In this inaugural installment of Ridiculously Happy Pplcast, we are thrilled to give you a sneak peek into the topics and themes we’ll be exploring in Season 1.
Get ready to embark on a journey of self-discovery and fulfillment as we dive into Episode 1 with what it means to be Ridiculously Happy.
In Episode 2, we’ll discuss the transformative power of Gratitude + Mindfulness. We’ll discuss the importance of staying self-aware, appreciating our privileges, and taking time for self-care to combat burnout in this tech-heavy, fast-paced world.
Next up, we’ll dive deep into the realm of Self-Image + the Dangers of Social Media in Episode 3. In a world dominated by carefully curated feeds, we’ll explore the detrimental impact of social media on self-esteem and the dangers of falling into the comparison trap.
Mental health is of paramount importance in Episode 4, and we’ll be addressing it head-on with a candid discussion on Mental Health + Coping Strategies. We will share valuable insights on dealing with depression and anxiety, offering practical coping strategies and the significance of setting boundaries and taking mental health days when needed.
Join us as we navigate the challenging terrain of having Tough Conversations in Episode 5. Recognizing the need for openness and understanding, we’ll explore how to approach discussions surrounding racial and LGBTQ+ issues. To provide a fresh perspective, we hope to welcome a special guest for this episode.
Expressing gratitude and acknowledging others can be life-changing, and in Episode 6, we’ll unravel the magic of Recognition + Acknowledging Others. Learn how simple acts of appreciation can transform a bad day into a great one and foster meaningful connections.
And to close out Season 1, Episode 7 will reflect on the essence of ridiculous happiness as we look at Family + Priority Management. We’ll explore the significance of cherishing family time and not postponing cherished moments like due to our hectic work and extra-curricular schedules. By defining our true priorities, we can focus on what matters most to us.
Prepare yourself for an enlightening and transformative season filled with insightful discussions, heartfelt stories, and valuable lessons on how to cultivate happiness and fulfillment in all aspects of life. We can’t wait for you to join us on this empowering journey toward living more kindly, more confidently, and more Ridiculously Happy!
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Subscribe now and in for Season 1 of Ridiculously Happy Pplcast as we embark on this voyage together. Let’s unlock the secrets to a joy-filled life and discover what it truly means to be Ridiculously Happy.
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Episode TranscriptsTap to Read Episode Transcripts
Sophia | 14:49
Welcome to Ridiculously Happy Pplcast. I’m Sophia Levin, and today I’m here with Nicki Yo from the Ava solution. How are you, Nikki?
Nikki | 15:12
I’m doing great Sophia thank you. How are you doing today?
Sophia | 15:16
I’m not doing too badly, although there’s some unexpected raid, and I’m supposed to have a session this evening, so I’m sure there will be some text messages after this recording. What about you?
I understand you’ve been having some fun this morning.
Nikki | 15:34
Yeah, I took my two little girls up to the park with our our big dog, and we had some nice picnics and some special treats and let them run it all out. So now they’re sleeping quietly, which is a miracle in itself, so enjoyed. Well, it’s not too hot today, which has been a nice
Sophia | 15:53
I am not a fan of the heat. I’m definitely one of those people who sweats. So if we can avoid the heat as much as possible, I appreciate it. I also appreciate you running the kids out so that they are tired for this period of podcast recording.
Nikki | 16:12
It’s always a whirlwind.
Sophia | 16:16
Right. I also hear you have some road construction.
Nikki | 16:21
Yeah, I’m hoping that they were supposed to be done mid July and they’re still going, and I still have a nice sturdy lip across the road to the sidewalk, so that’s been interesting to navigate, but hopefully they’ll eventually wrap it up. I’m sure we’ll head into the fall.
Sophia | 16:38
So I take it there isn’t a ditch in front of your house that you have to leap over?
Nikki | 16:42
No, there was. or a little while, and, that was fun trying to maneuver the stroller up and over, but now it’s gonna be like, three inches or so. So not terrible, but, no, it could be
Sophia | 17:01
I’ve always wondered when I see construction signs and it says local traffic only. And then you see, like, someone clearly can’t drive their car into their own driveway.
Nikki | 17:12
Yeah, what do you want me to do? now?
Sophia | 17:13
What do you do when that happens?
Nikki | 17:17
Yeah, no, not good at all.
Sophia | 17:21
So, what’s new?
Nikki | 17:25
Mostly I feel like my days are the same old same, but I get to mix it up with different clients, which is always fun. This is new for me today, so that’s exciting, too. And other than that, the never ending to do list between, managing Eva behind the scenes, not even just clients, and then, house and kids stuff.
Sophia | 17:52
Yeah, the behind the scenes stuff is never ending for sure. And you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been doing a lot of that lately as well.
Nikki | 18:02
And it’s great. I actually love that.
Sophia | 18:04
I’m getting a lot of organization done, especially when I should be taking time off and instead I am like, you know, I’m going to work on this because I can’t sit still for very long.
Nikki | 18:15
That was a great a couple of weeks ago, I’m like, she is supposed to be off, what are you doing?
Sophia | 18:22
And of course, recording a podcast is also a little bit new and possibly awkward. In case people can’t tell from our conversation so far, it’s a good thing we’re doing this over Zoom, you know?
For sure it’s a good thing we’re doing this over Zoom. Because if we were not having a conversation with a blank screen would be so awkward.
Nikki | 18:45
Yeah, that would be just pretending like you’re talking to…
Sophia | 18:52
I’ve done that before. So if anyone has listened to this particular podcast before. I have recorded it on my own. And it just did not go with the way that I wanted it to go previously because it was just me reading. And I love those people who can record a podcast and talk as if they’re having a conversation with another human being being the person on the other side listening to the podcast. But that is not me. I would, for reals, just read what was on my screen and it sounded like I was reading what was on my screen.
I didn’t like it, so I put it away for a long time. And then I had an idea. For what I wanted to do with this podcast because I enjoy podcasting. And I asked you if you would co host it with me, and you said yes, like, right away. It took like, no convincing, which is awesome because I think a lot of the topics that I want to cover in the podcast will be pretty applicable to what you do in your line of work, which we will talk more about in our first season of the podcast. And for those who are listening, this is our test episode. So we’re figuring out how to record ourselves and where to put our microphones and also where the files are going to go when we stop recording Episode. But we do have a list of topics for our first season. So we were just going to discuss those, in short, to give everyone sort of an overview of what sees and one of ridiculously happy pplcast what look like. So in our first episode, we’re going to do a little bit of, what the heck is ridiculously happy people and also some introductions of us. So that’s why I’m kind of steering clear of it today because we need to save some content for our first episode. But do you want to give just a short, short overview of who you are and what you do and like, maybe sixty seconds or less
Nikki | 21:04
For sure. So I am an administrative support specialist. I own my own business. Co-founded with my business partner and sister. Basically began a pandemic kind of, what do I do now?
So it was a great, great way to review my resume, figure out where my skills fit and put the nail on the head there. With administrative support. And I work with different clients and business owners, corporations, helping them get organized and maintain tasks that they just don’t have the time for and don’t necessarily need full-time staff to handle. So it’s great.
Sophia | 21:38
Like me. You do a lot of stuff for me, like make phone calls, which is my least favourite thing to do ever. I hate it so much. And I’m sure we’ll talk about that in our first episode. A little bit more about how much I hate phone calls, but. Yeah, and I am Sophia Levin. I photograph ridiculously happy people, hence the podcast name. And so we will get into that ridiculously happy concept in our first episode. Wo. Basically, I specialize in working with people who hate having their photo take in. And the reason I can do that is because I, too, hate having my photo taken, so I know how painful it feels to stand in front of someone’s camera. All right. Our second episode. I know you had some notes on. This one is going to be about gratitude and mindfulness. What do you think about gratitude and mindfulness, Dicki?
Nikki | 22:45
Yeah. For me, it’s very important, especially being business owner and working from home to maintain that self awareness of what’s really important in life. And there’s a reason behind why I do what I do and trying to keep that in in perspective. It’s really easy to get caught up with everything else and and lose sight of the Hy with what you’re doing. So just being grateful that I have the ability to lead such a flexible and varied schedule and be here for my family as needed and often, all the time. And it really is a privilege that I’m able to do this, and I’m I’m grateful for that. And even on those hard days, trying to remind myself that this is why I do it, and and that’s the big perk and the win. checking in with myself on a regular basis to making to make sure that I’m where I want myself to be and that my business is moving in that direction and and doing its goal of supporting my family in the way that I wanted.
Sophia | 23:46
Absolutely. Gratitude’s kind of a big deal. We’re going to get way the heck into that. But being intentional about your gratitude and mindfulness practices day to day, and that does not mean keeping a gratitude journal or meditating or anything in particular, can have a rather significant impact on your mental health and ability to cope. And all of that fun, delightful stuff, which could be kind of difficult, especially when you’re, you know, doing business alone, which we sort of both do. I mean, you’re not day to day in the same room as your sister. And you and I are not day to day at the same place. Although it almost feels like it, because I want sap you so much.
Nikki | 24:34
That’s the perk of, the Internet and technology today.
Sophia | 24:38
Yes. Which we’ll also talk about clients being maybe too text happy at some point in time. All right. We are also going to talk about self image and the dangers of social media. And for me, this is something that comes up in what I do all the time because most of the women in particular that I work with, the first thing that they saved me when they book is that you have your. You have your work cut out for you. Because I am not photogenic. And that usually means that someone at some point in their life told them that they were not photogenic and they took that person seriously and they really shouldn’t have because everyone photographs perfectly fine. It’s just a matter of how you feel when you’re being photographed. And I have some stories to this effect, but social media can really screw up how people see themselves. Be it by looking at other people’s photos or looking at photos of themselves. So we’ll get into that. And I know that you also had some thoughts on this one.
Nikki | 25:40
For me, the big one with social media is that impostor syndrome, constantly comparing myself to other business owners, and as a stay at home mom too, battling that feeling of failure, and you’ll see that perfectly curated image and they have so much time and they’re doing all these things right, and it’s just trying to remember that social media is a highlight. Real. It’s not the play by play. You’re not getting that color commentary from sun up to sundown it is just the best of the best
Sophia | 26:10
I would love to start posting screw up photos on social media. Just because I hate that so much. The the highlight real really screws people up, and, yeah, I have stories about that too, about clients thinking that the accounts that they’re looking at, their competition, they have it sewed together. And, you know, I woke up in the morning and took a photo of myself laying in bed without any make up on. And I’ve had to tell them. Well, actually, in that photo, they had a whole makeup team and a photographer and it was perfectly lit and that it’s not them when they wake up in the morning. But anyway.
So I don’t know if I told you this, Nikki, but the other day I had a shoot in Penang machine, and I got out of the car just as the clients were arriving and immediately got pooped on by a goose. I know. So I’m wiping it with a Tim Horton’s napkin, and just it was, like, right on my chest area, so it kind of stuck out. And so I had to just be that person who was like. I just got pooped out by a goose. But I think that’s really good news for your shoot,
Nikki | 27:22
That’s great luck for you.
Sophia | 27:24
Right? Yeah, for sure.
And then I had to go about my day with goose poop on my shirt. But I totally meant to take a picture of it and posted on social media, but totally forgot, so I might just have to fake it later or something like that. my goodness. But the photos turned out excellent, so that’s cool.
Next thing, we will go in two. And something that can sort of happen as a result of the self imagined and dangerous of social media, as the mental health issues and coping strategies for dealing with all of these things. And. Yeah, I mean, I think we’re almost having like a second pandemic of just depression and anxiety in every human being on the planet at the moment. what do you think about about this topic?
Nikki | 28:29
It’s so funny, my notes are literally, like, about coming off of the pandemic, so I totally agree with that. It’s it’s too rolled out of this. It’s like, okay, what kind of what do we do now? So for me, it’s dealing with the stresses of owning a business and mixed with everyday life. And like, we both generally work from home, right?
You’re not necessarily exempt from that and working in a separate environment. So having to create those boundaries within your space and separation there. I work. I try really hard to build time into my schedule to decompress after meetings that I feel like are going to be especially high strung and high emotion. P giving myself time to prep before meetings, having honest conversations with my partner about the support that I need for my business so that I can also meet the goals for our personal life and make sure that I’m showing up for our family in the way that I want to show up, but without neglecting my business at the same time. allocating enough time to take care of myself that I can avoid those burnout times. And if I can’t, then having that real conversation, even with my clients to say day Sophia like I’m. I’m picking a mental health day and see the day after you kind of thing.
And I’m fortunate enough that the people that I work with, like yourself, are very understanding of that and very upfront on the flip side with me too, when those things happen. So, For me, that’s another perk. So that I get to kind of handpick who I work with and make sure that there’s that understanding going in that we’re kind of all on the same boat.
Sophia | 30:05
unreasonable, expect not gonna turn out well for anyone, so. And also, in the course of you and I working together, we have both taken mental time. my goodness. Because it’s just exhausting, and I feel like transitioning back into, you know, working every day has been a strange one. Yeah, it’s been, like, so busy and almost, like, everyone sort of forgot how to do it. I think I did. I think I forgot how to do it. So those three topics will blend pretty well together.
And we’ll be asking for questions from listeners as well. There will be links in the podcast show notes where people can leave voice messages to ask us questions and can also follow us on social media at our own individual accounts and also join us on our Facebook community, our Facebook group ridiculously happy pplcast and can leave questions there. Also, we are going to be on Youtube. Or if you are listening to this, we are currently on Youtube, so you can leave questions there. And I’m noticing that I have my hands waving all over the place. And I am in my studio, which has really old single pane factory windows that literally do not seal shut and don’t have screens. So I constantly have flies zipping around all the time, so if you’re wondering why my hands are waving around, it’s because there’s flies in here and they like me. Okay, moving on. So the next
Nikki | 32:00
Those windows are beautiful.
Sophia | 32:02
They are beautiful, they’re worth it. I will swat at flies for those windows. The next topic that I wanted to cover was having tough conversations, which, you know, you might think is about having those conversations about mental health and stuff, but is it necessarily. I feel like these days, especially through covid, there was a lot of, you know, content in the news and stress just about racial issues, Lgbtq plus issues and especially in the communities that you and I find ourselves in, like South Western Ontario, Canada. I’ve been hearing from a lot of people that they feel like they just can’t talk about things. Like they’re constantly worried that they’re going to say the wrong thing. So my goal is to bring a guest in to chat about that particular topic. And that guest, I mean, to be direct, will not be white so that we could get the other side of that conversation. Because I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I don’t always say the right thing and never will because I am not omniscient, so I do not know everything. Yeah, so that’s going to be a fun conversation to have. I’m not sure if you had any notes on that particular topic, but. Yeah.
Nikki | 33:40
I didn’t make any notes. I wasn’t sure the direction we’re headed there, but I agree with you. It’s been an interesting climate, and I think a lot of. I mean, it’s conversations I’ve had within my household and with family and friends as well to kind of like, what the heck is going on out there?
Like, Holy. It’s, been a lot of high emotions. And throughout the last three years, it’s shifted my perspective of a lot of people that I viewed closely and thought, okay, that you were not the person that I thought you were. And that’s been a really interesting and and made for very tough conversations with my partner and to kind of say, Okay, you know what? These are not people that I feel comfortable around our children, and those are not views that I want pushed on our children. So we’re going to have to kind of put our hands up there and pump the brakes a little
Sophia | 34:34
Yeah, it’s a tough. It’s a tough thing because everyone, My perspective is you can’t be expected to always know what to say to make the people around you feel comfortable. But you can be open to listening so you can say the wrong thing and have someone react and not take it personally and just listen and learn and then form your own opinion like that. Is that is okay.
Sophia | 35:04
So preface. I want everyone to get a little bit of a thicker skin for this one and also be open to dialog and to listing. All right?
So another one, another topic for season one, which comes straight out of the networking organization that we have both been a part of is recognition and acknowledging others. Because I’m finding that I’m just a person who likes to get a little bit of recognition here and there. Like you don’t really think about it, but damn, it feels good. And so I’ve made it a part of my life, attempting to recognize people when they’re doing things well. Because I don’t know that there’s enough of that in the world, frankly. What do you think?
Nikki | 35:55
Yeah, I agree with you. I think, that was something I I that’s stood out for me in that networking group, and I really appreciate it. It’s just taking that time to show the appreciation to those that are around you and to remember that the majority of us thrive on positive reinforcement. I mean, if you go about your every day and it’s okay, cool, I think, yeah, that was nice, but a a stop. And I thank you so much for what you did that made a big difference for me. Or I just appreciate you putting time into X Y S. Like, the smallest little accolade can go such a long way in turning a bad day into a good day and turning a so soo connection into a lasting connection. And I think that’s huge. And especially when that takes, you know, thirty seconds of your life
Sophia | 36:40
For sure. And I will always remember the random dude on the street who complimented me on my sunglasses and that made me feel great. And then last but definitely not least, especially given the name of this topic, is family and priority Management. And I just wanted to preface this short little conversation with why I picked this particular topic. And obviously, family is a big deal in my line of work because I work with a lot of families. And when I work with them, while they are generally ridiculously happy, they’re also rather stressed because trying to wrangle toddlers is, or can be a stressful experience for parents. But I recently read Essentialism. Cannot remember the author’s name at the moment, but I will remember it for the first episode. And it is just an excellent book. And within the first few chapters, he commented on the origin of the word priority and that priority for ever was a singular term. It was never priorities. It only became priorities, like within the last hundred years or something ridiculous like that. And I thought, Wow, okay. So we’re always, you know, coming up with priorities in life for ourselves and business, whatever. What are our top priorities?
And people will come up with ten of them, and that’s just too much. And I kind of want to push people to drill down on what their actual priority is, because again, in my line of work, people put off family portraits over and over and over and over and over again because they don’t have time because they’re going to hockey practice and dental appointments and they have to work and they have to work overtime. And it’s just absurd, the amount of stuff that you have going on in order to manage a family and all of those things that you do to manage your family, take you away from spending quality time with your family. And if you ask any of these people what their number one priority in life is, they’re probably going to tell you it’s their family. So I find that a little bit ironic. I know you had thoughts on this one. What do you think?
Nikki | 39:08
That’s so funny said that it’s like I saw recently somewhere online. So true or false, who knows these days?
But basically, by the time you hit retirement age at sixty five ish age, that those first four years when your children are small, small ends up being like three or four percent of your working life. So. And for me, that it’s again, when I’m talking about, like, perspective, like, that puts it into perspective for me to say, okay, these these days right now are super along. My my daughters are one and three. But to know that I can be here for them and be flexible and still financially show up for my family in the same way that I would if I wasn’t at home. But I get that time with them that I will never get again. And that’s a priority for me is being able to be here with them and support them, and show up every single day for my kids. everything that happens after that is the trickling and, like, the reason why I’m doing these things. So, to be present and provide the attention to them while also providing to my business and fulfilling commitments to clients. it all kind of feeds into that one big reason of of being a stay at home mom for me. I’m always upfront with my clients. You and I had this conversation, like, Hey, I’m. I’m also a stay at home mom, and the guy was very pregnant at the time with my second. So, I mean, we knew there was a another baby coming down the road, and I. But I would make that guarantee that I’m available during these hours. And anything outside of that, I work flex, and it will get done within the deadline. but yeah, first and and foremost is my family. And I love that you made that comment about priority versus priorities because how many times do we hear about shifting priorities and how many things take turns and you have to do a lot for different circumstances? So I think that’s a really, really interesting point that how many things can you really place at the very top of your list…
Sophia | 41:19
Well, if you happen to have a look at my to do list, you can put a lot of things at the top of your priority list, and then you’re probably not going to get to any of them, so. And this is this podcast, by no means, is all about photography. Like, primarily, it is not about photography. But this is, you know, how I do get some insight into a lot of families lives and the number of families who will book with me, and they will say, you know, they’re booking a photo session with their adult kids, and they’re like, We haven’t had family photos done since the kids were eight years old. And it’s like… You’re lucky sudden bad things have not happened in that time. I hate to say. So that episode will be all about determining what your actual priorities are and then figuring out how to focus more time on those things because life is not a rat race.
Nikki | 42:23
No, no, it is not, it shouldn’t.
Sophia | 42:27
Although that movie is awesome. If you have seen Rat Race?
Nikki | 42:30
It is a good one, I have seen it, it’s an oldly but goody.
Sophia | 42:36
Before we close off this episode, this preview episode, do you have anything else that you would like to share about where we are going with this podcast and you or life or anything?
Nikki | 42:57
I’m I’m just really excited about this actually. I love, I love the idea of being able to cross all of these topics and reach out to people and. And I’m looking forward to hear it. Seeing questions coming in and how people are relating or, you know, making that connection that I’m also dealing with that. And I’m also working through this in my own life or in my own business, my own family or whichever. I’d love to be able to to hear all those different stories as well. And I’m just super excited to see where this can go.
Sophia | 43:27
Excellent. I guess I should say that this is not going to be a highlight reel. To make everyone think that you and I have everything figured out. And that’s why we are hosting a podcast, because that is not the case. Nope, not at all. All right, so some other topics that we will be covering, obviously family mental health and all of that delightful stuff. We’ll
Sophia | 43:57
also be looking at some business strategies. Ways to make running a small business or a side hustle or something like that a little bit more manageable so that you’re not driving yourself mad, which you absolutely could do if you decided to get into any of that. What else?
I’m going to have to have a look at my notes here.
Nikki | 44:20
I think we’re talking aboutut, boundary setting with yourself and with people around you and that kind of stuff, which is always used to. You know what?
I’ve gotten really good at it lately. I’m very proud of myself for that. It used to be really tough for me to set and especially enforce boundaries, but it takes time
Sophia | 44:42
Well, I’m glad to hear that, because I feel like you haven’t had to set very many boundaries with me, which makes me think that I’m not asking too much of you.
Nikki | 44:51
You are not. No, not at.
Sophia | 44:54
That’s excellent. my goodness. Yeah. So those are the topics that we’re going to be covering. And I also want to do one season on wedding planning because. And not, you know, traditional wedding planning. Because he could find all of that information on the Internet if you would like to. But wedding planning for the people who want a wedding to look the way they want it to look. Instead of like the checklist that you find online with all the items that you
Sophia | 45:22
need to do. Because news flash, life is all about your own prior priorities, and you could do it anyway that you want to.
Nikki | 45:35
Sophia | 45:36
Okay, Nikki, where can people find you?
Nikki | 45:40
They can find me on Instagram at @theavasolution, which stands for authentic virtual assistance, but anyone didn’t know. Also on Facebook under the same The Ava Solution and to make things super easy, also on the Internet at theavasolution.com, All over the place.
Sophia | 46:04
Apparently, and very consistent with the branding.
Nikki | 46:09
Yes, have to be.
Sophia | 46:14
Branding, a topic for a future episode. All right, thank you so much for making time for this episode of Ridiculously Happy Pplcast. This is what I read the script. So you can tell.
We hope that you feel a little bit inspired, a little like you want to live a little bit more kindly, more confidently and more ridiculously happy. And if you enjoyed this episode. Please subscribe rate and leave a review on your podcast App of Choice. Your feedback means the world to us and helps spread this ridiculously happy movement. We also invite you to join our community on Facebook at Ridiculously Happy Ppl. And remember that happiness is contagious. So who do you know who could use a smile?
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