Over the course of my many film projects, I have been fortunate to meet some interesting people along the way who are doing really innovative things with their lives. Nikki Wall is one of those extremely interesting people. We sat down and spoke to her to find out what has inspired her path, how she’s gone from Horror Film Producer to Social Activist/Humanitarian and her message on how our social obligation to coexist with a sense of worthiness and purpose should become central to sustaining our future.
Humanitarians Nikki Wall & John Apt
Nikki Wall is a filmmaker turned omni-faith minister and humanitarian. Alongside her beloved, John Apt, she works tirelessly towards long term sustainable solutions as well as getting her hands dirty and helping wherever she can to bring a little more love and light into others’ lives. She has been an award winning activist since she was 13 years old, working in many areas of positive change making. She is the author of The Universal Inspiration Project, co-founder of Vow of Service and has dedicated her whole life in service to the greater good. She has surrendered everything and lives on faith doing all work, including spiritual counseling, on a donation basis.
Thelma & Louise: Thelma and Louise is a blog about kicking fear in the face. So let’s do this! Tell us a little bit about yourself and who you are please!
Nikki: I am an omni-denominational minister that is focused on greater sustainable solutions while taking action every day to improve the lives of all humans. At the moment, we’ve focused a lot of our efforts on the under-served homeless populations throughout California and now that we’ve established a support system down there and built momentum for others to do what we were doing, we have relocated up to Portland, Oregon to assist with their growing homeless population. I have been an activist since I was 13 years old and have worked with animal rights groups, environmental protection and preservation organizations, gay rights and protection organizations and more… doing everything from boots on the ground work, protesting, activism, lobbying and all aspects of positive social change. I am proud to say that I am an award winning humanitarian that has positively affected the lives of tens of thousands of people, if not more from the momentums I’ve created.
Thelma & Louise: Explain what an omni-denominational minister is.
Nikki: In other words, I believe that we are spiritual beings having a spiritual experience. We all come from the same source and I have studied and walked many spiritual and religious paths. I honor wherever someone is at regardless of what they believe and feel that all the masters and sages before us have shared the same threads of wisdom and guidance of how to live a good life and serve others when you really boil down what they have taught. I am here to serve as a spiritual leader who unites and heals all illusions of separateness, including those labeled as religious. I respect and honor those who hold the values true of whatever religious path they are on and while doing so, I invite and encourage them to come together with everyone else to realize that we are all human and all have the same needs and desires. What we do in our temples or churches, how we pray and who we pray to, what books we read or even if we don’t believe in God at all, we all have responsibility down here in these physical bodies and the world needs our unified intent and action now more than ever before.
Thelma & Louise: So would it be appropriate to say you are a “lightworker”? Maybe a minister of humanism vs religious-ism?
Nikki: Absolutely. And in a lot of ways I resonate with pieces of avatarism which is a little more centered around taking responsibility for the entirety of our experience.
Thelma & Louise: Avatarism, can you explain ?
This is what I thought she meant by “Avatarism”- I quickly learned blue makeup was not what she was referring to….
Nikki: My basic understanding of it, is that it is the idea that we are souls in a body interacting with others and that we manifest our experience, including people and circumstances, based on our own vibration and frequencies. That we can actually have creative control in our own experience and the experience of others who are less consciously creating. If we are aware of this, we have a responsibility to always first and foremost care for ourselves and our vibration and get ourself right with the universe and then consciously co-create with others, whether they are aware of it or not, for the greatest healing possible now and moving forward to create a joyful human experience for everyone.
Thelma & Louise: Got it. Avatarism= transformationalism (but without the blue leotard)
Nikki: Yes ☺starting inside and working your way out to transform everything, including yourself, into something more serving of humanity as a whole. All inclusive so that each being has their own ability to live a life of fulfillment.
Thelma & Louise: You have vowed to only live on the donations you receive for the work that you do. That is a very risky undertaking, How does that work? Do you live minimally? Does it ever become difficult to get your own needs met with this lifestyle? Can you tell us more about that?
Nikki: I went into this heavily influenced by the Burning Man community and the desire to bring the Gift Economy to the mainstream. I had lived various periods of my life as a teenager on the streets in perceived lack, poverty, challenge and vulnerability and had experienced times in my life as an adult where I was so financially abundant that I had total and utter financial freedom. I knew that it would be something that was ‘risky’ in terms of what the patriarchal system had created and programmed us into. I also had faith that if I was in alignment with the Divine, I would be supported by the Divine, so I took the leap of faith and went all in, giving up EVERYTHING and putting myself out there publicly in any way I could be of service to another.
Fast forward to today, and yes, I have maintained my integrity of living minimally to set an example and lighten my load. My beloved and I own very little and the majority of it is spiritual, esoteric and philosophical books, and other than that we have a suitcase of clothes and our backpacks.
We don’t use credit cards, as we just didn’t feel in alignment with that in regards to what we were trying to live, embody and teach, so everything has to be manifested if it’s meant to be. Right now we have been gifted a room in someone’s home that truly believes in what we are doing and wishes to support us in a way that is in alignment with us all.
Although there have been times of challenge, I’ve really grown past the point of seeing them as a negative experience. Mostly, our experience has been seemingly miraculous and through the course of this adventure, we have experienced being asked to come do ceremony or simply be present in someone’s home to bring ceremony or help them align their lives in a more spiritual way, offer our healing and so forth and this has kept a pretty consistent roof over our heads with occasional times we would not have that and take the time to go camp in nature or get a private hotel or air-bnb to just be in our own energy and catch up on blogs, etc.
Through our Social Media, a lot of people have been following the story. I’ve found that a lot of people that follow us feel like helping us along the way or inviting us to them, they are already a part of the story and so many have chosen to contribute to keep us going. I know in my heart, and have received as feedback, that a lot of people just feel grateful to witness our adventures, our love and commitment to a dream and so contributing in some way or another makes them feel like they are sharing in that dream as well. That feeling in them is what brings them to a place of inviting us, donating to us and gifting us things that has lead to us living a minimal life in the perception of many but an abundant life to our hearts and souls.
Thelma & Louise: You meet a lot of people and have made it your life’s work to contribute to helping other’s succeed. In your work, what is the one thing that you believe stops people from living out loud?
Nikki: I truly believe that it is actually our fear of how GREAT we are and just how much we’ve been capable of all along that we fear. In that realization we are forced to face how small we’ve made ourselves and how disempowered we have allowed ourselves to be. It’s hard to face difficult truths like that about ourselves but, on the other side of those fears are our authentic greatness and fullest expression of the divinity within.
Thelma & Louise: In your pre-interview you shared that you had spent years producing horror films. That’s a major turn from the work you are doing now. Talk about heading into fear only to kick it on its face! Can you tell us a bit about that journey and what you learned about fear and how it plays into our lives negatively?
Nikki: I had a rather dark childhood that culminated into quite a bit of depression and anxiety as a young adult, even a period of agoraphobia, as a young adult. I ended up married to a childhood sweetheart that faced a lot of similar but not identical challenges and the two of us were coming out of the punk and gothic scenes. I believe in a lot of ways it was therapeutic for both of us, however, it didn’t resonate with me when I really started focusing on inner healing. I suddenly wanted to be lighter and freer and started seeking more within myself and realizing that I didn’t want to be focused on blood and guts and that if I had the power to influence others, why not do it in a more positive way?
I actually was involved with groups that were helping create more opportunities for women in film, behind the scenes and in greater roles in entertainment to create a more equal and balanced voice in that industry, but, eventually I needed more and the farther I dove into finding my most authentic expression, I understood that film and television would probably be a part of that but I had an even larger mission here and so I shifted.
It resulted in the end of that marriage, although we are still friends and co-parents and I still love him as a brother and friend, and I met my current beloved while I was stepping out of that community and into the spiritual and conscious communities, learning and expressing as a more healed and authentic version of myself. The stories and koans of horror are very real, for the most part, I just felt that it was also exploiting women in ways that I didn’t feel reflected my new path.
Thelma & Louise: What is one tip you can give our readers on how you have approached courage?
Nikki: Being courageous doesn’t mean you don’t have fear. I have countless fears a day! I simply keep going and abolish them and anything that comes up that I have to face, I just remember that no warrior, change maker, or hero has ever existed without some measure of resistance. Courage to me simply means stepping beyond the veil of fear to keep going regardless of what it seems is holding you back or trying to keep you from your goals when you know they are in fact the highest expression of your Truth.
Thelma & Louise: What is your greatest fear that you have conquered?
One of Nikki’s diary entries
Nikki: My greatest fear was dying before I was able to make a noticeable difference in the world. So, in this instance, fear literally became my fuel towards living with a positive direction, catalyzing me into greater service instead of allowing it to stunt me on my path.
Thelma & Louise: Finally, What is one of your favorite sayings?
Nikki: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.