Confetti Weekend: Jazz Fest

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It was a hot and sunny evening! I am talking southern heat and humidity, but I was so stoked to be there to see one of my favorite jazz guitarist of all time, Mr. Norman Brown. Plus, having all the other jazz artists before him come on was like the cake! I am a huge fan of jazz and just a huge fan of music period. This was a few weeks ago!

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Keyboardist, Keiko Matsui has gained a new fan. Me! I have heard one of her songs played frequently on the jazz stations here. But, I did not know it was her! And everything that she played I enjoyed so much I have purchased more of her music.

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Mike Phillips is a dazzling jazz artist. He is energetic and what we would describe with slang “off the chain.” He jumped off stage and headed for the audience. He brought so much energy to the stage and to the crowd. Mad love and Mad energy was amazing!

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A headliner in his own right, Will Downing was there! I wanted to hear him as much as I wanted to see and hear Norman Brown. All of these artist are superb and hold their own in the business. The smooth voice of Will Downing is intoxicating along with the love songs he sings. The ladies in the crowd were swooning! And rightfully so! He song all of the songs we knew and we sang along.

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And here is where I lost my cool. As soon as Norman Brown came onto the stage I was star struck! Totally unexpected from me! I was just so overwhelmed by his presence, his brilliance as an artists,  and thought to myself, “Is this really happening? It is! I am really sitting here, seeing an artist I have ALWAYS wanted to see perform live AND I HAVE AMAZING SEATS!” It took me a moment to come out of my daze, but once I did I enjoyed every single minute of this man’s performance. He gave it ALL he had!

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This will go down in history of my memories as one of the greatest experiences of my life. Hearing and seeing Norman Brown perform live is a highlight of music memories.

~Nikki

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The Art of Suffering?

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I don’t know if I will master the art of suffering, but I know that I have suffered a lot in this lifetime. My suffering is not to be compared with others. I don’t believe in who suffered more because as I have said my whole life, “We all have our own personal hell(s) to live through.”

Speaking of hell, I had a migraine last night that could be considered and EF4 if it was a tornado. It was a 9 on a scale of 1-10. As I lay on the couch in darkness, a lavender candle lit, I thought to myself, “Why do I have to suffer so much? I have suffered my entire life physically and with matters of the heart. I want this suffering to be over. I deserve more peace, love, and joy the rest of my years.” And then I said to myself, “You can endure this. You can get through this. This pain will not last forever. You just have to wait it out. You’ve done everything you could in the natural and spiritual. Wait it out. Think of things that bring you peace and comfort.” It took seemingly forever, but after a migraine that started with a suddenly stiff neck around 4pm and turned into a full blown migraine around 7pm, after 11pm I could finally sit up without the feeling of severe nausea. I got up from the couch and went to bed.

When I woke up this morning I saw this quote. How true I thought. Even though I get tired of suffering, it is better that I work with the suffering, instead of against it. Working against it only makes it worse. I get upset about the migraine, start to go into why and my heart rate raises. Blood pressure goes up and the pain worsens. I go into panic when what I am doing is not working fast enough. It only makes the pain worse. I let go last night and just endured. I have decided not only to not compare my suffering to others, I have also decided to not accept that I suffer more because I am stronger than others. Hell, I get tired of being strong. I am also weak in my suffering many times in private, but it is my God that is stronger during those times. God sends angels and earthly angels to help me through my sufferings. I am thankful and grateful for them. I may never know why we suffer more than others. I accept that it just is and this is why I cherish the simple things in life as if they were the most valuable because many times those are the only things I can focus on in times of suffering.

~Nikki

Rooftop Views. City Life Confetti.

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I got a chance to get a view from the new Hu Hotel in downtown Memphis, TN. It was a private party for a great group of women I am in. You hear many things about Memphis and most think if Elvis, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and crime. However, just like other cities there are so many other wonderful things about Memphis. I won’t get into the details, but just follow my blog and you will see.

Here are some more views & the wonderful sunset that evening. All photos are property of Nicole Jackson and Confetti Photography. They may not be used, shared, or copied without consent and written permission. Thanks and enjoy!

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~Nikki

A2Z: No, I Will Not. My Personal Self Empowerment Journey

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No, I will not sit here and wallow in self pity. No, I will not lay in bed and think myself into depression. No, I will not resort to old habits when things do not go the way I hoped. Last night, I had to get up, go back downstairs and wash the dishes. Something didn’t go the way I thought it would and I was disappointed. I turned off the lights and almost let the feeling stew. Then, I began to think about if this was the way to handle what happened. There was nothing I could do about it. It wasn’t major. Even though, it was feeding into my fear of being lied to and played. Breathe.

You can’t control people and their actions. You can, control your response and what you allow them to do or continue to do. If you want POWER over a situation you have to take action. You have to do the small normal things and this will propel you into doing the major things like ending the saga of a not so good relationship. It will propel you into avoiding anxiety and depression for that day. Life goes on and you don’t have to give your power over to others, situations, and depression. I sit here disappointed, but remarkably at peace. I feel, but I have things to do and things I can do. Of course there will be times you give in, but let’s just celebrate the times that you don’t because the more you move forward in spite of your feelings, the more empowered you become to heal those feelings and get back into living and loving.

~Nikki

Fashion Confetti: Fashion Find

Oh yes! It was a steal! 72% off the original price. The dress is by Thalia’s. I got it from Macy’s on the clearance rack (where I mostly live). the bag is by Jessica Simpson and it’s the perfect everyday black bag for me! It’s from TJ Maxx and the shoes are also from there, by Calvin Klein. Why spend a lot of money if you don’t have to if you can still walk away with quality clothing? I love a sale and a clearance rack!

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Mother’s Day: Fish & Bones

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There is this saying: You have to learn to eat the fish and spit out the bones. It’s a secret to some and obvious to my bloggers, that my relationship with my mother can be described as turbulent. I am not ashamed of this. Many mother and daughter relationships are at it’s best, “complicated” and I speak on behalf of some of those women. Here is the post I posted on Mother’s Day about my mom and photos from my day as a mother.

My mom and I are like oil and water sometimes. Some say it’s because we are alike and some say it’s because we are different. At the end of the day we love each other. I get my strong value for family from my mom. I get my strong work ethic from my mom. I get my cooking skills, my creativity, my fashion sense & need to have a lovely home from my mom. The idea of the finer things in life yet making the most of your lot in life. I am a giver and will try to help everybody and will feed everybody. I get that from My mom. My mom has her own big personality and it gives us many laughs. My mom is the best because she’s going to put family first and she’s going to protect it. She’s going to come through and this is why we come through for her. I love it when I make her laugh and she says “Nicole, You’re so crazy.” That’s us. That’s family. That’s love.

 

A2Z: Meditation: Self Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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I can’t express to you the power of meditation. There is a saying in my generation, “Get your mind right!”, but I am sure this meant something else in the beginning (lol). And in the church there is a saying that God is a “mind regulator.” What can you do without your mind? Nothing. If your mind is cluttered, filled with memories or trauma, an ongoing to do list, thoughts that provoke anxiety and depression, and if you can’t sit still, you need more than just prayer. You need meditation.

Meditation and Guided Meditation sessions are ways to empower you to regulate and control your mind. Every action, feeling, and word is formed in your mind before it ever shows up in your life. Something happens, you think about it, you feel, and you react or respond. When you begin to meditate you monitor the things that pop up in your mind, you learn to “take captivity of each thought” (found in the Bible 2 Corinthians 10:5), and you decide what to do with that thought. You decide to let it pass and redirect your thoughts to the present moment. One powerful quote or concept I recently learned is “You are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts.” – Eckhart Tolle

Meditation is powerful because you can “So as a man thinketh, meditates on, so is he. So he or she becomes or will have.” Meditation can help you manifest dreams and goals. Meditation can help you to rise about your lower thoughts and to “think  on these things.” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8- The Scrolls aka the Bible. When you think on these things life is empowered and so are you!

~Nikki