“Hey I’m Nicki! I'm so glad that you're interested to get to know a little more about me. I'll do my best to give a quick preview of who I am. If you're interested in coaching then let’s have a chat to get to know each other better. Send me a note here for your free online coaching consultation.”
I’ve grown up, lived and traveled all over the world. Hands down, that is the biggest gift I could have ever wished for myself. That, and the fact that the childlike hunger to discover the world and explore the meaning of life, eyes and heart wide open, has never left me!
Born in Germany, I moved to Belgium when I was 5. Eventually we moved to France, where I finished school and then I moved the London for university. At university, that deep rooted sense of curiosity about the world and an inquiring mind lead me to study Philosophy. Which I followed up later on with studies in Sociology to broaden my understanding and application of theory by putting it into a real-world context.
A bunch of degrees in my pocket I started work at a marketing agency, where I soon discovered I had far too much energy to sit behind a desk all day. At this point I'm 25. That fateful year, feeling that I was lacking in excitement, I signed myself up to run a marathon...then a half-marathon...then a mountain marathon...and eventually a 87 mile ultra marathon, ouch! Fueled by my runner's high and put out of action by injury I shifted my energy internally and delved into starting my spiritual journey, of which one of the first instances was finding myself in a meditation class with real live snakes draped around my body as part of a special fear-shedding meditation. Discovering then that the magic of life is revealed through seeking out such experiences - the ones that push our boundaries, put us out of our personal comfort zone, confront us with our self, and give us the opportunity to step beyond, discover something new, and grow...I knew I was committed to living a life of adventure and to carving out my path on my own terms to make this possible, whatever it takes.
So I left my work. I did a lot of reading and traveling for the next few months. Most notably a road trip through California (my spiritual home), during which I read two books, The Power of Now and The Art of Non-Conformity, that exponentially accelerated my thinking about the meaning of life, and what I wanted to get out of mine. That and my deepening connection to my own spirituality through the practice of yoga, meditation and mindfulness. And so, with a totally new perspective on the meaning of life, I was ready to embark on a new adventure. Although, I was not quite sure yet how to integrate all my new-found aspirations with the reality of the daily grind and life in the big city that I was returning to back at home.
All I knew is I had come too far to embark on something that didn't feel like I was being true to myself by this point. As I looked back through my photos of my travels to reaffirm my commitment, I thought to myself 'these photos are actually pretty good!' I'd always had a creative vein, but hadn't really considered the life of an artist as an option available to me. Taking a leap of faith, I put together a website of my travel photos and sent it around to a long list of London photographers begging them to let me come and work as an assistant. And, lucky for me, it worked.
The experience I have gained through working as a creative and a freelancer since has been, and continues to, pave the road for my own journey of personal development, with all the highs and lows in tow.
And this leads me to the present and to coaching.
One morning, during the year I gave up the comfort of my London flat to live on a canal boat (a personal experiment in minimalism) I reflected back on the choices I had made so far in life. Needing to feel a little better about myself by pointing out - or at least trying to - some of my successes, it became obvious to me that I wasn't able to measure my success against the more conventional definitions and benchmarks I had grown up with, or still worse for my soul by comparing myself to others. As I pondered for a good long while, I discovered, finally, that to me, my biggest success to date has been 'living my truth' and remaining true to myself in the midst of feeling like all external forces were in cahoots trying continually to pull me back 'on track': to follow the conventional path of success I had been groomed for, or any other path of less resistance for that matter, rather than this painfully arduous chosen journey with an ever-growing backlog of personal disappointments and failures I was accruing and their haunting effects!
What guided me then and continues to guide me now - akin to the fundamentals of coaching - is consistent tuning into my stream of consciousness, persistently interrogating and ruthlessly evaluating every major action and decision in every moment of my life, and seeing how it aligns with my chosen purpose. That is, to live with passion and be open to, and actively explore, the full spectrum of human experience in all it's richness and diversity, with a firm commitment to continued personal expansion, and seeing life as, above all, a 'creative' process.
Having found my strength, and my personal definition and vision of success, I now wish to share it with those who think it can inspire them to live a full, wholehearted and adventurous life too! I invite you to join me :)
If you've enjoyed reading this and you want to read more, check out my blog page where I will be posting my ideas, articles, book reviews and other coaching inspired content!