"I believe that small and big choices matter in terms of our individual lives and how that ripples out into the rest of the world."
Spiritual seeker, Organizer, Minister, Mom, Partner, Dreamer
What is your purpose? Showing up for people in the highs and lows. Investing research, prayer and time in bringing thoughtful, inspiring messages to a community every week. Being present for my family, both chosen and given. Using my skills to love and heal all of creation with my time, resources and spiritual gifts.
Talk more about your gifts.
I have found that one of my gifts is to help others come alive by finding their gifts. I love what Frederick Buechner said about having our gifts and the world's hunger meet.
"By and large a good rule for finding out is this: the kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work (a) that you need most to do and (b) that the world most needs to have done. ... The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet" (Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC, 118-19).
What is at the core of your being? I can be courageous, even when I am uncertain. I have grit, discipline and a deep prayer life.
What does society say about what it means to be feminine? We are told it means to be soft, quiet, palatable, unblemished, yet strong behind the scenes in ways that don't make others uncomfortable. We can't be too smart because that is threatening to the status quo.
How have societal messages about femininity changed in your lifetime? The dial has moved slightly. Models are allowed to be darker, thicker and wider, but that still feels like the exception. In terms of leadership, women still are not allowed to be loud or angry or fierce. We are still paid less and women's needs still remain generally unmet and unheard. Until we have more political power, or at least until we harness the power we already have, the big shifts won't happen. Women lead differently.
How do you define femininity? Strong, bright, beautiful, kind and yet fierce.
In what way(s) is femininity part of your identity? I claim it with the metaphors I use in my work and the colorful ways I show up in the world.
Describe a time when you felt feminine and were not conforming to societal messages. Leading a group in song outside an ICE Detention facility in northern California.
Talk about a way in which you choose to influence the world around you for the better. I work at the micro and macro level. I believe that small and big choices matter in terms of our individual lives and how that ripples out into the rest of the world. I influence the world with my actions, my words, my prayers, the way I eat, the way I get around, what I choose to spend my money on and what I don't.
How has your faith journey shaped your perspective on authentic feminine strength?
In college, with the support of mostly retired women ministers, I started to uncover what has been hidden by the Church Fathers of history. I learned the truth that women were the first disciples, the first to believe, the first to preach, the first to understand. Women showed up when it was hard, but that was what planted the seeds for me, and maybe for movements throughout history.
Talk about a way that the "world" has influenced you for the better. Right now I am soaking up the work of Adrienne Maree Brown.
Nature can give us the strategies for creative leadership and transformation in this time.
Describe a time when you felt totally badass. Giving birth naturally.
Who inspires you? My husband Jeremy, literally inspires me daily. When I took the risk of doing a spiritual startup, he cheered me on when I thought of giving up. Having a daily dose of love is really a game changer in life, especially when doing hard things.
Superpower? Not giving up.
At the heart of a strong beautiful woman is: A commitment to an authentic life.
Nicole's Congregation: Community United Church of Christ, Boulder, Colorado