Nicole Rose is on a mission to share her passions to inspire others and to live a radiant life. She is the founder of Radiant Soul Retreats and of Rosehip Hoop Dance & Healing. When she’s not planning a retreat, teaching hoop dance classes or working as an Alumni Relations Officer at NAIT, you’ll likely find her outdoors – smelling the flowers, walking her dog Millie, laying in her hammock or hooping in a field! Nicole will be leading two hoop dance workshops at the retreat, will be offering complimentary Reiki sessions and will be holding ceremonial space. Read on to learn a little bit more about Nicole.
I actually just woke up one morning on May long weekend in 2014, with the idea that I needed to organize a women’s retreat. It was such a strong impulse and it just felt like something I had to do, so I did it!
I was feeling a little overwhelmed because it was only May, but my entire summer was pretty much booked up already and I felt like I might be kind of burned out by the end of it. I started thinking about how lovely it would be to have a retreat near the end of summer that would focus on self care for woman. I was inspired to create this retreat because I figured I probably wasn’t the only woman who felt like they needed to take a time out in between a busy summer and an even busier fall.
The focus on radiance came from my desire to live a joyfully radiant life. To me, that means being in a state of bliss, living with an open heart and just feeling happy to be alive! I don’t feel joyfully radiant every moment of my life, because you know, I’m human, but there are moments every day that I do experience it. Most often it occurs when I’m dancing or hoop dancing, teaching hoop dance or spending time in nature.
Can you tell us why you’ve chosen to make this a space for women only?
I really wanted to support women the way I would want to be supported. Also, over the past few years I’ve really become interested in learning about goddesses, understanding femininty and embracing my own feminine energies. On my 30th birthday I realized that I didn’t feel like a woman, but more of a girl. I’ve spent the last two years embracing my womanhood and I guess as part of that, I’m answering the call of supporting other women!
I sometimes reflect on my life and find it kind of astonishing that I’ve managed to overcome depression, self mutilation and a suicide attempt, drug and alcohol abuse and that I quit smoking and lost 50+ pounds. I guess when I put my mind to something, I make it happen! I feel my purpose in life is to share my experienes so I can help others. When I was a teen, I remember thinking I would never forget how I felt during those hard times and that I eventually wanted to help other kids overcome what I had. A few years ago I started volunteering teaching hoop dance to the youth in the same treatment program that I went through. There were so many people in my life that supported me to get where I am today, and I wanted to be able to do the same for the kids there now.
I still experience depression from time to time but now I have so many tools in my tool belt that I can usually find a way to bring myself out of it. I use how I feel as a barometer. If I’m not feeling great, it means I need to take some time to figure out what needs aren’t being met and then do something to change that. Sometimes it’s an attitude shift, sometimes I just need to move and sweat, it’s really about connecting to what I need and loving myself enough to give myself whatever that is.
You are a fantastic hoopdancer, how has hoopdance influenced your life?
First of all, thank you! And second, it has influenced my life in so many ways that I didn’t think were possible. It just started out as a hobby and has grown into so much more. Hoop dance has been a tool for self empowerment, self expression and creativity, it allows me to connect to my centre and to an amazing community of people I never would have met otherwise. It’s allowed me to find and fulfill my purpose, I love teaching so much and prior to that, speaking in front of peole was terrifying. It helps me meet my physical exercise needs, and it challenges my mind too. Without hoop dance, I don’t know how I’d get all those needs met. This is the only hobby I’ve stuck with for over 7 years consistently, and I don’t see any signs of that slowing down. I’m quite certain I’m going to be a hooper for life.
You are truly devoted to the practice of self care, what are the essentials for you, and what does your daily/weekly routine look like?
I am! I’ve really learned that in order for me to feel my most radiant, I need to give myself down time. I’m an introvert, and while I love connecting with other people and doing lots of awesome things, it can wear me down if I don’t take proper care of myself. What I actually do for self care changes on a day to day basis. I try to connect with what I need most each day, sometimes that’s movement like dance, a walk in the ravine, or practicing yoga. Other times it could be meditation, journalling or even just laying in my hammock. Once in awhile, it’s laying on the couch in my pjs and watching some guilty pleasure trashy tv show. That doesn’t happen often, but it feels so wonderful when it does!
I do have a non-negotiable daily practice though, and that is writing in my gratitude journal before bed. I started doing this because of the gratitude challenge that was happening on Facebook at the time. It was only supposed to last for 5 or 10 days, but I decided to go for 30 and by that time I reached that it was Thanksgiving and it didn’t feel right to stop practicing gratitude on the gratitude holiday! It’s almost been a year now and I’m still going strong. I no longer make gratitude posts on Facebook, but I love writing in my journal. Day 365 actually falls one day before the retreat, which I think is kind of neat timing. This practice has allowed me to focus on all the awesomeness in my life, and I feel that the more I focus on that, the more the awesomeness I create. It’s amazing too, that every single day I can think of at least three (but usually more) things in my life to be grateful for. This practice has brought so much abundance to my life, more than I ever could have imagined!
Nutrition is also an important part of my self care practice. I try to ensure I eat lots of veggies, some fruit and other healthy food every day. I’m also trying to listen more to what my body needs and not get stuck in habits. Pretty much every day for the last 3 years I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast and loved it, but all of sudden, this last week, I wanted nothing to do with smoothies. I was craving millet porridge instead and even though I’ve been having less greens, I feel great! I actually feel quite ready to go on a cleanse after all the summer fun I had this year and I think the retreat will be a great way to start that process.
I see a naturopath regularly and she supports me various vitamins, herbs and supplements. All of this has actually helped to heal my digestion. I have an allergy to wheat, but my lactose intolerance went away with her help and I can tolderate onions more than I used to as well. It was tough when I couldn’t eat all three of those things.
You lead a busy life between work, teaching hoopdance, throwing a retreat and all of the awesome extracurriculars you do, how do you maintain a balance between it all?
I do have a lot going on, and in the past I’ve definitely suffered burn out from trying to do all the things. I’ve found a good flow in my life now by setting boundaries for myself. I have a lot of responsibility in my job and used to let it take over my life. Now, I only put in the extra time that I’m comfortable with because I know that the work will always be there so there’s no need to overwork myself. I have to be quite organized and often don’t have a lot of idle time, but I definitely make time for fun. I actually feel like I could have put a lot more effort into marketing the retreat or getting more planning for it done months ago, but I do schedule fun time, it’s necessary to keep myself sane! Life is meant to be lived, to be enjoyed, and if you’re working all the time, you’re missing the point. I make sure that I’m always enjoying what I’m doing too, so when I am busy working on my side projects, it doesn’t feel like work because I love it so much.
That is tough, because I do have a lot! I think the most recent one was when I was at the farmer’s market, picking up goodies for the retreat and picking out sunflowers to bring home. It was a cool, gray day and the yellow petals just lifted my spirits. Sometimes the simplest things bring me so much joy. I actually ran into a friend who must have seen the radiance I was feeling and snapped this photo of me.