Nikki and Brie Garcia on Life After Leaving the WWE: We're 'Making Our Own Decisions' (Exclusive)

"We're in this place of reclaiming our power," Nikki Garcia tells PEOPLE in this week's issue of her and sister Brie leaving wrestling after 16 years

<p>Frazer Harrison/Getty</p> Brie Garcia (left) and Nikki Garcia at the 2023 ESPY Awards in L.A. in July.

Frazer Harrison/Getty

Brie Garcia (left) and Nikki Garcia at the 2023 ESPY Awards in L.A. in July.

Back in March, Brie Garcia and Nikki Garcia announced they’d be exiting the WWE after 16 years. That meant leaving behind their stages name, The Bella Twins.

“We were representing our Italian roots for so long, and now we get to represent our Mexican, Latin roots,” Nikki tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “To be in the Garcia chapter, in God's way, was the perfect time and path.”

Brie tells PEOPLE she and Nikki exited the wrestling organization because “we got to a point where we just didn't feel energetically aligned anymore with the WWE.”

Related: Nikki Bella Was 'Very Honest' with Husband Artem About Wearing Wedding Dress from John Cena Engagement

The hosts of Prime Video’s Twin Love reveal they started thinking about the departure approximately one year before their contracts ended.

“There was a moment where her and I looked at each other and kind of felt, ‘You know what? We're all not seeing eye to eye any more,’” Nikki says. “We didn't even have to say it, we could just look at each other and feel it.”

Leaving the WWE has afforded the Garcias more freedom.

“We get sad at times to not be a part of what the women are doing over there, and we will always support our women of the WWE, but it's been amazing to be in meetings or have these opportunities and be able to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for yourself, and not to have to go and ask, ‘Hey, we really want to do this opportunity, can we?’” Nikki says. “We’re in this place of reclaiming our power and making our own decisions and not having to ask permission. It's crazy to feel that at 39.”

<p>Brie Garcia/ Instagram</p> Brie Garcia and Bryan Danielson with their kids Birdie and Buddy.

Brie Garcia/ Instagram

Brie Garcia and Bryan Danielson with their kids Birdie and Buddy.

Hosting Twin Love, in which sets of twins will split up and search for love, brought back memories of the Garcia twins’ own dating experiences.

“We felt all of their pain,” says Brie, who shares daughter Birdie, 6, and son Buddy, 3, with pro wrestler Bryan Danielson, her husband since 2014. “When you're a twin, you are born with your soul mate. So the need to find a spouse or a loved one isn't so important, because you have someone there every day. It took us a while, but we did figure it out. We feel like we're still learning and our husbands remind us of it.”

For more on Brie and Nikki Garcia, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, or subscribe here.

One lesson Brie says she did learn: “It's having to put your spouse first. It's hard for us to do it as twins, but it's so important to do it. It means the world to our husbands and our relationships. And I think that's what has really made our marriages strong.”

Nikki admits she struggled with that at times with husband Artem Chigvintsev.

“When I found out I was pregnant with Matteo, my first thought was, ‘Do I call Brie or Artem?’” Nikki recalls. “Artem was in the other room, but you have to, as a twin, give your other half that chance of having those moments with them first and doing things first. It changes everything."

<p>Nikki Garcia/ Instagram</p> Nikki Garcia and Artem Chigvintsev with son Matteo.

Nikki Garcia/ Instagram

Nikki Garcia and Artem Chigvintsev with son Matteo.

Nikki likens being in a relationship with a twin to dating two people at once.

“You don't realize until you've dated an identical twin that you truly are in a relationship with two people, whether you like it or not,” the Barmageddon host says. “You're just sleeping with one and the other one you're not, but you're fully in a relationship with them."

Along with Twin Love, the twins host The Nikki and Brie Show podcast, plan on opening a tasting room in Napa, California for their Bonita Bonita Wine brand and continue to focus on raising their kids.

“I am honestly the Pinterest mom, I always have arts and crafts ready for the kids,” Brie says. “I feel like I have been more present than ever in the last couple years. I finally had to admit to myself I was a workaholic and I fixed that totally.”

Related: Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev Balance 'Butterflies' and 'Weekly Check-Ins' to Keep Their Marriage Strong

Nikki admits she “had to work on shifting” feeling rewarded “from award shows and your fan base” to experiencing gratitude as a mom.

“I don't think anyone ever thought I was going to change on being a workaholic,” the mom of 3-year-old Matteo says. “When I enjoyed those present moments with Matteo, I realized how much I love them. It's really made me take steps back of what I want to do. When there's recognition of being a good mom, it's weird how that it's such an amazing internal reward. I love my daily life with him. I'm in sweats. I don't wear makeup and I just can't believe how much I love it.”

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Twin Love is streaming now on Prime Video.

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