A Season of “At Ease”

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Leviticus 25:4 “But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”

Is it just time to be “at ease” about it all? Is it time to rest from your life’s work? Is it time to go a few weekends without movement, toiling, schedules, a to do list? I see many of us worrying about the same thing over and over. The same situations, the same people, when will we ever let them go? They are already gone from our grasp, but still are taking up residence in out heads and hearts. We have to be doing something or we are being lazy is how many of us were raised, what we were told, or what we saw. Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end we quote, but yet we prolong by holding on.

There’s a transition of the seasons. Just because it’s an official date for summer doesn’t mean summer comes on that day. However, summer doesn’t transition all of fall either. Are the leaves turning or have they turned in your life? Have the leaves fallen from the tree and are you still trying to get as much shade as you would from spring’s tree? Is it time to be “at ease” ? Straight backs and a stiff upper lip, chin up, tummy in, forward march or sit down? The parade is over. The war is over. The season is over. Take some time off or take off and never look back. At ease.

 

~Nikki

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Single Life: Dealing with Resurfacing Fears or An Out of the Blue One

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As I muddle through life and navigate this single life aspect, I often forget about some of the fears that once tormented me in relationships. Well, I think this may happen to those of us who have been single for a while. It may also be the reason while some can’t find a mate and the same reasons some don’t want to be in a relationship ever again.

As I drifted in and out of sleep last night, a funny thing happened. I started to think about after the dating phase and the possibility of a relationship, the things I may have to deal with again. What if the guy is a flirt or has numerous female friends and associates? I thought to myself, “Nah, I don’t want to do that again.” Shutters. I think of the drama and trauma and accusations that circle around “What’s the problem with him having so many female friends or being a flirt?” “Are you insecure? You must be.”  Well, I have dealt with all of the reasons I feel the way I feel about dating a big flirt and a man that has a boatload of women as associates. I can sum it up as saying, it’s not my cup of tea. After years of dealing and healing with the underline causes, and some of it is common sense and personal preferences, it came up last night. I thought I was done being concerned with that.

Well, the more I mulled it over in the day time, I realized, there is nothing to be concerned about because I don’t have to accept a big flirt or a guy with numerous women as friends and associates with behavior that makes me uncomfortable. Right. I have a choice. And one reason I remain single is because I know what things I can deal with and what things I cannot. I can no longer be coaxed, manipulated, talked into things I know just don’t work for me. And after all, is this not what the dating phase should reveal? And it shouldn’t take long into the relationship to discover if you’ve been bamboozled. No, not at my age. False alarm. I was worried about nothing.

I think it’s normal to have these things, whatever your things are, to come up from time to time when considering getting into the dating game. I think it’s important to be rational and to address any issues you may not have fully dealt with or just the ones that resurface.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Women Doing the Most to Our Own Detriment

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I had a great, terrible, struggling, successful day yesterday. Sound familiar? I hope not! My artwork was on display and I sold two more pieces. Sold my first last week. In case you are a new reader, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease, Fibromyalgia and some other things. Well, I  am also very stubborn and I have a tendency to take on too much not considering y health. In the past, I never had to consider it. Old habits die hard and some never die.

Anyhow, at the end of the fabulous art show, I was hit with a MEGA migraine. My neck was hurting as it was very cold in the building. I had my compression gloves on the entire time (these help with my joints and fibromyalgia). Three weeks of crocheting, painting, driving to Nashville for a fall break with my daughter for two nights, and back home to get ready for the art show…you see, this is me being defiant. So, when hit with the migraine, I continued to pack and load. I heard the Spirit speak and say, “Get help.” But, I didn’t want any of the people there that I didn’t know to help me. I made two trips and I got to the car and well, nausea was for a reason. I got in the car and called one of my brothers. He came. He loaded the car, insisted on following me home, and insisted he unload the art. He also gave me some encouragement. I told him I get tired of being strong and I was sorry I had to call him out in the chilly weather and rain. “Sorry? We are family. That’s what we are here for in times like this.”

After he left, he sent a scripture, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22 I needed that. And you know what else I needed? I needed everything that happened yesterday, how it happened, and when it happened for multiple reasons. Plenty of lessons in yesterday as well as life nuggets.

  • Women (and men) that are too prideful to ask for help suffer unnecessarily all to prove we don’t need anyone’s help, or the helpers don’t need help, or whatever it is we are trying to prove or image we are trying to uphold
  • Some of us are like this because we have been let down so much, talked about so much for needing help
  • We will override a gut feeling, the Holy Spirit, and voices of reasons to do it all on our own and then damn near die and some have died
  • I constantly have to remind myself to ask for help, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s not righteous to always be the helper and it’s not weak to need…anything including help
  • No man or woman is an island. Even if they think they are. They are disillusioned at best.
  • Family is good to have. Friends are family, too.
  • I could have strangers. I am a stranger that will help anyone in need.
  • I shouldn’t be so hard headed but sometimes I get tired of being bound by RD, Fibro, etc. etc. and etc. And I just go mad lol

So, I recover today not only from last night but for the last three weeks. Breathe, meditate, medicate, elevate, easy going do it easy, and realign with the universe.

~Nikki

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These are the two paintings that sold. Lola of the Universe and Bloodgood’s Blessing.

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Getting to Faith by Hearing

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Our ears take in so much information from the outside world including the people we associate with. What about our internal dialogue that waters and feeds not only what we receive from the outside and how we interpret those things and the things that happen (or are happening) to us? At some point in life we began to filter out these things and if you are taking on a deeper dive into discovering, nurturing, growing the real you, you are pulling up the weeds of those things you find that stunt your growth. You are trying to use some of those things as fertilizers and others to strengthen and beautify your garden.

Now, you may have heard of the scripture that says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. You may have heard it interpreted many ways and you are about to “read” it interpreted in another way. This is the scripture that came to mind for me as I listened to Dr. Wayne Dyer this week via YouTube. A word, a message, at the right time in your life can build your faith, increase your strength, give you the extra life in your life to go on. To do. To be. It wasn’t a traditional message from a religious leader and I have no problem with that because one, my father is my religious leader, and two, where would I be without all of the religious leaders that have helped me to grow and heal? Some may even consider me a religious leader. I don’t know who, but I don’t see myself as a religious anything. This WORD from whom I call God, comes via many avenues for me. Choosing the right things to hear from Dr. Wayne Dyer or choosing the right things to read from my Bible or my bookshelf is pertinent to my personal growth. As well as choosing if what I hear makes it to my heart or gets recycled back into the atmosphere as useable energy (I will tell you how I am learning to do that later).

If you are feeling weak in your faith, uncertain in your destiny, I suggest you secure and strengthen your faith by choosing to hear the right things, say the right things to your self, and read the right things. Maybe, even do the right things. Tune out, discard, anything that is in contrary to what you KNOW doesn’t confirm or inform that light on the inside of you.

~Nikki

RA BLOG:My First Vendor Opportunity & How I Coped, Lessons Learned

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Saturday, I had my first opportunity as a vendor for my crocheted items. It was an awesome opportunity to gain experience, meet new customers, and network with other vendors who are also African American. It has nothing to do with exclusion, but it has everything to do with building and creating opportunities for crafts, small businesses, exposure, and financial gains for businesses that are often overlooked or unheard of. We are also able to keep each other informed on bigger craft shows and opportunities to support each other. This is a plus for ALL women as we began to included each other and support each other’s ventures. Friendships and partnerships are often made.

 

My next vendor adventure will be a very big one at the Colonial Park Church in my city. It is a Fall Festival I have always known about before I began to crochet. I have never been, but it’s a family friendly event that involves the entire community. Needless to say, but saying it anyway, I am anxious about it. I was very anxious about the one I did yesterday and nervous because it was my first time. I was filled with doubt and prepared myself that if I didn’t sell one thing I had at least taken the first step. I had no idea how to set my table up so I reached out to other crafters, women from all over the world that gave me tips, shared pictures, and some that never did a craft show but wanted to wish me luck and pray that I sell boat loads as one said. I did sell some things and I was pleased with the outcome! I was pleased to network and purchase from two other vendors. I was pleased to meet new customers. I was pleased that I was offered more opportunities. I am now less anxious about next Saturday. I had to talk to myself the entire time I was on the way there. Therapy helps. I used the tools I was given and was able to calm my anxiety.

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Afterwards, I had to pack up and get things back in the car. Here is where RA/RD and fibromyalgia is major factor. Well, that morning I had no help to load my car. My daughter was with her father. When I arrived, I had some help getting things out, then I had to set up on my own, break it down on my own, and I had help loading my car. But, when I got home, guess what? I had to take some things out and the other stuff is still in there. My body was so sore and achy BEFORE I even left the event or began to pack up. This was from just loading up everything to get there. Needless to say, the rest of the evening I was incredibly sore and I had to take pain medication for my pain. Sunday, was a little bit better and today is much better physically except my hands are still achy and I have been having some shoulder and back issues before all of this. BUT, I am so proud of myself to push past anxiety, my shyness (believe it or not), and put my side hobby out there. And it helped to have the support of a crafting community, friends, and family that cheered me on. This one reason I try to cheer others on. I know how important it is.

~Nikki

 

43; The It Is Well Within Tour Log: A Debt Paid Off to Psyche & Spirit

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43; The It Is Well Within Tour: I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I suppose this is long enough. We often subject ourselves to certain environments unnecessarily when our psyche or spirits scream no. And I get that we have to sometimes. I get that we do it out of obligation and loyalty. You can’t simply blanket “no” or “no more” to everything you don’t want to do. If that were the case, you would not have a career. Dinner would not be made. Etc. But, many times it’s a sometimes too often that drains the life and light out of you. In order for me to live this “It Is Well Within Tour” for 43 it’s some cities I can’t tour in. It’s some tables I can’t sit at. It’s some pews I can’t sit in. I have to value my mind and spirit on this level. It’s self abuse to my mind and spirit. I owe my mind. I owe my spirit. I owe it my truth.

I get up and go to Sunday School because I like to learn and I enjoy being part of the lively discussions. I do not always like the spirit of the one that teaches Sunday School when they teach Sunday School. I am going to put it like this, today was the worst I have ever seen the teacher’s response to a question asked and an idea presented that total went against the “doctrine.” She gave it the old “Don’t question God, the Bible, don’t add or take away from the Word” answer that many religious teachers give when they don’t know the answer or don’t like your “thoughts” on the matter. It got worse and carried on way after Sunday School as the teacher felt she was vindicated by the Pastor. She began to give fake praise and worship. I was nauseous as I often am when she puts on these type of shows.

After sitting there 45 minutes into 11AM service, uncomfortable with all that had occurred, trying to convince myself to stay or else suffer the wrath of God for leaving, I left. (Note, I do get why we think like this. It’s called mind control of the masses and it has worked very well throughout slavery and even now in churches and synagogues for centuries.) This person has a habit of not wanting to be wrong when they are obviously wrong and would rather blame everyone else. It’s madness.  Then on the ride home I had to talk myself out of feeling “guilty” about doing what was right for me which was leaving and possibly limiting my Sunday School attendance. When the person saw me leave, they texted me and wanted to know if I could do them a favor. I told the I could not. Afterwards, I went on to take myself out to eat and I am now home resting from an extremely exhausting, but profitable yesterday and an unexpected debt paid today which is also profitable to my well being.

 

~Nikki

Weekend Confetti: A Farmer’s Market & Time With Mom

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Memphis has several farmer’s market during the week. I often get out on a Saturday morning, bright and early. Last Saturday I called my mom as I often do to see if she wants to go. She is a country girl by heart and loves fresh fruit and vegetables straight from the farmer as my grandfather was a farmer. He farmed right here in the city of Memphis until the day he passed a way. I remember shelling peas, picking vegetables from the garden and being afraid to go down the rows of corn. As we got older and would visit our grandparents, you were required to take something back home to your parents. Something from the garden like a watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, or some canned good. My parents told me to never say no, just take it. I do the same with them now. I just take whatever they send home with me.

On my mom’s list was fresh peas and a cabbage. I wanted whatever fancied me. I like to be surprised and try new things. I also try to visit each table and buy something from a variety of farmers. They were ready for fall and wrapping up all the of summer fruits and veggies. I will be going back this weekend to grab a few more things to chop and freeze for the winter. I love the market feel.

 

It’s also time spent with my mom and afterwards we usually make a few more stops at different grocery stores or shopping just to see what we can find.

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Fall was definitely in the air! I bought some gourds for decorations. I like the white pumpkins as well and just having the variety of pumpkins were cool.

 

Plenty of canned goods, peppers, baked pastries, natural cleaning supplies, pottery, and fresh flowers were available. Oh and I almost forgot the green apples are so good from one of the farmers. I have to go back and get those.

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~Nikki