Sweet Farewell

I wanted to tell you, I’m leaving.

Looking around my apartment, I’m envisioning packing up.  I’m thinking of everything that is coming with me, as I plan to move in with my man,  and begin a new life.

The decision has been made.  After 4 years in my special sanctuary in Astoria, I’m beginning the process to re-locate.

And the question that is arising is,
What am I bringing WITH me?

And what about you?

Have you ever gone through a big move, and packed up your things?
Have you ever gone through a big change and found yourself asking the same question?

I imagine as you are looking at all the items, and boxes, and lists, it can get really overwhelming.

If there was a way to strap everything to you,  maybe then you would have it all.

But, I imagine that would be really heavy, and cumbersome, and weigh you down.

Change can be hard enough, right?

How do we make it easy to navigate change and have everything we need as Artists?
How do we move forward without all the cumbersome weight?

 

Four years ago, I woke up in my hide-a-bed.  My brother was sleeping next to me, and I felt a sense of hope.

Today, I was leaving my married home for good. 

The new owners were taking it over, and my family was here to help me move my things to a friend’s for a month while I waited for my new apartment to open up.

I had barely slept, and had spent the last day breaking down every hour or so as I packed up my life.  Two of my closest friends had come to help me, hold me in between each wave of emotion, and physically help me to place tape on each box.

Today, we were taking all these boxes to a storage facility.  I had gone through and taken what I needed, and stayed true to the agreement.  I had survived each trigger, and now was going to walk out of this space of pain and loss.

I felt an extra bounce in my step, and hopped into the shower, smiling at my parents and brother, so grateful they were here.

When I came out of the shower, my mother looked at me, white in the face, and said,

Someone broke into your car. Your car door is open, and everything is gone.

I literally dropped to the floor in my towel, and had a nervous breakdown.  What had been in my car, was all the things I was taking to my friends house,

shoes
my audition book
my checkbook
my belts
clothes
legal documents
my meditation altar
my dance shoes

Even my underwear…..

All gone, just like that.

In the face of my divorce, losing my marriage, and now I had been robbed.  All of those things I had cherished were gone.

We called the cops, and somehow I made it through that day, and tried to wrap my head around the magnitude of change and loss that was occurring all at the same time.

This was my lowest moment.

The next day, at my friend’s, I sat in meditation, and saw a black lake in front of me.  I walked to the edge, and thought,
I could just dive in
I could lose myself forever in here

But, something held me back.  And I walked away from the edge.  I didn’t dive in, and instead turned back towards my life.

The strongest words I said in the face of my divorce came ringing back true and strong,
I want to survive.

What I never imagined was the GIFT of losing so much that day.  I was forced to provide for myself and go shopping that following week for very basic things, and the simple process of doing this brought to light the most empowering evidence,

I am capable.

Even more so, I was showered with gifts from friends and family who knew about my robbery.  One friend sent me a bag of clothes, and my aunt mailed me a box full of belts.

I rebuilt my altar, made a new audition book with songs that I actually wanted to sing, and found new shoes to fit my feet now.

The most amazing part was, my insurance reimbursed me completely for the $4K worth of goods stolen.

And I realized, I am provided for.

And there were things that didn’t need to come WITH me to my new life, post divorce.  Certainly not my underwear…..

 

So, take stock.

Grab a piece of paper, and write in the middle of the page,
MY CREATIVE CAREER

Now, create a Mindmap, drawing out from the center all the things you are working on right now.

All the things you think you need to have WITH you to succeed and receive the acclaim you desire.

Come back to center and ask this question,
What lives beneath all that I do as an Artist?

1) Are all the things you are doing and holding on to in SERVICE to that vision?

2) Or are you weighed down with boxes and items that are from your past and keeping you stuck?

Sometimes, it the action of releasing that ALLOWS for the new to enter in.

We create from our hearts.  This was never meant to be heavy work. But it does require courage, and inspired action.

 

This week I was on the phone with my mother, and talking about the upcoming move and starting to plan.  She suggested the most brilliant idea, and this woke me back up,

Make a list of what you are leaving BEHIND.

Oh yes…that’s right.

That moment on the floor was one of the most horrible for me and for my family to witness, and yet it opened a well of strength and reserve I had never accessed before.

The strength to let go.

And the belief that I actually had everything I needed.

This was a huge turning point for me, and allowed me to start building a creative life that was far more aligned than the one I was living before.

So, what lives beneath all you do?

Get intimate with this, and place it somewhere you can SEE everyday.  Come back to center.

Come back to your vision, and place your energy towards what will actually bring you the success you desire.

Make a list of what you are leaving behind, and release sweetly.

You create the life you want.

 

 

Photography by: Caitlin Cannon

The Final Step

I’m scared.

I’m scared I’ll fall…..

I’ve been waiting for this day.
I’ve been placing so much energy and effort on this vision and dream, and now that it’s here…

I’m terrified.

Will I be able to deliver?
Will I be able to show up?

and most of all…

If I’m no longer working so hard for this…then, WHAT am I doing?

Have you felt like this?

You’ve been on the sidelines for years, working so hard to build your fans and audience, slaving on your artistic craft just waiting for that moment to stand in the spotlight, and then when the day arrives…

Your throat closes
You question yourself
You hesitate

What the HECK is going on??
Why aren’t you rushing the light and basking in the glow?

Trust me, I get it.

I’ve been putting every ounce of energy into one goal for the past four and half years, and it’s here, it’s bloomed into fruition, beyond my wildest dreams.

You see….I’m in love.

And not just “oh let’s see where this goes” kind of love….it’s life partnership love.  This is the epic love I have been waiting and working for.  This is the love I have dreamt about, and visualized about, and gone on countless dates for.

A soulmate love, the kind that nourishes and expands.

The love that made me hire two coaches, two therapists, a tantra healer, a feng shui expert, and start meditating.

Yes…I’ve been BUSY.

And it’s bringing up all my fears and doubts.

And I couldn’t be more grateful.  Thank goodness!

So, I imagine right now, you are saying,
Why would I WANT my fears and doubts to come up, Nikol? That sounds totally counter-intuitive!

Quite simply, because you need to know what is playing underneath to create change.

If you want to be able to own the spotlight with confidence, there’s one final step you need to take.

CLAIM IT.

 

Earlier this year, I had several powerful sessions with a healer here in Manhattan named Kristina Kincaid.

She took me through a gestalt exercise where she placed my dreams and desires in a tangible object and placed it in front of me.

The object?  A pillow.

It was a long haired, soft, and large pillow.  Inviting, warm, and yet, when she placed it at my feet, I was terrified to pick it up.

I started to shake…..this pillow represented so much…epic love, a family, my deepest desires coming true…and I felt absolutely frozen in my spot.

I was afraid of what would happen.

And as the tears streamed down my face, I realized what was really playing underneath…

I was afraid I would be rejected.

But, if I’ve learned anything in the past four years since my divorce, it’s this,

Step through the fear, because change waits on the other side.

So, I bent down and picked up the pillow….and a miracle happened.

The tears stopped
I began to breath deeper
I felt an enormous sense of relief

The world didn’t come crashing down, or the skies open and lightning strike me for taking this action.

There was no booming voice from the heavens saying
What are you DOING??
You don’t deserve this!
This is wrong!!

In fact, I felt so much more clear, and hopeful.  I felt more certain and secure.

I had NO idea how much this fear of rejection had been running the show!

The scariest part was actually taking the action, because it meant I had to let go of the old story.

The old story that I will be rejected if I claim and own my dreams.

Turns out…it’s just a story, and in picking up the pillow, I could feel through my whole body an enormous freedom and relief.

And I met my man two weeks later.

 

What story is running underneath that’s keeping you from claiming your dreams?

Who would you be if you actually did:

Become a NY Times Bestseller
Give a TED Talk
Book your Broadway Show
Be Featured Globally for your Art
Perform to a Sold Out Auditorium

I imagine you would be someone very different than the creative standing frozen, staring at the pillow in front of you.

And the beautiful truth is, that Creative is inside you now, just waiting for you to pick it up.

Pick it up and claim your dream.
Claim your ABILITY, and OWN your brilliance.

The spotlight isn’t there to burn, it’s there to illuminate.

The fear is actually PART OF the process and proof of how much it means to you. 

So, take this leap, and watch your old stories fade away.