Nicole Barclay 

Who am I?

This question – asked often and frequently in a superficial manner – suggests that perhaps there may actually be a plausible answer. As if we were not a perpetually evolving species. As if one simple explanation could define our entire entity. As if we did not continue to have a new choice at any given moment to bloom into something magnificent. Some people spend their whole lives in search of such answers. In search of what label or category they think they might fall under. What their legacy might look like. What their true essence and peace within looks like, what their fundamentally vital ground feels like. For now, in this moment, in this breath, I am not certain of the answers.  But I continue to  wholeheartedly ponder the answer to this question.

Here is what I am not:

I am not perfect.  I am not a fixed entity. I am not defined by my past. I am not a magician or miracle- worker. I am neither rich or poor.  I am not defined by my materialistic world. I am not empty or full.  I am not free from guilt or fear. I am neither at my healthiest or at my poorest wellbeing. I am not free from suffering. I am not alone.

What I feel from time to time?

Human. A woman. A feminine presence on Mother Earth. Good enough. An extrovert who loves to connect on a deeper level. Unconditionally loved by self. On a mission to wake-up and be present. I am a Nurse. I am both a yoga teacher and student. I am certain of my breath; I am alive. I am perfectly imperfect. I am a student of mindful practice. I strive for equanimity. I am a mother of a little boy who continues to teach and remind me of what life is all about. I like creativity and expression. I am a runner. I feel radiant, wild, and Too Much Woman. I have value. And I am completely submerged in personal growth.

What I desire?

To take part in the mindful movement. To bring insight and happiness to myself and those all around me. To decrease suffering on a deeper level.  To promote holistic care.  To explore new perspectives. To connect to nature. To connect deeply with others in an authentic way. To continuously practice self-love and self-care; to mend my aching soul and the souls upon this earth. To plant seeds of peace, love, and compassion. To manifest healthy and positive Prana through yoga, running, and meditation. To pursue enlightenment and connection to my higher self. I yearn to cultivate abundance yet also to remain humbly grounded in the present moment. I desire to share my journey in hopes to inspire others; to show different ways of looking at the world, to reach out so others don't have to feel alone or isolated in suffering. To celebrate life's beauty and indulge in all it has to offer. To rise up and have unshakable faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Lastly, I desire to express the way life actually is, beyond preferences and absorption, regardless of my grasping for what I want and resisting what I don’t want. To spread the invitation; to give ourselves - body, mind, and spirit - to what arises, just as it is.

Why Viva La Lemon?

I created Viva La Lemon because when life throws us lemons we can embrace them with open arms, nurture them, and be mindful. We don't need to make lemonade, as the old saying goes. We don't need to add sugar or fake sweeteners, we don't even need to water it down to dissipate the bitterness.  We just drink the juice straight up.  Experience the zest for life just as it is. Embrace the present moment in all its beauty. Then in the stillness, insight will fall upon us with such grace – it's warmth will sink deep into our souls.

I stumbled across a path recently that pulled me into a journey of self-discovery.  To find my authetic self, my true essence.  To nurture my genuine being.  To find my worth. To re-evaluate my intentions and begin to plant seeds of compassion in my one precious life. Viva La Lemon became an avenue for me to continue to do this.  It is my connection out into the universe for me to grow with.  It is me being unapologetically me. It is an authentic connection with others who may be looking for similar insights.

There is an old saying that 'clear writing means clear thinking'.  If expression through writing about my journey and exploring wellness by teaching and practicing yoga and running in everyday life does nothing else but shift my perspective on the world then so be it. Like the lotus flower that grows in the mud, Viva La Lemon is my little sprout rising up from the dirt.  One day I hope it will bloom and share its beauty with the world.