Posted in Spoken Word

Growth

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I sense myself changing,
Ebbing and flowing
Like a river,
Smoothing out the rougher patches of my being.
I feel my spirit
Stretching forth and coming through,
Like the hips of a teenager
Making themselves known.
I know what no longer serves me
Because what I’ve outgrown
Is no longer comfortable.
I notice now
The nuances I did not before;
I hear what you’re really saying
Woven slyly among your words,
And I understand
Exactly
And can no longer be fooled
By pretty-winged things
That do not fly.

Posted in spiritual

The Point of the Storm

quotestormI used to watch  The Walking Dead and wonder how people could possibly be stuck in a high-rise apartment or suburban house with zombies roaming about below or outside, respectively.  Like most people, I thought,  Why didn’t they just run for the hills? How stupid are they? I never considered that society doesn’t go from normal to the END overnight, or even over the span of a week. I don’t think anyone watched post-apocalyptic shows or movies thinking about the in-between; when the world has stopped, but not yet collapsed.

Yet in 2020, we’re locked in an awkward in between – schools are closed, businesses are failing, and national and global markets teeter on the brink of collapse. Families of all classes across the world are struggling to put food on the table or pay their rent or mortgage. People of all ages and nationalities are dying and falling ill. Essential workers are forced to weigh the possibility of infecting themselves and their loved ones against a steady paycheck. We’re not at the end of the world – in fact, it really shouldn’t end at all – yet we’ve got a small taste of what a slow descent feels like.

If i were to put on The Walking Dead or Outbreak now, I’d view the characters within those stories with much greater compassion. How could they have possibly known this would happen? I certainly never predicted COVID-19 or its effects, and I’m an overly cautious person. It’s clear our world and business leaders didn’t exactly predict it either. How could they know? How could we have known?

We’re still in the midst of this crisis, but it is finally starting to feel like there is an end to this tunnel, and at least a glimmer of light at the end of it. We’ve lost lives, we’ve lost money, and a lot of us may have lost faith. Yet, I am fairly confident we will not be the same people and countries and businesses and governments and communities we were before this crisis as we will be after it. We will likely be more compassionate, more cautious, more aware of our humility and smallness and less wrapped up in our egos. I would never wish the loss of a human life for any reason, but I do believe that there is some silver lining here.

Haruki Murakami sums this up perfectly in his beloved work, Kafka on the Shore. He writes,

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

That, my friend, is the point of this storm. The point is to change us, collectively and individually, on a million different scales. The universe has its own checks and balances, and perhaps this one is directed at us all. Perhaps, it’s even deserved.

Regardless, we won’t be the same when it’s over.

And that’s probably a good thing.

Posted in Spoken Word

LEMON

lemon-tree-drawing-14Briefly she
Was a part of me,
And a part of her
As an individual being;
I dreamt of her toes
As they roamed this earth
One day
On their own accord;
I imagined her teeth
Peeked through a grin
At a joke her father told;
I heard the strength of her voice
Speaking out
Against some or all of the wrongs
She’d encounter in her life;
But just briefly she
Was a part of me,
And a part of her
As an individual being
Or so I had thought,
But I’m now unsure;
I do know she craved lemons
Both sour and sweet,
Just as I do
And just as she was;
But briefly she
Was a part of me
The first thing that me consider myself as a mother;
But briefly she
Was a part of me
The first time I planned out an entire future
But so briefly she
Was a part of me
The quietest joy I had ever encountered
But so, so briefly she
Was a part of me
And a part of her
As an individual being;
That part I’m not so sure,
But I named her Lemon
Just in case.

Posted in Island Life, Thoughts

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.

 

Posted in Lifting, Running, Uncategorized

I’m a Fit Possible Ambassador!

This blog has had lots & lots of good news lately – and I’m stoked to share some more! I’m a brand spankin’ new Fit Possible Ambassador!

I'm Fit Possible

I’m flattered to haven been accepted into the Fit Possible community, a group of sexy & sassy fitness fanatics dedicated to supporting and inspiring others to get fit. As an ambassador, I’ll be posting to their community blog (yay!) as well as reppin’ with the #imfitpossible hashtag on Instagram, Pinterest and twitter.

I’m excited to connect with more and more people through this kick-ass community and spread the word that health and fitness are worth it and totally possible.

If you haven’t heard of Fit Possible (or would just like some more info!) check out their website for tips, tricks and inspiration on getting and staying healthy.

Thanks for the support as always.

Love,

Nikki

Posted in Thoughts

The College Graduate’s Conundrum

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When I graduated college, I didn’t think it was a big deal. To me, it was the inevitable end of five years of student loans, late nights, and part-time jobs. It was the light at the end of the tunnel.

I was surprised that so many people – strangers, even – congratulated me on something I didn’t even consider to be an accomplishment. I had never figured out exactly what I wanted to do. I had pretty much looked at the credits I had and picked the best-sounding option that would ensure a swift graduation.

I absolutely hated school. I did well and loved to participate in class discussions, but it angered me that both my parents and myself had to shell out so much cash in order for me to have a chance at success. It’s unfair that students doing what society tells us is the right thing are forced to dig themselves into debt for a brighter future. 

Yet the reality is that even the best students’ futures looks pretty bleak. Experts in our field that came to our senior seminars told us to expect 1-3 years of unpaid internships before we can land a job. Since the job market sucks, they suggested we work at a restaurant – the exact thing I’ve been doing while in college – in order to afford our student loans.

To my logical head, this is all bullshit. Unpaid internships is pretty reminiscent of indentured servitude – except that we don’t even have a promise of a job at the end of it. Going to college and living that lifestyle, no matter how much you struggle, is pretty awesome. But the ramifications of it are little more than social Darwinism; if you have a bachelor’s you belong in that category. We only hire people from that social pool.

Regardless of my feelings, I’ve come to understand that graduating college is a great accomplishment. I will have a brighter future in the long run, but my less-educated counterparts will win out financially for the next 5-8 years. Then I will leap ahead of those that don’t have an awesome skill/business/idea for the rest of my life.

But graduating college is an accomplishment with a lifetime of strings attached.  That piece of paper means that you’re supposed to have a lifetime of success; not excessive wealth, but some degree of it. You should have a relatively nice car, a relatively nice house in a relatively nice neighborhood with relatively well-behaved kids that will themselves go on to college.

As college graduates, these things are expected of us. When I visited my family post-graduation, the questions weren’t how are you? What classes are you taking? Instead, they were much less personal and more demanding. What are you going to do now? Do you have a job lined up? What happens next? The expectations are the fine print your professors never told you.

Although I do hope for a successful life, I also strive to break the mold. Unlike a lot of my classmates, I don’t have a plan for where I want to go, what I want to do, what firm/organization/company I desire to work for or who I want to become. I don’t have a solid plan in any way, shape or form. My only goal is to be as happy as possible in all aspects of my life. To travel. To explore. To write, whether it puts cash in my bank account or not.

In the quickly approaching job search, I hope that this optimism and focus on my own happiness, rather than pride or money, stay with me. I hope I have the strength to leave the job I hate to search for one that I love, even if it means resorting to eating ramen noodles for a month straight. That is what I consider the greatest gift  that graduating college entails; the ability and qualifications to never, ever settle. 

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Posted in Thoughts

Everything is Connected

My mother used to joke that all of the horrendous outfits she used to wear in the 80’s and 90’s somehow manage to creep back into popularity. I never thought that at 22 I’d be raiding my moms closet for the high-waisted shorts I used to make fun of her for . But it happened, quite haphazardly, on several occasions. Much to her clean, overly organized dismay.
Whether it be a badass denim vest or the lull of our current interests as a culture, everything circles back. Everything is connected.As humans we seem to seek what we don’t have, or what our society has turned away from. We’re naturally programmed to go against the grain.
From experts and gurus and celebrities to our normal, fabulous selves, all of us are bent on the same thing: peace. Harmony, inner calm, a strong sense of self.
With our modern cacophony of technology and touch screens and endless entertainment, what do we seek? We seek solitude, ease, and grace. Our biggest desire is to settle back into our roots.
To curb our chaotic lives we’ve dropped the gym and started yoga. As our jobs moved inside, we’ve dragged ourselves and our children into the great outdoors.
We’ve touted the benefits of clean eating in response to the onslaught of fast food. We’ve traded celery sticks for candy bars and the morning news for a half hour of meditation.
It’s curious that no matter what it happens to be, we’re always seeking something. It’s no wonder that even our ancient ancestors sailed and traveled and traded across oceans and continents. Just like us, they were unsatisfied. They wanted something else, or perhaps something more.
Just as I found the perfect pair of long-forgotten Levi’s in my moms closet, maybe the answer to our desires can be fulfilled by a simplicity that was always there. I absolutely love that so many people in so many different places are supporting organic foods and renewable energy and all of the other earth-friendly trends going around. Instead of fueling our futures by digging into the earth, we’re finally more content with harnessing the power of the sun, the wind, and the sea.

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