Written by : Chris Libby

Nikki DeLoach Believes Happiness Is an Inside Job

Actress and advocate is building a community for women to find their true, authentic selves.

Actress Nikki Deloach sitting in a garden with a peach dress.

Actress and advocate is building a community for women to find their true, authentic selves.

If you are a fan of the Hallmark Channel, then you are familiar with Nikki DeLoach. Having starred in multiple Hallmark hits, including Two Turtle Doves, A Dream of Christmas, The Perfect Catch and Reunited at Christmas, she is quickly becoming the channel’s most recognizable face. With more than 50 credits to her name, Nikki has been in front of the camera for most of her life. But, acting isn’t her only true passion. After a series of adversities involving the people closest to her—her father suffering from dementia and her son born with serious heart issues—she uses her platform to shine the light on issues and organizations that are dear to her heart.

“I lost my grandfather and I’m currently losing my dad—who is only 65 years old—dementia. I’ve become a spokesperson for both the Alzheimer’s Association and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles,” Nikki explains. “I am now also on the board for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Through my personal experiences with my son’s heart condition and my father’s dementia, it’s so important for me to be actively making a difference in these organizations.”

Nikki is also an advocate for women’s empowerment. Recently, Nikki cofounded the What We Are blog with her friend Jen Dede, with the goal of uniting women of all walks of life by giving them a platform that focuses on their issues. “We wanted to build a community of women where we preach that vulnerability is your superpower and sharing your story—your real story, your real self—is one of the most powerful things you can do,” Nikki says.

Covering topics ranging from health and wellness to work and motherhood, What We Are’s blogs are written by women for women without all of the filters.

What inspired you to create the “What We Are” blog and become an advocate for empowering women?

Jen Dede walked into my life at a point where I was seeking to become the most authentic version of myself. She was at the same place in her life. For the first time in our lives, we weren’t concerned with being messy or ugly or if our messiness would make people uncomfortable. For years, as women, we’ve been taught not to be authentic. Instead, we were taught to look pretty and keep our opinions to ourselves, don’t let anyone see that you are struggling to be the perfect mom, wife, friend, citizen, etc. We have been imprisoned, and I wanted to live a life of authenticity and honesty. I was looking to destroy this glass house of perfection that had been built around us and celebrate the richness, deepness and complexity of women! So, it started with this beautiful friendship we built and then grew from there.

Who taught you the most about happiness?

I’ve had some amazing teachers in my life. I’ve been truly blessed, but it has been my relationship and connection to God that has been the biggest teacher. I’ve certainly had guides, healers, therapists and counselors along the way that have helped me to develop a skill set to release trauma, heal the past or figure out complex relationships with others. But I think happiness is an inside job. You have to want it. You have to fight for it. And it has been me and my connection with the sacred that is not only within, but also around us (I call that God, but you can call it anything you’d like!) that has taught me the most about happiness.

What is the kindest act someone has done for you?

When I was pregnant with my youngest son, we learned that he had multiple life-threatening heart defects. Without immediate intervention, he wouldn’t survive. The way in which my friends, family and community surrounded us and supported us through all of that will never be forgotten. I am a forever changed human from the outpouring of love, prayers and support we received. Food delivery, hospital visits, people taking my oldest son for play dates so he wouldn’t have to feel the weight of our reality…you name it. I received cards from churches that I had never visited, people I didn’t even know across the country who had been praying for Bennett. I remind people all the time that, despite what we see and read on the news, the world is full of incredible human beings doing incredible things for others.

How do you make others close to you happy?

I am present with them. I see them, hear them. I don’t just listen with my ears, but also with my heart. I remind them of their gifts, talents and what makes them so special. It’s important to empower people, to remind them of just how important they are to us and to society. I think being present with someone is the greatest gift you can give them. And the result is always happiness and joy.

 What do you do to pay it forward?

I truly believe that we are all in this together. When one rises, that person brings everyone along. Just as when one is in need, it is our job to go to that person and ask how we can be of service. I believe that living a purpose-driven life with a service-driven heart is what it’s all about. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Think about that for a moment. Think about the weak links we have in our society. Not the people who are vulnerable. Vulnerability is a strength, it’s a superpower. I am talking about the leaders of our society who are leading with hate, fear and separation. There is a lot of work to be done. I’ve been blessed in my life to have a good job, a wonderful husband, a family who would do anything to help me, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my mouth, a son whose life has been saved THREE times! When you’ve been given a lot, I feel like it is necessary to pay it forward as much as possible.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about my family, friends and building community. I am passionate about living a life of purpose. I want to leave the world better than when I came into it. I’m passionate about staying true to that sentiment. I am passionate about learning and implementing ways to become a healthier individual on a mental, spiritual, emotional and physical level. I am passionate about my faith. I am passionate about connecting.

When is the last time you laughed out loud?

Today! I was coaching with my friend, Stephen Van Dorn, on an audition I have for tomorrow. We always have a great time together. He makes me laugh out loud all the time. I believe in laughter and its ability to heal, change the day and make you happy. It’s true that it is often the best medicine.

Where is your happy place?

It can be anywhere as long as I am present and in my body. I have certainly found happiness in certain places: Hawaii, Paris, my family farm in Georgia, on set filming. The time I am the happiest is usually when I am with my kids, though. They make me happy in a way I’ve never felt before because I’ve never loved anything the way I love them. The trick with happiness is trying to not allow it to be dependent on outside circumstances. Again, happiness is an inside job. Wherever you go…there you are. So, you really have to do the work. I’ve been happy in some of the most painful situations.
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