With twin 10-year-old boys and a new role as CEO of a fragrance company, Nashville, Tenn.-based model Niki Taylor talks to SHAPE about the changes she's made in her life to achieve a newfound sense of happiness.
On becoming confident: "During your 20s, you spend a lot of time learning who you are. But now that I'm 30, I'm finally comfortable in my own skin."
Advice: No matter what milestone you're facing, "surround yourself with good people who will walk with you and carry you through the darkest times."
On staying fit: "I love yoga. Every day I do it or some form of exercise (walking and/or free weights) for at least an hour."
Advice: "Yoga is the best exercise because it strengthens your body's core without straining it and helps you develop breathing techniques so you can get the most from your workout."
On balance: "Carve out 'you time' to exercise, get that pedicure, run those errands or have lunch with a friend."
Advice: "Start each day being thankful for all that you have. Having an attitude of gratefulness helps you stay energized."
On the future: "I hope to adopt a baby from Thailand; I recently visited an orphanage there. Our garages are cleaner than where they live." (For more on Niki's life-altering trip, log on to SHAPE.com/nikithailand.)
Advice: "Look outside yourself and your life. There are so many things going on that we choose not to see; opening your eyes and heart could change your—and someone else's—life forever!"
Niki Travels to Thailand:
"I went with IJM (International Justice Mission), whose headquarters are in Washington, D.C. They go undercover to investigate brothels and other places where young girls and women are held against their will as sex slaves. These girls are drugged, beaten, raped and forced to service men (including westerners) up to 20 (or more) times a day. Around the world, there are more than 27 million people held captive in slavery. Some are lucky enough to be found--then helped; others are not. IJM works with local authorities to raid the brothels and make sure the perpetrators have their day in court."
What She Saw:
"While I was in Southeast Asia, three arrests were made. It was great to meet with girls who had just been rescued and to hear their stories. It made me want to be a spokesperson for this cause. In my heart I knew that I wanted to be a voice for those who do not have a voice. Now I have the chance to step out and do my part in helping to bring an end to this madness."
How You Can Help:
- Get involved; visit ijm.org to learn more about the organization and how
- Donate financially; your money supports IJM and its programs, including an aftercare program designed for girls who've been rescued from sex trafficking.
- Visit the source; inquire about, or help organize, trips through your local church or community center to travel abroad and help those in need.
- Pray for those less fortunate; our prayers never go unheard.