COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.

S1 EP41: LAUREL SENICK

November 22, 2023 NICOA DUNNE CORNELIUS Season 1 Episode 41
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN.
S1 EP41: LAUREL SENICK
COFFEE WITH NICOA: Creating A LIFE BY DESIGN. +
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Show Notes Transcript

TALK ABOUT A SURPRISING episode! Nicoa has a cool caffeinated conversation with a cool local surfer girl, author, film maker and former barista LAUREL SENICK! Nicoa admits she got a little excited in this interview but we're confident you'll gain some insights from the enthusiasm that will help you with your LIFE BY DESIGN! ENJOY!!

LEARN MORE ABOUT LAUREL HERE
BUY LAUREL's BOOK FOAM HERE (I just read it while sailing in Spain, it's a great vacay read for young adult to adult!!)
LISTEN TO POST SESSION PODCAST HERE


Buy your copy of YOUR LIFE BY DESIGN: A Coffee With Nicoa Self-Care Coaching Journal
on Amazon today! 

YOUR ISLAND GATHERING AWAITS: Baldhead Island, North Carolina, USA, April 11-14th, 2024
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Nicoa Coach:

Grab your coffee and join me Nicoa For a caffeinated conversation about life I'll be talking to people who have chosen to walk their own paths and just like me are creating a life by design. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to do exactly the same. Ladies and gentlemen, this will be take three I have got Laurel Centacare, a Wrightsville, beach surfer girl and fixture in our community. Not only is she the cool surfer girl that I kept seeing around town and I kept thinking I knew her or she sure does look cool. I'm not kidding. Laurel, I thought I want to know her.

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, I kind of thought the same thing about you when you display a glow. You know,

Nicoa Coach:

I glow that this meant I was sweating right here from the are you from the South to

LAUREL SENICK:

my am from the south. And yes, not only do I sweat, I have hot flashes. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

Me too, baby. Alright, sometimes if I drink too much coffee too. It kind of kicks in. I see. You've got your post session. Podcast mug. Look at this. Oh, tell us a little bit about what coffee you're drinking this morning, my friend.

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, I am drinking Lowe's food fresh roasted 699 A pound on Fridays?

Nicoa Coach:

Of course you are awesome. I told you earlier. I'm still addicted to the old Starbucks espresso. Maybe I'm just still hoping for Starbucks sponsorship.

LAUREL SENICK:

There you go. Now that's not a bad idea. But

Nicoa Coach:

I'm more likely to get the Lowe's special on Fridays sponsorship. Maybe I need to go over there to that Murrayville first, right. Your Podcast needs a coffee sponsor. There you go. Alright, listeners, let me tell you something. Not only is Laurel this really cool surfer girl surfer chick. She is an award winning filmmaker, and a retreat guru down at Coral casa. I can't wait to hear all about that part of your life by design. But most recently, she published a book, an action adventure suspense novel called foam. And we're going to dig deep into how she used her life by design design intentionality to create that book. Because that really stood out for me. Um, and you even had this like award winning documentary back at the Southern California Film Fest back in 2007. Your Rock Star Girl I'm on your life, man.

LAUREL SENICK:

Oh, well, thank you. I feel like surfing was something that kind of was a catalyst for creativity for me. I mean, I was always creative. And I loved dance movies writing. And I worked in the film business here for a number of years when I got out of college and moved to Wilmington, but um, yes.

Nicoa Coach:

Take us back to that because I did see that little miss craft service. My brother used to work down at screens or Dino DiLaurentis theater Yeah. Or and he used to be set builder. So you is that one of the you jumped into the industry here in Wilmington, like a lot of people did back in the 90s. Or whenever? Yeah, tell me how you got into that.

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, I was working at a coffee shop downtown and

Nicoa Coach:

wait, pause. I'm interrupting. Which coffee shop did you work in downtown?

LAUREL SENICK:

Cape Fear Coffee and Tea .

Nicoa Coach:

I worked at Cape Fear COffee and Team! !! Oh, did we work together?

LAUREL SENICK:

No Wonder Are you kidding?!?

Nicoa Coach:

me? I just got goose bumps Stop. Oh,

LAUREL SENICK:

did you work with Merck, Mert?

Nicoa Coach:

Mert? Holy shit that's my ex husband Laurel. Are you kidding me?

LAUREL SENICK:

Okay. That;s how We know each other. It must be that is hysterical.

Nicoa Coach:

I guess I didn't do enough stalking?

LAUREL SENICK:

Yeah, you should have kept going.

Nicoa Coach:

Did you just drop your airpod put into your coffee, haha

LAUREL SENICK:

is crazy.

Nicoa Coach:

Yes. I worked with I mean, worked with Yes. I worked with Mert. I was busy working at GE and being pregnant when he was working at the coffee shop. Right? Yeah, right. When we came back from Australia or lived we were in Raleigh, blah blah, blah. Shit.

LAUREL SENICK:

I remember him being the stay at home dad. Yes. And

Nicoa Coach:

now our son - that was so cool. he is 26 years old. That was 26 years ago.

LAUREL SENICK:

Wow. Wow. I really like my first job when I got here.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh my God. Now where did you move from where you were in? Oh, this was I was in college

LAUREL SENICK:

in Greensboro, Greensboro. Yeah. Okay. And then I came, I came to Wilmington, and I wanted to work in film and one of the patrons that came in, you know, we would chat or whatever. And he's like, Oh, well, he did construction or more of set work type things. And he said, Well, I'll introduce, you know, there's a new company in town, and I'll introduce you and I just went and said, I'll do whatever. Yeah, and the craft, the craft service girl called me and said, like, you know, the next week and said, We're gonna be in done North Carolina, in like some cotton, tobacco type fields. We're not shooting till midnight, you know, 10 o'clock or whatever. And I was like, I'm in I'll be there. And it was pretty amazing. It was. I know what, not what you did last summer to work on that. But um, once upon a time when we were colored, so it had Felicia Rashad in it. And Tim Reid was directing. And he was the magician. Can't even think of the blues, new famous blues musician that was there. And I remember, like, one of my first nights there, we'd, we'd have a meal. We're out in a field. You know, the, the musician was in his little director chair, and he was just playing music and there was cows over to the left. Yeah, this is what I was planning. This is what I imagined.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, this is my vibe. I like Yeah, I did a lot of I was an extra and a handful of the movies over the years. From high school on I mean, yeah. And as recent as Tammy, I was extra and Tammy. Do you know Scott Davis? He's like, Yeah, Scott, close family friend. Actually, Scott taught me how to juggle when I was 12. This is how small town this is. I'm not kidding. But I was on Tami's set. And he came walking in and you know, extras were not supposed to be talking. But when asked me anyway, and they were doing something like serious with, you know, Melissa McCarthy, and you know, Michelle, oh, they were all over there, sir Susan Sarandon. And here comes Scott. And he's like, Nicola. And Amy, were hugging to carry out and they're like, but you guys need to Yeah. But that world, I'm still kind of in shock that

LAUREL SENICK:

you worked at the kamin. How small is that? Oh, my God.

Nicoa Coach:

Well, so you worked in the movie industry and, and what I want to do is dig a little bit deeper here into how you ultimately became pretty intentional about your life by design. So you had gone to school for what what were you studying?

LAUREL SENICK:

So I started in film and ended up in communication, public relations, minored in English and skated kind of, I was like, oh, what? Oh, wait, I can give a call just without thinking about it. So let me do that communicate.

Nicoa Coach:

That's five degrees.

LAUREL SENICK:

That is crazy. Exact same degree. Oh, wow. That's funny.

Nicoa Coach:

So you are in the field of communications, as am I and so you can't get away from that. You can't everybody needs the communications minor at a minimum, right? Yes. Yes. So then you end up in the movie industry? And did you just start making films on your own? Or what's the deal?

LAUREL SENICK:

Oh, no. So then, you know, my little truck or train kind of went off the rails in there somewhere? Yeah, you know, happens, burning the candle at both ends. And what happened, just just burned out, really burned out, like just, I didn't even want to take the job. And the film industry was slowing down at that, towards that time. And I'd worked on a ton of Made for TV, Hallmark movies and some other films, and I just was feeling just bedraggled. Yeah. And, and so came out, I just turned down the net. I had just bought a house. And thank God the bank even gave me a shot. And actually was another film person who his banker had worked with other film people. So they knew because I didn't even have a job when I got the loan. And so, but I came out of the business and I went and worked at the health food store, the co op right up the street from me, yeah. And just decompressed and really had a spiritual awakening. You know, I grew up in the church. Yeah. And Had you no less that and Susan went off to school. I was like, see? Mom, dad? Oh god, you know, whatever. And, and, and but I just found myself empty, you know after lots of drugs and partying and doing everything that I thought was super fun at the time, you know, but then after a while you're like,

Nicoa Coach:

wow. Yeah, this is no longer serving

LAUREL SENICK:

me. Yeah. And what was the

Nicoa Coach:

major cost to that not just the feeling of burnout, but what were you beginning to look around and see as the cost of that lifestyle?

LAUREL SENICK:

Don't know that I was that aware. I just, I remember waking up right before I bought the house. And immediately was aware of my emptiness. Yeah. And as soon as that dawned on me, like, it was a conscious thought, my mother and my dad both had a strong faith, but my mom in particular, she, we have a little brother who has special needs. And so when you see faith kind of walked out in the fire in a in a difficult times when things are rough, and you just see how that person stays buoyed up. I understand that. Yeah. And so I was like, Okay, God, and you know, you're not supposed to do this, but I did. I said, Okay, God, you know, I've prayed to you anytime the shit hit the fan, right? I know, you're if you're real, then you real all the time. So I really want to hurt I kind of live Gypsy, you know, there's a movie in Charleston by everybody, you know, and I've just go down to Charleston, or I'd go wherever and I said, I want a home. I need I just felt that need to be more settled. And I said, I'll go to church. If you'd help me find my landlord that was back in the day when he would swing by and pick up the rent check. And I told him, I said, I'm tired of paying you rent. I said, I want to buy a house. And he said, and I said, but I don't want just any house. I want a house that's unique and has cool character and, and he's like, I know the house that you want. Awesome. Really? He's like, Yeah, he said, I wanted to get it. But my business partner didn't want to go in with me. It's not even on the market yet. Do you want to see it? And I was like, yeah. And he said, I was on Barnum Avenue. He said, it's like three blocks away. Okay, so I wrote in the car with him, the guy wasn't there. But as this cute little house on Autobahn with, or Park Avenue, but right by Autobahn with windows that opened up like this, you know, wow, look, dingy. And I was like, Oh, that's cool. So the next day, I got on my bike, rode my bike over to the house and knocked on the door. introduce myself.

Nicoa Coach:

I'm about to buy your house.

LAUREL SENICK:

I heard that your house is for sale. And I think I'm interested. And this man sold me the house that later told me that he knew he was he was a Pentecostal preacher. He said the neighbor had already asked to buy the house that he knew he was supposed to sell it to me. Oh, that was like, Oh,

Nicoa Coach:

I got chills again.

LAUREL SENICK:

I know. It was something and and then I started going to the I took up my end of the bargain. Already craving it, you know, really just kind of craving that. Solid thing was, yeah. And so I started going to church, and I've been going ever since I love it. Yeah. Good for ya. And that's just that was kind of my exit out that I had just gotten the loan. I wasn't working. I don't I maybe took one more maybe a commercial or something that really didn't never work in the film industry. Officially again, and that's kind of funny how you let

Nicoa Coach:

that go. Right? And something else comes

LAUREL SENICK:

in something else? Well, so I went to a little Bible study, and this girl said, I was like, I need a job more than just working at the co op. And she said, Well, I work with kids with special needs, and we always need help. And that's my little brother heads. I can do this. Yes. And that is what I did for over 11 years. I well, I was at one my last company for 11 years. So probably 15 years total with another company. And so I ended up working kids with special needs and kids with mental health disorders. And then my father the last 11 years was with kids that were at risk of being placed out of the home because of their behaviors.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, my mother was the maybe we also knew each other this way. My mother was the executive director of New Hanover County Special Olympics. Oh, okay. And she ran the Annie Walker day camp for special needs kids over with the Parks and Rec land program here. Yeah. That was probably before your brother. But he wasn't based in Wilmington, I guess.

LAUREL SENICK:

Originally from Elizabeth City,

Nicoa Coach:

but in that knee, another special connection.

LAUREL SENICK:

Yeah, shadows. Cool. Yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

So you did that work for a long time. But when did you start doing the filmmaking? Did you do that back when you were in the film space? I don't know where it is now.

LAUREL SENICK:

So, you know, I would think I bought the house in 9998 99. And then 2000, you know, started working in the health food store then started working at helping people and then I was at the health food store. working behind the cashier, and in walks, I don't know if you know, Joe Pickett she teaches surfing at the beach and has for years had surf camp. Yeah, surf camp. Yeah, he walked in with a used wetsuit, wanting to sell it while squatting with her old wetsuit, wanting to sell it to raise money to drive down to Florida to compete. And I remember looking at that wetsuit looking at her, and I thought, I want to surf. How about that $50 wet suit has ever served a thing? Oh, my God, how old were you? I was 33. I

Nicoa Coach:

love this. Everybody's pause and listen. Life can change. Oh my god. So you bought this wetsuit for her, bought

LAUREL SENICK:

a used wetsuit from her. And it was almost two years before I ever it. So I didn't really have a weight in you know, had this wetsuit. But I was, that was like, you know, it was an impulse buy. Yes. But I mean, it was it was destiny. It was foreshadowing, yes. And And so finally, a guy, an old friend moved in a block down from me, who served, who had summers off because he was a community college professor. And he had an extra board. And he just went out with me every day for an entire summer. What am I just got my feet underneath me. And then when he went back to work, he only took he took his little small car to drive to Brunswick County and left the old truck. So I could just walk out, he'd let me walk up, use his truck, grab his board and serve the rest of the year, you know, with his help. Wow. Got my own? Yes. So yeah, it's

Nicoa Coach:

all these little interactions all these ways in our journey that influence us and that we are attracting whether we realize it or not, you know, yeah, you're talking about, you know, spirituality and God. And I always think that the universe is conspiring on our behalf all the time.

LAUREL SENICK:

Like, oh, yeah, just sit there.

Nicoa Coach:

Like, what does she need now? Oh, she had that little thought once and she doesn't even remember it, but we're gonna go hand her a surf, you know, surfboard from her neighbor. Right?

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, and it's like, you know, of course, my belief is that it's God up there. And he loves us. And yeah, I've been waiting for this moment, you know? For you. Yeah. So,

Nicoa Coach:

so having that foundation of faith has really kept you going and keeps you you know, what is this this question? I was gonna ask you, where did I put it? Yeah. How did how did you? Is that how you stay clear in the chatter of life and the chaos of life and the bill paying and what am I supposed to do next? Is that how do you discern from the chatter to your own wisdom and the connection with your faith?

LAUREL SENICK:

I mean, I do feel like that is the thing that helps me. No, not, you know, I don't have to go this way. I don't have to worry about this, even if, like one example in this maybe gets into the coral, Puerto Rico thing, but at our church that Don and I were going to for a while they are that we started going to together, but and then got married and right. Soon after they did a money series and like, you know, where's your money going? And that was before all the electronic banking. So you could just keep your receipts in a coffee can right. Yeah. And so he made this budget. And you know, of course, we were going to have some to the church and you know, what we wanted to do and and then we decided like, let's what let's plan for not having debt. And so it was so far away and it ROM that we call coin debt free in 2023. Oh, we're in 2023, right?

Nicoa Coach:

Yes. How's that going? So

LAUREL SENICK:

we beat it, it was, it was incredible. And okay, so we had just done that. We've set everything up, we've put all the things in place of how because we did the month of saving all the receipts to figure out where the money was going and then work out a plan based on that. And then my job, close the doors. Nobody got you know, and here's the it's a place where we're working with people with challenges. And so we just kept working with the people for at least a week, you know, filling out the week because we could not show up but locked. They left town and weren't paying, I got my last check. Well, I got the check. The last check went through that I got from them, but a few people, there's didn't. And then nobody got paid for the week that we were working just because but I just said to dawn, I was like, you know, what? Are you doing this plan? We prayed over this plan. This is the plan. We're not changing the plan. And you know, within a week, probably 10 days, less than two weeks because it wasn't a full pay period. Another company bought or absorbed us because they wanted our clients. Yeah. And I ended up I got the same pay. But I got insurance, which I didn't have before. Oh,

Nicoa Coach:

so that had to happen. Right? In what looks like a roadblock might be a redirect, right? It's a detour getting you to the right spot.

LAUREL SENICK:

It looks like what a waste of time. Why did we even do that? And, you know, everything's if you had the negative thought patterns, you could have just gone. There's no point that you know, it's always gonna come against you. But you know, when you have faith, you always feel like, No, I am loved. I am adored. I was created for a reason. So something's gonna work out. It'll work out. It'll work out. I mean, I'm not saying we don't have tragedy, because we do. Right, or tragic things don't happen, because they do. Um, but you're never, I'm never alone, right to fumble through in the dark. I have help. You know,

Nicoa Coach:

I believe in that, I believe that we are never alone. And we if we can trust in our own ability to do exactly what you and Don did, which was, I always say you can't have a life by design. You can't design it if you don't define it. Right. Yeah. So yeah, I sat back and said, Okay, we gotta get our arms around what is in order to create a defined goal, to what we want it to be. And yeah, too many people get stuck in the what is, I think I call it the isness.

LAUREL SENICK:

Money, I like that the isness and when they get to the root for the vision, are the beyond what we can see. And, you know, there's something beyond that

Nicoa Coach:

there is, and that something, if you believe in something greater than yourself, you have a lot more power. But when you start sitting here and stuck in this space of victimhood, or, you know, well, and Nicoa You can't argue with the facts. And I'm like, Yes, but I can because the facts are an outcome of your previous thinking. And your previous desires, and then they throw it it's thrown in front of you every day. But you and I created this reality of just coming together for a conversation so you can create your future. It's as simple as just making a meeting, right or setting a goal of your debt free living. Well, it's kind of neat, because when I was I was looking at all of your success, or all of your publicity, a lot of 2023 has it's been a big year for you.

LAUREL SENICK:

It has been it has been that's crazy that you would say that because honestly I didn't put that together because we had paid off the debt a couple of years ago so we beat our deadline but funny that you bring that up because now that you say that I got it made room you know for right putting that you know it just ronde oh my god

Nicoa Coach:

i love it debt free and 23 Baby well you know much more fun when it

LAUREL SENICK:

rhymes. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Easier to commit to

Nicoa Coach:

just really curious about though the documentary work so this you know, any given morning and also the what was the other one that you did? Wow, you're lucky nice we're actually why he needs that's a comedic I couldn't find the trailer. I'm so eager. I'm gonna go back and like buy

LAUREL SENICK:

the thing but um, so the when I started surfing and I would always get to the north end, right so we'll be to show Island, and the people were like Amazing. It was just the nicest group of people who were encouraging and just unique group of people. And so I just started having this thought of, I want to do a documentary about this community. And that was a definite like, flow thing where as soon as I set it to a person in the coffee shop, some of my old work friends came in, and they weren't working. You know, I was like, they were like, What are you up to let and chatted with them. And I was like, you know, I'm thinking about I had just said it, you just thought it. I had just thought it and then said it out loud to another friend who's her husband, they just moved here from Atlanta. And he was like, she's like, Oh, my, and he served and she was like, he would love to be a part of this, please, you know, help let him be a part. And, of course, and then I go over and talk to the film friends. And they're like, well, we're not working right now. We'll be glad to help you. Oh, my God. It was it just went snap, snap, snap. I mean, obviously, it was not easy. But it took it took some time. But it was just for me. It was a celebration of surfing and the community and the place. And I just I'm so thankful that I did it too, because we've had a number of you probably knew Paco Strickland Yeah.

Nicoa Coach:

At least it was him play downtown and Deluxe. Yeah. Yeah.

LAUREL SENICK:

Me too. thankful that I did it when I did. Because yeah, we've lost a few people that were in that movie. And I feel like it honors that time and space,

Nicoa Coach:

and it honors you, and it honors your life flow, I think we are a really beautiful example of going with the flow, you know, and, and a lot of people don't trust themselves and that connection to faith. They don't trust it. They get scared. I mean, I can see, you know, some of my clients now if they'd had that idea, and then they would go to the Yes, but right, and they'd list all the reasons why not to do it. But you just kept going. You trusted in that intuition, that wisdom.

LAUREL SENICK:

So it's funny to think back. And, you know, I haven't thought too much about any given morning in a while. And so just to hear you, you know, talking about it and bringing it back up to my mind. And then, you know, it is a sneak that I love. I've watched it again after putting it away, because there was a couple of sound issues. So in my mind, I had, as I got further down the line, I was like, oh, you know, it wasn't that great. And

Nicoa Coach:

you can documentary at the Southern California Film Festival and some sort of People's Choice Award somewhere else. I mean, my God, woman.

LAUREL SENICK:

But I didn't go back and watch it. And I was like,

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, good. Celebrating along the way, and being really proud of yourself. I mean, that's what I was telling you right beforehand that I had done this thing where I'd made these business cards, and they are, you know, cheap and cheesy. But they had the coffee with Nicoa QR code on the back. And I posted on my story. I'm like, You know what, I did a thing. And I just was geeking out about it all day. But oh, look at these. Yeah, I mean, yeah, no big deal, but I celebrate all the things. So I'm glad you were celebrating yourself and your in your results.

Jennifer Gardner:

We hope you're enjoying listening to this episode of Coffee with Nicola. Make sure to subscribe so that you never miss an episode and follow Coffee with Nicoa on Instagram to find inspiring content that will help you begin creating your life by design.

Nicoa Coach:

So were you writing at the same time is this When writing became a part of your world? Or tell me a bit more about that?

LAUREL SENICK:

So no, not I mean, I've always journaled Dear Diary, way back in the day, I've got an old one from when I was a kid. That's hysterical. I

Nicoa Coach:

keep thinking I should burn them.

LAUREL SENICK:

Oh, yeah, no, don't burn. But so I've been journaling, especially since I came back to my faith. And I kind of went on this retreat, spiritual retreat. And it was really cool this family they have this beautiful land and worship and but he loved journaling and had passed this on to his kids. And he was sharing how he did it and really, basically put like a little heart I'll draw a little picture just to get into a different month space like right at the top. Yeah, just smothers the waves. Usually it's waves how big the where the waves or whatever, and then I'll do a heart for my prayer or just whatever I'm thinking about and then I'll put across for all right, God, that you know, I believe you're going to speak to me. Yeah. All right. Well, What after, some people will probably look at and go, you're effing crazy.

Nicoa Coach:

What are you going? You're channeling? You know the message? Yeah.

LAUREL SENICK:

Yeah. And so I've done that for years. And then, honestly, the writing piece about 10 years ago, I had a miscarriage and was gone. And I had a miscarriage. Yeah, it was trapped, you know, is terrible. And my friend called me like, the next week and was like, hey, you know, there's this right, I'm gonna go to this writers group that's starting up. And as soon as she said it, I just knew I was like, oh, when is it? Where is it? What time is it meeting on common? Good. And I just knew it would be a place that I could process some, some emotions and feelings and thoughts. And and so I just started writing nonfiction, just marriage stuff, you know, that they, you know, just thoughts about that. And then, about two years in the chapter president was like, you know, we're all you're so creative. I think you should track fiction. I think that was a word from the Lord. And guess what I am. And the funny thing is, as soon as I did that, I knew what I was gonna write.

Nicoa Coach:

Really? How did you know?

LAUREL SENICK:

Because when I began surfing, I went looking for a book that had the main character that was a woman that surfed, and I could not find one. I looked at the bookstores, I went to the library, and the only thing that that that had a female lead character that served was Bethany, Hamilton's little middle grade books, right, which I read, because I was like, Oh, well, I guess this is what I got. And, and so as soon as she said that, and I decided, I'm gonna do that. That's, I knew. I wanted to write what I wanted to read that I couldn't find.

Nicoa Coach:

I think that's a beautiful intention. Yeah. And it was a need that you knew if you wanted to read it. Other people wanted to read it

LAUREL SENICK:

exactly, is that I knew that other people, other surfer girls, and even this outdoor ocean lovers would love this book, and or maybe not love it, but then read.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, I'm sure we're all gonna love it. I ordered your book this week, and it should be your two day. And I honestly, almost rescheduled because I was like, should I read the book before we interview? And I was like, No, I'm too eager to interview but, but I did order it. And it's called everybody again, write this down. It's called foam. We're gonna put the link in the show notes. And there's something else I'm gonna put the link in, because you just talked about kind of how you got into the writing space with your own song processing. But you've got to serve journal for women. Is that right? Is

LAUREL SENICK:

Yes. Available? Yes. Yeah. So I this actually, this was like kind of a test before I put my book out there. I was like, you know, a surf journal might be kind of cool. And it's always better to sell more than one thing if you're selling something. And I felt like it would be a good partnership. And I'd seen like, a little surf journal where you just log your, the tide, the swell the wind. And so then I added some reflective questions like, What was your best wave or favorite wave? What are you most thankful for? What do you need to let go of? And what's my next step? Beautiful questions to me. And oh, my gosh, ah, I was so stoked. I didn't even know that I was gonna like it as much as I do. But I should have known that because I've always journaled. So this was just, I went back the other day. Then if you look on my Instagram, you'll see the post about it. But I went back and I saw January's, and I was in Puerto Rico and I had written like, what are you most, you know, thankful for them? What, you know, what are you worried about, or whatever. And then I've had put, I just don't know, if anybody's gonna like my book, you know, like, likes it. And, and so I got to go back, and what do I need to let go of, and then I said, you know, I'm just gonna give it to, you know, whatever. And then a few weeks ago, I got to get back and look at that, and that I saw those words. And I thought, I've had people now at this point come up, and that I don't know. So, you know, first of your friends are gonna tell you that they like it. But people that didn't know that came up and said how much they've enjoyed the book. And I was like, ah, you know, yeah, I

Nicoa Coach:

saw that. You post it. You said that a mom and a daughter or maybe I heard this. Your mom and a daughter came up and told you they'd read it. They both read it and how much they loved it. Well, of course they did. it. Oh my gosh, you were amazing. Well, we'll definitely put the link to the journal. And in that, and that journal, whether it's your surf sesh, or you just want to have a really cool surf journal, you can tell him about you could put anything in that description about your day. Yeah, you know. And it right when you said it, I thought about coming off of, you know, being out there. And I could say, what do I need to let go of, you know, I need to let go of being nervous about taking that wave in front of that boy, or so. You can see Yeah, the mind how big of a piece of surfing and in anything in your life is so clouded sometimes by your own insecurities and their mindset. So I think that's a beautiful gift that you've created that and the book, I can't wait to read it. I'm sure it's.

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, so the journal like the tagline is capture your Stoke, and carry it throughout the day. Because something about taking those reflective moments, helps you hold on to that good stuff

Nicoa Coach:

for your day, because you're setting yourself up for success and for peace or whatever it is that you're craving. And, you know, we talk a lot about morning rituals and things like that. And yeah, at a minimum, and your ritual doesn't have to be the same ritual every day people I'm like, row is flow. What do you feel in like this morning, but do something intentional in your morning to set you up for your day to carry your Stoughton? Yeah,

LAUREL SENICK:

I love Yes.

Nicoa Coach:

This journal was exactly what everybody needs. I'm gonna order that too. That's so fun. I love my job. My job as a podcast host I get to learn so much. Well, okay, so the book the writing, I mean, people listening are like, wow, I want to write a book or I want to learn how to surf. And you tell me a little bit about it. What is your definition now of a life by design? Like, how? How is it serving you all these choices you've made?

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, it is neat to be in, you know, there's seasons in life where you're sowing the seed, you're tilling up the ground you're planting, and there's nothing you don't see anything. Anything. It's all under the surface, you're like, Well, I've done a lot of work, but all you see is dark, messy dirt. And right now it is a neat season of harvest of seeing things come to fruition that I mean, the book took eight years.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh my lord. Lee good, I feel a lot better because I did start an outline for a book six months ago, paid a guy a lot of money to help me with this outline. And I don't even know if I liked the outline. But I learned a lot in the process. And I'm glad I still have, you know, seven and a half years.

LAUREL SENICK:

Right. And, I mean, definitely, I can talk you through, you can shave all five of those. But, you know, it was a learning journey. You know, I was learning what does it take, you know, the story are being carried are the all the things that make a good story. And so, you know, there's

Nicoa Coach:

right now and in the harvest. I love that that analogy because you're you're you're harvesting so how are you celebrating yourself in this harvest?

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, okay, so last night, the last the last two nights.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, this question.

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, I have to I'm in the FIA, females in action workout group. And they have a book club, which I didn't even know that they had a book club and they did my book. And then this group of ladies at Wrightsville Beach, have a book club and they invited me to come and so both nights I got to go to the beach to discuss they were talking about my book and y'all. I mean, as you're like, listening young, I was glowing. Like, I felt like I was on cloud eight. I got home last night. Giggling my husband, I was like, we're done. We got an outdoor shower and so I poured a little glass of wine. I went out to the outdoor shower. Yes, it was just amazing. It was so so special. And I just felt like I mean they really seem to like it still surprises me. But I mean I was just like, I kind of felt like a movie star a little bit.

Nicoa Coach:

You are a movie star. You are an author star you are a female star. Oh my god you are glowing right talk about we're giving each other the glow love today.

LAUREL SENICK:

So encouraged. Yeah, of

Nicoa Coach:

course and you're so proud and it's okay to be proud. Yeah, ah, give yourself permission to just be proud. Damn, you did it girl. as well, of course, and we're never alone, we're never alone. And a lot of people help get you there. And it even your, as you say, your sweet hot molten lava husband.

LAUREL SENICK:

Oh my gosh, he is. And this is probably interested in maybe to your guests. But um, so I've worked in with the kids that for, you know, years, 11 years at the last place that I worked and I came, we came back from Puerto Rica two years ago in March, and I had a new book, like my boss was leaving that I loved. Another person had left our clinical suit, like all these people had left than these people that came in. For 11 years, I've been making my own schedule. And then suddenly, I had a person who was distrusting for no good reason, or maybe her

Nicoa Coach:

own stuff, whatever that was, it always is. Yeah.

LAUREL SENICK:

And then micromanaging, critical criticizing it was toxic. And by May Don's like, you need to let we will we will figure out how to live a one income. And, you know, that yeah, that's still it was my fun money, you know, like, grocery money and gas money. And but anyway, so and I, I love the kids that I worked with. And my plan had been another maybe another two years till my book was out, and I have some other income. And I was like, I can know, as soon as he gave me permission to quit, then I was kind of like, Oh, that feels good. But I can hang on. Hang on. Now that I know that I have freedom to quit, I could hang on. And then I was like, Well, let me make it till next year's vacation. But I got to. Well, August. Yeah, I couldn't I couldn't even sleep. Oh, it's too

Nicoa Coach:

stressful. The Universe pushing you out. It was time. That's why all that happened for you.

LAUREL SENICK:

Yes. Right. And so and I, it'll be as two years, like right now. Had I not done that, to have the space and energy to do the little waxy, why he needs film, to finish my book to I didn't realize how much it was going to the push from that six months before. And now I'm in the six month, you know, marketing or whatever. And it's a lot. Yes. And I don't, I wouldn't have had the bandwidth, and especially with how things ended up being I would have never had any I didn't have anything left. That's Ryan. Yeah,

Nicoa Coach:

yeah. Again, another intentional push or opportunity. People sit around thinking, the world is happening to me. I can't believe it's such a toxic environment. These people are crazy. And who do they think they are? Instead of? Hmm. Wow, that's interesting. I didn't see that.

LAUREL SENICK:

While you're probably very valuable to your like, the work that you do, because sometimes when you're in it, yeah, it's really hard to see outside, like, you know, oh, my God.

Nicoa Coach:

Everything is all hitting you up close. My old administrative assistant back in the day when I had, I had an assistant Lisa Frasier, we love you. And she just retired to I'm like, do you want to do some part time work now. She said to me one day when I was super stressed out and I was experiencing a very toxic environment. And I came barreling into my office tears coming down my face. And she said, You know, first she said Better out than in whatever happened Better out than in cry, let it out. And they said, it's like, you're the feet in that this is gonna be weird. Like you're the feet in that picker bowl where all the fish come and eat all the callus is off. Like it is, it's like being eaten alive by all the employees and all the leaders and I can't, I can't breathe, I can't move my feet. And she's like, create some space. And I do that now with my clients. So I say hey, put your hands out, like spin around like Stop in the name of love the space between the ends of your hands and your body. That is the space to reconnect to take the breath and then why is this happening for me and how can I allow it to happen through me? And then I can make choices. What is this telling me? Not right? Damn it. Why are y'all attacking me? No, no, no. have value in all.

LAUREL SENICK:

Yeah. And yeah, getting out of that reactivity and being proactive with like, what is going on and how can you really respond and and sometimes it's I quit by

Nicoa Coach:

stop me I quit my job without a plan with a stay at home husband Mert and three kids 12 And under this probably why we didn't make it he was probably like, What the hell are you doing girl? She's like, No. But I had to or I would have imploded. I had I was sick and things like that. So you know, when you said you were bedraggled during that time, and later when you were just not sleeping, that toxicity? Is there for a reason. And look at us now this beauty you had the space. Wow. So real quick, tell everybody what wax you What he needs is because it's a comedy, right? It's little.

LAUREL SENICK:

Yes. So my podcast co hosts Ashley and I started working on. I just had this idea. I went surfing with these young girls, and we took a boat over to Masonboro. And it's just started tickling that place in my mind where I just was like, oh, there's a story there. And I couldn't drop it. So I was telling Ashley about it. And so we started kind of just writing on index cards, these little ideas, little scenes. And so it's really for young girls who solve mysteries at their home beach. So they instead of you know a gumshoe detective is an old old term but as well of course they have wax on their shoes. So it's wax you in LA Heaney's is the Hawaiian name for a girl surfer? Yeah, wax shoe I he needs which is kind of hard to say but

Nicoa Coach:

only for the southern people. That's all right, right. Right. Especially

LAUREL SENICK:

for Yeah, and myself included. But and then. So I took so we kind of wrote like an entire script like an idea for a movie or TV show which would be fun like a Scooby Doo meet fresh. And, and then. So I took one scene and made a little short teaser, which was the plan and ended up being like 13 minutes long and just asked send it to a couple of drinks or film festivals. And one is the women's surf Film Festival up in New York. I went there last year with it. And I went to surfer Loris at the Outer Banks. And then what's cool is this year I get to give back and they're letting me sell my book and sign it, you know? Yeah, I really love the little short because most surf films like my old surf film, is a documentary. And so to have something that's completely different, was fun. And you

Nicoa Coach:

acted on that creative thought. That's what I love about you, Laurel, you take the whatever it is kind of niggling and you're like, oh, what can I do with that you give yourself permission to dream about what's possible. And I'm sure that you have a dozen other ideas like that that have come and gone. But sometimes they take too many

LAUREL SENICK:

right squirrel? Well, that's what I think is you wait for those ones that have that sticking power. Yeah. Because I mean, I'll have, you know, three thoughts in a day. And I'm like, Yeah, but then the excitement wane. So, you know, it's funny that I kind of know the things that I really want to an hour before when I did any given morning, I'd have an idea for a television show and show on a little commercial, whatever. And a couple other things. And then I remember think I think I did seven habits for highly effective people back. And I knew that I needed to pick one to be able to put that focus there. And so that happened back with any given morning, and then now I can grab hold of that, you know, like I know, because I tend to be like, Oh, well, everything sounds fun. Yeah, you're able

Nicoa Coach:

to take that funnel and really start snowing and and how do you know like, how do you know because it sticks around or you feel it in your body? Or? Mm hmm.

LAUREL SENICK:

I think it's the stick around part because I have a lot of flowy thoughts, but they don't stay. So this one kept and and that I'm attracted to like, Oh, that'd be fun. Fun. Yeah, that's right.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, it guess what everybody life is supposed to be fun. And what you do every day should be fun. And I remember standing there that networking event the other night with you? And I said, Well, you know, we talk to people who have created a life by design, you know that they don't need a vacation from and you were like, well, that's my life. thinking the meaning. And if I'd had my card I'd have been like, Here's my card. But we just exchanged texts. And that was enough. But that was lives. You don't need vacations from sweet, beautiful, amazing woman. I want you to tell us about Puerto Rico. And you know, casa, what is it? What is it? Coral Casa coral casa, did you go to Puerto Rico a lot grow? I mean, when did you go first?

LAUREL SENICK:

Huh, though back to any given morning, I submitted that movie to film festivals that I thought I want to go there.

Nicoa Coach:

Perfect. I thought I would do.

LAUREL SENICK:

And so written comm Puerto Rico live, they've got good waves. I sent it to the rink on International Film Festival. And they invited me and I really gotten to see because they did film showings at different places all around town. And so I got to see some cool restaurants and resorts and the lay of the town and I got the surf while I was there. And the the guy that I rented a surfboard from who's originally from Virginia Beach, married a local there as a life there. And he was building a little rental behind his house. And so when I was taking my surfboard back, he's like, Well, you know, you should come back next year, this will be ready, and you and your boyfriend come back. And so but next year, Don proposed. Oh, and I said, I know where I want us to go for a honeymoon. Yeah, and then we went every year, except for one when we had to get to California, with his family, but we loved it fell in love with the people fell in love. The town is just the coolest little paradise of beauty and nice people and lots of fun things to do. And so we started dreaming about one day, maybe get in a place there. About five years ago, we really started thinking, Well, no, it's been three years. So well, maybe three years? Well, it was like a far off thing that we were like, maybe one day and then as we got closer to paying off the house, yeah, like, well, maybe that is what we do. Yeah, it really was something we were looking and then we got serious about looking. And then when we were serious about looking funny little story about all those things is we were looking at a house around the corner and we passed this house that had a for sale by owner and actually a friend of mine that I went to church with she said, I think God's gonna surprise you because we've been looking. And so I see this house it says For sale by owners like backup backup, let's get that number. And even though it was on a flat beach, so ring con is a horn and the Atlantic Ocean sends the waves over here and I'm on the Caribbean side where it's flat and you know, beautiful. And so we looked at the guy met us the next day. He looked just like the man who married us. Oh, I was a spiritual mentor for Donna. And he's telling us about the house and I'm just looking at and going

Nicoa Coach:

wow, he Gager Yeah.

LAUREL SENICK:

And, and I was just like, I think that's a son. You know, I didn't say anything to Don right away, but you know, well, I said kahilu Just like Chris and he's like yeah, I did look like him but it was out of our price range. And Don was like you know, we wanted to be on the wave side we could just walk to the waves but really depending on where the waves are breaking and which side you want to be on based on wind, you would might be driving anyway. And so a couple of days later, there were no waves and I said let's take the paddle boards out at the access that we would use if we live there. And it was so nice to be no wave water, you know is flat water getting out is easy. You could toggle and so he was like, this is pretty cool. And then the next day the guy calls and says they've come down to what you're asking. There is another person interested so if you want it go ahead. Oh, and we grabbed it.

Nicoa Coach:

I love that story so much. And we

LAUREL SENICK:

just we did not know how great it was going to be to be where we are because it is a cool little just local neighborhood the school bus goes by. We can hear the water from where we are, you know and it's just a beautiful gift.

Nicoa Coach:

It is well a gift that you manifested a gift that you created and attracted. You brought it in and it was handed to you as as you need, you know Hmm, careful what you wish for. And you are hosting retreats there? Is that right? You do both surf retreats and writing retreats. Tell us a little bit about those in case anybody's interested you got some coming up, right?

LAUREL SENICK:

Yes. So I have a surf retreat and a writing retreat, I've got one person signed up for the writing retreat, and it's fun. So I'm going to kind of take you around be your guide. And then same with the writing. So what I've done is a lot of our writing, we're just going to do outside, I've got an outdoor Cabana, area ceiling fans in there, and we just do some writing prompts. And we just encourage each other and you can be working on your first draft, your last draft editing, you know, whatever, and, but you're in this place where you're, you've got more play in you, you've got the space to, I think, yeah, a lot of people, you need to have space in your life to be creative, for one. But also, I think most people that want to write and don't are always kind of I hear, I just don't have the time or I don't have the space. And I feel like this is a unique opportunity to get in a pair of dice. And yes, and you can go snorkel in the morning or take a walk on the beach, or surf or whatever, and then lay in the hammock and ponder the little creative thoughts that you're having. And then we'll put them on paper. And yeah, so it is as fun. Sounds beautiful. And you really get a chance to breathe in, you know, whereas as opposed to at home, and, you know, we're racing to here and there and maybe not taking the time to really, you know, even fitting in a morning ritual. Sometimes it's tough in our day to day life.

Nicoa Coach:

Yeah, I read or heard you say that. You just I think you were talking on your podcast, and you said, Well, I answered my question. And I haven't time I just woke up an hour earlier. Yeah. Because you were like, well, if I want to write this damn book, I better get up.

LAUREL SENICK:

Yeah. I didn't have anywhere else to take the time for

Nicoa Coach:

that. And now you're offering these creative moments in people's path. And so do you do the writing treats retreats on a separate week, then the surfing retreats, then so Yes, sir. For treat, what's the surfing retreat? Like? Good evening? Do you have to know how to surf? Well

LAUREL SENICK:

knew when I'm not doing a surf less. I mean, I can sign you up for a surf lesson. But it's definitely I've only taken people that knew how to surf and maybe not great surfing, but I can take based on skill set, it's nice. That's been a blessing that I've had kind of the lower level rung of surfing ability came to get at the same time is, you know, then you've got the kind of high performing and they're just like, I'm just trying to keep up. Load up the boards before the sun's out. And we're gonna be where we're going to serve that morning, we'll bring snacks and I do a breakfast. And

Nicoa Coach:

it's not very expensive. I looked at your rates, they're under a grand. I mean, you gotta pay for your own, obviously, your own airline and all that. But you're, I don't know if you know, Donna Dowson. She's only recently moved to she's actually down in supply. But she's, she's been here for a few years from California. And she is she does retreats all over the world. And yeah, by the time you, you know, she's paying for her life by design with these types of events. So you're, I get it. This is another way for life designers to say, well, how can I take my creative interests? And that's where you start, what do you love? And then go put a business around that. And it sounds like you and don have done exactly that. How often do you guys hold these retreats? Is it once twice a year, or?

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, this year, I've done usually done couple of surf retreats and one writing retreat. So this year, I'm doing two writing retreats and one surf retreat. I love of course, my dream eventually is I want some surf riders and and well surfers and writers that are both and have a retreat that's, you know that we serve together and then we'll we'll do the writing and then in some I'm meeting more and so I feel like eventually I'll have enough to do retreat this just that so

Nicoa Coach:

well. Based on the life story you just shared with us. I think there's no doubt in my mind that you will do that eventually, if not sooner than later. Well, obviously as I always say we could talk all day long and I am just so excited to have engaged with you clearly known each other for 30 years years. We didn't even

LAUREL SENICK:

well now now I'm removed. I remember you I remember your name Yes,

Nicoa Coach:

I guess I will talk to you at the coffee shop a million times and I probably came in your old corporate girl working at GE.

LAUREL SENICK:

Boss.

Nicoa Coach:

Look at me now I finally relaxed I'm gonna ask you one more question before we wrap it up and then why don't you share anything else you want to share? I want to ask you though, what would the little Laurel say about where you are now? Would she be surprised?

LAUREL SENICK:

So here we go. Let me grab this because I put this on my whiteboard. Little little

Nicoa Coach:

Laura. Oh, you have to send me that picture.

LAUREL SENICK:

Up on my this whiteboard my husband put up for me, which is like, post launch to do. And this thing is six feet long,

Nicoa Coach:

sweet. Husband on he rocks. He

LAUREL SENICK:

does. Keep going. Yeah, let's see a little Nicoa.

Nicoa Coach:

I know I'm looking for I think she fell off the bookshelf. When she's here somewhere, I love her. I've missed her. Anyway, go ahead. And

LAUREL SENICK:

I put her up there because I wanted to be reminded of that kid that loves fun and just love to interact. And I love sharing. I love that's one of the things about the retreats is that like all that stuff I've did to publish phone, I would love to do an intensive on that for people or, you know, while it's fresh in my mind, I really want to, you know, share that or help others you know, and same with the writing in surfing. I love sharing surfing with others. And that's pretty much why I did the the film was it was a celebration of something that was just a gift and so that I think probably more so in the last five years. Maybe oh, maybe you know, I don't know. But for a while, I feel like little laurels pretty stoked

Nicoa Coach:

that she is super stoked. Did little world dream about a future or just kind of went day to day?

LAUREL SENICK:

She loved entertainment, she probably out there was a time where I thought I would act and I love to dance. I still take Adult Dance classes and so performing you know, I'll tap dancer, you know, around on one chord. He's like, Oh my God.

Nicoa Coach:

Oh, I'm always trying to dance in the kitchen with John. He's, I don't know, what are we doing? Oh, okay, I'm moving. Oh, you are a creative Maven. I think that this has been so fun. And I'm so honored to now be even reconnected and you know, around town to be like, Hey, Laura.

LAUREL SENICK:

I didn't listen to your podcast to the I think it was the last one that you had. Or maybe the one before he sounded just like Tony Robbins. Is that

Nicoa Coach:

Crisco? Yeah, I didn't even think about that. Yeah, you're right. And he's probably focused in on some Tony Robbins in his. He's, he's amazing. And he's doing some great work to help out. Oh, my HRV ears out there. Yeah, well, thank you for listening. And I listen to podcasts too. And even though I don't know surfing and freediving although my husband, he's free guys certified. I had a little panic in my little diving training. And I just have a yeah knows. I know how to surf. Low tide on really teeny tiny waves. Hey, that's perfect. Oh, yes. What? Lisa Dunlap is gonna come and be on the podcast, too. Yeah. Cool. So everybody, stay tuned. After you finish having this love fest with Laurel, you'll be all excited to hear about Lisa and her mom's surf club.

LAUREL SENICK:

That's right. Yes. Any last words

Nicoa Coach:

of wisdom or any advice you want to give to life by design or my designers out there that are listening?

LAUREL SENICK:

Well, I will say this is like, I feel like we were all created with a dream that we're to be pursuing. And if you're still here, I don't care if you're at our 16 That dream is in there and you you know, be on the lookout, engage with it and be open to it and and don't be a beef. Just take the next step. The next step. That's right,

Nicoa Coach:

that only takes one step. Just start today Google your idea like right now like it doesn't take much and give yourself permission to To embrace that no matter what your identity has been for the past 80 years, right, my mother is 83 finding herself right now for the fifth time. And it's a whole new phase. So you're exactly right. And I've just so, so pleased that you join me. Thank you.

LAUREL SENICK:

Thank you. Thank you. Thanks for having me. So fun.

Nicoa Coach:

You're welcome. I love ya.

LAUREL SENICK:

I love you too.

Nicoa Coach:

Bye bye.

Jennifer Gardner:

Thanks for joining us for a caffeinated conversation. Subscribe to Coffee with Nicola for more stories from people living a life by design. You can also find inspiration on Instagram. Just follow Coffee with Nicoa and check out our website Coffee with nicoa.com and that's Nicoa N IC O A. We look forward to talking with you soon. And enjoy your coffee between now and then. Cannon that we use way