I spent my whole life always looking for something that made sense. When I formulated my opinion about animals in captivity, it felt so "right". For the first time in my life of searching, I recognized a deep knowing: other animals are valuable, deserving freedom and support to live for their own reasons.
I dove into animal advocacy immediately after college, ultimately landing the perfect job any animal advocate could dream of: outreach coordinator for my local animal rights organization (Florida Voices for Animals). I was already thinking about ways to help animals - around the clock - so to be PAID to get involved full-time was sheer bliss!
After a year of working for this organization, researching all the different issues and ways to help, I was surprised to still feel the inner urge to explore something bigger. I had engaged in every form of legal advocacy: demo's, lobbying, tabling and leafleting, media outreach, ballot initiatives, delivering presentations - all of it. Though getting the word out about animals needing help felt right, none of these modalities felt like my niche - an emptiness lingered. I was devastated...back to square 1.
Right around this time, our worlds economic climate was at it's worst in my lifetime, so naturally FVA's employee fund dried up. It had been upwards of 8 years since I discovered my "path" as a voice for animals...what the hell do I do now? Going from fierce determination to a big fat question mark was scary, depressing and irritating. I began drawing unemployment and pumping out resumes left and right.
But so were 10% of all other Floridians at that time. My impressive resume lay under an impressive pile of impressive resumes.
I detached from all things "animal rights" (as far as activism was concerned), and figured I just needed to regroup. Clear the slate. I sought the guidance of a friend and former employer for her life coaching and intuitive services, Maria Bott. Her insights were priceless, all the way down to asking me who I am versus what I do. A question I highly recommend everyone ask themselves. My inability to answer it - on its face - was enough to quantify pursuing a deeper truth. Pivotal question!
I went on a trip a few months into my unemployment and wound up in the most depressed state I had ever been in, and for the first time I couldn't "snap out of it". Freaked me out! Normally the depression / awkward feelings would go away pretty soon, or I could go have a few cocktails and drown them. Not this time. It got funkier with each attempt to shake it.
Shortly after coming home from this trip, I came across Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth: Awakening To Your Life's Purpose". SHAZAAM! After reading just a few pages, my woes melted away. Immediately upon learning about the human ego and our accumulation of emotional baggage (ie pain body), my dark heavy cloud lifted...someone let the air in the room! Brilliant. Fabulous. BLISSED to say the least. I couldn't peel myself from this book or his interviews online. THIS MADE SENSE! EUREKA! You know how I love stuff that makes sense. On the daily I was practicing being fully present, detaching from my ego, observing my emotions and thoughts - a full time job, this was! Twas the beginning of the beginning....
After a couple months of relentless failed attempts at applying for work, and not even having interviews, I reached out to a restaurant I worked at out of college. My gut burned at the thought of going back, but I felt pressure (from both inside and outside of my head) to do "something" rather than drain government resources. When I emailed my friends to say I was probably going back to waiting tables, Maria replied first thing saying "Ok, well, if you need a break....go for it."
Need a break?? From being unemployed??? A part of me perked up (my higher self) and a part of me shut up (my ego). It was just my ego who was drill-sergeanting me into doing "something" rather than drain government resources. My higher self knew my time was best spent healing from within, detaching from my identity as an "animal activist", so I could allow a more authentic self to emerge. My ego was scared and imposed a guilt-trip on me. We all know this leads to wise choices. (Not).
Maria affirmed what I intuitively knew (per my gut burn) that going back to the restaurant was a bad move. So I didn't, and stayed on unemployment into the new year, only applying for jobs that "felt" right.
Thanks to Maria and Tolle's guidance, my life began to flow with greater ease. My ego was losing control as my view of life expanded beyond fear-based limits. In February of the following year, I received a job offer from Vegan Outreach to finish up leafleting the campuses in southern California for the spring semester. In those 2 months, if it was a good fit, I could keep the job and move out there. And it was. So I did.
It was the best fitting shoe for the better part of 3 years. I grew beyond measure during my leafleting career. I owe so much of my evolution to the opportunities and encounters it provided, not to mention the overarching impact of connecting with hundreds of thousands of people about compassion.
What's significant here? Two things:
This was my first real step outside of the box. Beginning a relationship with my intuitive guidance and deeper "knowing". It's scary and uncertain at first, but the "knowing" gets clearer and stronger with time and practice. I've not mastered this skill yet but am being offered NUMEROUS chances to practice. It does improve :)
This is greatest truth i've ever learned: our intuition is HELLA smarter than our ego-logic-brain. The ego-logic-brain misinterprets events/people/things more times than not, our intuition does NOT.
So many of us are having our realities and comfort zones rattled these days. NOW is the time to ditch the fear based ego ideas and follow our intuition. The more we clean up our inner space and get still, the clearer our intuitive guidance becomes. **Ditch the fear!** - - most importantly. Fear based choices land us in a heap. We can all name at least 3 stories where this was true for us. Please feel encouraged to share a time when your intuition lead you down a great path, despite fear or pressure to conform! Share it here and with others! We need all the inspiration to grow that we can get.
For the love of love,
12/5/2013 01:36:00 am
Way to go Nikki! I'm just starting to recognize how much of my life has been lived in fear. Despite its deep roots, however, my inner creative self has always emerged to keep me from going over the edge into despair. I am now in career transition and it's uncomfortable, but I know I am not yet ready to start something new. Heck, I can't seem to even make a decision on a new computer yet! I'm learning to let go of my old identities (yes, there are many) and embrace my authentic self. If I exist, it is on purpose. I AM!
12/5/2013 01:32:09 pm
Guuuurl I SO HEAR YOU! This reality-melt-down-stage is no joke. Anything ever identified with is being shattered, but at a compassionate rate (sometimes....). You'll inch your way at your own pace, there's a reason us humans don't just evolve over night - this place would implode LOL! I'm reading "Living in the Light" by Shakti Gawain - hOLy SmoKES! A must read. And YES! Everything is on purpose and EXACTLY how it's supposed to be!! Working to heal with that knowing is IT!
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An east coast native, Nikki spent her college years and beyond as an activist for animals, the environment and social justice issues. Needing to make sense of and come to peace with everything along the way, she began her work on the spiritual level. When she realized that the conditions of our outer world are just reflecting the conditions of humanities inner world, her focus shifted to energy healing arts and yoga. Now a Reiki Master, yoga instructor, author and speaker living in Miami, Florida she hosts discussions and teaches on the importance of living a heart-led life, inspiring steps for self-love and personal mastery: the recipe for global peace.
Services offered listed under HEALING SERVICES tab.