Light magic after the darkness with Nikki O’Brien


In this episode of the Happiness Hive Podcast, Catherine chats with the mastermind behind making this podcast sound stunning, Nikki O’Brien. Connecting immediately over their mutual love of sharing women’s stories, Nikki and Catherine became fast friends. So much more than a podcast coach and strategist, listen as Nikki shares moments of her dark night of the soul and how she came to a feeling of deep safety, wholeness and acceptance.

In this episode you’ll also hear:
– the moment Nikki knew she was destined to engage audiences in a fun and meaningful way
– how creating life from her own body helped Nikki realise her incredible inner power
– the courage that can unfold your true path when you stop lying to yourself about the reality of a situation
– why Catherine’s rocking chair test is so helpful when making big life decisions
– how Nikki used the magic of conversations to start her own podcast and heal her brain… and so much more!

Join Catherine’s membership The Happiness Lounge here

Connect with Catherine here:

Connect with Nikki O’Brien here:

This podcast is produced by Nikki O’Brien from Quintessential Being


Read Full Transcript


Hi, welcome to the happiness hive Podcast. I'm Catherine Bowyer, and I am completely fascinated by people and what motivates them. I've spent the past three and a half decades specialising in mindset and human behaviour. And I've helped 1000s of people to create happy and amazing lives. And now I am super excited to be chatting with women from around the world who I have secret. And to be honest, not so secret crushes on their women who inspire me. I'm intrigued as to how they do life and what makes them tick. I want to find out the magic formula that makes them who they are. And at the end of the episode, I'd love for you to say, I'd like a little bit of what she's having. The conversations are real and raw. They're full of passion, inspiration and lots of fun, and nothing is off limits. So grab yourself a cuppa or pop on your Trekkie and go for a walk and join us for today's chat. There may just be that pool of wisdom you need to hear. So let's shimmy on over and get started. I am really looking forward to today's chat with Nikki O'Brien. I met Nikki a couple of months ago through a mutual friend who recommended Nikki produce my podcast and Nikki is the mastermind behind making this podcast sound stunning. She takes the raw audio and just does all of her magic with it. And Nikki, I am grateful a thousandfold for that. And I really, it's been beautiful getting to know you and finding out about you. And I want to dive in deep today to how you do life. So welcome.

Nikki O'Brien 01:43

Thank you so much for having me and I adore you and everything that you've done with this podcast, I adore your vision. I remember right from the very start, I was so excited to you know, this is my jam. You know, I really love supporting women who are changing the world one conversation at a time. Like this is part of my way, you know, to really I think mindset and the way we view ourselves as women and the way we view our world and our role in it and not being defined by the way society wants us to be defined is such an important piece of the conversation and globally. So thank you for all the work that you do. Oh,


you know, and I remembered that because the podcast came around pretty quickly. It was something that I wanted to do quite some time ago, but never felt that like who am I to be doing a podcast and blah, blah, blah. And I was talking with with Beck McFarlane, and she suggested a podcast and suggested that you would be a great person and we'd be a good connection, because that's part of it, isn't it that you're having that energy in that connection? And I definitely felt that with you right from the outset.

Nikki O'Brien 02:50

Yeah, it is one of those like Kismet things, isn't it? Where you meet like a soul? Like a like part of your soul family really isn't that you're like, Yes, I know. I know, your soul, and your soul knows mine. And we and we, we kind of look at the world through the same kind of lens, I think, yeah, and have that same growth mentality. And, you know, the learning the learning that we want to do in the world.


And that was really important for me to like, I don't hold conversation today be back to be about the podcast. But that was important for me in launching this that the podcast is about reflecting who I am, which is really about being interested in women and their stories. But yeah, the vision that you had really helped guide me through that process, which was, it was really important for me, because it's about stepping into the unknown. And that's often where I help people as a coach, but you were my coach in that. And I really appreciated and valued that. That was very, very important.

Nikki O'Brien 03:50

Yes. Well, I'm happy to help you make this magic.


Yeah. So tell me tell me you live in Adelaide, which I know is for those of you our international listeners, that's the capital of South Australia. I love Adelaide, my husband's from Adelaide and his mum lives there. And I love love, love your hot summers. Have you always lived in Adelaide.

Nikki O'Brien 04:15

I have I have always grown up and lived in Adelaide. I did travel overseas for a little while, you know quite a few years, three or four years when I was in my 20s But I've always called Adelaide home. I adore it here. I think as the rest of the world is catching on Adelaide is such a really it's a vibey beautiful place that Yeah, everyone else is catching on to and we've always been looked at especially in Australia as like the you know, the ugly little sister that doesn't really have anything that going on. But we have always known that it's such a beautiful place in the world. You know, we it's easy to get to, you know, hills and nature and beaches or you know, suburbs so yeah, it's it's a great place to live and especially for Got kids too? Yes, yes.


And it's very Mediterranean. We go there a lot in summer. And often when I post photos people go, where are you? Are you like Italy or Adelaide, we're in second Valley in Adelaide, South Australia. Growing up like for you, tell me a bit about your story. Tell us your story.

Nikki O'Brien 05:22

Okay, what like, let's go back to childhood. What was growing up like growing up was, you know, I don't, I've definitely was one of those children who stories popping into my mind, they hate this, this will give you a very accurate snapshot of who I am. I was about two years old, two years old, three years old. And we went to we go to Outback, we used to go to Outback every year, it was like a big race that happened once a year. And it was like a big country chip used to get up really early in the morning, it was very fun as a little girl. And you know, Mum and Dad would have a drink, and everyone would get a bit loose, and you know, around the racetrack, and all that kind of stuff. Standing up on the bar, this would have probably been about five o'clock in the afternoon. So everyone's well into the festivities by that stage, and singing at the top of my lungs, Twinkle, twinkle little star and making everybody join in with me. Because I just, I just had that quality of like, I don't know, community and wanting people to have a good time. And you know, and right through even to my teenage years where Mom and Dad would have parties at home or parties at their friend's houses. And I'd be the one sitting down. And this is back in the days when you had to put CDs on. And I'd have them lined up so that all the parents would be dancing, and I would just you know, and then they'd come up to me and put this one on next. And because I love I love having a good time. I love seeing people enjoy themselves. You know, it doesn't always have to be around drinking, but those are the


entertainer being sort of a born entertainer would you be Yeah,

Nikki O'Brien 06:59

and the connector as well, the connector of lack of bringing through good times for people to share together to create memories to, you know, to just really enjoy life. Like, I think that's part of my makeup, right? And then that's followed through into having conversations, you know, I had a really, really tough time, when I had my son, I became a, you know, a first time mom and I split up with my son's dad when he was only five weeks old, you know, that relationship wasn't working. And it wasn't, it wasn't ever destined to work. And I knew there was some things that happened. And I just knew if I wanted to be the mom that I knew I wanted to be, then I couldn't stay in that relationship and serve and be who I truly am, like, I just my light had gone out. And so I chose to leave and you know, as mums with that choice, lots of guilt, Am I doing the right thing, I was a new time mom, I was finding a new identity, my identity had been really wrapped up in the work that I'd done and the value that I brought, and then, you know, you really stripped back to the raw bones of yourself when you become a new mother, I believe. Yeah, you're completely dependent upon and you're navigating the waters, but you can't really you're in this incredibly powerful and wonderful position all at the same time. You are vulnerable because you are you need the support of your of the people around you. And you're strong because you, you're forging this new path and you've created life from your own fucking body. Like I remember laying in the bath when he was a couple of days old. And just looking at him with him laying on top of me, like I grew this I grew this finger, I grew this toe. I like made this whole human out of my body. And that's probably when things changed for me, you know, really understanding the power of bid me being a woman and who I am in the world. And, you know, he really, he stoked the fire to to strip away all the bullshit lies that I told myself, I think and I knew I couldn't I couldn't lie to myself anymore, about what wasn't working and what was and then I had to just be incredibly brave and take a step in the direction that I needed to go in for for his for his well being and for mine. Yeah,


wow. Well, there's a lot there. And, you know, I remember that same feeling of giving birth, just the enormity of it, but the peacefulness of it as well. And it really that was a big turning point for me in my life about I've got two kids, two adult kids and just, I remember that same feeling of just after birth, just going, oh my god, this, this is part of me, part of my husband, you know, we've created this, these human beings and just the connection that I see It was just so powerful. So powerful. I want to take you back a little bit, Nikki, because you said that there was a lot. And I'm sorry that you made the decision when your son was five weeks old to go it alone? What was that kind of process? Because that's a really brave thing to do. I think it's about identifying that this relationship isn't working, for whatever reasons. What was sort of, do you remember back to those thought processes or not?

Nikki O'Brien 10:33

Yeah, to be honest with you, I probably when I found out I was pregnant, it was it was not a planned pregnancy. And I remember when I, when I found out I was pregnant, I was kind of sitting there and like bowling and didn't know what to do. Because I was in a new relationship. We've only been together for like three or four months. Yeah. And I was like, Oh, my goodness, do I tell him? Do I not tell him? Do I just break up with him, like, I was really in a lot of turmoil. And I was working at the time at a in a bar actually, like doing some casual work in a bar while I was studying at university. And so I remember really clearly, walking down the bar one day, this was a couple of days after I'd found out, and it was almost like a hand kind of came on my shoulder and they said, they said, You're gonna be okay. Like, no matter what he decides, you're going to be okay. And you need to have this child. And so I was like, okay, and that was kind of like a relaxed then. Also, I hadn't told him and I relaxed, and I was like, Okay, I knew that that part was happening. And so it was almost like, I've always kind of known that I've been doing it to some degree by myself. You know, I think there's a lot of work, even when you're in a relationship, that's what you have to do in the early years, you know, by yourself, no matter whether you've got someone there or not, it's really, you know, that baby is really dependent on you. So I think it wasn't so much the decision of I think I decided back then to be honest, and I think then, through the pregnancy, I knew it wasn't working, but I wasn't yet strong enough to. I wasn't ready to admit that it really, you know, there was no hope. I think, I think I was kind of like, maybe it'll work, maybe it'll work, maybe it'll change, maybe it'll be better. And I knew I didn't want my son to grow up without a dad. And to this day, he doesn't he has a great relationship with his dad. And he sees him on the weekends. And they have a beautiful bond. Yeah. And so and that was really important to me, I think. So I had to kind of I also wanted to have, because obviously, my son has questions, and you know, can get quite emotional, and how come you and dad aren't married? And why can't you be living in the same house and blah, blah, blah. And I wanted to be able to look my son in the face and say, I tried as hard as I could. And we gave it everything we've got, I gave it everything I've got. And so it is dad to like, and it just wasn't a fit. You know, like I wanted to be able to say that with complete honesty, and power. Yeah. And so I had to kind of ride that path to the end. And then at five weeks old when he was earthside. With me, I'm no longer happy. The ability to to bounce back as quickly from the relationship. And I knew I had to do everything into my relationship with my son. And my my intimate relationship was distracting from that and draining from it really, rather than pouring into it. So yeah.


Do you know that there's what you're saying there, too, is about admitting to yourself, like you kind of knew, but it was about admitting to yourself. And I think that happens with a lot of people, regardless of what it is that is going on for them around, you know, really admitting what's going on. And owning that. And also being authentic, like, a lot of what I hear is about you being true to you know, that that the relationship was what it was, but it was about what's important for you and your son, and remembering that what the end goal is, and I think sometimes it doesn't mean that that's an easy decision. Does it know

Nikki O'Brien 14:10

Your Honour, but it was the easiest. Yeah, but it was the easiest decision for me in terms of doing it by myself, isn't the hard part staying would have been harder. Yes. You know, like, I'm fighting for my for my independence, and my freedom, and my authenticity would have been harder. And so I knew, you know, I knew, I knew it would be a walk in the park. And it certainly has not been a walk in the park and I've questioned myself, many, many times, but we have such a strong relationship. We are so close in terms of our connection and our relationship is phenomenal. You know, it's one of those things that you can only really understand if you're a single mom with a child. I had that relationship with my mom for a little while before my dad came along. And so I think I probably already had the blueprint and so I knew I could do it. I knew it Could and yeah, and I don't regret it, I don't regret it at all. And you know, and then my business was born and I'm able to be there for my son in ways that I wouldn't have had been able to be. So it was definitely the right decision for me, is always my


authenticity. And one of the things that I have really switched in my language, it's about honouring my past and honouring the decisions that I've made. Would I make some of them again? No. But it's about honouring them that being that at the right time, that was what I knew. And I used to refer to you know, all the shit in my past. It's not shit. It's stuff that happened. Some of it, I absolutely do not want to happen again. But it's just stuff that happened in my past. So I've really changed my language around that in the way that I view what's going on. I really love hearing you say, it was the right decision. And I don't regret it at all. I don't know if you have something similar to this. But I have a rocking chair test that I pictured myself at 90, something sitting in a rocking chair, on my Brander of my homestead overlooking the the coast overlooking the beach, but sitting in my rocking chair, looking back on life and not wanting to regret anything. I don't want there to be regrets in life. So I love hearing that. The decision you made you absolutely don't regret, which is

Nikki O'Brien 16:32

I love that that's such a powerful. Yeah, it's so funny, because the more I come along, like I think I almost look at it like Timeline Jumping. Like I think back then, my version of me now Nikki, like definitely was holding me in so many moments of like, deep despair. I'm like, What am I doing? And am I gonna make it through this, and now I can, like, lovingly see myself holding myself back then. And you know, I don't think it was a conscious thing like that rocking chair. But I definitely had a strong vision of my son being in his 20s and us having a conversation and me being able to stand in my power and say, No, this was the right decision. And you know, and we have had that conversation before at a changeover where he's, you know, really crying and lots of emotions. And I'm like, and I can be strong in that we can, you know, like, so yeah, it's sort of like that. But I haven't got to the rocking chair stage. But I think that's a that's a good


idea. I don't do that every day. But I do picture that I just don't want there to be regrets in life. And when I'm when I'm making decisions about things. And this doesn't happen all the time. But sometimes it's like, am I going to regret this? If I if I don't do this? When I'm down the track looking back on life? Or am I going to regret if I do this? I mean, into my decision making? It's not my only process, but it certainly factors in.

Nikki O'Brien 17:52

I think that's a great process, though, because it takes you out of the fear of the moment. Yeah, you know, like, I think so often, we make decisions based on our circumstances right now and the fears that we've got right now. Whereas when you have that long view, you know, from a future version of yourself, you're like, Oh, it feels different. You know, it feels different, because you don't have the immediate pressures that you have have, you know, different seasons of life have different pressures on you. And it feels really immediate and like everything is you know, yeah, but that's not actually the case. I really love that. Yeah.


So, you actually mentioned about you started your business, what were you doing before so we will talk a little bit about your business, but you were in radio for a stint where you was? Yeah. How did that come about? By that?

Nikki O'Brien 18:41

Okay. Do you know honestly, I can tell you the the day and date I the site woke up during the day, I was overseas, I went travelling in my you know, mid to late 20s. And I travelled around with a couple of girls from from Australia and I live live up in Queensland now. And we were living in Scotland in Glasgow, which was one of the funnest places to live as a 20 something year old. And we were in the line at TK Maxx. We were like just, you know, we were 20 and we had so much banter and we always were like, you know, had this kind of like snappy banter going on. And people were laughing in the line with us because the line was so huge. And I remember it hitting me like a tonne of bricks because I had gone over there. My mum had given me the gift of an open ended ticket when I was 21 or something. And I Yeah, it was a beautiful, a beautiful gift. A very life changing gift to be honest. And I remember going over with the intention of deciding you know, who I wanted to be when I grew up. Because I was I had left school I had started some degrees uni and I was no good but didn't like it and dropped out and was kind of lacking in hospitality. And I was kind of a bit you know, blown in the weight and tap didn't really have any direction. And so I went With the intention of, you know, really figuring out what it was, what my purpose was what I wanted to do what I wanted to be able to pour all my energy into. And when that happened when we were like doing the banter, and people were laughing and kind of saying comments and like interacting with us, it just hit me like a bolt of lightning, like, do breakfast radio Dickie, like, why wouldn't you do it? Yeah. Always loved listening to radio, when I was a kid, that was a huge part of our morning routine, you know, like listening to it getting ready for school in the car, like joking along and I love I've always loved listening to how people do live, right? Like, it wasn't Yes, it's about the music. But it was also about the bits in between where you would get to understand the life lessons that they were going through all the things that they'd learned or the things that they were joking about, or talking about, in a real human way, the events that were happening in the world, right. And so I was like, That's it. That's what I want to do. Of course, of course, I'd be great. Because I love to Okay. So then I was obviously there for a few more months. And then when I came home, and then up with I was lucky enough to know, my parents knew someone who was working for one of the Australian commercial stations, he was quite high up. So I had a meeting with him, just to, you know, to say, this is what I want to do. What's my pathway? Like? How do I go about getting that? Yeah. And so he said to me, your best bet is to start off with community start off at a community radio station, we have have a really great one called Fresh FM here in Adelaide, it's a really quality, great youth based volunteer community radio station. So I started there, and then just got better and better and better. And I applied myself more and more and started applying for jobs, and then eventually landed a breakfast radio gig in Mildura. And so that was like my dream job at that stage. Because what happened is like I've done some, I've done some work for SFM here in Adelaide. But you know, there's, there's obviously only a certain amount of roles that you can get on radio. And so my programme director at the time said, your next step, if you want to advance is to go regional. So that's the next step. And then you can go into into a major city. So I did regional, I got my gig in Mildura. And, you know, two and a half, three weeks in a hated it.


Be careful what you be careful what you wish for.

Nikki O'Brien 22:32

It's funny when we were talking before about I had have had that perspective of the rocking chair and sitting on a rocking chair. What would you regret? I do you regret giving up? Because I was I it was it? Look, it was a really tricky situation in, in commercial radio you have as a female, it's difficult because you are put into a box. Yeah, you have to play a role. And that has to be a cardboard cutout and you have to represent a certain amount of the listenership. And that needs to be mainstream, which doesn't suit my personality, you know me at all? No. So that, coupled with my co host, at the time, was extremely lazy, and didn't have the work ethic and drive that I have. And so he would rock up 10 minutes late, we'd go the air, he'd be there 10 minutes later. And the mail is the anchor, like I didn't have control over lots of things. I was too young to speak up to my station manager. You know, there's lots of different things that I would change now. But I was so after it being this dream job that I you know, I was making a great salary on breakfast radio, working five hours a day, like it was, you know, like, people are paying me to do this. And then from that to honestly crying every day on the phone to my mom, like, I don't know what I've done. This was my dream. It's a pocket night. Like no one I was in a small country town. I didn't have a partner and no one really, you know, it was hard to make friends and I'm a person who easily makes friends. So lots of different things. And yeah, me not speaking up for myself. I ended up quitting, and coming home and totally changing tack and then study nutrition. But that's probably one of my biggest regrets. I wish I had stood up for myself. I spoken to the station manager earlier because as it turns out, when I quit, he said, No, I'll change things. I know what I know what x is like. So, you know, he was happy to kind of move things around by that stage. I had already made my decision. So


like I'm thinking as you're describing that I could feel what you were feeling there about being constrained and having to it's almost like what you talked about with the journey with your son's father and making the decision and being true to yourself. It's almost like this is another part of your journey about you needing to be true to yourself that you were almost being full seems to be something that wasn't true.

Nikki O'Brien 25:02

Exactly It happened, right, like I was. So it was at a time. Where do you remember when Kim Kardashian married Kris Humphries? Yeah. And I as the female, I had to be the celebrity gossip reporter. And so, you know, I was having to recycle celebrity gossip. And that was our, you know, our daily routine. And I was like, This is not who I am. I'm here for real life Conversations. I'm here for connection for human, you know, like human connection. Lifting. Yeah. And I felt like I was selling my soul. Yeah. And that's just not who I am. And so yeah, I get


that. And it's also gets back to being that authentic, you know, when you're in alignment with what's important to you, everything feels good. But it's about trusting your gut, too, isn't it? Like, sure, maybe the regret is that you didn't speak up. But I think there's still power in following your gut, and being true to yourself. That that, yeah, I think events like that are meant to be put on your path,

Nikki O'Brien 26:05

to try to like to get and I know that in contributed to where I am now. You know, that's, that's how I ended up here. Like I through leaving my son's father and becoming a new mom, I felt completely broken. I felt completely broken, completely shattered, my light had gone out. I like very viscerally. Remember, because I moved in with my sister, her husband was doing FIFO. And my mom and my sister were a bit they didn't, they were a bit scared to kind of, for me to be alone with my son and having just come out of relationship. So they were like, just move in with your sister for six months just to get on your feet. So I did. And I remember being there and just crying on my bed and her coming in and saying like your light has gone out. I just don't understand how it's how it's gone. Let you have such a vibrancy. That's what I get to pick up. I was not Yeah, I was a shell. I was a complete shell. And it's a really, it's really hard to be there when you know that your light's gone out, and you have no idea how to get it back. That was really, that was almost like an added like, you know, like, I knew how much I was a shell. And I had no idea, no roadmap of, of how to come back to myself to be more whole than I'd been before I was a mom. And so I started my own podcast. Because I mean it through radio, I had a superpower of interviewing, I love conversations. And so I didn't have the resources to kind of fix my brain and get the therapy and the appointments and the, you know, the spiritual kind of healings that I needed at that time. So this was my that was my way. I was like, if I'm feeling this way, there has to be other moms who are out there feeling like this. And I didn't want anyone else feeling like this. So I was like, I'll have the conversations for us. And I'll put them out into the world. And yeah, and that's brought me here. Oh, I


love that. I love that. So how long ago was that? With the podcast?

Nikki O'Brien 28:02

Was that? I think it was like four or four and a half five years ago now. Yeah.


So before, because everybody was kind of doing podcasts now, which is good. Yeah, so different versions. But that's sort of the pre, you know, pre populate the podcast. So that's Yeah,

Nikki O'Brien 28:19

I think it's hard to you know, I thought at the time, or everybody's already started a podcast who might have started podcasts, you go through all those things, no matter what, when you do it, you know. And so yeah, podcasts have been around for a little while, but I hadn't really heard about them, I wasn't consuming them. And then when I found out there were a thing, I was like, Ah, I get to put out what content I want. And I get to choose who I speak to. I don't have a programme director telling me what to do. Like, you know, and I got to heal myself in the process. So and he said, the process


the eat so the podcast is awesome. So that's helping other and hearing from other women and other people about their journeys as well. Yeah, that helped heal you. How did that help you?

Nikki O'Brien 29:01

i My mission with that podcast, still is to have conversations with people who have watched through the fire and have been through you know, a serious challenge or adversity or overcome, you know, big hurdles in their life and being at that place because I think, you know, there is this real, when you are stripped of your identity, it's it feels you feel so lost and so broken. I don't know any other words to describe it. And when you're in that, in that time, you're in survival mode, you have no idea what up and what's down what's left and what's right. And so I think having those conversations with those women who had been before me, I was able to borrow their strength and their power and then light their lights kind of lit the path for me to come back to myself like I if I was to put it in a like I don't have I don't know exactly what point I kind of healed you know, it's a Very, it's not a linear process. And I still, you know, to this day, I have moments where I'm crying all day and on the phone to my besties. And, you know, and what am I doing with my life, but, but for the most part, I feel a lot more whole and integrated. And I love myself, I love myself. And that is the biggest difference. You know, back then I was, I had no self esteem, I did not have any self love. And that's all I wanted, you know. And it was almost like I wanted it for my son, not for me. I was like, I can't be a mum. And teach him self esteem and self love if I don't have any. So he I'm very grateful that he came along to teach me that.


Isn't that? Oh, gosh, again, it's so much the I think even through the podcast, Nikki, you. And I know yours is sort of similar, similar. It's about people's stories, hearing stories. And I find that when people share their stories, it's really empowering for them. So a lot of my guests when I say I'd love to chat with you, and they go, Oh, my God, why would you want to chat with me and I'm going, you have such an inspiring story. And when we talk about it, at the end of the podcast, they say, oh, that's actually really, really nice to be able to share my story. And the pearls of wisdom just drop. They they're not scripted. They just drop in the people who need to hear them, hear them. And I think that's the beauty of being able to speak with people about their journeys, and whatever they are. Yeah, we're not ramming it down people's throats. We're doing this whole you thou shalt do this, it's about as well, these are some things that worked for me. And these days, yeah, I would never ever do it.

Nikki O'Brien 31:52

And it's not even that much of it. You know, like, that's what I love about it. I just captured the essence of it. So well, there, it's a conversation and everybody gets their own our has yet to serve wherever they are right now, rather than following a formula or putting in a blueprint, or this is what helped me, it's actually the organic conversations means that people can pull out the pearls of wisdom that apply to them right now, right here in their circumstances. And that changes the world. Not, you know, giving your formula and this is how I did it. And you know, it's about those really huge aha moments when you're listening to someone speak like, Ah, I never even thought about it like that. Thank you so much, you know, and it changes your world in a whole instant. And you're like, wow, okay, and now you can move through this little bit that you've been?


Exactly, yeah, I had a girlfriend actually. She texted me the other day. And she said, I was listening to episode, whichever episode it was. And you said it's exactly what I needed to hear. She said, I'd forgotten this stuff. Yeah, this stuff. And it's just made me feel good. Again. Yes. Aligned again. Yeah, yeah. Let me ask you, and I'm asking for a friend who has had a shitty morning about she may have adopted a new dog who gets very agitated by anything that goes past the front window, and she may have been lighting a candle or getting ready for podcast, she was about to record and dropped some of it on the floor and burned a hole. That was some tips that you might have for my girlfriend, when you have a kind of a shitty because what you said there is about you do have, you know, you've experienced times that have been tough, but you don't stay in that stuck in that anymore? What are some advice, tips for moving through when things don't quite go? according to plan?

Nikki O'Brien 33:54

Yes. When things don't go according to plan. I think never making yourself wrong. But the feeling that you have is like the first point of call, and not fighting yourself for the feelings you have as well. I think a lot of our struggles come from when we shouldn't be feeling this way. And I shouldn't be doing this. I think when we when we're finding ourselves, we are fractured. Our energy is fragmented. And so I think often, you know, and I've had a couple of days loads like that myself over the last week, where I'm like, I'm just going to allow myself to feel like this today. I'm just going to cry every hour on the hour until it moves through me because Because making myself wrong and fighting with myself was the hardest and it was it's exhausting. And so there's no that's no spiritual answer. It's just, you know, really allowing, I think as well there was you know, there was a big, there was lots of fear. I thought I'd get stuck in it. I know what depression feels like and I know what deep dark nights of the soul feel like. And so I think a lot of the time, after you've moved through some of those big experiences, if you find the little glimmers of things and you're like, Oh, could this be, you know, a really downward spiral or? And so I think yeah, but I wonder whether you're friends with the dog? I would if that was me with a with a dog like that, and especially if they're new and they were adopted, maybe you need to have a conversation conversations with the doggie, like, thank you for talking to me, let's talk asked and build the, I wonder whether they're just trying to like, look, I'm new here, and I'm just showing you I'm showing off about how good I am. Because I'm warning you about the bad people that are around. And so maybe it's like, if you just flip it and kind of like every time Mr. Doggy barks, or Mrs. Doggy, you're like, Thank you, thanks for letting me know that there's people there and we're and we're okay, we're safe here. You know,


I've heard a good source from my friend that that's what she does do and he does respond sometimes to. Other times, not. Other times not. But you know, what I'm like you to actually allowing the emotions that from my, you know, times when I've struggled with things, I can look back on it. And I haven't actually acknowledged how I've been feeling. And that's where that you know, about honouring. It's like, Yeah, this is a shitty day. And that's okay. It's not going to be a shitty day for forever. And what I kind of refer to it is I have my five minute pity party. Sometimes it's longer than five minutes. Yeah, but I have the pity party and I go, you know, this is not great. I'm acknowledging that it's not great. What do I want to be instead?

Nikki O'Brien 36:51

Yeah. And, yeah. And I also think, you know, we are humans, and we are going to feel the full spectrum of emotions. And just because they're not enjoyable emotions doesn't actually make them any less valuable. They give us you know, those contrast that gives us the good stuff, it gives us that, oh, this is what I want more of. And so I think when you can, you know, it's so much easier said than done. But when you can, when you can think about it like that, and allow yourself to feel that unenjoyable feelings and just know that it's part of the human experience, then I think it takes the personal sting out of it a bit sometimes.


No, I agree with that, too. And I, I also try, I don't always do it, but try and catch the judgments that I'm making about myself, you know, that critical self talk, and then kind of going, you know, what am I doing? What am I you know, those patterns of negativity? Why am I? Why am I even thinking that? Yeah, what

Nikki O'Brien 37:53

story is that? I'm telling you, that's a really good point. Because it is, it's so you don't even know that. It's that it's such a pattern until you can catch it. And often at the start, when you're when you're starting to do this work, you cannot even see it as a pattern. And then I you know, I don't know about you, Catherine. But the more and more I go along this journey, and the more and more I do those things, I can catch myself and I can hold myself in Yes, in those feelings. And I can allow it all to be there and know that it's not a reflection of of my work. Yeah.


Do you know what I had a really big aha moment was maybe six months ago, I was doing some just tidying up decluttering. And I was looking at, I'm a journal, I love journaling. And I've got journals just everywhere. Yeah, and I was reading through some of the journals. And it was fucking it was the same thing with as though I'd written it yesterday. And I looked at the journal and the date of it was like 15 years ago. And going far out. What's this same pattern of, you know, things I'm wanting to let go of. So what I didn't use, I burned all those journals. I had a little bit of a flick through them, because there are some pearls of wisdom in there as well. So I kept those pages that I had bonfire burning. Yeah, it was the most cathartic as much as I love journaling. I love burning stuff. I absolutely love burning stuff. And it was a real cleansing process. And I can see some real shifts in some of those patterns that had been there for very like entrenched patterns. And not just from the burning, but that was a big man. That was very cathartic.

Nikki O'Brien 39:36

Yeah, here's a little tidbit boy, yeah, after I think my son was probably maybe one and a half when I'm sort of gotten back on my feet. I was really in the thick of healing myself and I shaved my head. I had one or two for years and years and years. Yeah, like 10 years at least. And I was like, right that's it. You know, I have had a real belief have a real belief that your your hair can hold those stories to do though I yeah, I had a big ceremony with my sister and I shaved my head and I burnt my hair in a bonfire. Yeah. So like, just kind of let go of I've made and Nikki because now I was Nikki. Yeah,


oh my gosh, I did something. I didn't burn my hair. But I like I've gone back to natural grey. And that was a process that I wanted to not colour my hair anymore. But I really wanted to strip myself back to that authentic knee. And the process took way too long. I just went straight to my hairdresser just shaved my hair. And she's like, oh, you can't do that. You can't do that. And yeah, like colouring and process and blah, blah, blah. And anyway, I just came home one day to my husband, I said, Let's shave it. And I didn't go bald, bald, but I went like a number one or two or something. And I tell you what, since I've gone back, this represents that authenticity as well. Like the short, nothing in here that represents to me, stripping back to who I am at my core. He's a great old chick. Fabulous, fabulous. Fabulous, fabulous. Tell me tell me some more about your spiritual practices. Yeah, what are some of those that tell me tell me some of the there's lots there's lots. So with this, because this is just like, a love, love, what is your sort of spiritual?

Nikki O'Brien 41:33

My daily spiritual practices would be normally I wake up and I'll do a meditation in the morning. And I actually most of the time, I'll I've created a meditation for myself. And it's really simple, guys. You actually just I play, I have my iPhone, and I hit voice record, and I played binaural beats off of YouTube on my laptop. And then I speak over the top of that, and I just have it in my voice voice notes. So whatever I'm wanting to bring in or let go of I will meditate around that. And then I normally play that for sort of six months at least. So I listen to that in the morning. And then I love getting out in nature going for my walk. That's, that's really important part of me feeling balanced in my soul and my mental health. So that's another part of my spiritual practice. And then I also have this beautiful ritual with one of my best friends, where we Voxer each other or voice message each other every single morning, have three things that we're grateful for three things that we're calling in, and three things that we're celebrating for our life. Yeah, and it's really we've done it for over a year now. And it's just such an anchoring practice, you know, on the days that it's really hard to be grateful for stuff. It's such a good way. You know, sometimes it's, I'm grateful for my washing machine that it washes my clothes, and I don't have to do it manually, like I didn't know days I'm grateful for heating and electricity like Sunday's it's really basic like that. Other days I can I can be grateful for the blades of grass and the sun because it's it feels really easy. But it's such a beautiful practice in showing me the beauty of my life every day. And what I've created because you know, this is really poignant for me right at the moment, too, because I think, you know, when you've hit rock bottom, and then you have this huge kind of growth period, when you plateau, it can feel really unsatisfying, and it can feel really like well, why isn't all of my big manifestation dreams coming true yet, and it doesn't really look any different to how I thought, but there's lots of little things that have changed. And I'm really in that place at the moment where appreciating all the little things that have changed, is serving me because I know them, the big things are coming. You know, I know the big things are coming.


That's that plateau stuff. I've been going through that as well and getting very, very frustrated about things not happening as quickly as I want them to. And I just happen to be listening to an audio book, and it's called Mastery by George Leonard. And he was referring to the plateau as being a really important place to be. And it's about being able to consolidate and allow things to integrate as well. And especially for people who are very, you know, action oriented, operating out of that masculine energy about making things happen, that's great. But it's also about being in the present and allowing what you've created not always looking at the next step of creation. And I thought that was so that's kind of similar to what you're saying there. Yeah. And that's why that's always very important.

Nikki O'Brien 44:54

Yes. And I think that's why with that daily ritual I've got the celebration part is really laid out, you know, and we're not, I think, especially as Australians, you know, we're not really great at celebrating ourselves, and, you know, especially as women, and so it's been a really interesting practice, to celebrate, to celebrate the little things and to and to actively kind of, almost not boast about them. But you know what I mean, like, make that part of your practice, because I think that is a really important part of the integration.


It is. And it's also about if you think about it, at that mindset perspective, it's about helping to establish those new neural pathways, because I think a lot of us have a stet, and not all of us, but ones about yerba. You know, I did this, but I didn't do it quite as well as I would have liked, or I did this, but Nikki did it better. Or, when we celebrate and acknowledge our achievements in our success, we're actually creating and strengthening that new neural pathway. So that just becomes part of who we are. I do like a lot of coaching around a lot of different things. But often, the career coaching and when people are applying for new jobs, they find it really chuffed, not that not all of them, but a lot of them find it really challenging to talk about themselves themselves and what they've achieved. Because they go on boasting about myself. And it's like, well, you're not, you're actually telling us a story about what you've actually done. So it's changing that story, but I love how you and you feel friend, accountability buddies, you know, it's about helping each other to acknowledge each other and be there.

Nikki O'Brien 46:39

Yeah, 100%. And it has been such a, it's been a beautiful part of our friendship, to know, like, really having windows into our minds and our psyches and the way we think and our lives and our secret desires. And, you know, and sharing that with someone else, there's something powerful about sharing that with someone else, rather than, you know, just doing it by yourself or in a journal or Yeah, and so I think that's been, that's also been a really beautiful part of part of it.


I see that a really sacred process to be able to do that with somebody in that trusted, you know, because sometimes it's not safe to say that, yeah, people but if you've got somebody in that inner sanctum that, yeah, trusted in Yeah, so that's

Nikki O'Brien 47:29

cool. I remember a time when I had no one that I could, you know, and I think that was also a really scary part of healing and growing and changing, you know, and so I just want to speak to the fact that, that if you're listening and thinking, I don't have anyone like that, I had that for years, but they will come. And those friendships and those connections are forged. When you when you go first and your bravery and your courage and in seeking those connections out, they do exist. And they, they do, they're incredibly nourishing and supportive. So I just wanted to I just wanted to say that in case someone's listening and going, but I don't have anyone because I remember feeling like that too.


But yeah, and I would maybe piggyback on that. And I it's about being vulnerable, as well. And being okay, in the sharing. Because I know a big part of my life was I didn't feel okay to share. It's just like, No, no, I have to be strong. I have to be, you know, all these things. And it's just like, that's fucking bullshit. That it is okay to be able to share in say that, you know, not doing okay. Or not doing okay, or that I am doing okay.


Yes, totally.


I think sometimes. And I know I've experienced this as well. It's like, I haven't wanted to celebrate my successes in you know, feeling that was gonna for whatever reason upset somebody else. So I think that's as equally important yes to space as well. Yeah, yeah. Oh my gosh, Nikki, we could talk forever. Tell us or tell us a bit about your business? Where find you and what do you do?

Nikki O'Brien 49:12

Yeah, so you can find me at quintessential That's the name of my podcast and it's also the name of my business. So I am first and foremost a podcast coach and strategist. I help beautiful women mainly women like you entrepreneurial women in the life coaching space or online business space or parenting education. Those are a lot of my clients, create and launch amazing life changing transformational podcasts. That's what I do. It's at the heart of of who I am. And off the back of that I you know, have a knack for digital marketing and content creation and wildfire conversations like this that pull out the golden people. So I have a few offerings around you know, if you're a bit confused about what your message is on the front line, like I can hold space for your interviewer and pull those messages out of you. You so yeah, you can find everything at quintessential You can follow me on instagram i quintessential being by Nikki or Facebook quintessential being by Nikki, I give away loads of free content. There's lots of sort of freebie offers you can learn about podcasting as a bulk broadcast is free video if you want to have a look at that to see whether you want to dip your toe in the podcasting pool. I also do a lot of work around Yeah, guest speaking and pitching to podcasts and all that kind of stuff, anything where you are cultivating the skill of selling yourself in a really soulful, aligned way. That's what I'm that's what I do.


And I could 100% recommend because that soulful aligned way, is what really resonates with me that that it's about you get me and you get what the podcast is about. And you're able to guide me through that process. What's next for you?

Nikki O'Brien 50:56

Oh, Gina Catherine, I'm at this really interesting, fun space where I think that in the next six months, my life is going to look completely different to what it looks like now. And I could not tell you what's going to change and how it's going to change. But I just have that in my Nowalk. Love it. So yeah, so I'm really sitting in that kind of, you know, my business is evolving. I am really loving where it's going and moving into more like coaching and strategy and that kind of thing. And yeah, and I'm really looking forward to taking some lots of time off over school holidays in the summer, so I can be with my son. So yeah, I don't know, I'm kind of just opening I think what's next for me is just opening to the opportunities that come my way. And yeah, and growing and laughing and learning.


I love that. And for me at what I'm hearing there is about letting it unfold, and not having any attachment to an outcome. It's about trusting in the process, that something you've got that inkling that something's going to be happening. Sounds like it's going to be something big and exciting. But you're not. It's about letting that unfold, which I think is a beautiful way to manifest and bring your dreams alive. So, Nikki, this has been absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much hugs and big, big happiness to you. And thank you for producing this beautiful podcast. Love it.

Nikki O'Brien 52:26

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I have adored having this conversation with you.


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