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  • The Soul Place

Indulge Your Joy

I met Nacala last spring of 2021. And although it was only virtually, it was was something special. She spoke about her work with indigenous and black and brown communities, exploring identity and celebrating and honoring their gifts. We were both in a 6 month training course with several other women and we had the opportunity to listen, connect, share and critique. Nacala shared that her business was about cultivating joy. Wow. We have a whole lot of needs in this world, but I would argue that having more joy is up there on the list of importance, or even a prerequisite to solve many of said needs. Nacala has a gift of seeing things in people that no one else (including my own self) can identify. As well as an ability to communicate with grace, power and patience. I'm honored Nacala is here to share some of her joy on Valentine's Day. I'm proud to call her my friend, my colleague and my own coach! Welcome Nacala!


I am Nacala Ayele.

Today, my professional work centers on joy. Particularly the joy of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. I help people design their lives around the things that bring them the most joy. It is a calling to remember the things that make us feel whole, alive, balanced, well and satisfied. Joy energy calls us to be the first beneficiary of our own gifts, talents and energy. It calls us to fill ourselves with our own goodness and share from the overflow, and not from deficit or scarcity. For my clients, I am that reminder.

As a jewelry artist in my teens and early 20’s, I studied under phenomenal jewelers, I taught classes and I exhibited my work. All of my art happened between school, community organizing and family commitments. My art grounded me. Jewelry making was where my soul lived most freely and served as a balancing energy for the other parts of my life that were way more difficult. Poverty, housing instability, community violence, state violence and the police murders of unarmed Black citizens in my city and across the country, weighed heavily on my heart. Jewelry was a beautiful reprieve from these hardships, and gave me a lot of joy.

Although I possess a vast collection of beads, including beads I inherited from a beloved teacher, I haven’t made much jewelry for myself. In my commitment to cultivate and center my own joy and to be the very first beneficiary of my own gifts and talents, I made this piece for myself. I am completely in love with it, and so pleased that I took the time and space to lovingly craft such a magnificent piece of adornment. Just looking at it, I am filled with joy.

This Valentine’s Day, I invite you to indulge your joyful whims. Where does your joy energy flow the most freely? How are you loving on yourself? Be completely present to all the pleasure you can create for yourself and take it into the rest of the year. Love yourself BIG!

Nacala Ayele,

Joy Actualization Coach

Joyful Practices

Title: Royalty

Materials: Amber, West African Baule beads, glass, copper

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