Nicole Sousa has been all over the world ever since she was first born. Having been born in Central Africa and then moving with her family to London, England, the international actress has now taken to the United States, moving full-time to both New York City and Hollywood,California. While pursing her passion of acting, Nicole has learnt many forms of yoga, meditation and lucid body workouts to help her mind & soul stay grounded and focused. Asana Journal spoke with the upcoming actress to find out more…
My mum was actually the one to introduce me to the idea of meditation and yoga. She would always tell me to slow down because I was always going a mile a minute. At first it was so hard for me to just be still and quieten the mind, no matter what I did I just could not switch it off. Then I started taking yoga classes which were great but I was still in my head. It wasn’t until I discovered lucid body that I really began to find a stillness, and tap into an inner peace which made meditating that much more natural.
I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to be some sort of monk and follow all these rules to “really” meditate and I found that to be furthest thing from the truth. Everyone has their own way of meditating, it’s about what works for you, what you need. There is no “right way” there’s just your way.
Oh having an active healthy lifestyle is very important to me. I think that eating well, being active and taking care of your inner self as well as your outer self has so many benefits. Just eating well for example can help you health wise. I tend to avoid modern medicine, I prefer natural remedies, I think I have googled home made remedies for almost every symptom I have felt. I had this allergic reaction, I had no idea where it was coming from so I researched, went on this anti-histamine cleanse and felt so much better. I am a very active person, I don’t think a week can go by without me either, boxing, hiking or rock climbing. I also love trying out new workouts, I took an aero fitness class which was amazing, I like to change it up that way it does not get boring, but your body thanks you for it. I feel like you sleep better at night, you have that much more energy during the day, its great!
I was first introduced to lucid body in acting school and it was an incredible discovery. It’s a physical technique that helps you to open up your physical, mental and emotional body. And while as an actor it is a tremendous technique which allows you to truly tap into your characters soul. I think even as a non actor it is incredible because you learn so much about yourself. You learn about the persona you portray in front of others, your shadow that you hide beneath the persona and all the layers beneath that. Exploring your chakras and learning more about yourself.
I find that everyone has a different form of meditating. I have a few friends back in London who told me about this app called headspace which they use to meditate, it’s a sort of guided mediation, that takes you step by step, just a few minutes a day. I have another friend who listens to a Hindu mantras and light incense while they just sit in silence. It really does vary based on the individual I seem to find.
It’s definitely a stretch sometimes when I am super busy, but I see it as an essential. I mean, no matter how busy your day is you have to eat something, you have to drink water. So I have to find some time for myself, even if its 10 minutes in that day to kind of center myself and be a little physical.
Both meditation and lucid body have given me a deeper understanding of the human psyche. There is so much going on beneath the surface, there are so many emotions we feel and it doesn’t always make sense, but this is not about logic it’s sometimes not even palpable its what you feel. Now when I am tackling a character I think about their “Child need,” what is their shadow, what chakra is their main one and why are they reacting this way, what is beneath this. There are so many layers to peel away at it’s exquisite how intricate and interesting we as human beings are.
I think it is important to not judge yourself or your experiences, we can be so hard on ourselves that we forget that we are only human. We are all just trying to figure this out. Follow your gut instincts and listen to your body, it has a way of telling you what it needs, but we can’t always hear because we think we know better. Also find what works best for you, just because it works for your best friend and her method does not work for you, it does not mean there’s a problem with you. It just means you need to listen to what you need.
Probably the beach, listening to the waves, smelling the ocean water. Feeling the sunset on my skin. Yup, definitely the beach.
Or what are some of your favorite health foods? I wouldn’t say strict diet. I like to eat clean because it makes me feel good, it is more of a lifestyle than a strict diet. I love a quinoa salads, they are quick and easy to make and you can always change it up. I also have a big sweet tooth, so I am always trying out new recipes with agave. I actually gave up processed sugar for lent which was probably the hardest thing I have ever done. But I discovered so many sugar free alternatives, like agave ice cream bars, I even attempted to make my own chocolate (it did not taste good) but I’m proud of the attempt.
I hope to continue to grow as a person but also as an artist. At Stella Adler (my acting school) there was this motto, “Growth as an actor is synonymous to growth as a human being” I could not agree more. I hope to keep working towards being my best self and not only interpret wonderful and complicated characters but also to create them.
Just one. You know, I think it would be to increase our tolerance as human beings for one and other. I think a main problem we have is an intolerance for things we do not understand, that do not make sense or that is different. Just think about how things could be different if we all just accepted each other, that regardless of race, religion, sex, culture and any other differences we had, we were tolerant.