Nicole Green: One Local Mom Who Inspires
Nicole stands on the stage of the Vineyard Church and moves into tree pose. She speaks softly through her microphone to her class, instructing them to breathe through transition from pose to pose. Worship music plays softly in the background. After class ends, Nicole smiles radiantly to each member and encourages them to come next week.
Yep, you read it right. Yoga in a church. This unique experience is called Holy Yoga, and it wouldn’t be offered at the Vineyard on Tiger Bend if it weren’t for Nicole. A couple of years ago this was the furthest thing from her imagination though. Much has happened in those two years to this married mother, and I want to share it with you. I’m hoping that her story will encourage you to keep learning and growing and changing. Mom or Dad reading this: if you are frustrated or feeling stuck in your life, you can always make a change!
Let me share a little background about my friend, Nicole Green. She has been married twenty-one years to her husband Mike, and they have two sons together, an eighteen year old in college, and a thirteen year old currently in middle school. Nicole is also stepmother to Mike’s two older sons as well. For about fifteen years Nicole was a Stay At Home Mom who catered on the side. She wanted to be home and accessible to her two sons during their early school years. Her youngest son is deaf and has cochlear implants, so she always wanted to be available for him. Professionally, she cooked and catered, but she never felt truly fulfilled. Mike and Nicole moved from Walker to Baton Rouge in 2012, and it was around this time that Nicole felt pulled into a new direction. Curiosity in natural health propelled her down a new path.
Nicole decided to pursue this natural health path and began practicing yoga. After about six months, Nicole began to search for a Christian yoga class. The option was nowhere to be found at the time. So, Nicole did some digging and discovered Holy Yoga. Though she was pumped to uncover such a large group of likeminded yogis, there were no classes here in Baton Rouge. What comes next is one of the examples of encouragement that I want you to see, reader. What did Nicole do when she could not find her niche? She became a holy yoga instructor herself and started her own class! To accomplish this, she had to go through extensive holy yoga training. Around this same time, she began massage school and became a licensed massage therapist. Nicole embraced this new season in her life, and she studied natural health and its connection to spirituality and faith. Her next pursuit involved an intense course on spiritual direction, which is the service of walking along side another as they connect with God. After training for a year, she became a spiritual director. Just this semester, Nicole has taken another step toward her goals and has returned to college. She is determined to gain a Social Work degree and counsel young women. Oh, and I forgot to mention, Nicole started this incredible path after she turned forty! People, we don’t have to be twenty-five to start new dreams. Now Nicole’s vision for her future is to integrate the “physical, mental, and spiritual to help women find greater health, wholeness, and freedom in their lives.”
I know all of this sounds awesome, but as parents we tend to wonder, “What about the kids?” I asked Nicole how she felt this process affected her parenting. She delivered some clutch answers. She shared with me that her sons “were not suffering because [she was] growing.” Whoa. How good is that? Now, she did start this new growth when they were older. Obviously, for those of us with littles, it would be much more challenging, but not impossible. Prior to this spiritual and natural health direction, Nicole was ultimately most concerned with how people viewed her and her sons. She shared with me that she was overly consumed with others seeing her as a “good mother” with “good kids.” On the other side of her growth, though, her goal as a parent has greatly shifted. She has embraced that her role as a mother is not to control her kids, but to guide them and assure they have a safe place where they feel they can grow and be authentic. Especially at this point in their lives, Nicole wants to teach them to be independent and stand alone, yet always know there is comfort for them in their parents’ home.
I have given you a snapshot of Nicole’s journey. She has much more to share. What she would want most is for every reader to start a new journey of discovery or continue their desire to learn new things. Our children benefit from seeing their parents pursue new dreams or reignite old ones. Let’s follow that path of curiosity or interest and see what new directions it leads us, professionally and personally.