Episode 45: Seven Things That Make A Remarkable Yoga Teacher Training with Rachel Scott

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Rachel Scott is a yoga teacher trainer, instructional designer, and writer.  She regularly contributes to Yoga International and is the author of Wit and Wisdom from the Yoga Mat and A Yogi's Guide to Dating.  With over 4000 hours as a yoga teacher trainer, her passion for helping yoga educators create excellent trainings certainly shows through.  I am so grateful to have Rachel and her captivating energy on this episode!  You've probably guessed by now that the topic is all about Yoga Teacher Training.  In specific, Rachel helps us understand what separates an exceptional training from a disappointing one.  You're going to want to listen in whether you're considering taking your first yoga teacher training, continuing yoga education or playing around with the idea of being a teacher trainer yourself.  Rachel breaks down the reason why sometimes amazing yoga teachers deliver a less than satisfying training, prepares you with pertinent questions to ask if you're looking into taking a training, and lays out what makes a remarkable teacher training (spoiler alert: part of it falls on the responsibility of the student).

I wish I could tell the whole wide world about this one because so many people struggle to find a good yoga teacher training.  It's not something that you'd want to roll the dice on either, seeing as how each training is thousands of dollars.  Rachel's advice is worth its weight in gold!  So if you know somebody who would benefit from this info, keep the good vibes going and SHARE THIS EPISODE!

Many thanks to you for joining me.  Now, plug in those headphones and listen away!

Resources:

Rachel's article on Yoga International: How to choose a yoga teacher training  

Rachel's free course on how to create a teacher training

Episode 44: Yoga Philosophy 101 - Are We One with Nature or Separate? with Anne Douglas

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Anne Douglas of Episode 30: Messages from Our Bodies and How Anahata Yoga Can Help You Listen is back on the show and this time she's here to talk yoga philosophy.  Perhaps you'd really like to understand the philosophy of yoga but words like "vedic" "samkhya" and dates older than 1995 makes your brain want to take a nap.  Sanskrit and history are not your forte.  No problemo, start here!  Who better to explain this stuff than a patient, knowledgeable teacher who happens to be passionate about how yoga philosophies help us resolve suffering.  In this episode,  Anne helpfully explains the two major schools of thought in yoga philosophy: dualism versus non dualism.  Basically, are we one with nature or are we separate with nature? Depends.  We go into depth to understand what these two philosophies mean in the bigger picture as well as to how we relate to life individually.  By the end of the episode, you'll be cooing about purusha and prakriti like it ain't no thing.  This episode is loaded so buckle in and get your learnin' on!

Episode 43: Fearless Self Love with Andrea Catherine

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"There is no one straight path"

This nugget of insight seems to be a recurring theme throughout the conversations that I have with my marvelous guests.  Their paths are colorfully weaved with discovery and changes.  For the most part, their stories don't follow a linear trajectory.  In fact, it's the dynamic quality that brings so much inspiration and aliveness! Restaurant owner turned yoga teacher, engineer turned yoga studio owner, law professional turned shaman....

I think what's so alluring about these stories is that these people stopped to ask themselves somewhere along the way "what do I truly want in life?" and then mustered the courage to try and figure it out!  "What do I truly want in life?" and "How can I be happy?" are questions that we eventually ponder.  Growing up, we're taught to pave our lives out in one straight path and to fear the unknown, but the heart desires truth and purpose, and those things might not be on the pretty paved road.  That's why stories of daring leaps perk us up.

With the last few interviews, there seems to be another layer emerging. That is: 

"What you desire can change."

Ah yes, life likes to keep it exciting doesn't it!  Just when we think we've figured it all out, the tides turn.  The key is to continue tuning in and pivoting as needed.

In this episode, we get to hear about just that as Andrea Catherine opens up candidly about her next leap in life.  Andrea is currently a yoga teacher, yoga health coach, Ayurvedic health counsellor and host of the podcast, Fearless Self Love.  Her new calling is calling though and she's in flux to move toward her dream of creating a space that's a destination for travelers, locals and folks in transition.  We also talk about self-love - what it means, how to do it, and how the practice of it has helped Andrea arrive at where she's at today.

Episode 42: How Founder of Yoga Boss Babe Combined Two Opposing Passions to Create a Successful Business w/ Elizabeth Nguyen

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Elizabeth Nguyen is a yoga teacher and founder of Yoga Boss Babe, a subscription box to help yoga teachers grow a thriving business.  This girl works with a stunning amount of dedication, authenticity and passion!  She is in love with her business and life today but like all great creators, there was quite a bit of travelling to get to this leg of the journey.  In fact, the first business she ever created was one that she didn't totally love.  She eventually went with her gut feeling and searched for an idea that made her feel excited and passionate.  One thing led to another and she came up with YBB!  There are so many rich lessons in Liz's story including how to know when an idea is truly for you, what challenges to expect when you pursue what you love and what it takes to succeed.  Plug in those headphones and get the idea juices flowing!

Resources:

Books:

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz – inspired Liz to slow down and come up with more of a mindful response vs a reactive response; and to let go when it doesn’t matter enough.

She means business by Carrie Green – the book that helped Liz come up with the idea for Yoga Boss Babe

Episodes referred to (create hyperlink)

Episode 2: A Healing Journey with Alison DuRussel

Like Liz, Alison was interested in helping people via the healthcare system.  And like Liz, she started to wonder if there was a natural remedy that could alleviate the number of pills that patients ended up relying on.  Listen to Alison's story of how she went from pharm tech to massage therapist to yoga teacher and to sound bath healer.  

Episode 3: Mastering the Business of Yoga with Amanda Kingsmith

There are so many paths that you can take your yoga career.  Like Liz, Amanda is also helping yoga teachers flourish via their own unique path.  Listen to this episode for the three key items that you need to have for a successful yoga career.

Episode 41: Searching For True Desires and Manifesting It To Life with Awilda Rivera

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Awilda Rivera is a yoga teacher, spiritual advisor and success coach who has dedicated her life to help empower others to succeed.  She’s navigated a few twists and turns in her own life as she transitioned from being a law professional and into the world of spirituality and wellness.

A cardiac episode in her late 20's brought Awilda to face a very real truth in her life.  Ever since the age of ten she’d been committed to becoming a lawyer.  She took a sense of responsibility in being the first person in her family to go to college and held high expectations of herself to not disappoint.  Yet as she lay there in the hospital bed, with only one and half years of law school before graduation, she could no longer deny that this wasn’t what she wanted anymore. 

The question that surfaced after admitting this to herself was “what intention do I want to live my life with? What kind of intention do I want my work grounded in?”  She pinpointed that her passion was to help others.  The journey that ensued was onerous, messy and wonderful.  By following the thread of "wanting to help people" Awilda was able to hone into exactly how she could help.  Today, she’s not only living her dream by helping other people live their dreams, but she’s also an inspiration for the multi-passionate soul who loves more than one thing and wonders how it could possibly come together. 

Tune in to hear the rest of her story!  In this grounded conversation Awilda shares valuable wisdom about pursuing what you love and how to manifest it to life including mantras and mudras that you can use.

Resources:

Book to learn more about mudras

 Mudras Yoga In Your Hands by Getrud Hirschi

 

 

Episode 40: What does Yoga Have to Do With Body Image? A Lot More Than You Think with Melanie Klein

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Melanie Klein is an empowerment coach, professor of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Moorpark Collect in Venura County, California, speaker, writer and thought leader in the areas of body confidence, authentic empowerment and visibility.  In addition to many other books she’s also the editor of the recently released, Yoga Rising: 30 Empowering Stories from Yoga Renegades for Every Body.  She is passionate about the topic of contemporary body image politics and is making waves in creating a healthier, more positive perception of our body image.  She's been featured several times on Yoga International to talk about this topic and co-founded the Yoga and Body Image Coalition in 2014.  YBI strives to provide accessible, body-positive yoga and reflects the full range of human diversity.

What an absolute thrill to talk to Melanie!!  This conversation expanded my understanding of how I relate to myself and I even had a breakthrough Aha moment (you'll definitely recognize when this is as you listen...I was ecstatic :) ).  I used to think of body image as a social issue and never considered its relation to yoga.  If I practice yoga, mindfulness and acceptance then surely I have a healthy body image right? No need to extricate this one specific thing from the big picture of accepting the whole self....right?  Turns out I was wrong.  Our body image is not only an outcome of our internal relationship with self but is also a product of the society, politics and history that shapes us.  It's so powerful that it dictates our self-worth.  It can even hold us back from reaching our full potential.  Yoga can be one of the most powerful tools to help us disentangle our distorted body image from our identities.  In this episode, Melanie and dig further in-depth into the topic of contemporary body image politics - what it is, how it affects all of us and what we can do about it, including how an authentic yoga practice can free us from the war we wage against our bodies.  Buckle in.  This one's a good one. 

Episode 39: Yoga-ing Even Before It Was Cool with Marla Meenakshi Joy

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Marla Meenakshi Joy, Owner and Director of Downward Dog Yoga Centre, spent years in the Himalayas studying Meditation, Sanskrit and Yoga Philosophy.  She’s been studying meditation and the philosophy of the Vedas since 1988.  She began teaching in 1999 in Teacher Training programs across Canada, the U.S., Europe and Asia, as a teacher of Philosophy and Sanskrit, Chanting and Meditation, Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga, and Restorative Yoga.  Wait, there’s more!  She’s also a celebrated song-stress and leads Kirtan with her band SWAHA. 

What a pleasure it was to have a conversation with this soul that’s been steeping in the wisdom of yoga, continuing to expand her growth year after year.  What’s really interesting is hearing what the yoga scene was like 30 years ago.  In this episode, Marla shares her yoga journey from being a young 19 year old who went off to the Himalayas and finally found “home” in her yoga practice to the influential teacher/yoga studio owner/songstress that she is today.  We catch tidbits of her wisdom along the way as we take dips into understanding ashtanga vinyasa yoga, the Vedas, Kirtan and more.  Amongst the tools she shares are mantras to help clear the way, remove fear and reconnect to your true nature.

Resources:

Books recommended by Marla:

Yoga Mala by Pattahbi Jois

  • Knowledge on Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
  • Understand the cleansing process in the body as a result of practicing this type of yoga

 

Thomas Ashley-Farrand's Books to learn more about mantras

 
 
  • Marla’s mantra recommendations:
    • To Ganesha, the remover of obstacles.  Use this to clear the way for your day: “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha
    • To Durga, the protectress goddess.  Use this to help remove fear: “Om dum durgayei namaha”
    • An abstract mantra that’s not associated with any deity or any form.  A universal mantra – the mantra of the breath. It repeats itself on every inhalation and exhalation naturally.  Use this one to be reminded of your true nature and reality: "So Hum" Translated, it means “all that there is, is me or I am all that there is”
      •   Inhale: SO
      • Exhale: HUM

 

Episode 38: Stop Shoulding Yourself. How to Go For What You Truly Want in Life with Anna Lundberg

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This soul searching business isn’t easy!  As we travel this journey to the heart, we're asked to take leaps, look fear in the eyes and move with great courage and unfold into who we really are.  Stories from each other can hearten this experience - the mere fact of knowing that we're not alone and that somebody else has done it too is uplifting.  In this week’s episode Anna Lundberg shares her story of breaking through - from neatly living the life that she was expected to (being a “good girl”), to busting into the success coach/author/business strategist lady boss that she is today.  There are so many golden nuggets of wisdom as we talk about shedding external expectations, finding success for ourselves and trialing the many different paths to figure out how what we truly want from life.  Anna shares her Guiding Star model that can help you figure out what you want, or if you already know, can help you stay on track to get it!

Before we dive in, a little bit more about Anna - Anna is a success coach and business strategist who helps people create businesses and build a lifestyle that allows them an unimagined sense of freedom, flexibility and fulfilment. She works individually with a select number of clients to help them reimagine success in their personal and professional lives and runs a group programme that helps people take their ‘One Step Outside the 9 to 5’.

Resources:

onestepoutside.com/finding-your-guiding-star

Episode 37: Take Back Your Freedom with Little Rituals with Stacey Irvine

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Stacey Irvine is a yoga teacher and registered nurse at the Alberta Children's Hospital.  Her yoga journey began ten years ago when she experienced injuries as a triathlete.  Unable to continue with her regular workouts with the sustained injuries, she was encouraged to practice yoga to rehabilitate.  She quickly fell in love - at first with the physical practice and then eventually realized that is also a great form of self development and self inquiry.  Yoga became a haven as she worked through anxiety and an eating disorder.  Soon, she dived into further learning by taking her first yoga teacher training. 

A number of years later, Stacey found herself in another challenging situation when her father and grandfather got into a tragic car accident.  This marked the first time she experienced going through the traditional healthcare system.  In doing so, she noticed some gaps.  The system didn't seem to take the human into consideration.  Yes, it healed the body but in addition to that her father was in need of somebody to hear him, hold space for him and help with the emotional side of recuperation.  That's where her passion for advocating for a more integrative healthcare system (between Western and Alternative medicines) was born.  In this episode Stacey gives us further insight on this as well as dives deeper into her story of her journey with yoga.     

Episode 36: Creating From a Place of Calling. Yoga Festivals, Community, and Yogi Entrepreneurship with Robindra Mohar

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This one is for everyone who is trying to start something out there!  A movement, a business, a whole new life....

Robindra Mohar is an Edmonton based educator + festival producer + DJ.  He and his wife Myrah are the creators of the Canada based It’s Time To Bloom Festival and Together We Bloom Society.  He is also the catalyst for Yogi Entrepreneur School where he helps entrepreneurs design heart led businesses.  He himself has been an entrepreneur for almost two decades.  Aside from allll of that, he's also a new dad, chef, yogi, chai & music lover.  What a multifaceted fellow!

In this episode, Robindra gives his insights on the importance of creating from a place of dharma (calling) and shares his story on what it was like to create a nationwide festival - challenges, rewards and lessons learned.    

Episode 35: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - How To Use Them In Your Life with Kelsey Delane

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Kelsey Delane is a Yoga Mentor & Reiki Master who guides fellow Yogis & Yoga Teachers toward more sustained joy.  She has completed an impressive 1,000 hours of yoga training ranging from kids yoga, to trauma informed yoga, to Yoga Philosophy.  Her most passionate subject is the teachings of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  She shares this knowledge through one on one mentorship, online platforms and in-person workshops. Kelsey also shares her love of Yoga by training upcoming teachers throughout Orange County, and working with teen girls through the UPLIFT Yoga Foundation.

Kelsey has a radiant and serene way about her, and it's hard not to absorb some of that goodness when talking to her.  In this episode we talk about how yoga transformed her from a distraught college student with severe chronic anxiety and depression into a radiant being who enjoys a strong and peaceful relationship with her inner world.  Of course, we also dive into her area of expertise - The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  She gives us some tips on how to learn the teachings and how we can use them to become co-creators of our lives.

Episode 34: The Basics of Ayurveda with Susan Weis-Bohlen

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In this episode, we get to talk about a topic that I've been long intrigued by - AYURVEDA! 

Susan Weis-Bohlen is an Ayurvedic expert and author the book Beginner's Guide to Ayurveda: Essential Ayurvedic Principles & Practices to Balance & Heal Naturally.    On the Ayurvedic side, she's officially a Chopra Center Certified Ayurvedic Consultant; but she's also a meditation teacher, vegetarian cooking teacher and leads sacred site tours around the world.  Oh yea, she also owns a quaint bookstore cafe in Baltimore, Maryland.  While there is much wisdom to be shared, we focus on Ayurveda in this episode.

Ayurveda is considered to be the world's oldest medical system, dating back to be 5,000-10,000 years old.  I gravitate toward it because it's a holistic approach to health - mind, body and spirit.  It’s an intelligent system that leverages our natural functions to balance and heal rather than using force to create desired outcomes.  But it’s also a complex system that has many layers to it.  Traditionally the knowledge has been passed down by song and word of mouth.  Understanding it can be difficult and for me, it was hard to know where to even start.  That's why this conversation with Susan is sooooo good!  She shares the basic essential concepts that you need to know so that you can start applying concepts of Ayurveda to your benefit right away.  To name a few nuggets, we go over the framework of the constituents (doshas - kapha, pitta, vata) that rule this practice, how our doshas affect what foods are right for us, and guidelines for Ayurvedic eating that is beneficial for everybody.

Episode 33: Lessons From A Yoga Studio Owner with Jeff Mah

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Jeff Mah is an engineer turned yoga teacher and yoga studio owner.  He and his wife owns the ever so popular The Yoga Lounge in the mountain city of Canmore, Alberta.  His journey has been a series of unexpected twists and surprises, at one point being an engineer and then later considering to maybe even do his MCAT to become a doctor.  In this episode, Jeff shares his story with yoga and what finally inspired him to leap into an unconventional (at the time) career path because it truly resonated with him.  And of course I had to get the scoop on what it's like to own a yoga studio!  Jeff gives us a glimpse by sharing the challenges, rewards and the hard work behind the scenes.    

Episode 32: How Mindfulness Awakens Our True Selves with Julie Seibt

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Julie Seibt is a yoga teacher with plenty of credentials under her belt ( IAYT Yoga Therapist, Anahata Yoga Teacher and iRest Teacher to name a few) but it’s probably more accurate to just describe her as an ocean of knowledge.  This is one lady who is well versed in the matters of the heart and her unshakable truth shines through the entire conversation.  In this episode, we dive into a rich conversation about mindfulness and how you can apply it to live a life of freedom and of course more joy.  Julie provides clear examples and tools that can be simply applied for more peaceful living starting right now.  We hear her insights on how to create better relationships with ourselves (because one thing I’m learning is that it all comes back to self love folks!) and touch on my favourite topic – how to tap into that inner wisdom.  We begin and end with a beautiful meditation so if you’re able to set yourself up in a comfortable position, please do so and join in.  Alright, plug those earplugs in and let’s let the good vibes roll.

Episode 31: To Live Your Best Life Practice Self Care and Self Love with Melissa Jay

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Melissa Jay is a registered psychologist and yoga teacher who has melded her two loves into Yoga Psychology.  The hard work she puts into her psychology practice and yoga retreats are all done in purpose of her mission, which is "to empower compassionate souls to love themselves unconditionally".  When we take good care of ourselves and ensure that our cups are filled then we are better to be able to show up and be present with the people that we care about.  The result?  Deeper connection, true connection. 

To live your best life you must practice self love and self care.  Part of that is to tune into your inner world, understand how you relate to others (because we relate to each other differently), realize what it is that you need and then ask for it and receive it.  The last part is where many people trip up.  There seems to be a resistance to receiving and it holds us back.  Plug in those earbuds and listen in because Melissa helps us understand four different ways we relate to each other, how to make use of that information (breaking beyond "what's wrong with me?") and gives a compelling case as to why it's important learn to receive what you need from others.  

Episode 30: Messages from our Bodies and How Anahata Yoga can Help You Listen with Anne Douglas

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Happy New Year! We kick off 2018 with an episode about the significance of tapping into your body's intelligence.  Anne Douglas is a teacher and yoga scholar who has had over three decades of experience practicing/studying in the field.  She is the creator of Anahata Yoga Therapy, which is a path for self-inquiry, loving kindness and the integration of what she calls "the issues in the tissues".  We spend the hour talking about Anne's journey through different forms of yoga, the relationship between emotion and body symptoms and how Anahata Yoga Therapy can help. 

Episode 29: Wisdom of 2017: Year In Review

It has been a wonderful year on Curious Monki! I am SO grateful for everyone who tunes in and for all the amazing souls who have graciously shared their wisdom.  The conversations have been heartfelt and rich with knowledge.  In this episode, I look back on some of the lessons shared. Among them are powerful messages like:  trust your intuition; life won't always take the path that you want it to and that's not a bad thing.  You must trust that something better is in store for you; self love and self compassion are the gateways to true happiness; you're a life long learner, that's what all these life experiences are for!  

I love having these conversations and it has been an absolute dream to share them with you.  As I've said before, this is a journey to the heart.  It's the discovering of all that we are.  Let's do this together and learn to connect deeper within as well as with the world around us.  Ultimately, you'll live the life of your true self and true happiness!

I sincerely hope that these conversations have been inspiring to you....maybe even illuminate something that you haven't discovered before. 

Now, I'd like to hear from you! 

  • What has been your greatest lesson this year?

  • What topics do you want to hear about in 2018?  I'm listening. 

Leave a comment below or go to the contact page and email me.

 Happy holidays and have a wonderful New Years!

 

    

 

 

 

 

Episode 28: Mastering the Business of Yoga: Three Key Items You Need To Succeed with Amanda Kingsmith

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Amanda Kingsmith is a world traveler, yoga teacher and also the podcast host for two shows:  The World Wanderers and Mastering the Business of Yoga aka. MB.OM.  She's passionate about helping yoga teachers discover careers they love and enjoys working 1-on-1 with yoga teachers to help them build their business.  In this episode, she tells us how she managed to create a life filled with travel and adventure; all while doing what she loves from anywhere in the world.  We get business savvy as she shares three key concepts that will help you succeed in creating a business out of the thing (or things...yes, you can have more than one) you love!  This episode is for you if you're a yoga teacher, yoga teacher to be or if you're in the business of succeeding in doing what you love.  Plug in those earbuds and listen in!

Episode 27: Chronic Illness and Yoga: What it's like when our bodies don't work the way we want w/ Brittany Zeer

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It’s one thing to develop a well-oiled routine and have the discipline to follow through but what happens if our bodies aren’t cooperating the way we want them to?  It’s excruciating to get through a trip to the grocery store let alone make it to a yoga class where you have to bend yourself in all sorts of shapes.  Each day is a toss-up – maybe you’ll be pain free, maybe you’ll be bed ridden…..or maybe you’ll think it’s a pain free day and then bam! just when you’re about to make it to an important appointment the pain hits and everything’s a write off.  It’s frustrating – how do you plan your day? How do you maintain a yoga practice?  How do you keep up a social life??  This is what life is like for somebody who has a chronic illness.  In this episode, Brittany Zeer is back on the show and we discuss chronic illnesses.  An accident three years ago left her with chronic migraines and now pain management is on her daily agenda.  She sheds light on what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, how loved ones can support, pain management tips and how to continue a yoga practice despite the obstacles. 

If you have a chronic illness listen in because you’re not alone!  If you don’t have a chronic illness, listen in anyway because it’s a chance to flex that compassion muscle.  The struggle isn’t always visible and there’s a huge part that we can play in supporting our friends.        

 

Episode 26: How to Take the Healing Path and Live on Purpose with Nicholas Pepe

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Nicholas Pepe is one inspiring individual who has dedicated himself to doing what I’ve decided to call “heart work”.  Work that is soul centred with the intention to help provide a positive impact on other people’s lives and the world.  In specific, he’s an Energy Healer and Personal Development Coach who specializes in helping women who are ruled by fear, doubt, and “low confidence” learn how to master their emotions so that they can live with Courage, Confidence and Freedom

Nicholas is the author of Courageous Acts of Self-Love, creator of a self-help channel on YouTube, and has been featured on MSNBC as well as several magazines.

In this episode, we have a heart to heart about some provoking life questions such as why is it important to heal?  What’s holding people back from joy?  How do we live our purpose?  Nicholas shares lessons and insights gathered from the work he’s done with clients as well as himself.