Join Annie Vazquez of The Fashion Poet and Me Live

I love Annie of The Fashion Poet for many reasons. One, for her ability to own her personal style without any apologies. She is who she is. Second, she waits for no one. She does not leave opportunities in the hands of others. She seizes them. And three, she is a spiritual unicorn that sprinkles all her work with deeper meaning.

In honor of her deep side, we’ll be jumping on Facebook Live together tomorrow, July 20th at 7PM EST. I hope you can join, as I’d love to share my friend with you. All you have to do is visit facebook.com/nikkinovo at 7PM EST and you'll see the video running live. Jump on and ask your questions. We'll be ready for you.

How the Outside is a Clue into our Inside

Three years ago when Oliver was born, I was driving around this adorable (read: tiny) hybrid car. It was so “adorable” that Oliver’s car seat only fit in the back when the passenger seat was in a complete upright position — take off style.

Besides the obvious inconvenience of having the passenger seat in this position, this setup also meant the screams of my newborn baby was directly in my ear.

We had to make a vehicle upgrade fast. As a new mom, I was seeking space. And not just in my car, but in my life.  

See, I’m a huge fan of space. Because if we don’t have it, then it’ll be very hard to grow. At the time, not only was my family growing, but I was growing as a person. And what I craved the most was the space to just be. I wasn’t sure what I was becoming, but I knew I needed the permission to grow into whoever that was. I needed the okay to do this without my inner judgments or constraints.  I needed that beautiful space that comes without thought.  

What is brewing on the inside will always coincide with our outside. I absolutely loved my hybrid. It almost felt a part of me. And when I had to give it away, I knew I was also saying goodbye to a part of my life that I loved so dearly. But growth was on the horizon. It was scary. It was the unknown. Yet, it was necessary.

When I found myself in my first SUV, it felt uncomfortable. After all, without knowing it I had been defining myself as someone based off the things I had. And now what I had was a mom car, yet I didn’t even know how to be a mom.  

But you know what that car gave me? That’s right. It gave me space. It gave me something to grow into. And obviously, spiritual growth is not about the material. But the way we live within the things we have is symbolic to our internal environment. Resisting the family car is symbolic to what I felt inside. And then seeking space is also what I was feeling on the inside.

Sometimes it’s not easy to understand what is going on inside, but all we have to do is take a look at what we’re doing on the outside. Those are our clues. It’s not the stuff the matters. It’s how we’re relating to it that does.  

Speaking of cars: While I’m pretty content with what I drive now, it’s my first SUV, which means I’m on the eternal hunt for family-friendly ride. 

Earlier this month we took a family vacation to Southern California. One of the things that excite me about long vacations is driving a new car. Yes, strange of me. So when Mazda offered us the opportunity to test-drive their Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring, we jumped on it.

ABOUT THE MAZDA CX-5 GRAND TOURING

For starters the CX-5 cost significantly less than what I have at home, yet it has way more offerings. Like way more. A few of my fave options were:

  • The ability to text message through its audio system
  • Pandora integration
  • Side mirrors that beep when a car is in your blind spot
  • Heated side mirrors, which means on foggy days I wouldn’t have to whip out a napkin from my glove compartment
  • Awesome mileage of 25/33 (city/highway)
  • A moonroof
  • Advanced front air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtain

Driving-wise it feels like a car, meaning it’s not bulky and drives really smooth. We drove up and down Southern California for seven days and only had to fill up the tank on the sixth day. That was incredible to experience.

The kids were super comfortable. Funny enough, now they want space. They don’t need me smothering them anymore, so they appreciate the space they had, as well.

We packed the trunk with four suitcases, boogie boards, skateboards, and a very unnecessarily large stuffed Nemo (courtesy of Lego Land). Everything fit and we didn’t feel tight.

I mentioned this in my favorite features list, but the car is smart enough o warn you when cars or random objects are too close for comfort. It’ll beep if something is in your blind spot or too close to your front or back. I totally appreciate that.

For being an affordable SUV, the inside felt very luxurious. It has all the blue-tooth, hands-free, entertainment you’d ever want. The snob in me appreciates that, too.

To see more pictures from our vacay, check out my Instagram feed. And if you have any questions about the Mazda, feel free to shoot me an email.

Much love to you always. 

 

 

4 Steps to Making More Confident Decisions

life-coach-miami

Have you ever sat in overwhelm not able to make any choices simply because you’re afraid of making the wrong choice? You guys, it’s a real thing.

A lot of the times we don’t make choices or we flip-flop on the ones we have made because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but yeah, you’re a practicing perfectionist. And I can only call you out because I am a recovering perfectionist, which means, I too, have these tendencies.

Perfectionism is the devil. Ugh, I hate it. But let’s think about why we strive to be perfect. First off, we want to appear perfect or produce perfect because we want those who are watching us to then think that we are, um, perfect. Meaning, we’re looking for outside validation. Somewhere in our perfect, little mind we believe that we are only worthy of love if someone outside of us tells us so — preferably with clapping and chants of “You are so perfect!”

I call bullshit. We are looking for gold stars from other people who themselves are just as perfectly imperfect as we are. In other words, they’re on our same level, my friend. Even if these people have “accomplished” more, making them seem superior, they are not. We are all made of the same stuff.

Of course, we do this to protect ourselves. We’re trying to stay safe. Because if we make a less-than-perfect decision, we risk feeling rejected, worthless, or less-than.

Get Past Perfect

So, step number one is to get over perfect. Understand that whoever you are or whatever you are putting out is divinely perfect in this moment. It is supposed to come out of you right now.

Take a Leap

The only way to get better at decision making or doing is through practice. You have to do it over and over again to learn your own process. This is how we get to know ourselves and our intuition. Trial and error, my love.

My husband is one of the most curious humans I know. One thing he loves to do is take things apart. Apparently he would do this as a kid. He starts taking apart full engines without knowing if he’s going to actually be able to put it back together. I once asked him how he has the balls to take it apart without really knowing if it’s going to work out. His response? “Nikki, I love figuring out what’s wrong with it so I can fix it.”

Enjoy the Figuring Out Process

My husband knows that it’s not going to be perfect on the first try and maybe even not the tenth. But he does know we have to start somewhere. And after we start we will use all the resources we have — anything from YouTube to experts — to figure shit out. 

So after we make a choice, we must trust that we will figure it out. We will receive feedback or “fix” our choice. Eventually, we will get it right. But there is no way we could make the absolute perfect decision every time that will lead to a perfect outcome.

Honestly, getting it right every time is boring. If we can look at our lives as a science project, we would enjoy it more. Scientists aren’t attached to a prediction. They’re super interested in how it all unfolds. They know nothing is guaranteed. They enjoy testing and tweaking.

Get to Know Your Intuition

As we test, tweak, and take notes, we can to learn about how our intuition works. Our souls do know the right answers for us. And I believe we’re always trying to function from that place, but some how we get caught up in the physical. Hence, why we feel torn many of the times when it comes to big decisions.

We’ve spent many years detached from that inner knowing, so it’s going to take time and testing to build that relationship again. As we start to make choices and take note of how we felt when making those choices, and then look at how it turned out, we’ll begin to learn the cues of our compass.

Everyone’s is different. You may get goosebumps when you’re on track. Someone else may get headaches. Some of you may hear or feel. You’ll never know until you start showing interest in the decision/intuition relationship.  Which, I think, is a good decision to make.

How to Get Rid of Annoying People

At my most basic level, I just want people to be happy. It truly makes me sad when I see people caught up in drama, doubt, or hurt. Tell me you’ve been recently dumped and I’ll shed a tear, I swear. Speak negative, and I’ll try to lift you up.

It’s a beautiful characteristic, but not everyone wants to receive a you-can-do-it lecture. When my husband is receiving more encouragement than he can handle, he likes to remind me that next lifetime he’ll make sure not to marry a motivational speaker, ha!

If you’re reading this, I bet you, too, are looking to change the world, bring more positivity into your life, and see the people around you happy. But we can’t always just preach it, we have to be it.

There’s a better way to change annoying people and the Negative Nancies of the world that doesn’t involve an unsolicited pep talk. Try this instead: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

So here’s the thing: we usually get annoyed at people because they remind of some sort of fault we also have. Let’s say your friend likes to complain a lot and it annoys you like crazy. Do you complain a lot, too? Can you stop the complain fest in some way but not indulging in it?

Be the example. Don’t get annoyed. See them with compassion. Don’t feel the need to comfort them by sympathizing. Direct their attention to more positive conversation.

Change yourself and your reactions, and you’ll change the world. Being the change is really about more than ridding yourself of annoying people. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, being true to who you are, and creating the life you’ve promised to live. And, yeah, that’s how you make big impact with small changes.

This is How You Can be True to Who You Are

When I first discovering writing, one of the things I loved the most was the idea of putting my thoughts on paper, while having the ability to edit the things that I felt were less than perfect. 

My thoughts have always been jumbled up in my head, so when I speak, they don’t always come out as clearly as I’d like. In the past, I would say something unclear or maybe something too rash and then regret it later.

I never thought I was a people pleaser. I thought those were the kind of people who wanted others to like them. At my core, I am a peacemaker. I’m that little girl that just wants everyone to be happy. The say I started to self-edit myself is the day I went from peacemaker to people pleaser.

I decided that sometimes being my honest self would make people feel uncomfortable. Seeing people be happy was my goal, not seeing uncomfortable. So, I started to self-edit.  I would do it so I wouldn’t offend anyone. I would do it so I would cause any conflicted emotions to come to the surface for others. I was trying to keep them safe.

And as a result, I became a self-edited version of myself… a toned down version of my real self. She was great. She was kind. She was polite. But at the same time, she was totally boring.

When we live a self-edited life, our lives always seem smaller than what we imagined. We easily get frustrated and confused. We think we’re being authentic, because life isn’t bad. And we’re not really unhappy. We just know something is off.

This is when our soul is asking us to calibrate. The soul is saying, “You’re really close, but let’s just align a little bit more to your true self.” And that starts with living an un-edited life.

We will definitely insult people along the way. We will definitely embarrass our loved ones too. And we may even lose friends, too.

But imagine what we will gain. For one, we’ll lose the frustration and the anger we feel towards ourselves from the knowing that we’re falling short. We’ll feel less disappointed by what the world is giving us, because we’ll finally be honest about what we really want from it.

It’s time to be honest with ourselves. And for once, not worry about how that may make others feel. Because after all, we have no say in what others feel. Even if we play by the rules, we will still disappoint others.

So, instead, how about we make one person happy and see where that takes us?