This time we get to know Nicole Smolinski, writer and therapist in training from Costa Mesa, Ca. Thank you so much dear Nicole for your time and your inspiring answers! Enjoy!
1. Which situation or book changed your perspective on life?
That’s hard to say, because I feel like my perspective is always shifting, growing and expanding. But I would have to say Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, and Richard Rohr’s The Naked Now all really changed my perspective in big ways.
After reading Daring Greatly, I truly felt like I’d woken up from this painfully numbing kind of slumber; I realized I’d been keeping out pain in my life, but that also meant I’d been keeping out joy, spontaneity, and any sort of vibrancy that comes with being fully awake to life. As a writer, Big Magic encouraged me to write words from within rather than from a place of wanting to be accepted or praised by others.
The Naked Now has gifted me with this sense of being seen and understood, of more fully appreciating that we can learn fro each others’ cultures, perspectives and worldview because we don’t live in an either-or world, we live in an and world, and that’s a beautiful thing.
2. Which 3 words are most powerful for you and why?
Authenticity, presence, and enough
There is no time for facades in this life. No one has it all figured out. The more time you spend trying to be someone you aren’t out of fear or to please, the more time you spend harming yourself and ultimately harming others around you— being brave enough to be authentic allows others to step out and be authentic, too.
I have struggled with an anxious mind for as long as I can remember. I cannot think of anything more valuable than being present. In a world that begs us to be a million places at once, the strongest thing we can do is pull ourselves back from the strongholds of society and say, “No, in this moment, I only need to be here.” Being present with ourselves for each, tiny moment allows us to live our fullest life. And being fully present with others is quite possibly the greatest gift we could give another person.
The world often tells us we need more to be happy. More clothes, more money, more friends… But I have all that I need right inside of my one strong, beautiful body. I am continuously reminding myself that I am enough, that today is enough. A world living less out of lack is ultimately a more beautiful, happy, whole world.
3. What is your mental timeout?
My mental timeout looks different each time based on my needs. Most often though, it’s a form of stillness or playfulness. Making a cup of coffee and moving my body in the morning before the rush of “to-do’s” comes calling. Trying something new and giving myself permission to feel silly, or creating without any real deadline or goal.
4. What does seek more than just success mean to you?
Seeking more than success means focusing more on my “why” than my “what.” It also means redefining success to fit what my goals are, taking back my life from the expectations placed on me. What if feeling present each day, accepting ourselves fully, was our new definition of success?
If you want to see more of Nicole, follow her on Instagram.