Join us as we get to know our fabulous co-host, Nikki Baker Wulf in Episode 6 of Season 1.  Nikki shares how she believes learning to live in the now begins by using our breath.  She talks us through her own eclectic career history, truly leading by example, on how to follow the beat of your own drum.  She is a certified yogi and a life coach who wants to “Help the helpers.”

 

Nikki can be found at:

https://www.nikkibakerwulf.com/

 

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BestParts Podcast - Ep 6 - Nikki Baker Wulf - In the Now

[00:00:00] Nikki: You can be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time.

[00:00:04] Louise: [Let me find the right answer. It's gotta be out there.

[00:00:07] Sara: I was such a dork when I was younger.

[00:00:10 ] Laura: You just butchered it.

[00:00:12] Kim: It's almost Nancy. Drew- ish. Yay!!

[00:00:19] Laura: Hi, I'm Laura.

[00:00:21] Sara: Hi, I'm Sara

[00:00:22] Kim: And I'm Kim.

[00:00:23] Nikki: This is Nikki.

[00:00:24] Louise: And I'm Louise.

[00:00:26] Kim: Hi, and welcome to The Best Parts Podcast, where we invite you to pull up a chair and think about your best parts, which are all your parts.

[00:00:36] Laura: Welcome everybody. I am so excited to be spotlighting our very own Nikki Baker Wulf on The Best Parts Podcast. Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and let's do this thing.

[00:00:45] Laura: So, I want to tell you a little bit about Nikki. As a coach, Nikki recognizes that there is not a one size fits all approach to self-inquiry. She helps her clients uncover their special sauce with what does and does not work for them. Her purpose in life is to, is support people who have made the decision to create action from new awareness.

[00:01:03] Laura: Nikki is a self-proscribed, loudly exuberant, ferociously loving, and radically hopeful individual, that overuses adjectives. Now, wait a minute! She said that not me.

[00:01:14] Nikki: I totally did. And I really overuse adjectives. So, I own that.

[00:01:17] Laura: Yeah. Well, and I, I can attest to the ferociously loving individual. She has such a big heart.  Nikki is a Minnesotan. And as an ex Minnesotan, I loved her as soon as I met her.  She is a very important part of our Best Parts team. And you've already heard her moderate, a couple of our episodes, and we're really excited to focus on her today so we can get to know her better. Welcome to The Best Parts, Nikki.

[00:01:40] Nikki: Thank you.

[00:01:42] Laura: So Nikki, you were one of the first people I met in California in January 2020, and I was just drawn to you immediately. And like I said, I'm an ex Minnesotan. I lived in Minnesota for 20 years until I couldn't take the winters any longer. And it was just a bonus for me that you were from Minnesota. I still have strong ties there. And once this pandemic is over, be forewarned, I will be visiting multiple times a year.

[00:02:04] Nikki: I have space for you. And it's funny because Minnesota people recognize Minnesota people. Even if you don't know that you do.  I was in the Rome train station and I see a guy in a Vikings Jersey, and I went "Minnesota!"

[00:02:16] Nikki: He's like, “Yeah, Vikings!!"  So, we just, we know who we are, even from across the room.

[00:02:22] Laura: I did the same thing when I was in Milan last year, I, there was a Minnesotan and I knew a Minnesotan when I saw him.

[00:02:28] Nikki: Yeah. Something about us.

[00:02:30] Laura: So Nikki, I will say we have absolutely saved the best for last, when we scheduled you to be the last one of us host to be in the Hot Seat, Nikki and I had the opportunity to connect prior to this interview and I found out some, several juicy things that I really wanted to dive into.

[00:02:45] Nikki: Awesome.

[00:02:45] Laura: So one of the things you mentioned when we can connected was that you had done a lot of self-work, and I was really curious about what put you onto that path of self-discovery?

[00:02:54] Nikki: My whole life I really came from a place of feeling "other than" and wrong. I didn't quite fit. Something just was a little bit out of sync or out of resonance with me and the rest of the world.

[00:03:08] Nikki: And because of that, I got really curious about "the right way to be in the world." So trying to figure out how to exist in the "right way" in the world really started this, not even an official way, but just as a coping mechanism to try to fit in which, you know, when you're young that's what's, that's what you do.

[00:03:32] Nikki: "How do I fit in? Why don't people want to hang out with me? How do I make friends? How can I be like everybody else so everybody else accepts me?" And that always felt so wrong to me to be doing.  So, even as I felt wrong, trying to fit in, made me feel more wrong. And so, I really got curious about myself. And there's a big part of me that always is just, I'm going to march to the beat of my own drum. I'm going to do what I want to do. I dealt with a lot of rejection in that as well. So, there are some wounds from that, but I also have a strong drive just to do what I want to do, and how I want to do it and move forward.

[00:04:12] Laura: I love that. Anybody else here felt othered or wrong or like they didn't fit in.

[00:04:18] Kim: Yeah.

[00:04:19] Sara: Yeah.

[00:04:19] Nikki: What, it wasn't just me? What?

[00:04:23] Laura: I'm sorry, it wasn't just, I mean, well, I don't know. Does that make you feel better? It always made me feel better to realize I wasn't the only one. So yeah, you weren't the only one?

[00:04:32] Nikki: Well, I -

[00:04:32] Sara: I was such a dork when I was younger, so yeah.

[00:04:35] Kim: You still are.

[00:04:36] Sara: Thank you so much, Kim.  I love you too.

[00:04:40] Nikki: That's how we found each other.

[00:04:41] Kim: Well exactly. It takes one to know one.

[00:04:44] Sara: Absolutely.

[00:04:46] Kim: I'm sorry. I was the only girl that played D and D. That was --

[00:04:50] Nikki: Back in the day. Yeah.

[00:04:51] Kim: I was the only girl.

[00:04:53] Sara: And now that's cool. So, look at you, you were like --

[00:04:56] Laura: A trendsetter.

[00:04:58] Kim: Yeah, but then I was, well, then, you know, the, all the boys were like, "Oh yeah, come play. We're good. Come with us. Come hang out."

[00:05:07] Nikki: It's funny because I would have loved to know that back then, but who, you know, when you're a kid who talks about that, right. Like, yeah. I feel weird too. I, you know, I wish nowadays. Oh my gosh, I just sounded so old when I said that nowadays, you know, these things are discussed, but back then it was just, you kind of shrunk into a corner and didn't talk about it.

[00:05:29] Laura: I remember when I first started with clients, I was shocked to realize that that everybody feels like they didn't fit in. And I was like, hold on where - like you, I was like, where were all these cool kids in high school? They had to feel like they fit in. But what I really found is that nobody felt like they fit in. Everybody felt like the odd man out.

[00:05:48] Nikki: Well, that was the perception, right? You had the cool kids in school, like, Oh, they all get each other. They're all the same. They all are so confident, strutting down the hallways with, you know, they're tight rolled jeans and Keds with no socks.

[00:06:02] Kim: You're aging yourself now.

[00:06:05] Nikki: Well, it's, you know, I can do that. It's all right. I already aged myself. I think, you know, I'm just going to say whippersnapper and make it a trifecta.

[00:06:12] Kim: At least it’s not a hankie.

[00:06:14] Laura: At least it’s not a hankie.

[00:06:16] Louise: When we look back, we see this part of us that didn't fit in when we were younger.  But I think it happens all of the time. It happens over and over and over again. I think for myself, there were times where I was like," Yeah, I totally got this. " And then all of a sudden it's like, "Nope, I sure don't." And it feels your world starts to feel awfully small when you don't feel like you belong anymore.

[00:06:42] Kim: Yeah, totally.

[00:06:44] Laura: I was thinking, Louise, when you said that and also kind of hearkening hearkening, there you go. Speaking of old terms, hearkening.

[00:06:51] Nikki: That's a good one.

[00:06:51] Laura: Hearkening back to what Nikki said, there's wounding that occurs when we're younger. And I think as we start passive self-exploration and self-discovery, there's an opportunity to heal those wounds. And so, Nikki, you had mentioned that you've done all sorts of things and you've been doing a lot of self-discovery. Can you share a little bit about some of the things you have done on your path?

[00:07:14] Nikki: Absolutely. I have done so many things. I am a bookworm, I love books. And so that's really where I started was devouring things to try to understand myself and also make myself better. That was the initial part of it is, "How can I fix myself?" I know there's information that can fix me so I can fit in. And a friend of mine actually said to me, do you read self-help books because you feel like something's wrong with you or do you read them to improve on what is already there?

[00:07:48] Laura: Ooo, nice distinction.

[00:07:50] Nikki: Right? And I think I was just like, "No, it's definitely to improve!"  But then I got home and really started thinking about it. And that was when I realized that I felt wrong and I was trying to fix myself and put all the books away. Like all of the self-help books went into a box. And I took time to reflect not just on what I was doing, but also what I was learning, the people who were around me, what I was doing, because I felt wrong instead of, "Hey, I'm okay right here. And I want to do better. I want to improve myself. I want to keep growing." So, I've done energy healing, I've done classes, I've done yoga, I've done acupuncture and chiropractic and herbs, and you know, to support spirituality, I've studied different religions. And so, I really am a seeker, um, not necessarily to find the answer, but to figure out what my answers are.

[00:08:58] Laura: Oh, I like that. I like that.

[00:09:00] Sara: I love that too, Nikki.  And it sounds like it was like, you were intentionally choosing to live more instead of trying to create something that you're not.  It sounds like you had this shift where you when I was listening to you talk, it sounded like you shifted to being more intentional about choosing your life. Would that be a fair thing to say?

[00:09:21] Nikki: Yeah. To choosing my life and to understanding myself and other people. 

[00:09:27] Louise: How do you feel that coaching is different than self-help?

[00:09:31] Nikki: Coaching is personal. Self-help is it is a great for information gathering. But when you want to unpack your own self, where you come from, what your stories are, what has impacted you and how to change that in a way that works specifically for you, coaching is a whole different experience with that.

[00:09:53] Nikki: Books are great. Videos are great. Classes are great and amazing, and they give you information. Coaching helps you sort through that information to discover that core of truth for you personally. Because you can take in all that of the things, but if you're not taking in the right things for you that serve you in your life in a way that allows you to serve others from that place you're doing a disservice to yourself, to the world, to the other people in your life.

[00:10:23] Louise: Yeah. I get a really good sense from you that, you know, it's, it's about uncovering what's already there as opposed to like adding in when we feel deficient on fulfillment in all areas of our life. We want to fill it up.

[00:10:38] Nikki: Yes.

[00:10:38] Louise: And so we just get into this consumer mode where it's, let me find the right answer. It's gotta be out there. So, you just devour books and videos, like you said, all of that information and it sometimes can get piled on top of the answer, because the answer is, is already within you. It's already a part of you.

[00:11:00] Nikki: Well, and it gets piled on top of you too. You know, you take in all of this stuff, and pretty soon you're suffocating, and you don't know what you think anymore. Because you just have all of this information and taking the time to process it or discuss it either in relationship with other people or with a coach, to be able to process is an important piece of it as well. And it took me a long time to learn that.

[00:11:22] Laura: That was something that really struck me when you said that you put all your books away and you took time to process. And I thought that was a really courageous thing to do to stop learning and now actually do some internal work.

[00:11:36] Nikki: Well and one, one of my favorite quotes in the whole world is "You can be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time." And I think of Leonardo DaVinci, if, if he suddenly appeared today and you said, "Oh, the Mona Lisa is perfect." He would tell you things that he would still want to work on, on it. He carried it around with him everywhere. He was constantly fiddling with it. Like this was something that he never felt finished and, you know, it's hanging in the Louvre as this masterpiece. And I think he would say it's still in progress.

[00:12:08] Sara: I literally just wrote that quote down and I'm going to put it on a post-it note and put it on my wall. What an amazing, I love that quote, "You can be a work in progress and a masterpiece at the same time."  Because we're always trying to be our best selves, but it doesn't mean we're not living our best selves at the same time. We're always evolving. I love that.

[00:12:26] Nikki: Well, and if you're living your best as you are who you are with what you know right now, that's amazing. Tomorrow may be a different best. Maybe you break your ankle, knock on wood, but maybe you break your ankle, and tomorrow your best is, resting so you can heal. It's just being whatever your best is right now with where you are and how you are.

[00:12:48] Kim: And I, I love that, and I feel like a lot of people misunderstand being your best.

[00:12:55] Nikki: Yes.

[00:12:56] Kim: Right. Could you speak a little bit more into this idea of being your best and what that actually looks like? Does it look perfect?

[00:13:04] Nikki: Oh my gosh, no.  Please. no. And heavens no, and absolutely no to that. Perfection isn't the best. Perfection is a myth, at least in my head. I don't want to speak for everybody, but to try to strive for perfection is not genuine.  To me, it feels like there's no resonance there. If I'm speaking to a perfect person, I don't know if I can relate to that. Anybody else?

[00:13:36] Sara: I mean, you've spoken to me before, so...

[00:13:38] Laura: Oh my gosh.

[00:13:42] Nikki: There's always an exception to the rule, right?

[00:13:46] Louise: It's it's funny. Cause that's the struggle that we, we insert "perfect" into the "best" and you know, our podcast is called The Best Parts, not The Perfect Parts.

[00:13:59] Nikki: Cause all the parts of the best parts.

[00:14:01] Louise: Right? And, and it's really interesting. I think we somewhere along the line that we pick up the story that, that "perfect" is a synonym for "best"

[00:14:12] Nikki: Well and we look at these images of highly filtered, very contrived, social media posts, and with the beautiful background and people aren't always even there. And you have a picture in Greece, and they have Photoshopped themselves there. And so, it looks perfect.  But is it? If it's not real, is it perfect? I would rather have a conversation with somebody who is really being real with me and authentic and having that lovely deep conversation as opposed to somebody who was just telling me how great and wonderful and perfect their life was.

[00:14:46] Kim: Well, not even photo-shopped right. Not even going to that level, but how many times did they take that selfie to get it just right?

[00:14:53] Nikki: Yeah. I mean, we want to present our best faces. Like if we're having through a blink or we sneeze in the picture.

[00:15:00] Kim: Yeah but that's real.

[00:15:01] Nikki: And those are awesome. Like those, I love seeing those too, but sometimes, you know, sometimes you do want to put that best foot forward where you just need a picture in your red lipstick, smiling or laughing or whatever for all the world to see that you feel like is the best picture you put forward today.

[00:15:18] Kim: Oh, that can change from day-to-day.

[00:15:20] Nikki: Absolutely.

[00:15:21] Kim: You can choose that today. I need the red lipstick and, or I want the red lips and you can choose another day that the best way to put myself forward is to show that I'm in pain or that I'm human. And I, you know, like the other night, my daughter and I had this huge, she's doing a bake sale. And so we had all of this cooking stuff --

[00:15:43] Nikki: That you can't share with us, which is not fair.

[00:15:47] Kim: It's so true. I apologize. And then we just had this huge flour fight. Like we were taking handfuls of flour and throwing at each other.

[00:15:54] Laura: Oh my gosh.

[00:15:55] Nikki: That's Amazing!

[00:15:56] Kim: So much fun And so instead of just taking these perfect pictures of these beautiful muffins and cookies that she made, we actually showed the pictures of us covered in flour, because that was fun.

[00:16:07] Nikki: And that's perfect to me.

[00:16:08] Kim: Right.

[00:16:09] Nikki: As much as I don't want to use the word perfect. But those are the places I want to go. I want to go into the flour fights. I want to be muddy and dirty. Show me mud run pictures and I will be there all day.

[00:16:20] Kim: Okay. Right. Well, it's real. And being a real human being and showing those best parts instead of trying to strive for perfection and living the best life, in all of its messy, goodness is what I'm hearing you say is what you're hoping for everybody.

[00:16:37] Nikki: Yeah. Life is the messy bits. It's from a movie that I cannot think of right now, but somebody was talking about trying to live a perfect life and avoiding the messy bits.

[00:16:45] Nikki:  A this wise woman said, life is the messy beds. And that's what I love. That's what I love about life is it's crazy and chaotic and wonderful and different. And to try to make it look perfect isn't fun. It sounds stressful

[00:17:00] Laura: So, Nikki, when we talked, one of the other things we had discussed was another word that you're not a fan of also happens to start with the P "purpose." I was wondering if you could tell us about what your concerns are about people using the word purpose.

[00:17:14] Nikki: Well, I think it's, it's bit of the buzzwordiness of it. Like "I found my purpose!" Has anybody ever heard anybody say yes, I have found my purpose except Sara, because I know she has found hers.

[00:17:24] Sara: I've totally said that, actually. I'm genuinely curious about what your thoughts are on purpose.

[00:17:31] Laura: I've actually also said that, Sara. I've also said that. So, I'm really curious what she's going to say as well.

[00:17:37] Sara: Nikki, light us up right now. I can't wait to hear this.

[00:17:40] Nikki: What I think the challenge is people trying to figure out what their purpose is, as opposed to discovering, what am I passionate about? What drives me? What lights me up? What wakes me up? What doesn't feel like work? What is the thing that allows me to serve from a place of joy? And the reason I don't like putting the word "purpose" on it is because it feels very singular to me because I have a lot of passions. I have a lot of things that light me up.

[00:18:11] Nikki: And as I've leaned into being a coach and done training and classes and educating myself on what it means to be a coach. I don't know if I would say coaching is my purpose, but it is a passion. It drives me. And it sounds super cheesy to say that which I'm leaning into, but when I would think about "What is my purpose, why am I here? What am I doing?"  That buried me. And so to hear people, "I'm trying to figure out what my purpose is, what is my purpose? Why am I here?" I think it puts it outside of you and it's out of your control. This divine being said, "Your purpose you created for is this," instead of "What am I excited about? What is my heart leading me towards? What is my passion?" And that feels more powerful to me than purpose.

[00:19:04] Sara: I totally get it now. Oh, because I love talking about passion versus purpose, because I don't know if I've ever actually gone down this road of what's my purpose. I've just followed what I'm passionate about. And then when I got to that place, that's where I felt like I had found my purpose.

[00:19:22] Sara: So I think maybe, and you can tell me what you think here like there might be a difference between searching for your purpose and then realize like, you're, you've gotten to a place where you're doing what you're supposed to be doing, and it just feels right. And so, I liked that differentiating of passion versus purpose.

[00:19:38] Nikki: And that I think is what sticks me on "purpose" is what am I supposed to do? Because what is my purpose that I'm supposed to be doing. Instead, passion is what do I get to do? What do I want to do? What, what is that thing that is lighting me up to do?

[00:19:53] Kim: It's so interesting because what I'm hearing is the difference between an internal choice versus an external choice.

[00:19:59] Nikki: Absolutely.

[00:20:00] Kim: Yeah, which is so important that we have that opportunity to listen to our own voices, our own internal voices, our own intuition, and understand what lights us up.

[00:20:13] Nikki: And that's where the empowerment comes from.

[00:20:14] Kim: Yeah.

[00:20:15] Nikki: That's you know, if you're constantly looking outside of yourself for what is driving you and what you're supposed to be doing, that's not that internal fire that is going to drive you.

[00:20:25] Laura: I wish I had known this a few years ago.  Because this would have been so helpful because I felt like I was flailing trying to find my quote "purpose." And it would have been helpful to say," Okay, what lights you up?" Tell me what you're passionate about because now one of the things I notice is there are multiple things that light me up and I try to spend time doing all of those things or as many of them as I can so that I live a fuller life. Part of it, I think is what I'm "supposed to be doing.' Um, but yeah, that would have been helpful to have looked at it from that direction a few years ago.

[00:21:04] Nikki: People often also equate purpose with their job or their work. Passion can drive you in all your directions, creativity, volunteering, your family, also your work, but everything else in your life as well.

[00:21:21] Laura: I'm glad you mentioned work, Nikki, because I want us to time hop back to a prior episode, episode three.  And you were talking about the various careers you've had, and you said" I've always gone where I want to go" and then you proceeded to let us know that you've done marketing and HR, and you've been a flight attendant, attendant. And done office management and membership recruitment. And I remember as you were running down this list, I thought, "Wow, it seems so brave. And so fearless that you had done this." How? How did you do that?  That wasn't the way I was brought up.

[00:21:55] Nikki: I really unknowingly followed the flow of what I wanted to do. Like for the flight attendant, it was literally an ad in a newspaper. Yes. Dating myself. I think that's the fourth time now, but it was a tiny ad in a newspaper for a commuter airline that was owned by a major carrier and on a whim, I was like, "Oh, that sounds like that would be cool." So, I applied, I got the phone interview, worked through the process, and come to find out that that's not always how it works for people. It's actually pretty hard to get a job in the airline industry. But it just, it opened up when I was like, "Hey, let's do that." It just opened up for, for it to happen. And so it's really just paying attention to that curiosity, but also kind of what's calling to me.  And I know it's not traditional.

[00:22:41] Nikki: I think I stressed my parents out a lot because it wasn't the work at a job for 40 years in the same industry at the same company and work your way up to the top of the ladder or the glass ceiling. And, you know, that just has never been what I wanted or who I am, or I'm wondering if Louise is cringing right now as, as a career renovation specialist. Or if she's like, "yeah, this is what I love about people."

[00:23:08] Louise: Well, you know, it's really interesting as you, as you talk, right. And, and being a multi-passionate person is not about having a purpose. Like when, when we talk about purpose, oftentimes we think of it very singularly and that there's this thing that I am just meant to do in my life.

[00:23:27] Louise: No. There's not a thing, right. And, and get caught up in that, looking for that perfect thing. As so, as you're talking, it really is, it's the same thing. We, we often fall into that trap of, there is a perfect thing for me. There is a perfect purpose or there's, or it’s, it’s one thing that will not change throughout my whole life.

[00:23:55] Louise: And that's just absolutely not true. It's not true in your life. It's not true in your relationships. It's not true at your job. It's, we're all evolving through our whole lives in many different ways. So being connected to your insides is really what drives the bus at the end of the day.

[00:24:17] Kim: Right? We're whole people. We are each individually, whole people. And we here’ the cool thing and I think I mentioned it last week too, is that we get to choose how we live our lives. And I love Nikki that you have done so unapologetically with your life and will continue to do so

[00:24:35] Nikki: Well and it's funny because I used to feel wrong about that.

[00:24:38] Kim: Yeah, I know.

[00:24:38] Nikki: Because it's so it's so different. I mean, not only have I done all these jobs, my dog and I lived in an RV for four months and traveled the Southwestern part of the United States, and I've done all of these things and I'm like, Oh, you know, back into that otherness and weirdness.  And it's so funny because people are like, "You traveled in an RV? I've always wanted to do that." I'm like, "Well, why don't you?" That's possible. So these things, these things are possible, but it's all about what we tell ourselves we can and can't do, or what we believe about ourselves or what is possible.

[00:25:08] Sara: Nikki, let's say you have a client come to you and they're in this place, the pre-Nikki that we have now, right? The Nikki back then that felt like, "Oh, what's my purpose? And I feel weird and I feel different. I don't know what I want. And I'm trying to live to someone else's standards." And you have that client come to you. What are the types of things that you would do with that client to to help them realize that following their passion, may be the better thought process? Are there any types of tools you would give them or how would you handle that situation?

[00:25:40] Nikki: Yeah. Well, first I would start with breathwork.  Surprising, right?

[00:25:46] Sara: Let's all take a breath.

[00:25:48] Nikki: Everybody pause, and just inhale and feel how that feels in your body right now.

[00:26:00] Kim: I just want to say thank you. Right. Because that's that thing that we so often forget to do. So just thank you for that.

[00:26:06] Nikki: So yes, you're welcome, but --

[00:26:07] Sara: I don't feel as stressed, so yes,  thank you for that breath.

[00:26:11] Nikki: Yeah. Well, it brings us to right now. Breath is very much about right now.  Am I inhaling? Am I pausing? Am I exhaling? The fun science-y stuff that I love too, it engages that para-sympathetic system. It brings us out of fight-flight or freeze. It brings you to right now because breath is right now. So, before we look at what happened, where we want to go, we need to be where we are now. There is so many aspects to that.

[00:26:40] Nikki: But I have found the easiest and most successful way is to breathe. And part of me thinks that sounds silly to say that, but part of me is like, "Yes! Oh my gosh, please." So that's how I start as breath and finding where we are now.  Because sometimes what we think we want is that external messaging, again, that we talked about.

[00:27:03] Nikki: So really getting to the core of where we are now is how I like to start with people. Because then we can look at the past and what has formed that. And then we can vision into the future about what we want from who we are and how to best live into that.

[00:27:19] Laura: Quite often in our production meetings, Nikki starts us off with breathwork, just taking a breath, slowing down for a moment. And so besides going for coaching certification in 2020, Nikki, you decided to become a Yogi as well, like holy overachiever, Batman. Tell us about that decision.

[00:27:40] Nikki: Well, yoga has always been something that calls to me, but I struggled with. Because I would leave classes and be like, "Oh, it was okay." And I would see people around me like," Oh, that was the best yoga class." And I always felt like there was a piece or pieces of it missing for me that I didn't get to that, “Oh yes. Yay, yoga!"  But there was something there that kept me going. So, in my quest for wisdom and understanding and curiosity and knowledge and all of those things, I was like, let's do a yoga teacher training so I can maybe discover what this piece is.

[00:28:16] Nikki: I had signed up for it and of course COVID happened and they ended up doing it virtually, which was great. I would have loved to do it in person because it's at my favorite retreat center in the whole wide world. But to be able to still I'll have that was such a blessing to me. So yeah, let's just throw something else in there, and made it work. I mean, had a lot of support from everybody around me knowing like, "Oh, I know you're doing this training. How can I help you? How can I be there? Let's talk. I miss you." And really showing up for me too, which was tremendous.

[00:28:50] Laura: So your connection helped.

[00:28:52] Nikki: Absolutely. Which in the past, I would have thought that would have been overwhelming. Like, "Oh, don't give me one more thing." But it was connection with people who were trying to support me instead of saying, "Oh, you're the person we always go to. I need you to do this for me."  It was, "How can I show up for you? What do you need for me now?"

[00:29:09] Laura: Wow. That's nice.

[00:29:10] Nikki: It was amazing.

[00:29:12] Laura: You said you've done a lot of training, a lot of courses, you know, including becoming a Yogi. How does that training help you with your clients? Does it influence how you do your coaching?

[00:29:21] Nikki: I think it gives me a pretty broad perspective, but Kim, you can correct me if I'm wrong. I think you had mentioned my curiosity once and I never had thought of that before that that was a piece of it for me.

[00:29:34] Kim: Yeah, that was one of those things that just early on and getting to know you, it was one of those things that was just so apparent to me was your deep curiosity about everything. And it was, it made me lean more deeply into my own curiosity about myself, about the world, about my clients. And so, yeah, when I, when I think of you, it's always, it's almost Nancy Drew-ish because -- Yay!

[00:30:01] Laura: Oh no!

[00:30:03] Kim: I know we talked about her earlier, but it really is. It's looking for the clues and trying to figure it out and understanding if you go down one path and it's not what you were expecting, wanting or need that you're like, yeah, that's okay. Let's look another way. It's it just doesn't seem to get you stuck anywhere, which is just amazing.

[00:30:22] Nikki: Well, and I just, I love knowing things and I love understanding things, I guess, even more than knowing things, is that understanding. So that piece for me, just is what drives me. I think it's being willing to ask the questions. After our training retreat, there were people who would pull me aside and say, "I'm so glad you asked that. I never would have had the guts to do it."

[00:30:46] Nikki: And I always, I felt like a puppy dog because I would tilt my head to the side and say, "Why not? If you want to know something, please ask." Because that's just part of who I am is I want to know this, so I'm going to ask. If somebody thinks I'm dumb, that's fine. But at least I get my answer and I get to live my life forward.

[00:31:02] Nikki:  And so as a coach, I will ask a question, even if it sounds weird, even if it seems like it's out of left field because my brain likes putting things together in different ways. And so it's, I get to be curious out of that.

[00:31:16] Laura: I like that. So, who is your ideal client? Who is it you want to help?

[00:31:21] Nikki: The people who I love working with are mindful in their evolution. They have done work on themselves. They have investigated a lot. They probably took a similar journey to me, where they had books. They had classes.  They've done all of these supportive things and they're ready for more. But they're ready for more, in a way that is going to help or change how they show up in the world, outside of themselves. They have passion for serving and maybe they're even discovering how they want to serve in the world.  But when you serve, if you are not taking care of yourself, then you cannot serve from the best parts of yourself. But there needs to be nourishment for you as you are supporting in that role.

[00:32:09] Sara: [I love that so much, Nicki.  Because I, I having been a college coach for so long, it was seven or eight years into my career that I realized I needed a coach for me. I'm coaching college athletes. Who's coaching me? And I found a coach. And that was her tagline "Is who coaches you?" And I realized those of us that help others still need someone to help us. I think that when people who are serving others realize that then they can serve others even better when they're getting help themselves. So I love that. 

[00:32:39] Nikki: Yeah, well, and there's a saying, and I'm hoping I'm not butchering it, "You can't pour from an empty vessel." And so, if you're giving all of yourself, how are you refilling that? How are you refilling your vessel so you can give more?  Because when people are strong and healthy and in a good headspace, it's crazy how much you can give.

[00:33:00] Laura: Yeah, that makes so much sense. So, Nikki, where can we find you? Where are all the places we can locate you if somebody wants to reach out and learn more about you and, and your coaching practice?

[00:33:10] Nikki: Yeah, it's Nikki Baker Wulf. N I K K I B A K E R W U L F in all of the places.

[00:33:20] Laura: Do you have anything coming up, anything planned that you could give us a sneak peek on?

[00:33:24] Nikki: Yeah. I am working on something that hopefully it'll make everybody laugh with me. I'm calling it "Morning Breath."

[00:33:32] Kim: Oh, you have that too?

[00:33:34] Nikki: I know, right?

[00:33:35] Sara: I have it right now!

[00:33:37] Nikki: It's a place you can show up without brushing your teeth. Yeah.

[00:33:39] Laura: Oh my gosh.

[00:33:39] Nikki: Is what I'm saying.

[00:33:41] Kim: I love that!

[00:33:43] Sara: Love it. Well, I'm already here, so, its morning and I haven't brushed my teeth yet.

[00:33:48] Nikki: It's a short, mindful pause daily. For me, I do it in the morning. That's why I'm calling it Morning Breath to really bring yourself and start the day from that present moment from that breath that I love so much. It's under five minutes. It's not going to demand a lot of time because we already have a lot of things demanding our time and attention. But to have a moment to pause and connect really has an impact on the rest of your day.

[00:34:15] Nikki:  So it's a membership thing it's coming up and you can go to my website to find out more information about that. That is the biggest thing. I also have some courses and groups launching later this fall. So, if you want to be on the list for that, please sign up to get notified when those are going live.

[00:34:31] Laura: That's awesome. And again, we often start our production meetings with morning breath, not just Sara. And Nikki has a beautiful way about taking us into that beautiful space, so...

[00:34:44] Nikki: I'm going to ask Louise to say something about that cause she told me something that was really cool. If do you remember Louise? Do you know what I'm talking about?

[00:34:50] Louise: No. What did I say? It was probably brilliant.

[00:34:52] Nikki: It was brilliant.

[00:34:53] Louise: Yeah.

[00:34:54] Nikki: You said that when I do breathwork with you, you see.

[00:34:58] Louise: Oh yeah, I do.

[00:35:01] Nikki: Could you just describe it?

[00:35:02] Louise: You're right.  It was brilliant.

[00:35:03] Nikki: You did say that.

[00:35:04] Laura: Yep, you said it.

[00:35:06] Nikki: I did say that that's right.

[00:35:07] Louise: Yeah. Yeah. It's the way that you conduct your breathing practices I get so visual. It is absolutely more than, than a than energy that flows through my body. It is actually I'm., I just, I see my breath. It has a, it has a pattern. It has a shape. It's yeah, it's absolutely amazing.

[00:35:32] Nikki: Thank you.

[00:35:32] Laura: Beautiful. So are you ready for the Lightening Round?

[00:35:35] Nikki: Bring it on!

[00:35:37] Laura: I couldn't remember what it was.

[00:35:39] Kim: My God, you just butchered it.

[00:35:42] Laura: Sorry.

[00:35:42] Nikki: I love it though.  It was perfect.

[00:35:46] Laura: I liked mine better.

[00:35:50] Kim: Alright.

[00:35:50] Nikki: I liked all of them. They were wonderful.

[00:35:53] Kim: I didn't say yours wasn't – no, I did. I totally did.

[00:35:56] Laura: Yeah, you did.

[00:35:56] Nikki: You totally did.

[00:35:57] Laura: "You just butchered it."

[00:36:02] Nikki: Butchers are important.

[00:36:04] Kim: They are. They're real. They're important. This is their chosen passion. Unless your father or mother did it. And then they probably were just kind of in the family business, but I digress.

[00:36:16] Sara: All of our vegan people just winced.

[00:36:20] Kim: All the PETA people too.

[00:36:22] Laura: Back to –

[00:36:24] Nikki: What were we talking about again? I'm sorry.

[00:36:25] Lightening Round

[00:36:27] Laura: The regularly scheduled Lightening Round. The best part of a salty-sweet treat such as bacon-wrapped dates, the salty, or the sweet?

[00:36:40] Nikki: Oh, I mean the combo of the two. I know I like them separate, but together it's just magic.

[00:36:50] Sara: I choose bacon.

[00:36:52] Laura: Me too. That was what I said.

[00:36:54] Kim: Well, Nikki I'm with you. I want them together.

[00:36:58] Laura: Now. I want bacon-wrapped dates. Thanks. Thanks, Laura.

[00:37:02] Kim: Right? You did it yourself.

[00:37:03] Laura: I know.

[00:37:04] Nikki: Well, although I do have to say I'm going to bring up a sore subject for Minnesotans because the State Fair was canceled this year. I did try chocolate-dipped bacon with some sea salt on it, and it was not good. I had high hopes for it, and I did not enjoy it.

[00:37:17] Kim: Hmm.

[00:37:18] Laura: Hmm.

[00:37:19] Nikki: But peanut butter and chocolate man all day, every day.

[00:37:23] Laura: All right. The best part of waking up.  Did anybody else hear in your head?

[00:37:30] Kim: Totally!  Is Folgers in your cup!

[00:37:35] Louise: Maybe they'll sponsor us.

[00:37:36] Kim: I was just about to say, this podcast has not been sponsored by Folgers. However, if you would like to, we're available.

[00:37:42] Louise: Yeah, please reach out.

[00:37:43] Nikki: Um, the best part of waking up is Morning Breath.

[00:37:46] Laura: Oh, good answer.

[00:37:49] Kim: Ah, love it! Nice plug!

[00:37:52] Nikki: It just fit in so perfectly. But you know, let's go with it.

[00:37:56] Laura: The best part of a novel the beginning or the end?

[00:38:03] Sara: The middle.

[00:38:05] Kim: Sara!  It's not your question!

[00:38:09] Laura: You're not answering!

[00:38:09] Louise: Sara!

[00:38:10] Sara: There was too much silence. Sorry.

[00:38:12] Kim: Oh my gosh. You gotta learn to hold silence.

[00:38:14] Nikki: I know. I'm such a bookworm. The end is the best and the worst because the story is over, but you get the payoff. So I'm going to say the end is the best and the end is the worst.

[00:38:28] Laura: The best part of the nineties, grunge music.

[00:38:31 ] Kim: Is there one?

[00:38:33] Nikki: Nirvana.

[00:38:34] Kim: Okay. There is one.

[00:38:37] Louise: One.

[00:38:39] Nikki: Well, it was, it was such, it was such a time back in the day. I was taking college courses as an, as an older adult person. And I was saying something about music, and somebody called it oldies.  And it hit me like in the heart and I went, "It's not oldies!" And then I did the math and I was like: it is oldies now. Oh my gosh.  It's oldies.

[00:39:04] Laura: I'd have said Pearl Jam. That was my answer.

[00:39:07] Nikki: Oh yeah.

[00:39:08] Louise: A good one too.

[00:39:09] Kim: Yeah. Okay. Well, proved wrong there again. My God.

[00:39:12] Nikki: Twice, twice.

[00:39:13] Kim: So many times, today. Already.

[00:39:15] Nikki: Get it out of the way,

[00:39:16] Laura: The last question. The best part of a yoga practice.

[00:39:21] Nikki: The best part of a yoga practice is I'm trying to think of how to say this. I like, I feel it, but now I have to put it to words. The best part of a yoga practice is remembering that it's yoga practice, not yoga perfect.  Which is always a cheesy line, but it allows you to be where you are today. If you have a sore shoulder, you can adapt. If something isn't feeling good in your body, you either lean into it or you recognize that you might need to back off. And so it's that presence is the best part of a yoga practice.

[00:39:53] Laura: Beautiful. So, thank you, Nikki, so much for being our guest today in the Hot Seat.

[00:39:58] Nikki: Thank you.

[00:39:59] Laura: And this brings us to the end of our sixth episode. So, thank you everyone for pulling up a chair and joining us. Bye for now.

[00:40:06] Kim: Thanks for joining us today for another episode of the best parts podcast. If you like what you heard today, we would love it if you would share this podcast on social media or with anyone else you think would enjoy it. After all sharing is caring and be sure to leave a rating or review on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts, as it helps others find us.

[00:40:28] Kim:  If you'd like to connect with us, you can find us on Instagram @thebestpartspodcast or head over to our website at thebestparts.Podbean.com.

[00:40:37] Kim: Thanks for listening. And until next time, remember that all of the parts are the best part.

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