I will never forget the first time I met Nic Strack in person. We had lunch at a little cafe down the street from my old house, drank several iced teas, swapped life stories, gushed over our husbands, and discussed how we were trying to build creative, authentic lives. We talked about that voice in our heads (a tape recording of all voices in our life) that we often mistake as intuition and how it creates noise that blocks out the Truth and prevents us from our best work, best selves, and contributing to the bigger story.
Nic is a woman of many passions and a facilitator of conversations. She throws it down so we can pick it all up with her and learn more about ourselves and each other. Nic has recently launched a new show on YouTube called Perspective Perspoctive where she tackles this big issue of how we use our words - for ourselves, for each other, for our community. She is an adventurer and it is a blessing for me to be able to help tell her story because when we live out our own story, we are not only making our dreams come true: we are making others' dreams come true, too. Meet Nic.
What and who inspires you? Why?
This is totally cliché, but oh well because it’s true for me! I’m inspired by people who live as their authentic selves and share their unique gifts with the world. I believe we are all creatives, whether our form of expression is through painting, writing, lawyering, accounting, or anything else. I’m inspired by creating creatives because of the passion they exude, the confidence, inspiration, and commitment. I love witnessing people in their element because they remind me of the innate creativity we all have within us, should we dare to express it.
How do you cultivate creativity?
I cultivate creativity a bit haphazardly right now. When I feel inspired to do something, I take action on it immediately (if my circumstances allow it). And when I stop feeling inspired to be doing something, I’ll stop to check-in:
Is it due to fear/resistance?
Call out the fear. Recognize why it’s showing up. Carry on.
Is it due to wanting a break?
Take a break! Move my body.
Is it due to genuine disinterest?
Set it down and walk away for now. Remain open to it being exciting again in the future. Be ok with not completing every single thing I start.
What gets in the way of your creativity and how do you overcome it?
My biggest block to creativity is Resistance with a capital R. Steven Pressfield describes Resistance beautifully in The War of Art; this line in particular stuck out for me, “Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” I often get caught up comparing myself to anyone who is “ahead” of me on the path of creation (recognizing that the path is totally arbitrary, my ego defines “ahead” as they are putting out more stuff than I am or they have more followers than I do etc.)
I overcome this Resistance by reminding myself: I’m the only one on my path. We’re all unique and on our own paths, so my only competitor is the person I was yesterday, or an hour ago, or a second ago. Not saying I’m a Lone Ranger -- I love walking beside other people on their paths… it’s most important for me to remember they are on their path, and I am on mine. When I remind myself that my biggest goal in this lifetime is to live as my True Self and share my unique gifts with the world, I can usually get external comparisons to fall away for long enough to start, and then with momentum I can more easily bat away the various forms of Resistance that arise.
How has community contributed to your success?
I owe my success to my community. My tribe. My chosen family. If it weren’t for the people in my life who unconditionally support me in being my True Self by giving me honest feedback and helping me work through stuff, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s like I said in my “Why I Have a Therapist” episode of Perspective Perspoctive, “I couldn’t possibly give myself unbiased feedback when I’m only having conversations with the little voice in my head. That little voice is usually the cause of whatever difficulty I’m having in the first place because it’s playing back my old limiting beliefs on repeat.”
Because of the way my tribe reflects my True Self back to me, I’m able to live more fully as her.
How do you nurture a sense of community in your life?
I nurture a sense of community in my life by connecting with people (in-person or through one of the many digital not-in-person ways available) only when I feel excited to connect with them. I used to connect obligatorily, thinking that I should be reaching out. This often left me feeling unfulfilled and disconnected afterward, because my reason for reaching out wasn’t pure. Now, I only reach out when I feel excited to, and it has increased the quality of my relationships immensely. It also means I’m living in integrity and enjoy a higher level of fulfillment and love with myself.
When have you felt the most vulnerable?
Having naked photos taken of myself definitely tops the charts right now! The shoot was a physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually vulnerable experience for me. I chose to do it because I had just been discussing my body image issues with my therapist the week before, so when my best friend (who’s also a photographer) asked if we could do a naked photo shoot, I knew there was a reason for the timing.
Over the course of the shoot, I let a guard down that I didn’t even realize I’d had – with myself! I’d spent so much of my life hating and judging my body that I didn’t know how to be still in it and pay attention to it. By the end of the shoot, I was comfortable with my nakedness and I shed a layer of judgment that had weighed heavily on me for decades.
After the shoot, I initially looked at the picture and thought “eew” while looking at myself. As I kept looking at the pictures, though, I eventually saw my body for the beautiful work of art that it is. I realized we are all given these amazing bodies to take us through life, and I finally saw it as a gift instead of a curse.
What do you do to release fear?
I wouldn’t say that I release fear so much as I acknowledge it and move forward anyway. Fear pops up for me regularly until I get into my flow and forget all about it. Before and after my flow-state, I’ve mostly come to befriend fear and recognize that it wants to keep me safe from things IT thinks are scary (like being publicly vulnerable by admitting when I’ve made a mistake – OH NO!). I’ve come to learn that most of my fear is based in old limiting beliefs about how I “should” live my life, so when I’m able to address the root belief at the base of whatever fear pops up for me, I’m often able to smirk at how cute it is for thinking that was true, and carry forward. If that doesn’t work, I turn to my tribe and vent about my fear, because having it witnessed by others helps me get out of my own head about it.
What does #ClimbYourOwnLadder mean to you?
To me, #ClimbYourOwnLadder is about climbing the internal ladder to my True Self. It’s about returning to the person I was before I learned to be somebody else. It’s about authenticity, creativity, and magic. Owning who I am in the world and lovingly moving toward my True Self through daily committed actions. It’s about stuffing crystals in my bra and pulling angel cards for myself because that’s how I feel aligned with my True Self. It’s about loving myself and loving others in turn. Acceptance, forgiveness, trust, and surrender. It’s about living life to the fullest and learning from everything.