3 Keys To Make Your Dreams A Reality

How many times have you set out with a big vision of what you want to create, only to have it flop?

This can be disheartening. I get it. Even for the most uber motivated people.

In this quick video I share 3 keys to overcoming resistance when following your dreams.

Key 1: Acknowledge the resistance

Annoying but true. As soon as we put our attention towards something, it’s inevitable that a part of us will resist it at some point. This is especially true for the BIG things in life. The bigger the vision, the more time and energy we have to invest in making it happen, and the more change we have to make to the way we’ve been doing things.

Yep. You can bet resistance will arise!

But rather than denying, ignoring, or fighting the resistance, what if we acknowledged it? Like an old friend, what if we took it out for a cup of coffee and asked it what it wants to tell us? What might it divulge? Chances are it has some valuable thoughts to contribute to our grand scheme. Just like doing weights at the gym, resistance is important in building muscle. Let it help you along the way.

Key 2: Open to the possibility of your big dream

Really owning your dream is no small deal. It means you are stepping into a calling, into your power, into something magnificent that you truly, madly deeply want (for yourself or others). Now if that dream seems out of reach from where you are right now, then really committing to it and admitting this could actually happen can be challenging. Even somewhat frightening.

Strangely, it is surrendering to our own potential that often holds us back.

But opening to the possibility of your dreams coming true, simply means that—opening to the possibility. This is a gentle step in the right direction. We must first know it is possible before it becomes probable, and then inevitable. Trust that this essential small step can lead to big things.

And give yourself FULL PERMISSION to dream.

There are many reasons why you (or others) may not have given yourself permission to this point. Don’t worry yourself too much with all those reasons and restrictions. The point is, you’re here now. And YOU, my friend, are a powerful creator of your destiny. It beings with your vision of what you really want. So let yourself have this vision, at the very least.

Key 3: Tap into previous lived experiences of success

When in your life have you experienced a feeling of flow? Of joy? Of timelessness?

These are really important moments to stay connected to in order to make your dreams a reality. By re-exeriencing the feeling state of these lived moments, you are able to create more from this space.

These moments are important because they hint at the true essence of you—your most natural self. When you can live from and create from this place, you’ll find the quality of your thoughts and actions are more in alignment with what you really want. Decisions will be easier to make. Life path will be clearer. And all that is most useful when navigating the journey of making your best life your daily reality.

In the comments, I’d love to hear about your big dream and what’s worked for you in overcoming resistance to making it happen.

Shine on! Be amazing. Big love.

Nicole xox

The Power of NOTEs Launch Party (a sparkly & spirited extravaganza)!

Well, it’s official . . . The Power of NOTEs has wings and is now flying throughout the world!


Our exclusive launch party in Sydney was a magical full-moon night. And I now know there’s no such thing as too many fairy lights!

On arrival, all guests received a traditional cleansing smoke and welcome to country from Uncle Neil Evers, a well-known and respected First-Nations elder of the region. Neil was assisted by siSTAR Eve Langford, the wonderful creatrix behind these awesome eco-wraps (which were actually inspired by a NOTE in the form of a dream)!


We were blessed with a suite of very special guest speakers.

First up was Susan-Moylan Coombs, proud Gurindji and Woolwonga woman, previous TV Producer for ABC and NITV, mental and spiritual wellness advocate, community empowerment rockstar, and running candidate for the next federal election. I first encountered Susan at the Happiness And Its Causes Conference (the world’s largest conference on happiness). She was speaking about the importance of spiritual health in moving forward as a people. I could not agree more.

On The Power of NOTEs Susan said,

When I was reading this amazing book, I was reminded of notes in perfume . . . There are high notes and low notes in a perfume and depending on how long you wear it, those notes come out. This book reminded me about the notes we have in our life, and how they can be anchor points. We can choose how we view them, and we can choose how we use them to either allow us to drop or to rise. And if we continue to rise with those NOTEs, life is limitless.


We heard from special guest Jonathan Gravenor, foreign correspondent and broadcast journalist who used to deliver news to millions of people. That is, until a NOTE came along in the form of cancer, awakening him to a journey of healing and discovery of self. He shared with us some personal stories along his journey, and an eventual realisation that:

Enlightenment is not a place we get to; enlightenment is simply a path we walk.

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Also sharing story was Karina Machado, former senior editor at WHO magazine. Karina has published numerous books relating to NOTEs in the form of spiritual awakening, contact with deceased loved ones, paranormal experiences, and supernatural encounters. She shared that she senses a greater shift taking place, of which NOTEs are an integral part.


From the USA, we were joined by Elizabeth Sabet, president of ACISTE (American Centre for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences).

And popping in from the UK was Katie Mottram, author, blogger, mind-spirit health advocate, co-founder of ISEN (International Spiritual Emergence Network), and creative force behind the #EmergingProud film and movement.

And of course, lots of book signing!

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And a whole heap of sultry music thanks to Matt the mysterious wandering musician.


And a word from my publisher, Gerry Roberts, President of Black Card Books.

The passport to explore how to get more out of life is this book. . . It’s practical knowledge on how people can enjoy more happiness, more health, and more wealth.

And a whole heap of healthy, wholesome, home-made delectable treats. Mmm…

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Special thanks goes to the amazingly talented Sherree Maniks for her decorative vision that made the night truly enchanting. Thanks too to Cloud 9 Events for generously sharing unheard of reams of fairy lights and sheer gold curtains — you truly made my night!

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And, of course, there’s nothing quite like waking (like a lavish goddess) to a house full of flowers the next day and sinking into the wonderful feeling that these marvellous books have started floating around town, sparking sacred conversations and opening minds, hearts, and spirits.

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I am in deep gratitude for all who came and all who have helped to launch this book into the big, wide world.

You can catch the online launch of the book here, where I give a tour of the book and also have some other special guests speak about their NOTEs.

Go here to buy a personally signed copy of the book — signed, sealed, and posted by yours truly. Or jump on Amazon for the digital version.

And if you’re ready to dive deeper with me into the power of your NOTEs, come along and check out The NOTEs Mentorship. It’s an intensive 9-month journey for people ready to step big into the life that truly calls and to use the gifts unique to you.

It’s a call to Agents of Awesomeness.

Yes, YOU! Your time is now.

Lift Off! The Power of NOTEs Online Launch

. . . and so another book is born into the world.

Here’s the replay of the official online launch for The Power of NOTEs: How Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences Transform The Way We Live, Love And Lead. Join me for a walk through the book, including practical tools on how you can elevate, celebrate, and harness the power of your NOTEs towards right livelihood and true life wealth.

Watch the replay here.

We’re joined by several special guests:

  • Katie Mottram: author, activist, co-founder of ISEN (International Spiritual Emergence Network) and founder of the #EmergingProud campaign

  • Elizabeth Sabet: transformational coach and President of ACISTE (American Centre for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences)

  • Chuck Swedrock: President of IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies)

  • And NOTEs experiencers Linda Cull (artist, author, publisher) and Lisa Wheeler (therapist)

3 Common Challenges After A Spiritual Experience & How To Overcome Them

Have you ever had a profound spiritual or beyond-the-ordinary experience that rocked your world?

If so, you’ll know that integrating such experiences is no smooth road. There are things to deal with in the short term, as well as more long-term. Changes can happen on the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social levels, making for a complicated mixing pot!

In this webinar I share 3 of the most common challenges faced by people who’ve had a non-ordinary transcendent experience—a NOTE. Examples of NOTEs include awakening experiences, near-death, near-death-like, kundalini, out-of-body, big dreams, and so many more. In fact, over 500 types of NOTEs have been documented!

I also share 3 time-tested ways to overcome any challenges along the spiritual path, so that you can get on with living a wholesome existence that’s in alignment with who you’re becoming.

Stay until the end to find out about my mentorship program, starting at the end of January 2019. It’s the support I always wanted whilst meandering on my path for many years, itching to live that force of something-so-much-more that wanted to come through.

Share with people you know going through this journey or with any professionals who work with NOTEs experiencers.

Shine on!

Big Love,

Nicole xx

The Power of NOTEs ebook now available worldwide

BOOM! The Power of NOTEs is now available worldwide through Amazon Kindle.

Of course, you can still order a personally signed hard copy too!

The Power Of NOTEs: How Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences Transform The Way We Live, Love, and Lead is a self-empowerment guide for anyone who’s had an experience that took you outside your usual self, and beyond your regular understanding of the world. 

There are over 500 different types of NOTEs, such as out-of-body experiences, spiritual experiences, awakening, near-death-experiences, visions, lucid dreams, peak experiences, and so many more. For some people, even falling in love, birthing a baby, or losing a loved one can bring about a NOTE. In essence, it’s an experience where time warps, a sense of something so much more than the ordinary happens. It’s often a sacred experience that changes us on a deep level. 

My own NOTEs journey started with a near-death experience more than 20 years ago. Whilst white-water rafting in New Zealand, I was thrown out of the raft and into deep water under a gushing waterfall and everything around me was black. After the panic of my last breath subsided, everything became calm, and a horizon of light appeared. Some loved ones came to greet me. 

From that time, I’ve been on a quest to better understand NOTEs and I’ve had the great pleasure of speaking with hundreds of NOTEs experiencers about the good, the bad, the ugly, and the miraculous. 

This book is a short and sweet introduction to NOTEs, packed with practical tools to help you understand and make the most of your experiences. 

Often, people who’ve had a NOTE feel a strong urge to make significant and sometimes drastic life changes. That might mean a reshuffling of personal priorities, changes to relationships, choosing a new life path, or all of that! Relationships can often break down because NOTEs can be so hard to describe and difficult to share. People might think you're nuts if you share about something others can't see, hear, feel, or understand. It’s like trying to explain a foreign country to someone whose never left their neighborhood. 

The Power of NOTEs: 

  • has quizzes to help you find the type of experiences you’ve had

  • explains the aftereffects that can happen physically, emotionally, mentally, and socially

  • presents some of the leading neuroscience on spiritual experiences

  • shares stories from many experiencers on how NOTEs transformed their lives

  • has coaching tools to help you harness these wondrous experiences and start living even more of the awesomeness you are designed to be

 I want for you to live a happy, wholesome, deeply satisfying life that inspires others and does good in the world. I want your genius to have a chance to shine through. At the end of your life, I want you to look back and feel you lived the best life possible. No regrets. Not one. 

That’s why I wrote this book.

Grab your digital copy or hard copy today.

Join me in January for a NOTEs Extravaganza!

 On Jan 8, I’ll be doing a LIVE and FREE interactive webinar called 3 Common Challenges After a Spiritual Experience & How To Overcome Them

On the 12th, I’d love you to join me for the Official Online Book Launch of The Power of NOTEs. We’ll have special guests, people sharing their NOTEs stories, Q&A, and giveaways of the book!

On Saturday 19th, I’ll be having an in-person book launch on Sydney’s beautiful northern beaches in a gorgeous venue overlooking the ocean. It’s going to be an enchanting evening with special guests, tasty treats, and a whole heap of goodies. Stay tuned Sydney…

And on Jan 30th, drumroll…The NOTEs Mentorship begins. I’m so excited to be offering this because it's the heart and soul of my work with people. Over 9 months, this awesome group of people will meet every 2 weeks online for the sole purpose of working with your NOTEs to create your best life. The mentorship is for people who've had a transformative experience that awoke something within and you're now looking for guidance and support in the next steps. It’s for people ready to make your calling a living, breathing, prosperous reality. Available worldwide. Enrolments are now open. 

Wishing you a magical and wonder-filled festive season. 

Shine bright,


The Power of NOTEs is here!


The gifting season has arrived early!

Hot off the printing press, The Power of NOTEs: How Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences Transform The Way We Live, Love, And Lead is finally here!

You can grab your signed copy here. It will be lovingly packaged and posted by yours truly.

I’ve got to admit there’s nothing quite like cracking open that box and holding that new book for the very first time.

I’m thrilled that it’s finally ready to be shared with you.

Here’s some of what folks have been saying about the book:

“As William James pointed out, what we think of as ‘normal’ awareness is just one out of a whole spectrum of different states. With great clarity and energy, Nicole Gruel explains why non-ordinary states have such significance and may even hold the key to our future as a species.”

—Steve Taylor, PhD, author of The Leap and Spiritual Science

“This book is a wonderful support for those who experience non- ordinary transcendent experiences (NOTEs) and a clear perspective to help everyone understand their potential for life transformation. Gruel blends the perspective of noted scientists and psychiatrists like Carl Jung with remarkable stories of experiencers and offers ways to integrate the insights from these moments into the flow of life. She offers an impressive contribution to the field of transpersonal psychology and spiritual emergence.”

—Bonnie Greenwell, PhD, Psychotherapist, Non-dual teacher, and author of When Spirit Leaps: Navigating the Process of Spiritual Awakening.

“Dr. Nicole Gruel’s common-sense and inspirational style of writing, along with her ability to blend research with direct experience, makes this book the new required reading in the field of Spiritual Emergence and Emergencies. Her ability to address complex theories and research in way that is readable will enable both professionals and experiencers alike to develop an understanding of and appreciation for, the potential of NOTEs to create transformative shifts in a person’s conscious growth. Not only is it difficult for experiencers to shape into language the experience they have undergone, but it is also difficult to explain the personal challenges and changes most NOTEs create. This encouraging book will help solve that problem. Nicole’s graceful handling of these issues gives us a common language we can use to communicate regarding these experiences which helps create a much-needed bridge of understanding between the experiencer and the non-experiencer.”

—Elizabeth J. Sabet, PCC, ASCLC, President of The American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences, Transformational/Transpersonal Coach

8 Gifts Arising From Transcendent Experiences

Often, when someone has been through a transformative non-ordinary experience, peculiar gifts can arise.

Those gifts may be extensions of what the person could do before, like singing, but now to a whole new level of sublime. Or they could be completely foreign abilities, like telepathy, that can sometimes freak a person out.

The gifts that arise from NOTEs (non-ordinary transcendent experiences) can be a mixed blessing. It can take time to get to know them and learnt to harness them well. They’re kind of like superpowers, which of course, should be respected.

But if we learn to work well with these new abilities, magic can truly happen.

I had the great pleasure of presenting at this year’s IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies) Conference on one of my favourite topics: the gifts of extraordinary experiences.

Rumi sums up these transcendent gifts as only Rumi can:

“You have no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring you. Nothing seemed right. What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the ocean. Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these. So I brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and remember me.” Rumi

Here’s the recording of the complete presentation plus Q&A. We cover a lot of territory.

Hope you enjoy it!

Shine on.

Nicole xx

What Happens Beyond Extraordinary Experiences?

I often get asked if I’ve ever had extraordinary experiences. And if so, what happened?

As anyone who’s had such an experience can attest, it’s often difficult to sum up such transformative live events in a few neat sentences. So, it’s a real pleasure to have the opportunity to share some of my story and to extend the discussion into what life is like through and beyond these experiences.

Those familiar with my work will know that I’m passionate not only about the wild variety of NOTEs (non-ordinary transcendent experiences)—of which there are more than 500!—but also life AFTER these profound experiences. Specifically, how they change us and what we then feel pulled to do in the world.

In fact, I love this stuff so much it’s why I do what I do every single day as a coach for NOTEs experiencers and those seeking a life of spiritual health.

I’m most grateful to Sheryl Gottschall, Barry Taylor, and the Afterlife Discussions community in Brisbane, Australia, for the invitation to share in a wonderful conversation.

If you desire a safe and supportive space to process your NOTEs and to explore the changes in your life they have prompted, it would be my honour to work with you.

Here’s 3 was to join me in live coaching: a new Shine Brighter Success Circle starting early 2019, The Emergence Salon, or a one-to-one Deep Dive Intensive.

Love them all and not sure which one’s the best match for you? Book a FREE 30 minute Discovery Call with me and we’ll figure out your best road forward.

Shine on!

Why The World Needs A Spiritual Science

Voila! The latest episode of Take NOTE, the place to be to make the most of your non-ordinary transcendent experiences. Today we speak with Prof. Steve Taylor about his newest book, Spiritual Science: Why Science Needs Spirituality To Make Sense Of The World.

Here's what Deepak Chopra said about the new book:

With elegance and lucidity, Steve Taylor explains why spiritual science is the only hope for humanity. A science based on the superstition of matter as fundamental reality could lead to our extinction but a science grounded in the understanding of consciousness as a fundamental reality – as described by this book – could be our saving grace.

In this conversation, we touch on:
💎 why and how current materialist science is outdated
💎 how a spiritual science can explain phenomena that seem to defy reality, such as near-death and awakening experiences 
💎 how depression can be reframed from "broken brain" to something so much more (and therefore navigated more wholesomely)
💎 what an awakening experience is and who has them
💎 introversion, extroversion and the spiritual journey
💎 the cultural shift taking place right now that is ESSENTIAL for the future of our species and planet

May you enjoy these diamonds and share with those who you know will dig this too. Don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my Youtube channel so you never miss an episode.

Get your copy of the book at https://www.stevenmtaylor.com/

Got someone you'd love to hear an interview with in a future episode? Let me know!

Shine on! ✨😊✨ #thepowerofNOTEs

The 8 Transcendent Gifts Arising From NDEs

Looking forward to presenting at the upcoming International Association For Near-Death Studies (IANDS) conference. 80 amazing speakers including NY Times bestseller Dr. Eben Alexander and PMH Atwater, a pioneer of NDE studies. It's an honour to be part of this conversation into the aftereffects and gifts of NDEs--one of my favourite topics!!

I'll be speaking on...

The 8 Transcendent Gifts Arising From NDEs and Other NOTEs (Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences)

This presentation shares experiencer stories and key findings from doctoral research that explored if and how personality plays a role in life-changing NOTEs (non-ordinary transcendent experiences), their aftereffects, and the meaning experiencers make of them. Examples of NOTEs include NDEs, NDLEs, kundalini awakenings, out-of-body experiences, revelation, divine encounters, paranormal experiences, psychedelic experiences, spiritual crises, and other STEs. The findings suggest there are transcendent dimensions to personality that are “switched on” or enhanced by profound NOTEs. These transcendent dimensions provide indications of the types of gifts experiencers come to know through their experience(s), often significantly shaping their life after their experience(s) and may eventually become gifts they choose to share with others.

Although I was meant to be there in person, my circumstances have changed and I won't make it physically. BUT thanks to the wonders of technology, I'll be presenting via LIVE video. In the meantime, I'll continue to practice bilocation.

If you have an interest in NDEs or are an experiencer yourself, this is THE place to be. It will be marvellously enriching on all levels. If you can't make it in person, be sure to register for the live stream option. Gold be here.

Darkness To Light To A Global Movement featuring Kelly Walsh (aka The Positivity Princess)

Welcome to the latest episode of #TakeNOTE ~ the place to be to make the most of your Non-Ordinary Transcendent Experiences!

NOTEs often bring about an insatiable desire to help others and make the world a better place. In this episode, we speak with Kelly Michelle Walsh (aka the Positivity Princess), who is one such person. Her purpose is "to help you shine so friggin bright the world needs to wear sunglasses!" 

We discuss:

  •  Kelly's suicide attempt that led to a near-death experience and gave her a mission to fulfil on planet earth
  • the ups and downs after an awakening experience
  • the importance of an anchoring person or community as one goes through transformation
  • navigating the mental health system as a NOTEs experiencer and how you can help as a loved one or mental health professional
  • Kelly's experience-based perspective on suicide and what happens beyond the physical with those who suicide
  • the birth of a movement to create more positivity on this planet (with the help of those in the physical, those no longer in the physical, and other non-local forces) and how you can get involved

A whole heap of loving goodness and real talk in this interview.

You can get in touch with Kelly here

And join the Positivity Power movement here

The book "The Transformative Power of Near Death Experiences: How the Messages of NDEs Can Positively Impact the World" with a prologue from Neale Donald Walsch is available from Amazon and other online sellers. Highly recommended.

SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel and never miss an episode of quality content to grow your spiritual health and life wealth.

Shine on beautiful people.

Life As A Dream Oracle with Dyana Valentine

Voila! The latest episode of #TakeNOTE, the place to be to make the most of your non-ordinary transcendent experiences!

In this episode we speak with Dyana Valentine, oracle and teacher. She shares with us what a modern-day oracle is, how this work came to her, and how she works with dreams to help answer people's deepest existential questions.

We talk about:

  • what is an oracle?
  • how dreams give powerful messages for waking life
  • staying congruent as a NOTEs experiencer
  • learning discernment with one's gifts (especially in the early days)
  • developing a process that works for communicating non-ordinary messages
  • working with Spirit/Creator (whatever you want to call it) through everyday life, particularly as an entrepreneur
  • creating and honouring a healthy process as a highly sensitive person, including dealing with the world's pains and troubles
  • the dangers of transformation without grounded support, context, and integration
  • being ok with uncomfortable situations and conversations in an often superficial world (including the "spiritual" community)
  • questioning whether NOTEs need to lead to service, or not!
  • learning which NOTEs are for sharing with others and which aren't
  • figuring out what is your SOUL FOOD

Like, share & enjoy beautiful people! We'd love to hear your thoughts arising from this conversation.

As always, shine on.

And to never miss an episode of Take NOTE, subscribe to my youtube channel. Share with people who will benefit. Thank you. 

You can get in touch with Dyana here.

Navigating Spiritual Awakening & Its Challenges with Dr Bonnie Greenwell

For more than 30 years, Dr. Bonnie Greenwell has specialized in mentoring people going through transformative experiences relating to spiritual awakening and the kundalini process. Among many hats, Bonnie founded and directed the Kundalini Research Network, established the Shanti River Center and has authored several key books on awakening.

We discuss her latest book When Spirit Leaps: Navigating The Process Of Spiritual Awakening.


  • What is kundalini?
  • What is non-dualism?
  • How do we awaken?
  • Major common obstacles to transformation
  • What does liberation look like?

The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences with Dr Penny Sartori

In this episode of Take NOTE, world-renowned expert in near-death experiences, Dr. Penny Sartori, tells us about her latest her latest work, the highly acclaimed book she co-authored with Kelly Walsch, The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences: how the messages of NDEs positively impact the world.

Awakening The Visionary Spirit: an interview with Dr. Mick Collins

An interview with Dr. Mick Collins on his new book The Visionary Spirit: Awakening to the Imaginal Realm in the Transformocene Age.

We cover a lot of ground including challenging NOTEs (non-ordinary transcendent experiences), integrating profound experiences, collective transformation, how personal growth relates to planetary health, how to work with the imaginal realm, what evolution to the transformocene age could look like, and most importantly putting all that good stuff to imaginative action.

Enjoy the deep dive!

Life beyond spiritual emergence: an interview with Katie Mottram

Had a fun time last night in an interview with the delightful Katie Mottram, creatress of the #EmergingProud movement that seeks to give voice to those “coming out of the spiritual closet”. We talk #thepowerofNOTEs, research findings, and I share about some of my own NOTEs and how they brought me to this work.

Katie is doing amazing work bridging the gap between mental health services and challenging spiritual emergence experiences. If you want to share your experiencer story, hear others, or seek resources in this area, check out all the goodies at https://emergingproud.com/

Jung On Yoga by Prof. Dario Nardi: a book review

Originally published in The Bulletin of Psychological Type. Vol. 41, Issue 6, 2017

Editor’s Note

Doing a book review is incredibly time consuming. We are very appreciative of both Nicole Gruel’s expertise and time committed to review Dario Nardi’s new book for us. I love Nicole’s description of “Nardi’s erudite yet whimsical style of presentation.” This book is both expert and eclectic. Not just anyone could have reviewed this for us, so I’m especially grateful to this contribution from Nicole.

Happy Type Watching to you, and Happy Type Reading, too,

Carol Linden

Jung on Yoga: Insights and Activities to Awaken with the Chakras. Dario Nardi. 2017. Los Angeles, CA: Radiance House. 140 pages.

When Jung unveiled Psychological Types in 1921, he went to great lengths to explain his theory of individuation. Namely, he believed the opposition of forces within the psyche creates important opportunities for a person to transcend the tension and continually grow to new ways of being and knowing in the world. With the posthumous release of what he considered his most important oeuvre, The Red Book: Liber Novus (2009), we further know that his theory of psychological type was intended to be a dynamic tool to venture into, through, and beyond the wilderness of psyche. Indeed, in the years he grappled with the unconscious he was also writing Psychological Types, attempting to encapsulate his psychology of consciousness. Jung, at his core, was intrigued by how we can actively experience the divine within whilst best making use of our natural typological tendencies. At the same time, he forewarned of his typology’s potential to become a mere “childish parlour game” of labeling, a reality manifest today that would likely have him turning in his grave.

Dario Nardi’s Jung on Yoga is an insightful breath of fresh air that returns typology to its intended roots of individuation and active awakening. Its hope is, as Nardi says, echoing Yogi Bhajan, to bring greater health, happiness, and holiness. The book uses Jung’s 1932 lectures on kundalini yoga as a jumping off point for a broad and fascinating synthesis of typology, individuation, the yogic chakra system, neuroscience, and entheogens. It is where depth psychology meets transpersonal psychology and modern brain science. Through it, Nardi has attempted to reconcile Jung’s interpretation of the chakras—a system of centers through the body that receive, assimilate, and express life-force energy—with the actual descriptions found in yoga. Nardi has further added his own creative twist with symbolic imagery and practical activities to help the reader grasp, engage, and integrate vast bodies of information.

Part One of the book provides a broad overview introducing kundalini yoga, the chakras as both biological centers and psycho-spiritual gateways, Jung’s interest in the chakras, and how the journey of individuation relates to awakening levels of consciousness.

Part Two takes a deep dive into each chakra, presenting and elaborating upon Jung’s descriptions. Each chakra is complemented by mindful activities and self-reflective prompts so the reader can actively engage personal growth and even self-score a chakra profile. Unlike the regular seven-fold model of the chakras, here we find an additional version of the third eye chakra with a quintessentially Jungian flavor, which Nardi names Jung’s 6th chakra of psyche and imagination. It is in this center that we “tap strange imagery from the unconscious, get in touch with the many archetypes, and perform alchemy for spiritual growth” (p.57). Whether Jung confused the Sanskrit names of the higher chakras with their function, fundamentally misunderstood them, was misinformed, or simply took creative liberties, his somewhat unconventional western interpretations nonetheless add to a richer modern conception of the chakras.

In keeping with Jung’s fondness of mandalas for exploration and resolution, Nardi has similarly provided summative tableaus filled with symbolic imagery for each chakra to help the reader get in touch with themselves. The tableaus are a combination of traditional yogic chakra symbolism, thematic aspects of Jung’s descriptions, and Nardi’s playful imagination. The outer frames of each tableau represent the gradual dissolving of ego boundaries as one moves from the root to the crown chakra. Each is far more than an intriguing picture; the tableaus alone are transformative tools for the visually inclined.

Part Three offers ways to practically work with the chakras through basic kundalini yoga exercises. Much like attending a yoga class, Nardi guides the reader through several body, breath, and mindfulness practices that can easily be incorporated into one’s practice. Such exercises were traditionally practiced with the guidance of a teacher and within the safety of a sacred space, such as an ashram, with full awareness of their potency and potential to awaken the practitioner as they were designed to do. Nardi appropriately recommends one finds a guide if venturing beyond the basics and discusses the signs, symptoms, and what to do in the case of a sudden release of life-force energy.

This section also touches on tantric yoga—the harmonizing and exchanging of male and female energies—which aligns well with Jung’s concept of the anima/animus and what he believed to be their inevitable encounter in the journey of individuation. There is a complementary checklist of the chakras for couples to explore.

Also included in this part is an overview of the nervous system and what occurs neurologically during awakening and altered states of consciousness. In addition to yoga, Nardi discusses various other methods and traditions of psycho-spiritual transformation, including the ceremonial use of entheogens.

Part Four, aptly titled “More Jung”, presents Jung’s model of the psyche and suggestions for how the chakras relate to the types. Nardi postulates that the transcendent function acts as a “motor for growth” as one develops through the chakras over a lifetime. This is one of the book’s most significant contributions as it links the chakra system to a key aspect of Jung’s theory in a way that Jung himself did not. The table on chakras as developmental levels (p.115) neatly compresses this idea and the spiral chart (p.121) presents an alternate model of individuating and eventual awakening through the chakras.

Once again, practical activities are provided, this time for specifically developing Jung’s 6th chakra and working with opposites in the chakras. Interestingly, a final note compares ego development in the east and west—an important distinction to keep in mind when navigating Jung’s thoughts on any one of the many eastern philosophies and concepts he explored.

Part Five wraps up this grand tour with the Wheel of Conscious Experience, a tool to “stay awake” beyond transformative experiences. In it, Nardi has brought together stages of individuation with various states of consciousness and activities for psycho-spiritual growth. It allows the reader to locate where one is in life’s great journey and to shift to the next natural phase when the time is appropriate. It is a means of keeping the alchemical process of transformation alive and well.

Overall, this book is an ambitious effort that brings together several dense subjects in a light and practical manner. True to Nardi’s erudite yet whimsical style of presentation, this text is sure to become a favorite in any type lover’s library as well as a frequent go-to reference. For those who dare to accept the challenge and embark on diligent self- exploration through this book, hold onto your chakras . . . you’re in for a treat!

What Are NOTEs and How Can We Work With Them?

My first ever FB live with Inner World Village Coach, Megan Baker. Please excuse the tech hiccups and sudden ending! We discuss what NOTEs are, the good, the challenging, and their integration.

Special announcement in the video: In partnership with IANDS (International Association of Near Death Studies), we will be starting Online Sharing Groups for NDE and other NOTE experiencers. If you’d like to join a group, please contact IANDS. Our first pilot group, which I will facilitate, will begin March/April 2018.

Transformation and the Transcendent Dimensions of Personality

A talk given by Dr. Nicole Gruel at the Australian Association for Psychological Type (AusAPT) 2017 Conference in Sydney, Australia.

It Ain’t Funny, Until It’s Funny: Encountering The Great Cosmic Joke

Originally published in the Shades of Awakening online magazine, Issue #3, January 2018.

Shades News, a curated look at some of the projects and offerings from our Shades Forum members and the broader Spiritual Emergence(y) and Transformational Crisis community. Shades of Awakening is a community platform providing a safe container to ask questions and have conversations about such topics.

I remember the first time I encountered The Great Cosmic Joke. I was dutifully scrubbing the shower floor at an ashram in the picturesque countryside of Australia. At that time I took spirituality rather seriously. I woke at 4am each morning to pour warm salty water through my nostrils, practiced yoga postures several times a day, read as much of the recommended texts as I could, took pains to pronounce every Sanskrit word accurately, wore the right coloured clothes, was acutely attuned to the ins and outs of every breath, and aspired to embody a yogic path as perfectly as possible.

As I crouched on the shower floor that morning, fixated on the tiles whilst inhaling a cleaning mix of vinegar and eucalyptus oil, my entire life spontaneously flashed before me.

For some reason the absurdity of it all—life that is—hit me hard and I burst into a long hysterical laughter. Its beauty. Its brevity. Its poignancy that is but a mere pinprick in the eternity of time. I felt like I’d been whacked with a cosmic baseball bat. The game of life I thought I’d been playing revealed that, actually, all along I’d been played. It was literally rolling on the shower floor, tears streaming down my face, laughing so hard there is no sound, can’t make it stop, people getting worried kind of moment.

I’ve never quite been the same since. I’ve also become far more relaxed.

Laughter, as we know, provides numerous benefits from major feel-good endorphin rushes to better physical, emotional, mental, and social health. It works magic in the family, the workplace, and especially the bedroom! In the context of awakening experiences, there are even more benefits this grand trickster provides. It helps keep the rabbit holes light, reveals irony, and cultivates the ability to live with the paradoxes of non-ordinary transcendent experiences (NOTEs).

And given all that NOTEs experiencers go through, sometimes there really is nothing else to do but laugh.

It’s no accident that The Fool in tarot is unnumbered, giving him the ability to have both the first and final laugh. Nor is it an accident that the fat jolly man of the ten Buddhist Ox Herding pictures (a visual representation of an awakening process) makes his debut in the final image of the series—a representation of successful integration and full participation back in the ordinary world. In naïveté lies a certain kind of wisdom, and vice versa.

That meeting with the Universe’s wicked and twisted sense of humor was, for me, the first of many to come. Over the years, and having spoken with many NOTEs experiencers, I’ve found that the ability to see divine comedy at play is most helpful for those who live the extraordinary within the ordinary.

Ironically, it often ain’t funny at all, until it’s really funny.

Laughter doesn’t excuse or diminish situations that need addressing. Nor is it an excuse for inaction or spiritual bypassing. Rather, the capacity to have a laugh no matter the situation can provide welcome relief and warmth, especially throughout and beyond the disorientation that can accompany awakening processes.

Life at any given time might be painful, ugly, or a glorious mess. Regardless, it seems that as long as there’s just a glint of humor to be found in the mighty madness of it all, everything becomes just that little bit easier.

Laughter really may just be the best kind of medicine out there!