Art on Mondays: Inside the Mind of an Abstract Artist

Untitled by Nicole Jackson

I have decided to start something I hope I can keep up and that is Art on Mondays. I will post a photo of my art and a link explaining the what it means to me. I will talk about the creation of the art, what I was thinking, feeling, or listening to keeping it under 5 minutes! I won’t post every Monday but, I hope to post at least twice a month.

Here is the link to this piece of work. Just click and the link will pop up! Enjoy!

https://fb.watch/2YGXPX7oBU/

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Cycle of Settling

We are creatures of habit and we tend to settle into that habit whether good or bad. We find a good spot on the couch and it becomes our spot. We don’t want anyone else in our spot. We find a place to live and we settle in.

However, settling bleeds over into our personal lives and our careers in a way that can be detrimental to our happiness and well-being. We settle into our chosen political party and to our detriment and others, we go with whatever the politicians and parties say and do. We make excuses for them. We make excuses for ourselves about the terrible relationships, friendships, and family-ships we have. We make excuses for them and the treatment we receive from them. We make excuses about why we stay at a job and in a career when deep down we are bored. We hate it. Some of us pretend to be be ok but, the truth is your unhappiness seeps out in other ways.

Settling isn’t easy. It’s just the path of least resistance. You can ignore. You can pretend to be happy and okay. You can dive into alcohol, drugs, and sex to temporarily numb your pain. You can focus on your children and grandchildren and not the broken marriage or relationship to take your mind off what you really know. But, children grow up. Grandchildren grow up. And then what? You can focus on money, big homes, jewelry, designer clothes and cars but, those things get old the very next day. You can say it pays the bills and provides for the family but, so could another job or career.

It takes GUTS, COURAGE, BOLDNESS to unsettle. It’s scary. You could take that same energy you are using to resist the truth and facts and use it to CHANGE. You could use it to do what is best for your spirit and soul. I get it. It’s not easy. What is? What’s the price of your happiness? Haven’t you paid enough? If you want to unsettle your life in order to live in freedom then you must overcome your fear. You must walk through the fear of what others may think or fear of the known. You will be guided. You will make mistakes. It will be different for a little while and then you will get use to it. You will start to love being able to make powerful and small choices that allow you to control the flow of your life. As a Christian, people use the excuse that “God is in control” to not take responsibility and control of the things they can control. They hide behind this excuse. God or the Universe presents us with choices. Even in the Bible God says before us there is life and death. Then God says “choose life.”

Choose life. Joy is life. Peace is life. REAL LOVE, TRUE LOVE is life. Doing what you love is life. Being in a safe, caring, intimate, loving environment is life. Having friends that uplift you and friendship that has a good balance is life. Choose life. The other stuff is killing you slowly and silently.

~Nikki

My 2020 Recap

I admit I have had my 2020 bashing fits. Who hasn’t? And in the last post I was inspired to talk about what one has birthed in 2020 to focus on and not so much as what one has buried. Challenging I am sure.

In this post I want to highlight my growth and share my favorite moments of 2020. I choose to remember the life and light of two dear people lives that have transformed from their physical bodies to their spiritual bodies. They changed clothes in a sense from the seen to the unseen. One is engraved in my memory as a childhood brother and the first best friend of my brother. The other is engraved in my mind as the one my brother trusted and bonded with as second best friend, a brother, in the beginning of his law enforcement career. A soul that was his ace and knowing my brother had a good friend he could trust and count on made me happy. I remember life, love, and brotherhood.

My Growth

I grew spiritually. Every morning for about 40 weeks of this year my daughter and I have had breakfast each morning listening to Iyanla Vanzant’s Viral Messages Live on YouTube or Facebook Live. It blessed, uprooted, confirmed, and expanded my soul. I am forever changed into more of who I truly am on this spiritual journey. It also deepened the bond between mother and daughter as we shared breakfast, thoughts, and notes. I watched my daughter have her AH HA moments. I also took a leap of faith and had my first one day conference for women. It took courage because i deviated from the tradition of Christianity, Church, and Denomination and went with the flow in which I was created to go. It was so freeing and terrifying at the same time!

I am growing as a parent. My parenting style is changing and evolving. It has been a challenge and a rocky journey. I often have to deal with my own insecurities that produce anxiety and depression. I battle fiercely to not only keep my head above water but, to be on the boat and navigating the ship (my mind).

I grew as a micro business owner. I attempted to take free online classes. Due to my illness, I now have difficulty learning. What I did retain by writing down, I used when I created a website and marketed my business. I hope to have more funding to promote it and to expand it. I hope to make it a LLC. I took a risk with a virtual vending opportunity. I learned that I do better vending in person but, I did gain some exposure. I also broke slightly over even. I am grateful for that.

I grew mentally (matured) in my way of thinking and dealing with losses or disconnections. Four times this year I thought I had a suitable mate. However, each one disconnected for various reasons and the last one is the one that really got to me. I see it as the Universe, God, telling me that this was NOT the year to make those kinds of connections. It was not the time. The greatest lesson from the last one was to learn to let love go for a greater love. Let what is leaving, leave. Let what has been planted grow and manifest.

I grew healthier by learning how to control by diabetes better. After taking a 3 day diabetes class it changed my entire perspective on managing it. I learned that I can eat just about anything but, it all comes down to carbs and portion control. My A1C went from 13. 8? to 6.2. I still have work to do. However, it was a victory to me!

I sure hope our ride for 2021 is an actual ride versus the train wreck this one has been. However, it has brought to us the BIGGEST lessons and HOPE the majority of us SEE them. I hope we EMBRACE the lessons and APPLY them to our lives from here on out.

~Nikki

What Did You Birth?

We can label 2020 as the worst year ever. We can also talk about our successes and what we gained. We can talk about what we learned and how we grew. We can FOCUS on these things and acknowledge the horrors of 2020.

What did you burry in 2020? I am sure you know and I am not talking about your loved one but, even out of death I have been made aware of some things. It caused changes and gave me some deep reflection of my own life and how I connect with others. But, what about what you birthed?

I was listening to the message from Pastor Steven Furtick and he talked about how Jacob buried Rachel, the woman he loved right outside of Bethlehem, the place where Jesus was born. It made me reflect on what I buried and what I birthed this year.

I buried my plans and I birthed one of MY VISIONS.

Friends were buried and I birthed a greater appreciation for the friends I have left on this earth. I birthed a stronger connection with classmates.

I buried man made traditions and birthed a WORSHIP in SPIRIT and in TRUTH relationship with GOD.

I buried love (still in the grieving process) in exchange for a GREATER LOVE.

And so much more…

After that message I decided to look at 2020 with a different perspective. Was it a terrible year? Yes it was. But did I learn? Did I succeed at anything? Did I change for the better in any way? I did.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Struggle Faith

You know that unwavering faith? Yeah, I don’t really have that ALL the time. However, I do have it in “certain” areas. You may wonder why don’t I have that type of faith ALL the time in ALL areas. You know, like you. Well, I have seen God work as far as finances in my life over and over again. I can be certain that it will work itself out and I have learned that I also have responsibility in that area as well. I know that God is a healer and that God’s grace is sufficient where a thorn may be. I know that God will protect me. I have been protected and delivered from many situations.

My faith WAVERS in the area of love and relationships. I have not seen God faithful in my life, in this area. Now, let me clarify. I have seen God REMOVE. I have been responsible to remove. I have yet to see love arrive in the form of my mate, my soul mate, my twin flame. So, pardon me if I am a little “iffy” and doubtful for I have been toiling for years (Toiling is something they say in the olden church days and I recall hearing that as a child). It means you have been laboring heavily. For a long time and sometimes without harvest. This is how I feel. Some years nothing. Other times weeds. Quite a bit, looks like harvest, just a new weed. All the time, I am sowing GOOD SEEDS in the wrong ground it turns out. Well, I sow those same seeds in my own ground so why haven’t they manifested outside of me? I don’t know. Other than the classic answer, “My dear child, it’s not your time.” Head down or side eye?

Well, how long is the line before my time? I’ve missed the window to have more children. I’d at least like to be able to travel and enjoy the rest of these years with someone worthy of my presence and presents of love and loyalty. Hold on…tides coming in.

~Nikki

Travel Confetti: Vegas, the Usual Frontier

In my casino resort, there was the temptation of this place and not the slot machines. Every day I passed by this place and STOPPED for ice cream!

My three moods while waiting for coffee to brew in the morning.

If you are a foodie, Las Vegas is the place to get your gastro grub on! So many restaurants, so little time!

Lots of Creative Spaces utilized in Vegas.

The Mob Museum

The most interesting part of my trip was The Mob Museum. If you want to talk about organized crime, the mob museum is the place to understand where it all started. The Italians and the Jews, the Irish mobsters and gangs were a very very violent and ruthless group of people. They had the means and money to import illegal things into the country and they did. I find it normal how these gangs are glamourized and many look at the violence in the cities, such as Chicago, as if these gangs have anywhere near the capacity to do what the mob did and continues to do.

Freemont Street

Vegas during the pandemic was different but, I still had so much fun making memories with my family and friends. We made sure followed the protocols and the places we visited did as well. I felt safe the entire time and remained vigilant.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Mountains Behind Mountains

Me: Wow, God. There are mountains behind the mountains and in front of the mountains. I couldn’t see that on the first day even when there weren’t as many clouds.

God: And you can see even more mountains when it’s a clear and sunny day.

Me: They are beautiful. Majestic.

God: Yes. Your life is.

Me: You’re trying to show me and tell me something.

God within: Right & Write. Mountains Behind Mountains. What’s Your Range of Mountains? Mountains made beautiful. Mountains reflect the “Sun” and the “Son”. What you’ve been through. What you’ve learned. They are your pain and sorrow but ALSO your victory and your hopes for tomorrow. Some lower. Some higher. Some wider. Some smooth. Some rockier than others. I’ll hide your other mountains to get you to focus on a particular mountain. I’ll lift clouds a little to remind you that you can persevere. I’ll let you see the mountains on a wet and cold day to remind you that if it weren’t for the mountains, you’d be much colder. I know just how much to reveal. I’ll show you on a bright, clear sky day, all that you’ve made it through thus far in this life time and make those mountains reflect your greatness. Your strength. Your power. Your glory. Your dignity. Your reign. Your divinity. Your dominion. How you rose up from beneath the foundation through turmoil and stood mightily. Over and over and over, again and again.

Breathe.


~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Spontaneity

On Wednesday I chatted with you about experiencing life and one of those things that brings about experiencing life is spontaneity. October invites this and I took Saturday morning to do just that. I really like cars but, I really have a love for antique cars. As you know, I am single and sometimes being single can cause us to shrink back from spontaneous behavior. I know it can be a personality thing as well but, I think that should be challenged from time to time. Especially, in relationships.

So, I really wanted to share this experience with a friend but, they were unable to attend with me because they had a busy Saturday. I contemplated going but, I have missed so many car shows because I wanted to share the experience and because some involved traveling out of town. Well, I pushed myself to get up and head out to not miss doing something I loved to do in the past with friends before I became a mother. My daughter also has an appreciation for antique cars because I have shared that love with her.

I am so glad I went to this Fall Edge Motorfest in Memphis, TN sponsored by Edge Motor Museum also located in Memphis. I enjoyed it and it was the perfect day for it! Perfect weather! I hope this show continues to grow. It was free and my little heart was happy with all of the chrome, creativity, and mind blowing mint condition machines a girl could imagine packed into a Saturday morning. By the time I finished taking photos and gasping, it was time to eat. On my way back to my car, I stopped at High Cotton Brewery for brunch! It was my first time there and this was also, unplanned. The service and food was great. I will be back and soon!

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: October, is that YOU?

October, is that you? Wow, I thought with all that was going on in 2020 you might not make it! Or maybe, show up looking spring and smelling like winter. You know these are crazy times we are living in said by every generation at some point or every decade. In 2020, every day or so. So, what does October bring? What can we do with our October that will help us every day?

Side Note: This has nothing to do with this blog post but, have you set your October goals? Okay. Now back to what can help us each day in October.

October brings to us a 5 energy when added to the 4 energy of 2020 (If you are like what?!!! Don’t worry about it. Just eat the fish and spit out the bones. In other words, grab what works for you and the leave the rest). There would be much to sift through but, I pulled some major highlights,

  1. Face your fears this month. Face your fear EVERYDAY this month. DEAL. Do it anyway type of energy. In spite of doubt, naysayers, do it. TRY IT. TRY it again. Try it another way. Try.
  2. This is a crossroads type of month. What do you want to do with the rest of the year? What needs to change? Job? Career? Relationships? Mindset? You? Location?
  3. October is all about PLANNING and PRIORITIZING. Without planning and prioritizing you create chaos and chaos is stressful! Change is going to happen so you may as well be as prepared as one can be.
  4. Prepare for 2021. What?! Yes. NOW is the time to think about 2021 and the direction you want it to go.

I enjoyed my sabbatical last month. I will eventually write about some of the things I observed this month. I hope OCTOBER brings you a harvest of good, plenty, and peace.

~NIKKI

A Little Fall Decor On A Dime

When I decorate for Fall or any season, it’s usually something I got on clearance last year for the following year, something I already have and things around the house moved from other rooms. I also set a limit on what I am going to buy, if at all, anything during the actual season. My splurge this year were the black and white pumpkins. I also frequent the Dollar Tree and other dollar stores. So, here we are this year with my fall decorations on a dime.

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I did some black , white, and gray in my den area. I thought it was interesting to have those colors for fall. My center piece below, is a mixture of things around the house and ribbon from Dollar Tree. The clear and metal piece is actually a necklace! The wood block is from the At Home Store and was $4. I added a splash of color here.

This is just a tray I actually use

with a candle, another wood

block from last year and

a cute shoe ring holder given

to me as a souvenir. I kept it

simple because I use this tray!

In the downstairs bathroom I added more color using Dollar Tree and Target pumpkins, flower picks from Tuesday Morning, and artwork I’ve had for a decade stored in the closet.

Finally, this fall decor below is on my patio near the entrance. You actually enter my condo from the patio do it’s the place of most traffic.

I’m happy to say I kept it simple and creative!

~Nikki