Nikia Phoenix [Podcast #525] Blog Graphic for Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder.

This week’s topic is: How to Find Acceptance and Empowerment with Nikia Phoenix

I am so excited to have my very special guest, Nikia Phoenix, who is an aesthete, multi-hyphenate, model, actor, blogger, entrepreneur and the brains behind Black Girl Beautiful and the face of the latest 23 and Me commercial. Listen in as Nikia shares the premise behind Black Girl Beautiful, how to embrace differences and practical tips on how to find acceptance within yourself.

[BULLETS]

  • Black Girl Beautiful and the premise behind this loving and safe space…
  • We discuss beauty, our uniqueness and how we define it…
  • How to make the shift to experiential self-love…
  • Embracing differences in yourself and in others…
  • How to maintain a loving space when circumstances are not ‘in the light’
  • Getting over racial divides and coming together more…
  • Working through the transformative stages of fear…
  • Practical tips on how to find acceptance and empowerment within yourself…
  • We discuss anger and a healthy way to let it out

[FEATURED GUESTS]

Nikia Phoenix on the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder.

About Nikia Phoenix

Nikia Phoenix is a content creator, storyteller and occasional commercial actress with a passion for social change and conscious living. She is also the founder of Black Girl Beautiful, a loving and safe space that celebrates Black women.

After diving deeper into wellness and self-care, Nikia recently became a Reiki master and meditation practitioner. When she’s not socially distancing at home, she enjoys traveling to serene locations, documenting her journeys, and occasionally road tripping with her cat.

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the “Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder”? My passion is to inspire and empower you to be your most authentic and beautiful self. We offer interviews with top experts, my personal philosophies and experiences, as well as answers to community-based questions around topics such as health, beauty, nutrition, yoga, spirituality and personal growth.

The intention of the Feel Good Podcast is to well…help you really Feel Good in your body, mind and spirit! Feeling Good means feeling peaceful, energized, whole, uniquely beautiful, confident and joyful, right in the midst of your perfectly imperfect life. This podcast is as informative and full of practical tips and take-aways as it is inspirational. I am here to support you in being your very best! I have so much love and gratitude for you. Thank you for tuning in and being part of the community :).

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[❤️ FAN OF THE WEEK]

Podcast #525 Nikia Phoenix Fan of the Week

[RESOURCES]

Nikia Phoenix’s Interview

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Transcript:

Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.

Kimberly : 00:01 Hey Beauties. Welcome back to our Monday interview podcast where we have a wonderful guest for you here today. Her name is Nikia Phoenix, and she is the founder of Black Girl Beautiful, which is a loving and safe space that celebrates black women. She has a passion for social change and conscious living. And what has really drawn me to her is her energy. We first met at a online conference a couple of weeks ago, and I was just so drawn to her incredibly loving, incredibly serene energy. And as we’ll get to in the interview today, even when we’re talking about charged topics, which I think is important for all of us to look at and not run away from right now as we come together in unity and oneness for our future and for all of us, we’re all connected. It’s important that we think about the approach and how we do that.

Fan of the Week

Kimberly : 01:00 So we’re going to get into that today, and I cannot wait for you to meet Nikia for yourself. She is such a gem. But before we get into that, I want to give a shout out to our fan of the week. And her name is Karina O. from Princeton, New Jersey. She writes, “Hey, Kimberly, I’m a 21-year-old dancer and student. Words cannot express my gratitude for the lessons and wisdom you consistently share with us on many deep levels. From transforming my understanding of nutrition to helping me connect to my true power, you continue to be an inspiration and guiding force in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this podcast.” Oh my gosh, Karina O. thank you so much for being part of our community. Ooh, big hug, big cuddles digitally from afar, cyberspace, but thank you so much love for being part of our community.

Kimberly : 01:56 It is such an honor for me to be part of your journey, to be part of your life and for you to be part of mine. So, oh my gosh, this just wells my heart up with joy. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And I love you and I send you so much love. And what an amazing community we have you guys. It just blows me away and I love to hear your questions and I love to interact with you guys on social media. And when we get on the other side of this, I hope to be with many of you again at our events, just the hugs and the circles that we were doing in person and the book signings and all of that is so, so, so precious to me. So I can’t wait to connect with you more. But anyways, not getting too far off topic, but this is such, makes me feel so good.

Leave a Review and Subscribe on Itunes

Kimberly : 02:49 But for your chance Beauties to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, please just take a moment out of your day. Please leave us a review. And I just want to say, it’s a great way to support the show. It’s so easy and it’s free and I appreciate it so much. And it helps me feel really connected to the community. And I welcome all the feedback and all the ideas. So thank you so much. And while you’re over there, please be sure to subscribe to the show and that way you don’t miss out on any of these interview podcast, solo cast, Q&A podcasts, which is a great form of self-care, just to keep that positivity coming into your life as well as new information and new ideas. So all of that being said, let’s get into our interview today with the wonderful, beautiful Nikia.

Interview with Nikia Phoenix

Kimberly: 02:34 Nikia, where are you based, love?

Nikia: 02:52 I am based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kimberly: 02:55 Oh my gosh. Pretty amazing times right now. I love the power of everything that’s going on right now, and I’ve actually spent a lot of time there too, Nikia. I worked on a couple of films there. So is that where your from?

Nikia: 03:12 I’m originally from South Carolina.

Kimberly: 03:14 Okay. [crosstalk 00:03:15]

Nikia: 03:17 It’s definitely interesting. It’s an adjustment coming from LA to Atlanta, so I’m very happy to be here and I’m also very happy to be able to lend my voice to what seems like a very fresh movement, and an awakening of our power here. So yeah, it’s exciting.

Black Girl Beautiful and the premise behind this loving and safe space

Kimberly: 03:38 I just got goosebumps when you said a [inaudible 00:03:40]. So tell me a little bit, Nikia, about Black Girl Beautiful and where the inspiration came for this, and why now. Tell us the premise of it.

Nikia: 03:54 Black Girl Beautiful came about maybe four years ago. I had just wanted to do something for women of African descent and just realizing that we do have so much power, but we also need affirming and we need to show ourselves some love, so I created this loving and safe space for us. And at first it was very much based around more of a beauty event, and then it really turned into an empowerment movement. And so we have this wonderful mural here in the city of Atlanta that says, “Hey, brown girl, you’re beautiful.”

Kimberly: 04:33 Wow.

Nikia: 04:36 Yeah, I’m really proud of it. It makes me really happy to be able to leave a big love note in a big Afro-American nation in the city for a black and brown young girl.

Kimberly: 04:50 So Nikia, I love that it’s called Black Girl Beautiful. And this idea of beauty and beautiful is something that I’ve explored a lot within myself. What is it? Four out of my six… Well, the sixth book’s coming up. But out of my six books have beauty in the title. And I’ve just explored this as someone that is a… I call myself a recovering perfectionist. I’ve struggled, I’ve had eating disorders, I grew up in a primarily Caucasian place, Nikia, and I’m a mixed. I have a lot of Asian, Hispanic blood, and so I used to try to use makeup to try to fit in more and try to make my eyes look more around. So I’ve come from this place of a lot of shame and self-esteem issues. And then I started to take care of my body and started to learn how to eat and just get past bloating, and then the deeper I go, I start to think about this word beauty now from a spiritual standpoint.

We discuss beauty, our uniqueness and how we define it

Kimberly: 05:52 Rumi talks about beauty and yoga Nanda and the beauty that comes from the soul and the beauty that comes inside of us. So for me, beauty is multifaceted. There’s the external beauty, the physical beauty, but there’s so much from the inside. Not just our energy, but our uniqueness. So can you tell me a little bit about how you see beauty Nikia, especially how it’s shifted for you over the years and now with Black Girl Beautiful, how would you define it?

Nikia: 06:22 Beauty is a state of being. I think when I was younger, I thought that it was definitely about physical appearance in the outside, but I’m sure we’ve all noticed those people who may appear attractive on the outside, but when you start to get to really know them and you sense their energy, then there’s a shift. There’s a weird shift that happens, and you realize that they’re not actually beautiful people. They have the potential to be, but at the moment that they’re presenting themselves to you, they’re not. So I have definitely come into the fact that for me, the more I love myself, the more beautiful I can be. The more beautiful I will even appear to myself.

Nikia: 07:13 I struggled a lot with self love and self appreciation, and I didn’t think that I was beautiful for such a long time. I recognize that in other black women, that we would say just casually, “Oh, I’m beautiful.” But we weren’t really feeling it. So I want us to embrace it and to really feel it, and to dig deeper about what beauty actually is and what it means to us.

How to make the shift to experiential self-love

Kimberly: 07:45 What do you say, Nikia, to the woman let’s say in our community, your community, our collective community that wants to feel beautiful, that understands the concept of self-love, but is just not feeling it. Like you said, it’s a concept that feels almost academic or mental, but it’s not in our heart. How do we make that shift to experiential self-love?

Nikia: 08:14 It’s interesting that you say it’s not in our heart. I think that too long we’ve allowed this to take control, instead of listening to this and really breathing into the essence of who we are. So I think once we’re able to truly get in touch with our hearts and realize that that heart energy connects all of us, then we start to see the beauty in each other, and then we start to see the beauty in ourselves. It’s a reflection.

Kimberly: 08:47 Mm-hmm (affirmative). So it’s spending time here, right? It’s meditating, stillness, when we’re up here all the time, it’s just like when people to be healthy, they want to learn how to eat, you have to spend some time food shopping or making recipes. So if we want to be more in our heart, we have to spend more time there.

Nikia: 09:03 Yeah, absolutely. And spending more time in your… Oh my goodness. Sometimes it can feel very uncomfortable. When your heart is beating very fast or you’re breathing very heavily, it can feel uncomfortable but there’s something really amazing about when you’re able to unlock that heart power, that energy that you have right here that is genuinely universal.

Kimberly: 09:32 Yes. So I think, Nikia, I always find it powerful when we share our stories and we share our transformations, and then we can share what’s helped us. So I’ll say for me, when I was transitioning, I was in an environment growing up where I did look different, and then it made me feel different, and then I just struggled to feel like I fit in. I struggled to feel like I belonged. And it wasn’t until much later. Then I went to college in an urban environment, I went to Georgetown, which was in a very diverse Washington DC. I started to, I would say bridge out more, and started to love the shape of my eyes, which are more almond shaped. And it just took work.

Embracing differences in yourself and in others

Kimberly: 10:15 It took self work, it took learning to meditate. I went around the world, I just had to sit with myself and I had to go deeper like you said. And I’m looking at you here, Nikia, Zoom, and you’re obviously stunningly beautiful. I love your hair, I love your freckles. And I don’t know how tall you are. You look like a beautiful [inaudible 00:10:36] women, we all kind of pick on our own physicality and we think we’re different and we create shame around that. What features have you been able to love and even see are part of your unique beauty and are part of your real strength and just owning that part of you? Tell us a little bit about that.

Nikia: 10:58 Growing up with freckles… and I didn’t have nearly as many as I have now. But they stood out for people. They didn’t stand out for me because I was so used to seeing them. You’re used to seeing yourself. So you don’t see necessarily what everyone else sees. But I remember getting teased a lot for my freckles and just for being different. I feel like I’ve been this height for forever. I hit my growth spurt probably at nine or 10, and then just shot up to five, eight. So it was this long, lanky, freckled girl with reddish hair, auburn hair, and I stuck out like a sore thumb when in South Carolina when I went to school, when I went places I just stuck out. And I really remember wanting to hide. Wanting to shrink into a little ball and just disappear or blend in.

Nikia: 11:59 Even now as an adult, I say, “How?” I think it’s so nice to have an invisibility cloak, so I could just put it on and people watch without people watching me. But yeah, growing up with freckles, I just felt very different. Now, I realized it wasn’t just my appearance, it was everything about me. I couldn’t blend in no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t blend in. Physically, I stood out in class because I knew what I knew, and definitely took some appreciation in knowing that I was actually intelligent. But as a kid, you don’t want to be a smart one in the class. You kind of just…

Kimberly: 12:50 You want to fit in.

Nikia: 12:51 Yeah, you want to fit in. But I was doing myself a disservice by trying to fit in.

Kimberly: 12:57 Totally.

Nikia: 12:59 And I just gave up.

Kimberly: 13:01 Do you feel like it just wasn’t working, you weren’t able to blend in. So at some point, you just said, “Hey, let me embrace this.” What was that process?

Nikia: 13:12 I think the universe is like, “You’re going to embrace it.” At that point in time, I’m a kid, had no idea about meditation and finding yourself and your true self. I had no idea about any of that. So it was the universe like, “You’re not going to be able to fit in, and that’s okay.” But when I looked around at my family and just appreciated how beautiful and diverse my family is and just how different we are, and that we can all still celebrate our differences and come together as family, it was like, “Well, can’t the rest of the world be like this?

Kimberly: 13:59 What do you mean? How is your family different Nikia?

Nikia: 14:05 I think that we’re very loving, very understanding. My grandmother who’s the heart of my family, she turned 100 this year.

Kimberly: 14:21 Wow. That’s really the ancestral wisdom still with her.

Nikia: 14:26 Yes. And there’s so much ancestral wisdom that she’s passed down. Even just her presence. She doesn’t even have to say anything, you still feel that love and that energy because no matter what, my grandmother has always been the rock, not only in our family, but in our community. She’s never judged anyone, she’s never turned anyone away, she’s always there with open arms no matter what. And it’s like, “Oh, wow. Okay.” She was leading by example, and I definitely picked up on that.

Kimberly: 15:09 Wow. Well, one of the things, Nikia, that struck me about you when we first met was your energy, and just being a really anchored, loving presence. I get goosebumps. I just feel like as more time goes on, everything to me just feels like energy. It’s the way that I’ve always looked at food, it’s the way I looked at people. You can feel it. So talking about real stuff now, because I think these are the conversations we need to have. Maintaining that love when there’s so much going on in the world, and let’s say, not everybody is so loving and especially what we’ve seen the last few months in our country, this racial divide, this charged divide. We see, unfortunately, ignorance and people that are not coming from their heart space.

How to maintain a loving space when circumstances are not ‘in the light’

Kimberly: 15:57 So how do you, as a woman, as a founder of Black Girl Beautiful, as an activist, as a heart-based person, how do you maintain a loving space when there are things that need to be said, when there’s people, forces, that are not in the light, so to speak? How do you find that balance?

Nikia: 16:20 Interesting that you say not in the light. An astrologer friend of mine said we often think about our differences, but they’re all the same. It’s just different sides of the coin. It’s all balanced. You can’t have one without the other. And so I think about that often, and I know that within myself, I had a number of imbalances. There was a lot of rage honestly. As a kid, I had a lot of rage and it was misplaced. I didn’t know what to do with it. I didn’t know how to feel. I just knew that I was angry. And so now when I see people that are exhibiting that kind of behavior, I sympathize with them or I empathize with them because I see that there’s something you’re angry about. There’s something you haven’t been able to say, there’s something that’s been holding you back. Let me just look at you like a human being. Let’s just connect on that level instead of focusing so much on these heightened emotions and these differences.

Nikia: 17:40 How are you really feeling? And then getting to the root… Because when you talk to people one-on-one, you realize that you’re actually going through the same things.

Kimberly: 17:51 Yes.

Nikia: 17:51 You just have slightly different perspectives, or the things that maybe your childhood trauma is manifesting itself differently. But you’re probably going through the same things. And so when you’re able to connect on that human level, I think it makes everything easier. Also, making sure that you have a safe space for yourself, that you create a safe space for yourself before you engage with someone that you may not feel safe around, because I know that I didn’t always trust myself, and I didn’t always put myself in the safest spaces or create safe spaces for myself. So now that I know that, I’m able to kind of have this protective law where I can still allow people up to a certain point, but they can’t get in so much that it affects how I feel about myself.

Getting over racial divides and coming together more

Kimberly: 18:54 Right. There’s a healthy boundary. So what would you say to the women in your group that are feeling… Of course, first of all, we all want positive… I hope we all want, but a lot of us want positive change. We want coming together. There’s different ways of going about that of course. There’s the path of Gandhi and Martin Luther King of non-violence, but then there’s wanting to be on the frontline and wanting to do the protests. And I think there’s not one right way or one wrong way, I think using our voices together to come over the ignorance and to bring people together. What do you see as your pathway forward, Nikia, in getting over the ignorance, getting over the racial divides, getting over these surface divisions. That seemed so ridiculous and coming together more.

Nikia: 19:54 Right. Wow. [crosstalk 00:19:59] a cure all for the whole thing. But I think it’s being able to have those one-on-one conversations with each other, I think that makes a world of difference. Being able to connect on a more human level and just be honest with each other about how certain things make you feel. Yeah, how certain things make you feel. When I was younger, I was definitely more of the protest activist, and that comes from my stepdad. He taught me a long time ago how to use my voice and how to stand up for people who don’t necessarily know how to use their voices. So the protest part of me is still screaming somewhere in the background, but I’ve been able to… I think we’ve often… I was having this conversation with my parents a while ago about what activism actually is, and how the faces of activism have evolved since the civil rights movement.

Nikia: 21:21 And I think that going against the grain, going against patriarchy, white supremacy, sexism, racism, going against all of that and standing with certainty in your space, that is also activism.

Kimberly: 21:43 Yes.

Nikia: 21:45 An allowing other people to see that and to receive that inner energy and run with it, that’s activism. I consider the, Hey Brown Girl mural activism, because it’s [crosstalk 00:22:00] public art in a… It’s huge. It’s public art that just makes a very powerful declaration that we don’t hear, that we don’t get to see very often. It’s like the anger has transmuted into a different form of expression and activism. So I support everyone who’s out there on the front lines because we need that energy, but then we also need the energy of people behind the scenes, we also need the energy of people who are using their creativity to push activism and their art to push activism. We need all of it. And in some way, shape or form, that activism is going to communicate to someone who wasn’t able to see it in that same light before.

Kimberly: 22:58 I agree. I think it.s all of us doing our part and living our truth, and having these conversations and whatever it is. Putting out our truth on social media and living it, and bringing people together as much as possible because you’re right. There is a time for the protest, and there is a time for bringing attention for, hopefully, policy change. It comes on the news. But I think within us every day, we all have our part. We can all live this life and connect and stand for love and come together. I think it’s all needed.

Nikia: 23:39 Yes. It is all needed. Because like you said, the policy change, we can be out here fighting and using our voices, but unless someone else is doing the work to make sure that the policies are actually changing, then all the work that people are doing on the physical front lines, it doesn’t really matter. So we need all of it.

Kimberly: 24:03 We need all of it. And going back to Black Girl Beautiful. I love saying the name. [inaudible 00:24:12] The safe space that we all have within ourselves, that it takes some work to access this place of safety and security, especially what’s gone on over this year with COVID and uncertainty in the world, uncertainty in the future, and again, all of these tensions with women and racial tensions that are going on. I have found, Nikia, to get to that place of feeling safe, it almost feels like… No, for me, it’s like that dark night of the soul or seeing the shadow. Sitting with a fear that rises up, or sitting with what’s come up, that resistance to trying to control or I don’t know. Whatever that transformation’s needed. I know when I do women’s circles or we do coed circles… We do Solluna Circles, I should say, where we sit together and we’re vulnerable and we hold space.

Working through the transformative stages of fear and moving past it

Kimberly: 25:05 Do you find that when you’re working with people through transformation and helping them to feel that beauty inside of them, you see kind of this darkness come first, or you see the shadow come up first? You see the fear come up first. And I found not to push that down, but to let that be there so we can move past it. What do you think about that?

Nikia: 25:30 A few weeks ago, I led an in-person meditation session and transformation session. And I hadn’t done it in person in such a long time, and I realized how much I missed it because I was able to bear witness to transformation, and bear witness to some of those shadows that were coming up for people. And like you said, it’s very important that we acknowledge that those things exist, because you can’t just try to quiet it, you can’t just try to hush it, you have to listen and see what the shadow is telling you about yourself, and step into the uncomfortable spaces that are going to actually propel you into healing. So often we’re afraid. Last year, I went on a retreat and I remember praying and meditating and just saying, “I want to see my truth no matter…” Because at the time I was so afraid of it.

Nikia: 26:33 I said I just want to see my truth, and I want to see it and no longer be afraid of it. I think it’s important for us to confront those areas where we’re feeling uneasy. They can teach us so much about ourselves. When it comes to women, I think that we’re so used to holding space for other people that we don’t know how to hold space for ourselves. Even being in Atlanta, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of women who know that they want this thing, they know that they want to grow, that they want to evolve, but it’s like they still have to ask for someone else’s permission to do what they know that they need to do. So I would love for everyone to just be a lot more free and loving for yourself and have more grace for yourself. I know I’ve been afraid that you said you were a recovering perfectionist. I say that I’m a recovering control freak. I’m still recovering.

Kimberly: 27:39 In different ways, or maybe on both. I remember [inaudible 00:27:42].

Nikia: 27:46 I remember for a long time, not wanting to admit that there was something going on, there was some healing that needed to happen, because I felt like if I admitted that, then I was less than. Now I know that I’m not. That we’re all going through some things, and even on a deeper spiritual level in some way, shape or form, we’ve chosen these obstacles. We’ve chosen these things so that we can learn something about ourselves and get in touch with our true selves in the process. Well, I know some people will try to delay the inevitable, but you’re just going to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, so why not just leap?

Practical tips on how to find acceptance and empowerment within yourself

Kimberly: 28:38 Yeah. It was like [inaudible 00:28:39] surrender. Well, what I find, Nikia, too, is that, again, giving people a pathway, giving them some guidance, so that’s why I talk a lot about my morning practice and doing the meditation in the morning, drinking hot water with lemon, all these things we do. Can you share with us maybe a couple practical things you would say to any woman wanting to feel her beauty, to accept herself, to feel her power, to feel empowered. What are some practical things we can do? Because sometimes it just feels like this big concept is like, how do we get from point A to point B?

Nikia: 29:16 Yeah. Practical things.

Kimberly: 29:20 I know we’re talking about spiritual. It’s hard to think practically. But even if it’s like be consistent with your meditations or [inaudible 00:29:28] your self-talk when you look in the mirror. I used to always think how fat and flabby my arms were. Now, I think, “Oh, not today,.”

Nikia: 29:38 Actually, your hair looks good.

Kimberly: 29:40 Whatever it is, they try to shift that self-talk.

Nikia: 29:45 Oh goodness. I can honestly tell you, I’m in my early 20s, I think I hit the quarter-life crisis a few years early. It was very rough. And I remember having episodes where literally I felt so disconnected from myself, disconnected from my body, disconnected from my heart, from my mind, and I thought that there was something wrong with me when I started talking to myself. And I realized you actually need to talk to yourself. You need to. It’s okay. I think that we often say in our heads, it’s okay to talk to yourself and actually out loud, so that you can work through those processes as if you’re actually having a physical conversation with someone. I think that’s really important. I don’t know why. I remember having a conversation with a friend about this and he was like, “This might sound crazy, but I talk to myself.” I was like, “No, that doesn’t sound crazy. That actually sounds pretty healthy.”

Kimberly: 30:58 Yes. So you actually have a conversation out loud. Are you looking in the mirror, or you’re just kind of talking to yourself as you’re doing tasks?

Nikia: 31:09 It varies. Sometimes it’s looking in the mirror, sometimes it’s while I’m walking around the house, I’ll talk to myself. Because I live alone and we’ve been in such isolation because of the pandemic, I need to be able to talk to someone. I talk to my cat who’s laying right beside me on the floor. He’s so sweet. But I think it’s important to talk to yourself no matter what, even if it’s… I touch heart center all the time and [crosstalk 00:31:48] this. So I’ll vocalize something and give myself a little hug, a little heartwarming here, and then I can close my eyes. Once I’ve vocalized, “Hey, here’s what I need.” I can close my eyes, put my hand on my heart and really breathe into heart center. And then I can drop into meditation. It’s a process.

Kimberly: 32:13 I love that as a simple practice of just literally… because sometimes the voice of the heart gets drowned out, or we get busy, or we get into our head so much. But actually physically connecting, putting our hands on your heart, seeing what comes forward, that even in itself is powerful just to drop down into your body, into your heart, into that deeper space, because the mind takes over so much, doesn’t it?

Nikia: 32:38 The mind takes over so much. The mind will drown out what the heart is saying often when it should be… Not that the heart needs to drown out the brain, but we have to be able to listen from the space. In this particular space we have the heart, we have the lungs, we’ve got all these things that connect our entire bodies, and our spirits, and our minds. It’s all connected right here. And so to be able to breathe into that space and to really listen… I was the band geek growing up, and I remember the warmup exercises. Our band director would have us play different notes, and then eventually we would come into harmony and really sync with each other. And that’s what we have to do with our entire selves.

Nikia: 33:45 Not necessarily quiet everything, but listen and then breathe, and then it all starts to come together into this beautiful harmony and then you can proceed on with whatever you need to do because you realize that you need those different parts of yourself to function. You can’t necessarily quiet one, but you can listen and allow it to speak. And somehow, all the dissonant chords start coming together to make this beautiful symphony.

Kimberly: 34:15 I love the research in the HeartMath Institute. I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, Nikia, but this amazing institute which has been studying what you’re talking about for 29 years. It was saying that the electromagnetic resonance of the heart is like 60 times bigger than the mind. So when we’re here and then there’s all this research about how it synchronizes our brainwaves and there’s more hemi-coherence between our lobes and the whole system, our digestion, everything functions… [crosstalk 00:34:43].

Nikia: 34:43 Yeah, everything.

Kimberly: 34:46 I think that’s a wonderful practice to bring up, because it’s simple, but it’s putting us into that state which we can drop into at any time in the middle of the day or in the middle even of doing emails or anything like that.

Nikia: 35:01 Yeah. I’ve realized also that when I check in with friends in person or family members in person, and I’ve done this for a long time, I’ll ask them, “How is your heart?” One of my friends, Ace, who does yoga and LA, she started me on that path of, how is your heart today? So I’ve taken a step further and I will literally put my hand on someone’s chest or someone’s shoulder and just breathe with them. You can tell when someone’s heart is racing or when someone’s holding their breath. You can use your heart energy to help someone else’s heart energy just kind of relax.

Kimberly: 35:48 Wow. And isn’t that true by doing that, they can sync a [inaudible 00:35:52] to your rhythm. You can actually make coherence. You can be the anchor.

Nikia: 35:57 Yeah.

Kimberly: 35:58 Wow. That’s amazing. I love that. Can you imagine how much more peaceful the world would be if we were breathing into our hearts instead of up in our heads?

Nikia: 36:12 Yeah. We’re so in our heads. But everything that we have learned since childhood has made us think from here instead of feeling and existing from here.

We discuss anger and a healthy way to let it out

Kimberly: 36:24 Well again, Nikia, what do you say to someone that’s like, “There’s so much anger in my heart, there’s so much injustice, there’s so much unfairness. I want to be loving, but I have so much anger right now.” What do you say?

Nikia: 36:39 Let it out.

Kimberly: 36:40 Whats the safe healthy way to do that? The breath or sharing…

Nikia: 36:46 Oh my goodness.

Kimberly: 36:49 It has to come out. I agree with you. [crosstalk 00:36:52] process, not pushed down.

Nikia: 37:00 I will turn on music in the middle of the day when I’m frustrated, and I will go through kind of a mood playlist where I’ll start super sad, and then I’m like singing through all the pain and the frustration, and then it gets to a point where it’s bubbling up so much that I just let it out and I start dancing then I’m able to, through movement, release some of that tension and release some of that energy. Everyone’s process is different, but for me, movement allows me to get out some of that anger.

Kimberly: 37:41 Oh yeah. All the shaking in the freeform movement. So Nikia, you are actively letting it go. You don’t try to not feel. Is that something you’ve always done? Because for me, that’s something I’m really, the last few years, learning to feel into the pain instead of distracting away. I think a lot of us learn [inaudible 00:38:00].

Nikia: 37:59 Yeah. Definitely I’ve been learning this. I would try distractions, I would try to suppress it, and I realized that no matter what, it was going to come out. It’s just that the longer I suppressed it, the worse it got. I just turned into a really bitter angry person.

Kimberly: 38:25 Right.

Nikia: 38:25 That’s not who I am all the time. I’m not going to say it’s not me because anger is normal, it’s human, sadness is normal, it’s human, but we have to allow ourselves to express these emotions, and find healthy ways of doing it so that those emotions don’t show up before we do. Because I realized that my anger and my fear was showing up before me, and prohibiting me from actually getting to know people and prohibiting me from loving myself. So I was so ashamed that I was so angry. I was so ashamed that I was so scared. Somehow I refused to forgive myself for those moments. Now I’m learning that it’s okay. I can move past it, and it’s important that I do.

Nikia’s shares what her true wisdom is

Kimberly: 39:33 Forgiveness is so important Nikia. Thank you so much for all your wisdom. I’d love for you to close with giving all of us, all these amazing thousands of women in our community, a message. Something right from your beautiful heart that you think is something you really want women and people to know, or just something you want to share from, again, it’s that beautiful heart space which energetically we can all feel is so connected. Especially for what’s going on right now in the world. We’ll say, “November 2020.” With everything that’s going on, what’s a message that we can leave listeners with?

Nikia: 40:20 Okay.

Kimberly: 40:21 Tune into the heart and take out that sacred pause to really let true wisdom come forth.

Nikia: 40:27 Mm-hmm (affirmative). Tune into your heart, listen to your heart, breathe into your heart, allow your heart to guide you, allow it to help you see, help you feel, how you hear, listen. Integrate [inaudible 00:40:46] for self, for humanity, for earth, for the universe. Allow your heart to let you listen.

Kimberly: 41:00 Amazing. I felt it. If you close your eyes, you can really feel that powerful message, and that the heart wants to be listened to and that there is a pathway to deeper wisdom and understanding. Amazing, Nikia. Thank you so much. I am in love with your energy. I told you this the first time we met, I think you have such a peaceful, powerful presence. Where can people find you more? Where can they find out more about your work?

Nikia: 41:26 Follow me on Instagram at Nikia Phoenix, and also at blackgirlbeautiful.com.

Kimberly: 41:33 blackgirlbeautiful.com. We’ll link to it in the show notes. Nikia, thank you so much. [inaudible 00:41:38] amazing heart, I love you. I am so grateful that you’re in the world and that we’re connected. You just keep putting out those positive vibes. I appreciate you so much.

Nikia: 41:48 I appreciate you so much too.

Kimberly: 41:49 Have a nice day.

Nikia: 41:49 Have a nice day.

Kimberly : 03:36 All right, Beauties. I hope you enjoyed my interview today with Nikia as much as I did, such a lovely soul, so full of positivity, so full of love and such a wonderful inspiration, just a wonderful role model I think for many of us of how we can hold space but still work to enact positive change. I will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast.

Kimberly : 04:26 Remember that the show notes for this show are over at mysolluna.com, where you can get links, and recipes, and research, and lots of other things that pertain to the show and connect you to other information which we feel would benefit you. So be sure to check out the show notes. Remember you can connect with me all the time over there on the site and over on Instagram, particularly, which my handle is @_KimberlySnyder. I send you so much love, so much gratitude. Thank you for being with me on this journey together. And I promise to keep giving all my best, all my love to you and to sharing how you can feel your best. It’s a great, great honor for me. So I’ll see you back here soon and again, lots and lots of love. Take care.