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Finding The Balance with Nikita Paddock
Episode 2617th June 2022 • Radical Resilience • Blair Kaplan Venables
00:00:00 00:28:27

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Nikita Paddock worked as a front-line nurse during the pandemic. She is resilient and this is her story.

Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.

About the Guest:

Nikita Paddock is the founder of I AM RESILIENT, a social enterprise created to share and distribute tools and resources to improve collective resilience. She is an avid student of all things health-enhancing including Ayurveda, Peruvian Medicine, Mindfulness, Self-compassion, yoga, and neuroscience.


Links:

https://nikitapaddock.com/

@blissandyoga


About the Host: 

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. She brings fifteen years of experience to her clients which include global wellness, entertainment, and lifestyle brands. As a pioneer in the industry, she has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards, launch their businesses, and more. Yahoo! listed Blair as a top ten social media expert to watch in 2021. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including Forbes, CBC Radio, Entrepreneur and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 bestselling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur and co-host of the Dissecting Success podcast. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “The Resilience Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.


Learn more about Blair: https://www.blairkaplan.ca/

Submit your story: https://www.iamresilient.info 



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Transcripts

Blair Kaplan Venables:

trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me Blair Kaplan Venables and I am here today with Nikita. So Nikita Paddock is the founder of I am resilient, a social entreprise enterprise created to share distribute tools and resources to improve collective resilience. She's an avid student of all things health, enhancing including era Vedic Peruvian medicine, mindfulness, and more. What I'm really excited about is our community and our tools is perfect for VirtualBox. And I've actually never chatted with her. So I'm so excited to have her here today. And you know what, I don't know what she's doing these days. But when we started talking, she was a frontline worker in the height of the pandemic. And we're going to talk about that and her journey. So buckle up and tune in. Nikita,

Nikita Paddock:

hi, Blair, thank you so much, you have done so much work around resilience. And I've I've been watching you sort of in parallel from another place, you know, with different goals, but the same, the same intention, and it's so beautiful to finally connect with you today. So yeah, what I've been up to lately actually is a lot more in person mindfulness work. When I started up the iron resilient work that I've been doing, a lot of what I was hearing was around compassion. And so I have been really diving into the work of compassion and generating self compassion. And I felt driven to teach it in my community. So although I haven't been as present online, I'm, I'm cultivating a lot of community and really just showing up in different ways, which feels really fulfilling right now. Yeah,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

oh, I love that, oh, there's just so many beautiful parallels and intersections. Because really, like, we need this, and I mean, I'm a vintage millennial child of the 80s. We weren't taught empathy. We weren't taught resilience. And, you know, life got really hard for me, which is why the global Resilience Project and radical resilience as podcasts and everything that we do is created as because I didn't have the tools I needed when life got really hard. And so I am learning lessons the hard way and sharing them with the world to help them navigate. And that seems to be like along the lines of what you're doing, too. So why don't we back up about how you got into this? You know, did it start during the pandemic? Was it before? Like, take us through your journey?

Nikita Paddock:

Yeah, I mean, it's such a good question. And it's a question that I've been asked a lot, especially lately, as I put myself out there, a little bit more. And I see it as this repetitive and layered, sort of returned to the need to study resilience. And I believe that we're in constant dialogue with the world around us. And if we ask for direction, and we really open to what we need, it's there, whether it's a teacher or a lesson that needs to be learned. So I've been, you know, having this return to the same work that needed to be learned on my part, and that was around resilience. So when I was a child, my dad died when I was two, and my family experienced complicated grief. We had no coping tools. My mom just turned to work to support us. And my sister and I, you know, took our emotions out on each other.

Nikita Paddock:

But the the resilience tools weren't there. You know, I'm sure counseling was there at one point, but when your brain is developing in that way, you know, the support that's needed is so complex. And then the second, you know, I guess I should, I should continue and say that that brought turmoil into, you know, my adult years and my teenage years. So when I was about 15 years old, I hadn't cultivated any of these tools, and I hadn't actually cultivated any purpose in my life. And I came to a point where I didn't want to be on this planet anymore. And I knew that I needed to turn to something I needed to commit to one thing in my life to keep me going to keep me on this earth to keep me contributing. And the one thing that came to me was yoga, I looked at the yoga teachers in my community, and they were healthy. And I thought, you know, if I'm going to survive in this world, I think that I need to do what they're doing. So I started practicing yoga, quite young. And with that came meditation. And then the second path was when I became a nurse. And of course, I saw a lot of sick people in the hospital, I saw a lot of grieving family members. And I really saw what made people resilient versus what you know, prevented their resilience. And I got really interested in neurosciences, I worked on neurosciences for a little while, and I watched people recover from brain injury, with tons of support. And then, you know, I've watched people deteriorate after stroke. But, you know, the, the severity of their injury or illness did not always determine how they turned out, you know, there were so many interventions that happened along the way. And I was so interested in the way we can rewire our brains, and we can actually rewire our life in a lot of ways, you know, we can train our muscles to do new things. And we can train our brains to do new things. And it was so fascinating to me. So I started to study neuroscience, and then, you know, take courses and attend lectures from neuroscientists on mindfulness. So I was really kind of weaving this stuff in creating my own resilience bundle. And then the third really big path that took me to this was working as a frontline nurse during the pandemic. So I had been previously traveling in Peru in India and studying Peruvian medicine and studying on your VEDA, and really understanding health and resilience with different languages, different languages that I hadn't heard before. And when I when the pandemic started to spread all over the world, I felt really called to come back to my job as a public health nurse, which was working upstream mostly with families, and young children, promoting things like attachment and breastfeeding, all really contributing to lifelong resilience and well being. And so I returned, and my job quickly changed within maybe 10 days, from supporting postpartum women and children to frontlines pandemic work, you know, answering phone calls, promoting whatever education that we had for people. And I started to really see health in the ways that I had brought back from my trip, and how it could be used in my community. So when I was in India, learning about Ayurveda, I learned a lot about mental health and a lot about sort of different ways we can see mental health and things that we can do for our mental health. And they were different than any tools that I had ever seen before. So some things on an example of this is anxiety and you know, nervousness and the mind changing patterns all the time is considered a vata imbalance if you study or your VEDA, and there are actually things you can do for vata, and a lot of them would make sense to us and would be backed by science. And then there are also other things so you know, you want to

Nikita Paddock:

concentrate, uh, you know, promote mindfulness. So if you have anxiety, we promote mindfulness, you know, for anxiety all the time in the West. And then there are other things you can do, like eat more grounding foods, and spend time, you know, in nature and grounding places. And there's a whole slew of things you can do, but I find it so rich and so beneficial. So I started to use the tools that I had woven within my toolbox for resilience, working as a frontline nurse during the pandemic. And I could see the benefit of these other tools as well. So before I started my shifts, I would do gratitude journaling in my car. And I actually created a gratitude journal that was very intentional, and it really orient you to Yeah, where you stand in the world. It it includes, you know, writing down three things you're grateful for. It includes setting an intention. It includes doing things for yourself, for other people, and then for the planet. And then just a space to journal your thoughts. And I was doing this for five minutes in my car before work. And then I started to see, you know, the people that I was working with experience, mental challenges and you know, people were having sleepless nights and relationship issues. And, of course, it was so incredibly stressful. So I started to distribute this tool set my workplace Then just just for free, you know, offering them to people and, and then eventually I, I started to leave them in our free little libraries and our community. And I received emails from people saying that, you know, they were in a really dark place, and they went for a walk. And they found one of these journals and, and they found, you know, a reason to continue on. And it was so humbling. But at the same time, I'm sure you can really relate, it was just what I knew I needed. And I thought, if I know I need this right now, there must be people in the world that also will come to this point, and they will maybe have the tools I've been really privileged to, to learn about these tools and to experience them and to have them shared with me from other people and from different parts of the world. Wow, what a huge privilege that is, I have to share it so. So that's my work and resilience. And that was my path that brought me here. And and here we are,

Blair Kaplan Venables:

oh my God, there's so much there. There's, first of all, I don't have a gratitude journal. But I have a gratitude alarm, which is an alarm on my phone. And I watched a Shawn acre video like six plus years ago and I was like, if you practice gratitude every day for you know, at least 21 days you it's the same time every day. And you list three things you're grateful for intentionally start to rewire your brain to see the world in a more positive way. It's like well, I need that. I love that you do that because I've been I have a gratitude alarm and I really promote the gratitude alarm and you know, my husband and I do it I do with my friends are posted on my Instagram. So I love that you would journal and do that before you went to work and that you started distributing it for free. Because if you don't know about this, then how like it's a tool that's so easy and so helpful. Yeah, and you know, your journey first of all, I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad and like what, you know, you're so young when that happened. And so like what a what a life journey you've been on like that, you know, you kind of went to explore the era Vedic medicine and and beyond that you brought back those principles here to your life, you know, your next season your next chapter. I think that's really special. I actually haven't researched or done too much work in that but I'm someone who lives with anxiety and depression, like my ancestral line is very anxious. And, you know, I would love to learn more about that, like what kind of work do you do in the aerobatic space right now?

Nikita Paddock:

Yeah, well, first of all, I want to say that I will send you a gratitude journal. Okay. Because I absolutely love journaling. I think it's

Blair Kaplan Venables:

such a beautiful like journal. Yes, I like to. So my routine is I get up in the morning, I move my body, like I hide versus do spin or yoga or like stare the sky from the grass. And then I have a candlelit bath, and listen to and meditate in the bath and I do this all but before 7am And then I pull a car and I pull an Oracle Card or affirmation card depending on like how I feel and then I journal so I journal but I don't focus on like what I'm grateful for I like Toro what my dream was, or whatever is on my mind, and I prefer, like I freestyle, but not everyone has that luxury to be able to do that. So the writing prompts is great shifting is genius. But I would love I would love to see on every journal. So thank you. Yeah, yeah, of course.

Nikita Paddock:

I love that you journal and that you have that morning routine as well. It's so beneficial. And the work that I do in your Veda is to tell you the truth, it's mostly studying Ayurveda and practicing on myself. So I study under a doctor in India, and we studied with him in India. And then my partner, actually, he studied with him, and he listens to his lectures, and we have some ancient textbooks that we read, but a lot of the work I do is on myself. And it's interesting, because a lot of the supplements and herbs are not available here. Partially because they don't grow here. A lot of herbs and spices are specific to these regions and Asia, but also because they're not regulated. And so we do ship things in for ourselves. And we'll take them like there were medicines for you know, like COVID treatment that we made sure we stocked up ahead of time that we have, but you know, I hear VITA is all about balance. And so if you really understand the basics of iron beta, you can start to understand the nature of things and the nature of yourself. So when you begin to get unbalanced or when the seasons change and they imbalance you you can actually do things to offset that or or to balance it out. And I think I teach a lot of these, these balancing aspects of IR VEDA to the people around me in and in what I do and some of them are quite well known as well like using using ginger or black pepper or, or, you know, spicy foods for, you know, breaking up mucus like there are these old wives tales that are actually, a lot of them are backed up in iron beta. But a lot of what I do is just study continuously study. And as I study, I'm not really learning anything new, I find your VEDA just affirms the truth, you, you read something and you say, oh, yeah, that makes a lot of sense to me. Now I have language for why that happens for why I get mucus when I drink, you know, milk, and I have a cold or something like, it just has this special language to back this up. And then language for new new ways of seeing things like you said, anxiety and depression, we may or may not see anxiety past, you know, nervousness in the mind. And when we actually look at how the body feels when we feel anxious, we feel like a little jittery and a little ungrounded, you know, so there are ways that we can reground ourselves through food or certain breath practices. And then I will incorporate that in into yoga and mindfulness sessions if I notice, you know, people are a little on edge. But yeah, I don't I'm pretty informal about the way I talk about your VEDA because people are, I think, not quite fully open in the West to it. And a lot of the words are not English, you know, they're Sanskrit. And so it makes it easier to just talk about concepts than to actually talk about the terms that they they use. Yeah, what what did you think

Blair Kaplan Venables:

it would be so special if people didn't use them, you know, this not system, but this type of medicine as a last resort, and if they were educated in a way where they could incorporate it into your every other everyday life. And it was it was more proactive than reactive, because for example, you know, I've done a lot of stuff in a reactive state, like in a state of chaos, like, I, I basically feel like traditional therapies stopped working for me. So I went to do some work with healing guides and plant medicine, and why did I have to plateau in regular traditional therapy? And Why'd it take me so long to do that? And certain things like meditation, you know, like you said, with yoga, I worked for Lululemon. I started with them in 2005. I was with them for three and a half years. And it's funny, because it's, it's a yoga, it's a yoga apparel company. And we went to yoga for my first time was with staff, and I was like, yeah, it's okay. And then one day, I just realized that everyone that does yoga frequently come into the store, or I worked with had a glow. I'm like, You know what, I'm going to do a 30 day yoga challenge and see if it changes anything. And like, it changed my life. And like, Why did I wait till my like, early 20s. Or, like, actually, maybe I was like, 20, probably when I fell in love with yoga. But imagine if I was starting to do that, as a kid, it would have helped me regulate so many emotions, because I'm a child of divorce, and trauma. And my father lived with addiction. And knowing when life gets hard, and I turned to yoga, because sometimes I fall off the wagon, a frequency and frequently doing it. But doing yoga helps restore that balance. And it sounds like what you do is you help people, you educate people on the balance. So yeah, like, how can we like what is like, I don't I mean, maybe West, maybe people out here aren't ready out here as in like out west, for those of you listening who are not out here. But like, what if, you know, I think they're, I think if we can, like how can we get this into the mainstream? In the sense of, it shouldn't be a reaction, but like, why not be proactive and start implementing it or be aware that you're implementing it?

Nikita Paddock:

Yeah, you know, you bring up such an important point. And I want to point to the fact that one of the most glamorous stories out there is, you know, the author or the celebrity that hit rock bottom, they were at the top of their corporate job, and then they burnt out, and then they found yoga. And then you know, and then they started a yoga business, and they changed their life around and I agree with you, why do we have to wait until you know, we're in our mid 40s 50s were retired? Why should we wait until we're broken? To allow ourselves to be whole? You know, we can be hauled from day one. And I do think it involves a culture change. I do think it involves, you know, decoupling the idea that we have to be stressed and successful and hustling in order to be worthy and seen as worthy. I really think it it deserves a lot of time into, you know, cultivating justice self love from the baseline. It's the first thing we should learn about not how to launch your business or get a good career. It should be how to actually truly love and care for yourself so that when there's a pandemic or or when there's a catastrophe, you'll actually survive. And you know, during the beginning of this pandemic, yeah, I worked as a frontlines nurse. And I was noticing, you know, the suicide rates where I was living, and I'm sure for where you're living, too, the statistics actually show that more people were committing suicide than actually dying of COVID. And that was a huge scare for me. And in Japan, I believe that their statistics were quite significant around suicide in comparison to COVID. And it's not that COVID isn't a big deal. And it's not that, you know, suicide is should be on the news all the time, it's really just that people need support. And I truly believe, you know, we don't need to hit rock bottom, before we start accessing tools that make us feel well and feel worthy. And yoga is one of those profound forms of medicine, it sounds like you're just doing a bunch of poses in a room with people wearing spandex. But it's this insidious medicine that really shows you the truth. And what I noticed with my yoga practice, during the pandemic, especially I was, you know, working as a nurse, and I would come home, I would do my yoga, and I just couldn't get through it without breaking down in tears, I was just a mess. Sometimes I just have to stop and go for a walk because it was too much. But rather than resisting that, I stopped and thought, you know, this is the truth of things. This is where we're at things are very scary. And I'm feeling really sad about everything that's going on. And that's okay. And I don't have to push through my yoga practice and you know, being Greeks every second. But what yoga does is it shows us the truth. And maybe that's why it's hard for people to get into. And maybe that's not it's why, maybe that's why it's not so appealing, or why it doesn't stick with certain people because it is it's painful. And if you're going through a lot in life, you're kind of shown what that feels like. And yeah, it's quite a practice. It's quite a Metacell I

Blair Kaplan Venables:

what I really love about this week, we're gonna wrap this up soon. But what I really love about yoga is that I because my job like, Yes, I'm the founder of the global Resilience Project. But my my other hat is, I'm a social media expert, and mentor. So I spend a lot of time connected. I do a lot of zoom calls a lot of being online. So what I love about yoga, whether it's 20 minutes or 90 minutes is my phone is down, and I'm on that mat. And that's my time and I just move with my breath. And I always use, you know, instructional classes. Fun, fun story. Actually, I'm certified to teach kids yoga. I did that years ago, just because I love working with kids. And I was curious. And it was a weekend course. And I taught kids yoga for about a year. Yeah, but I love it. Because it's like that mat. It's like I step into this other world. And I'm moving with my breath. And getting into the poses is challenging. And sometimes I'm at a place where I'm not even like thinking about the external world. And I'm literally just breathing and moving. And you know, it's sometimes it is really challenging, but sometimes I feel like it's a good break from the world outside the mat. I love that. So are you still a practicing nurse right now?

Nikita Paddock:

i Yeah, I'm a nurse, I'm casual. I haven't been picking up shifts in about a year. Because I've just been doing this work this resilience work. And yeah, the reason I love to be a nurse is to truly promote health and well being and resilience. And so if I can do that in any other form, I don't feel like I'm missing out. So we'll see what happens in the future. But yeah, I'm really enjoying this work.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I'm sure you feel that way as well. Oh, my gosh, yes, I'm actually in this like place of pivot. Because I've been doing this work for over three years, and my company, my PR company, it's turning 14 This month, it's 14. And I'm making a pivot to be be a professional thought leader in resilience. Because I've done all this research and resilience, and I, you know, I really wants to empower my goal is I'm 30 I'll be 37. And I would like to empower 88 million people by the time I turn 41. I have no three books and getting on stages and our podcasts and really inspired people knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And you're not alone. It's okay to not be okay. But like, You're not always going to feel this way. And here's how we can get through. And what I love about this conversation, Nikita is that you are one of these resources where I want to shine a spotlight on you and the work that you do because this might be the right way for some people. I mean, it's the right way for everyone. But some people may feel really called to do the work with you and I love this. So how can people get a hold of you? How can they work with you? What's the best way? Yeah,

Nikita Paddock:

so on Instagram, I'm blessed at yoga. And then I do have a website with an E commerce business where people can access a gratitude journal or resilience resources and tools or the podcast and it's eye resilient.ca And then also just your my email bliss and yoga@gmail.com If you want to reach out and collaborate in some way I'm looking at you know doing workshops Epson potentially retreats in the future, which is really exciting. And I'm really excited to collaborate with you and continue as you know, each other a long ways that a big role that we have and the next phase in this world, you know, we can look so far back to, you know, post World War and look at what they did and we can, we can use the tools that we have, you know, you said plant medicine, like all of this stuff that we can share about and it's just so beautiful.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yeah. Okay, one piece of advice for someone who's feeling out of balance or leaning too much one way, what is a piece of advice for them?

Nikita Paddock:

Oh, my goodness, I would just say honestly go into nature, like go and put your feet in the grass and go sit in nature. Another thing to do is even out your breaths. So make your inhale and your exhale. The same. If you're feeling anxious, maybe make your exhale longer. If you're feeling like you need a little bit of energy, maybe make your, your inhale more prominent. So I really liked those hacks.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Oh, I love this. I'm so excited. We I feel like I just I want to talk to you forever. So we're gonna have to have you back. And we're definitely going to have to do some collaboration. I love this. So first of all, those of you who've been with me for the last three and a half years, you'd be like, well, I thought you were the same company. No, I once was I am resilient, like the I am resilient project. And our website is I'm resilient dot info. So if you type in.ca, and you're trying to find me, you're not gonna find me, but you're gonna land on something magical. If you try to do.ca You're not gonna find me you're gonna find I mean, you know, regardless, you're finding magical tools. But what's really funny is, I actually changed the name this year to the global Resilience Project, because I really do believe in manifestation and like things were getting like really out of hand for me. And it was someone's like, someone suggested this name. And I was like, that's better. It's like, encompassing for everyone. But I think there's something really empowering about standing, you know, in your power, saying like, I am resilient. And I love it. And if you look on social media, you see the hashtag, it's a hybrid of our content, plus other people's content. And really, my goal is to empower others and create this safe space for everyone to be more resilient, get through their hard times share the work they're doing like sharing akitas work and like really shining that spotlight on her. So I just want to thank you so much for taking the time to chat.

Nikita Paddock:

And I think so grateful Blair. I mean, it's so funny because maybe spiritually you've passed on some baton or something like that. I still seem to be following in your footsteps in that way.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Well, I hope they're not the hard footsteps, but only the good ones along the beach. Not the ones in the mud. Yeah, buddy was ignore. But yeah, so thank you to everyone for tuning in to another episode of radical resilience. You can connect with Nikita in the links below. And yeah, until next time. Thank you.

Nikita Paddock:

Thank you.

Links