The Declaration of You, published by North Light Craft Books and available now, gives readers all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more – and join us! – by clicking here.

The Declaration of You!

When all else fails: Turn to the Internet!

A little over a year ago, my life took a nosedive when the company I was working for laid off a bunch of people, including more than half of the marketing team I was apart of. I felt betrayed, lost, hurt, and ultimately, like I had somehow failed. I wasn’t sure where to go with my life or what to do, so as I do when I’m on a hunt for answers, I turned to the internet (I had just lost a job as a social media strategist – of course I’d look to the internet for help!).

I had started following and talking with Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach, over Twitter about a year earlier, but it was at that moment that she had opened up the Clubhouse and in a spontaneous burst of inspiration, I joined. All of a sudden I was surrounded by people who were just like me – trying to figure out what to do with their talents, how to make a business of it, how to be successful. It was one of the best things I ever did and I am so thankful to Michelle and all the amazing folks in that community. It not only helped me to structure my goals, create a plan, and find support, it also helped me in my journey to begin trusting myself again.

Learning to Trust Again

It’s amazing just how damaging losing a job you love can be. I no longer knew if I was good at anything, and I didn’t trust myself to start branching out. I hesitated at everything and felt like I had lost my footing on a path I wasn’t sure was my own anymore. I felt like I couldn’t even trust the people around me anymore – the community I had built at work for the past three years had been stripped away in one afternoon. I went home and just cried and wondered what I should do with my life now (a little dramatic, but I felt I deserved it, at least for the day). I am so thankful that Michelle had come into my life when she did – I already trusted her judgement and felt that connection with her that’s so important when working with a career coach. The Clubhouse was instrumental in teaching me to trust myself again, to trust my heart, to trust my gut, and to find trust in the close-knit community I built around me.

The Book!

The Declaration of You!

When you have a faith in yourself again, it’s like opening a door and finding opportunity everywhere. And that’s why I’m so excited to be a part of this book tour. The Declaration of You is an inspiration book for creatives searching for their place in the sun. It was written and illustrated by Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift. I’ve been a big fan of Jessica Swift for years. Her artwork is colorful, motivational, and inspiring, and I have many of her prints up on my walls – including my cube wall at work! I’ve even written about her work here before! To see two of my favorite community people getting together to create something so wonderful is a dream come true. Check out the book trailer if you don’t believe me.

Join Us Today!

The Declaration of You Facebook Party

Are you looking to join this amazing community and find out more about Michelle Ward, Jessica Swift, and The Declaration of You? You’re in luck! Today over on the Facebook Page, there’s going to be a comment party all about this week’s topic: TRUST! If you can, we’d love for you to join us at 9:30-10a PST/11:30a-12p CST/12:30-1p EST.

My Declaration!

Over the past year, I’ve learned to not only trust those around me, but to trust myself again. It’s been a long, up-hill battle, but I am proud of who I am today. I’ve worked hard, become more organized, defined the goals I want to achieve in my career, and I’ve done it with the support (and trust!) of an amazing community around me. My declaration for the day: It’s always a good thing to have a little faith, trust, and as much pixie dust as you can possibly handle!

What’s your declaration of you?

Fourth_of_July_by_Anuwolf
Fourth of July by Anuwolf

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits.” – Thomas Jefferson.

Happy Birthday, United States of America!

I love the family and food and happy faces that Independence Day brings, but I am not a fan of the loud noises that come with it. I am absolutely terrified of fireworks – even just the start of a whistle makes it hard for me to breathe because of how anxious I get. Kovtapyroergasoiphobia is the name of the phobia and while I can’t pronounce it, it doesn’t make it any less real. So while I wish America a happy birthday and hope you all have a fabulous day filled with family and friends and hot dogs, I will be with my pups hiding in the house with my music turned as loud as I can make it.

Speaking of pups, make sure yours are safe inside. Dogs and cats are not fans of this holiday. Love them and keep them indoors.

Happy Independence Day!

It was one humdinger of a week in the USA. The Boston Marathon bombing, then the gigantic fertilizer plant explosion just two hours north of us here in West, TX – a place we frequent on many a road trip, and then the manhunt back in Boston. What a week. And that sentence right there, well I’m grateful that I can say that. It was one week. One day of fear. I am so thankful we live in a place where a statement like that is a big deal. Last night at the Boston press conference with commissioner Edward Davis, they mentioned that it was a long day of terror. But it was a day, and now it’s over and the sun has come up again.

sunset

We’re so lucky to live in a country where a few days of terror is so rare it makes global headlines. We are lucky to have people who rush forward to help instead of hiding behind doors. We are lucky to have the government we do that allows us access to the media and local resources. We are lucky to live in a free country. We are so very very lucky to live in a place where we are woken up by alarm clocks and not bombs, where our police are there to protect us not take from us, where our president talks about his love for diversity and his pride for the people he governs. My heart goes out to those who aren’t so lucky, to those who live in this terror every day, for weeks, months, years. My love to all those who are not so fortunate.

Meet Sir Gawain – the Scaly Knight

If you follow me on the twitter, then you’ll have already been introduced to this face. But if you haven’t… join me in welcoming the gloriously beautiful Sir Gawain the Scaley Knight into our family menagerie.

gawain02
Photo by Lee Jaszlics.

He is a Hogg Island Boa, roughly 5.5 feet in length, and about 6 years old. He belonged to my best friend Lee, who is moving to Australia, so he was recently rehomed to me. He’s absolutely beautiful and I find myself constantly drawn to his amazing colors – and he always has such a smug smile. Especially after he’s eaten.

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Photo by me.

Like that. That right there. So smug.

As for an update on the rest of our menagerie, we recently lost the very last of our rats to old age. Artemis outlived her sister by many months and was, what the vet said, a miracle rat. It’s odd not having any more little ones in our house, but Ash and I both work now so it’s hard to give them the time they deserve. Total we have four dogs (2 belong to family members but are staying with us for the time being), seven cats (one is a foster), and one snake. Almost a normal amount.

Right?

Hope y’all are having a wonderful weekend! Happy Saturday! Oh and don’t forget, I still have FIVE spots open for the Design Coyote New Year Sale! Get a cheap WordPress or Blogger design before they run out! Be well!

Second Inauguration & Happy MLK Day!

Patriotic Nikki - Photo by Ashley Niels
Nikki on the National Mall – Photo by Ashley Niels

Four years ago I was on the national mall with millions of other people watching Obama be sworn in as our president. It was the most thrilling & inspiring event I’ve ever witnessed and I’m so thankful we got that opportunity to be there. I still hold that day in my heart – not just for the historical moment itself, but because out of all those millions of people, there was only one rude person. The rest were downright amazing. It’s incredible the things that bring complete strangers together and how, even on the coldest day of the year when everyone is cramped and freezing and uncomfortable, strangers will open their hearts to each other and go out of their way to help those who need it. I know where I wish I could be right now. I think Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud to share this day.

Happy MLK Day and Happy Inauguration Day, everyone!