Woman of the Week: Nicole

nicole flying.jpg

Up this week for our WOW is Nicole.  I met several years ago when I started teaching yoga in the office where she worked.  We became friends and since then there have been many hours spent talking, laughing, eating and hanging out.  I just love this woman, she is bright, funny, insightful and multi-faceted.  The picture above is one she took while flying, yes Nicole is working on becoming a pilot.  She is also a graphic artist in her day job and has a love of coats with hoods..  Her interview begins now:

1:  If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say and why? it'd be my favorite motto in life:  "this too shall pass..."

2:  In the last five years what have you become better at saying no to?

 smoking cigarettes! ha. true story though. 

3:  What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the "real world"?

 this is interesting because a) i didnt graduate college and b) i have had my fair share of good jobs and bad jobs all while NOT having a degree. i personally dont think degrees are necessary but they probably do help ;) point is most, if not all, jobs are [career] stepping stones in my opinion. just do your best with where you are and you'll be proud of yourself no matter what. 

4:  What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you've ever made?  (it doesn't need be financial in nature) 

honestly, one of my best/most worthwhile investments was in myself and my health. my life is much much MUCH better for giving up cigarettes -- i really had to dig deep in to my jar of self-discipline & self-awareness to figure this out. 

5:  In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life? 

see above ;) believing in myself was almost as big of a feat as quitting smoking itself. was a 15+ year struggle that's for sure. but once i conquered this i continued to believe in myself in a lot more ways than i ever expected to. 

6:  How has a failure, or apparent failure set you up for later success?  Do you have a favorite failure of yours?

 it took me at least a million tries to successfully quit smoking. the last time finally stuck (it's been 1 year, 7mos and counting).... i'm well over 100% positive i will never take up this habit again.   

7:  What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months or in recent memory?

 i can't think of anything specifically off the top of my head for this one ... 

8:  When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

i probably hit the panic button at first -haha- but then walk away from whatever it is that's frazzling me and breathe. or try to. and try to take things one at a time. 

9:  What is the book (or books) you've given most as a gift and why?  Or what are one to three books that have greatly influence your life?

ive gifted books that others wanted but have only suggested ones ive read that are: the alchemist, by paul cohelo; daring greatly, brene browne; stillness, a guide to finding your inner peace, joseph kauffman (and right now currently reading when things fall apart, pema chodron; as well as the highly sensitive person, elaine aron --- which ive already recommended to a lot of people)

10:  What is one piece of advice you would give to a woman that you wish you knew earlier in life? 

My advice is do your best to live by the 4 agreements (don Miguel Ruiz) ... i was introduced to this within the last year or two and it's helped wrap my head around a lot of things i get tripped up on. i would give this advice to anyone, honestly... (in case you haven't read it : The Four Agreements are: 1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love 2. Don’t Take Anything Personally Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. 3. Don’t Make Assumptions Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life. 4. Always Do Your Best Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. 

11:   What do you think about the theory of "the love of your life", what does that phrase me to you?

 i think we all experience great and different loves of our lives throughout our time. whether it's friends, romantic, our pets, and/or even your passions. 

12:  What is something that you would find most helpful in your life right now?  (what would be the best problem solved for you) 

more free time at night. commuting five days a week to the city really diminishes my free time and the things i can get done in the evenings ... and that's all i gotta say about that ;)

Thank you Nicole!!  I particularly love your answer to question #11, it's all about perspective.  Thank you for your honesty and your vulnerability to talk about the things you have been working on to live your best life.  

Stay tuned next week for another WOW!!