Nancy Hala

Nancy Hala is a brand builder, author and plant-powered cook. She’s the co-creator of The Pillar Life, a life-guidance system designed to ignite the eight pillars of a happy life, and co-host of The Sheri + Nancy Show podcast, where she and her lifelong friend, Sheri Salata, have conversations with experts, teachers and uplifters about making all the rest of their dreams come true.  

Nancy is also the creator of BrandStory, her signature approach to brand strategy, storytelling and audience building that helps small business owners and entrepreneurs articulate who they are, what they do, and why it matters.

3 words to describe Nature?

Centering. Lush. Romantic. 

3 things Nature taught you?

It is so joyful to be part of something bigger and grander and more permanent than myself. 

We are meant to be restored and replenished by the natural world, and it is available to us for that purpose, at all times. 

True beauty is often jagged (like a mountain range seen from a distance) or falling down (like a forest crisscrossed with old trees on their journey back to the earth), or full of blank spaces (like the sky on a particularly clear day). 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

The forest behind my house, which is full of tall pines and moss-covered branches and (in my imagination) goes on for miles and miles. 

The wide, sparkly lake at the center of the town where I live, which makes me feel Queenly whenever I drive around it…the majesty rubs off on me.

The ocean shore at Manzanita beach, especially when the fog rolls in and the dogs are chasing tennis balls into the foamy surf. 

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...?

Completely awakened, and the Chi of it runs through me like a current of energy. 

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like I wish I could fly, so that I could land on each of the branches of the tallest trees. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Brave, to be standing in front of a volcano. 

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Like every single moment in life – every blink, every breath, every quiet space – is more precious than we can ever comprehend. 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Like laughing

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

Like burrowing into blankets, or better yet UNDER blankets, with a flashlight and a book. 

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I am each one. If I think of my body: The Ocean is my head, because it makes me dream wider and further than anything else. The mountain is my limbs, because I feel rooted and carried by the very fact that a mountain exists. The desert is my belly, because every time I see a desert I think it looks like the center of the world. And the forest is my lungs, because it’s my favorite thing to breathe in. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?

Well beyond 10. Ten times 10. 

Share with us a childhood nature memory?

I climbed trees as a child, almost every day. I named all the trees in my backyard and I loved them, very much. There was an oak tree named Charlie and I often took a book, a pillow, and apples or peaches or plums to the sturdiest branch I could reach, and read all afternoon. One day I climbed a soaringly tall pine tree (named Bruce) on the side of my house. I ended up at the absolute top of it, so high I could see all the streets and houses of my neighborhood. I was scared for a few minutes, because it was too high and precarious for me at that age (even I knew that) and for years later I marveled that I was able to scale so high and get down safely. And no one ever knew I climbed that tree, not my mother or father or any adult in charge, and the secrecy of my daring act still feels delicious, all these years later.