Alpha Female Friday – Colleen Nolin

Every Friday I am going to feature a woman that I adore. They exude all the qualities of an Alpha Female and I want to dig into their lives to get some nuggets of knowledge to help us all live happier, healthier lives balancing life & work.

Definition of an Alpha Female

An Alpha Female is a powerful and assertive woman. Her confidence is due to being an intelligent and intellectual problem-solver. Being an Alpha Female is a State of Mind based on choosing ambition and being proud of it. She strives for a happy and healthy work/life harmony.

She is the brightest star in her constellation.  When an Alpha Female stays true to their authentic selves and their missions they shine.  An Alpha Female puts herself first because she deserves self-care and love. She knows that work/life harmony is found by staying true to your priorities and what makes you happy. She is never complacent about striving for better and nurtures relationships with all the people in her life.

Meet Colleen Nolin!

Colleen Nolin was a small-town Saskatchewan girl who grew up on a farm. After leaving the rural prairies and pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree as a Registered Nurse and a Master’s in Infectious Disease you can now find her dwelling in the Arizona Dessert, a wife and a mama of 2 kids and pursuing her passion of creative writing. She wrote a poetry book in March 2017 called Fishing for Lemons and Dragons. You can find the link to the book on Amazon below!

Website & Instagram

What do you think of the definition and how are you an Alpha Female?

I could read that definition over and over and over again. It’s the very mission that I aspire to and wish to inspire in others! I absolutely want to shine so brightly that I can hear the shiny buzzing in my ears! I power through my life; struggles and successes with optimism and gratitude. I take it all in, learning as I go, sharing all that I have and take nothing for granted. I operate from a place of power and love and endless curiosity!

What does work/life harmony look like for you?

Harmony for me is a state of presence and awareness. Like an instrument I need to maintain my body; my strings. I keep myself well-tuned so as not to compromise my own song.

Share with us a time when work/life balance was out of wack? What was your aha moment that taught you it was ok to take care of yourself first?

I was in school for a long time, working full time, raising young children, supporting my husband through his degree while trying to obtain residency status for our family in a country clear across the other side of the planet. Since moving to Arizona 4 years ago, I’ve had a plethora of Aha moments. I have come to realize that I while was trying so hard to prove to others what I was capable of; it mattered not to them. Those that loved me, loved me. I didn’t need to prove anything. I could stop. I could live my life how I wanted to, where I wanted to. It was up to me. If I wanted it to be a struggle for the sake of proving how hard it could be, it certainly would be. If I wanted to stop struggling and start living the life that I wanted to live, all I had to do was start. I had to let go of others expectations; let go of all the rules that I had forced myself to live by, and open myself to the world at my feet one step at a time. It was an Aha moment that set me free. And it has given me the space to recognize that while I am capable of many things, I am truly meant for a select few. Proving that I can accomplish something just for the sake of proving it, was suffocating me. Harnessing my energies for the gifts I was meant to share is my pathway now and how I can better take care of myself.

What are you most passionate about?

I’m so passionate about overall goodness. Whatever it is that brings it to any of us. The best food, the best water; the best air, the best views. If it’s running a touchdown or belting out a song, whatever makes you or me or them feel good I strive for that, daily. I do my best to instill it in my children, my family, my colleagues, friends and acquaintances. I’m passionate about doing things with integrity and dignity; from downward dog to emailing my chief medical officer. The details in all things, so deserving of being done well. I’m passionate about being mindful of the goodness that comes from the awareness of those details. I love the details… I am guided by a creed of wellness and good intention: “and it harm none, do what you will”. I appreciate even the smallest of interactions and all the goodness that comes from them: the playfulness of a butterfly that might just be a grandmother from heaven, stopping in to check on me, to the random conversations with strangers in the yogurt aisle – it’s all meaningful.

How do you nourish yourself?

Daily health commitments for me include an awareness of my physical, mental and spiritual health. Do I feel strong? Do I feel fulfilled? Do I feel peaceful? Balance is a big deal to me, maybe because I’m a Libra! Most days I feel fantastic; humming right along. So, when something is off, I am sensitive to it and I set my sights on correcting it. I always take my vitamins, eat foods that are good for me and drink lots of water. I am naturally quite lean so I focus on strength. I love to hike and the Phoenix area has some amazing hikes that take in whenever I can.

What is your weekly fitness routine like?

I struggle in a gym setting. Perhaps, part squirrel, I need a tree around me to be happily active. I prefer to be active outdoors and could walk for hours. I’m lucky that I work in a fabulous neighborhood and can get out for walking lunches that move my body and mind each day. I have a little bedtime routine that I’ve done for years. I don’t get to each day but rather 2-3 times per week. Sit-ups, squats, free weights and yoga all in the comfort of my bedroom. It’s quick and it has worked for me for a long time. If it ain’t broke…

How do you challenge yourself fitness wise?

I’m motivated by the challenge of endurance. I don’t like to be scared or put myself in harm’s way for the sake of a thrill. But I do like to see something through that is just as much a test of the mind as it is for the body. I hiked 25 miles from the north to south rim of the Grand Canyon a few years ago. It’s this kinds of adventures that I love to challenge myself to.

What is your nutrition like?

I’m a creature of habit. I find comfort in routine. Throughout the week, my breakfasts and lunches are packed ahead of time. And it’s the same foods each week! And I love them! Suppers are more variable because unlike me, my children like a bit more variety on a regular basis. But it’s always healthy. Vegetables and protein are the supper staples. My will power wanes by about 7pm and I indulge in a bit of dark chocolate and some tea with cream and honey each night. I make no apologies for that. Chocolate and honey are super foods, after all!

What are your daily habits for winding down at night and reducing stress?

To wind down each night, I usually read and enjoy that cup of tea I mentioned. Lavender is my fave. My last thoughts for the day, once my eyes are closed, are always that of gratitude. I’m filled with a sense of peace and calm when I focus on that I’m grateful for. And it puts me right to sleep! But if I need to wind down at any point in the day, I always start with my breathing. Focusing all my thoughts on the sound, depth and quality of each breath, I can very quickly calm myself and reset.

What are some pain points of being an Alpha Female that you have to problem solve for? 

I’ve often felt misunderstood. People mistake my emotional and creative freedom for crazy lady. But it’s never really bothered me. I’ve never craved acceptance from others; I’m content with who I am and I just do my thing. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t sad when other girls made fun of what I wore, the music I listened to, or shoved me up against a wall at the school dance for God knows what, when no one was looking. I didn’t understand at the time, the kind of insecurity, pain and negative power-seeking that inspires a bully because I’ve always been driven by love, not hate. Though I don’t have bullies hiding around the corner anymore, I’m still ridiculed in the adult world, but in a much gentler way. I take it as a compliment now (whether it is or not, doesn’t matter to meJ)! After all, I’m a duck out of water in my current 9-5 life and don’t always blend so well with the academics, healthcare professionals and business-minded folk that I spend a large part of my week with. That’s not to say that I don’t hold my own in that role; I do.

I’m a hard working dreamer with a couple of degrees that among other purposes, serve as a solid backup plan. I need to know that I can look after myself and my family doing something that interests me; that I can do anywhere on the planet, and that I can enjoy. The pain point is that I also need to remember to stay true to myself and to pursue what I have always gravitated towards. Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should do it for the rest of my days. I need to follow my heart and do what truly makes me happy.

Being an alpha means that I can do it all; I’m strong enough to carry many a burden, including those of others. So, I need to be careful to stay in my own best interests and achieve my best life. I need to let others do for themselves and not foster dependences upon my capabilities that are, ultimately, at the expense of my own freedoms and accomplishments. This is a struggle for me; I want everyone to do so well.

What is your definition of happiness?

Happiness is waking up early in the morning and heading out for a sunrise hike; then coming home and sitting down to a strong cup of coffee, pen in hand, free as a bird to write whatever might come to me. Breathing in the fragrant, floral breezes through open doors and windows, listening to my children play outside while my husband quietly and lovingly cooks me eggs and toast. I’m in a state of happiness quite a lot. Life is good.

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