#LIVEUNFILTERED with Nicoya Hecht, Co-owner of Rising Springs

To my surprise, I work with my husband, Grey, and am co-owner of Rising Springs.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a part of Rising Springs when Grey asked me to join him. I was awed by the Source and the health benefits of the water --  but never thought of myself as a businesswoman.

I was also hesitant to venture into a business relationship with my husband. After 22 years of marriage and family rearing -- our children headed off to college -- the idea of being together 24 hours a day, working and living, seemed like it could be a recipe for increased marital stress.

By the way -- It is -- but we are learning to navigate it.

Grey and I both strive to live an unfiltered life; in our marriage, in our relationships with others, in what we share with the world daily, and in our work. We both deeply value authenticity, transparency and connection. For me, this path has been an evolution. For Grey, it’s always been what he has naturally sought.

At 12 years old, I was 5’7” and Grey was 5’ (yes, we met when we were 12). I didn’t want to stand out, which was challenging, as I was the tallest person in our school. I was also growing up in Hawaii in the 70’s, and my constantly sunburned lanky body did not really blend in.  As the daughter of hippies living an unconventional life, I yearned for normal, and prayed to fit in. In high school, I grew to be 5’11”, so getting lost in the crowd was not an option. It was impossible to not stand out, so I tried to at least fit in. Rejecting my colorful heritage and my appearance, I lost touch with who I was, what I thought, and what I wanted. I made my decisions based on how they would be received by others. Honesty wasn’t important to me - I was willing to morph into anything just to become what I thought others wanted to see and hear. It was painful to want to fit in so badly, to work so hard to be liked by absolutely everyone. I strived to be normal, to always do and say the right thing. I worked overtime to compensate for the unique choices my parents had made, thus making myself small and molding myself into what I thought the world wanted from me and of my family.

Thankfully, Grey stayed by my side as a friend and then as a partner (and he grew to be 5’10’!), seeing in me what I had yet to see in myself.  

At the age of 23, I gave birth to our first son, Kadin. Childbirth was one of the first truly authentically unfiltered moments I can remember. Experiencing myself in such a raw way began my journey back to myself. It woke me up to the desire to be more genuine and present with my child than I had been for myself. What came after was many years of peeling back the layers and searching for my hidden self. I became a midwife. I sought out deep psychological and spiritual insight and worked through it diligently.

My years as a midwife helped me uncover a place where I could operate from instinct, trust and knowing. I found that service and focusing on others opened my heart in a way that allowed me to feel at ease in myself. As the years pass and my path unfolds, I am blessed to be reminded and supported, time and again, that my value lies not in what I have achieved or how much I know, but in the unique part of myself that I share with others.

Grey has always been unfiltered. He was never afraid of sharing his opinions and vulnerability with others, even when they diverged from popular opinion (maybe especially then). In the early years of our relationship, I was often embarrassed by his authenticity, concerned that his visionary thinking would reflect poorly on me and that I would be judged by my peers because of him. Now after 22 years of marriage, this quality is what I love most about him and about others I meet in the world. I owe a lot to Grey for paving the way and supporting and believing in me. I am proud to stand by a man who is so truly himself in the world and who can be counted on to speak the truth, offer his honest opinions and reflections.

It took many years for me to learn to trust that the best version of myself is the one where what I shared with the world is based on my own desires, beliefs, fears and passions: best because it feels good and because it is what connects me to others.

It took even longer for me to trust that this authentic version of myself would be desired by others more than the manipulated version of sameness that I was striving for.

Rising Springs has been an ideal portal for merging my personal growth with Grey’s visionary capacities to create a company and build a team to steward the most authentically unfiltered source of pure water. We are able to communicate the value of this treasure without the need for greenwashing and marketing gimmicks.  

Transparency is all that is needed.

So how do I live an unfiltered life?  By paying attention to my spirit, the things I put in my body, the activities I partake in, and the inputs I expose myself to, so that I am nourishing me in the way that feels most genuine, and allows me to feel free in sharing myself.  Unfiltered living is what I am most attracted to and what I seek to encourage in people and businesses.