Balance. Wholeness. Purpose. These are the three overarching themes which greet you when you visit Nicky Clinch’s website. Comforting words in themselves, which reflect her mission as a Transformational Life Coach, Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Chef. Her Instagram feed is full of inspiration and deliciousness for heart, body and mind.
She shares her wellness journey and tools with me here. Enjoy. Let me know what you think!
Tell me about yourself, what is the “day job”, and how did you come to do what you’re doing?
My official work title is Transformational Life Coach, Macrobiotic Counsellor & Chef. Which I know is the longest work title in history and makes me giggle often!
I am also a teacher, public speaker and a qualified Specialist Healing Cook, which means I am qualified to cook for people who are trying to naturally heal from illness.
So as you can imagine, my day job gets pretty versatile and certainly keeps things interesting.
In any given day I may be giving one-to-one Counseling/ Coaching Sessions, teaching one of my Being in Heart Workshops or my 6-week Feed Your Inner Warrior Programme. Creating Recipes or writing, either for my website or for other brands. I now have an amazing team of 3 beautiful powerful ladies that work with me, and we are just starting to build some urban and international retreats, which I can’t wait to share with everyone soon.
How did I come to do what I do? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. When I look back on everything I realise I couldn’t have ended up doing anything else, I do what I do because I can’t NOT do it. It is just what I am meant to do.
After about 15 years of recovery from my own drug and alcohol addiction and eating disorders, working hard to overcome some very destructive habits and patterns, I came to a crossroads in my life: my step-father died very suddenly. Just one morning he didn’t wake up, and it broke my heart. I came away from his funeral with a real sense of awareness that my life wasn’t permanent and could end at any moment. I decided then and there I wanted to do something that really meant something to me, and started looking into going back to school to retrain as a healer in some form. I ended up training at The International School of Macrobiotics to qualify as a Macrobiotic Chef, Counsellor and Coach.
Since then I regularly continue my training and growth. I even flew myself off to Peru back in 2009 and spent 5 weeks working in the jungle with Plant Medicine, Ayahuasca and Shamans. I can never stop learning and growing in myself, and the more I do that the more I can help others.
Do you find that modern life is increasing people’s sense of disconnect with their bodies? Tell me about the 3 Pillars of your philosophy.
Absolutely. I think in this day of social media and phones, Facebook and iPads we are more and more disconnecting from our own bodies and living much more from our heads. To connect with others through a screen is instant gratification, but energetically can really disengage the actual physical body and heart.
I mean we’ve all done it right? Scrolled and scrolled for hours on our screens. There is nothing more eye-opening is there than putting the phones down and turning the screens off and just coming back to being in our own bodies. Connecting: connecting to our own breath, our own feelings and needs, through our own conversations, our own hearts, through touch and actual person-to-person connection.
That is why I love to teach people my three pillars because they all bring you back into the body and to begin really ‘being’ with all that lies there. In my experience the real transformative shifts can happen only once someone is really back home in their own body. To feel and be, to breathe and be present, to reconnect to where the energy is stuck in the body or where it is flowing.
My three pillars are simple, but not necessarily easy.
- Conscious Cooking – Introducing wholefood cooking back into your life. Not only reconnecting to natural seasonal produce which allows us to reconnect to nature and the environment we live in, but the cooking itself slows us down. There is a difference between throwing a meal together and cooking. To really cook can be simple, it doesn’t need to be cordon bleu, but it forces us to be back in our bodies and back in the moment. To cut and prep veg, to stir a simmering pot, to create a nourishing meal which we will then feed ourselves with. It slows us down back into our earth energy and our body and can be very grounding and nurturing.
- Relationship to Body & Movement – Moving the body regularly or daily. You’d be surprised how often we ‘exercise’ in a way that we use it to disengage our body. Trust me I did it for years in my eating disorder days. Running on the treadmill for hours so that I didn’t have to feel anything. What I’m talking about in this pillar is to spend time each day to be present in our own body, to move it, stretch it, be connecting to our breath. To be in relationship with our own body so that we are not strangers to each other.
- Emotional & Spiritual Wellbeing – This one for some reason tends to get missed out the most, and yet to me seems to be one of the most important. But it is our emotional wellbeing and spiritual wellbeing that tends to dictate everything else. If we are bypassing this part we are disengaging from ourselves. But if we can really allow ourselves to feel again, to be present and available for our emotional needs and spiritual callings, then we can really begin to feel much more empowered in this relationship we have with ourselves and begin to feel much more peaceful and joyful in our lives. What’s the point in being physically healthy if we are full of anxiety all day underneath, right?
What are your own non-negotiable tools within your personal mental health/vitality toolkit?
Since becoming a mamma things that used to be non-negotiable for me have now had to become more flexible! Any mother reading this will understand that!
What is non-negotiable is this constant inner dialogue and check in I have with myself each day to stay connected to where I really am and what I may be needing. Each day may be different: some days I may need to get up early and meditate, do yoga, journal, other days I may really need to negotiate a lie-in with my hubby.
Regular tools I always ALWAYS come back to and are touchstones for me are cooking something nourishing, getting on my yoga mat or moving my body, journaling, meditation and sharing my heart honestly with someone I trust (friend or hubby).
The biggie: How do you balance work/life/motherhood and family?
The honest answer is each day is really different and there is NO perfect answer to this. There is a piece of advice that I was given when I went back to work as a mother that really helped me:
“The more you really own who you truly are Nicky and the more you take care of yourself, the better example you are setting for you daughter”
I was told this when I went back to work and I was racked with ‘mothers-guilt’ for not only going back to work but actually LOVING my work. I kept feeling guilty whenever I needed to take time to take care of myself or whenever I got excited about starting a new project that inspired me. When I was told this advice I finally relaxed. I surrendered to the fact that I personally am a woman that both loves my work and loves my daughter. And there is nothing wrong with that. Owning who I am, taking good care of myself gives me the opportunity to teach my daughter how to also be a girl/woman who follows her heart and takes care of her needs.
And so the balance of work/life/motherhood changes each day depending on what needs to most attention. One rule is when I’m with my daughter I try to be fully available with her and not half in my work, and when I’m working I try to be fully available with that too.
And when I need to take a bit of time to take care of myself I actually explain it to my daughter telling her why and that it’s important to me, and she understands. One thing I do want to say though is I couldn’t do any of this without the support and care of my amazing husband who is a great father and is always supportive to hold the fort if I have to work long hours.
To connect more with Nicky, head over to her website www.nickyclinch.com or enroll for one of her amazing transformational workshops:
Being In Heart is taking place Friday 15th September and her next Feed Your Inner Warrior 6 Wk Program starts Thursday 14th September. Click here for more info.