Nicolette currently runs her own holistic exercise and life coaching business in San Francisco and recently founded her second company, Expansive Voice Movement. Expansive Voice Movement is a series of wellness experiences focused on female growth through physical, mental, and emotional exercise and meditation. Nicolette has organized a network of female practitioners of varying fields to educate and empower women through their own therapeutic styles. Expansive Voice creates a space that helps women discover methods of meditation to help build ties with their legacy and discover ways to navigate through change.
How did you get to where you are today?
Well, where I am today is definitely not where I thought I'd be 11 years ago - a recent high school graduate preparing to enter college as a TV Journalism major. Within my first year of college I began a very dark relationship with food and my body which lasted 7 years. For 7 years straight I punished my body, mind and spirit, worked out too often, and went through bouts of either not eating, throwing it up or both. I hated myself.
After the typical college grind of working multiple jobs to survive, I started my first business as an exercise coach, “so I could coach people to a healthier life.” (Ironic, I know). My health was horrible at the time, my organs were shutting down, my gut wouldn't digest anything, I had tortured my body for too long. My dark journey didn't end here though, I spent the next 3 years hyperaware of what went into my body, logging EVERY piece of food that hit my tongue, continuing to workout too much and too hard, ignoring my body’s constant cries for help. Although I was no longer throwing up my food, my negative relationship with food remained.
About a year ago, I said ‘fuck it’ to constantly punishing myself and began intuitively LIVING life for the first time. And although it was a very slow and arduous process (and still is), I found courage and strength through meditation, music, dance, silence, and nature. I started to love myself from within, to show compassion for my body and soul.
What was your toughest obstacle and how did you overcome it?
Surprisingly, it wasn't ending my 7 year bout of bulimia; with that, I stopped cold turkey and never looked back. My toughest obstacle has been finding internal balance since letting go of that compulsion. It has been the process of being “okay” with not being “okay.” Despite being someone who teaches self love, I had to make peace with the fact that there will always be days when it's hard to find self-love. I learned that it isn’t necessary to bathe in self-love every waking moment, but just enough to acknowledge that life presents specific struggles that are meant to push us in certain directions towards the life we were meant to live.
What’s the key to staying focused & motivated?
I always remind myself of my end goal.
When weeks are hard, busy and stressful, it's easy for me to get caught up in the daily obstacles. I have become better at reminding myself to listen to my intuition and let the universe guide me toward the larger plan. My end goal is to help strengthen women spiritually, mentally and physically, and to travel more and work less. Remembering the VISION I have for my life makes it easy to stay motivated.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Don't ever let wealth and power take precedence over love.
What advice do you have for someone who is looking to start a new venture?
Don’t do it alone! Use the people around you for support, guidance and THEIR expertise. I think the biggest mistake you can make is trying to do everything yourself.
Take your ideas to those who can better portray them to the world. Allow them to do what they are good at, so you can spend more time doing what YOU are good at. The money spent on hiring people to do what they do best will be well worth the better quality end product.
Also - find mentors you admire, people who live a life similar to one you may desire. Learn their tricks, pick their brain, and learn from their experience. I am lucky to have found a mentor at every stage of my journey. Each one has been valuable in my growth and essential to my journey.
How do we get more women leaders?
I believe in empowerment through education. And I don't mean just going to school, studying for tests and passing. I mean education in all areas of life. Constantly learning has always been the trigger to creating change in my life. Learning new techniques to use with clients or practicing new forms of meditation are ways I have ignited and sparked my own creativity. The more we know, the more confidently we carry ourselves and the more prepared we are for any environment or situation.