Haley Niichel is a 500-hour certified yoga teacher and jyotishi in training. She has been a practitioner of yoga since 2014. Over the course of 6 months in 2018, Haley began a consistent meditation practice, quit drinking and drugging, left her 6-figure corporate gig and traveled to India for a life-changing training.
Haley's calling is to guide curious spirit seekers into a deeper connection with themselves - elevating and inspiring them to make positive changes in their life.
We cover so much in this value packed episode:
Welcome to the action hour. My name is Jesse Simpson and I believe there's never been a better time in the history of the world to be alive. I'm on a mission to bring you the insights, ideas and inspiration. You need to uncover your greatness and take action on your dreams. If you want to start a business, write a book, take a big trip, or level up to a higher state of living in the world. mentally, physically, spiritually, or financially. The stories found in the show will provide the action steps and energy you need to succeed. No matter what you are going through where you've been you can at any time, break that cycle and transform your life. This show is going to show you how to do it. If you've got the itch to act, now is the time allow the inspiring stories within this show to serve as your guide. This is the action hour, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Welcome back, everyone to the action hour. I've got an incredible guest here with me today. Haley Niichel. Haley, give us an introduction about who you are and what you do. Thanks, Jesse for having me. My name is Haley Niichel. I am a meditation and Kriya teacher and a Jyotish. I've been studying in India the last few years I am super hardcore, passionate about meditation, self growth, and really working with people to help them see their truest potential. That's kind of that's kind of me. Amazing. You said two words in there that are foreign to me. Can you translate those ones? and pronounce them? Good? Yeah. So okay, so probably Kriya and Jyotish? Yes. Okay. So I'm a yoga meditation teacher, I'd taken five, I'm a 500 hour certified so, but that style of yoga that I learned not even really a style is really rooted in eastern tradition and culture. So Kriya is a tantric technique. So there's a lot of confusion in the West about Tantra, there's a lot of people generally associated with sex. And that's actually not the case at all. Tantra in Sanskrit literally means energy expansion. So it's working with that subtle energy, like, we know it's there, like, it's how we move, right? We have a body, we have a breath, but that energy prana is what keeps us you know, alive and full of vitality. So Kriya is the practice of Kriya, it actually means evolutionary action. So it's meant to take you from a state of karma, which is a state of being stuck. So most people tend to think I'm going to clear a lot of intellect here, a lot of people think karma is, if I do this, then this will happen. Right? Like, if I'm a bad person, then bad things will happen to me, if I'm a good person, good things will happen to me. That's not karma at all, actually. So humans are innately designed and we desire to continually grow, we don't want to feel stuck, we don't want to be bound or have limits. And so karma is just an action that keeps us bound. It's like a repetitive action, like something like, you can look at it when people date the same type of person over and over again, right. or, for me, karma showed up for me, and like binge drinking, I knew I didn't want to do it, but I was doing it all the time. And it was keeping me very stuck, very, very held back from reaching my full potential. So we have karma, action that keeps us stuck. Kriya, is what takes us out of that. So it's an evolutionary action that draws us into a dharmic lifestyle, which is like, spontaneous, right action it's doing without thinking. But it's like an action from the highest self. So it's like flow state, right? Like, where you lose track of time, and you're just in it, and things feel good, it feels effortless. And that's really where we want to be as humans, we want to feel like our lives are effortless, like, we don't want to feel overwhelmed. So Kriya is the action that takes us there. So it can be a lot of different things like Kriya could be, you know, I quit drinking and drinking alcohol in 2018. That was a Kriya because it really radically shifted something within me. And it sent me on more of a trajectory versus like the stagnancy that I had been experiencing my life. So Kriya as a practice, right, it's a yogic technique, and it is so freaking cool. It is a combination of all the yogic techniques. So it's combination of breath work, mantra repetition. It's Asana, so it's movement with a body and it's like a repetitive thing. We do the same thing for an extended period of time, and it engages like your whole being and engages the physical body and the mental body and the emotional body. And it allows you to experience it allows you to have a really deep inner experience, you know, it's hard to explain, it's just really experienced. And what the Kriya does, is it's incredibly cleansing and clearing and detoxifying. So it really works at clearing out negative thought patterns. It brings an awareness to shift that isn't serving you anymore, it just kind of helps increase your awareness. So a lot of people don't know that what even what this is, you know, when I first brought it to, you know, I'm in Des Moines, Iowa, and nobody knew what it was they were coming to my class expecting like a yoga flow, just like a vinyasa class. And we're doing most of the class seated, hanging our arms in the air for you know, three to five minutes at a time, like pumping our navel breathing really quickly. So it's a really, really powerful technique. I it's, I'm passionate about teaching Kriya. So and then Jyotish. So this is kind of a new thing I just got done. Let's stop here. Let's go to that one. Next. Okay, I feel your passion, I think there's a lot there. And I, I want to unpack it a little bit. And what I got is this sort of this technique, this practice is what helps you it brings out self awareness in you. So you can see where you know, you're dating the same type of person, or you're drinking too much like brings these things up that are unconscious to you. And then through that awareness, or through the practice, or where does the behavior change come in where you stopped drinking because of it. Right? So the behavior change. Because when we're trying to grow awareness is the first step. So I kind of want to backpedal a little bit, because that's kind of what set me on a major trajectory was meditation. First guy had been a longtime Yogi, I've been practicing yoga since 2014. But I was still drinking, I was still drug in, I was still like casual sex, dating toxic people. But yoga got me really in touch with my body. The shift happened when I finally started meditating, when I sat down, and I just literally, when I first started, it was just thinking with my eyes closed, it wasn't really meditation, but attempting to experience some sort of inner silence. So what happens in those moments of silence is that you start to see the shadows, and you start to become aware of what's really not serving you. And it's a really organic process. It doesn't take the conscious mind, it doesn't take a whole lot of analyzation. It's just you become aware of it, and you start to question it, you become more curious about it, you develop a curiosity for a different way of being. So for me, you know, within about, I would say, I started meditating in June of 2018. And by December, I had quit drinking, it only took six months. And maybe you know, somebody could look at me from the outside and say, well, obviously you're you know, you're binge drinking every time every weekend, you know, you're going out and drinking multiple drinks, and you're drinking to get drunk, isn't it obvious that you should change? That's that's the issue, right? We were aware of the problem. But we don't know how to change that. So the Kriya and the meditation also empower you. So they give you a newfound sense of vitality, clarity, and the ability to be decisive and your actions. It promotes discipline, right? Like the staying power, the longer that we can stay with something, the more we deserve it staying power equals deserving power. So it's just, it's kind of hard to explain. Because it's a really strong internal shift where the awareness comes, you become curious, you start asking more questions, and you start experimenting with yourself, what is not working for me right now? So that's kind of how I came to that conclusion. No, I love that. And I be curious to because I felt yoga and the effects of it. And I see the value and how it cultivates a sense of self awareness. And then you get to make a decision in that moment while you do forward. But I think I'd be curious to know your perspective Haley on this, because I think a lot of people hear the idea of meditation, and then they sit down, and then they have racing thoughts, or they can't quiet their mind or whatever they think they're supposed to do. And so they give up and they say, I'm not good at it or whatever. What would you say to those people? Or what's been your experience with that sort of thing? Yeah, so this is super common. And the thing I hear the most is like, I can't meditate My mind is too busy. I can't shut my mind off. And it takes a fair amount of intellect correction. And that's why you know, yoga teachers exist we should know these things we should we should know how to correct people's intellect when it comes to these techniques. So every nobody's special when it comes to like racing minds. I think it's something that we like to think like, it's just our pain. No one's experiencing these racing thoughts. The mind is everybody, every human in existence, right now has a mind. And the mind is designed to go in the direction of more. So it, it expands upon thoughts. It's just the nature of it. It's not something inherently bad. It's just doing what it's supposed to do. The issue is that where we are collectively in, in the collective unprocessed trauma, heavy conditioning and beliefs on how we should be. We, it, we have it, we have challenges breaking through that, I guess, is what I'm trying to say. So the thought the thoughts that we're primarily having are negative in nature, they're self sabotaging. They're toxic, they're harmful. So oh, my God, I just lost my train of thought I just went Zoo like. So the mind designed to go in the direction of more. So when you start meditating, it's part of the bag, it's part of the deal. Like it is challenging at first. And it's why so many people know they should be doing it, and they just don't stick with it, because they think they're doing it wrong. Another huge thing is that people aren't actually no one's teaching us this should really be taught in schools, we should be taught from a young age, it should be ingrained into our routine just as much as brushing your teeth. Because it's refining the mind. It's shaping how you experience your life. It's the root, it's the foundation of our life, our experience. So what I tell people and it sounds kind of harsh sometime and I'm like, I'm sorry, but you're not special. When it comes to that everybody's mind goes in the direction of more, everybody's mind thinks a lot of thoughts. And we get stuck in that hamster wheel of thought. Right? So teaching people actual techniques where you use that nature of the mind to think and generate thought, and you use it in a way that refines itself. So we're using the nature of the mind to go in the direction of more. I teach Vedic meditation. So it's mantra based and Kriya, Kriya mantra based, and you give the mind a toy, like a focal point. And so these Sanskrit mantras are cobija sounds, they're very powerful sounds that have a lot of energy behind them. And so you silently repeat this mantra over and over again. And the mind starts to expand upon that one thing, right? And everything else fades away. And you start to experience this timelessness this transcendence, now I make it seem like maybe you can't expect your whole meditation to be like that, you know, all five minutes, 10, 15, 20, 30, whatever. It's glimpses, right? You see very brief glimpses, and you start imprinting that memory on the brain over and over again. And it's neuroplasticity. It works at creating new pathways. It works at cleansing, toxic thought, belief. So yeah, I mean, I can go on and on. So just interject with yeah, just sounds like you're training your mind to, you know, be the servant, not the master, you're you're training it to focus on the mind. And you you got lost a little bit, maybe. And that's normal, because that's what the mind does. But then just bring it back back to the mantra, and you're just training focus point. Yep. Okay, amazing. We need to you need that focus you need that focus point in order to go deeper to, to have those those thoughts and patterns that maybe even aren't so obvious, because when you start, when people start realizing they get so uncomfortable, that they know something has to change, it can be very obvious on what things need to go. But in order to continue that healing process to continue to peel back the layers, eventually, you're going to need a practice where you can make the subconscious, conscious. Where you can bring the stuff that's hidden into the light. So you can have awareness on those things, though, and that's what it does. That focal point it. Like we use the term it pierces the veil of perception, like you start to dig deeper and get in there. So yeah. Amazing. Okay, so who is meditation good for? Oh, my God. Literally, every single human alive on this planet right now. And the reason is, is that there's always work to be done. It's part of our purpose of being here is to explore and find a deeper connection with ourselves. And that call is there for everyone. It's louder for some than others. And if you're not hearing the call at all, you're probably just really fucking distracted. You've probably filled your life up with so many material things, and so much noise that the voice can't be heard, but it's there and it's about training your awareness. The meditations for everyone. I meditate. I've been a regular meditator for three years. My 12 year old meditates every client I work with I teach a very basic form of meditation. Now, it's just included with every meeting. Because it's so foundational, it shapes everything, everything. So everyone needs to meditate. And what I hear you saying is they just need to sit there ass down, there's no not doing it wrong, there's no, there's no doing wrong other than not doing, you just need to sit down, find something to focus on. And maybe there's different meditation practices will resonate with people. So like, find a practice that works for you and just sit there and train. Yeah, there's, I mean, there's, there's hundreds and 1000s of styles of meditation. However, the most impactful form is going to be the one that goes deeper, that you know, helps you continually evolve. Because when you've got the point is to connect with yourself, because it's not about getting lost in the meditation, that it's just the end, it's just improper verbiage to explain what's really going on is you're experiencing an incredibly deep connection with yourself, where your awareness is totally on you. It's not about anything outside of you. So these guidance, so like insight timer is a really popular app. So we have like the calm app, headspace app. Really great doorway. And a good entry into meditation is to have someone lead you through a meditation, right to help you visualize, have like a breath focus meditation, but that is not going to help you pierce that veil, like eventually, you're going to come to like, a, like a plateau where you're just not really growing anymore. Because there is stuff that wants to be seen and felt and heard. And you have to pierce that veil. So that's how I found it. You know, I started with insight timer, I did the guided meditations. And then it's like, you know, you follow the breadcrumbs on a spiritual journey. A friend of mine, a friend of my daughters actually was like, you know, you really need silent meditation, you got to get quiet, because when you're listening to someone else, you're still you know, you're focused on something outside yourself. And meditation is supposed to be a deep connection with you. So you can't pierce the veil. You can't get very still in void when you when you're when your mind when your consciousness is waiting for someone to tell you what to do. So So start off with one of those apps inside timer. I actually started meditating with simple habit and others calm was the other one you mentioned. headspace headspace. Yeah, so find one of those, and then use it as a starting point, eventually moving on to something different, eventually moving off the guided meditations so you can sit there with yourself and really pierce the veil. Yeah, there has to be a desire to, um, so you can't teach someone meditation that doesn't want to learn. You can't teach someone who is not open to receive the gift of meditation. So my role as you know, meditation teacher, as a coach and a spiritual life coach as well, is really not to tell people what they need, it's to show the value of what it's done for me, you know what I mean? I use myself as an example and my journey, you know, we kind of grazed over that. And I'd love to share a little bit more actually, Jesse and backtrack. Please do. I am. So I had a very, pretty easy childhood. I you know, my parents are still together. I lived in a small town, a conservative town. I was adopted though I was given up for adoption as a baby. And so my entire upbringing, I always felt disconnected. I felt different. I felt misunderstood a lot. And I was a total people pleaser. I just I didn't want anyone to be upset with me. I was a chronic overachiever. I got good grades. I was good at sports. But I never really enjoyed it. I was more of a creative being at heart. But it just wasn't encouraged. And I wanted people to be happy with me. So I did what they told me to do. And things started to kind of spin out of control when I got to college, because you start to get exhausted from doing that you start to feel the weight of expectations and my anxiety spun out of control. I struggled with depression. And so I numbed. I had developed a huge cocaine or cocaine habit in college while I was bartending. I was a binge drinker, I would drink I'm not saying a few drinks, I would have 10 to 12 vodka drinks and drink to the point of blacking out. And honestly, that went on for a really long time, sort of this chronic state of pain and suffering and discontent. I had my daughter in 2008 and that started to shift things for me a little bit because I didn't, I was just like, what example am I setting for her? Like, who am I? You know, I was working a corporate gig. I was making good money. I had all the things that you know, the society tells us will make us happy and I was fucking miserable. I just, I would find an issue with everything we'd go on and be I went to Vegas, went to Jamaica. With an ex partner of mine, and we complain about shit, you know, on vacation, it was just like I was constantly trying to find something wrong with the situation. So I started practicing yoga in 2014, things came to a head in 2018, I hired a life coach, it's a huge investment and she was the one who encouraged me to start meditating. So within six months, I had quit drinking, and I decided I wanted to go to India, I loved yoga, and I wanted to explore it. And I wanted to get certified to teach even though I it wasn't really my intention to teach, I just wanted to go there for more of like the experience. And so I went and my head got blown off with Kriya, with the Vedic meditation with Vedic theory and philosophy. The Vedas are basically just the knowledge itself. It's just a theory, philosophy, guidance, support on how to deeply connect with yourself. And I mean, things have just been unfolding ever since. You know, I just continue to listen to the voice in my head, that intuition, highest self, and I've just been kind of naturally supported. Since I did a 200 hour I did a 300 hour training. And then I just wrapped up this Jyotish training, Vedic Astrology. So it's a really beautiful, kind of like arc of suffering, suffering, and then starting to just actively start to take control of my life and my thoughts and my habits, my patterns, all that shit. That's quite the journey. I'd be curious to know if you could speak into what spoke to you about the about going to India, what it was, like leading up to it, maybe what your experience was like, during it. And then the after, like, what's, how is life different now that you've experienced that? Yeah. So India is a trap. It's, it's absolutely incredible. And, you know, I, I can't I don't really know why India was speaking to me. I think that, you know, if I sink into my gut and listen to my intuition, I've done it before in other lifetimes, you know what I mean? It was sort of like, maybe calling me home a little bit, like knowing that that's where I was going to get the tools to really grow. So I mean, I was terrified a little bit, you know, I had done a lot of traveling, leading up my ex partner and I traveled a lot. So it kind of started to get me more uncomfortable with unfamiliar situations. Just being okay, not knowing and adventuring a little bit. So, you know, I went over there, I went to Rishikesh, I spent a month at an ashram. And I did a 200 hour training there. And it, it was really beautiful. It was it's like a retreat, you know what I mean? You really pull back from society. It was in the mountains is beautiful by a river that fed into the Ganges. And you're just able to really integrate, you're getting all of this knowledge, like ancient knowledge passed down through 1000s of years from the source, you know what I mean? Like, yoga is an Eastern Eastern tradition. It originated right there at Rishikesh. The rishis and the seers and the meditators in the mountains and knowing that I was getting such pure and undiluted teachings, really, it really opened up a level of trust in me, and I acknowledge that like, wow, I meant to be here. I meant to be doing this. So it was incredible. Coming back was also a trip, I gotta say, you know, because things just move differently in India, like, there's a lot going on, it can be a little overwhelming, because it's very populated. And, you know, it was my first experience getting off a plane. And I was I was the only white person, you know what I mean, there it was, it was surrounded by Indian people. And it was a really new experience for my brain, for my psyche, but really empowering at the same time, because I'm just like, look at me, I'm fucking traveling to India by myself. I don't know anybody. I'm going to a place I don't know. I don't know anybody there. And, but you end up you know, at an ashram, you're just meeting other like minded people who are on the same kind of path. But coming back, holy shit, you fly into O'Hare, in India, things just like they're easy. They kind of flow. I mean, it's like an organized chaos, kind of like, there's a lot going on, but it's very intentional. And then when you get off the plane and you step into O'Hare, you know, Chicago, their report is just you can feel the energy you can feel the tension in the West here, you can feel this rushed nature so took a lot of like integrating grounding and kind of cutting myself off from society for wireless. I ease back into it. So yeah, it's like reverse culture shock once you land back at O'Hare. Oh, my gosh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, you know, you've traveled into more like culturally like really rooted in culture. It's just a different vibe than it is here in the States. Yeah, amazing. Okay. So I like to know a bit more about that second word. You're sorry, Jyotish? That one? Yeah. Jyotish. Okay, so, oh god Jyotish. So Jyotish is it's, it's called Vedic Astrology or Eastern astrology. It's the original. It's been around for 1000s of years. It's the original study of the planets and how they affect us. Jyotish translated in Sanskrit really means like the eye of the VEDA. And remember the Vedas are all of the knowledge of self, how to get to know yourself better. understanding our purpose, because that's the existential, you know, dilemma is like, why am I here? What is this all for? What am I supposed to be doing? What's my purpose? The answer is deep in Vedic theory. So Jyotish is the study of that it's really digging in deep, it's, you know, it's similar into astrology is like, you know, we need your time of birth, date, time location, and we create a natal chart of where the planets were at the time of your birth, what was your rising sign your moon sign, and it's just a very, very deep exploration of your psyche, and the challenges and the lessons and your strengths that are for you in this life, like, it's now we don't want to dive too much into the past, or get too far into predicting anything. Because we want to be able to understand now, because only when you understand now when you understand other things. So these readings are the science is incredible. It's incredibly accurate, very consistent, we're talking like specific dates, we can nail down when trauma may have happened, or a super challenging event, or when a good time for you to go on a retreat or a good time to spend more time in words good time to write, and realizing that we all have such different strengths, right? Like and that we're all needed in this society to keep it functioning. So it's really the practice of bringing an awareness to people on what their true nature is, you know, like, Oh, you you actually are really creative being or, or you're actually really meant to lead. You're deeply spiritual. So everything's got a high and low expression, right? Like all the planets, all the placements. So it's all dependent on consciousness state. And so I love working with people on this one on one modality because one conversation can change your life, you know, that like one interaction, sometimes it just takes someone pointing out that your potential is incredible. And here's where it lies. You know what I'm you go in that direction. So, Jyotish, I'm just obsessed with it right now. So, so then can you speak into? We talked about how to find your purpose, and you can use astrology to find that, is it that you can just know if you knew my, my chart? You can know my whole life path? In my aim my purpose, let's say? Or is it that that can help guide me, but I still need to find the answer some other way. Yeah, it's guidance, right? Like it's becoming awareness is the first original like remedy for anything for any change is bringing to light, you know, getting that window into where your potential might lie. And so I, you know, I've probably done about 20 charts so far, you know, between the training and then the charts that I've been doing, and not everybody is like leaning into the highest expression, someone might be resisting it. Because like, say, for example, someone has very strong mercury in their chart, right? Maybe it's exalted. super strong mercury. So mercury represents intellect, it represents the mind, communication, writing, spreading knowledge, it's the messenger of the solar system. So someone may have felt, you know, like calls to write, but like, suppressed it or resisted it. And so this allows me to kind of say, like, you're being energetically supported, this is written for, you know, for this lifetime for you for as this to be a strength for, like, what can we do to help strengthen that and bring that out more, because, really, it's kind of like the keys of where your happiness and contentment and ease is going to lie, there's going to be challenge, obviously, maybe a little bit of pain along the way. But that's all part of it. Because if we didn't have the pain, then there would be no push towards evolution. That's what the challenges are in our life is to keep us evolving. Keep going, keep going. So yeah, really beautiful science. Amazing. So what's the process then for me to find my purpose is to set up a call with you and then like, how does it work? Yeah, so I work with people in a number of different ways. Jyotish just kind of a new thing. I just finished the training last month, or this month, actually beginning of this month. So but Jyotish specifically reading so you to book a session you have to provide, you know your exact time, date location of your birth, if you don't know your time exactly, I can kind of determine that based on working with the chart because you can physically see, you can usually see specific things and people that will confirm that this is the right time or this is not the right time. So when we sit down and do a chart reading, it's just a story of your life. And maybe some challenges you may have faced, it helps you have a greater understanding for maybe some trauma that you went through. And it helps just, again, highlight where your strengths are, are you a leader? Are you a creative, and these are just general terms, right? It's endless and possibilities, but really bringing to light where where you might be lit up naturally, because the planets, the cosmos are supporting you. Like we're deeply connected with them, you can't deny you feel different on a full moon, right? The moon controls the ocean, the ocean, and the waves and this rhythmic movement, like it all impacts us specifically, there was even the way that the planets were aligned last year when COVID started was just unreal, it we knew something was going to happen, something big was going to happen collectively, because they were all hunched up on, you know, one little area. So yeah, I can, I can help you find your purpose. I mean, I would never claim to be like some guru are like, have all the answers. I'm just a person that can illuminate some things for you, and help provide guidance along the way. Because really, that's what I think we're all here to do, you're here to grow. And then something will resonate with you along your growth, your growth path that will land in you and you'll want to share and then you share with someone else. And then they find what they like, and they share. And it just becomes this collective healing. We're all here to serve each other. So Well, that was one thing that came up for me when you were when you were talking, you're describing that when you said resonated, it seems like you have this sort of map, this astrological map. And then as you're sitting there talking to me, you're gonna describe what it means for me. And then once something like hits me, I'm like, Yes, that's it, I'm meant to write or lead or whatever it is, it's then up to me to take action and make that you know, bring that to the to the real world. But it almost be like validation for something I know, inside of myself, that I'm suppressing or holding back, or I'm not showing up in some way. And I'm like, No, that's what I need to do. And it gives that confirmation is that what kind of comes out of Yes, exactly Jesse and perfectly well put there. It really allows you to be seen, you know what I mean? Like, because the chart readings are different for everybody. Because it's a very sacred practice, I meditate before we tune in with the breath. And then it just kind of flows just like this conversation is it. It's like what wants to be heard and what's relevant is going to come out. And some people, just even the act of being really seen, like just being seen and heard is incredibly healing. But of course, like action has to be taken at some point like effort is required to get to the state of effortlessness. So that's why with Jyotish, which is quite a bit different from Western astrology, where we can prescribe specific techniques that I talked about Kriya, breathwork, different meditation practices, different, even like service practices, like say, you want to strengthen the jupiterian energy in your chart, you know, Jupiter is really expansive. He's the giant jovial teacher, right, but he also represents the elderly. So to strengthen some jupiterian energy, you know, volunteering with the elderly, or helping your grandpa and grandma out, or just even giving them a call can help sort of strengthen and refine that energy. So there's lots of different ways we can work with the planets to help you kind of unpack your strengths and encourage more growth in those areas. That that's so cool. There's different like tools almost prescribed in a way to help you kind of actualize that and move forward. So I would like to go back into your story, but Haley, yeah, cuz you quit your job. And I'm curious, we're in that were in there that was and like, what led to that was that like, and, yeah, so okay, so I'm a college dropout. Full disclosure, I did not graduate from college. I went to University of Iowa and just like pretty much drank and dragged myself into dropout status. I moved to Des Moines and I did what society told me to do. I got a job at Wells Fargo. And I sat at a desk, and I started at $10 an hour, but I knew I was really bright. I'm, I have strong intellect. I actually have exalted mercury in my chart, you know, like, I'm a quick learner. So I really worked my way up and worked my way into just under a six figure gig just to under right and if you meditate like I always knew it wasn't me though I knew it didn't fit me there. I it was like pins and needles like just torture everyday going in and sitting there for eight hours and you know, it stroke the under like the I was an underwriter. So like this analytical part of my brain, which is quite strong because of the mercury. I liked that, but I didn't really like look at working for the man, it didn't make me feel fulfilled. I didn't really enjoy the people I was working with, you know, it was just a lot of time to be spending doing something you fucking hate. So, with the meditation, I just, you know, I wanted to go to India that decided I decided that first. And when I started to think about logistically, I was like, why am I playing small, like, I know, I don't want to be doing this, like, but there was a lot of fear that came up, you know, I'm a single mother, you know, her dad's around, but I'm primarily responsible, and I was the breadwinner, I brought the income in. And so there was a lot of fear and conditioning around what I had to do as a single parent. So through the meditation, you know, I just kind of realized that like, okay, I just sink in and trust that, if I follow my heart, if I really lean into using my intuition, I'll be supported. And I just said, fuck it, and I quit. I quit. And then, a couple of weeks later, I went, I went to India. So ever since then, it's just kind of abundance has come when I've needed it. I've been supported. And it's all because I just have faith that this is what I meant to be doing. And even when I did the Jyotish training and kind of dove into my own chart, got to know myself. I realized that like, yes, this is the right path. Just keep going, keep going. There may be challenges. I don't have as much income as I used to have. But my consumptions gone down so low, you know what I mean? Like, it just, it's just a different a different way of living. So. amazing. I remember that feeling quitting the job and saying fucking heading off to a different country. So I can go along with that with you on that. Yeah, I know. I know. You do. So tell me I'm not I will say though, I will say though, there was a lot of emotion when I walked out. Like I put in my two weeks, you know, I finished those two weeks. And when I walked out, I guess like, I expected to be like, "fuck, yeah!" like, you know, like, when you're a kid, and it's the last day of school and you"'re like, you know, see you later. I'm so excited. And I was terrified. I cried on the way out. I was like, Oh my god, what did I just do? Did I just make a huge mistake? And I had to sit with that pain. You know, it was a Friday. I was really upset that night. I was having a hard day on Saturday. And then I shit you not I when I quit drinking, I replaced my drinking with crystal buying like gemstones and crystals. So that's kind of how I would spend my weekends was watching one of my favorite dealers online do live crystal shows. So that night, I got on to the live call and I won a is about four or five pounds a crystal quartz tower. It's beautiful. It's huge. And I won that. Like I've never I don't win any I'm not a person who wins a lot are super lucky in that regard. But I won that crystal tower. And I took that as sort of like the universe saying, like, chill out, like, we got you. You're on the right path. Like, just keep going. So yeah, I just want to share that because it's such a funny story. There's the timing of it. Yeah, that's super interesting. Okay, that's, that's cool. It is like no validation. Just Just when you're I feel like just when you're, you're starting to second guess in doubt, even though this just happened for you. You know, you get assigned, just asking you get an answer, but you got to mess with it has to the world has to mess with you a little bit to make you really feel that and test you. Yeah, I mean, growth lies on the other side of discomfort of fear. Like it's, it's not easy. If it was easy, this world would be a completely different place. It's about it's about freedom. It's not about it being easy, it's about being free. And being free of the limitations and the conditioning, your other people's expectations of you. It's not any, you know, this, it's not easy to continue to grow. But the feeling of being free and like doing what you want to do, and being supported and doing what you want to do. You can't put a price on that. You know what I mean? It's just, it's, it's the ultimate goal. So amazing. Okay, so I want to talk now, one thing you are really good at is being super authentic and open and vulnerable, sharing things on social media and imagine in your other practice practices. I want to dive into that a little bit. You know, what is it people have a lot of resistance to sharing things on social media or being open, authentic, you know, our retreat last month, just like you just touched on one of the guys said, for the first we had our integration circle, we were all talking and just sharing things openly. And he said for the first time in his life, like 28, 29 years old, for the first time in his life, he feels he's been, he was comfortable enough to be vulnerable, and share. And it just seemed like it was so rewarding for him and he just had like you he could relax. Can you speak into your process that through sharing things, or how someone else might be able to look at what they're struggling with? And how beneficial it could be for them to share it? Yeah, so it's because we all have this innate desire to be seen and heard, right? So we have a fear that if we express our true selves, that we won't be accepted, or that maybe love will get taken away. So vulnerability is quite challenging for people. But I have really started to look at that as a superpower and as a way to unite people and bring people together. Not Not everyone on this earth is meant to be sharing all of their, you know, deepest, darkest secrets, you know what I mean? Like, it, it's, it takes a delicate balance, but what I have found is that the more vulnerable I can be, the more vulnerable others can be. It's like we inspire each other, to, because you can be like, for my sexuality, for example, it took such a long time for me to feel comfortable with my bisexuality. But when I started to be more open around the people that I loved, and I felt comfortable with, and then when I finally like, came out recently, publicly, you know what I mean, on social media, people are like messaging me and saying, like, I feel seen, you know, what I mean, like, by you sharing your story, it validates my experience. And so the sharing and it's, it's, it's the superpower vulnerability is your superpower, because it will help draw out people that need inspiration, or that maybe you need inspiration from it connects and unites us on such a deep level. But there's no you know, there's, there's a process to that, you know, sharing little bits at a time until you feel more comfortable, like, you know, the person did at your retreat. So, creating a container where it's safe to share, you know, like, my students and clients that come to me feel comfortable sharing with me, and really going deep, because I do that, right. So I do that I, I opened myself up, and that allows others to open up and we all kind of go deep together. So really synchrony, yes. Okay, synchrony aside. So you've built that relationship with your clients. But what about people in general, like the process is almost like find a safe container? Someone you can share with, whether it's a group of people or just one and then share a little bit at a time you kind of build that trust a little, a little bit on time and overwhelmed? Or like, what's the process you would take someone through if they're struggling with this right now? Yeah, I mean, community is really important on the spiritual path. So unlike, while our paths are all quite different, there are very common trends that we see as people start to grow, and start to evolve into more of their highest self. And so there's a level of detachment that starts to happen from the people that you are used to surrounding yourself with, you know what I mean? Like, if you don't feel comfortable sharing things about yourself with your loved ones, or your partner, you really need to find people that you do feel comfortable. So this could look like a therapist, it could look like a counselor, it could look like a coach, it could look like women's or men's circles, community circles. There's also a part of, you know, the need to kind of surpass and transcend the fear, like maybe you just show up and you don't share the first time, right, maybe you just start showing up and being in the environment and feeling more safe to be yourself, because that's really, what we need in order to, in order to share anything is we need to feel safe, if it doesn't feel safe for us to share. Or if we think that love's gonna get taken away, or we're going to be abandoned by sharing, then we're not going to do it. So the key is, is to really opening yourself up to different ways of what community can look like, because it's really important. You'll drop friends, maybe family members, jobs, houses, cars, like things are going to shift for you as you move into your highest self. So having that support in the form of community or people that can hold space is important. You talked before about how you were this sort of recovering people pleaser, but you've made the transition to being open and vulnerable, and not necessarily as worried about other people's pleasing feelings and all these sort of things. So tell me more about that and what that shift has been like for you. Right? So people pleasing is exhausting. It creates large amounts of resentment in the psyche, especially when it's not aligning with what it is you want to do who you want to be. So there takes a it's like a level of radical responsibility for yourself. Right. So to start growing gravitating away from making everyone else and more important than, you know, making yourself the smallest person in the room to actually making yourself the most important person in the room and not in an egotistical way, not in a self centered way. It's just responsibility for yourself, take responsibility for yourself, as you step in, as people step into leadership positions conflict isn't, is inherit, you're going to piss people off, people are going to be triggered, because you're going to force them just you being you is going to force them to see things about themselves. So you have to detach, there's a natural level of detachment comes and you can gain these skills through simply meditation, just increasing your awareness. But you start to realize that you cannot control what other people think you cannot control other people's experience. And you are not, you cannot control how other people feel, you know, there's a fine line there. Because you don't want to, like I said, you don't want to be an asshole, you don't want to be rude. But you have an obligation to yourself to stand in your power and your feelings. And to communicate, it's like having tough conversations. That's why people don't want to have them, because they don't want people to be upset with them. But ultimately, you're going to be upset with yourself, right? So it's about making that also important. Like maybe even more so important. And I think about that, like, even with my daughter, like, if we just went around trying to please our kids and make sure that they were happy with us all the time, they will not be very regulated or content individuals, okay. So it's a little bit of a tough love approach that like, I'm not responsible for your feelings, you know, I want to hold space for you. And if you're upset with me, then I invite you to reflect on that, you know, if I, you know, as long as again, so long as you're not being a jerk, right? So, that detachment, healthy detachment. Okay, and then what's on the other side of vulnerability, you know, you talked about the fear, the resistance, everyone I think feels that but now you've broken through, you're sharing these really vulnerable, vulnerable parts about your own self, these stories, these different things, like how do you feel now on the other side of it, um, I feel much more centered and rooted in who I am, like, I feel like I've gotten to a level I'm still getting to know myself more, I think that's going to continue until this body drops, right. It's a never ending, discovery of getting to know yourself, but I, my level of confidence has increased. I feel I don't want to use the word untouchable I am, you know, or unshakable. But I get less triggered. Now. Because I fully accepted myself, I'm very responsible for my emotions, my feelings. And I know that what I'm bringing to people is inherently to help them grow and to inspire them. So if they feel triggered, it's just an invitation for them to explore that and see, you know, where that might come from, and why that's coming up for them. So, yeah, there's a level of freedom I feel from sharing the stuff, it's like, it's not something like the monkey on your back anymore. It's like it's out. It's an open, it's clear, it's transparent. I love that. And I had just had this thought just yesterday, where there's this all this talk about, you know, Be the change you wish to see in the world, you focus on yourself, you change. And I was just thinking as it relates to this, about when you're unaffected by people's opinions of you, you know, they're judging you. And you're unaffected by that. Because you've done so much work, you've done so much meditation, you know, who you are, you know, you're on your path, all these things that we're talking about here. If you aren't affected by their judgments, you give them a gift, because you show them because most people when they're judged, it creates this, this tension, and then there's back and forth, and if they're both validating their judgments, but if someone judges me or judges you, in this case, and you don't react to that, and you give them love, or you just want go about your, your business, and you keep living your life and you're happy and you're free, then something triggers inside of them. There's something there's another way to live their life, you know, and I think that's really powerful. Speaking into that, here today, the power of the vulnerability, the power of being authentic and connecting with yourself and then naturally, like you said, is, what's gonna happen is you're gonna find, find your people. Yeah, you're gonna start sharing and they're gonna come to you, you're like, literally going, going to attract them into your life. So it's amazing. I think like, the important work that you and I both do as coaches and as people who will help illuminate pathways for other people, is to be 100% authentic all the time. Because if you have a shred of doubt of who you are, it's going to get magnified, it's going to get blown up blown up. If you are trying to present an image that isn't in alignment with who you are at your deepest root. You're going to draw on people that aren't it's your work isn't going to land with them. It's not going to connect, because you know, like attracts like, so So we I, the people I tend to work with are a lot of old, old versions of myself, right? Because I was one way I did something that worked and helped me find a level of freedom. And so what worked for me will help, it will work for other people that have similar experiences or similar mindset. So it's all about just, man, I mean, and it's in it's tough sometimes, you know, you're like, Oh, is this too much? Should I share this? And the answer is always. Yes. Right. Like, for me, you know what I mean? And who I am in the work that I do is yes, it brings about inspiration, healing, for myself, healing for others, acceptance, we you said something that I wanted to kind of expand on the judgment, right. Like, when you're judging, when you see something online, and you're judging, or even just, you know, judging someone in your room and your space, it's, who are you really judging, right? Like, if we're all sort of like, going back to like the Vedic theory, we're all sort of reflections of the same, right? We're individualized expressions of a whole. So really, I am you, you are me, you are my reflection, you show me things about myself. So anytime judgment comes up in your psyche, I invite you to ask the question, Who am I really judging here, because really, the judgment is a judgment on yourself somewhere, those that you see that are always pointing fingers that are always calling out faults, or being hypercritical and critiquing, they do that on themselves. It is it's there. So it's ultimately always back to self. That's why that's why we're having this conversation. It's why we're on the journeys we're on. It's it's why I'm such a fan of meditation is because the more you can know yourself, the know the knower. The more you know, others, the more you can connect, the more you can help serve and heal so. So tell me more about how you serve. And if someone wanted to get connected with you, Haley and do your meditation or any of those coaching, how would they find you? Yeah, so I do a lot of work online, virtual, you know, COVID really kind of pushed us all in that direction a little bit. But I do I work, you know, I work primarily one on one, I do some in person group stuff. I also do virtual group series where I teach Kriya and breath work, I have one coming up in in May. But so these private, like individualized services, people are generally drawn to one to one over the other. So I offer these one off sessions where their hybrid coaching, and breath work technique instruction. So when you work with me, it's not really I'm not leading you through a really intense breathwork journey. It's a deep dive exploration into yourself. We talk about your energy, we talk about what patterns come up for you, what you struggle with physically and emotionally. And it helps me It helps me determine what types of breathwork or Kriya practices meditation practices might best serve you for this moment in time. So I'm really giving you like value and tangible techniques you can use, when we get off the call. I work with people in a mentorship setting where we continue to meet, you know, month after month or week after week, and continue to unpack whatever is going to come up for you because when you start doing breathwork and Kriya, it's so cleansing, that all of this shit sort of gets highlighted to be deleted. And so you really need that help with integrating right like the understanding of how to you know step into a new way of being. So you know, I do the one on one breathwork sessions. I do meditation initiation, I give job practices where it's free to use the mala to meditate with a Sanskrit mantra, I do the Jyotish readings. So all virtual and I am meeting in person on a case by case basis now. So those are just a few different few different ways to get in touch. Amazing. And where do people find you? You can find me on my website, which is www.breath-of-rebellion.com. I'm on Instagram. Oh my god, I can't remember my Instagram handle. I think it's @haley.niichel, but you'll have that information. But yeah, I'm pretty active on social media. I am an incredibly creative being I love to create experiences for people. So my events are not your typical yoga events. We like to I like to breathe and then dance or, you know, do two hours of Kriya and then a super deep meditation. I have some pretty cool things coming this summer in person here in Des Moines. So if you've ever sighs you want to come through roll here, the no coast state in the Midwest and get some kind of cool stuff. So amazing breath of rebellion. And I'll link all that in the show notes below. Haley, as we're wrapping up here, what are some key takeaways? What are some key action steps you would offer that audience take on based off your conversation here. If you have been curious about meditation at all, just start somewhere. There are many teachers out there, I am not built to I'm not here to serve. Every person in this world. There are lots and lots and lots of meditation teachers. But the first step kind of is, being curious, doing some searching and investing in yourself, you got to send assign to the universe, that you're worth that right that your growth is worth that and it takes investing, you know, people say like, Oh, I don't have money, I don't have money for that. I don't have money if I don't have 100 bucks for that. I don't have 150 for that, but and when you start looking at, you know, your consumption levels, and the bar and the shopping and you really got to send that sign into the universe. So coaching, meditation, need a guide, you need support on this journey. It's not not meant to be walked alone, to tell you that much. So finding community, finding someone to help is really, really helpful. Thank you so much,Haley. Find your people. Get some help and start meditating, if you're not already. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the action hour. Thank you so much for tuning in. We'll catch you on the next episode.