I'd love your help to reach best-seller status!
Mark your calendar for December 8 and visit www.BeeBADASSandBrilliant.com
to purchase the kindle version for only $1.99 just in time for the holidays!
What's this blog series all about? Let me satiate your curiosity :) I decided as part of my book launch campaign to feature 28 holistic souls - 1 every day leading up to my 28th birthday on December 8th, which is also the official Amazon.com launch date.
Let's seeeee. Where do I begin. Well, I guess it's fitting to start at the beginning. Jeremy and I met through a mutual friend (shout out to Anna Flora) when he attended my 5th wedding anniversary party May 2015. Our friendship really took off when I attended his birthday party almost a year ago. It was very fitting as his birthday fell the day after mine. Technically, since I was born on a leap year, we decided it was close enough to say we share the same birthday.
Jeremy came in to my life at a time when I really needed a friend, someone I could talk to, ask questions with and have deep conversations. Jeremy never made me feel less than or judged for what we'd talk about, it was such a refreshing experience. As we'd take time for tea, host food parties and go for walks downtown, he helped bring laughter and fun into my busy schedule. He even took care of me and made me tacos after almost loosing my toe early this spring in a cleaning accident and was my plus one to a friends wedding the following weekend when my husband Ken was in Texas for work!
Jeremy is incredibly gifted and talented. I recently had the opportunity to attend the debut performance of a piece he composed for the Grand Rapids Symphony. I selected this photo from this recent experience (credit: Terry Johnston) because if a picture had a thousands words, this would be it. I am getting chocked up as I type. Jeremy I am so thankful for you, our friendship and for everything you've helped me through in the ups and downs and growing pains of being an entrepreneur. Thank you for taking the time to listen, for the random messenger chats and the always entertaining phone calls. I am so proud of you and all of your recent accomplishments. I always beam from the inside out when I see you perform and I hope to be cheering you on for many years to come. Please take some time to check out his recent single debut from his ESME band/collaboration project on itunes, here.
1. Nicole's definition of BADASS and Brilliant encompass: passion and thinking for yourself. First, what is your passion? Second, can you share one example of how your passion has guided you to think for yourself?
1) My passion is lifting up the people around me while also learning and growing from them. Our purpose on this planet is directly tied to our relational connections: If God expected us to do everything ourselves, then He would have placed us each on separate islands with no way to harm others. As it is, we are constantly affecting people, either for better or for worse. What greater calling could exist than to build up their lives so they can reach their full potential? "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Eccl. 4:12) Working together, we can accomplish so much more than isolating ourselves from others.
2) My entire career and lifestyle is focused on giving and receiving. Like any other field, making music has the potential to be centered around the self: "What do I feel like playing this week? Why is the conductor ruining this lovely music I'm trying to make? Why do I have to play for these people right now?" However, because of my passion I have never asked myself these questions. I am constantly given opportunities to make music for people who need it, whether it's cancer patients, patients with brain injuries, schools, the Boys and Girls Club, bars, museums, assisted living centers . . . you name it! These are the performances that I live for, because these are the times I know and feel I am using my talent to encourage and lift up the people around me.
2. Nicole choose to highlight the dwindling honeybee population and its affects on the aspect of global agriculture and human existence. No bees, no food. No food, well? You get the picture. What's one holistic cause you would like to bring more awareness to?
A few years ago, a friend of mine who loved singing opera wanted to find a way to use her talent to help others without getting caught up in the cut-throat, competitive, classical world. So she started an organization in Texas called SmartOPERA that brings opera to children in a hands-on way, from singing storybooks to teaching them how to write and perform their own opera. The kids in her program experience music in an innovative, unique and well-rounded way, and it has all come together because of her clear, altruistic vision. Check out her website to learn more: www.smartopera.org
3. Nicole suggests in order to create success on your terms, one must develop two fundamental skill-sets: inner peace and confidence. What technique or practice do you recommend to develop inner peace? Lastly, what's your definition of confidence?
1) For me, inner peace is all about not caring what others think. Whether it's negative energy or even positive, getting caught up in the opinions of others can destabalize your emotions and throw you off balance. Have you ever got butterflies from someone giving you a compliment? Or felt depressed when someone didn't like you or what you do? Remind yourself that God made you exactly how you are for a reason, and that's all that matters. Question each of your daily actions and decide whether they are a necessary part of God's creation or just a way for you to affect the opinions of others. Things like dressing up to impress people, giving compliments so that you appear nice yourself, or worrying about why someone hasn't replied to your text yet: these are worldly distractions that put too much emphasis on your outer image. If you want inner peace, all you have to do is realize the futility of such distractions, withdraw from them and focus on being the person God has created you to be.
2) My definition of confidence is: being okay with God's version of you. It's easy to get caught up thinking about all the changes you need to make in your life, or the visions other people see of your future. But no matter what other people try to tell you about what will happen, or even what YOU think you need, God always seems to have a different plan. If you want confidence, then accept that God has put you on the right path, and trust in the talents and conscience He has bestowed within you. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord." (Jeremiah 29:11) Plans for a bright and hopeful future. What other confirmation do you need? None!
So grateful to feature 28 other BADASS and Brilliant souls!
If you'd like to read more inspiring stories, visit: www.BeeBADASSAndBrilliant.com Bee the first 100 to pre-order my new book between November 11 to December 7 and receive an autographed bookmark along with your copy! Pre-order shipping will take place on the official Amazon.com launch date, December 8. Local book signings, radio and podcast interview schedule can be found at the website link above.