Born and raised in CT, some of Nichole’s earliest childhood memories are that of anxiety. Growing up, these feelings found their way into her everyday life and became her new normal. As she got older, she found ways to “cope” with these overwhelming emotions in unhealthy ways.
After many years struggling to manage anxiety and depression, she has finally found inner peace. Nichole’s life has transformed through the practice of intentional living. Meditation, reiki, acupuncture, and maintaining healthy relationships have allowed Nichole to leave behind the destructive behaviors that she once engaged in. Now Nichole lives her life from a place of love, compassion, and gratitude each day.
Nichole began her career in the mental health field as a Customer Service Representative for the Administrative Service Organization for Medicaid on the behavioral health side. In less than a year she began working as a community peer specialist within Beacon Health Options. Her work with Medicaid members was incredibly fulfilling. A condition of being hired was to complete Advocacy Unlimited RSS training. Nichole defines the Recovery Support Specialist course as pivotal moment in her personal recovery and professional life. Meeting Karen Kangas & Deron Drumm put her career on a different trajectory. Little did she know what the future had in store! About a year after graduating Recovery University, Nichole joined the Advocacy Unlimited team as Director of Education. Nichole is thankful for her time and experience at AU, but it was not her last stop in this organization. She was an angry advocate when she first started working here who was ready to fight for our rights. After some time as an activist, Nichole’s anger began to soften. Knowing she was going to be a mother, she did not want to fight anymore, she wanted to heal. Through re-establishing a relationship with her higher power and Toivo Nichole found the tools to heal.
Toivo is an initiative that includes statewide classes, workshops and a mind/body focused wellness center where people can engage in creative writing, expressive art, yoga, meditation, sound healing, qigong, reiki, drum circles and much more. These ancient therapies have been known to facilitate emotional and physical healing. Reiki has been one of the most profound ways Nichole has found healing. She never feels more relaxed then when she is receiving Reiki.
Toivo represents a celebration of human experience in all of its forms and a belief in the unfathomable power of looking within for direction. We believe that no one should be denied the benefits of yoga, meditation or any of our offerings based on socioeconomic standing, psychiatric history and/or experiences with addiction.
One of Nichole’s favorite aspects of working at Toivo is the opportunity to assist with Healing Arts Spaces. At a Healing Arts Space, appointments for reiki, massage, and acupuncture are offered for individuals to experience. Having such a restorative experience with Reiki herself, Nichole is passionate about others experiencing the benefits of healing arts modalities. Behind the scenes, Nichole assists Linda to organize and create the most calm and comfortable environments to receive these relaxation modalities. While the amazing team is busy teaching classes at Toivo or out in the community, Nichole spends most of her time in the office keeping things organized. As office manager, she helps to keep the Toivo Team grounded and centered, and without her all of the incredible work we do would not be possible! If you are interested in connecting with Nichole or learning more about what Toivo has to offer, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.