Hi! This is Nikki Lyn Pugh, MFA, INHC. What I have to share here in this ABOUT section might be a little different than most website “bios.” If you just want the facts, feel free to download my CV (coming soon). When it came time to write about me for this website, I sat with an important question: What is the most important thing that you need to know most about me? The answer came pretty quickly, and in the form of a directive (as it often does). Be transparent. Tell them about what makes you tick and how you got to this point now. What excites you? What gets you up in the morning? What motivates you? What do you know now to be absolutely true and how did you reach that conclusion? This makes sense. After all, this is the really important stuff, isn’t it? So here is my story– not all of it, of course, just the game-changers. You know what I mean. You have probably had some of those moments yourself. After whatever happened happened, you were never quite the same, were you? —- —- —– —- #1 The year was 1999. I was 28 years old I had just been diagnosed with the autoimmune condition scleroderma. I sat in my car reading the little pamphlet that the rheumatologist had given me. For about ten minutes, I seriously considered filling the prescription for low-dose chemotherapy that would shut down certain parts of my immune system. Then a feeling crept over me. Something about the doctor’s explanation just didn’t feel right. Would I be letting my immune system down by putting the part of it that was “not cooperating” to sleep? Something inside me said there had got to be a better way. I put the prescription in my glovebox and drove back to school. I was a public school teacher at the time and my kids were almost done with lunch. #2 Fast-forward to roughly a decade later. I never took the meds and I had learned a lot about eating right, mostly from reading books like Body Ecology by Donna Gates. I was mostly gluten-free by the early 2000’s, although I was still an emotional eater and sugary baked goods, ice cream and candy bars were my go-to weakness when things got stressful (which they often did).    I didn’t know a thing about stress management. Sometimes I took a yoga class and every once in a while, I tried some tai chi, but that was about it. After all, I thought, who has time for all that self-care all stuff anyways? If I can just get iy slldone, then I wouldn’t have any stress! I wasn’t as bad off as a lot of other folks who had scleroderma, but I wasn’t completely living life to the fullest either. During those years, I “dabbled” in mind-body medicine. I even trying a stint as editor for a health magazine to get away from the school system for a while. But I still had severe ups and downs healthwise: weight gain, bouts of digestive upset, fibromyalgia and every winter, when the “normal” round of “school flu” hit, it seemed to affect me more than most. What’s more, I suffered from brain fog and anxiety to the point where I never seemed to get a handle on my emotions nor my life. I felt like I was treading water. There was something out there I was supposed to do. It bobbed just out of reach like a buoy. I was so strung out and tired all the time, I could never reach it. Eventually, the inevitable hit me– as it will hit just about anyone who runs on the hormones of stress for years on end. The “crash” came in 2014 when I developed a major systemic infection that caused most of my teeth to fall out. A little while later, I was dealt a secondary autoimmune diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (with a TSH of 35!). It was at that point that I finally made a major decision to change my life. I decided that, come hell or high water, I would put my own self-care first! #3 The next six months I spent at my parent’s house in Oceanside, California recovering (thanks folks!). I tried everything to get better, including ozone treatments, biological dentistry, chiropractic, acupuncture, a lot of supplements, tons of sleep, a severe diet change, tai chi, yoga and meditation. I dove in to the science of healing, the chaotic muddy mess of my own mind, the forward-thinking writings of everyone from Viktor Schauberger and Krishna Murti to more “new age” thinkers like Wayne Dyer and what some would call “way out” conspiracy theorists like Michael Tellinger and David Wilcock. I wanted to find out what was true about health and healing. How much of what our doctors tell us is a lie? And what is the truth when it comes to our own innate abilities to heal?  I was traveling, for sure. But it was not to distant lands or even out of my parents’ backyard. It was into the deep, dark alleyways of my own belief systems and, subsequently, into scary, narrow pathways of our own collective history.  Now looking back, I can see how that time “unplugged” from everything was a blessing. Even though I was in pain most of the time, it allowed me the to develope the basis for a new and ever-expanding worldview. You could say I “red pilled” myself. While my investigations began with healing and the current medical model, I eventually wound up calling the entirety of what we call “consensus reality” into question.  At times, what I discovered about our world and how I personally (and everyone I knew) was duped into energetic slavery by the current medical model, and other institutions,  was so disturbing that I did not know if I would come out of the inquiry intact. Many times, I wanted to close the book, turn off the video and simply forget…just go back to teaching school and eating junk food and planning for vacations and the family I would some day have. You know, the husband, the 2.5 kids, the white picket fence. To be an upstanding citizen in my community.  That is what it is all about, isn’t it? Or is this a construct built on a lie? The thing was, however, the more I learned about the darkness, the more I realized, awe-struck, how powerful and all-pervasive is the Light. My Shift in Consciousness was subtle on the outside, and mostly framed within the confines of human health and little-known or hidden technologies that could help it. Yet it was significant since it has provided me with a frame of reference for my life (and this blog) ever since. #4 Eventually, in spring of 2015, I made a decision towards the inevitable. I decided that I had to get out of public schools. I knew that my body was still fragile and that my immune system could crash again in the “right” environment. Even though it was heartbreaking, I made the tough decision to leave the very rewarding yet very demanding  world of teaching kids to try my hand as a full-time, freelance, work-at-home writer. What happened next completed solidified my belief in a Universe that works with you when you decide to follow your heart and put self-care first! One of the first writing gigs I applied for was with visionary chiropractor-turned-health coach Dr. Veronique Desaulniers. Back then, “Dr. V” was just getting started in helping women with breast cancer turn their disease around naturally. Today, she graces stages all over the world, runs three retreats a year and she and her fellow BCC coaches empower thousands through her 7 Essentials® system. I am so grateful for the years (2014-2018) that I worked with Dr. V. Not just because she runs an amazing organization and is one of the most integrity-filled people I know. I am grateful most of all because the work led to yet another paradigm shift within my own consciousness. Each week, I would research natural modalities, scour through dozens of study abstracts on PubMed and other sources and read countless blogs online, all with the goal of being able to first understand and then write in layman’s turns what this natural modality or that could do to help the body heal itself. I had the best job ever! I got to write about healing—and practice it on myself too. Throughout the years, I have helped write literally HUNDREDS of articles about the body’s capacity to heal, for Dr. V and about half a dozen other clients in the natural health and healing world. While I was doing the bulk of all this research, I noticed two themes common to all natural modalities. First of all, all natural healing modalities work with the body’s own healing processes to change the energetic components of a person for the better—this goes for everything from targeted quality supplements and dietary changes to Emotional Freedom Technique (aka Tapping) and yoga. Second is that there really is no “one size fits all” when it comes to healing from disease, maintaining health and living the best life possible. Health is an intuitive process and each person must find what works best for him or her. This goes not only for diet and exercise, but also for all the other things that make up a life such as: media (EMF) input, stress level, geographical location, career, homelife, finances and relationships. What was true when I first started writing about health and healing back then is still true now. The more I research, learn and expand my definitions of what we can do to promote our own healing, the more I am in awe of our full potential and want to learn more! To that end, in 2017, I began taking classes with one of the largest health coaching programs in the world- the Institute of Integrative Nutrition based in New York City. I finished my course of study with IIN in January 2019 and can now officially call myself an Integrative Nutritional Health Coach. IIN was founded by health coaching pioneer Joshua Rosenthal. The core understanding of his teaching (and the dozens of guest lecturers that we had the privledge of learning from, including Dr. Memet Oz, Geneen Roth, Dr. Daniel Amen, Joan Borysenko, Dr. Christine Northrop and “Food Babe” Vani Hari just to name a few) is, again, that healing is a personal and highly intuitive process. Yes, there are general guidelines (drink more water, cut out the junk, eat more veggies!) but just as important are what Joshua calls Primary Food, which is everything that goes on in your life besides what you eat. These lifestyle factors either lift you up (give you energy and creative stamina) or bring you down (zap your energy and lead to disease). Boy, have I learned that one in my own life as well. #5 Then, in 2018, I went through another major paradigm shift which eventually led to the course of study that I am now on as an energy medicine practitioner and healer in addition to being a health and life coach and inspirational writer and researcher.  Beginning in 2016, I dove whole-heartedly into the research and writings of Dr. Joe Dispenza. Dr. Joe had his own miraculous experience of healing early in life when he fully recovered from a debilitating spinal injury. This experience led him to make it is life’s work to figure out the connection between the mind and the body for spontaneous healing. You may remember Dr. Joe from his appearance in the seminal consciousness-raising film, What the Bleep Do We Know? In June, 2018, I had the privledge of attending one of Dr. Joe’s Advanced Workshops in Cancun, Mexico. In preparation for the week-long event, I focused on my intentions. What did I want to get out of the experience? Of course, physical healing was a priority. And so was a deepening of my connection to Spirit and my own creative flow. I wanted to get super-clear about what I was supposed to do in the world so I could just go out and do it! Sound familiar? In the middle of one of the meditations about half way through the retreat, what some would call a “miracle” happened. I was deep into my experience when my whole body began to shake and jerk.  I felt as if a thousand watts of electricity was going through me, yet I experienced no pain. In fact, I was only barely aware of my body and its convulsions. I felt like I was very much in my body yet at the same time I was outside of it. I was in contact with distant worlds and beings. At the same time, I was in tune with the infinite, abundant energy that was inside of me, all around me. Indeed, that was me. I know now that what occurred was simply one example of a “spiritual awakening”– a phenomenon that is happening to many people at this time. It may have even happened to you.  Since that experience, life has indeed changed for me. I sense life on a whole new level. One of the most significant things that has shifted for me is that I am more connected to my intuitive guidance, which comes in the form of intuitive nudges, hints and sometimes direct communications from what I perceive as  “Guides” or simply a higher source.  And when I get these “intuitive nudges” these days, I tend to really listen to them and follow through. All of the time? you may ask. No! This is about total transparency here, remember? But honestly, nowadays about 98% of the time, which is okay with me.. The only person I compare my progress to at this stage of my life is, you got it, me! And compared to how I was this time last year, 98% is pretty darn good! But that is not the best part. What is the most amazing thing is that now I know without a shadow of a doubt, in a into-the-bones kind of way, that we live in a completely supportive Universe created by and of LOVE. Oh no, now I’ve really gone woo woo on you! If you want to stop reading, that is totally okay. This way of thinking is not for everybody. Transparency, remember? Don’t worry, I won’t be offended. But if you are still with me, then let’s back up and start with another premise that I also know for sure: EVERYTHING IS ENERGY. This energy is real, its frequency in various states can be measured and it is available to us all. What’s more, it is intelligent, conscious and waiting for each one of us to feel worthy enough of its support. Just how much support is there for for you? For me? For us all? An infinite amount! Now let’s get back to LOVE. We live in a conscious universe created by LOVE. And unattached, unfiltered, wide-sweeping love is the highest frequency of energy there is. Am I talking about God here? I guess you could call it that. It has also been called Father/Mother, Universal Life Force, the Divine, the One, the Infinite, the Creator, the Christ consciousness, Brahman, the Field. Whatever you call it, you ARE it.  Do you want to live in a reality where you heal yourself? Where you heal the planet? You can achieve this. Do you want to live in a reality where you are living your BEST LIFE POSSIBLE, a life of fun, joy, purpose, super vitality and unlimited energy, where all of your needs are met and you are in service to others in your own unique way? You can create it that life!  Together, we can created this by collectively and truly changing our understanding of reality and, most importantly, our intention and our focus within it. Thoughts are energy. Emotions are energy. Energy is the foundation of EVERYTHING in the Universe. And LOVE is the purest form of creative energy there is! With the energy of LOVE flowing through us, we can be truly free.   Hugs, Nikki ????