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  • Sample pages
  • Page 1

    Chapter 1: Being Better

    “Being unique is better than being perfect.”
    —Unknown

    Mornings are my favorite mommy time. Around 6:30 a.m. I get to see the excited, thrilled to start the day, smiling little face of my one-year-old and the not so thrilled to be getting out of bed, not so little face of my seventeen-year-old. I’m mommy to two boys, one just starting life and one starting college in less than two years! I’ve learned so much over the years—when to worry, when to not, when to be excited, when to be sad, when to be serious, when to laugh, when to be tough, and when to let go. Some people laugh at me because I still make my seventeen-year-old breakfast and pack his lunch in the mornings. They say, “He’s old enough to do it on his own.” Hey, at least I stopped writing cute little notes on his napkins. Truth be told, I love doing it because it’s a way for me to still “take care” of him. And he truly appreciates it since he’s not a morning person, and does many other things around the house in return.

    As Christian is mustering up energy for the day and sprinting for the bus, Matthew is consumed with breakfast, kisses, and snuggles. He spends his naptime lying on top of me, which people say I’m crazy to let happen, but I’m okay with it because what’s even crazier is that I’ll blink and diapers and wipes, lullabies, bedtime stories, trucks, and teddy bears will all be gone. So I’ll cherish this time every day since I know firsthand how fast this time will go and how, one day, I’ll really miss 4:00 a.m. cuddles, crushed Cheerios in every crevice of everything, and smashed blueberries all over the dining room floor.

    In addition to my mommy gig, I have my own coaching business, which I absolutely love. I’ve taken everything I learned from my training and experience as a scientist and my experience in the corporate staffing world and rolled it into one package to help people be better. I help people reinvent themselves by showing them how to optimize their minds’ potential, manage their stress, advance their careers, and create a work/life balance.

    Speaking of “being better,” what does that mean? Does it mean things won’t ever fall apart again? You won’t ever have sadness? Things won’t ever be harder than they should be? I used to think it did, but now I know it doesn’t mean any of this. It simply means taking what you learned yesterday and finding peace, gratitude, and achievement in today, no matter what’s going on. It means not becoming perfect, but becoming an expert at being you.

    Even though I love my job, my favorite job is being mommy. Life is good. Chocolate is better, but life is good. I almost always wake up refreshed (as refreshed as I can be with a one-year-old!) and confident in the day ahead. However, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I was the last person who could help anyone be better.

  • Page 2

    Rewind to Seventeen Years Ago

    I had an incredibly difficult journey throughout my twenties. My chronic anxiety officially began at twenty years old during my first pregnancy; it was the beginning of the storm. I can remember being somewhat anxious when I was little, but this was a new level of full-force anxiety I had never experienced before. My feet never seemed to hit the ground and my head was always in the clouds. It seemed like I was just floating through waves of sadness, fear, and anxiety. Even though I was so excited to have a baby, I was so scared at the same time. I kept thinking, “What if I can’t do it? What if I don’t do a good job? What if I’m not smart enough to teach him everything he needs to know?” I also felt every single physical change my body was going through, and it was extremely intensified. I became afraid of every single feeling in my body, and I feared the worst—that something horrible was wrong with me. I was afraid of everything; no matter what I did, I felt like I was trapped in my mind. My mind was constantly racing, and I was sad even though my life was pretty good.

    I can remember getting really depressed if it wasn’t sunny outside. I’d obsessively check the weather to determine my fate each day. If they called for storms, I’d brace myself for a downward spiral and crippling fear. I was terrified of loud noises, particularly fire engines and thunderstorms. One day, I left work crying because it was thundering. I just couldn’t deal with the noise. I had to go home and sit on my bed under the covers. When I was eight months pregnant, on the 4th of July, a huge parade filled with fire engines and hundreds of people in their red, white, and blue, shaking their noisemakers and blowing their whistles, came down our street.

    I began to cry and went into my closet to sit, covering my ears to get as far away as possible from the noise. I always felt like I needed to crawl under something, just put myself in a safe place, lock the door, and throw away the key. But there was a problem…nowhere felt safe to me. “If only I could crawl out of my skin and leave this crippled, heavy shell behind,” I thought. I couldn’t even imagine what was happening to me. “I must be crazy,” I thought. I had no control whatsoever. I couldn’t wait to give birth so these feelings would go away. Despite the emotional whirlwind and fear that I experienced almost daily during pregnancy, when I was twentyone years old I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby boy, whom I named Christian.

  • About the Author

    Nicole is a wife and mom of two boys. She loves family, learning, inspiring others, and collaborating with people of all backgrounds and skill sets. She believes everyone has something to teach someone else. She dislikes traffic, bugs, and judgmental people. It’s taken her most of her life to learn how to deal with anxiety and stress, and at almost forty years old, she knows it’s part of her, but a very tiny, unimportant part of her that’s sometimes annoying and more often laughable.

    She began her career as a scientist and later transitioned into the recruiting industry, where she was involved in over 150 separate hiring decisions. In 2014, Nicole launched her own career and stress management coaching business. She works with individuals seeking to enhance their performance, develop their personal brands, and obtain new career opportunities. In addition to career planning, she uses her scientific background to communicate education around positive thinking, well-being, and stress management. She incorporates concepts and education from the fields of positive psychology and the biological sciences as well as career management practices to help people reinvent themselves and create the futures they deserve. She works one-on-one with people to create methods of change that focus on optimizing the mind’s potential, leadership, and career growth.

    Nicole is a certified personal trainer and certified fitness nutrition specialist. She holds a certificate in positive psychology and a bachelor of science degree in biology. In the fall of 2016, she’ll embark on some graduate studies in neuroscience to further understand how the mind works.

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Mighty Magic Mommy

Finding your path in life can be exhausting, challenging, downright scary, and exciting. Illustrated by inspirational stories of her own challenges, Nicole Pica shares how she developed resilience and reminds us that even in the face of adversity we’re strong, courageous, and powerful. She shares her advice on reaching true happiness, confidence, and success wherever you are in your life.

Nicole is a wife and mom of two boys. First a scientist and now the founder of a coaching business, Reinvent U, Nicole helps people create methods of change that focus on reducing stress, optimizing the mind’s potential, career growth, and a healthy work/life balance. In Mighty Magic Mommy she shares many of these methods. Although she plays a critical role in helping others find their inner power, you’ll see that her most important job is being a mommy and to her, this is the true meaning of living with purpose.

In addition to walking through strategies and techniques for positive change, Nicole talks about what success really means. She notes, you have to be the president and CEO of your mind, making executive decisions that work for your life. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about embracing every part of you and becoming an expert at being you.

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