“Our life consists of small deliberate choices & actions. Like beads on a string, they add up and define us. To create a life we LOVE, those small choices & actions must be inspired by our TRUE desires, our desired feelings.” - Katya Nova


This year has been a grounding one for me. A process of exploring space and place and seeing where I fit in. The first year of living in a new city brought many changes to my life. A new neighbourhood, new community, new routines -- all of this "newness" felt for a while like I was starting over; trying to find my footing by taking a few steps here and a few steps there, and seeing where I would land. And when the dust had settled (metaphorically, but also literally from the church renovations) I felt a little lost.

The first half of the year was really challenging for me and if I'm being honest (if not here and now, then where and when?), my personal yoga practice suffered. Which really means that I suffered. I felt like I had lost my mojo; not feeling the desire to practice made it hard for me to feel like I could teach from a place of authenticity. And if I wasn't teaching, then what the heck did I buy a church for anyways!? What have I gotten myself into? Do I really have anything to offer? It's quite amazing how much doubt and fear can fan the fire of inaction if you let it. Although I was teaching and met some really lovely people through my classes (thank you!), I decided to press pause over the summer and focus my energy on getting back to myself.

At the same time, I made a major shift in my day job, which *immediately* gave me more headspace and more time to do the things that I love. This shift was intentional; a way for me to prioritize my own health and wellbeing and to really practice what I preach, which is to discover what it is you love to do, what nourishes you, what fills you up, what lifts your spirit, gives you energy, and to do more of that. It really came down to asking myself the question: "How do I want to spend my time?" Because how you spend your time is how you spend your life.

So, I spent more time practicing yoga with others, checking out lots of studios in Hamilton, and more time practicing by myself in my studio space. Some days it was like walking into the studio and feeling like I wanted to stretch my hand out and introduce myself: "Hey studio, I know we live together but I'm Nicole and I'd like to get to know you better". I attended some personal development workshops, and added strength training into my physical movement practices. I dived into courses on wellness, coaching, mindfulness and meditation and stepped out of my comfort zone to make an effort to meet new people and network with other lady-bosses. I spent time in nature, retreated to farmlands in upstate New York, dabbled in art and painting and began writing again.

It was exactly what I needed. I began teaching again. I began dreaming, envisioning and planning for how I want to put myself out into the world. If 2017 was the year of grounding and reflection, then I'm calling 2018 the year of action. Whereas this past year brought many more questions than answers, this year coming will be an expression of what I want to manifest in this space.

There will be more yoga classes, yes. But there will also be more connection, more community, more space for personal growth and development. I want everyone who walks into the space to walk out feeling like they have done something good; for themselves or for others. Because what I have learned over the past year is that to be the best person for others, we have to be the best person to ourselves. Treat everyone how you wish to be treated, yes. But more than that, speak to yourself the way you would speak to someone who needs a friend.

And if those voices inside your head tell you you're not good enough, then get back to doing something you love, get back to your*self* and respectfully show your mind who's boss.

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Nicole is an adventurer, a dreamer, a sister, a daughter, a wife and a friend. She lives in Hamilton, has two cats named Cello and Edi, and is a registered yoga teacher.

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