entrepreneur, Island Life

Letting Go of Control

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For the past few months, our business has been rolling along wonderfully. We’ve had time to tout our crazy-full guest calendars, revamp our welcome messages and leases, upgrade our advertisements, and put together fabulous owner packets for prospective leads. Our numbers and ratings were sky-high. In short, we had the business firmly under control.

Or at least we did, until a then-category 5 hurricane began swirling its way towards the Hawaiian islands. Guests cancelled left and right; flights were cancelled; we fielded calls and messages and inquiries and complaints all day for over a week. Our awesome numbers dropped and our chock-full calendars were marred by vacant days at the end of the month. I kept asking myself, what is happening? What did we do wrong?! Why?!

A looming hurricane felt like it had ruined everything (everything!), but the truth is that it took away our control. Hurricane Lane itself is naturally, and obviously, out of our control – but I couldn’t stop myself from running through ways of controlling the result of it. Could I open up our properties to last-minute reservations? Displaced guests? Surely one airline was still landing….

It was my fiancée that made me realize how ridiculous it all was. We had a major, potential natural disaster-level storm a few hundred miles away, and I was upset that guests had cancelled their trips? Of course they did! What in the world was I thinking?

f062b425bdf17d58915c9d0da25a3dedI realized that I love running my own business because I love having control. I love managing, watching, tinkering, tweaking things to be perfect. I dig it, and it’s been a way of life for me for a while – but it’s not really how life works.

Actually, Hurricane Lane is a pretty good metaphor for life. You can do everything on earth to ensure your life/home/business are picture-perfect and under control, and then something external and totally unexpected can swirl right through and cause some chaos and mayhem. And you have no choice but to do your best and just deal. 

As our business grows, I know the day is coming when I’ll have to relinquish control. I’ll have to trust. I’ll have to let it go – and that day is coming sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to enjoy a few days off curled up with my man and dog until the storm passes.

Travel

Travel Tuesday: Kohalpur, Nepal


A short month ago, I embarked on my first faith-based mission trip to rural Nepal. I flew from Honolulu, Hawaii to Los Angeles, California, to spend a half-day with my family and meet the rest of the crew I’d be working with. A lot of my team I already knew, though – my aunt and two cousins, whom I adore and keep in touch with anyways. I’d met everyone else briefly through our zoom trainings and was thrilled to match the online personas to the people in real life.


Since I had only about 10 hours to visit with my mom, brother and sister, my dad, an airline pilot, breezed through international security and hung out with us at the gate before we boarded a brutal 14-hour flight to Guangzhou, China. After Guangzhou, we’d hop on a five-hour flight to Khatmandu, Nepal’s bustling capital, and take a short and rickety flight to Kohalpur, where we’d be staying throughout our trip.


Flights are pretty brutal, and 14 hours is even tougher. Thankfully, I packed plenty of melatonin, vegan protein bars and protein shakes, along with some small kine snacks. I downed some melatonin and magically slept almost the entire flight.


As you can imagine, we were all jetlagged, grumpy, groggy and gross by the time we finally made it to our quaint little hotel in Kohalpur’s busy center. Kohalpur is a small, third world city, nestled amongst a jigsaw of smaller towns and farmlands. I’d already fallen in love with Nepali food thanks to the wonderful Himalayan Kitchen in Honolulu, and I got to rekindle and deepen that love with our first beautiful meal at the hotel. I knew that I’d be spoiled rotten with gorgeous breads, curries and rice throughout our trip, which I loved.


Each day, we launched from the hotel and ventured out into our various villages, which I’ll get into on the next post 🙂 This was such an overwhelming, humbling, healing, and once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’m thrilled to share 🙂

Happy travels,

Nicole

spiritual, Travel

Mission to Nepal!

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There are the years that ask questions, and the years that answer.

For me, this past year has been comprised of tremendous growth and realization. A year where the struggles and challenges I’ve worked through in the past revealed themselves as hard-earned lessons I needed to learn. Blessings, even.

You know how you get on a health kick and workout and eat well for weeks, but never see the results? And just when you’re about to give up, you wake up one morning and your clothes are looser, you look fabulous and feel amazing? That day when you look in the mirror and tell yourself, I am so glad I kept at it and never gave up.

THAT exact feeling is what this last year has been for me. I’ve grown so  much in faith, courage, confidence and strength. I have the courage to love fully and the humility to forgive. I have the faith to chase after my dreams and the resilience to fight through the challenges that come my way.

It’s crazy how being broken down is the only way to build yourself stronger, wiser, and greater. It’s necessary, it’s normal nd it’s healthy; so much that I’m grateful and thankful for everything I’ve gone through.

My faith and passion for helping others has encouraged me to go farther. Give deeper. Go beyond just kindness and do something real to help others a world away.

I’ve decided to go to rural, southern Nepal in late July 2017 to help do important service work and spread God’s word and love. It’s something I’ve always wanted, but never thought I’d actually go for. I firmly believe so much in sharing the power of faith and belief to everyone I know, and helping them reach their fullest potential as individuals, a people, and as a community.

I’m reaching out to my blogging family to help fund my mission to Nepal! It’s my first-ever mission and I’m eternally grateful and excited for the opportunity to do this with my cousins and godparents. Even the smallest gift is truly appreciated and will go towards making a difference. Thanks much!

https://www.gofundme.com/at-mission-trip-to-rural-nepal

Thoughts

A Brief Post from London!

  
From the food and people to the shops and sights, London is teeming with variety. The city is unequivocally diverse; more than I could have ever expected. And just as the old buildings intermingle with the new and state of the art, London has its own unique feel. Old and new, British and foreign, together yet apart.

To be honest, I absolutely loved London. It’s one of the few places I could really see myself moving for a year or two. They speak my language, I understand the culture, and it was easy to slip in to a London state of mind. 

Like most metropolitan European cities, in London, it’s common to walk everywhere. Even with public transit (spoiler alert: those red double-decker busses are everywhere, and used for basic transit) we were walking at least ten miles a day! Since my dad & I are training for a marathon & left our running shoes at home, this was a great way to stay in shape. And, of course, make room for pies & ale 🙂

  
I’d heard a lot about the pubs serving warm beer, but it’s actually just the room temperature of where the legs are stored (usually the basement.) Since it rarely gets warm here and old stone basements stay co,

It’s not that bad. I found I didn’t mind the temperatures at all. 

I’ll have to do a proper post about the food (veg options everywhere!) and each of the sights, but I’ll upload a few shots from the street! 

Side note: Westminster Abbey is a must-see, and totally needs about five posts. I was majorly geeking out at the Poet’s Corner 🙂 

Happy Travels,

Nikki 

  
  
  
  
  
  
 
  

   

 

Thoughts

Wednesday Wisdom: We Are What We Think

 

92f10c75a7a9f21ab0c69521864a5181You don’t have to watch The Secret or dabble in new-age philosophy to recognize the connection between what we think and what manifests in our lives.

7dbe511c8b5ce6ffc48ff5d5a0df60c1We all know that one negative coworker/friend/family member that always gets the short end of the stick, and it matches up with their mentality. Conversely, we all know that one positive-thinking glass-is-half-full person that gets, within reason, everything they go after.

Thoughts become things. We are what we think.

The beauty of this concept is that we have the power. The ball’s in our court, so to speak – it’s up to us how our days, weeks, and lives play out. Just like we get dressed each morning, we can choose what kind of energy we want to carry with us through the day.

When we live with positivity, we bring more and more good into our lives. Good people, good outcomes, good energy. Positive vibes equate with a positive life.

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Running

Why Sleep is Essential to Health & Happiness

There seems to be endless advice for how to bring more health and happiness into our lives, from supplements and superfoods to timed-interval training and aerial yoga. When we’re busy, overworked and overstressed, who has time to juice three pound of kale every morning? Or sign up for the latest aqua-weightlifting-aerobics class?

294b7ed08566ab192654e9f15e9f4316The path to health isn’t paved by miracle cures, but by a simple one: more sleep. The quantity and quality of sleep has a profound effect on our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night helps boost brain power, muscle building, mental clarity, mood, and basic bodily function. If you do anything for your body today, ensure you get some solid shut-eye tonight.

When you work out, it’s even more essential that you get your snooze on – sleep is prime time for muscles to recover and rebuild. Heck, your body even heals your blood vessels when you’re dreaming away.

Since a lack of sleep is perceived by our bodies as a ‘sressor’, we wake up with raised levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is every fit girl’s nightmare, the monster in the closet that drives us to crave fat, sweet and salty foods and hold on to body fat like nobody’s business. Thus, plenty of sleep can help curb cravings and improve the food and health-based decisions we make throughout the next day.

Getting rest also helps our muscles rebuild; while we’re drifting off into dreamland, our bodies are in overdrive to repair and recover our muscles, tendons, ligaments and cells. Adequate sleep helps  us have a better workout the next day, and contribute to greater recovery and performance throughout our entire week.

Sleep is awesome….what if I have trouble sleeping?

We’ve established that sleep is pretty badass. A lot of overworked and overstressed Americans, though, find slumber a bit elusive.

The National Sleep Foundation ranked stress as the number one cause of short-term sleeping difficulties, such as poor quality of sleep and simply not getting enough. While most of these problems pass when the stress does, failure to tackle sleep difficulties – and prolonged stressors – can cause recurring and long-term complications that are disruptive to a normal, healthy life.

Thankfully, we’re the masters of our own bodies and mindsets. If you’re stressed, try doing a relaxing yoga sequence or reading a book before bed time. Also, there’s lots of teas and essential oils that can boost the quality of your slumber. Pharmaceutical sleep aids are chemical-laden, habit-forming disasters, so ye be warned.

There’s loads of great resources on yoga sequences and holistic approaches to staving off insomnia and poor sleep. It’s also advised to stay away from electronic devices, including your phone, computer and television, because the ‘blue light’ emitted by their screens emulate daylight and can mess up our circadian rhythms. When we’re lying in bed scrolling through instagram, we’re actually telling our brains its time to wake up. Which, of course, is confusing, considering we’re lying in bed trying to go to sleep.

Happy Dreaming!

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Running

New Town? New Running Route!

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Happy Sunday everyone! I apologize for the serious lack of posts lately. I’ve been going through a lot of crazy changes in my personal life. I’m excited to get back into blogging and connecting with all of you lovely ladies out there!

Of all the changes, moving about 40 minutes deeper into the country has been one of the biggest. I now live a decent drive away from the nearest grocery store. My house is nestled on a hill far into Kahaluu on the island’s east side, with a giant lanai jutting out above our neighbors. It boasts plenty of room for activities, is thankfully shaded by a gigantic tree, and touts some lovely views of the bay & Kaneohe sandbar.

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Yes, it’s picturesque, peaceful, and serene. The lanai is my favorite place to sip my coffee each morning and wind down with some yoga.

But let’s fact it: As a runner, the most important part about settling into a new crib is carving out a go-to running spot.

I’ve been too exhausted mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to do much running since I got back from Europe. Which is pretty out of character for me, but given the circumstances I’m glad I made it through without living off nothing but wine and ice cream. Now that I’m back on my pursuit of happiness, running – of course! – will play an integral role in my recovery.

I finally went on a beautiful run! I’m sure you’ve heard that we’ve been bracing for a tropical storm/hurricane double whammy this weekend, but we were blessed on Oahu to only get some minor wind and rain. So, I went out for a run.

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I was shocked that my pace wasn’t terrible, my legs didn’t buckle, and I didn’t get trapped in the inevitable downpour. Instead, I had a cool, breezy run along the oceanfront and backed up against the majestic koolau mountians. I ran past a big, scary bull grazing on grass, taro fields, and found a cute little park with plenty of room for intervals tomorrow morning.

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After all of the chaos that’s been going on in my life, having a kickass run along a lovely route felt exhilarating. I fell a little more in love with my new home, and made a little more peace with the heartache that’s been weighing me down for too long.

IMG_0882They say that exercise is the most underutilized antidepressant – for me, running is numero uno in that respect. It boosted my mood, brightened my day, and I even came home & went out with some friends. I’m stoked to have found some fresh solace in a new place – everything I need to have a positive first start to the next chapter of my life.