Spirit Sister Series - Nica Bautista
As we settle into 2021, a year that lets face it, feels like it could throw anything at us at any given time, it's important to remember that where our minds go, energy does flow. In every moment we get to choose what deserves our energy and attention and in doing so we choose where expansion occurs in our daily lives.
For us, it feels so amazing, to be back in this space choosing to focus on community and connection, sharing with and connecting you all to another gorgeous sister in our community.
Today we have the great pleasure of introducing you to your beautiful spirit sister, Nica Bautista.
We have followed this gorgeous woman on instagram for while and so it's such an honour to connect with her on a more personal note and get to know her a little more through this series.
For those of you yet to meet her, Nica is a Brisbane based Yogini, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Practitioner and Yogi Marketing Coach.
Previously a full-time 9-5 marketing manager, Nica now helps fellow Yoga teachers and businesses to stand out from the crowd, connect with more students worldwide and build an abundant yoga business on their own terms.
She keeps things light hearted and down to earth, with an energy, we can only describe as, a breath of fresh air.
Read our Interview with Nica below where she lets us all get a more personal glimpse into her world and shares with us how her journey with yoga began and how she came to be doing the work that she does.
You can also follow and connect with this beautiful soul on instagram here or facebook here, and if you love to know more about her work be sure to check out her coaching programs, Live events and courses over on her website here.
Let’s start with the basics, how old are you? And where did you grow up?
I’m 28, turning 29 in April. I’m an Aries Sun and Moon and Cancer rising! I was born in Canberra but grew up in Brisbane. Since both my parents are Filipino, we would travel back to the Philippines every few years to visit our relatives.
Where are you currently based?
I’m currently based in Brisbane, Australia.
What three words best describe you right now and your Intention/Essence/ offerings?
Connection, abundance, awakening
Can you share with us a little about your Journey with Yoga and or Spirituality, whatever that means to you?
My yoga journey started in 2011 and my spiritual journey began as self discovery and self development. It naturally progressed into a deeper spiritual journey from there. I’ve been consciously aware of my spirituality journey starting in 2013. Although thinking back, my Dad was very open about the spiritual realm and shared stories with me growing up.
My dad was very open about talking about his experiences with Spiritual beings so I’ve always been naturally curious. It wasn’t until I was going through a big challenge in my life that my own Spiritual journey started. I used it as a way to cope, understand things better and to grow as an individual. I was very fortunate one of my best friends has been on her spiritual journey for a long time. She taught me how to smudge Sage, how to use crystals (I was so drawn to them and amazed that these little ‘stones’ could help you develop things like ‘patience’, ‘courage’ and ‘focus’). She taught me about other beings/dimensions and how to channel the energy of the full moon.
Yoga has helped me dive deeper into this spiritual journey. The greatest gift yoga has given me is a heightened sense of awareness. I first discovered Yoga when I joined the gym for the first time almost 10 years ago. They offered BodyBalance on the timetable, which is a mix of Yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates. I just remember thinking to myself, ‘I want to do yoga, ride my bike to the markets and eat green beans like yoga people do’. Now I laugh at myself and my assumptions of what a Yogi looked like.
After trying BodyBalance and Yoga, I felt my body move in such a beautiful, strong yet fluid way for the first time. I felt so empowered and inspired. I felt like I could achieve anything and I wanted to share this feeling with others (once I overcame my fear of Chaturangas and ab sequences). This desire to share this empowerment with others led me to become a Body Balance instructor and eventually a Yoga Teacher several years later.
Yoga and spirituality has helped me to overcome some of the hardest moments in my life. It’s enabled me to gain a wider perspective, trust in the universe and tap into the power of manifestation. It is an ever-evolving journey and discovery of self.
Mid 2020 I did my Reiki Level 2 training and I now offer Reiki treatments. It was a big and unexpected awakening for me! Literally something I fell into. Once I started offering treatments and working with different people, I quickly realised that I had the ability to also offer energy readings for the individual in front of me. I’m still trying to figure out how to best describe the experience, but it’s almost like a movie montage. When I begin to practice Reiki, I start seeing different colours, images and even images and feelings! If you’ve ever thought about trying Reiki, I definitely recommend giving it a go! You go into a deep state of relaxation, it’s incredible.
Can you share with us a little about what led you to begin starting your biz/ sharing your current offerings?
Since I was 19, I had a plethora of business ideas that I wanted to start. From mini clay keychains to cupcakes, to soaps and beautiful stationery, to fashion-forward gym bags and even a yoga studio with a tea house below. After many failed attempts I lost confidence and settled on pursuing a typical marketing career path instead.
It wasn’t until I rediscovered Yoga that I created my current business as a Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers. I had taken a break from teaching BodyBalance and realised I hadn’t practiced any yoga for over a year. I felt lost, misplaced - I felt like I didn’t have a purpose.
I found that when we lose our path it’s actually a crucial turning point to work harder to find what truly grounds us. It was at this moment that I realised yoga and teaching was such a huge part of my being and it was currently missing. I signed up to a local studio (Harlow Yoga) and once again I felt that connection to myself. I felt empowered again.
It was this journey that helped me realise that I could combine my skills in marketing to help yoga teachers build their personal brands and businesses to connect more people to yoga. I already knew that attracting clients, students and standing out from the crowd was a challenge for many Yoga teachers and PTs, but I never considered it as an offering I could provide.
I had so much gratitude to my Yoga teachers who held space for me while I reconnected with my passionate purpose, it made even more sense to be of service to them.
Now I teach fellow yoga teachers how to build their own personal brands and get established online. I hold local business events and workshops with and recently facilitated a 6 week digital marketing course for Brisbane based Yoga Teachers.
To add to this, almost 1 year ago I finished my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training at One Yoga Thailand. This was a game changer for me! Since leaving my 9-5 job, I now have a steady stream of offerings that I absolutely love: Teaching Yoga, offering Reiki Treatments and coaching marketing clients. I love this crazy mix and it keeps me on my toes. While 2020 was a very intense year, I also felt it was a year where I moved into alignment with my purpose more than any other time.
What have been your biggest triumphs?
My biggest triumph is never giving up on building a life that I love and by design. Regardless of many failed business attempts, I managed to finally build the one I have now (though I’m still in the very early days and I know it’s a long road ahead).
I consider ‘never giving up’ my biggest triumph because it has allowed me to achieve things like building my business, graduating uni, becoming a qualified Les Mills Body Balance Instructor and completing my 200hr YTT many years after. Not to mention it’s helped me get through some huge family hurdles. It’s this tenacity to never give up that drives me to create a life that allows me to help others, connect to more people and live every day in alignment with my higher self.
What have been your biggest Fears, obstacles and challenges along the way? And what has really helped you in overcoming them?
My biggest fear was that I would settle for a mediocre life and that I would never achieve any of the dreams or goals I had set (I’m an ENFP so I can get pretty distracted by the next shiny thing).
One of the biggest obstacles, yet most significant moments of my life, was when I was working as an insurance sales consultant. I stayed in the role for 2 years and it was one of the best working experiences I had while also being one of the most challenging. I met my partner there and some of my closest friends.
While I loved the company and my colleagues, I felt so stuck and stagnant in my role. This ‘foot in the door’ opportunity felt like a revolving door, where I was constantly missing the exit. It was one of the lowest points in my life. I was disconnected from my purpose, I felt like I had nothing to work towards, I didn’t feel like I was making an impact and I honestly felt worthless.
However, I eventually learnt that when you’re put under pressure until you crack (whether it’s emotional, physical or mental), you have an opportunity for your soul and your heart to be cracked wide open. In this time of opening, you have the chance to welcome new experiences and make the choice to accept abundance and change into your life that may never have been there if you weren’t cracked open in the first place.
In hindsight, this was a very important experience for me to go through and that ‘never give up’ attitude helped me get through it.
What lessons are you most grateful for in life and in what you do?
I like to use analogies and metaphors to help me remember things. So I like to keep a ‘lesson’ bank in my mind where I store all of my past experiences and lessons. If I ever find myself in a difficult situation, I just think back and dig into my lesson bank to see how I can use my past experiences to make the current one a little less stressful. I also remind myself that if I’ve gone through something similar before, I can do it again because I’ve built up resilience along the way.
The lessons I’m most grateful for are the ones my parents taught me. To be compassionate, show respect and to always be grateful for what you have. Another lesson I love is to be kind to everyone you meet - you never know what impact you can have on someone else’s journey, including your own.
Recently, I’ve been using the phrase ‘look for the lessons, apply the learnings’ as a constant reminder.
What are the biggest challenges you face now? either personally or in what you do? or both?
The past year I’ve gone through a big career change. In Feb 2020 I quit my full time 9-5 in pursuit of building my own business and becoming a full time yoga teacher. Along with the challenges of COVID 19, I left my YTT in Thailand and went straight into isolation and lockdown before things started to ease. One of the biggest challenges I’ve had is time management. Being a person who’s distracted by ‘the next shiny thing’ and loves being in the company of people, I have to put extra effort into organising my schedule.
I love the feeling of having freedom, but at the same time I have a tendency to overestimate how much time I actually have and can easily cram too many things into my day. It’s a work in progress but I’m establishing better habits and putting routines into place.
What advice would you give another facing a similar challenge?
I’m no expert at time management, but I’ve learnt that it needs to start with awareness. If you feel like your week is flying by and you’re not getting as much done as you had anticipated, take a moment to reflect and look at all of the activities you did that week.
If you find yourself packing your week with meetings, coffee catch ups and extra projects before starting your own, bring that consciousness into planning the next few weeks ahead. Make sure you give yourself adequate time to work on your projects and bulk similar tasks or projects together. For example, try to book all of your meetings on a specific day instead of spreading them out throughout the week. That way you can stay consistent with the energy you need depending on the task at hand.
I’ve started to deliberately schedule ‘white space’ into my calendar. ‘White space’ is time for you to simply be. It can be 15mins, 2hrs or a whole afternoon. It’s a time where you don’t need to be anywhere and you can completely let go. Take this time for self care - go for a walk, meditate, do some yoga or cook a nourishing meal.
We all deal with fears and insecurities; how do you combat overwhelm and self-doubt?
This is an ever evolving practise and can vary in intensity depending on the situation. Personally, I’ve done a lot of reflecting and work surrounding my ‘why’ and my ‘higher purpose’. In moments of self-doubt and overwhelm, I always come back to my ‘why’.
I connect back to my ‘Why’ then I look at the bigger picture and visualise what I want to achieve in the future. I then look at what I’ve already achieved in the past, whether it’s big or small, the size doesn’t matter. What’s important is reflecting back and remembering the lessons I’ve learnt along the way. Usually, I’ll remember a time when I’ve been in a similar situation and I reflect on how I managed to get through that situation.
So it’s a combination of connecting back into my ‘Why’ (aka my higher purpose), visualising what I want to achieve and reflecting back to see how far I’ve come.
What do you currently most crave in life and in what you do?
Right now I’m really craving travel. I love exploring, seeing the world and learning about other cultures. The further along I grow in my spiritual journey, the more interested and connected I feel to Indigenous cultures across the globe. I want to learn more about what our ancestors have done before us and their connection with the earth, spirituality and their ancient wisdom.
I would love to host a holistic retreat on a tropic island for female entrepreneurs or host a yoga business summit somewhere overseas. I’m craving global connection and exploration.
What’s next for you, any exciting plans on the horizon that you would like to share?
My big goal last year was to launch a 6 week intensive Digital Marketing course for Yoga Teachers here in Brisbane, at the beautiful studio, Spirit Earth Reiki. My goal was to combine the magic of rituals, ceremonies and creative spaces with lessons in digital marketing which I was very proud to have achieved.
However, this year I’m trying to keep things simple as I adapt to this new schedule and trying to balance my workload. I’m really focused on offering more Reiki treatments and sharing Yoga in a more intimate 1:1 setting. If you’re in Brisbane and want to give Reiki a try, you can check out my schedule here: www.nicabautista.com/reiki
Spirit Rituals, can you share with us any practices or routines that you do to keep you feeling inspired, grounded and connected?
I love creative and inspiring spaces, so keeping my workspace and desk clear is important to me. Before I sit down to work, I always clear myself and my space using Sage and Palo Santo. I smudge sage to clear all the energies, being very intentional and then I follow with smudging Palo Santo to bring in more positive energy.
I’ll always light a candle while I’m working and I’m trying to get into a daily habit of using my Oracle cards to gain clarity, especially when I don’t feel like I’m on track. I was gifted the Work your Light Oracle Deck and I absolutely love it! I tend to use this deck for any business focused questions and more recently I came across the Angels and Ancestors deck which I use for everything else. If I have time, I’ll take notes of the reading and any key phrases or insights that come up.
Of course consistent Yoga Practice and Pranayama is there too!
Who have been the most influential or inspirational people/ teachers/ Books or places on your path? and why
Both my parents have played such influential roles in my life and have really shaped me into who I am today. There are so many people who have influenced and inspired me, especially my younger brother, partner and best friends who are like my sisters. In particular, one of my besties Lulu is a big spiritual influence as I’ve learnt so much from her. I believe everyone that crosses your path has a significant part to play, whether it’s a big or a small one.
Koh Phangan in Thailand will always be a special place to me. It’s where I did my YTT and experienced the magic the beautiful island had to offer. Of course, my home country of the Philippines. I have so many memories of my relatives there, it’s played a very significant part of my life.
I love listening to spiritual podcasts! My go-tos are Sahara Rose, Melissa Ambrosini and Jay Shetty.
What does #iamspirit mean to you?
To me, I am Spirit, means to have a relationship and connection to your higher self. This connection with your higher self allows you to have a higher sense of awareness and a broader perspective that helps you see the bigger picture. When you can see the bigger picture and have a strong relationship with yourself, that’s when the magic happens.
Photo Credits Jason H Photography