Can You Hear Me?

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.”

William Hazlitt


Bed In via Wikipedia

(image via Wikipedia)

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

The fifth Chakra, known as the throat Chakra, is associated with speaking and expression.

Now you might be thinking, what the hell is Nina doing talking Chakras? Good question. Not even close to my expertise. Stay with me…

On Saturday, I was in an intense session with a massage therapist who is working with my Chiropractor to figure out why my neck, shoulder and upper back are in so much pain. In fact, I have not really slept in two weeks. Yes I have disc issues, but they are easily treated with through my Chiro, Energy Healer, Therapist and Pilates.

During the session, my awesome massage therapist Peter said… “Something is up with your fifth Chakra.” You are struggling with being heard, or speaking your truth. I’m like, me? Seriously?

And then it hit me, not only have I been struggling with some situations in relation to expression, but my heart has also been so heavy witnessing the injustices of the world, and in particular the intense negativity on social platforms. And I have not spoken up enough about how I feel. As the great Martin Luther King so brilliantly said… “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

What was so interesting about this session, is the evening before, I was awakened at 12:30AM, to passionate protesters marching down my street, for the 5 or 6th time in the last two weeks. I went to the window, and began to weep. The weeping quickly turned to straight up balling me eyes out.

Now it’s beginning to all make sense. My heart is aching for words I have left unsaid, but even more, for the fact that these beautiful and passionate young people, are up at 12:30AM, marching in solidarity, chanting what sadly have become recent trending hashtags #handsupdontshoot and #icantbreathe. I was both sad and inspired. Needless to say, it moved me beyond words.

It also happened to be World Aids Day on December 1st, which brought up a lot of emotion for me, as I thought about marching in protest on Washington DC with ACT UP in the late 80′s, early 90′s. And we were angry. Our chant was “Silence equals death.” A life changing time indeed. And almost a bit eerie that the messages are not all that different. Being seen and heard. Wow.

As humans, we all have a core need to be seen and feel heard. And when we are not, we begin to crumble. This can be expressed with anger, resentment, physical alignments or simply withdrawing from society. If protesters felt seen and heard would things be different? My heart thinks so.

We can take this same thought, and apply it to businesses, as business is life. Do we feel seen and heard? Does our team really feel seen and heard? Do our clients really feel seen and heard?

I can tell you from experience, team members and clients leave our businesses because the answer is no.

So now I have some intense work to do on getting to the bottom of my pain, and maybe you do too.

Love + Awesomeness-

Posted in GROW, MY TRUTH on December 8th, 2014

A Creative Process

“Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder
what has happened.”


Creative Process Insta

 (graphic discovered via @badgirlriri on Instagram)

Here is the audio version of this post, thank you so much for listening.

Awesomeness in business and in life doesn’t just happen by accident; it’s a process.

Where It Begins
Its 3pm on the dot. It’s Sunday. I just prepared a delicious shot of espresso and turned on the Garden State soundtrack and lit a Marlboro light. It’s cool and rainy and grey, so unusual for la la land. And I am inspired to create this week’s blog.

Now, I could wait to Monday morning, which has been my process for a few years, but lately I am finding it more difficult and quite honestly too much pressure to put on myself. I mean, come on, a fresh written, recorded blog and newsletter, every Monday morning, to be sent before 7am? Yes. But no matter what, it happens. Why? I made a commitment. I know consistency matters. I keep my promises.

A Little Back Story
My mind has been racing the last few months, lots of change, shifts, emotions, plans, and with only 31 days left in 2014, I have a shit ton of awesomeness to create to kick off 2015 right. But because of my promise, I create space and processes to focus my mind.

We Move Towards What We Focus On
The topics for my posts come to me quite randomly yet are filled with intention and purpose. Understanding the promise of Passion Squared, I listen to my tribe and write for them, for you, and for me. Topics can come from a discussion, an interaction or situation with a client, an experience at a store, a movie or TV show.

This is my creative process. It’s messy, flawed, raw, authentic and yet strangely consistent. And I trust the process, doubts and all. Often I am asked how I manifested my career and created Passion Squared, what my process is…

Well, this is it. Above is my process for blog creation, workshop creation, talk creation, projects, and any other awesomeness I am working on.

Is There A System?
In my upcoming NEW coaching program A School, I break down my recipe for creating awesome in my business and my life. Many of the tools I have used for years to grow companies, and more recently, they are the tools I use to create an awesome life and business filled with purpose and authenticity for both myself and my clients. In the end though, you must make it your own, if you are going to own it, as only then will you stay committed and consistent.

So, just like that, one smoke down, 1 shot of espresso and 4 songs later on the Garden State soundtrack, my blog is complete. And this typically is where many begin to self sabotage their art.

Are You Self Sabotaging Your Creations?
Over-thinking, over analyzing, judging. All elements for never creating anything. Perfectionism paralyzes our thoughts, actions and awesomeness. Trust the process, put your heart into it, create it and let it out into the Universe for those who need it. Let it go.

Is It Really That Simple? Of Course Not.
Now, I will prep it in WordPress, create graphics and quotes on Canva and Word Swag, create a description, determine keywords, create links, test links, preview it, proof read it, fix most of the typos, preview it again, proof it again, record it, embed the recording, preview it again, and publish it. Then I’m off the create The Weekly Dose of Awesome, on MailChimp, my “every single Monday no matter what” love note to all of my awesome subscribers.

Commitment. Consistency. Courage. And most importantly, a process, which allows for all of this to happen week in and week out. What’s your process?

With love + gratitude-

PS: Want to be the first to hear about A School, click here to get your name on the awesome list.

PPS: When its all said and done, this post will have taken about 3 hours to publish, not including brain and bathroom breaks, which there are a few. It’s the little things, the details, the things you may not even be aware that you are seeing and feeling when engaging with this post that truly make things awesome.

Posted in GROW, MY TRUTH on December 1st, 2014

Gratitdue Unlocks The Fullness Of Life

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

 Melody Beattie



                                                       (photo credit: The awesome Anne Slattery)

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

As we enter upon the annual week of giving thanks, I could not pass up this opportunity to share my thoughts on gratitude, again.

Why do I share so often about gratitude? Simple. It saved my life.

The quote above, gracefully crafted by Melody Beattie, author of several books such as Codependent No More, spoke to my soul when I was at my darkest time, fighting for my life in rehab. So much so, that it is tattooed on the left arm. The whole quote, for those moments, I just may forget.

Recently I have received several questions about “my story”, how did I do it; you know, survive and thrive. Walk away from all the safety, security and notoriety of my career. How did I build Passion Squared? All awesome questions, many of them, being answered in my new group coaching program A(awesome) School, launching in January 2015.

But before anything else, the road to living an authentically awesome life is paved with gratitude.

OMG. So simple. Yet so very difficult for many to grasp.

A UMass Dartmouth study says “There is a complex relationship between thoughts, moods, brain chemistry, endocrine function, and functioning of other physiological systems in our bodies. Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.”

I can attest to this. Living a grateful life does not mean we avoid conflict, issues, pain, or troubles in the world. No, we address those, and work through those. But at the same time, we make a choice, to practice gratitude 365 days a year.

Here are just two examples of how I shift to gratitude in what could be a defeating or stressful situation…

People get so stressed out about traffic. Like you have any control over the road conditions or all of those cars on the freeway. When I get stuck in traffic, I focus on being grateful for the time to catch up on an audio book, catch up with an old friend on the phone, or simply sit in peaceful silence.

This could be a delay of a project, a relationship, a vacation, whatever. I see delays not as denials, but as gifts and messages from the Universe, telling me, slow down, think this through a bit more, it’s not the right time. Thank you Universe.

As I was writing this post, my ADD brain jumped over to Facebook, and then this awesome status update appeared by the beautiful Ginger Boyle…

“Reality is things to do not manifest instantly, there is a wonderful buffer of time that gives us opportunity to redirect our attention to what we want to experience. Have a beautiful Sunday! Start by being grateful.”

You see, we all have choices. I choose gratitude. Not just on the last Thursday in November, but every single day of the year.

With love + gratitude-


Posted in GROW, MY TRUTH on November 24th, 2014

Are You Really Worth It?

“The realization of what it takes to create value might break your heart, because it means you have to specialize, take risks, create art, leave a positive impact and adopt generosity in all you do.”

Seth Godin

Are You Really Worth It?

Here is the audio version of this post. Enjoy!

Price and value has been heavy on my mind lately, as I continue to see a wave of discounting of services from hairdressers, salons, education companies, fitness studios and more. I would have to say it is one of the most heartbreaking things for me to see when working with small businesses.

You see, what it tells me, without even knowing you or your business model, is that you have no plan. No brand purpose or promise. You do not value your own services or business.

While doing research for this post, I came across a blog from the great Seth Godin, titled, On Pricing Power, and it opens with this profound statement, which I could not say better myself…

From Seth’s blog…
If you’re not getting paid what you’re worth, there are only two possible reasons:
1. People don’t know what you’re worth, or
2. You’re not (currently) worth as much as you believe

This is probably the most important part of creating an awesome brand. Whether you are premium price or the lowest price, you still need to have a deep understanding of value, price and worth.

There is nothing wrong with promotions, adding value, or special pricing, but if discounting is the foundation of your brand, it’s gonna be a tough, painful road.

Instead of…

Instead of focusing on how little you can offer your services for, begin to focus on what value you bring to the table. And deliver that, consistently. It’s amazing what happens when people are happy with their experience and begin to tell their friends.

Instead of focusing on how little you can offer your services for, begin to focus on content creation that brings a ton of value on social platforms.

Instead of focusing on how little you can offer your services for, begin to focus on your WHY.  WHY I would choose you over someone else?

Instead of focusing on how little you can offer your services for, begin to focus on how you are going to be a better businessperson.

Instead of focusing on how little you can offer your services for, begin to focus on healing the part inside you that does not see your worth. By far, the most difficult journey you will take, but so worth it. Just like you.

Love + Awesomeness-


PS: This concept applies to undercharging, overcharging and discounting. Again, it’s about understanding value, price and worth, not delusion or greed.

Posted in GROW on November 10th, 2014