Listening to your gut and making hard decisions

Listening to your gut and making hard decisions

Two months ago, while watching Oprah interview Lynne Twist, the author of “The Soul of Money,” I was inspired to make the leap, into a dream I’d been shoving off for months. Throughout the interview, Lynne was inviting us, the listeners, to examine our attitude towards money. Ugh, such a touchy subject. She was inviting us to examine the way we earn it, spend it, give it away, and to dig deeper into how money can bring insight into our entire lives.

When I heard Lynne say a sentence, a jolt of energy shot so strongly through my body, and time seemed to stop.

“The Soul of Money is really about our OWN soul, and how we often dismiss it or compromise it because of our relationship with money.”

It hit me hard.

It was a clear sign from my gut (a.k.a. soul) that I had to take action on something I’d been avoiding.

Ever since Zac (my hubs) and I volunteered in Zambia, Africa in 2014, we’ve never been the same. That experience impacted us so deeply on how we view our lives, and how we choose to live, that we were changed forever.

We came back from that trip reinvigorated and grateful beyond measure. Joy was oozing out of us. Everyone could feel it.

It was so good I didn’t want the feeling to end! I wanted to keep learning, growing and expanding through the power of giving back. It was SO POWERFUL… And since I knew that constant 2 week, immersive volunteer trips like that were pretty unrealistic for the lifestyle we’ve chosen, I began donating to the organization we volunteered with.

Initially, it felt great. We got pictures and updates of the children we were sponsoring and on how their education was progressing. We felt connected to them… But overtime, the excitement wore off. It started to feel transactional and far from my heart-centered experience in Africa.

I yearned for another trip… But at the time I was a new mom running on no sleep, while trying to keep my business afloat. A volunteer trip wasn’t in the cards, so I shoved down my desire and avoided thinking about it.

A few months passed. The desire became so intense, that I had a talk with Zac about it. I really wanted to make it happen this year. Zac, being the incredibly supportive husband that he is, said, “Okay. We’ll make it happen.” He was craving another volunteer experience, too.

A few weeks later, we went on a two week vacation, and Wyatt, our 1 year old son, handled it terribly. We got home and sadly realized that leaving him for two weeks to volunteer was out of the question. It would be entirely too traumatic for our little dude. Again, I shoved down my heart’s desire for a volunteer trip, and avoided thinking about it.

When I listened to this interview, it changed everything. While I was intently watching Oprah and Lynne discuss consciously living in a way that aligns money and your soul, my body made it clear that I was to get into action. “Nichole, you CANNOT continue avoiding this. You MUST GO.”

I called Zac immediately and said, “So, WE can’t go, but I can. So I’m going.” Zac was on board. Less than two months from that moment, here I am, in to Costa Rica, where I’ll volunteer and help out wherever I am needed.

I had a hard time figuring out why I was guided to take this trip. I went far too deep in my head — Helga was loud. “Are you going for you and your “image” or are you going for them?” I battled with Helga for weeks. “Maybe I shouldn’t go. It’s better not to tell anyone yet. It’s gonna be too hard on your family. It’s gonna be too hard on you. And what about your business?!? You’re not even prepared!”

Finally, I settled into my heart.

I’m going for them, for me, and for the greater good (NOT for my “image” – piss off Helga), because this IS me. This style of giving back, it’s been something I’ve dreamt of doing since I was young, and I guess one trip to Africa wasn’t enough to satisfy my soul.

I know that by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, others will benefit as well. The community I’m working with will benefit, and so will my friends, my family, my children, MY community and my clients.

That’s the beauty of giving back. It’s a never-ending cycle of giving and receiving.

I’m not taking this trip because it’s going to be TONS of fun (though yes, there will be some, of course). This trip will be extremely uncomfortable. I’m traveling to non-english speaking country ALONE. It’s unpredictable and completely unknown.

There will be times I feel unshakeable vulnerability and a strong desire to run back home to my cushy and comfy life, but it’s in those moments that we grow the most; where we learn how to lean into faith to lessen the fear, to find the inner strength we never knew we had, and to come out on the other side a better person, a person who is more inline with who they truly are.

I want to share this experience with you, because I know it will support YOUR ability to listen to YOUR soul with more clarity, making the impact far greater than if I kept my story to myself.

So I’m going completely out of my “Type-A business style;” the part of me who would’ve had this planned 6 months ago with blogs and emails scheduled in advance for you. None of that has happened. I’m going completely off-the-cuff here!

I may not send emails as often while I’m gone (or maybe I will). Either way, I’ll be posting lots of pictures, lessons, and struggles on my Instagram and Facebook page if you’d like to follow me and be by my side during this adventure. Either way, thanks for your support and letting me be a part of your inbox every week. Wish me luck!

Lots of love,

Nichole <3


P.S. I’d love to hear your thoughts or whatever you are feeling in the comments section below 🙂


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