Soul Mammas Podcast Episode #4: From surviving to thriving-Nikole Paulo’s journey from loss to renewal.
Episode Description: One of a mother’s biggest fears- losing the father of their kids tragically when their children are little. This is what courageous soul mamma and midwife Nikole Paulos was faced just four short years ago. After her husband fell suddenly ill from a blood infection, he went into a coma and never came out.
“Unfortunately, after being in a coma for 3 weeks, he did pass away, so I ended up going through everything that comes with losing your partner and the father of your children. And soon thereafter we were told that we actually had to vacate the property that we’d been living on. So two weeks later my kids and I had to move”
Her story is one that moves from paralyzing fear and survival to realigning with her true passion and thriving. It hasn’t been an easy journey and her and her kids still deal with the grief associated with such loss, but they have also been embraced and protected along the way. Nikole shares with our listeners the synchronicity of following her inner truth back to midwifery even though it wasn’t the most “practical” decision at the time and how all doors began to open when she made room for her truest desires. She emphasizes the importance of self-care and community as mothers as well as allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to actually allow others to hold and help us along the way.
Whether we have dealt with grief of this nature, or just the daily trials and tribulations that go along with mama-hood, Nikole really inspires us to not stray from our passions. “My advice is to find that place of being proud to be alive after loss and to stand tall in your place of making it through. Just remembering that you are still alive, and to live to your fullest and to live passionately and to be proud of doing that.”
As a seasoned midwife and mother of two babies birthed at home, Nikole gives listeners great advice about postpartum care, particularly after traumatic births. She suggests organizations for mothers such as PEP and Mamatoto in Southern California for mothers to bond and share stories with other mom’s, whether they birthed at a hospital or not.
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Episode Show Notes (Highlights):
0:102: On Being a “Soul Mamma”
“There are a lot of things that means to me, but I think the base of it is really trusting yourself, having a good connection with your being so that you can listen to your own inner voice. I think as mamas it’s so easy to have everything end up being about our children and so I think being a “Soul Mamma” means that you also remember the importance of having a good connection to yourself, prioritizing self care and following your bliss.”
3:33: On finding her way back to midwifery after her husband died
“Really, as soon as I made that energetic decision and statement to myself of ‘this is what I’m going to do’, put in my notice to let the other job know that I was going to be stepping away from it, the universe provided the doors to start to open that led me back to midwifery. “
0:438: On being afraid to succeed but going for it anyway
” I think the other part was actually a fear of success. Being afraid of, of actually doing it. Like I knew what I wanted to do. I knew I had the skills and I had the knowledge, but like owning that, really owning it, and being okay with saying, ‘you know what, I AM good at this and I DO have skills to share and I do’.”
09:35: On surviving the grief
“Yeah. You know, I honestly, I found my way through the grief from my children. They really were my teachers. Kids are so present and they’re so in the moment and they can be completely sad and devastated and 30 seconds later elated.”
11:42: Teaching about grief to mamas
“When I teach my childbirth education classes, I talk about that difference between pain and suffering, and grief and suffering. You can have an emotion, but what we do as adults and how we put other attachments onto it, really changes the core sensation of it.”
15:22: On the pressure moms face to always appear “strong”
“I think in our society we are, we have to portray being strong, being able to do it all, have it all together, you know, not have any sign of weakness. One of the things that I did learn through this experience is what amazing strength and beauty is actually present when we are vulnerable and allow others to come in and support us and hold us and help us.”
16:28: Advice to moms who have been through grief and loss
” My advice is to find that place of being proud to be alive after loss and to stand tall in your place of making it through. Just remembering that you are still alive, and to live to your fullest and to live passionately and to be proud of doing that.”
30:27 The more self care a mom provides for herself the better mom she will be
“The more that I am connected to myself happy, and passionately, ecstatically, excited about life, the better mom I am. I find when I take the time and make it a priority to do something that recharges my batteries, then I can show up for them so much more. I’m more patient, understanding, flexible, easy going and fun to be around.”
33:09 Recommendations for moms to thrive
“Something else I would recommend for moms is to spend time with other moms because it’s so nice to be able to hear what’s normal, you know, what other people are going through and some of the same things that you’re going through or having some of the same feelings, the same challenges. . .