In this podcast, we are joined by Nathalie Thompson from Vibe Shifting, author of Fearless and Mind Shifting. We tackle such topics as the connection between the law of attraction, psychology, and philosophy; the importance of the subconscious mind in manifesting; the key to making the most of our challenges in life; and how fear can be our ally.
Music composed by Collective Intelligence Music
Resources Mentioned in the Podcast
- Nathalie Thompson's website: www.vibeshifting.com
- fearLESS: How to Conquer Your Fear, Stop Playing Small, and Start Living an Extraordinary Life You Love, by Nathalie Thompson
- Mind Shifting: Master Your Mindset, Step Into Your Power, and Unlock the Secret to Your Success, by Nathalie Thompson
- Follow VibeShifting on Twitter: @VibeShifting
- Follow VibeShifting on Facebook
Discussed in today's podcast (click the link to jump to that section of the transcript):
- How Nathalie became interested in the law of attraction
- Nathalie’s background in cognitive science
- Psychological filters
- Does it matter if it’s psychology or spirituality?
- The role of the subconscious mind
- Monkey bars or mansions
- Fear can be an ally
Brandon: Welcome to Co-Create Your Life. This is episode 14, “An Interview with Nathalie Thompson.” I am Brandon Olivares.
Christine: And I'm Christine Olivares.
Justin: And I am Justin Williams!
Brandon: [laughs] Very excited today. [laughs] Today we have an exciting podcast here going. We're having an interview, like I said in the title, with Nathalie Thompson from Vibe Shifting. I'll introduce her in a second.
Before I do all that, I want to make some announcements. We have, as always, our show notes if you would like to see the show notes for this episode. I'll also link to Nathalie's website over there. You can go to cocreationcoaching.org/create014. And if you would like to ask questions for future Co-Create Your Life podcasts, you can head over to cocreationcoaching.org/ask/create, and that's where you can submit your questions.
Once again, we have someone today whose website I've been following for quite a while. I'm excited to have her on today. Nathalie Thompson is the author of fearLESS and Mind Shifting. She's a dream-building catalyst and motivational expert. She is the head dreamcatcher at vibeshifting.com, where she helps people figure out what they really want in life, and then shows them how to get it. Without further ado, how are you doing, Nathalie Thompson? We're really happy to have you on here today with us.
Nathalie: I'm very well. Thanks, Brandon. I'm so glad to be here.
Brandon: We're excited. We've been planning this.
Justin: Oh, yeah.
Brandon: For probably a month now or so.
Nathalie: I know. My fault, I got sick. [laughs]
Brandon: It's no problem. It happens.
Christine: It happens.
How Nathalie Became Interested in the Law of Attraction
Brandon: But we're happy that we finally figured this all out and got everything working. Just to kind of get into it, let us know first of all how you got into the law of attraction. I know you have a lot of articles and other things on your website about the law of attraction and achieving your dreams. What first got you into it? I saw you have some interesting background. We'll get into that later. What got you into it first?
Nathalie: Originally, it was ages and ages ago. Years and years and years ago, I read Louise Hay's book You Can Heal Your Life. At the time, it made me angry. I put it away, and I didn't look at it again for years. I didn't get rid of it, which was unusual. Usually when a book annoys me that much, I just get rid of it. [laughs] I don't want it on my shelf; I want it gone. I threw it in a drawer, and I didn't look at it again until years later. There was something happening in my life, and I was like, “You know, I have vague memories of her saying something about this.” I went and looked it up.
The reason it annoyed me so much was because at the time, I was probably in my early twenties when I first read this book—late teens or early twenties. It struck me very much as a “blame the victim” kind of approach, which bothered me. It really, really bothered me. It wasn't until much later in life that I was able to look at what she was saying differently and to realize that it was not at all a “blame the victim” approach to things. It was more a different way of looking at situations to help people to reclaim the power that they already have…
Nathalie: But have forgotten through difficulties and suffering—this power that they have forgotten that they have. So when I went back to this book years later, and I was able to see it from that perspective, that changed a whole lot of things for me. It sort of led to the beginning of a journey at that point. After that, it went to The Secret, which a lot of people love to bash for many, many reasons.
Brandon: Yes, I do. [laughs]
Justin: Yeah, yeah.
Nathalie: But The Secret was the start of a great many people's journeys.
Brandon: It's a good intro.
Justin: Yes, it was.
Nathalie: For many people, it's the introduction. It's their first introduction to these concepts. The problem with The Secret is that if you just leave it with that, then that's where the problems come in. Right?
Justin: Yes, yes, that's the…
Nathalie: But if you sort of use that as a stepping stone—if The Secret became your stepping stone to further the journey—then I think it achieved an awful lot for an awful lot of people. So I'm not one of those people who likes to bash The Secret just because of that, because I think it was such a great introduction to these kinds of concepts for so very many people.
Brandon: It definitely is. The law of attraction has been around, if you look back…
Nathalie: It's been around forever.
Brandon: Older books, especially in the early 20th century.
Nathalie: That was the thing with The Secret, because after I'd read the book. I read the book; I didn't see the movie at first. I saw it later. I read this book, and I was like, “Wow!” I went through and looked up all the references she had made in that book. I went back and I read The Master Key System and I read Napoleon Hill and I read all of these guys, all of these ancient—well, not ancient. [laughs] Really old.
Brandon: A century old, yes.
Nathalie: References that she'd mentioned. I went through and looked up all the original source books. I have them all sitting on my shelf now.
Brandon: That's great.
Nathalie: I read them all. That furthered my journey. It led me to people like Mike Dooley, who I have an awful lot of respect for and respect for what he does. It was all little steps that added one on top of each other to lead me to where I am today. That was the start of my journey with law of attraction in the form of law of attraction.
Brandon: Right. So when you say that, do you mean that—I know for me, when I got into it, I realized that I had really always been using it and I was able to look back and see, “Okay, here's how I used it in this situation without even really knowing it. Here's how my beliefs played into having my life how it was back then.” Is that what you mean?
Nathalie’s Background in Cognitive Science
Nathalie: Yes and no. I mean, when you start looking at this stuff and you do take that step of looking back on where your life has taken you up until this point, you can see how these ideas and concepts were at play in your life. But for me—and I know you had asked me if we could talk about this at some point in this podcast—my background is in cognitive science.
Brandon: I find that fascinating. I wanted to ask about that.
Nathalie: It's a cross-faculty degree in philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and computer science, so it's a very broad background. Originally I went into cognitive science because I wanted to be a real-life Susan Calvin. For those who are not sci-fi fanatics, Susan Calvin was a character in Isaac Asimov's books. She was this brilliant roboticist. She invented the positronic brain. She was just absolutely brilliant. She had absolutely no social skills whatsoever. I wanted to be Susan Calvin with social skills. [laughs]
Justin: With social skills. [laughs] An adaptation on that.
Brandon: Yes. [laughs]
Nathalie: It was her brilliance that inspired me to go into this cognitive science. Originally I wanted to get into robotics and artificial intelligence. When I started this degree, where I am, things like philosophy are not taught in high schools.
Brandon: They're not here, either.
Nathalie: When I went to university and I took my first philosophy course, it was just mind-blowing to me. It was what I had been missing my entire life. [laughs] This is what education is supposed to be, these ideas, these big, big ideas that I had never been exposed to before. They just opened my mind completely. My main tracks within cognitive science—I took the computer science and linguistics and stuff, but I took as many psychology and philosophy courses as I could. When I deal with law of attraction, that is the lens that I see this all through, through that philosophy and psychology background. So when I write books and my blog, the whole way I approach this subject is with that in mind. When they start talking about these concepts of synchronicity and stuff with law of attraction, I see the threads from philosophy and psychology that back those concepts up. A lot of people think this whole law of attraction stuff—it gets bashed a lot for being hippy, woo-woo.
Brandon: Right. [laughs]
Nathalie: [laughs] Nut job stuff. They're irrelevant, useless, hippy dreamers. I refer to it as “law of attraction.” That's the language I use because that is the language that things like The Secret have put into the mainstream.
Brandon: Right, same here.
Nathalie: But these concepts have been around in one form or another for as long as human beings have been around.
Brandon: Oh, forever. Right, right.
Nathalie: When you start looking at the psychology behind this, you see that this is not hippy-dippy woo-woo stuff. There is an actual, factual scientific basis behind it. It just depends on which branch you're coming at it through.
Brandon: That's fascinating. Can you give an example from philosophy or psychology?
Nathalie: Well, let's go with the psychology stuff. One book that I wrote was called Mind Shifting. One of the things that I talk about in Mind Shifting is this concept of psychological filters. In law of attraction, we talk about manifesting things as if these things pop up out of nowhere. We talk about synchronicity. If you've ever read Pam Grout and all her “manifest a butterfly” “manifest a scrunchie” kind of things—if you look at the psychology behind this stuff, you see what you expect to see.
Once you tell yourself….Best example of this: if you've ever (well, you obviously haven't) been pregnant, or if you're trying to get pregnant, or if you've lost a baby….This is something I can speak about personally. I had a miscarriage before I had my son. I remember after I lost that baby, my fiancé at the time was pushing me to get back out. I was just devastated, and I was having a hard time coping. “You have to get out. You've got to get out of the house, blah blah blah.” When I went out to places like the grocery store (just anywhere outside my house), it was overwhelming and heartbreaking because everywhere I went…
Brandon: You saw babies.
Nathalie: There were pregnant women. There were these big bellies. There were tiny babies. It was devastating. If you talk to other women who have had miscarriages who have this experience, they tell you the same thing: they're everywhere. But you never noticed it beforehand. You can tell yourself from a manifesting perspective, you could say you're manifesting these things into your life. But from a psychology perspective, there's a filtering that occurs. Those pregnant women and babies were always there, but they were never really overly important to you, so they just kind of faded into the background. Once that concept of “baby” became important to you, it got boosted up from your subconscious to your conscious mind as being something important.
Brandon: Important, right.
Nathalie: So instead of being filtered out and just left in the background, it sent a trigger saying, “Pay attention to this.” So you started noticing it. That's how a lot of this stuff works. Once you make something important, you start seeing those things around you. If the yellow butterfly or the green car that Pam Grout talks about has suddenly become important to you, you will start to notice it. This is important.
Those are just silly little examples, but if you're trying to build something that's important to you—a dream, or a goal that you want to achieve—if you start focusing yourself on that goal or on that dream, you are going to start noticing all these little things around you that you'd never noticed before. They weren't important; they faded into the background. But now that you've made it a point to pull that into your conscious mind, all these little opportunities and synchronicities and magic things, you're going to become aware of, because now they're important. It's just that kind of thing that fascinates me about this whole subject area. It has this basis in fields of psychology and philosophy and all these sorts of things.
Brandon: I think even—I heard in the brain, scientifically, the RAS…
Nathalie: Yes, the reticular activating system. I talk about that in the book.
Brandon: [laughs] That's the same thing that looks for patterns. You just buy a certain car, and then you see that car everywhere or something like that. That's fascinating.
Nathalie: Again, that's the exact example that Pam Grout uses in her book about the green car or whatever it is. You're activating the reticular activating system.
Brandon: Right. I don't know if you're familiar with NLP, neuro-linguistic programming?
Nathalie: I have heard of it. I know just a tiny bit about it.
Brandon: It's fascinating. I actually got certified in it almost two years ago now.
Brandon: [laughs] That's a lot of the basis of what I do my coaching on. Same thing in there—we have the idea of psychological filters. We call them meta-programs. You have a program of moving away from things or moving towards things, or being a reactor or a responder.
Nathalie: Yes, absolutely.
Brandon: Same thing. It's all in how you see things. The fascinating thing is that with those filters, only a very small amount of the sensory data that you get from your environment really makes it into your conscious mind.
Nathalie: It's a fraction of a percent. There's reasons for that. It's a survival mechanism. We'd just be overloaded. If you could pay attention to everything that was going on around you, you'd go insane. You're constantly being bombarded by information, so your brain has to have these filters in place in order to allow you to function in the world.
Does It Matter if It’s Psychology or Spirituality?
Brandon: What about the spiritual component? People might say, “If that's all there is to the law of attraction, that's no more than a psychological trick.” I know people who say that kind of thing. What would you say? Is there obviously a spiritual component to it?
Nathalie: I kind of look at that with two minds. On the one hand, so what if it is? [laughs] It works. That's the thing that gets me about this. I know there's a lot of controversy surrounding Esther Hicks—the Abraham-Hicks stuff, for instance.
Brandon: Yeah, yeah.
Nathalie: A lot of, lot of controversy out there. A lot of people like to bash her and “blah blah blah blah blah.” I actually wrote a blog article about this quite a ways back. The point is, whatever you want to call it, whatever makes it work, the fact is that it does.
Brandon: It does, right.
Nathalie: Whether it's mystical mumbo-jumbo or whether it's science, it doesn't matter. If we can use this to help improve our own lives and to help improve the lives of other people around us, then what does it matter?
Brandon: I just mention it because I've heard other people who mention it, who have said it's just a psychological trick. As you said, it doesn't really matter if it improves things.
Christine: It reminds me of people who…There was a book I read that was called The Path of a Christian Witch. In this book, the woman was learning all about shielding and things like this. She was worried. “What if it's all in my head?” The instructor said, “It is. It is all in your head.” But the point is it doesn't matter. They said to her, “It doesn't matter if it's in your head.”
Nathalie: Echoes to Harry Potter with that one. “Is this all in my head?” Of course it's all in your head. That doesn't make it any less real.
Justin: Exactly. No, exactly.
Nathalie: A lot of great wisdom with J.K. Rowling's stuff. [laughs] I find parallels everywhere.
Justin: Just as long as it works. However you can get and spin the energy to make it work for you, go ahead and do it.
Nathalie: That's the thing. Some people will approach this from a very rigid, technical, scientific background. Some people will want to approach it completely from a fluid, spiritual background. Then there are those of us, like me, who are kind of stuck in the middle. [laughs] Both aspects. All roads lead to Rome, as they say. Just because somebody else's path is different from yours doesn't mean it's the wrong path.
Brandon: I came across someone just the other day who said they were atheist and still used the law of attraction. It worked for them, obviously. That was fascinating.
Christine: That's cool
Brandon: Definitely anyone can use it. My own background—I come from a more magical background, like a witchy….I've studied ceremonial magic. It's all the same thing. It's the same principles no matter where you're coming at it from. When you see that, when you read all these different books and all these different traditions, and you see the same principles just in different terms, then you really start to see that this is all the same truth.
Nathalie: Exactly. There's something else I've written about elsewhere as well, but whenever I get into this kind of discussion, I always think of a diamond. A diamond has many, many different facets to it. When I think of religion and spirituality and things, I think of it in terms of a diamond. There are many, many different ways of looking at something, but they all add to the whole. They're just different ways of explaining the whole, especially with something like a diamond, the more facets it has, the more beautiful it sparkles.
Brandon: Exactly right.
Nathalie: The more ways we have of interpreting and understanding something, the more fully we come to understand that thing. If that's too technical for people, there's a parable about the blind man and the elephant.
Brandon: [laughs] I was just going to say that.
Nathalie: Do you want to tell the story?
Nathalie: You tell the story so people know the story.
Brandon: There are whole bunch of blind men who come up to an elephant and say, “Let's see what this elephant is.”
Nathalie: Tell us what an elephant is. What is an elephant?
Brandon: One feels the trunk. “Oh, it's like a big hose or a big tube or something.” One feels the tail. “It's like a big snake.” One feels the leg. “It's like a big tree trunk.”
Nathalie: None of them are wrong.
Brandon: None of them are wrong. They all come back with these different conflicting stories of what the elephant is. It's all of those things.
Nathalie: From their point of view and perspective, they have described it accurately. It's only when you put all those pieces together that you get a fuller idea of the whole. That's how I tend to look at these sorts of questions. They're different ways of looking at the same thing and different ways of explaining the same thing. They're different ways of understanding an aspect of the whole.
The Role of the Subconscious Mind
Brandon: What kind of work do you do with the subconscious mind? I imagine dealing with cognitive psychology—I know for me, the subconscious mind plays a big role in your ability to manifest.
Nathalie: It plays a huge role in our ability to manifest things because so much of what we do (again this goes back to being bombarded with data 24/7 and having to have filters in place and automated scripts and things in order to help us cope with life in this world)—our subconscious plays a huge role in our ability to create our experiences and the things that we want in life. When so much of what we do is based on subconscious actions and automated scripts and things that have been put in place to help us cope, and when you keep in mind that most people who come to this law of attraction stuff are coming to it as an adult…
Christine and Justin: That's true.
Nathalie: A lot of our coping mechanisms and automated scripts were created when we were children. That's just reality. That's just psychology. It's the brain trying to protect itself. It's the psyche. It's the emotions. It's everything trying to protect this person or individual or creature. It becomes automated. We start to behave according to those automated scripts without understanding why we've created them. In many cases, that we have created them. So much of our adult behavior is based on coping mechanisms that we learned and put in place growing up. While they were useful and helpful when we were younger, they're just interfering as we get older. A lot of what I try and do is help people understand the kind of automated programs that they're running so that they can see where their resistances and interfering behaviors or self-sabotaging behaviors come from so that they can create new programs.
Brandon: I think it's so hard for people to see that themselves because…
Brandon: The subconscious mind makes it almost like a fact. “Well, of course it's that way. That's just how it is.” How do you know? “It just is.”
Justin: Yes, it just is.
Brandon: It just is. [laughs]
Justin: It just is.
Brandon: It reminds me of (Christine, you can probably speak to this) Johari window in the blind spot.
Christine: The blind self. Basically, if I can remember, there are different aspects of the Johari window. Then there's the Nohari window, which is the negative stuff. Basically, you have a blind self.
Brandon: That's a loud motorcycle out there.
Christine: [laughs] There's the blind self. I don't remember all of the aspects, do you?
Nathalie: I've never heard of this before. What is this Johari window stuff?
Brandon: She was a mental health major. I don't know.
Christine: The guy's name was Johari, I believe. I'm not exactly sure. We had to do a project. We had to interview our family and our friends, and they had to tell us what they saw about us that we didn't realize. That would be your blind self that other people see.
Justin: No, sir.
Christine: And you don't. Then you have the known self, which is what you know and others don't, I believe. We should look it up.
Nathalie: Yes, I'm going to have to look that up. It's fascinating.
Brandon: It's interesting.
Justin: Oh, my goodness. We did something similar in my graduate program, but they gave us options. You could read an article. I forgot what it was. I avoided the family interview thing.
Brandon: [laughs] You were afraid of that?
Justin: I just told my professor, “I'm straight not doing that.”
Christine: It's scary. It's scary because people tell you—it's great when they tell you the positive aspects, but when they tell you the negative ones…
Justin: There's just some other stuff. I couldn't do that with my family. It's more than the scary thing. We have a different kind of connection.
Brandon: Kind of relationship. Different kind of relationship.
Justin: It's just not going to allow for stuff like that.
Brandon: That's hard. But yes, it reminds me of the blind self. I know with my clients, when I point out, “This is what you're doing,” a lot of times (I don't know if you notice this, Natalie) a lot of people, you point out something right under their nose. They're like, “Oh, now that you say that, it's so obvious. I never even really thought about it.” Of course it's there, but they never saw it.
Christine: That's why you need a coach.
Brandon: That's why you need a coach.
Christine: They can point to the self that you can't see.
Brandon: [at the same time] that you can't see.
Brandon: Yes, that's the thing about the subconscious mind. It makes it so self-evident, but then it's not to everyone. You have to realize that. You have to be able to question your own patterns. That takes so much self-awareness, which is difficult.
Nathalie: But that's the path that people who get into this stuff are on.
Monkey Bars or Mansions
Brandon: That's what I always tell everyone. A lot of people come to the law of attraction wanting a quick fix. “I just want a new house or a new car” or whatever. It takes so much self-development to really get into this stuff and really get good at manifesting. Yes, most people can manifest something quick and easy, but to really get the more important stuff in life and the bigger stuff in life, it takes so much inner work. It's a path. You can't rush it.
Nathalie: I think my view on this is probably a little bit different.
Christine: Let's hear it.
Nathalie: Again, I wrote another article. This kind of thing—the phrase I used was “Monkey Bars or Mansions—It's All the Same Thing.” I was watching my daughter, who was five at the time. We were at the park. She had been trying all school year to get across the monkey bars. She couldn't do it. She couldn't do it. She just didn't have the arm strength. She just wasn't big enough, but she was determined. Every day, we'd go to this park and she would get one or two monkey bars in and then fall to the ground. Then she'd be right back up there, over and over and over again. Every day she was doing this. She wanted to do the monkey bars like the big kids.
One day we were there, and she was like, “Today's the day. I'm doing this.” She got up and got three monkey bars in and fell. Then she got up and she went three monkey bars in and she felt. She sat there on the ground in the sand for a little while, but I could just see. There was something I could feel. She just looked up at those monkey bars. She got this expression on her face. She got back up, and she crossed the entire monkey bars.
Brandon: Wow, that's so cool.
Nathalie: That's the thing.
Justin: You hit that switch.
Nathalie: When you manifest something, it almost always happens at the point where you just know that it's going to happen.
Justin: It's like a switch.
Nathalie: It is. It's like a switch.
Justin: A sweet spot.
Nathalie: It's not even an excitement thing. It's not “woo-hoo!” It's just a very calm, very assured…
Brandon: It's just a knowing.
Nathalie: It's a knowing. This is going to happen. I think that is the key for anything you're trying to manifest, whether you're trying to cross the monkey bars or get the house or get the job at work or whatever it is that you want to manifest. It comes when you believe, when you know that it's going to be. So in that sense, I don't think it matters how big or how small the thing you're trying to manifest is. It's a matter of alignment. The only reason the big things are harder for us is because we make them harder. From the perspective of the universe, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter whether you're trying to cross the monkey bars or whether you're trying to get the dream house.
Nathalie: It doesn't matter. It's just your perspective and the blocks that you create for yourself that block that knowing. From that perspective, yes, it's more work, but only because we make it more work.
Brandon: For me, where it comes in is the journey to get to that knowing. Once you get there, it's like, “Oh, that was easy.” But the journey to getting there….I'm a classical pianist, also. When I'm learning a new piece on the piano, initially it's really hard. I'm really into the theory behind practicing. I don't know if you've read The Talent Code.
Christine: [at the same time] The Talent Code.
Brandon: Thank you. You don't have those connections initially to get that skill or technique. You practice it, and it's really hard at first. By the time it's performance day, it's like, “Wow, this is easy. Why was this ever hard?” I've had this experience of having a really difficult section. I'd practice it and practice it and practice it and leave it for a week. I'd come back to it and be like, “Why was this ever hard?”
Nathalie: That comes back to those subconscious programs.
Brandon: Exactly. For me, this is how I talk about it. It's the same thing with manifesting. The subconscious mind (let's say it's for money) is not used to thinking about money being easy to earn in big amounts. We practice it, and it's really hard at first. It doesn't have those connections. Once it has those connections, then it's easy. It's no problem. I think the journey to getting to that point of it being “I just know it's going to happen.” That's really where the work is for things like that.
Christine: I can attest to that, too, because ever since 2012 I've been subject to migraines. I've had them for five years now. They've actually finally started to get better, but it was a long journey for me to realize why I had the migraines and what I could do emotionally and subconsciously to help with the healing process. If I hadn't gone through that journey, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I learned so much about myself during that time that I could never have learned otherwise. It was a very painful journey, and I'm sure it didn't have to be that way, but I feel like the way I learned everything—I couldn't have learned any other way. It was a really interesting journey. It still is, really.
Nathalie: That brings to mind another of my favorite topics: this concept of suffering.
Brandon and Justin: Yes.
Nathalie: And whether it's necessary. Do we have to? Again, it's something else I've written about. [laughs] This idea that we need to suffer in order to either be worthy of our dreams or in order to learn what we need to learn. There's several quotes out there, from Hemingway to Leonard Cohen, about “There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in.” Can you be and understand these things and work with these concepts if you haven't suffered? It's an interesting question because I think many people learn a great deal through their suffering, but at the same time I think there are many more people who are just destroyed by their suffering.
Christine: I agree.
Brandon: That's true.
Nathalie: So what is the difference? What is the key that makes the difference between those who are able to learn and grow from having suffered, and those who are destroyed by it? I was just listening to you talk about this journey with your migraines, and my belief is that one of those keys is people's ability to change the way they look at it.
Christine: Exactly. That's exactly what it was, because I used to….I grew up Catholic, and in the Catholic religion there is this concept of “offer it up” to the souls in purgatory. Basically that suffering is a good thing. It destroyed me. I also have congenital glaucoma, so my vision isn't that great. I've had many eye surgeries. I went through a lot is what I'm saying. I did let it destroy me at first. People would tell me that, and it made me so jaded for healing and for wanting healing. I was like, “I don't deserve any kind of healing. I should just be suffering all the time.” I don't really see it as suffering anymore, I guess. I see it as learning. Maybe that's the key. You don't want to see your pain as suffering. Maybe seeing it as a positive experience, as growth. As a challenge to create something different.
Nathalie: This is one of those things that you can come at with all kinds of different suffering. There's physical suffering. There are people who have suffered abuse. There's loss. There's grief. There's any number of ways that people can suffer. I am very careful not to tell people that their suffering is a good thing, because I don't believe that suffering is.
Brandon: Right, exactly, but what you can get out of it…
Nathalie: One of the things that my father taught me (I lost my father several years back to cancer. It was a very long battle, and it was not a good death)…
Christine: I'm sorry.
Nathalie: One of the things that he taught me just in the way he lived his life (and he'd been through some terrible, terrible things) was in watching how he coped with all of these things, what I learned from him was that you can't always control the bad things that happen in life. When they happen, there's one or two things that are going to happen. They are either going to make you bitter, or they're going to make you stronger. That's a choice that you have to make. It is definitely a choice. I firmly believe that people are only victims, no matter what they've been through, if you believe you're a victim.
Brandon: I agree.
Nathalie: You can take the horrible, awful, terrible things that you have been through in life, and you can use them as your stepping-stone. You can use them as your springboard to build something incredible for yourself. Through the things that you have been through, you have a very, very unique perspective and a very unique way of looking at the world that other people just don't have and cannot have. With that kind of a background, you can create something really beautiful, but you have to want it. You have to believe that you're worthy of it, and you have to take the steps to move towards it. So often when we suffer, we just collapse.
Justin: The suffering, now I don't care for that, either. If you're learning something or a life lesson you have to go through, that's fine, but outside of that, to me, you don't have to do that. You can find a way out of that. There's some things you have to go through, and that's fine.
Nathalie: It just reminds me of that belief in the starving or struggling artist. That's a choice.
Brandon: Right, right, exactly.
Nathalie: Just because it's a social construct doesn't mean it has to be your reality. Sorry, Justin, I just had to jump in there because what you were saying made me think of that. [laughs]
Justin: No, that's all right. If you are suffering, it should only be from the life lesson or to gain a certain skill set. Outside of that, you're only doing it because you haven't gained the ability to not do it.
Brandon: Suffering is such a bad word.
Christine: I was just going to say that.
Justin: Yes, if you're struggling or whatever. I just don't go along with that concept. I can't.
Brandon: The difference for me is like the difference between the burn of lifting weights and stretching your muscles—tearing those muscles fibers, but they're going to regrow stronger—versus all-out pain for no point. Those are totally different concepts to me. One is “I'm working through this resistance in order to get stronger and gain something better” versus pointless suffering. Totally different concepts for me. All three of us (Natalie, I don't know if I've told you this) are visually impaired to various degrees. I'm totally blind. Christine has some vision. Justin has very little vision. All three of us have had to deal with building a life despite those challenges. There are visually impaired people out there who take it a lot worse, and it's very hard for them. There are others who take it really, really well. I think that's a great example. I would never say you have to be that way.
Christine: You can create it.
Brandon: You have to make of life what you have. You have to play with the cards you have and make the best of it. That's always been my philosophy. For me, there was never a point. Why should I be upset about it when there's nothing I can really do about it? I'm just going to do what I can with it and make the best of it. That's how I've always seen it.
Nathalie: That's sort of how my dad approached when he got diagnosed with cancer. You can sit there and bemoan your fate. “This isn't fair. How come other people never have to deal with anything and I've had to deal with so much?” You can just get overwhelmed with all of that, but what does it get you?
Nathalie: He was just like, “Okay. It is what it is.” He followed all his doctors' instructions and he did his exercise and he did his treatment, but outside of that, as far as his illness allowed him to (I mean obviously right after he had treatments and stuff he just wasn't well enough to) he was living his life. He was throwing dinner parties and sculpting little mashed potato pears with bay leaves. He was going to his art class and he was painting. He was living his life. He wasn't wasting the life that he did have by being devastated about the bad parts of it. There's a strength in that. I don't know. My father was always one of my biggest heroes. Watching him go through what he did with the grace and the dignity and the humor that he did—I think it inspired absolutely everyone around him. I mean, that wasn't what he was trying to do.
Nathalie: He didn't go out there and say, “Damn it all, I'm going to go out by inspiring everybody.”
Brandon: It's just natural. You can't try.
Nathalie: I'm just going to be me and do my thing.
Christine: That's the journey to inner healing and inner peace. You have to accept where you are. If you want to create something else, you create it. But the first key to any healing is acceptance. Acceptance and the emotional healing and inner healing.
Nathalie: You can't heal when you're fighting.
Brandon: When you're fighting it.
Christine: No, you can't. Nope.
Brandon: Same with manifestation. You can't create something different as long as you're fighting where you are now. That's always been the first key: making peace with where you are now. Then you can create something else. You have to come to terms with it. Here's where I am. I always say, “Start with where you are.” Here's where I am. I can't deny that. I can't pretend it doesn't exist, but I'm going to choose something else.
Nathalie: You have to live in your now while you're creating your next steps.
Brandon: I love having this discussion because I remember back with Abraham-Hicks when Jerry Hicks had cancer…
Nathalie: When he was sick.
Brandon: When he was sick, yes. There was a question from a lot of people: Why is he sick? Why did he die when he has all these principles to use? Well, it has to happen sometime.
Christine: Yes. [laughs]
Brandon: He's not going to be immortal.
Nathalie: But also, you can't know for sure what anybody else is dealing with. Jerry Hicks was human just like the rest of us. He had his own struggles. He had his own resistance issues. He had his own fears. We can't know…
Brandon: What he went through.
Nathalie: What he went through, what was going on in his mind. Everybody has the aspects of this that they're really good at, and other aspects that they struggle with.
Brandon: Exactly. I don't think we'll ever, ever be done because there are so many areas of life. One person might be really good at manifesting money. One person might be really good at relationships. One person might be good at health. They're totally different issues.
Nathalie: I can manifest any shower curtain I want.
Justin: Oh. Wow. I'm going to have shower curtains in my house. I need work in that area.
Nathalie: I see a shower curtain that I want. If I'm redecorating a bathroom, I see in my mind the shower curtain I want. I'm telling you, I walk into a store and it's just there.
Brandon: [laughs] That's awesome.
Nathalie: Not going to change the world or anything, but my bathroom is always decorated the way I want.
Justin: You'll have your shower curtains.
Brandon: That's awesome. We have different skill sets.
Nathalie: [laughs] Put that on my resume, I'm telling you.
Brandon: I can manifest shower curtains. [laughs]
Justin: You can. Yes, that's funny. [laughs]
Fear Can Be an Ally
Brandon: The last area I wanted to cover really quick is something that fits perfectly into what we're discussing now. In one of your podcasts, I believe, you mentioned how fear can be an ally. I wanted you to speak to that for a few minutes because I think that's fascinating. I totally agree with that. A lot of us try to escape those negative emotions and uncomfortable emotions, and you can't. You can't deny them. I wanted to see what you had to say about that.
Nathalie: Two things. First of all, there are no negative emotions. Emotions—there's a scale here. Your emotions are just there as feedback. They let you know where you are in terms of your alignment with something. The emotions we tend to think of as negative are just a signpost saying, “Hey, you're drifting out of alignment with what you want.” They're not bad in and of themselves. They're information.
Justin: Yup, yup.
Nathalie: Let's talk specifically about fear here. I think that's why you contacted me, because of my book that was based on. It was all about fear. Fear can be used as your ally when you look at it as a signpost that says, “What you want is found here.” Everybody knows that Jack Canfield quote that says, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” That is so true. There's another quote. There's a poet. His name escapes me at the moment. It's the one about our greatest fears, our deepest fears are like dragons guarding our greatest treasure.
The gift that you have that you came here to give is going to be surrounded by fear, because any time you do anything that puts you out there—any time you take your dream and share it with the world—you're opening it up to scrutiny and judgment and possible ridicule and condemnation. That is scary. It is scary to do that, but you cannot build that dream unless and until you put it out there. The things that scare us the most are usually an indication that they're going to get you closer to that dream. The reason that they scare you so much is because it pushes you out there. One of the things that terrifies most people is speaking in public.
Brandon: Yes. [laughs]
Nathalie: People fear that more than they fear death, in many cases. That's also one of the biggest things that people can do in order to get closer to their dreams. You have to be able to explain it to other people. You have to be able to bring it out there and show it to people and make people understand it. That involves getting up there and talking in front of people. This is one of the things.
I joined Toastmasters because I was absolutely terrified of speaking. Like terrified. I was verging on panic attacks. The first few speeches that I did, my heart was pounding so hard against my chest. I don't know if it's actually physically possible, but I was actually afraid my heart would bruise itself. It was slamming so hard against my ribcage, I was afraid it would damage itself. You've heard that phrase “cottonmouth.” I had never in my life had that happen to me, but my mouth would get so dry it was like the Sahara desert. It was terrifying. I'd be sitting there before a speech, and I didn't know if I was going to throw up or pass out or both. It was horrible, absolutely horrible.
But going out to Toastmasters and doing the whole public speaking thing opened up a number of doors for me. I met a wonderful, wonderful mentor. I've had a number of mentors through Toastmasters. I met somebody who actually helped me to get the book done. He has written a number of books himself. I mentioned to him I wanted to write a book. He said, “All right. Write it.” I said, “Well, okay then.” I wrote the book. He was wonderful. He read the first draft for me and ripped it apart for me, but I got that book written.
I was so embarrassed when he did this, but I was also really proud of myself. He had a copy of my book and he walked into our Toastmasters meeting. He held this book up in front of everybody and said, “Do you know how many people have told me throughout the years that they have wanted to write a book? Dozens. Hundreds of people have told me that they wanted to write a book. I have given time. I have talked to every single one of them. She's the only one who actually did it.”
Brandon: I believe it. I believe it. It's so common.
Nathalie: Again, to write that book, to put fearLESS out there was scary. You write a book, and you're terrified. What are people going to say? What if everybody hates it? What if it's not as good as I think it is? What if nobody takes me seriously as a real writer? All these things go through your head, but until you face that fear and just do it, you're never going to write the book. If you let the fear dictate to you the course of your actions, you're never going to achieve the things you want to achieve.
But if you look at it and say, “Okay, this is what scares me. All right then, then that's what I'm going to do.” That's how you can use it as an ally. You don't have to conquer all your fears. There are certain fears that are worth conquering and others that are not. I cover all that in the book. But for the most part, those things that terrify you are the things that are pointing you in your best direction.
Brandon: Worth pursuing, yes. I totally agree with you.
Christine: I love that. I never realized that. I love it.
Justin: Your fears that are around the things you really want to do or would love to do are places you should look and things you should do.
Brandon: One of my big things was I ended up dropping out of college. I had this big subconscious belief because it was always drilled into my head that you had to finish college and get a good job and go out and be paid well and all that. I knew it wasn't a match for me. But there was this horrible fear: “Oh my gosh, I'll be a failure. I'll be a failure.” But I did it. I knew I wanted to work for myself. I wanted to do something with spirituality and things like helping other people. It took me several years—it seems not that long now, but at the time…
Christine: It was.
Brandon: At the time, I had one after another after another failed pursuit and failed business until Co-Creation Coaching. You just have to keep going and keep going.
Nathalie: I totally understand that. That's another thing I talk about in the book, too. There's four main fears that derail people's dreams. I cover those in the book. Fear of failure is one of the biggest. What I talk about in the book is changing the way we look at failure. So many times, people look at failure and say, “I failed. That's it. I'm useless now. I'm a failure.” But no! You have to start thinking of failure as a process, as stepping-stones to the greater goal.
Justin: Yes. I agree.
Nathalie: You look at any major success out there. They only got to that success after a string of failures.
Brandon: Many, many failures.
Nathalie: By building on the failures they created their eventual success. There's a kids' book out there by Ashley Spires (I hope I'm pronouncing that name well). She wrote this children's book called The Most Magnificent Thing. I bought it for my kids. I actually did a podcast or a video that referenced this book. She had an illustration in here at one point. It was about this little girl who wanted to create the most magnificent thing. She went through all these different things. She had her little sidekick dog with her, so it was really super cute. [laughs]
Every time she created something, it crashed or it didn't work. Over and over again she would try and she would fail. She finally just go so upset she just walked away from it all. There was this shot of this sidewalk and all these things that she tried and failed lined up along the sidewalk. She went off for a walk and then she came back with her dog.
As she's walking down the sidewalk looking at all her failures, she's realizing, “Oh, wait, that piece would work with that piece. And that could go with that piece.” She was realizing how all her failures had elements to them that she could adapt. She created something from all those bits of failures. She created something new. It wasn't at all the way she originally imagined it would be, but it turned out to be exactly the thing she wanted. It turned out to be her most magnificent thing after this string of failures. I love that story. I think every child should read that story. I bought it because my son was really getting frustrated with himself at one point. It's just a fabulous, fabulous book. The Most Magnificent Thing.
Brandon: I mentioned NLP earlier. In NLP, they have a saying that is one of the central presuppositions of NLP. One of their sayings is, “There's no such thing as failure, only feedback.” I love that.
Nathalie: Yes. Beautiful.
Brandon: It's just feedback for your next attempt and then your next attempt….You keep going until you succeed. That's the only way to succeed. You keep trying and trying and trying.
Nathalie: You only fail if you give up.
Brandon: Exactly. The first time, you just don't have the knowledge. Sometimes, yes. There are some flukes, and people get it right away.
Nathalie: Once in a while, but there's just….The overnight success is a myth.
Brandon: Right. Exactly.
Justin: For me, it wasn't that I failed. It just didn't work out that time. It just didn't work out. You just find your path. You'll get there. To me, there's no such thing as failure. Sometimes at work sometimes, you have to tell a client it's okay to fail, because they haven't been allowed to actually mess up.
Justin: That's a little different. But that's the only time I do that. Other than that—because to me, real folks (I like to say “champions”) never failed. They just kept figuring out a different way. It didn't work 17 times. That's just 17 different ways not to do it. That's educational. That's all that is.
Brandon: We have this romantic ideal like you said: the overnight success.
Justin: Sometimes that happens.
Brandon: The star, the celebrity.
Nathalie: It hardly ever happens.
Justin: Every now and again. But usually, you've had some false starts. The referee blows the whistle. Five yard penalty. That's just how I think of it. You get jealous of the guy who in his senior year of high school walked onto the wrestling mat and won the state championship. Yes, that does happen. [laughs] But don't worry about that. There are people who can be successful in a certain situation right off, but it's rare. Usually you end up having to work your way to it, even if you've got the talent or gift for it. You have to refine it. That's just how it works.
Nathalie: That doesn't mean that it has to be hard, though.
Justin: No, it doesn't have to be hard.
Nathalie: That's the other thing that people get caught up in. This goes back to that concept of suffering. “It has to be hard, or it's not going to happen.” [laughs]
Justin: No, that's not true. It may be hard, but it doesn't have to be.
Justin: It just takes consistent work. You can make it happen. It can happen for you.
Nathalie: That comes back to that concept of failure being a process or success being a process that includes failures. They're stepping-stones.
Brandon: One of the big concepts I include in what I say to people is persistence. When you're manifesting something or you're trying to achieve a goal, persistence. You hold that vision until it's done. You get there. You're persistent. It might not work out right away. You just keep holding it and keep holding it and keep holding it. You'll get there. You have to. Well, I really appreciate your spending this considerable amount of time with us today. [laughs] It was a great discussion. It just kept going.
Nathalie: It's been awesome. It's been fun.
Christine: This is amazing.
Justin: Great podcast. This is incredible.
Brandon: Time with us. It was a great discussion. I really appreciate it.
Nathalie: I'm not sure there's anything we haven't covered. [laughs]
Christine: It's awesome, though. I love it.
Justin: I'm going to have to look at your…
Brandon: We probably could have gone for another hour. You have to stop at some point.
Justin: I'm going to have to look at your podcast. I'm going to have to read your webpage and articles. I read one.
Brandon: They're really good.
Justin: Read your books and look at some of your stuff, your podcasts.
Brandon: Everyone who's listening, you should go check out Nathalie Thompson's website at vibeshifting.com
Brandon: It's a really good site.
Justin: Yes. I really encourage you to do that. That is a great site.
Nathalie: Thank you so much.
Brandon: Yes, we really appreciate it. Once again, for people who are listening, the show notes, place to leave comments, the transcript, anything like that is at cocreationcoaching.org/create014.
If you want to rate or review or subscribe to us on iTunes, you can head over to cocreationcoaching.org/createitunes and it will redirect you to our iTunes page. We appreciate everyone listening today, and a big thank you to Nathalie for joining us. We'll be back here with another episode of Co-Create Your Life in two weeks. Once again, I am Brandon Olivares.
Christine: And I'm Christine Olivares.
Justin: And I'm Justin Williams.
Brandon: Anything is possible!
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