My Favorite Prayer when Hosting the Ultimate Friendsgiving

Photo by  Nabila Veruska

Photo by  Nabila Veruska

I’m a DIY kind of girl. Not when it comes to actual, physical things. One thing I am definitely not is crafty. But when it comes to business, taking care of my kids, internal healing…I like to go at it on my own.

Since the day I realized I was very good at being independent, I decided to wear that label as a badge of honor. I can do it myself, thank you very much. Honestly, it was a great attitude to have for many years because it helped me accomplish all the things I did, plus build my confidence. Thinking I can do everything on my own, was a great belief to have for a while.

But sometimes the beliefs that really helped us at some point in our life can turn and be the thing that is actually holding us back. Cheese is great and yummy for a few weeks, but at some point it spoils. Should we keep eating it just because it was great a few days ago? No thank you.

Lately, my I-can-do-this-on-my-own attitude has spoiled. The worst part? I had no idea it did. I just kept becoming frustrated when I couldn’t grow (emotionally and in my business) at the rate I used to. I constantly thought I was doing wrong. I would blame myself for being inconsistent and disorganized, when really all I needed was help and support.

You know, God always brings the right people into your life at the right time. And for me, this person started as a student of mine who eventually became a close friend and the first person to teach me the importance of coming together in order to grow and thrive.

So, I wasn’t surprised when Natalie Leon of Wine With Nat wanted to plan a Friendsgiving event. Because that’s what she does: Brings good souls together to share and grow. The delicious wine and food is, of course, the bonus!

I was asked to say the prayer at this stunning event, which happened in October at the West Elm Dadeland. In true Natalie form, every detail was perfection. And while this was orchestrated by Nat it became a reality because of all the talented women who came together to make something great. Yes, we can do a lot on our own, but when we come together for a common cause is when we experience real magic.

As for my prayer, I decided to go with Mother Teresa’s “Do It Anyway.” As we approach Thanksgiving, there is a lot of talk about gratitude. And many times, gratitude is seen as this super easy thing to do, but it’s not always. It’s easy to be thankful for the good stuff, but I think the true spiritual lesson is to be thankful for the stuff that is less desirable, too.

To me,  “Do It Anyway” reminds us that life can still be disappointing even when we try our best to be loving, spiritual being. That doesn’t guarantee us anything. Challenges will still come at us. And when we can be grateful for them, I think we can begin to accept the beauty of being human.

Happy gratitude everything month. Below is the very powerful “Do It Anyway” prayer. You can also download it.

 

MY GRATITUDE TO...

My fellow guests:

Jannely with The Fashion Buffet 

Laura with The Fashion Diva

Natalia with Beauty Beyond My Curves 

Karyn with With Love From Miami 

Paola with Coral Gables Love

Cat and Jules with Tinseldot

Wine by:

Zonin 1821

Wine pairing lesson by:

Alessandra of Florida Wine Academy

Decor by:

Tinseldot

Why Other People Have it Together and You Don’t

 

My zodiac sign is Cancer. Allegedly, we are said to be sensitive creatures. When I first learned that about my sign, I thought to myself, “Well, this is just a load of crap. I am not sensitive.”

Nope, not me. Sensitive skin? Maybe. Tendencies to romanticize situations? Possibly. Overwhelmed by large crowds? Sure. A deep ache when thinking of the world’s problems? Okay. But does all of that really make me sensitive?

Why, yes it does, Nikki. And yes it does for you, too, my beloved reader. I bet you’re sensitive, because we people find each other. In fact, I have an entire family full of our kind!

So, here’s the deal about our kind. Life just doesn’t feel easy for us. We are not okay with the mediocre. We need to feel good in order to wake up in the morning, if not, life just seems wrong.

As sensitive souls, we are natural seekers. We are constantly seeking truth. Not only truth from others, but our own truth, as well.

What does that mean? We’re not okay with settling. Sticking to a whatever job simply because it pays well just isn’t okay for us. Marrying someone because they are a good person isn’t enough for us. Living life according to the status quo is death to us.

These are all good traits to have, right? But what happens is, we can’t always communicate this well to ourselves or others, which leaves us feeling completely alone.

Because we are sensitive that feeling is so intense that it begins to feel real, as if no one in the world understand us. What happens when we think no one understands us? We retreat into our little warm cocoons where the ugly world cannot touch us.

While that cocoon may feel warm for a bit, it quickly begins to feel like a cage that is trapping us in. Within this cage, our mind swims around and around chaos until we’ve created a world within our mind that has separated ourselves from everyone else. We begin to believe, truly, that other people are totally okay, have it together, and have it all figured out. Us on the other hand? Hot mess. And maybe even without the hot.

But you guys, we created this cocoon/cage, which ultimately left to our seclusion and separation from the rest of the world. I promise you, everyone suffer. Most people do not have their shit together. And there are less people than you thinking judging you.

So, my dear soft friend. Let’s do this. Open up. Come out of the cocoon. Recognize that there are more people who want to love you than there are people who want to hurt you. Acknowledge that you are one of the magical feelers of the world, and that is such a blessing. Embrace your gift. Do not hide it from us.

When you decide to stop hiding, what you will find is the support of others who are on the same boat. But most importantly, you will find your own inner courage.

How to go From Overwhelm to Action in 3

The past few days, I’ve had sessions with several clients who feel stuck and indecisive. Their brains have been going a million miles per second and because of this the anxiety is growing. We’ve all been there, right? In fact, you might be there right now.

Well, maybe their message can help you. The message they received was: it’s time for action.

When we feel stuck and paralyzed in anxiety, it’s because we are functioning way too much from our mind. Meaning, we’re probably doing a lot of the mundane stuff. Like, a job we don’t feel challenged by. Or the domestic must-dos like picking up kids or making meals. Obviously, we can’t just hit the road and leave all our responsibilities behind, which ultimately causes a road block in our head. We’re not sure how we can get from stuck to unstuck without a drastic move.

You don’t need a drastic move. But a lot of the times, our mind can’t wrap itself around that concept, so we have to prep it for change. Rather than take a huge leap, here are a few simple tasks we can do to start prepping ourselves for big action.

1.     Move Your Body

The quickest way to get out of our heads is by getting into our bodies. For some of us, one great yoga class will get us out. But for others, we might have to do several days back-to-back. Even if your mind is running during these workout sessions, notice your thoughts. See what you’ve been telling yourself.

2.     Switch up Your Routine

My friend you are feeling stuck, because you are feeling totally bored! Switch up your routine. Take a new route to work. Have lunch outside. Try a new workout. Have a different meal.

3.     Journal

Lastly, get all that mind junk out of your head and on to paper. The thoughts are going around and around in your mind, because they have no outlet. Give them an outlet. For those of us who have a super active mind (the smarty pants!), journaling every day will be your life line.

Alright, my friend. Please take care of yourself and take the steps. This feeling will not go away unless you do the work that your soul deserves. Much love to you always.

 

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.