Missing Hikes & Simpler Life

IMG_3741.JPG

A few months ago, I had a serious epiphany at work that shook me to my core. I was sitting in my cubicle grinding away on a grant application, munching on processed snacks and downing my third cup of coffee when I realized something. Or rather, many many legitimately scary things:

This isn’t who I want to be.

This isn’t my path, or purpose….

This is not the way I’m meant to live.

I’m not spoiled, naïve, or unrealistic. I know I need to earn money to pay bills and make a living. I get it. However, that doesn’t mean that working full time is the only way to do so.

After that day, I cut my hours down to part time, got a job teaching soccer at various preschools, and found myself with an abundance of time. Time to hike, run, train, surf, play, read, write, nap….you name it, I could do it.

Living that was beautiful, simple, and stress free. As you might expect, it wasn’t all that lucrative. I struggled and blossomed all at once, and realized I had a more important dream than doing nothing: creating a career I love by building my own business.

My boyfriend and I started our own company – a real, adulty, official LLC. It’s been lots of late nights, early mornings, crazy afternoons and jam packed work. I have less time now to surf and hike and play than I ever have, but the fulfillment of building and working for our own life is radically different than working for someone else’s dreams. We’re chasing our own, and even the daily grind of constant tasks and small fires are fulfilling on a much deeper level.

Running a business and keeping up our side jobs is a lot of work, but it’s not a lot of stress. We’re physically tired, but we’re spiritually vibrant and mentally sharp. We’re worn out, but we’re happy. We don’t have as much time to go to the beach or hike or adventure, but every day is filled with a different kind of fun and satisfaction.

Our lives aren’t simple right now, but we’re building a foundation for a happier, simpler, and easier life for the rest of our time here on this earth – one hand-laid brick at a time.

Cheers to the end game,

Nikki

Hawaii Poetry Slam

I have been the worst poet ever for the last four or five months. I love poetry, and there’s a special place in my heart for the live stuff. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s incredible, and pretty astounding how creative and eloquent humans can be. When I share my poems, I feel like I’m not just spewing out words or repeating something I’ve forced myself to memorize by repeating 123452345 times. I’m sharing my heart, my thoughts, and  my soul. I’m going to the place and feel of what my poem is about and taking the entire audience with me. It’s a very deep, unique, inexplicable thing.

The Hawaii Poetry Slam happens once a month at a seedy little dive bar that I absolutely love. Why did I not go for five months? I have no fucking clue.

Anyways, this month I actually WENT – and I even shared a poem. A short, sweet, deep piece I’ve been sitting on for way too long.

It felt terrifying and incredible to be back on stage and so vulnerable and open. I feel as if this beautiful little poem that chose me to manifest itself in was finally off my chest and out in the world to be heard and appreciated. It’s a lot like letting a balloon disappear into the clouds; yes, it was my balloon originally, but I made the conscious choice to let it go to wherever it chose.

 

I’m so happy I went. I love the venue, the audience, the poets, the vibe, the love, the sharing, ALL OF IT. I will absolutely be back next month to share more of the madness that goes on inside of my writer’s head.

 

Wednesday Wisdom: Life Happens for You


In the darker times of our lives, we all ask ourselves the same question: Why me? When everything falls apart, when tragedy strikes, we ask the Universe: “Why is this happening to ME?”

Somehow, in the best times of our lives, when we’re faced with love and abundance and the opportunity to achieve our dreams, we ask the same thing: “Why would this happen to ME?”

Light or dark, abundance or despair, why things happen TO us. But things don’t happen to us at all: they happen FOR us. Tragedy gives way to growth, challenge inspires breakthroughs, and even the deepest cracks allow the light to shine in and through.

When awful things happen, we grow through them and become stronger, smarter, and ironically, more open and honest versions of ourselves. When we’re just  so.over.it., we become more authentic and loving and are able to live true.

The reason bad things happen to good people is to make them even better. To prepare them for what’s next, and create a soul capable of giving more of themselves to the world and encouraging those around them to do the same. There’s a reason the most beautiful, open, loving, and courageous leaders were bred from hardship, hatred and turmoil; it made them better.

Whatever is going on in your life, embrace it; you are growing. Your are being prepared for what’s next, and becoming who you’re meant to be.

Thoughtful Thursday: Personal Growth


I  know I tend to preach a lot about self-love, positive vibes, inner peace, happiness, and all that soulful woo-woo stuff that not everyone is comfortable with. To be honest, my life has radically changed so much since I’ve embraced myself fully – mind, body, and spirit – that I can’t help but want to share that with everyone around me. I’ll preach it from the rooftops, cause that self-love shit is straight up contagious.

Whether you’re on the self-love train or not, the idea of personal growth is a lot easier to contemplate. It’s visible, tangible, and real; personal growth is so contagious that, no matter its roots, it affects your life in its entirety. If you have tremendous growth with health or weight loss, it’s pretty much impossible for you to not cultivate a calmer mind, open heart and greater love towards the self along with your new body. If you grow tremendously  on the mental or spiritual side, you likely find yourself making better choices for your physical self; sleeping more, eating better, and paying attention to your body’s internal cues.

A friend of mine posted this posts’ image and I completely fell in love. When you meet someone truly at peace with themselves, they exhibit patience, health, happiness, and love. The positive, quiet, and calm characteristics that comprise a loving, beautiful soul.

Just like positivity shines through, negativity can’t seem to contain itself either. Anger, spitefulness, jealousy, cruelty, aggression; they’re the negative, chaotic, and loud. We’ve all had a customer or coworker flip the f out on us for no apparent reason and go off on some rage-fueled tangent that makes zero sense. And we all recognize the fact that this has nothing to do with me. That anger or hate or rage are clearly coming from a deep, dark place within themselves.

I’m sending you all good vibes and the strength to deal with the negativity that is inherent to this life and this world.

Bless,

Nikki

Motivation Monday: Self Love

When we talk about goals, we tend to think in numbers: weight, reps, speed, inches, pace. We measure our progress by how fast we ran out last mile, or the breadth of weights on the squat rack. But maybe – just maybe – we’re getting it totally wrong.

Self progress shouldn’t be solely quantitative. What about self acceptance? Confidence? Self love? We all search to build a better body in order to love ourselves, but we’ve got that recipe backwards. Health and wellness are the physical outcome of inner peace and acceptance. Loving ourselves first is the path to a happier and more abundant life.

A six pack won’t fix all our problems, but radical self acceptance will – and make it easier to snag that six pack if its really that important to us.

Just a thought 🙂

Slow & Steady Wins the Race(s)


I’ve never been one to post (or even support) transformation photos. They’re equally discouraging & misleading; simple things like time of day, lighting and filters can turn a normal tummy into cut abs. Along with other nonsense overloading Instagram, like wraps, cleanses and crash diets, transformation photos give the illusion that immediate results are expected & achievable. Its just. not. right.

The harsh reality is that lasting health and weight loss take time, consistency, and a lot of patience. Between these two paradoxes, it’s easy to feel lost, or hopeless, or impatient, angry and frustrated, as many people are. But with enough time and consistency, transformation do happen.

Big magic just takes time.

When we see problems in our lives, we tend to think ‘big’; giving up entire food groups, or food altogether, or thinking we have to run six days a week to look or feel ‘healthy’. In reality, we should be thinking small. It might seem insignificant whether you grab a croissant or a banana with your coffee this morning, but over enough time, that choice has a powerful impact. The difference between the pastry and fruit is thousands of calories and grams of sugar over enough time. That croissant might make you feel sluggish every day, so you drink more coffee or soda and indulge in a heftier lunch. We’re effecting the lives of our future selves, and it’s not even 10 a.m.


I came to this epiphany after finding a Facebook photo of myself after my first half marathon two years ago, exhausted and beaming with pride. Because I see myself in the mirror every day, I don’t notice the subtle changes occurring. I was so stunned by it that I scrolled through my phone to find a picture of me running my last half marathon a few weeks ago – was that really me?

I realized that, because we live with ourselves every day, we don’t see the magic happening. I’ve been running consistently for two years, and my love affair has positively impacted all areas of my life. I seriously cut back on drinking, ate more healthfully and started playing soccer, which in turn caused weight loss and my own transformation. It happened organically and naturally – so much that I didn’t even notice it.

The takeaway: Positive life changes happen with consistency, time, and joy. We improve our lives on our own accord when we truly love what we’re doing. I think we all make the mistake of shooting for weight loss first, when it’s actually just a side effect of finding activities we enjoy and loving ourselves enough to take care of the bodies we live in.

Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe


We’ve all been told since childhood to be careful about who we spend our time with. From that one “problem” friend that our parents never trusted and was consequently blamed for all of our mistakes, we realize we’re all capable of falling in love and friendship with the wrong people. Not wrong in general – but just the wrong people for us. 

As an adult, you truly realize the impact that your friends and coworkers have on your life, attitude and outlook. Despite all the arguing and teenage angst, we really are the company we keep.

Find a squad that aligns with your goals. Encourage the friends and family you love to pursue theirs. As you bring yourself up, you’ll likely bring those around you up as well. And there’s also the possibility that you may lose a few friends as you progress, change, grow and succeed.

We’ve all had that experience where we meet up with a friend and are excited about our new lives and realize there isn’t much to talk about anymore. Or worse, we notice them verbally pitching a dark cloud over our heads as we share our happiness.

Always remember to love yourself first, and don’t be afraid to let go or distance yourself from those that don’t support your journey. 

Stay patient, because your peers will find you. When you’re constantly at the gym, park, beach and health food store, you’re bound to run into the same people that share your self love and are on the same journey. Your vibe attracts your tribe.