Listening & Intuition with Emily Hall

This week, I spoke with Emily Hall about bringing intuition and curiosity into your business. Read the transcript of our conversation below. Enjoy!

Natalie: Tell people just a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Emily: Okay. So I love this question because one of the most frequent questions I get is “when did you start learning about energy and intuition?”

And the true answer is intuition and energy has been a part of my life since I was a small child. I would say the major differences is, my evolution, my understanding, the consciousness of how I interact with it has been shaped in my adulthood. And so from a professional perspective, this has really formed around the theme of holistic health and wellness, because I'm a firm believer that intuition is a part of our holistic wellbeing.

The more that you learn the sound of your inner voice and how to tap into it and connect with it, the greater competence you have.

And so therefore affecting your overall health and wellbeing and professional facets in a way this has really taken shape is the fact that I've been a registered nurse for over two decades.

Some of that in level one trauma centers and some of that in the Amazon jungle, working with ethnobotanists and indigenous healers. I'm a Western herbalist because I believe in the healing energy of plants in the natural energy that exists within the earth. Probably most important to how I work with people today is that I have been for the past 25 years studying various forms of energy work and intuitive practices, whether it's Reiki or healing touch, or nature based things.

That leads me in the ability of guiding and teaching and working with clients one-on-one. And if I can help you to an end and turn up the volume on that, then that is counted as a success in my world.

Natalie: That's really cool. I'm curious, you mentioned your relationship with your intuition sort of evolving as, as you've gotten older.

Do you think that this is the sort of thing that people either nurture that relationship or just don't, and that's maybe why we don't feel connected to it and as an adult.

Emily: Yeah, I think that's a really important question because I do know that everybody is born with the same level of intuition.

We all have this amazing inner voice, this inner wisdom, and then perhaps circumstances in our life or curiosity as we age encourages us to really turn up the listening on that.

So, yes, I would say that engaging with our intuition is available to all of us. And then there are some of us that pay attention to it for whatever circumstances from a younger age, and that begins to evolve maybe a little bit faster or with more confidence.

Natalie: That makes perfect sense. So you have your place in Minneapolis and I've been there. We've done some work together there, mutually photos and energy work, which has been really awesome. Are you, are you doing anything else outside of the work you do in that space?

Emily: So I love working with clients one-on-one.

I do that in my space in Minneapolis, which is a really incredible listening practice where I can help you tap into that wisdom of your body and understand how it's speaking to you. Then I also have a practice over Zoom where I work as more of a guided intuition with people, and help them reframe the messages that their body's experiencing. I help them learn to strengthen the confidence of how they can listen to themselves just in everyday life. But part of my real passion is teaching energy. And this happens certainly in one-on-one sessions. It also happens in some of the speaking engagements I do, and some of the products and information that I put out there on my social media platforms.

I think that the largest misnomer around energy is that you have to be well-versed in it, and that you have to practice it for a long time. And the truth is that it's with you at all times. And every single one of us is able to tap into that.

So all of the work I do, I just love encouraging people that they are already an energy worker and an intuitive being. They can just really turn the volume up on this sometimes.

Say, you know, I feel like I speak dozens of languages, but only one of them is verbal, being English.

Energy's this amazing silent communicator. The more ways that we learn to tap into it, the broader our confidence and our existence with it is.

Natalie: And, you know, tying that into this podcast, Photo Business Help, but also just anybody in creative business, I bump up against a lot of situations where I don't necessarily have the answer as a coach or as a mentor for people. There's a lot of decisions that are made in business in particular that for me personally, have been really deeply connected to what feels right in my intuitive center. When trying to then convey that to students or clients, it can be a little challenging because there isn't a right answer. The right answer is the one that feels right for you.

Emily: Absolutely. I think that what you're saying there is so wise. If somebody came to me and asked, how can I tap into my intuition with more confidence and purposefulness? My answer is always the same. The advice that I give is first, you need to start giving yourself credit for how you're already doing it, because it isn't some evasive identity that's out there that you're seeking to pull into who you are and it's already a part of yourself.

The first thing we have to do is give ourselves credit for “where am I already connecting with my intuition?” And this is often in small little ways–knowing what you want for breakfast, standing in front of a row of cameras and feeling a pull to get curious about a certain one. That sounds benign and maybe just like a tiny little glimpse, but that's your body speaking to you.

So first look at your life and how you're giving yourself listening ability to your intuition. Give yourself credit, look at your life and give yourself credit.

And then secondly, pay attention to what it feels like in your body when you're pulled in a certain direction. Because, whether it's as simple as breakfast or it's a large decision, like how do I want to pivot my career path? There is always an intuitive response in your body. And when we are linked into a place of confidence with that, it usually feels like excitement or curiosity.

It can still feel nervous. We can still have little tendrils of doubt, but there is a willingness to get curious and explore.

Intuition feels positive. Now, does that mean we can't make hard decisions with it? Of course not. We can make challenging decisions, but it feels like we're curious about what could be next, whether it's the food we want for breakfast or a career pivot.

Natalie: In other words, I'm thinking light and shadow. Intuition feels positive, but can it also be something that guides you because you're like, oh no, that is not for me.

Emily: Yes. I'm glad you brought that up. And you know, that happens all the time where that sense of yes can rise amazingly, we can all have the “heck yes” if you will, but we can also have the “heck no.”

My intuition can stop me from moving forward with just as loud of a voice as it can pull me with curiosity.

And we equate that to like dangerous situations or wrong choices.

Yes. But ultimately whether it is a stop and the hell no. That is still deep listening to the right action for you. Sometimes that will be an easy, joyful decision. Other times that might take a little bit of discernment and figuring out what's at the root of something. But it always links back to that deep listening and that checkmark of “aha. This is the right decision for me.”

Natalie: One of the big examples that I see show up, is as a photographer, in the early days, I feel like my intuition was real loud in the “no” column with certain inquiries. For example, you get an email and someone is just really demanding, or really disorganized, or maybe it's even spam.

I can remember feeling in my gut an instant reaction of not feeling aligned with wanting to do the work with this person. I think that that's something that I end up talking about a lot in my coaching sessions, because when folks are starting out or if you're in a slow season and a little bit of a financial pinch, whatever has brought you to the place of like really wanting to book more gigs, your intuition can be a really powerful tool in those situations. The instinct is to want to just like, yeah, “book more, I need more money, more experience.” If you get that sort of rising “this doesn't feel good.” I think that's something to listen to for sure, because that's not the kind of business that you want to build upon.

Emily: For my business entrepreneur clients, this is one of the questions that we get the most often. And I think what I hear you saying here is talking about boundaries, because…

boundaries ultimately are an awareness of our intuition.

A large misconception about boundaries is that there are action steps that we have to set up and say, “I will not work past 5:00 PM. I will not respond to cold calls in this manner.”

But what boundaries really are, is the ability to step into whatever opportunity is in front of us. In that moment, touch in with that energetic core of who we are intuition and be able to respond from that place.

When we're setting up the boundaries of it is saying, “what are my loose themes around this, for this business entrepreneur? What kind of hours do I want to work? What are my ideal clients?” Taking the time to really learn to step back and say, “am I listening to what is right for me?” Because there's so much joyful excitement that comes in through business creation and starting your own entrepreneur business. It's an amazing connection with your intuition because you're already, sinking into something that provides you passion and likely was inspired from this deep place inside of you.

Natalie: What would you say to somebody who just has no clue how to connect with this part of themselves? Is there an exercise or sort of a place to start?

Emily: So the first thing again is I want everybody, whether this is in a business perspective or you're just coming to me from a personal perspective, is to start giving yourself credit on what you're doing.

The best way to gain confidence in listening to our inner wisdom or our intuition is to give ourself credit that we're already doing it.

It's very hard to grow your confidence. If you are not feeling that you're succeeding in some way, shape or form. So first give yourself credit where you are succeeding in a business perspective. Do you love your work hours? Are you super proud of yourself for changing your career path? Do you really enjoy engaging with somebody? And then you naturally start to expand and get curious about how you want to keep growing that.

So that first one is really an awareness. Like where am I aware that I am doing well?

The second one is more of an action step, and that is really finding a ritual, if you will. Set a space for listening. And you can look at where you already do that. Perhaps you're a runner and you were really good at tapping into yourself when you're running. Perhaps you're a journaler, and that's where you can go quiet, but set a space for listening.

So it can be as simple as lighting a candle, taking a couple of deep breaths and just allowing yourself to be present.

Give yourself credit, and then find a space for listening–create a ritual around, tapping into your inner wisdom.

Natalie: Yeah, for me, a big one is just going and saying hello to all my plants, because I have so many of them. Just kind of like taking a minute, getting away from the screen and just like looking at how they've grown since yesterday.

Nature is such a huge communicator of energy too. And it is not a verbal language. It's one of those languages that I refer to as a silent language. And so often for people that get interested in nature, whether it's in their house with plants or outdoors in the outside world, there is a sacredness that rises and the ability to connect with that quiet because nature doesn't ask us to speak.

And so as humans, it's a lot easier for us to go quiet when we are around a natural substance or plant or animal, or just an environmental outside because it encourages quiet.

How do you create the skeleton of an intuitive business? This is what I would do: look at that skeleton. Look at the baseline. How much do you want to work? What are the hours.

Can you be flexible around this? 100%. Intuition is never about locking ourselves into a viewpoint. It is about flexibility and fluidity and a business requires us to also have flexibility and fluidity.

But that isn't where we necessarily have to start. We can start with where we want it to go.

“Start as you mean to go on”, has to begin somewhere that you're excited about, but it needs to remain flexible and fluid.

Natalie: That's a huge one. I think the evolution of business is change. If you're static, you're gonna eventually be irrelevant.

I think that idea of “start as you mean to go on” really speaks back kind of circling back to part one of this conversation. I was saying in the early days, it's tempting to want to say yes to everything, but sometimes we get those emails where we're like, “oh, I can already tell that this client is [going to be difficult.] That would be a place to check in and say, I think I'm just going to pass on this.

Emily: When listening to intuition, it is about flexibility and fluidity, and that's true in business as well as in life.

And so if you receive a client call or an opportunity that comes to you and you just have this sinking, yucky feeling in your tummy, then that's a good reason to ask a second follow-up question with yourself. Sometimes we get that sinking feeling when it's a boundary, we actually need to push a little bit as well.

You have to have a follow-up question for yourself. “I'm responding with this negative feeling right now. It doesn't feel good. Maybe this is my gut instinct or intuition saying, “no, I shouldn't approach this opportunity.” Ask yourself, “why is this a situation that I really genuinely want to back away from? Is this a situation that I feel nervous about, and I'd like to explore a little bit more?” You don't have to commit right away. Stay fluid and flexible.

Natalie: It's really useful as well, because I think that there's an important distinction in following up with yourself because, “Life is what happens outside of your comfort zone.” That idea that stepping outside of what's comfortable is how we grow. How would you say you tell the difference between kind of being afraid in a way that you should push yourself versus [stepping away.]

Emily: Yeah, I think that's a really important distinction question. The fun part is that it's a very easy answer, but you have to practice the answer through curiosity. So let's say you get that email for a photography request. Your first response is, “oh, I don't do that type of photography.”

And you know, deep down inside of you, get curious with yourself. “Why don't I do that type of photography?” Your answers are probably going to pop to the top. Maybe it's “that isn't an area I'm interested in. I don't have that skill set yet. It just feels off to me.” All of those are valid. It also goes the other way.

If you feel like, “Oh, I shouldn't accept this.” Ask yourself “why shouldn't I accept this? What's going on?”

Get curious, keep asking yourself questions, explore the answer. Sit with yourself in meditation for a minute. And so how you get past that boundary is through curiosity always, and curiosity is going to lead you one way or another. It is going to lead you to the place of continuing to want to explore more. Or it is going to lead you to a clear or different definition of no.

Natalie: I've had this idea of between being in a space of judgment or curiosity. I guess an easy example is just someone cuts you off in traffic. Judgment is cussing and just telling the world that that person's the biggest idiot. Curiosity is like, “huh, I wonder what happened to them today. I wonder if they're just a really frustrated person. I wonder if they're on the way to the hospital. Maybe they're running late for something really important.” Stepping into curiosity always feels better to me than not.

Emily: As it should, because judgment both as an energetic emotion, but as an action experience, judgment stops the conversation. It stops a conversation with somebody else it's even more importantly, it stops the conversation within ourselves. Curiosity, both as an energetic vibration, and as an action, continues the conversation. I want to be clear here that just because we are exploring or that we're curious about something, we still haven't committed yet.

Curiosity keeps that doorway open until we're confident in what our commitment is, whether we're committing to the opportunity or whether we are committing to saying no to an opportunity.

And remember this conversation can happen within you in the quiet of your own exploration. Keep it within the perspective, but again, intuition requires that flexibility and fluidity. Judgment just says no without any understanding why.

Natalie: I think that's a really important tool for people to practice, curiosity in conjunction with that intuitive connection.

Emily: Also a big one that we've talked about this whole time is just being flexible.

You know, it doesn't have to be the decision immediately. There's so many incredible ways to give yourself breathing room. You could say, “Let me get back to you on that. Let me think about it. “I need to get a little bit more information on this”. There's so many ways to just give yourself room to listen verbally.

Natalie: On that note, I would love to just have you offer the audience a parting word of advice or something that you have found that works really well for you in life or in business or both.

Emily: I do. I actually have two quick ones I'd like to share, because I think they're both really important. This one is kind of a mantra that I live by and I've had to hone this practice, but it's…

“awareness before action.”

I firmly believe that when we can step into ourselves and become aware of what life is asking us, then we are more connected with the action we take. This is not a gigantic practice. This is as simple as your tummy rumbles, so just take that pause and say, what do I want to eat right now?

The more that you can practice being aware before you take an action in the big [and small] areas of life, the more you start to gain confidence.

And that listening side of who you are and the volume of your inner wisdom. And that volume word takes me to my second piece of wisdom, which is that we all have intuition. You are in charge of the volume, because it's always with us. Some of us, maybe we turn the volume up on our intuition regularly, and we've gotten really confident in that over the years. But every single person out there has intuition.

You get to be in charge of the volume, through your curiosity and your practice.

🌸 Connect with Emily:

Emily Hall is passionate and dedicated to listening to the innate wisdom of the body. Her work is shaped by 20+ years of experience as an RN, herbalist, and energetic bodyworker, and empowers individuals to connect and listen to the language of their whole self in order to live with greater balance and awareness.


instagram   – (@emhall_listening)

youtube  – (Emily Hall – Listening to Life's Wisdom)



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