hugging me? I act in an explosive, irritated, agitated, sometimes mean way, or lock myself in my room and then wonder why no one’s coming or approaching me to soothe me. So, understanding, again, these deep rooted patterns, because we’re waiting to be left or abandoned or reject it, and we believe it’s because we’re unworthy doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case. Uh, within that awareness, we can begin to make new choices that will likely have to involve our body. Because when our body perceives that possible space as, uh, rejection or distance or the inevitable end of the relationship, we’ll begin to enact these testing behaviors, these self sabotaging or relationship sabotaging behaviors. So, in those moments, to be able to practice the new choices, which is to stop testing the person, to ask for support, to let support in, to let connection grow, we’ll have to make sure that our body is able to down regulate the stress reaction that’s happening.

Julie Jancius: Everybody’s commenting over here. Agreed. This is such a beautiful and important message for everyone. Thank you for having this conversation. Oh, uh, Danielle, you’re so right. This is so amazing. Thank you so much, Nicole, for being here and being willing to give us some of your time. Everybody can follow you over on Instagram at the holistic psychologist. We’ll put that in the information below, how to be the love you seek. We’ll put all the information where they can purchase. Actually, this is the first book that I’ve bought physically and on audible because I had to go through. I was like, oh, my God, we got to get this person on the podcast and this organization, like, all these different ones that you had named, I think it’s just such a great resource to have both. Where else do you want people to go to find you?

Dr. Nicole: Uh, thank you, Julie, of course, for having me. Thank you all the audience here that’s listening. Thank you all who are tuning in, uh, on the podcast. Again, this was just such an honor and a great conversation, uh, outside of, I think, all of the social media channels, I think I have a presence, the holistic psychologist as the handle outside of even just the instagram now, on Facebook, on TikTok, on X, on threads. So, um, again, the book is available in all major retailers, a lot of local retailers. So I love supporting local. I, um, have a book website, howtobetheloveusek.com. You can check that out for specific retailers that I know are carrying the book that I have highlighted.

Julie Jancius: Amazing. Thank you again for being here. And thank you for all of the work that you’re doing for the world.

Dr. Nicole: Of course. Thank you, Julie, for all the work you’re doing as well. It was truly an honor to be here and to connect with all of you.

Julie Jancius: Uh, of course. Have a blessed, blessed day.

Dr. Nicole: Thank you. You too.

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