Join me in this Wild Within Interview with Nicola Humber.
Nicola Humber is mentor to unbound women. She activates recovering good girls to embrace their so-called imperfections and shake off the tyranny of ‘shoulds’, so they can be their fullest, freest, most magnificent selves.
Nicola is the author of two transformational books, Heal Your Inner Good Girl and UNBOUND. She’s also the founder of The Unbound Press, a soul-led publishing imprint for unbound women.
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Transcript of interview:
Time: 29:19 minutes
Jessy: Okay, so we are recording now and I just wanted to say a huge huge welcome to the beautiful gorgeous Nicola Humber, Author of Heal Your Inner Good Girl and Unbound, running all these amazing writing projects for us mere mortals to write our books.
I’ve known Nicola for so many years and she has been the most supportive, wonderful mentor, friend, angel, I don’t know whatever words you want to put in there you can do.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce Nicola, interview you and know how you got on this path, you know, what you’ve been working on.
And actually, it was from your words, I think it was from Unbound where you talk about your Unbound Self, your wild self. That was the seed that was planted and has put me on this journey. So, did you want to spend just a few minutes just introducing yourself because I know I’m not great at introductions.
Nicola Humber: That was a brilliant introduction and I will say I am definitely a mere mortal. I’m definitely a human being.
Jessy: Well then, you’re absolutely perfect for this because that’s what Wild Within is about.
Nicola Humber: Exactly it’s all about being in our humaneness. So, thank you, Jessy for lovely introduction. And I’m so grateful that we’ve been connected for all these years and like to, to see your journey and to have you kind of coming along on my journey as well, has just been a complete blessing. So, let me try and introduce myself, I don’t find it easy!
Jessy: You’re doing so much, I can’t keep track.
Nicola Humber: It’s really quite simple. It feels a lot simpler now than it was for many years. When I started to walk this unbound path, and I guess it was like, you know, you would call it almost like a rewilding path, I guess. And I didn’t even realize that that’s what I was doing. You know, at the time. But for many years, once I moved away from what I knew, I didn’t want to do anymore, which was kind of following that good girl path of working in a corporate environment and being in an office. You know, I knew I didn’t want to do that, so, I made a decision to leave and initially retrained as a Coach and a Hypnotherapist. And I thought, okay, that will be it. That’s what I’ll do. For the rest of my life, I’ll be a Hypnotherapist and have a Hypnotherapy practice. But actually, that was only the beginning of the journey. And it’s been a really twisty turny path which I’m sure many of us can resonate with. Sometimes it feels like we’re going back from ourselves. And for a lot of years actually I didn’t really know who I was or what I was here to do. Whereas now like through writing my books, like you, said Heal Your Inner Good Girl, with someone the other day thought was kill your Inner Good Girl. She was introducing me and she said Nicola Humber, Author of kill your Inner Good Girl. It could be you know, but it’s a bit harsh.
Jessy: We’re not murderers.
Nicola Humber: It’s a bit extreme. I’m all about accepting different parts of you. Particularly through writing Unbound, I kind of feel like I’ve received the opportunity to work with other women to help them write their books and create the Unbound press. And so, now that’s what all of my work kind of revolves around is my own writing, and helping other women to write. So, it feels very simple to me. But it might not look like that from the outside.
Jessy: I think because I knew you when you were doing, you were focusing on the money side of things and those kinds of Live Your Gift, the Money Mastery programs and all. I’ve been with you for a while! Just thinking, yeah, we’ve done a lot. You have helped me massively, and especially your book Heal Your Inner Good Girl. Wow, everything I’ve done with you has transformed something. But, you know, that was the beginning and then Unbound. Like I said, it just planted that seed and now, you know, you’ve put me on this, no you’ve not put me on this journey, but I’m on this journey with you. Actually, no, because it was really, I had no choice, did I? Because you sort of invited me to write this book. And I was like, no, no, no, we can’t do it. And I was in a place, you know, my head was sort of saying no, no, no. And then my heart was just like, you’ve got to do it. You’ve just got to do it. And I downloaded the Release Your Wild Within and I was just like I can’t not do it.
Nicola Humber: It’s like a calling. You know, I think we experience and I definitely experience that. And it is it’s, well, we can try and say no to it, but it will just keep kind of calling to us.
Jessy: Definitely, yeah. So, you said a little bit kind of what your path has been but what made you decide to change everything? You know what was at the core of that?
Nicola Humber: I was thinking about that Jessy, and it’s interesting because I can really remember the time. When I got to this point, I was kind of mid to late 30s. Working in finance, and for a few years I’ve known, this is not what I want to do with my life. I had no clue what to do. And I’d taken six months out to go traveling and I thought, well, maybe I’ll find the answer then but I didn’t. I came back, went back into my job as a financial planner. And then I got headhunted by another company. And I thought, Oh, well maybe this is it, maybe I’m just meant to work in a different company. And whereas I’d been working in a very kind of male dominated company before, this was a company that had been set up by two women, so it’s like, Okay, this is something different. But as soon as I found myself in that new office, and actually the day I kind of started there was, I think it was about day one of the financial crash of 2008. Everything was going crazy, and I had literally just started. But I was working in this little office at the top of this old building, and I literally felt a kind of caged animal. It’s like, I can’t be working in this environment anymore. The 9 to 5, having to be there every day and sit at this desk. It makes me feel quite sick thinking about it now.
Jessy: You’re saying it is making me go uugh.
Nicola Humber: You know, and if you’re doing work you love then Okay, maybe that’s okay. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t aligned with me, who I was, with my soul. And I used to go out in my lunch hour every day and either sit in the park when the weather’s good enough.
Nicola Humber: Go to a coffee shop and I was just asking the question that what can I do? What am I meant to do? And then I went for a weekend away with my sister at a health spa, I saw this demonstration by this hypnotherapist, and I’d never had hypnotherapy before. And she was quite eccentric. She was definitely connected with her Wild Within, like a crone, she was doing it in our own way.
Nicola Humber: I don’t know it just kind of clicked within me and I knew that this is what I’m meant to do, so I followed that because I knew I just couldn’t stay
Nicola Humber: and caged in that environment anymore.
Jessy: Yeah, fantastic. So, what kind of, this is a really huge question, but what were your processes of kind of letting go of all the conditions that were put on you all those shoulds, all those kind of, your idea of what you should be? What did you do you let go?
Nicola Humber: It’s a continual process I think, you know, you’ll identify with this Jessy, we’re continually coming up against this conditioning. It’s so strong, and it shows up everywhere. Like in our families, our friendships, our work, in society, in general, these ideas about who and how we should be.
Nicola Humber: This is certainly, you know, one of my first experiences with that, was kind of doing my hypnotherapy training. And that was just such a personal journey of discovery for me where I could see all these ways that I’d been kind of conforming and trying to fit in and holding back. So, you know, that was an amazing training, in order to be able to work with other people but also you know, for myself personally, and I’ve just been through so many different modalities. I did a two-year Gestalt counseling diploma, and again, that helped me to unpick it, so many more layers. And now I’m just, I guess I have quite a few different practices that I use, like journaling, writing is one of them because I naturally love to do.
Nicola Humber: But then a lot of it comes through, interacting with others, like when I’m speaking, maybe with a client or in a group, like whether I’m holding space for that group or I’m part of the group.
Nicola Humber: I just, I think we learn so much by being with each other. Stuff gets reflected back to us. And we learn so much about ourselves through that.
Jessy: And when you’re talking, it’s making me think of the spiral.
Nicola Humber: Yeah.
Jessy: You know, I love spirals because it’s like, every time we think we’ve let go of things. But we come to it again. And it’s like, we shed another or it’s like the snake, isn’t it? We shed another layer of skin.
Nicola Humber: Yeah.
Jessy: And then it’s like, okay, I’ve UN-become more and stepping into kind of your true self a little bit more each time. But it’s amazing how many layers of conditioning there are on us, isn’t it?
Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah, it is. And, that’s why I think it’s really important that we are kind to ourselves and not judge ourselves. Like if this stuff keeps coming up, I love, absolutely the spiral. That’s why, I wanted the spiral to be like the logo for the Unbound press and a really messy spiral as well.
Jessy: Yes. Which is why I wanted to go with it.
Nicola Humber: I know. I know. It is it’s messy.
Nicola Humber: And we do keep coming around to the same thing.
Nicola Humber: But from a different perspective. You know, and I think that’s what’s important. And, you know, like I said, to be kind to ourselves in that process, and I know, we all have moments where that frustration kicks in, I’m not saying I don’t have that. But the more I experienced this, the more I’m able to just be more curious about it and go, oh, okay, this is back again. And have more of a kind of playful approach to it.
Jessy: And it’s a different perspective, but also, you’ve gathered more, well what I call you gathered more tools along the way and you’re stronger in a different way, and I always think things aren’t sent to you that you can’t deal with, even though it might not feel that you can deal with at the time but you know, it’s that you are stronger and you can cope with it much better can’t you?
Nicola Humber: Absolutely. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Every time you come around to it, you’re more resourced in different ways. In order to be able to move through it or whatever you need to do.
Jessy: Yeah, definitely. So, who kind of or who or what influenced you along the way? So, you already said about your, you know, seeing the hypnotherapist and so I expect you’ve got a long list of people.
Nicola Humber: Yeah, I have. It will be like the Oscars when they tried to kind of get us off the stage. And they go
Jessy: I want to thank so and so. But like the main influencers, what do you think?
Nicola Humber: Yeah, there have been so many. I mean, how I came to work with the word unbound initially was through Danielle Laporte’s desire map process where she helps you to identify your core desired feelings. And that was a real kind of turning point for me. Like coming into contact with that word. I don’t know if I’d ever used that word before. But when I was working through the desire map, one of my core desired feelings initially was freedom, but it just didn’t feel, it felt a bit wishy washy. It didn’t feel, I always know if something is kind of resonating with me because I feel it in my body. And I think that’s quite an animal thing.
Jessy: Yeah. That’s the, the instincts that we need to trust.
Nicola Humber: Exactly. Yeah. So, freedom wasn’t doing it for me. So, I was looking up different words, that meant something similar. And as soon as I saw the word unbound, I was like yes.
Jessy: Got goosebumps you just saying that again.
Nicola Humber: Yeah. Because, you know, well, one of the definitions was without a cover or binding, and I love that now, like in relation to a book as well, it’s just like, yeah. But it’s also that kind of suggestion or that knowing that something has previously been bound. And, like you’re freeing yourself from it. You’re UN-binding yourself from it. Just felt really powerful to me.
Jessy: It still feels really powerful.
Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah. I still love that word. I must say it so many times every day.
Jessy: Do you challenge yourself, how many times can I say it?
Nicola Humber: I know, sometimes I’m like Nicola come on, can you use a different word? You know resonates still with me and I know it resonates with so many others, particularly women who have felt this way. It’s got a really potent energy and sometimes it can be quite unruly. Usually it’s quite unruly you know, since I’ve started working with that word it certainly hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
Jessy: And in your book, you’re sort of saying how when you first connected with your Unbound Self, you were scared of her. And it makes me think of, I don’t know if you’ve watched the movie Life of Pi, when he’s on the on the boat and he’s with the tiger and that’s essentially his Shadow, Self and
Nicola Humber: Yeah.
Jessy: You think cause that is like, first of all, you’re scared of that.
Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah.
Nicola Humber: Absolutely. You know until we’ve integrated more of our, you know what I call the Unbound Self or the Wild Within, it can feel scary and it was when I was writing Heal Your Inner Good Girl, I created these meditations to connect with that Inner Good Girl and then the Unbound Self. So, I thought, okay, I’ll do it for myself, and listen to my own
Nicola Humber: Meditation and yeah, my Unbound Self. I mean, she was very dark and witchy, there was a lot of rage. She was like this kind of ball of dark energy. And she was just moving around really quickly, and it was on a wild and windy beach and I thought, Oh, my goodness. I kind of want to put her back in the box. I don’t know if I can handle that. Yeah, but I’d suppressed a lot of rage and a lot of anger over the years because we’re taught that we shouldn’t show that it’s not acceptable.,
Jessy: Especially as women.
Nicola Humber: But yeah, that’s it. And so, your Unbound Self is always going to show you any parts of you that you’ve been suppressing or holding back.
Jessy: I love that. I love that. And throughout your journey, you know, you’ve talked about visualizations and how you kind of connect with your body. That felt sense. How easy or difficult and like what practices do you use to stay connected to that and listen to your instincts?
Nicola Humber: I tend now to go straight to the body actually, like I used to because my trainings in hypnotherapy there was a lot in that, We’re trained to work with people who you know, who would maybe or not so kind of visually oriented. A lot of it is visualization. So that was initially what I would do. But actually, I tend to experience things much more as a felt sense. So, what I will do now is, if something’s coming up for me that I want to check in around, I will just tune into my body and notice any physical sensations and literally just ask my body, like maybe a specific part of my body, what do I need to know right now? What do you want me to know? And I think the key thing, because the answers are always there, but we don’t always trust there. When I used to have my hypnotherapy practice clients would often say, oh, wow, you know, I’m not sure if I’m just making this up. And it’s like, no, it kind of doesn’t matter because it’s interesting that you’re making that specific thing up. That’s coming from your subconscious anyway.
Nicola Humber: You know, the key piece is, is to trust it and listen to those answers you would say.
Jessy: Brilliant. So, you’ve spent so much more time really connecting to your true self, to those kind of what I call the animal instincts, the very basic instincts and really tuned into how to listen to that. So, the journaling, the asking your body. I love that. That’s brilliant. It’s so simple. I think this is a problem. We overcomplicate it. We think too much about it all.
Nicola Humber: Oh, my goodness, there’s so many different ways, out there, that we can connect with our true selves. I’ve tried so many of them and yeah, they can be amazing and powerful. But I just think the simple ways are always the most powerful.
Jessy: Yeah, definitely. Look at animals. They don’t complicate things. They don’t sit there going, hmm I wonder. They really just trust their instincts, don’t they?
Nicola Humber: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, the more we can kind of drop out of our minds and into our bodies, the better, I think.
Jessy: Brilliant, I love it. I love it. And yeah, so I mean, very cheeky question. If you were an animal what would you be and why?
Nicola Humber: Again, thinking about this or like feeling into it because I kind of don’t want to choose one.
Jessy: Who said it’s one? You’re unbound!
Nicola Humber: I know I know. Actually, it’s interesting because at the end of last year, I was working with a mentor of mine and she was taking me through this process. And like the hawk came through for me very strongly. And a couple of days previously, we’ve had a couple of experiences with a hawk near where we live. Like there’s hawks actually catching animals and it caught a squirrel and dropped out onto the path in front of my face. So, there was a lot of hawk kind of medicine coming through, quite extreme. But when it came through in this process, there was just something about, like just being able to see really clearly and that focus. It was at the end of 2019, so it was like qualities that I wanted to bring through in 2020. The hawk came up for me again, recently, when I was pulling my animal cards, then the hawk came and it just, yeah, at the moment, there’s something about its fierce, and that kind of clarity and focus. So that’s the animals that feels most present at the moment.
Jessy: Yeah. And also, for me, you saying that it’s coming up that you’re the kind of person who, once you have a focus, you go and you get it, you’ve got that kind of determination.
Nicola Humber: I think that comes from trust as well actually. And that hasn’t always been there. But I’ve learned to trust life and also now, to check in around ideas. Like earlier this week, I was out for a walk and I had an idea drop in about something I could create and offer. And my initial thought was almost like, share it immediately, like almost when I was out for my walk, I’d like to go to Instagram stories and just kind of say about it. And it’s like no. So, just give yourself a minute to check in and is this something you really wanted to do? And I recognized very quickly, no. Because like spaciousness is really important to me right now. But I’ve learned to like trust if something feels right to go with it, even if it doesn’t feel like it makes sense, but to yeah.
Jessy: I love that so much and I think that’s the essence of it, isn’t it? We need to trust ourselves because the Western World we’re in, it’s so much of all these conditions and shoulds and things that we completely forget who we are. And really, if we step into who we are, like Tonya said to you, at the retreat, we had a writer’s retreat that we went on. You stepped into your calling, you trusted that and you’ve helped so many of us along the way. So, trusting ourselves isn’t selfish. It’s actually, you’re creating something for everybody then.
Nicola Humber: Yeah, exactly. Like each one of us. Like, look what you’re doing Jessy in your community like it ripples out. I’m always looking to do and like each book with the unbound press, is to activate others, like to connect with their own and their true selves and their true purpose. And so, when we’re able to do that, it can’t help but activate lots of other people around us so it’s just ripples out and out, and it’s such a magical thing.
Jessy: It’s beautiful. Thank you. Thank you for stepping up. I keep saying this to you because I think I would not have been on this path and the book writing process in itself. My goodness. It’s not just ‘I will write a book’. You live it, don’t you? Absolutely. You live it and the shifts that have happened and changes and everything. I feel like a brand-new person now, it’s amazing.
Nicola Humber: Yeah.
Jessy: It’s not just a book. Its life changing. It really is.
Nicola Humber: Yeah.
Jessy: And you’ve written two
Nicola Humber: Well I’ve written three now. Get the new ones out in October. Yeah. And each time, you know, I think you become more who you’re here to be.
And I love that. I do think I should maybe kind of, warning at the beginning of the process, I do say it’s gonna be transformational. But you can’t, like I said, until you’ve kind of gone through it. You can’t kind of appreciate exactly how transformational it is. But that’s what makes them so powerful. You know, when they go out into the world. They have such an impact because you’ve allowed yourself to experience this transformation as you were writing it.
Jessy: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Oh, thank you. Thank you so much and I won’t keep you much longer but you know, is there anything that you kind of wanted to promote or invite people to or anything that you’re working on?
Nicola Humber: I mean, I think if somebody is watching this and they’re interested, like even writing a book or just connecting more deeply with themselves, then I’d recommend my Unbound writing prompts. And the link to that is nicolahumber.com./unbound-writing-prompts. I think.
Jessy: I will put the link somewhere around the video.
Nicola Humber: Don’t rely on mine but that gives you 100 different writing prompts. Some are about kind of you’re Inner Good Girl. Some are about your Unbound Self and the different principles of living unbound. And they can help you like if you’re wanting to write a book to give you inspiration for that or just if you want to use them for your own personal process. So, that’s the main thing. But yeah, or just come and connect with me like on Facebook or Instagram, drop me a message, I’d love to hear from you.
Jessy: And I highly recommend Nicola. So, you know, definitely. And I love the prompts as well because, you know, even if you’re not wanting to write a book, just that journaling aspect, it’s such a deep connection with yourself as well isn’t it, so cathartic and healing
Nicola Humber: Yeah, and sometimes we need somebody else to ask the question. So, you know, they are really a series of questions to help us reflect back more deeply.
Jessy: Fantastic. Well thank you, thank you so so much for agreeing to do this with me. And just as always thank you for just being because you’ve helped me so much with everything. So fantastic. Brilliant.
Nicola Humber: Thank you, Jessy. Thank you for inviting me and thank you for the work you’re doing in the world. It’s so very needed. I really appreciate it.
Jessy: Bless you. Oh, well, thank you so much. So, yeah, that’s the end of the interview. Take care.
Jessy and Nicola Humber: Bye