Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Nikki Mark | Inner Healing

Nikki Mark is the author of a highly moving memoir titled Tommy’s Field: Love, Loss, and the Goal of a Lifetime, about the unexpected passing of her 12-year-old son Tommy and her unconventional journey to create a legacy for Tommy and to heal her heart. In this heartfelt memoir, Nikki, who has led operations for high-powered hospitality and sports team start-ups, captures the power of play, inspiration, unity, and healing as she transformed neglected land in a Los Angeles public park into a state-of-the-art athletic field. Nikki is now the founder and president of the TM23 Foundation, which she created to honor Tommy, his love of soccer, and his spirit of play with others. Be sure to tune in to this touching, inspiring interview that illumines the extraordinary impact of a mother’s determination to create a legacy to honor her cherished, beloved son!

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL HEAR ABOUT THINGS LIKE:

  • The spiritual awakening Nikki experienced three days before Tommy died.
  • Nikki’s transformative experience with world-famous medium Pamala Oslie, one week after Tommy passed.
  • Signs Tommy sent Nikki from the very beginning that let her know that he was still with her. 
  • How Nikki and her friends raised funds to create a state-of-the-art athletic field in Tommy’s honor
  • Why Nikki decided that she needed soul therapy instead of talk therapy. 
  • The remarkable string of incidents that convinced Nikki that Tommy was guiding her. 
  • The alternative healing methods Nikki pursued, and how “feeling lighter” became Nikki’s personal gauge to feeling better.

SOME QUESTIONS IRENE ASKS NIKKI:

  • Why did you decide to get soul therapy instead of talk therapy?
  • What was the highly charged and unexpected drama you encountered on your journey towards building Tommy’s Field?
  • How do you know that you and Tommy are still learning and growing together?
  • Why do we need to heal ourselves first in order to heal the world?
  • What is your tip for finding joy in life?

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Nikki Mark: Are you aware that when we heal our own hearts, we also heal our families and the world around us?

 

 

 

 

I hope this finds each of you so very well. I’m speaking to you from my studio in West Orange, New Jersey. I could not be more delighted to have the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Mark, who is the author of a very moving memoir titled Tommy’s Field: Love, Loss, and the Goal of a Lifetime. Tommy’s Field is about the unexpected passing of Nikki and Doug Mark’s twelve-year-old son, Tommy, in April 2018, and Nikki’s unconventional journey to create a legacy for Tommy and heal her heart.

Nikki, who has led operations for high-powered hospitality and sports team startups, is the Founder and President of the TM23 Foundation, which she created to honor Tommy, his love of soccer, and his spirit of playing with others. The TM23 Foundation’s mission is to develop and support initiatives that inspire children and young adults to play, pursue their dreams, be themselves, and have a positive impact on their community.

In our heartfelt memoir, Nikki captures the power of play, inspiration, unity, and healing as she transformed neglected land in a Los Angeles public park into a state-of-the-art athletic field. The book is a testament to the extraordinary impact of a mother’s determination to create a lasting legacy to honor her cherished beloved son.

I’m looking forward to talking with Nikki, who will be speaking to us from Los Angeles about the spiritual awakening she experienced that began three days before Tommy transitioned, how Tommy guides Nikki through spiritual signs, Nikki’s alternative healing journey, her challenges transforming neglected land into a state-of-the-art athletic field in honor of Tommy, and why Nikki set out to heal for the benefit of her entire family, and more, for what will surely be a compelling and touching interview filled with healing insights.

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Nikki Mark | Inner Healing

Nikki, a warm heartfelt welcome to the show.

It’s so nice to be here.

Remembering Tommy

It’s so nice to have you here, Nikki. You have such an amazing book and a marvelous story. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. Before we even begin to share the chair, we need to share Tommy with everyone. Could you please tell us about Tommy, his passion for life, and the impact he had on others?

Tommy was a very passionate kid. His first words were go and outside. All he wanted ever to do was play and he played hard every day, whether he was singing, dancing, or playing sports. It was as if he had done them all lifetimes before. He clicked with them immediately and excelled at them. Soccer was his number one sport. He wanted to be a professional soccer player. He had big dreams. He told me all about them. When he was 8 or 9 years old, he told me that he would be leaving by the time he was 15 and I needed to be ready for that. He was going to be going to Europe to play soccer.

If you don’t have the will to heal for yourself, heal for your family line. Share on X

He was a kid who united all kinds of people, young and old. He didn’t care what your background was or how far he had to travel to play. He wanted to laugh, play, and be with everybody. He made you feel like you were all that mattered at the time that he was with you, which was a neat skill for a young kid. His preschool director called him The Mayor at four years old because he would walk into preschool and talk to everyone as if they were all the most important people in the world to him. That’s how he made you feel.

He sounds to me like a very wise old soul.

He was a wise old soul and it was tricky too. He wasn’t perfect and he was a big handful. I had to race around to keep up with him. He was a child who lived like he only had almost thirteen years.

There was a way he knew, which we’ll get to in a way. With this question, three days before Tommy went to sleep and did not wake up, you had a deeply meaningful and spiritual discussion, which you weren’t spiritual at that time, with him that began your spiritual awakening. Please tell us about this and explain how this sparked the rest of your story after Tommy transitioned.

We have the power to stop certain cycles from continuing. Share on X

Three days before he went to sleep and didn’t wake up, I drove him from Los Angeles to San Diego for a soccer game, which sounds ridiculous but it’s very typical in this region. During that drive, he asked me, “Mom, is it possible to go to sleep and not wake up?” I paused and said to him, “That could happen only if you’re old. That’s how your grandmother passed away but she was 86 and it’s the best way to go. No pain, no drama.” He said a few minutes later, “It must be hard for a parent to lose a child.”

I was not religious or spiritual but I did look over at him. My body started to heat up and I said, “Why are you asking me this?” I didn’t understand. I thought he was just curious. I said, “That’s not going to happen here. I’m going to give you all the signs. I go first. Let’s talk about what signs you’re going to get from me so that you’ll know it’s me when I come and visit but we have a lot of time to figure that out.”

The conversation went on. He asked me about psychics and life and death. My body heated up and I felt very nudged to tell him how much I loved him and how proud I was of him. I began to review his whole life with him, everything he had loved and pursued in life, everything I would want to tell my child if I knew he was leaving but I didn’t know he was leaving.

When he didn’t wake up three days later, I thought back to that conversation and I knew this was some sort of plan. I didn’t know what. I had no spiritual religious background to fall back on but I had that conversation. It was the first time I had ever considered that we may have had souls talking on a deeper level while he and I on some human personality level were having an entirely different conversation.

He was giving your soul a heads up because your soul also probably does. It reminds me, Nikki, of when I got two months before Saul went and I got the message. Saul has to go and many lessons will be learned from his death. There was also a plan. I put it out of my head until the accident happened and all of that.

The truth is I asked Tommy, “Why are you asking me if it’s possible to go to sleep and not wake up?” He said he had a dream that it happened. I said, “I don’t think you died in your dream. I don’t know that that’s possible but you might’ve thought you did.” He goes, “No, Mom. I died in my dream and I was so happy when I woke up.”

The truth is like you, two months or so after Tommy passed away when my dreams were going crazy at night and I was having this brand new experience while I was asleep, I woke up one morning and realized I had that same dream he had too but I forgot about it as you forgot about it because I heard Tommy that morning yelling in the hallway and everything was fine. It vanished. He had the dream and I had the dream. It wasn’t until a few months later that I remembered and could visualize the dream.

Medium Experience

The thing is that we’re fortunate about is this horrible as it is on the earth plane, we did get a spiritual awakening and a heads up that there was more and it wasn’t just what meets the immediate eye. I’m going to go towards this part about the memory. Within one week after Tommy passed, you’re already seeing this world-famous medium, Pamala Oslie. This was inspired by the memory of your mother having a medium experience. I want to tell everyone that before Nikki starts to talk about Pamala, I am a huge fan of Pamala Oslie. I had very transformative sessions with Pamala after my husband transitioned.

If you want to learn about aura colors, Pamala has so much incredible stuff about quantum healing and all this. We have such incredible interviews. Go right onto the website and look for Pamala Oslie. There may be 2 or 3 interviews with Pamala and they’re wonderful. She’s wonderful. Nikki, tell us please about the memory of your mom’s first and only medium experience and how that got you to Pamala one week later.

When I was in my twenties, my mother told me that the spirit of her grandmother who had helped raise her kept waking her up in the morning. I didn’t quite understand it. We were not religious or spiritual. My mother was from the Midwest. I had never heard her talk like this and I never knew her to lie about anything. They were very conservative in their viewpoints about all this. She went to see a medium who at the time was not well-known. He was $75 working out of his apartment. He’s then one of the biggest celebrity mediums there is.

Her grandmother came through and this medium said a whole bunch of other things about our family that stumped both my mother and my father. After the reading, the grandmother never came through again. Everything was good. Life moved on. When Tommy passed away, I remembered that my mother who was a very sane person had this experience. I wasn’t losing my mind by wanting to talk to a medium. I wanted to know if what I was starting to hear and feel was true and if it was possible to connect with the spirit of a loved one in a different form.

I reached out to my best friend, the most spiritual person I knew. I said, “I wanted to talk to a medium.” She came back the next day with a little Post-it and said, “Call Pam on this day and at this time. She knows your first name. That’s all.” She had had an experience with Pam before and so I did. I didn’t know the rules of a mediumship. I didn’t know if it was too soon or not. I just wanted to know.

She had the time and I made the call. Within seconds, I could feel my entire body relax and spirit lift. I knew something important was happening to me. My son’s energy and his messages, it was like she knew him inside and out, including the conversation we had three days prior to him leaving. It was magical. It was a pivotal moment for me in my belief system.

Signs From Tommy

That’s a lot of what happened to me with Pamala. Not only did Saul come through and she was able to identify his sense of humor, and it was Saul and all of that, but she also was able to give me a lot of information about myself that I did not have any idea of, all of which is manifested. This was years and years ago. It’s amazing. I also know that Tommy sent you a lot of amazing signs from the very beginning that kept saying, “Mom, I’m here.” He lets you know that he’s still with you. Do you want to tell us some of those signs?

From the very beginning, it was the television coming on by itself at all different times of the day, sometimes the middle of the night, certainly the day he left. Sometimes I’d be in my living room doing yoga. He would pop on as I was talking about him and crying. That was a big one. That was in front of a lot of people and that had never happened before. I’d have music start blasting, lights coming on and flickering, and things I had never seen before. That was so magical and comforting.

Even my husband, who was a lawyer and very practical and rational, was having certain types of situations where a hummingbird would fly to his right ear and then would fly in front of his face and start singing, fluttering, and walking him up the stairs of our home. Even he couldn’t deny that nature was somehow responding to Tommy and connecting with Tommy. From the hawk that was watching our home the day he left to the hawk that flew over me as I spoke at his memorial, it was sign after sign after sign, and then in my dreams at night where he would be. Other ancestors would show up and teach me a lot about everything I did not know.

Healing The Family Line

Speaking of ancestors, you learned six months before Tommy’s passing that your second great-grandparents had also unexpectedly lost a twelve-year-old boy. This revelation later inspires you to heal for the benefit of your entire family line, forwards and backward, which I love. How did that all come together for you? You changed the legacy in your family.

Tommy wanted to play professional soccer in Europe. That was his dream. He was eight years old saying, “I’m going to be leaving by the time I’m fifteen. Mom, get ready.” That was the goal. The problem is to do that, you have to be European because there are a lot of international soccer rules preventing you from being an American and living and playing soccer in Europe. I said to him, “There had to be a way.”

I stumbled upon a documentary that my grandmother had put together before she passed away a few years earlier. In it, she said we had Hungarian second great-grandparents. I looked up on the internet and saw that Hungary would allow me to get European citizenship if I found my second great-grandparents’ birth records. I connected myself to them. I went on this full journey. I did that. In the process, I learned that my second great-grandparents had lost a twelve-year-old boy.

This was six months before Tommy passed away. At the time, it shook me up. I got the chills and I wondered, “Why didn’t anyone in my family know about this child?” My family acted like everything was so perfect in our life. It was a very beautiful childhood that I had. I would have wanted to know that we had tragedy in my lineage. The day Tommy left, I not only thought back to the conversation we had driving to San Diego where we had all this spiritual discussion but I also thought back to my second great-grandparents and the son they lost.

I immediately knew this was some cycle in my family and it’s made its way to me. I was going to find a way to heal it for the benefit not only of myself because I didn’t know that I thought of myself as worthy enough at that time, I was so grief-ridden, but for my family forward and backward. That was such a big mission I wanted to achieve so that it never happens again.

I set out to heal for the benefit of my entire family line, forwards and backwards. Share on X

Soul Therapy

As we talk about the healing that you had, please keep that in mind and let us know how you were able to heal that. I’m very curious about how you came to do that. Let’s start with your journey to do that. I’d love you to share please why you decided that instead of talk therapy, you needed soul therapy, which is a perfect vehicle for healing that stuff. Why did healing energetically make a lot of sense to you? You rejected talk therapy.

I did. I went to a therapist because I was told I needed to go to a therapist. When I sat with the therapist, after telling her my story, she said, “How can I help you?” I knew at that minute if you didn’t know how to help me, then this is not the right relationship. I realized not a lot of people lose a child, thankfully. It was very difficult for her to understand. I was her worst nightmare as a mother. I also had my son see a grief therapist who said to me, “The pain is forever and never goes away.” I was 0 for 2 in the therapy world.

The good news is it prompted me in terms of what I believed and what was acceptable to me. It was not acceptable to me that the pain would be forever and never go away because I had a family to heal, a child to honor, and a younger son to live for. I needed to find a way to move forward and heal again. Talking, I realized that I had a lot of people to talk to. I have a community, fortunately. Nothing was wrong with my head. My heart was in pieces. My soul was frazzled. Now that I knew I had one because I had never contemplated it before, I was going to give it some attention.

Quite honestly, Pamala, the reading I had with her reminded me, “I feel lighter talking to someone who’s speaking energetically to me and connecting to me energetically. I don’t know how that works but if that makes me feel lighter, this is something I need to continue to pursue.” Anything that will make me feel lighter for a few seconds at a time, if not minutes, is the right track for me. That was simply my gauge.

What kind of healing did you do?

I did everything. From meditation to magic mushrooms, I tried everything. I didn’t just do it once. I tried things three times. I was like a scientist on an experiment to see if it’s possible to heal a mother’s broken heart. I wanted to know if it’s possible and truly start to heal it. I found all these alternative healers who were so passionate and loving. They weren’t shutting me down the minute the clock struck 50 minutes, weren’t charging exorbitant amounts, and weren’t asking me for my next appointment. It was like a one-time deal, each one of them.

I so appreciated the choice I had in healing any way I wanted. As I was reading hundreds of books, learning about life and death, and exploring and testing all these healing modalities, I became curious, lighter, and a little bit frustrated because I wanted people to know about all of these options, which is something I didn’t know my entire life. I was a well-educated person. I was out in the world. It wasn’t like I was hibernating. I simply had never had the time or curiosity to explore it. I was forced to and I simply wanted to share it with everyone.

Alternative Healing Toolkit

A lot of people consider it woo-woo. In my world, when all this happened to me, I thought all of that was woo-woo until I got the surprise of my life too. It was amazing. From all of this, you made an alternative healing toolkit for others. Do you want to tell us about that? I’ll bet you people reading this might be very interested in finding your toolkit.

I put it together simply to share with everyone my favorite healing modalities that have helped me along the way, knowing that if they could help me start healing from a loss like this, they could be applied to all kinds of loss and that everybody loses something or someone they love at some point in their lives. We’re not taught how to heal, how to address it, or how to even take the first step.

I put this together to share my experience and some of my trusted resources and make people feel empowered. That healing is something we can do in any way we want. We will or not, at the end of the day, who cares what people label it, we want to feel better and have the best lives we can. If we’re not going to do it for ourselves, then do it for our families and the people we love. In the very end, it’ll be for yourself too.

We all have the ability to heal ourselves when we’ve lost our way. Share on X

Do you ever have an experience like I do where you see people who are struggling and you say, “I wish they would open their mind to this healing modality because it could help them so much,” but they’re in that box and they would not look either way outside of it?

I had a couple very early on who my husband and I met soon after Tommy left, who had a child who passed away 25 years prior and they still could not say her name without breaking into tears. They could not take joy in their children and grandchildren. When they left, my husband and I knew that couldn’t be us. We cannot do that. It was an important moment for us because we had a choice.

Tommy was the most playful spirit. I felt like he came here to show me how to live this life because I told him in that drive to San Diego, “You’ve done everything I wanted to do as a kid and I didn’t have the guts. I was too shy.” I wanted to be on stage. I didn’t do any of the stuff that he had the guts to do. When he left, I knew, “You showed me how to play this game of life.” It would only be to honor him, play hard, and learn how. I knew that even though I was also confronted by tremendous grief. I acknowledged every step of it but I was pulled and pushed to keep moving through it. I found these other types of energetic healing that helped me.

Fundraising Project

With all of that behind you, in front of you, with you, or within you, your family, your friends, and the LA soccer community band together, you raised over $1 million to build a public field in Tommy’s name for children to play on. You get a highly charged and unexpected drama of the journey towards this goal. I love that energetic healers, working with them, helped you cope as you were almost being tortured by some of these people you had to deal with. Would you like to tell our audience about this incredible story?

In that conversation, before Tommy left, he asked me what my next job would be. I did startups as a career and I had just finished one. I said, “I didn’t know but I wanted to do something meaningful.” In the meantime, I was going to refurbish a dirt field with holes in it down the street for kids to play on and Tommy said, “That’s so cool. I can’t wait. We have nothing like that in our neighborhood.”

The day he left, a friend came to me and said, “Nikki, let’s build that field.” I thought back to the conversation I had with Tommy. I said, “I’m going to do it.” I didn’t know how I was going to raise over $1 million to do it and then I did. Everyone wanted to pour their grief into something. Tommy’s Field was born the day he left. Our community banded together in a way I didn’t even know we had a community like this.

For nine months, kids sold lemonade and their birthday money went to us and organizations doing comedy shows and concerts. We were grieving and everyone around us was putting together these fundraising events. It was beautiful. The parks system, the city of LA, Department of Recreation Parks loved it. They said, “Come back to us when you raise the money.” We raised the money and then they said, “You would have community support.” I said, “Of course, the community raised the money. We did this together.”

I showed up to the first community meeting and I learned what it’s like to work for a public company, not necessarily a private startup like I had. A couple dozen neighbors next to the park came out and said, “We don’t want this. We don’t want soccer or this field. We like our park the way it is.” That was the first time I stood up and was like, “Who are these people? I’m sure we can fix this.” When you go through loss, everything else becomes fixable, except the physical loss. “This is just a small pickup. This is nothing compared to what I’m going through.”

When you go through loss, everything else becomes fixable except for the loss. Share on X

What was interesting, and I didn’t realize it, was that I had started seeing an alternative healer who was teaching me about my nervous system and trying to help me calm my nervous system in a variety of different ways. After a session with him, I went to the first community meeting. The neighbors were yelling at me and arguing with no condolences. We’re just trying to give a gift and honor my son.

I stood there and felt like Wonder Woman. I was dying inside but on the outside, I couldn’t feel them. It was as if energetically we were not aligned. I couldn’t even get upset. I just kept thinking, “We’ll figure this out. There’s always a way.” As I began to keep healing, fighting, lying, and twisting words, I started to navigate not only the political system here in Los Angeles but myself.

I had to get honest with myself, look inside, and continue to ask myself, “What are they trying to teach me? I know my son Tommy wants this field. If I have a support system energetically, they’re with me. There’s no way they’re going to give me another huge challenge. There has to be for my benefit.” In the end, the field is better because of the chaos we went through. It’s a better-designed field than it would have been. I found a voice and an inner strength. It created a bigger community. There were so many aspects of healing that that chaotic fight brought to my life that I can only explain it as almost perfectly planned once again.

You also had a remarkable string of incidents that convinced you that Tommy was guiding you and he was there. There was even a coincidental scheduling of the field’s groundbreaking. Do you want to tell us about that?

Along the way, the game of soccer kept dropping in. “I showed you how to play, Mom. Let’s play hard.” I was like, “Okay, Tommy.” As my house filled up with people to give me food and help my family, I had to learn to receive like he had to learn how to receive a ball. When we were on defense with the neighbors and local politicians who didn’t want the field, I’d hear, “You’re on defense too long. Start attacking.” It was a little different words.

These feelings would come right into your head.

My head would start to tingle and then I would hear the words. The words were always very simple and clear like, “Stop defending. Start attacking.” I was learning soccer the way he did too. Towards the end of this, after almost 12 public meetings and a delay of 9 months, I had no idea if the field would get approved or not. I went up to the UCLA Library near my home and started researching. I don’t know why. I wanted to know something about the park. I didn’t even know about its history.

The first article I pulled up showed the groundbreaking of this park, which took a good 10 to 15 years to even get to that point because it was a nightmare back then too. The groundbreaking took place on Tommy’s birthday back in 1970. Not just on his birthday but within ten minutes of his birth time. I chuckled out loud in this library.

I heard him snickering and I said, “ Tommy, on your birthday?” I know this is exactly where the field is meant to be. We are not giving up. I know it will be approved because energetically, this is all planned. It’s all set and I no longer worried about it from that day on. It did get approved and the neighbors all love it. Everyone’s happy. I’ve gotten a few apologies along the way.

I’m happy to hear that. This experience taught them a few lessons also. I love that you feel that you and Tommy are still learning and growing together. Could you share that with people who are wondering if their deceased loved ones are still a part of their lives? How do for sure that you and Tommy are still learning and growing together?

I carry him with me in my heart every day. We pour each other’s souls into our work. We have built two Tommy’s fields where hundreds of kids play on them every day. We’re in discussions with the city about a third. We’ve written a memoir. We have a blog. We have all these signs we give back and forth to each other. Something interesting happened to me. I tested three of everything to make sure and one of the mediums said to me, “He feels you.”

I had always been looking at it like I felt him. I could feel him. I would get emotional when I’d feel him. I could hear him sometimes and my younger son could hear him. We all had different skills but the medium told me, “He feels you. When you sink low and you allow yourself to get that pain in your stomach like you get,” which everything impacts me in my gut, “He feels that.” My shift was immediate like, “I want him to soar as high as he can. Be with me when you can be with me. Do everything with me you can do with me but I’m not going to bring you down so I need to lift myself.”

If my goal is to test and see, is it possible to continue, not only to heal my heart but to continue growing my connection with my son in a different world? I had to continue to raise my energy and vibration to meet his, wherever that is, and not bring him down. That was another turning point every time I started to think that I would do something to help me rise.

What type of a thing? Is it seeing a healer or writing a journal?

Sometimes, it was to see a healer. For the first honestly six months, I had to schedule a different healer appointment every week to get me to the next week to give me hope and curiosity. That was my kind of therapy until it became once every twice a week, once a month, and then once every couple of months. That was my way. I would also write, change my perspective, and get creative. I would talk to him every night in my journal. My relationship with him continues to grow and strengthen. I marvel at the way we can communicate, me here, him there, through nature, and through unexpected ways and times that always make me smile.

Tommy’s Field

We’ve been talking about Tommy’s Field: Love, Lost, and The Goal of a Lifetime, and the fields, you’ve got two and you’re working on another. Is there anything else you’d like everyone to know about your book before we move on a little bit to another question? I have to tell everyone that I read the book. I couldn’t put it down. I thought it was a wonderful book. It’s very uplifting. You experience what Nikki went through also.

I wrote this book the way I wrote it, simply sharing my story because I’m very aware. I’m not a healer, a teacher, or a guru. I’ve read and tested things. In my startup way, I became my startup. I took my business experience and startups and applied them to myself. I wrote this book because I got very frustrated. I realized, “Why don’t we learn any of these things growing up?” Half of these books, no one would read unless they had a tragedy. I tried to read 1 or 2 bestselling self-help books in my former life before the loss. I had no idea what these authors were saying. The minute my son left, I knew everything they were saying.

This book is my story of love, loss, and healing but it’s infused with not only I believe in Tommy’s spirit and a lot of help from beyond with basic principles that are not religious but are somewhat spiritual and communicated in a simple way that I hope and believe is already opening people’s hearts and making them realize there’s a lot more than they thought and a lot more possibilities than they knew. My way of healing may not be theirs but there’s something in it that’s helping them find their way. I love the reaction that it’s getting. I hope it helps people in whatever way they need it.

Healing Inside Out

What you had to say is the way I feel about this show because it’s helping so many people in the same way. In that light, could you please explain why you believe that to heal our world, we must first be willing to heal ourselves? Why is it important for us to heal inside out? What’s your advice for us, Nikki?

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Nikki Mark | Inner Healing

The building of Tommy’s Field taught me that the more I started healing on the inside, the more progress I was making on the outside. The more progress I started making on the outside with Tommy’s Field, land, and community, I started to heal more on the inside. There was this reciprocal relationship between the two. You don’t know where it starts but we always think growing up, it’s everything on the outside. I had lived my life with the mirror as everything on the outside. All I kept hearing along the way was Tommy’s voice saying, “Believe in yourself, Mom. Be who you are.”

Those neighbors fighting against that field helped me find who I was. I didn’t react with lies and fighting. I found my way of truth and honesty. and I had to get honest with myself. The more I looked inside, walked through my heart, and got to know my soul, I began to attract the kinds of people I wanted in my life and create the kinds of output and projects I wanted to create in this world.

Grief and Rebirth: Finding the Joy in Life | Nikki Mark | Inner Healing

It’s funny when I spoke to Pamala for the first time. He said, “It’s okay, Mom, if you do it all for me but in the end, it’s going to be for you too.” That has always stuck with me. I want to get to that last day in my life, look back, and be like, “I was who I wanted to be.” My healing journey on the inside has helped me attract and create the life I want on the outside. I don’t think it happens the other way around. I lived it the other way around the first half of my life and then I’ve spent several years trying this. This has created, I dare say, perhaps even more meaning in my life than ever before.

Embracing Curiosity And Closing Words

What is Nikki Mark’s tip for finding joy in life?

Be curious and keep moving forward. Your curiosity will pull you in a direction. If you follow the direction that makes you curious and brings a little lightness to your heart, you will find maybe first some peace and then joy.

Find joy in life by being curious. If you follow the direction that makes you curious, you can bring a little lightness to your heart. Share on X

In closing, this very meaningful quote from your powerful memoir merits sharing with our audience. The quote is, “I could choose to believe that the amount of pain I endured was the equivalent of how much I loved my son, and then I could curl up with my pain like an addiction and slowly die with it for the rest of my life, or I could rise through my pain, honor Tommy by how I lived, and express my love in a way that served others and potentially honored myself in the process. My commitment to building Tommy’s Field had already led me in the latter direction but for the first time, my mind embraced it as a conscious choice.”

Nikki, how wonderful that 100% of the proceeds from the book sales of Tommy’s Field are being donated to the TM23 Foundation to build more Tommy’s Fields in neighborhoods that need them most. May you be tremendously successful as you journey towards achieving this such a worthy goal. I thank you from my heart for this compelling, healing, and touching interview. Here’s a loving reminder, everyone. Make sure to follow us and like us on social at @IreneSWeinberg on Instagram, Facebook, and wherever you get your podcasts, especially YouTube. As I like to say, to be continued. Thank you so much, Nikki. Many blessings.

Thank you.

My pleasure. Bye for now.

Guest’s Links:

Host’s Links:

I am so happy you have received the Positive Change Podcast Award. Thank you for introducing us to your inspiring guests. I know you have a technical team on this side and Saul on the other that helps and encourages you. Congratulations to all! Thank you for all the work you put into creating this space of love, hope and healing.

Marlene

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