Getting into the grit of us

October 1, 2018

I like to know the grit of people before getting involved in things, so I am asking what The Mystery School truly means to you away from the videos and away from the gloss?

This week we launched The Mystery School, after years of gestation and months of focused work. We are two days away from ending the initial launch period and closing the enrolment desk, and lots of folk are contacting us with great questions. Today we thought we would send you a quick note with our response to one of them, this one here, as it was a really interesting question and got us thinking.

It was me (Nicola) who fielded the response, and so I will share why the School is so important to me here. I thought it would make a useful blog! I know Jason will have his own story in his own words, but we come from similar places with this and so here is mine…


Over the past twenty years I have really struggled with the World I was born into. So much didn’t make sense as I grew up and stepped out into adulthood. I had my own personal crisis launching out into the World resulting in a breakdown at twenty one, which was undoubtedly the beginning of my awakening process. So often we only begin to look up when we reach rock bottom. It has been a long journey to get to where I am now, and quite frankly, what I have learnt over the years I feel strongly needs to get out there for others to know too.

I am going to be very blunt now. These are serious times. We all feel it, and every year things seem to get a little more uncertain and a little crazier in our Western World. We feel it and some of us speak our concerns to those who will listen… that we are in the end of days. When I say end of days, I am in particular speaking of climate change and the break down of our earth systems. The World is going to look very, very different in my lifetime. This is a difficult time to be alive, coming to terms with this knowledge and awareness that previous generations, including our parents, just haven’t had to face. As we are pushed to our own limits within our own lives, we start to seek ways to heal outside of the conventional, and this leads to unchartered territory which can feel pretty wobbly. Yet it is an incredibly exciting time as well, as the old structures crumble and give way to an opportunity to create something new. As we awaken to this awareness we need to find support to carry us through.

It is a fine balance now as to whether we as a species are going to make it, and when I look at the science it is clear on a head level that we aren’t. Yet at a gut level I have a deep hope that humanity pulls through, wakes up and wakes up in time, and we can create something beautiful together. If we can’t, well we can have a beautiful sunset as we come to a new level of awareness that we are free beings, and can lead the very lives we dream of.


The Essential Things

So my role in the World is to play a part in that awakening process, helping seekers access their spiritual guidance so they can find their role in what some call The Great Turning. I feel there are five things which are essential in these changing times, and The Mystery School brings all of these five things.

The first is to build community. For so long so many of us have been on our own in our thoughts and beliefs. Yet when we come together incredible things happen. I see it the and time again when we run workshops and retreats, and also in our online Born Free community which has been going for two years now. We don’t need to be alone anymore.

Our annual community woodland retreat Space to Emerge

The second is to get our connection with our spiritual guidance nailed. Too long we have had to listen to someone telling us what we should think, believe and do in this World. Yet we all have the ability to move beyond this and connect in with the guidance held for us in the Otherworlds. The World beyond the physical World. Two things have been incredibly transformational for me in this respect, and they are Shamanic Journeying and Nature Connection. So we are majoring on both of these in the School.

The third is to see the beauty in the Earth. If we are at the point of no return with life on Earth, as the scientists tell us, then I liken this period to sitting with someone we love who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. After the shock of the news, what would I do? I would do my utmost to enjoy every minute I could with them, doing all the things together I treasure in my heart. I would see the beauty in them, tell them, and celebrate this with them. This is how I relate to our Earth now. I see the beauty in her, and I am working through all my blocks I put in the way so I can spend more and more time with her, one on one.

Our stomping ground, Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors

The fourth is to work on my own healing journey. I cannot heal all the problems of the World, and I have tried pretty hard at this in the past before I figured that one out(!), but I do have direct influence in healing myself, a 100% influence. So if I take charge of that little bit that I can control, then I will be different in the World and this will undoubtedly have ripples. The Shamanic toolkit has been and continues to be an incredible resource for my own inner healing, and no wonder, as it is the most ancient healing modality humanity has. We have evolved as a species with it because it is so effective for us and our lives.

The fifth and final important thing I have found to focus on is all about bringing through my creativity. Through my connection, my healing of blockages, I can find my creative place in this world, and help to create a new World. If we can learn to hear messages from our Spirit Guides, and have the self belief to carry out their guidance, maybe, just maybe humanity will shift into something glorious, and reclaim back a relationship with the Earth which has systematically been removed over the last 10,000 years since the birth of ‘civilization’. The Fall by Steve Taylor sums up my position beautifully if you want to read more into this and my take on how things are shaping up for humanity. It is an incredibly well researched and thought out book.


The Grit

So, there we have it. This is the grit of me and why the Mystery School is so important to me. Through this space Jason and I can offer a place where like minded souls can come together, share, learn, grow and celebrate together. As our Guides have told us, The Mystery School isn’t for everyone, but there is something here for everyone. We are so pleased the uptake has been positive so far, and look forward very much to great adventures together in the months and years ahead.

If you are on the fence as to whether to join us in this initial launch period, my gut response  would be … what have you got to lose by joining and finding out if it is for you? This is why we have developed the pricing structure we have. For the price of one or two bottles of wine people can join and just check us out and see if the experience is helpful for them. Then if they can’t find anything which lands all they need to do is unsubscribe. It’s worth a go. It might be one of the best decisions you make this year, you never know!

You can find out all about The Mystery School and what it offers by clicking here.

Do drop us an email if you have any questions at all, and we shall hope to see you in the School. Enrolment closes at midnight on Monday 1st October.

Also, we would love to hear what you think about The Mystery School, or anything we have talked about in this blog in the comment box below 🙂


About the Author


Nicola Smalley is an edge-dweller, shamanic practitioner and writer living in Anglezarke on the edge of the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, England.
Following a career in corporate sustainability, she now runs The Way of the Buzzard with her husband Jason. Her passion is anything connected to nature and the mysteries of the Earth.

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  1. Thanks for your thoughts Nicola.

    For me I have a longing to connect with the Spirits of the Woods and FEEL them.

    My job is fortunate in that I get to visit different parts of the Countryside, mainly farmers fields, but occasionally Woods.

    I want to deepen and strengthen my connection with my Guides and Spirits through my Shamanic Practice. Anything else is a bonus.

    Kind regards
    Ian Wallsh

  2. Hi Nicola and Jason
    I was introduced to shamanic drumming and journeying by a friend only a short while ago, and I felt I had really found a spiritual practice and way of life I could embrace. The small monthly investment to be part of the Mystery School is worth far more to me than I can express. I spend a huge amount of time in nature accompanied by my ‘lifetime spiritual guides’ my four springer spaniels. They give me such insight into how I need to be living, with simplicity and no attachment. I am in the main a solitary practitioner, which to some extent I don’t mind, but it is very limiting. Since joining the Mystery School, I have found a like minded community which through the videos, coaching call, journey circle and facebook page, is giving me a sense of belonging to a wonderful spiritual family. Thank you both for the tremendous compassion you both have, to give such a huge amount of your time for the benefit of myself and others. xx

    1. Oh Helen what a super thing to hear. Thank you so much. We are delighted that The Mystery School is working so well for you and bringing you so much. Just super to hear, thank you!

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