Founder, Teach Your Truth
Transformation Enthusiast and Coach
I’ve always been awed by the black girl magicians and before them, the phenomenal women who do what they do, how they do – so fully, so freely, so powerfully, so naturally – but that was never me. Being me, shining this little light of mine, standing in my greatness, manifesting a life of my wildest dreams, isn’t any bit of magic. It’s hard work: one carefully executed transformation at a time.
I’m not special.
I’m not transcendent or exceptional.
And most importantly, I should repeat, this time for the folks in the balcony, I AM NOT MAGIC.
For a long time, I didn’t feel like I could just be me. I picked up, from some subtle and sometimes real explicit lessons, that the ME that wanted to see the light of day was too powerful for most to handle so ME had to be tempered. When folks asked for ME I often sent my representative instead. The representative has been retired after nearly two decades of honorable service and a series of shifts about how I show up in this world. Now ME is thriving.
This is My Story
I was a talkative child growing up. I was observant and curious and I had much to say about the world and the human condition. I was what some might’ve called a smart mouth back then. I was affectionately known by my family as “Motormouth”.
With my family, I expressed myself as freely as I was allowed, observing the rules of engagement of course, which meant I had to ask for permission to speak. There was no interrupting grown folks for any reason. Understand? I had to wait to be acknowledged, otherwise I’d be threatened for intruding on an “add-dult conversation.” Every outward utterance began with seemingly endless moments of waiting near a doorway to be noticed by some authority on words that can fill the airspace, followed by a pleading sir or ma’am. Because I had so much to say, I mastered the house rules and in the process, I learned to be polite, wait my turn, and couch my words. That last lesson about couching my words was helpful in becoming a human that plays well with others, but it also served as an intro to a fifteen year training program called How to Lose Your Authentic Voice.
Expensive Life Lessons
I aced several courses along the way to graduating from this program. In High School, there was the free Seminar on Code Switching. That course taught me to quickly translate my mother tongue – an early 90s Brooklyn-ese – into a more universally understood way of speaking in order to get my point across and be taken seriously by not only grown folk types, but also my schoolmates in suburban Connecticut. By college, I’d learned that what I had to say wasn’t more important than the feelings of those who’d hurt and disappointed me in a four part series called Your Parents Did the Best the Could With What They Had, So Stop Bringing Up Old Shit and Trying to Hold People Accountable Because You’re At A Good School and You Gonna Be Alright.
Well, I wasn’t alright although I’d reached the height of achievement for a young woman like me. I’d finished high school without kids; I’d managed to stay clear of substance addictions; And I’d moved out of my mama’s house and had been off her dole since I could get working papers. But it was also true that I was clinically depressed and none of my accomplishments could fix what was broken inside.
Um…This Isn’t Anything Like Hillman
I felt like a complete fraud at college. I didn’t know what to do with a degree. I went to college because it was strongly encouraged by my guidance counselor – more likely mandatory – that I apply. Foreal, I thought it would be a neat way to learn more Chinese so that I could watch the flicks I enjoyed without subtitles. I was an academic overachiever only because it came easy, I wasn’t prepared for life after peaking so young, so I did my best to finish college even though I didn’t want to be there at all while trying to figure out how to reclaim my joy and my voice.
Me, the Self-Care Pioneer
I was in unchartered territory. The first to go to college and a pioneer of talk therapy within my clan. I had few tools of my own that I could use and none available to borrow from the loved ones who wanted to help. I was resourceful, I was a survivor, I decided to fight fire with fire. My approach to battling major depression was to undergo a major transformation. My mission at the time was simply stay alive, not thrive – that came later.
This was the first transformation I had to figure out on my own. It took a bit of time, but I figured out that my authentic voice was my best defense against clinical depression. The ME that shed all the junk is called Nikki Unfolding. Clinical depression is now in check and I’m alive! No small feat. Not magic, intention. Every morning I wake up and take on this world with my emotional wellness gauge on full because I have transformed my mindset to support my mental health and well-being first and always. Now I’m on to thriving.
This is Where You Meet Me
The life that I live now reflects a life I couldn’t even imagine just a few years ago. My marriage, my home, my career, my relationships bring me joy and fulfillment and I get all this without compromising my authentic voice. As I expand my mind and my heart, my dreams grow too. I’m in a season of transformation (again). The master shifter that I am, I’ve decided to take on three transformations, which will lead me to The Life of My Wildest Dreams-Version 2016. Here’s what I’m working on now:
Transformation #1: Become a Homeschooling Mama
This is major because I don’t have any babies at the moment and making a baby isn’t as easy as I was led to believe my entire youth. First, I had to get my mind committed to having a kid and when I did, it turned out that I needed medical intervention. I’ve been on my IVF journey for a few years now. When this baby shows up, I plan to homeschool however that makes sense for my family. Class is now in session!
Transformation #2: Make My Triceps Pop
I started working out as a diversion from all the IVF stuff, but I’ve since become quite serious about making my muscles bulge. My goal is to lose 80 lbs. and build finely chiseled arms. I lost 30 lbs in just 8 weeks. 50 more to go! I say this is one of the easiest hardest things I’ve ever done. The triceps aren’t popping yet, but I’m getting there. Watch me work!
Transformation #3: Live the Location Independent Entrepreneur Life
You’ve been reading for a while (thank you for witnessing my story), so you may have forgotten that I said up top that I am a transformation specialist. I’ve done it for myself and have been professionally trained as an instructional designer to create learning experiences that lead to shifts in behavior and thought. I’ve been doing this work for the better part of the last decade, now I’m taking my show on the road. I want to change the world by helping folks summon their authentic voice, teach their truth, live lives of their wildest dreams while helping others transform and do the same. My mission with Teach Your Truth is to free our minds one transformation at a time, but I can’t do it without you. What story of transformation and triumph are you waiting to tell? What shifts are underway or planned for you? Let’s make this happen together!
Don’t worry you’re not thinking anything I haven’t heard before. I’m not crazy. I’m committed.
Yes, I can have all these things and more.
Yes, you can too.
Ready to find your authentic voice and teach your truth?