Welcome to October.
How are your hearts?
Today, my heart is full from a weekend of creativity- training with The Insight Alliance, time spent working in prison screaming with female inmates, a theatre opening, and lots of cooking with my family. My house smells like pumpkin muffins and garlic. I’m wearing my slippers and sipping hot coffee as I gather my tools for teaching in prison tonight.
 
I just ordered new business cards with the words: magic maker, on the back. Sometimes when people ask me what it is I do, I say this. Magic maker feels true for me right now at this point in my life. I’m refining and aligning the work I choose to say yes to, and the people I spend my time and energy with, and the things I consume.
 
To be totally real, I’ve taken this to extreme measures (which is actually pretty normal for me) and I’m in the midst of doing a colon cleanse with a friend across the world. You can only imagine the texts and phone calls we have back and forth, many of these calls and texts begin with, “Holy S****! She (and this cleanse) make me laugh. It’s been a welcome lesson in consumption on all levels.
 
I recently returned from a week long Vibrant Living Italy retreat, co-led by my dear friend, Julie Jeske and I. I’m processing the beauty in the women that joined us, the conversations and movement we shared, and my own inner and outer journeys. Stay tuned as we are already planning the next adventure together in 2020. 
 
When I think about the words magic maker, I think about impossible things becoming possible. 
 
For me, this has meant saying yes to more things that scare me. It’s meant continuing to choose female leaders that I admire and reaching out to find ways to work and support them. I’ve recently joined the Board of Rejoice Disapora Dance Theater who’s mission is to diversify the contemporary dance landscape with untold stories and under-told perspectives from communities of color. I’ve also stepped forward as leader on the Girls on Fire Leadership Council who’s work is to build leadership skills for girls in Kenya and Tanzania through educational travel, sustainable community projects, diversity engagement and global connectivity. The Leadership Team is made up of some of the most incredible women on the planet luminaries include: Eileen Flannigan, Elena Brower, Alicia Keys, to name a few. Alicia Keys even wrote a song about the girls, you can listen to it here: http://www.girlsonfireleaders.com/supporters
 
I feel smitten to be helping these two companies continue their outreach and to learn alongside more female global leaders.
 
You can learn more about both of these organizations here:
 
Rejoice Diaspora Dance Theater: http://rejoicediasporadance.com
 
 
Daily Practice-
 
As the Fall arrives here in the U.S I find myself lighting more candles. Candles remind me that even in darkness we are always reaching towards the light. Each morning I light at least one as soon as I wake up. In the evening when I return home from my day, I light more. Candles are a grounding presence for me. I invite you to try adding candles to your home, or your desk at work. I use them in both spaces. The beauty of a flame is that, like our breath, it is always changing. It reminds me that we can move too.
 
 
 
New Beginnings-
 
I’m excited to share that I am diving back into my healing arts practice with a small space at Connect Chiropractic and Wellness. Connect is run by my dear colleague, Brenda Ku, and is located in Portland, Oregon.  I’ll begin practicing this month by offering treatments one day a week (massage, reiki, essential oils). I’m still in process of setting up my online schedule so please reach out by email if you would like to set up a treatment plan.
 
 
I began work as a massage therapist back in 2008 after teaching yoga for 3 years. What I noticed was how our bodies differentiated in where they held tension, and what I wanted to understand was why. I have often wondered about the disconnect between our heads and our hearts. In yoga, we look at forward and backward movements, and also sidebands. We come to understand how these open up and release emotions. Through hands on touch, we learn about how to recognize our own internal rhythms.
Over the years, I’ve learnt to look for patterns, adhesion in muscles, and emotional fatigue. I’ve learnt more about my own triggers and the need to be touched to create balance both internally and externally in the body. I’ve spent time studying more reiki, and more learning around how essential oils can help us heal too. My sessions are 60-90mins and include a wellness consultation, follow up, essential oils and practices to help you find more ease and balance in your life.
 
 
 
Listening to-
 
Women screaming. I bet you didn’t expect me to say that. If you are still reading, this is true. I’m listening to a lot of screaming these days, and not my own girls, but inmates. It’s been one of the most fascinating and beautiful practices I’ve ever played with. Some of you know this, and some of you don’t, I lead a theatre and poetry class for female inmates on Sundays. One of the things we have been investigating is how screaming can help us heal, feel, release, relieve, find joy, and so much more. We start our practice with a warm up and then slowly I invite the women into this practice. We are creating a piece from this exercise that will be performed in December.
 
I come home and think about how little I screamed when I wanted to growing up. And how now, I am able to grant full grown women permission to practice this. It might sound small, but it has been one of the most emotionally attuned things I have ever given life to. Hard to put into words, and perhaps easier to practice.
 
 
Gatherings-
 
I am currently prepping for Be Love/D a weekend retreat for women with Atieno Bird in Portland, Oregon. This intimate retreat includes: three yoga practices, group ceremony and ritual, reiki practices, two performances (Portland Playhouse and Portland Center Stage), and intimate evening with singer-songwriter, Alia Farah, and time together for brunch, a hike, and a soak. You will also receive handmade bath salts and essential oils. 
 
We have three more spots available if you would like to join us. Please reach out. 
 
 
 
Please join me for some community yoga practices in Portland, Oregon at Portland Playhouse Studio. These are my final public offerings for 2019. I look forward to seeing you on your mat or out in the world.
 
 
  • Community Yoga Classes at Portland Playhouse (studio): Ongoing through December 2019
 
 
Community Yoga Classes at the Portland Playhouse are back! Classes are $10 for a drop in, and free to artists currently working at the Playhouse.These classes support the Education programs at Portland Playhouse, so feel good and give back to our community at the same time.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds or experience, classes are open to all levels- yoga, music, meditation, rest, and essential oils. Bring your own mat, please. Mark your calendars and come play, move, and breathe together. Bring a friend and walk to coffee with us afterwards.
 
My hope is that these classes will build community, connection, and balance in our lives. Please help spread the word to your family and friends! Then go for coffee or brunch after class. I'll start with these dates and then see how it goes. Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback. I'm excited to see how these might take off or not. 
 
Community Yoga  on Saturday and Sunday mornings 9-10:30am, 
$10 suggested donation fee. No one turned away.
 
Sunday September 1
Saturday September 21
Sunday September 22
Saturday October 5
Sunday October 20
Saturday October 26
Sunday October 27
Sunday November 10
Saturday November 16
Sunday November 17
Saturday November 23
Sunday November 24
Saturday November 30
Sunday December 1
Saturday December 14
Sunday December 15
 
 
A Blessing for You-
 
May your work be meaningful. May it make you question who you are and why you do what you do. May you offer your attention in all aspects of your life. May your connections be truthful. 
And may those closest to you, hold you, love you, and acknowledge your presence.
 
 
 
Grateful for your continued presence here,
 
Nikki
 
P.S. If you happen to live in Portland and are around on Sunday October 6, I’m running my 16th marathon, yep you read that right, 16th! I would love your support on the course- come out and cheer, run a mile with me, feed me treats, scream your head off. I’ll take it all!
Be Love/d: You are an Infinite Being
Co-led with Atieno Bird
October 11th-14th, 2019
Portland, OR

Are you ready to be loved, beloveds? Are you ready to be reminded that, as infinite beings, we can meet the challenges of our lives very adequately, and often even brilliantly? Are you ready to join a circle of women and see your divinity reflected in their eyes? Are you ready to be love?

Click Here for more info and to join us!
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Photo by Molly Lucinda
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