Interview Series: With Nicole Lebreux of Cosmic Earth Collective (Part 2)

We meet again, Part two of Nicole’s interview. If you did not read the first one, please cheek it out here for her back story and more information about her business.

This part is more about her spiritual path and how it integrates with her business passions.

Let’s dive right in!

D: So to get away a little bit from the business side and more to the spiritual side- What do your spiritual practices look like in a broad view? Do you have anything that you do day today?

N: Yes, definitely, that’s a great question, thank you for asking that. My spirituality – well I was raised catholic, I’ll just put that out there, so there’s lots of deconditioning and undoing from all of that garbage that I’ve been hearing my whole life. I have current students who are very religious and Christian and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But there’s lots of guilt, sexism, and white supremacy all mixed up and that’s totally separate from God and Jesus and that’s what human men have put into the religion. I totally believe in God and Jesus was probably a super cool guy that a lot of super religious people might not actually like if they actually met him in person because he was probably just walking around teaching people cool things and making friends and I’m here for that vibe. 

I’ve done a lot of work. When I was in high school I was like “this is such bullshit” and I just kind of cut myself off from religion and spirituality all together because I didn’t know there were other options and other ways of being. It was probably when I was doing yoga, I was discovering my inner self and the connection that I felt to myself. I’ve always loved being outside. I remember in yoga we were breathing up through our feet, through the energy from the earth and I felt it and I was like “Woah this is really powerful.” So over the years, I’ve just developed a relationship to source energy, and just like a human relationship, you cultivate and it just ebbs and flows and sometimes you feel really connected, and then sometimes you don’t and it’s just like an alive living entity process. It’s never stagnant or stuck.

I definitely have an earth-based spirituality, but then I’m really aware of the source and cosmic energy as well. I am an animist, so I believe that every being and every entity has its own sovereignty and is its own thing, whether it’s a rock or a chair or a tree or a bird or an animal. It just makes me feel very much a part of this living vibrant world where we’re all kind of on this web together. Ebbing and flowing and connecting and affecting one another. So I’d say that’s my broader view of spirituality.

I communicate with plants. I have a good relationship with my inner teacher, my highest self, and a relationship with – I call it “source”, cosmic energy, God whatever that being or divinity is to you, and of course they’re related and all connected, but I do experience them a little bit differently. The way I cultivate that in my everyday life is through offering gratitude every day, usually just before I go to sleep at night I call to mind all the things I am grateful for or think about things that had happened that day or beautiful things I had seen.

I meditate every day, which helps me connect with myself and with source energy. That’s another thing I teach in my business, that’s the whole first module of my earth-centered entrepreneur program is nervous system care and that your nervous system is the physical lens through which you are experiencing the world. So it’s your actual brain, so it’s your analytic mind but it’s also your senses and the way you receive information. Through meditation and through having a balanced nervous system, you’re able to receive downloads and divine inspiration and connect to your intuition a little bit more and that’s that flexibility creative part. So meditation is very important especially when you feel like you don’t know what to do or all over the place or you’re feeling uninspired, and that’s when if you can just still and quiet yourself then divine inspiration can drop in. 

The radical self-care practices that I teach and practice every day are herbal infusions. I love; nettle, oat straw, lemon balm, rose, milky oats, and tulsi. I usually change my blend every couple of months or whatever I feel like doing. Right now, it’s my favorite time of year. I make backyard infusions. So I just get my jar and just go around my yard picking plants that I have planted like; lemon balm, mint, and whatever is growing; cleavers, nettle, dandelion, raspberry leaf, plantain, mugwort, and whatever is coming up. So I just go around my yard and pick a bunch of stuff I’m growing and put it in my jar with my hot water, which is just the best. In winter, of course, it’s dried herbs that either myself or someone I know has harvested in the summertime.

I also do herbal body oiling when I get out of the shower just as a moisturizer. At first, it took a  little while to get used to the stickiness, and now I love being so sticky. Right now, I’m doing a blend of coconut and sunflower oil, lavender, rose, yarrow, and calendula. So good. So I love doing that and that’s connected to plants, but that’s also a connection to yourself. You’re feeling your skin and kind of giving yourself a massage and that feels so good. I also practice smoke medicine. I made local bundles with mugwort, pine, lemon balm, and rosemary. There’s just something about smudging or smoke medicine that’s so primitive. There’s just something about smelling the smoke that just sends me back to thousands of years ago sitting around a campfire with other people. So it’s a very grounding and centering experience for me, so sometimes I will do that multiple times throughout the day. There are lots of little things- and I will say these are things that have accumulated over time.

I also teach people to do things so they’re easy. If you have a list of fifty things you’re going to implement this week, it’s going to be really challenging and then you’re going to feel bad and give up, but if you decide to do just one thing this week and then that becomes a habit and that becomes easy and then you add the next thing and the next thing. I have a lot of self-care things that I do every single day including; movement, hiking in the woods, I go lay face down in the grass outside and smell the dirt and the grass and it’s like the best. All of those things get added in slowly, so this is years worth of stretching my self-care. – just so people reading this don’t get overwhelmed thinking they have to do all the things, just do one thing that’s easy to do. 

D: I love herbal body oil. That’s probably my favorite self-care practice. The blend I make currently is lavender, rosehips, and motherwort. I have it in sunflower seed oil so I can actually get the smell through. It is so nice. 

N: I usually use olive oil a lot. Olive oil all over your body is a bit much though. So I like coconut and sunflower for my body, that feels really good. 

D: Especially if you’re trying to get a fragrant note through, you can’t really get that with olive oil. 
What is a common misconception about your industry or some of your spiritual practices you’d like to clear up?

N: That is a good question. I’d say this is in a lot of entrepreneurship; it’s just this idea of the “starving artist” or the “starving healer” or that you shouldn’t charge for your gifts or you should just give everything away and that you should just be giving of everything all the time and receiving nothing back and that’s just false. That is just so hard because as women, trained and conditioned for so long just to give everything of ourselves to everyone and not ask for anything in return and that’s just patriarchal and white supremacy at its finest. That’s a cruel joke that has been played on us to give everything away. And on top of it, all of the more traditional women or feminine skills like cooking, cleaning, healing, medicine making, caring for children, caring for elders, caring for the community are just stuff that we’ve been forced to do for free for forever and it’s just not valued. It’s what fuels our entire culture and society and if it wasn’t for the free work that women did, everything would absolutely crumble all around.

Enough is enough, it’s not beneficial to be operating in that way. I see a lot of people wanting to do so much for free, wanting to charge really low prices, wanting things to be available to everyone. I totally understand where that is coming from. I absolutely felt that way, but you can have such a bigger impact and make bigger changes on the world if you are charging more money and then like I said, funneling that money to other organizations to other places that you really want to support. Keeping yourself poor and keeping yourself hustling and scrounging, is not helping anybody. It’s really not helping anybody. So I think that’s a big misconception or a big general thought that people have.

Especially the gifts that come really easy to us, we feel like ‘this isn’t hard for me to do so it’s not worth a lot but in fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s the things that are so easy for us to do that are our true magic and that’s what we need to lean into and really cultivate and expand and share for an equal exchange. 

D: That’s something I had to work on for a while because I was like “oh, making herbal medicine is so much fun for me and I truly love it. If I could do it all day long I would and I just want to make things and give them to people, I want to make something new”.

We think that because we are having fun, we shouldn’t be making money. Making money should be fun, you should be doing the things that you love to do that are super fun that you would do for free anyway. That’s where you should be receiving your abundance from. 

D: Right, then using that money you get to go get some flyers printed from a small business in your area or go source your herbs to a local farm to put it back out into the community. 

N: One of the things I have my students think about is- what are little changes you would do in your life? What are the things you would spend your money on? My list includes; being an extra generous tipper when I go out to eat or go to a cafe, going to a farmers market and buying something from every single vendor, or purchasing art from women or minority artists, or donating money to causes. I donate to the Wampanoag Language Reclamation Project. The Wampanoag people, who are still very alive and well (that’s another common misconception, that indigenous people are not around anymore and that’s flat out not true). They are in Massachusetts. They have a program where they are teaching children of indigenous descent their native language. I’m so for that, that’s how I choose to fuel the change that I want to see in the world. To shift the paradigm. 

D: That’s beautiful, I love that! What is your favorite part about your business right now?

N: One of the things I love about being in business is that it’s like a big puzzle. I love the intellectual, analytical stimulation that I get from working on this puzzle. And not even like a jigsaw puzzle, it’s just this journey and just so many choices and pathways. It’s like a quest almost, and I love putting the pieces together and trying something and seeing what works and making adjustments and then doing something else and that’s very intellectually stimulating to me and it’s also like the big goal that I’m working towards is having my life be my livelihood. It’s really fun to explore that and I also love inspiring other people to kind of take this journey, as well. So that’s kind of the broader thing, but what I really love is that I can do whatever I want, I don’t have to be anywhere at any certain time. Yesterday, I had a really crappy day, and I just said “fuck it” and just went and wandered around in the woods for a while and that was the medicine that I needed and felt just so much better and I just love being completely in charge of my own schedule and what I’m doing.

Every month, every quarter, every year, it’s a time to reassess and decide what worked, what didn’t. What do I want to do, what do I not want to do? It’s just a really fun process of coming into alignment and coming into myself. Becoming an entrepreneur is a fast track to self-development because there’s just so much you have to learn about systems and relationships and about community and yourself. There’s just so much excavating stuff within you that I find really fun.

It is also very joyful for me to be talking and teaching in my group programs. I love inspiring people and seeing them become empowered and become inspired and then take action in their life and see what changes those actions have in their life and it’s incredible. This is working. People are getting great results, people are being more authentic and more aligned with who they are and I wish that for every human being to be living in more alignment with authenticity and doing what they love to do and have that be enough because it is. There’s just all this other shit that tells us it’s not enough. 

D: Love that. so true.
Last question- What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs or current small business owners?

N: To embrace the journey, that it’s not a straight road where you can see where you’re going. There are so many twists and turns and ups and downs and challenges and joys. Have your destination in mind, but also just be going along for the ride and see where inspiration takes you. Be brave because it’s scary, I’m not going to deny that it’s scary. Taking the leap to quit your job or to invest financially in yourself or a business. But if you have that inkling of desire, if you want to be an entrepreneur, that means, just that desire, means you absolutely can and should do it. You wouldn’t want something you can’t have.

I have this idea that our desires are actually our memories. We are experiencing time linearly, but it’s not. It’s a figment of our imagination. Everything that has happened and everything that will happen has already happened and is also simultaneously happening in this moment. So I like thinking the visions and dreams and visions I have for the future are actually memories, like time-traveled memories from the future are coming to greet me in the past and it’s kind of like a trail marker reminding me of where I’m going. My intuition is my direction on how to get there.

D: Oh wow I really like that. That really shifts how you think about things. It definitely helps to remove the ‘cants’. When I see that I want a physical location and I want a greenhouse and a tea shop, but then I’m like “how am I going to get the money? How am I going to set all that up?”, but then your mindset says, “it’s already happened.”

N: It’s already happened, it’s already happened. You just have to take the steps to align yourself with that mission and with that vision. And of course, it’s free will, you can make whatever decisions you want about anything, but that vision that you have in your mind that’s like “oh that would be so nice”, it’s already yours! You just have to creep along in this timeline and make the decisions you need to make to get there. 

It was such a joy speaking with Nicole in our in 1-hour conversation, I already learned so many new mindset shifts and practices to start incorporating into my own life. I hope you all learned as much as I did.

Don’t forget, open enrollment for The Earth Centered Entrepreneurship Program starts this fall so get all of the information here if you are interested.

Also, check out her website here and her handle on Instagram is @nicolelebreux.

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