The “H” Bomb: Inner Work

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I don’t want to talk about it because I have some habits that keep me on the hamster wheel. However, I must talk about one of them in this post. But first let’s define the word HABIT.

habit, in psychology, any regularly repeated behaviour that requires little or no thought and is learned rather than innate (natural) (britannica.com)

But you need know this, too;

Habit formation is the process by which behaviors become automatic. Habits can form without a person intending to acquire them, but they can also be deliberately cultivated—or eliminated—to better suit one’s personal goals. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/habit-formation)

I have a habit of procrastinating when it comes to making my dreams and goals come true. Last year I did really, really good and stayed on task. I was laser focused. I was not easily distracted or deterred by the work of it. It paid off. and I like that feeling. I seem to be able to execute projects or things for others to the “T” and even plan out things for vacations. I can organize and execute. However, when it comes to my dreams and goals I seem to procrastinate. Let me tell you how therapy helped me.

Therapy helped me to see that I was afraid of success. It helped me to understand that the very goals I want to achieve are in the category of the very things I was told as a child would not make me money. Instead, I was instructed to take a safe, secure route. Now that I have the opportunity to be creative, I hesitate. I procrastinate. One book that is on my list is titled, Atomic Habits by James Clear.

Changing or getting rid of habits that keep you from reaching your goals or improving yourself is inner work. It is literally brain and mind work that extends outward in the form of actions. I have not struggled with procrastination but, I have also struggled lately more than ever with the awful habit of mindless snacking. I could literally eat the apple in the photo and turn around and eat the donut, too! I know it’s connected to something emotional but, I have yet to figure it out. Anyways, I believe that you don’t have to always or only seek professional help to help yourself. I think books are an amazing way to do inner work and to grow!

Definitely check out the link from Psychology Today about habit formation. It was very interesting! And helpful!

Have you ever read a book, other than a religious book, that helped you?

~Nikki

Self-Compassion: Inner Work

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Self-compassion or compassion for yourself is an elixir to your spirit, soul, and psyche when you make a mistake or fail. Instead of judging yourself harshly, instead of being overtly self-critical, you show yourself some grace and mercy. As long as you are living you will make mistakes and you will fail (failures are just lessons and arrows pointing you in a different direction).

In my teen age years and up until about my late 30’s I was really hard on myself when I made mistakes. If I dropped something or spilled something, I would say harshly, “You’re so stupid. You can’t do or get anything right.” When I started working on the job and I was corrected for making a mistake, I took it personally. Especially, if it was delivered to me harshly. This was a constant thing with me even after a very good coworker explained to me the difference between criticism and correction. It did help but the feeling of inadequacy was still there. I was in therapy and the subject came up. Much of our negative self-talk comes from our home environment, relationships with others and our personal experiences.

If you’re being told something negative each time you mess up or if you are being harshly criticized over and over, you make a connection that you are inadequate. You may think something is wrong with you. Now imagine if you accept that and from there on out when you make a mistake you start to beat yourself up without anyone’s help. Your parents’ voice, your teacher’s voice, your boss’s voice, your partner’s voice becomes your voice. It becomes part of your inner dialogue.

But once I began to correct myself with something as simple as spilling coffee, “You’re not stupid. It’s okay to spill something. As long as you are living you will spill something. Everyone does. It’s okay.” I felt better about myself. I must have inherently known to NOT say things to my daughter like, “You’re stupid or dumb” when she made mistakes or harshly criticize her for making mistakes. Even when I was upset at what she did, I knew better than to ingrain those words into her psyche. I would say, “It’s okay to lose a board game. It’s okay we can clean it up. Next time, ask for help. It’s okay if you didn’t score a100 but you scored a 98 (She went through a period of crying at school when she didn’t make a 100!)” It’s strange how I never made the connection to do that for myself until later on in life. Well, arriving is better than never arriving at all. I still correct myself to this very day when I make mistakes!

When you make a mistake, the worst thing you can do is criticize yourself. It is self-compassion that gives us the POWER to face our mistakes and to come out on top! PRACTICE SELF COMPASSION AND IMPROVE. RISE ABOVE IT. CORRECT OR RE-ADJUST. TAKE A BREAK AND COME BACK TO IT. SELF COMPASSION! And if you really want to elevate your being and brighten your inner light, have some compassion instead of criticism for others when they genuinely make a mistake.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Joy for January

I’ve been celebrating all month the birthdays of friends and I have 4 more birthdays of family and friends to celebrate. January is a busy month. I really enjoy watching them in their happiness and gratefulness of life. Life is to be celebrated as much as possible for it is precious. I know we go through and grow through many things. We have our struggles and battles but, I urge you to diligently seek out JOYS in life.

Since I began to slow down in December, I have had more JOY in my life. How? I haven’t been caught up in projects. I haven’t been running around here and there. I have said NO to things I really don’t want to do. I have said YES to things I want to do and are financially feasible (Note, I am taking more responsibility over my finances). Intentional rest is on my calendar and to do list. Having fun is on my list. Being in nature has given me JOY and observing nature in my own backyard has given me joy. I get plenty of spiritual messages that way and plenty of peace. I like this way of living and I want more of it. Therefore, I shall do what creates this type of living and it is to be intentional. It’s like I finally am beginning to understand intentional living.

Now, all is well with my soul as I “work out my salvation”. What I mean by that is, as I work on myself to heal, as I also do the hard work of self-improvement to grow, I can still find peace and joy in my life. I have decided to be intentional about it and you know when you make a decision you will be presented with opportunities to help you grow and to choose what you have said. I baked a cake yesterday. It was delicious and one of my favorite cakes. I happened to share 3 slices with two people. One individual doesn’t like this type of cake but, if I didn’t send them a piece, they would have asked why I didn’t send them a piece. They called to tell me the cake was “okay” and they knew it was my first time making it. Also, they wanted me to know it wasn’t sweet enough. (Are you rolling your eyes? Oh, just me!)

My response was, “Oh. I thought it was delicious. That is the only reason I shared it with you guys.” They began to back pedal but, I told them there was no need to say something other than what they really thought. It is okay not to like it. Then I changed the subject. My feelings were “almost” hurt until I considered the source. I also realized I was being presented with an opportunity to grow or exercise my growth. Was I going to let this tiny thing burst my day of peace and joy? No, no, no. That is not how I was going to end my night. So, yes you can be going through things, in the process of healing, wrestling with the physical body, etc. but you can also have joy in your life. Joy is not what you feel it’s what you know! I have said this many times in my blog. I have often forgotten it for myself.

I know that sharing in other people’s happiness brings me joy. I know that being around people that truly care for me and know me brings me comfort and joy. I know that days that run well-oiled brings me joy. I know that no matter what I am going through I will come out on top and it brings me joy. On the other side of the process is joy. Through the process I make progress and it’s all about progression.

I encourage you to EMBRACE some joy today. Create some joy this week. Seek it out and it will seek you out. Joy will begin to show up in many ways and in unexpected spaces because you have begun to carry a torch within for joy.

~Nikki

The Cleaning Agents Truth and Honesty: Inner Work

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I have a friend that deals with reality by not dealing with it. He likes to pretend that his world is perfect in public. He puts his parents and marriage on a pedestal to the world. He is in photos that would make you think all is well. Yet, in his private life there is a different story. He’s the type that makes idle threats about what he’s going to do and say but never acts on them. He’s the one that upholds the wrong doing of his father by being silent. He needs the acceptance of that parent. Plus, the public thinks his parents are amazing. Deep down inside, he’s drowning. The things he does, the moods he has, the thought patterns that keep him trapped, all connected to childhood, religion and young adulthood experiences. He internalizes all of his grief, sorrow, hurt, disappointments, and I worry about the toll it takes on him physically.

If you are ready to heal, grow, improve, stop a bad habit, if you have lost too much and too many people, then take a couple of deep, deep breaths and prepare to go inward. In fact, you may need an oxygen tank because it’s going to take many deep dives to get to the root of some things. Some people start in shallow waters and then make their way to the deep and some just jump in. It’s an unraveling. Some said it’s like peeling back and onion layer by layer. But for me, some of my baggage had more layers than an onion. And if you want to know how long it takes to be healed, check out my other blog post from last week https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2023/01/11/how-long-does-healing-take-inner-work/

You just may have to admit that you are not perfect. You are not always right and may be rarely right. You may have to tell yourself the truth about your household, your feelings about it. You may have to tell yourself the truth about how you grew up and that perhaps your parents were not so perfect, either. You may have to untangle the web of your actions and behaviors. This can be some work and this is why most people leave this earth bound instead of free. They remain the same, sad or angry, silent or pretending, trapped in denial, and steeped in open or hidden misery.

Truth and Honesty are like ammonia or some strong cleaning agent mixed with water. Mixed just right it can get the job done without damaging what it is cleaning. If you ever decide to HEAL or CHANGE you can’t do it without Truth and Honesty. Here is what I have learned about inner work, it’s rewarding. It’s freeing. The “work” can be tiring, dirty, exhausting, but when you are clean, when you come into the light of understanding why you do what you do, say the things you say, act a certain way it gives you knowledge. It gives you POWER to be your AUTHENTIC SELF and to walk in the fullness of your destiny. It gives you WHOLENESS like you have never known but before you may feel like you are being ripped apart. Fear not. It’s only so you can be put back together, with some new parts and reprogrammed. This is when people will say, “Hmm, you’re acting funny. You have changed. There is something different about you.” And it will be true. There is something different about you when you do the work of healing yourself.

~Nikki

Know the Signs: Inner Work

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At its core, inner work is the process of getting to know yourself. It’s a form of introspective self-care where you can help yourself let go of harmful attachments, habits, people, and thoughts. -brainmd.com

The most important relationship you can have is the one you have with yourself. It determines how you treat yourself, how you treat others, and how you allow others to treat you. I did some research and along with my personal experience, came up with some signs you may need to work on yourself. I’ll say after reading some of this I can tell you that WE ALL probably need to do some inner work.

Inner work can be scary and daunting because it requires you to take an honest look at yourself. When was the last time you were honest with yourself about yourself and NOT blamed others or came up with excuses for your behavior or thoughts? You can’t control others but you can learn to control your responses. And even after you become aware or honest, what do you do about it? Shrug your shoulders? Apologize over and over and secretly say to yourself, “Why do I keep doing that?” Maybe it’s not your behavior that’s an indication that you need help or to work on yourself. Maybe it’s your obsessive worrying that is anxiety. Maybe it’s your mood swings you can’t explain but expect everyone around you to just deal with it or get used to it.

  • You think negatively or have a negative view about yourself/other people, gender, cultures, etc
  • You suffer from anxiety and depression
  • You’ve had a traumatic change in your health
  • You’re going through or have been through a rough patch in your life
  • Your childhood was not the best and deep down you suspect it has impacted your thinking. other relationships and your behavior
  • You don’t treat yourself with respect and/or you don’t treat others with respect
  • You are in an unhealthy relationship
  • You allow people to take advantage of you
  • You have unreasonable expectations of yourself and others
  • You are unhappy with your life
  • You are a habitual giver and you give more than you can afford or have to give. This includes time.
  • There is a persistent feeling of emptiness, unfulfillment, or failure
  • You have anger issues

These are just a few examples. Have you ever read a book, talked to a spiritual leader, or therapist because you knew you needed to do some inner work? If you don’t mind sharing, what were some of your signs?

~Nikki

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

We, as Christians, give honor to whom honor is due. This is biblical. We, as a people, as a nation, give honor to whom honor is due and historically, we give honor to those whom honor is not due. I believe anyone that is of peace, of valor, on the side of right and humanity should be honored. If they foster hate and division. If we have to constantly say, “Well, they really didn’t mean it “that” way or “it was just a joke”, I don’t think we should hold them to any esteem. I don’t think people that spread lies as truths should be honored. I don’t even respect them.

I’ll never forget a co-worker of European dissent said, “I don’t even know why we are off that day or why he has a day” as two African American women stood in the room. We let her walk out without saying a word. We were stunned. We were stunned because we for one thought of her as a good co-worker. One that didn’t show the prejudices and outright racism prone to be displayed at this non-profit organization. Stunned. Perhaps it was straight ignorance but, I don’t see how. It’s not like she didn’t know what the man was trying to do.

Oh, how I wish I had told her I don’t know why we have a day for Christopher Columbus or why banks and schools are closed but, we do. He certainly wasn’t about peace and equality. I wish I had told her that we wouldn’t be working together if it wasn’t for this MLK and many others of many different races and cultures. But I missed that opportunity to help a co-worker “understand”. However, I know many people of other races, “don’t understand”. I also “understand” how they choose not to understand.

~Nikki

Unauthorized Sacrifice: Inner Work

*sadness*

I was going to post about something else but this has been on my mind as so many people struggle with sacrificing themselves for things or people they were never called to sacrifice for. They seem to be sacrificing their happiness, their joy, their lives, their freedom, and destiny for things that depreciate quickly and for people whom obviously do not deserve the sacrifices.

I see how this self-sacrifice is related to Inner Work. Some are making sacrifices and are YET unaware they are not getting anything or much in return. They have not discovered what the empty feeling on the inside means. They have not experienced frustration. Oh, but when they come into awareness of the unbalance, they will face a choice. A choice to stop it or to continue doing the same things hoping for different results.

Others self-sacrifice because it’s something they have done their entire lives. Putting other people’s wants and needs ahead of their own. It may have started in childhood by putting parents’ wants and desires ahead to please them. Yet, unhappy in the family business or as a doctor. Maybe it started when they became a parent and now it flows into the role of husband or wife. It flows into the job. Making sacrifices and even volunteering to stay over so much people expect it of you. “But you always stay over. You always change shifts with me.” The moment you can’t, it’s a problem and you’re being selfish. I know you may have heard that before. Things like, you’re a wife now or husband now and you must sacrifice your happiness, needs, wants, dreams, and desires. It’s the “godly” thing to do. The honorable thing. All the while you are miserable as hell. And Hell is pretty miserable.

Then there is the one that “saves the day”. You’ve been saving the day since you were young. Maybe you were the older sibling or the most dependable one. You drop what you are doing to “save the day”. You had something planned but dare not tell your mom or pops you will have to take them tomorrow if it’s not urgent. You must save the day. You’re the good one. Everyone wants to borrow money from you. You stay in relationships you know you should have been left but, you can’t let the other person down even if they are letting you down. You need to be the hero because you need validation that you are worthy of their love. You need to be needed even if it makes you sad.

Unauthorized sacrifices can wear you down, out, and take you out of this realm. It can have you living outwardly or secretly a life of misery. We do have to make some authorized sacrifices in life. Most sacrifices are not pleasant. However, I want you to think of this scripture from the Bible, “Obedience in greater than sacrifice.” If you obey, you don’t need to sacrifice. King Saul of Israel disobeyed God’s command. He thought that by altering God’s command, he somehow developed a better solution than what God had outlined. This is the context for the statement “obedience is better than sacrifice” spoken by the Prophet Samuel.

If you obey the soul, the Spirit, God, your spirit, your gut feeling then you would not have to make unauthorized sacrifices. I have sacrificed for people and they have been ungrateful and in return I would get angry. God never told me to do those things. I was conditioned to do those things trying to get something that was not there. Or trying to look like the best employee to receive the position or trying to “save the day” and make everyone happy at the expense of my own happiness. I don’t believe God has called us to this type of sacrificing. There is no way you can convince me that a loving God would call you to a life of unhappiness by the way of unauthorized and habitual self-sacrifice. Be obedient to the soft spoken, “Stop. Leave. Do not say yes. It’s okay to lose this friendship. It’s okay to back out of this relationship. You’ve sacrificed for your children. Now go and do you.” Be obedient to the “something” saying to you, “You need therapy. You need to listen to your quiet inner voice. You need to listen to how your body feels when you agree to these things. The anger. The sadness. The loneliness.” I mean if God didn’t join (or there is no divine connection) the relationship, marriage, friendship, or job then you don’t have to remain when it’s time to depart. Everything has a season, a reason, a lesson, and a lifetime. Locate yourself in these unauthorized sacrifices.

~Nikki

How Long Does Healing Take? Inner Work

There will be many things going on this year but, I believe people will begin to work on themselves whether it’s personal development or healing. It may be deepening or returning to their spiritual practice, buying self-help books or taking courses to help improve their life on many levels. Last year I discovered that I had more healing to do and I was ready to get on with it for good. I meant; I was ready to heal completely in this area. I do recall asking God how much more healing and letting go does one need to do?! How long will this take?!!! Ugh! I thought I was done. I’ve been talking about it and dealing with it for a very long time. Well, as I am reading a daily devotional (a book that is pretty deep spiritually so I take it chapter by chapter and sometimes, passage by passage), I think I might have gotten an answer to a question I asked in June 2022.

First, let me talk about the clue I received. Each year I am spiritually led to read certain books. Sometimes it happens all at once and sometimes it happens here and there. Well, I was watching a YouTube episode of Bishop Sarah Jakes Roberts and her mom have a casual conversation over the holidays. She mentioned the book in the video and discovered her mom had read the book also. When I heard the title, I knew I needed the book. This was my first clue that healing was about to take place.

This is what I read this morning:

“Healing is a process of restoration. It is the revealing of the underlying state of perfection and wholeness that always exists, despite injury or disturbance. Beyond all your hurts and pains, be they emotional, physical, or otherwise, is your innate spiritual pattern, which proclaims its independence and simply awaits opportunities to express itself to its fullest. Healing is a journey, not an event. Along the journey there is much to be discovered and discerned about yourself.”

“You ask, “How much healing is there to be done? How long will it take?” These are questions not for me to answer but for you to answer. How long do you want it to take? How much healing are you willing to do? How deep will you go? How much will you reveal? How often will you come to be in surrender? The answers to these questions depend on you. You are creating your own tests. You are creating your won obstacle courses. The mazes through which you wander, the hoops through which you jump, are all configurations of your own thinking. You too often misunderstand, and therefore underestimate the power of your creative abilities. You must become more consciously aware that you are simply manifesting anything and everything you think about, even subliminally.”

-The Sacred Yes by Rev. Deborah L. Johnson

~Nikki

My, my, my, How You Have Changed

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As we TRANSITION into the year of 2023, while being mindful that we are in the Winter season, and though the year has changed overnight, we don’t. However, as we make plans and access our progress, have you thought about how you have changed from last year up until now? We are presented with some time to do just that. I mean how will we know how much we have grown and what areas we still need to grow, change, transform or evolve.

It did not look like it to me or feel like it to me at the time but, I was evolving. I really don’t feel like the same person. There is a shift in my consciousness and a new found confidence in myself, my gifts and talents. There is a profound NO in my spirit to things I don’t want to do, things that no longer serve me, and I don’t want to be around people that don’t really like me or choose not to understand me. I look back over some of my blog posts and I can see how over last year I was being “shaped” into who I am now. I may not know the complete purpose of it all but, I do know it is for my good and the good of humanity. Anytime we improve ourselves we improve the world. Being in the dark for half of the year about what was going on in my life did not feel good at all. I was lost. I was confused. I was depressed. I was anxious. I was angry. It seemed like every turn came with deep ditches of disappointments.

YET, I persevered. Many times, just floating along after hard hits. Some parts of me needed to be taken a part to rebuild and to be reinforced. I am reinforced with an unconditional love for myself. The relationship I needed to rebuild was once with God by connecting to God through meditation, listening, or reading in the mornings. Some mindsets needed to be destroyed. I also can see where I was stubborn and where it cost me great amounts of peace. I can also see where I had to stand my ground and speak the Word out of season (that was testy).

I want to know HOW YOU HAVE CHANGED, GROWN, TRANSFORMED OR EVOLVED? Do tell in the comments what you are comfortable sharing.

~Nikki