Ep. 61 Thriving with a Chronic Illness Through Compassion, Nourishment, and Radical Self-Love with Nitika Chopra
Happy #SeekTheJoy Tuesday!
On the podcast this week is Nitika Chopra - inspiring talk show host, beauty and lifestyle expert, self-love guru, chronic illness advocate, and soul sister.
Nitika has been a leader in the wellness industry since she founded her blog in 2010. As the host of the Talk Show Naturally Beautiful on Z-Living and as the on-air expert for Fresh on QVC, Nitika has always empowered women to use beauty as a tangible access point to self-love.
Known for her straight-forwarded tone and intense vulnerability, Nitika recently took everything she had learned from suffering with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for the past 27 years and created a conversation about self-love in the chronic illness community. With her experience in public speaking, her highly engaged social media following and her raw and honest writing that she shares weekly on her blog, Nitika is determined to get honest with her audience so that they can get honest with themselves in a way that truly transforms lives.
On this week’s episode Nitika shares her journey with chronic illness and how she began to thrive through compassion, nourishment and self-love. We chat about Nitika’s definition of self-love, the moment she realized loving herself was an option, and how she shifted her perspective to living a life of joy. We have a really wonderful conversation about teaching what we need to learn, how we can begin to recognize our own light, and showing kindness and compassion for our mind and body. Plus, Nitika shares what thriving with a chronic illness looks like today, joy in her life, what’s ahead for 2019, and so much more!
Nitika is such a light, and I’m so grateful that she came on the podcast to share her journey. I know her experiences are helping so many shift their perspective, feel their difficult emotions, and really offer themselves genuine care and love, and live a beautiful life that they deserve.
How do you define self-love? Nitika’s definition is beautiful and so relevant: “to be more committed to your happiness than to your suffering.” Mic. Drop.
Nitika is on a mission to inspire radical self-love and she’s doing this through her work as a certified life coach, wellness entrepreneur, and motivation lifestyle guru. She’s truly a go-to resource for young women around the globe. She’s resilient, her love for life is infectious, and she’s shifted her perspective to living a life of joy even with a chronic illness. She’s truly thriving, and inspiring others to do the same.
Nitika wants everyone—including you—to fall in love with who they are; to recognize their inner and outer beauty with ease; and to finally learn how to thrive with a chronic illness.
Her mission didn’t come wrapped up in bow, while she was meditating, or sipping on a cup of tea. Truthfully, she had to experience a great deal of pain for it to come forth.
At the age of 10 Nitika was diagnosed with a debilitating case of psoriasis and at 19, she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis that took over most of her joints. Her entire body was covered from the tips of her toes to the crown of her head in unsightly sores. For about the first 5 years of having psoriatic arthritis, she was left unable to move without severe pain.
While it’s been over 26 years since Nitika was diagnosed and she’s come a long way, the first 15 years of her diagnoses left her overwhelmed with pain, insecurity, confusion and battling depression.
It was so incredible to hear Nitika talk about how she landed at self-care and self-love. People assume that she’s a perfect master at self-love because she teaches it, and I loved what she said about this! She wasn’t that great at it and that’s why she does teach it. When she was growing up she didn’t like anything about herself. In fact, she didn’t know that loving herself was an option. She was surrounded by so much negativity from all sides, that she felt like this was her normal because it was her normal for so long. Once Nitika realized that it was an option to love herself, everything changed.
On her most difficult days, self-care was her saving grace. Although she resisted it at first, Nitika eventually started taking small steps towards learning how she was more than just her condition. She treated herself to long baths with sweet smelling sea salts. She lovingly rubbed lotion on her skin to help soothe the pain. She put on her favorite shade of red lipstick and painted her nails. She collected pictures of everything that inspired her, ultimately creating a vision board of the life she always wanted.
In those moments, Nitika felt compassion for her condition and herself. Her perspective shifted from extreme despair to a deep faith that there was a better way. There was a tapping on her heart - well, more like a pounding - that she was meant for something greater. Nitika knew in this moment that it was her intuition speaking to her that she was here for so much more than a life spent in misery.
In that moment, she made a decision. She decided to be more committed to her happiness than her suffering. Everything started to come together when she started to really follow her intuition.
Self-love starts with compassion, and Nitika and I have a really wonderful conversation about showing kindness and compassion for our mind and body. Nitika shares her practice of speaking to her body and the impact this level of care has had on her health. We also chat about fostering a greater belief in ourselves and Nitika shares her top tips for someone who wants to to do the same.
It was so wonderful to chat with Nitika about what it looks like to thrive with a chronic illness. Today, Nitika is living a life where every experience is truly relished. She’s surrounded by amazing women who accept her for exactly who she is. Her skin is healthy and glowing. She savors everything she puts into her body—from green juice to gluten free pizza. Above all, Nitika is eternally grateful to have the freedom to fully express herself through her work and to spread the self-love mission every single day.
I loved hearing about what brings Nitika joy - did you guys know that she sings?! She’s a member of the Resistance Revival Chorus, and it’s been an incredible experience for her to use her voice to support causes and activism work. I also loved what Nitika shared about how hard she’s worked to bring joy into her life and keep it there. She’s experienced so much darkness and pain over the course of her life, and that contrast has allowed joy to be just a little sweeter and more powerful.
We really talk about so much in this week’s new episode and this is really only just scratching the surface! Life has brought Nitika so many gifts and she could not be more grateful for the journey she’s taken to get here. I can’t wait for you guys to hear all about it in this week’s episode, and the words of wisdom and nuggets of self-love that are weaved throughout our conversation (it’s SO good!!)
To learn more and connect with Nitika visit www.nitikachopra.com and connect with her on Instagram @nitikachopra Twitter @nitikachopra and join her Facebook Community the Chronic (illness) Crew and you can check out her new podcast, The Point of Pain Podcast, here!
MERCH: Did you hear? We launched #SeekTheJoy merch! (cue internal screaming!!!) Yup, Seek The Joy bracelets are here and I am SO EXCITED. Check them out here - I can't wait to see you guys rockin your bracelet!
PATREON: We're now on PATREON!! Your support of this podcast means the world. Full of rewards and exclusive content, we can't wait to take this joy journey to the next level. Sing up to be a patron of the podcast here: patreon.com/seekthejoypodcast
Ratings and reviews help Seek The Joy get seen by new people, and I'm so grateful to each and every one of you who has rated the podcast!
If you rate/review the podcast on iTunes make sure to e-mail us a screenshot of your review to email@example.com and as a token of my appreciation and gratitude for your love and support, I'll send you my NEW #SeekTheJoy Guide for Infusing More Joy into Your Life document! I've created this guide based on what I've learned from these #SeekTheJoy conversations. Along with this guide, you'll also receive two limited edition Seek The Joy Podcast stickers which I will mail out to you!
THE POWER OF STORYTELLING: The next episode in our series, The Power of Storytelling, airs on February 19th! We want you to be part of it! To learn more and to submit your story, visit the Share Your Story section of our website. Fill out our interest form - and we'll get back to you ASAP.
JOY CORNER: A new interview-style blog series spotlighting inspiring souls, moments that bring you joy, products we love, and so much more. Join our corner of the internet - share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration. Ready to share your light, magic and joy? Get in touch here - a new post in this series goes live on our site every Thursday.