070. Success Comes from Our Spirit with Nichole Sylvester

The Do a Day Podcast from Bryan Falchuk

Nichole Sylvester is a bestselling author of OH SHIFT: A Journey from Chaos to Consciousness, spiritual teacher, podcaster and creator of The Harmonious Hustle. Her story of radical transformation has inspired her audience to dig deeper and uncover their latent potential. After recovering from addiction and escaping violent abuse, Nichole dramatically turned her life around via spiritual practice. Studying with profound teachers all over the world, she soon went from struggling single mom to operating a half-million dollar business helping others step into their greatness.

Nichole’s coaching programs, online workshops, live events and international retreats have supported thousands of women and men in transformation. Nichole is a global voice helping people remember what they’re made of. Huffington Post, Fox News,Good Morning LaLa Land and Elephant Journal have covered Nichole and her teachings.

In her podcast, The Harmonious Hustle, Nichole interviews influencers changing the world. Her message is to redefine the hustle by choosing harmony first. She has studied in India, Bali, Peru and with various teachers in the US to gain the tools to support her community in transformation. Nichole is currently preparing for her 3 day Conference for female change makers, Harmonious Hustle Live. 

Key Points from the Episode with Nichole Sylvester:

  • Nichole lives in LA with her daughter as a single mom and a spiritual success coach, author and host of The Harmonious Hustle podcast
  • Nichole didn’t start her journey into the spiritual side of things, but has come to understand the connection we have with our spirit and what that means
  • There is a voice and these nudges that, if we follow them, they will guide us to our own success and joy
  • The work is a mix of outright measures of success (e.g. achieving something in your business), mixed with spiritual practices like meditation
  • We got into Nichole’s story, which is captured in her book, OH SHIFT: A Journey from Chaos to Consciousness.
  • Her story began as a child in a house filled with physical and drug abuse. That left her with anxiety and pain.
  • At 15, she found herself following the same path, discovering drugs as an escape, and getting into a relationship with someone abusive to her. She was torn between knowing she should leave and loving him.
  • She eventually worked up the strength to leave him at 18, and he found her after a couple of weeks, beat her badly, raped her, and dropped her at a hospital ER.
  • She felt shame and self-judgment in the wake of this.
  • She struggled, and left her job, turning to stripping, which didn’t last long as she didn’t want to be touched by men or treated the way she was being treated.
  • She found someone new who sold drugs, which paved the path to her next career move. And her next addiction.
  • She moved to Vegas, met a guy on her first day there, and found out he sold cocaine, too, so they joined forces with her transporting and selling cocaine back in Pennsylvania.
  • Nichole became pregnant with her daughter, which is when things became violent in their relationship.
  • When her daughter was two, he threw a wooden toy at her head, gashing it open. While getting staples in her head in the ER, she realized she had to leave.
  • She crushed up Zanex and drugged him so she and her daughter could escape, which they did.
  • Within weeks, Nichole got a call from the Las Vegas PD that she had to come and claim her house as a woman had been murdered there by her now-ex.
  • She had found out while pregnant with her daughter that her boyfriend, “Devon”, actually wasn’t who she thought he was. He had been on the run, assuming a false identity. The pattern that lead him to run was repeating itself with this murder.
  • In the wake of all of this, Nichole realized how much trauma she had to unpack, and how it was defining and running her life.
  • She got sober, but then realized how strong her anxiety was since she no longer had alcohol or drugs to numb her mind.
  • Her daughter is what brought her the clarity to move forward, realizing she didn’t want to be the kind of mother she was.
  • Nichole started to make choices for wellness, like hiking and yoga, over the kinds of things she used to do. This began a series of better choices that kept building on each other.
  • She got diagnosed with a panic disorder, and had a particular bad panic attack on the freeway, leading a friend to suggest she got to a spiritual center, which she wasn’t open to before, but realized there was really nothing to lose.
  • We talked about a particular thing that happens at the spiritual center where over a thousand people raise their hands in the air and tell anyone new there how amazing they are and how much they are loved. Nichole started to cry in that moment, which was a key moment in recognizing the love in her life and the potential for it.
  • It helped her understand that people can be nice and caring. That was a paradox versus the way love existed in her life before, where she needed to stay cautious of it.
  • She expanded what she did to include silent retreats. This helped her see how we are all uncomfortable just being, and helps to build that comfort.
  • In her first one, she asked if she had a chemical imbalance as she was underweight and unhealthy. The response resonated with her. She was told, “We all have chemical shifts in our body all day long, depending what we eat, etc.” That was a wow moment for her, realizing the way she ate and cared for her body could play out physically (versus it being about something being broken in her).
  • On New Years Eve on 2014, she was meditating about how to achieve in her business, and she got this voice telling her to share her story, help women, and everything will work.
  • It inspired her to make a video coming out to the world about the parts of her story she felt shame about and was hiding from the world.
  • The fear she had was that no one would want to work with her, spend time with her, trust her, etc if they knew about the drama and mess inside from her past.
  • It freed her and started a strong momentum on her ability to help people and grow herself.
  • In writing her book, the idea was to touch women who were struggling in their own story and how they feel about themselves and how that is holding them back from seeing their potential.
  • All we really need is willingness, according to Nichole. Shame will hold us back and beat us down, but if we have the willingness to move ahead, we can break through that.
  • Part of that comes from sharing, which takes the power from these hidden things.
  • Nichole hit on a really interesting idea of how we normalize suffering. When people think they haven’t hit bottom or had a tough enough moment to wake up and change, she thinks we are normalizing much of the suffering we face, and are letting that normalization keep us from the willingness to step up.
  • She said something that really struck me – we are haunted by our opportunity.
  • If we’re going to going to live here, why not look for the things that are good. And then if you see them, make a little experiment to choose those good and better things.
  • Nichole likes to recognize that the human experience is full spectrum. We shouldn’t just focus on the light or the dark. There are lessons in each, so we need to be able to navigate each of them.
  • Today, a big part of Nichole is focused on the Harmonious Hustle side of her work, around how we give joy and recovery the space it deserves rather than focusing on the definition of hustle that is about grinding and push-push-pushing.


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