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

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

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Place of Uncertainty

I’m having a difficult time with an issue that turns up “almost” weekly. It’s been like this for about three years. When this issue arises it causes me frustration, anxiety, and guilt. I am weary of it. The question arises, “why?” Why can’t I make a decision and be done with it? Why do I vacillate between yes and no, the pros and cons? Why am I torturing myself? What is the realization, the root cause of this and how do I deal with it?

I believe, after some contemplation, the root cause is GUILT. I feel GUILTY for doing what I believe is best for me in this situation. But why and what is guilt? How do I know if that is what I am feeling? Should I be feeling remorse? Sigh. Let’s get the facts for me here. What resonated with me in this case from my research is, “Remorse comes from your heart, while guilt comes from your ego mind.” This guilt that I am feeling is definitely coming from my ego mind. It has been drilled into me that I should feel guilty if I don’t support certain people whether they are right or wrong, whether I want to/feel like it or not (because what you want and how you feel don’t matter is the message being sent) because they are family. It doesn’t matter if it makes me happy. It doesn’t matter if it makes me uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if it drains my joy. It doesn’t matter if I am stoic in presence. It just matters that I do what family or a good Christian is supposed to do by the standards of family, religion, society, or culture. That is what matters. WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ON THE OUTSIDE AND TO THE EYES OF OTHER PEOPLE. It’s about the “look” of perfection. It is the disguise of “we’re all alright” and “everything is okay.”

Many have suffered holding secrets and atrocities taking them to the grave while once walking dead inside amongst the alive to uphold the family name, traditions, save face with their religion and position. What an unfair burden to place on the shoulders of children or people. What would it look like if you left the church? What would it look like if you left the family business? What would that do to us if you said something about what happened to you? It would expose us. It would make people think poorly of us. Just heal privately and when you are finished, never speak of it again. Or just stay because we need you and want you to and we don’t really care if this is not your path. We don’t care about your happiness. We care about what we look like, what we want, and what we need.

I believe today I have chosen the process of breaking free of that unwarranted guilt. I guess this is part of my 2023 spiritual journey. Oh well, here we go!

~Nikki

Psalm 42:7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have rolled over me. Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

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

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: So Fresh and So Clean

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Welcome 2023 and January. It feels so fresh and so clean as this “fresh wind” blows the debris of last year away. I mean, if you allow it. It’s new life energy. Soft and airy feminine energy. I don’t feel the urge to hit the ground running. I feel like I’m easing into January and the New Year. You know, taking my time by continuing to plan and by taking intentional, thoughtful actions. I’m in tune and in flow with Winter and I have no need to go full steam ahead plowing away at goals.

Maybe because I understand what this year is about and maybe I understand what it is about for me personally. Yes, to a certain degree. Collectively, I believe we will be doing much inner work. I may get into that later on this month. Personally, I know I am in a 1 year and what this means for me is:

“The 1 Year is a time of new interests, experiences, goals, and understandings: about life, about you, where you have been, where you are now, and where you would like to be. And, because so much drastic change is required, you will also be learning the meaning of courage.”

This is the short version and it’s perfectly okay if you don’t understand “energy of a year or month or personal year”, etc. It’s not really for you to understand. It’s for me. 🙂 Usually, in Christianity there is a New Year’s message for the collective and some take it as their own personal message for the year. I usually take what is for me from the collective message and wait on God to tell me what I need to be doing for the year. Things seem to always line up from energy of the year, personal year, instructions from God, and what I get from a New Year’s Eve message. Maybe not right away but, synchronization happens all year long.

Anyway, here is to a new year and I hope it is everything you want it to be and everything you need it to be for your transformation, evolution, and manifestation.

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson 12: My Spiritual Diet Is Important

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It’s not that I didn’t know this. It’s that I ignored this. I learned this year many people are at physical places of worship out of loyalty, tradition, and ritual. They are not getting much out of the leadership that is delivering the Word and they long to be somewhere else. They are trying to stick it out. They are confused about what to do. They know what to do but are afraid to do it. So here we sit. Here we struggle on Saturday or Sunday to get dressed. We drag ourselves to a building to hear a dry and stale message for us. It may be someone’s word but it is NOT our Word. We have to strain to get something each Sunday. We are shamefully glad when service is over.

What I eat spiritually four to five times a month matters greatly. Who I get it from matters greatly. If the Shephard that feeds you is not after God’s own heart but, a shepherd passed down or chosen by a board or worse, a shepherd that called him or herself, you won’t be fed knowledge and understanding. You will be fed something below your level of spiritual maturity. You may even be fed lukewarm food, baby food, or microwave food. You may be fed a sermon from another pastor wrote off the internet. You may be fed slop from a pastor that doesn’t study the Word. You may be fed by a leader that doesn’t walk the walk of the talk they preach on Sunday. Your flesh may be fed by slogans, catchy phrases, and slang that makes you shout but, doesn’t change your life or enlighten you. If there is no oil running from the head then there will be no oil on the people. You need oil. You need the anointing to reside in a holy place.

I found myself eating stale bread this year more often than I would have liked. It is not like fresh bread wasn’t available. I went because I was asked to do something or speak. I went out of obligation. I went because I know it looks bad for me to not be there. I went out of love and then was upset after the meal was served as if I didn’t know there would be mediocracy on the menu.

My spiritual diet is vital to my soul. It is vital to my life. If I didn’t tune into other spiritual leaders and guides, myself, I may have given up on God and I may even have given up on life. Thank goodness, and God, I had eaten enough in the past to pull from. Thank goodness, thank God, I had something to hold onto and that I do have a strong relationship with my Creator.

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson #6: Sort, Wash, Dry, Repeat

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I thought I was over it and I thought I was healed. Nope. This year I learned the Creator is meticulous. I learned that CLEANLINESS is GODLINESS. I learned the only remnants that need to remain are ones that strengthen you and not ones that hinder you. A tiny pebble in your shoe will certainly bother you. You can walk around all day with it and be annoyed and irritated or you can sit down, untie your shoe, and shake it out.

How many times must one be washed to remove the dirt of our past? I guess it depends on the depth of the pain or shame. God goes to the innermost parts to clean you and it’s dark in there. You can’t see the dirt so God reveals the dirt through your actions, reactions, and hurt. It’s like something happens, it triggers your past, and boom! You’re angry. You’re sad. You’re going off! You’re shrinking into isolation. Yep. You “may” need to heal some more. That thing may need to be washed again to get the stains out. It may need to be washed again because there is this tiny speck that is hindering you.

The other side of this lesson is there are some things that happened to us or we did we may have to contend with for the rest of our lives when thought about, reminded of, or triggered within. People will keep bringing it up. People will unknowingly trigger you. You could go years and be triggered by a thought or memory. God will help you SORT it all. God will WASH you again with comfort, wisdom, guidance, books, therapy, etc. God will hang you out to DRY so you can return to a new state of being. Refreshed and smelling like Clean Linen or some scented GAIN 😀 And if you need it again…God will once again help you SORT, WASH, and DRY.

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson #4 “Parenting Ain’t Easy but, Somebody’s Gotta Do It”

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You’d be surprised how many parents are trying to parent a 12-year-old as if they were parenting a 3-year-old. It’s because we get stuck thinking in the traditional role of parenting. We parent as our parents parented without questioning what worked and what didn’t work. It’s because we get stuck in cultural parenting. We do not explore or welcome any new information. We also don’t listen to our intuition, spirit, or Holy Spirit. We don’t take sound advice. Most parents are just now realizing that no two or three children are the same and you have to parent them in different ways at different times. Yep. Parenting is hard.

I now have a young adult. This year I discovered I needed to step into my new role which comes with many hats. Those hats are Guide, Confidant, Spiritual Teacher, Supporter, Friend with Boundaries like Doctors with Borders 😀 and yet I am still MOM.

I also learned from my dad, “Okay. I am praying for you.” If you are a parent, check this one out https://nikkisconfettilife.com/2022/11/06/sunday-morning-coffee-musings-okay-im-praying-for-you/ It is wisdom you can take with you.

This leg of parenting was part of my evolution. It took some HUGE adjustments like letting go of control. Yes. We want to control our children out of fear and out of wanting the best for them. We want to protect them from everything. With all of the control in the world, our parents could not shield us from failure, mistakes, heartaches, and heartbreaks. They could not keep us from the ugliness of prejudice and racism. They could not keep us from finding out some things the hard way. It is scary. It is tough. It can be rough parenting and navigating the unknown. We still have the “unknown” in our own lives. The unknown of what the future holds. This is why we must stay in the NOW as parents as much as possible. We shape and mold in a different way at different stages of their lives and I am certain that after all of this “young adult stuff” is over with it will be up to her, God, and life to continue to shape and mold with me adding my two million (as oppose to two cents) of bought lessons and wisdoms.

~Nikki