Lamplighter Nicky Scott shares wisdom for positive living

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, March 16, 2017


Most of us have encountered that certain kind of person who can enter a coffee shop and, with a smile, move from table to table, speaking with someone here, listening to someone there, and filling the room with radiant, cheerful faces. I think of people like that as catalysts of happiness – as lamplighters.

Cochrane-based resiliency coach Nicky Scott is just such a lamplighter. When I first met her in person about 20 years ago, I asked her about her knack for lighting up people’s lives. She credited her mother.

“My mother was a writer,” Nicky said. “She was my soul sister. She’d write me songs and words of advice. I, like her, aspire to words for their wisdom; I listen for them.”

Nicky shared with me a letter that pretty much captures her mother’s wisdom for such positive living:

Dear Nicky,

You are gifted with living, as we each are. I leave you love and my days' wisdom. I learned these things for myself. Each day, each year, practice this: do one thing that is creative, whether it be writing a letter or poem, painting a picture or looking at your own child's art; be it arranging flowers, fixing an engine, keeping tidy your drawers – you decide. This is my advice, because art is everywhere; it is not in the art gallery only, but mostly in the everyday: tidy socks, polished windows, folded laundry, singing along with radio songs; the art of your sweet baby's sleeping face.

You are gifted with each new day. You can make and craft it your own. I know it's best to look forward and not to dwell on negatives. Most people say: “I must quit smoking,” “I will go on a diet,” and “I won't be those things or those things.” Nicky, know that these are negatives, they look back. Look forward, search out those things you find to be good: I want art, writing, creation, crafting, pottery, fixing and putting. I will learn to: speak Spanish; dance the mambo; sing a most favourite song; move the furniture around; look around the streets and see things I never did see before. Decide, Nicky, to be everything you can and want in the days of your life. I leave you this – your legacy.

Love, Mum

Well actually, her mother had passed away two years before that letter was written. “I made up the letter from my memories of her advice,” Nicky said. “It is excellent advice. I believe we all underestimate the power of what we can do and the effect we can have.”

I asked Nicky back then to suggest ways in which we could all apply her mother's wisdom.

“Next time you sit in traffic, look around, smile at the person next to you,” she replied. “When you go to pick up your mail at the post office, pause a few seconds longer, chat with the person in the lobby. That is where it starts.

“Life is excellent, good and true. Each new day proves that. Take the moments that find you sad and alone and let them make you strong. I have done that. It works. All that’s been given us is our own self and time; the rest is up to us.”

Now, after nearly 20 years of intriguing twists and turns in her own life, Nicky has made sharing this philosophy for positive living into her full-time work, including following in her mother’s footsteps as a writer. She has recently written three coaching programs.

Solution 66 is her program designed to help people cultivate the mindset needed for lasting weight loss. “When a person is fit and trim and living in their power, he or she contributes powerfully to the rest of humanity. This is a practical and soulful program,” she says.

Turn into the Storm is her resiliency coaching program based on those nuggets she has learned on how to be brave and courageous and head into the storms that come up in our lives – “the skillsets and mindsets that ensure such hard times turn into a growth opportunity and how to take fear and fuel your best success.”

Then there’s the one after my own heart: “Lamplighter is a 30-day surefire goal-sticking program,” she says. “It uses a heart/soul-based approach to setting outcomes and has many strategies for making people realize their strengths and become the shining lights they are supposed to be.”

She loves to see how her programs help people find their true power, she says. “It’s really a gift to me to be able to do this for a living.”

Well, there’s one more book she’s currently in the midst of writing that I’m especially looking forward to. It’s the story of her life, with special attention to how her mother’s wisdom has helped Lamplighter Nicky glow brightly after passing through some very dark valleys.


© 2017 Warren Harbeck

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