Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Notorious RBG

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I wanted to start this paragraph by saying “when giants fall” but, Justice Ginsburg didn’t fall, she laid down her life. I think when “giants” and icons or heroes/heroines die, they are such fighters they simply have made a decision to lay down their lives. They have not only truly fought the GOOD FIGHT, they have fought the RIGHT fights. I imagine it not to be an easy choice. Anyone who loves fighting for justice or the rights of others ENJOYS a good fight as much as they do victory. I know I do. I enjoy fighting for good change no matter the level it is on or how small it may seem. I am a right is right type a girl with an understanding there are gray areas.

She was fierce in her fight for equality. She was fierce in her fight for women’s rights. Who will ever fill that enormous void? No one fights for a woman like another woman that knows the what it is like to be a woman. Plus, one that is not bound by her own party or religion. She was like a David in modern times. Small in stature BIG in FIGHT. The understanding that not everything should be based on one group of people’s religious rules but, that it should be based on an individuals rights. I think because I understand that my religion is not other people’s choice and they don’t have to live their lives by my religious standards. I choose not to judge them in that manor.

I like it that she fought fair. She fought with the law and did not manipulate it to be in her favor or a particular party’s favor. So much can be said about the current administration and their hell bent ways to skew everything in their favor and to outright do injustices and look the other way. The American people will pay another heavy price as they are now paying a heavy price for their unchecked checkered past. Our children, grandchildren, and great-grand children will pay for generations to come.

These historic icons, in all segments of life from Kobe Bryant to Ruth Bader Ginsburg is speaking to us with the volume up way past 10. It is now a choice to cover your ears and to pretend as if you do not hear it. Oh, there are other legends in the making. Who will step in to the shoes left behind? Someone will.

~Nikki

Women belong in ALL places where decisions are being made. -Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Becoming Better Women (With the Anointed Mind) Pt. 3

We must grow up in our thinking and reasoning. All through the Bible, God is constantly talking about our thoughts and our minds. Why? Because our thoughts determine our moods, our actions, and the words that come out of our mouth. Our thoughts determine how we deal with each other. In Philippians 2: 1-8, Paul says let this mind be in you. What mind is he talking about? The mind of CHRIST. He says to ALLOW this mind to be in you. Once again, we are faced with a choice. It’s our choice to change, it’s our choice to grow up in mentally and spiritually. It is our choice to allow the mind of Christ to be in us and to work through us. Purging out all of the negative thoughts. Purging out all of the pain we have been through so that we can become Better Women, instead of Bitter Women, and essentially becoming BETTER CHRISTIAN women.

If we are going to do anything in the body of Christ, if we are going to serve, if we are going to serve our purpose in life, if we are going to go to work and tell folks we are a Christian, we must actually do the work to become CHRIST LIKE. If you are determined not going to work in the body of Christ, not to participate in anything, then you especially, need the mind of Christ because Christ was all about doing the father’s business. In case you missed the memo, none of us are exempt from our Christian duties and responsibilities. There is plenty of work for you to do! The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are sleep in the bed and the pews. As women, saved women, sisters in Christ, it is high noon and high time we wake up and get to work!

Part 1 and 2 are available.

~Nikki

Flashback Fast Forward A New Journey: The Many Hairstyles of Nikki (Hair Talk…May Be Offensive to Some)

I must admit. I like to change my hairstyle every chance I get. I don’t mind trying new things from wigs to weaves and to rocking my natural hair. It’s fun to do but, it has also been expensive at times and very taxing on my ability to do these styles on my own or just the maintenance. I will tell you, if it were in my budget to have my hair done professionally every two weeks or to let someone else do the crochets and weaves, I would!

Making a decision on what to do with “my” hair has never been easy. However, I am use to going against the grain and when I went natural it was such an emotional, spiritual, and cultural experience I figure this new thing won’t be much different. Let’s talk about people.

People have opinions about other people’s hair. Your family, friends, and society are the “people” I am talking about. I’ve discovered that none or not very many of these people are willing to pay for what they think is best for you. My personal hair experience has been mostly negative until I began to accept and denounce opinions and societal guidelines of beauty. I was praised and awed at for having naturally red hair and being African American (because that’s not often seen on a daily basis). I was also told early on by my mother and beauticians as a child that my hair was “nappy” (said with disdain) and thick and hard to do because it tangled easily. Sidebar: My mom seem to have a problem with the styles I chose once I was old enough to decide what I wanted. I can’t remember anything she liked. It was always pointed out that it was “ugly” or not cute. It was met with a scrunched up face and an “ew” no matter what I did. It was and is course. It needed to be straightened by a press or perm to make it easier to deal with first. Secondly, having “straight” hair would be deemed more acceptable by society (jobs, white people that were doing the hiring, black people that were employed by white people that were doing the hiring). Having straight hair would make you cuter and boys would like you. Then I found out that having long hair was needed on top of your hair being straight. The only time you didn’t need straight hair is if you had “good” hair. You know, curly or wavy.

Believe it or not, things like this impact my race psychologically. It makes you “think” twice about choosing a style that YOU want based on what society will accept or a biased job. African Americans in this country are sick of others controlling the narrative on what we should and should not do to our hair. I hate to say it but, it goes back to slavery and what was “ok” as far as what we did, how we did it, when we did it, what we looked liked as far women covering up their curves, and their “exotic” hair and features. I don’t have to look like you to be accepted. I don’t have to dress like you to be accepted. It really runs deep in the psyche of a predominately white society. Look like US. Act like US. Speak like US. Even in Christianity, worship like US. I want to ask, who are you? WE are AMERICA. All of us that are born and live here.

Should jobs have restrictions on hair? Yes. Should they be biased and slick geared towards the discrimination of African Americans? No. We know you don’t like braids, natural hair, and locs. It’s not “professional” and it’s a way to keep African Americans from being employed at your business. Do companies have a right to decide on how they want employees to dress and represent their company? YES. But once again, you have to take into consideration culture and people that do not LOOK like what you deem acceptable based on biases. Honestly, who gives a damn about what you like about someone’s hair? Go beyond that and see what they bring to the table. VALUE our hard work and intellect. Do yourself that favor.

And why I am at, we don’t prefer the touching of our hair as our ancestors were often touched and felt over and picked like fruit by those who wanted to buy us. Our hair and bodies were touched and we could not say NO. STOP. GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME. RESPECT MY BOUNDARIES. I AM NOT SOME OBJECT TO BE GAWKED AT. There is a difference from being marveled at, curious (Because it’s different, it’s fascinating, and you want to see if the things/lies you’ve been told are true about black hair. You want to know how did you do that with your hair?). That, I don’t mind. I am here to inform you but, I must warn you, many of my people are on the offense about things pertaining to their blackness or culture. I think it comes from defending, explaining, fighting to be accepted, etc.

Well, as I take a deep breath, without further delay, I have decided to loc my hair for the sake of my hair. The constant breakage and damage and the inability to maintain it regularly. And who knew, it would become another personal journey. I can tell you right now, most in my family HATE IT or mildly put, DON’T LIKE IT. As expected. I just focus on those that are neutral, like it, love it, and support it. My hair doesn’t change my love, my intellect, my creativity, my compassion and passion, etc. Did you know that with natural hair, braids, or locs people can still gain knowledge and perform their job duties? They can run businesses, own businesses, and corporations. They can even, brace yourself, change the world. Mind blowing or blown?

~Nikki

Becoming Better Women (With the Anointed Mind) Pt. 2 Childish Behavior

Queen Pauline. Artwork by Nicole Jackson and is for sale.

Becoming a better woman requires maturity.

1 Corinthians 13:11, NIV, says: When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man (woman, an adult), I put the ways of childhood behind me.

Becoming a better woman, requires us to not simply be grown in body and age, but it requires us to become mature spiritually. Paul said that when he was a child, he talked like a child. This means his conversations were childlike. Uh oh! We have to grow up our conversations. “He said, she said. Did you see, Girrrllllll call me after rehearsal (The Zoom Meeting). I have something to tell you. ” Grow up your conversation!

Paul said he thought like a child. “Mines!!! That’s my job. That’s my spot. It’s all about me! What about me?” Paul said he reasoned like a child. “Mmm hmm. I see you left my name off the program again! You just wait until I’m over The Garden for Churches Program. I won’t ask you to help!” Sons and daughters of the Most High God, that is childish reasoning!

~Nikki (See part one)

Women Connecting Using The “Anointed” Mind. Intro

Digital Art by Samantha Viotty

Let’s jump right in! Here is my new Thursday series that is based on a “lecture” I “taught” one Sunday morning. Although I am primarily speaking to a group of Christian women, if you are truly spiritual you can connect with this series and get something out of it. The original was titled “Becoming a Better Woman with the Christ Mind.” But for this series I decided to define the word Christ which is a title that means “the anointed one.” It was not Jesus’s last name. It was and is a title, but has become a name synonymous with Jesus.

Becoming a Better Woman, with the Anointed (-Consecrated, Sacred, Christ) Mind

Philippians 2:1- 8

1 Corinthians 13:11

Introduction:

To become better sisters to each other within these four walls, in our friendships, on our jobs, and as we interact with other women in our daily comings and goings, we must first become BETTER WOMEN. It is difficult, to strengthen and encourage each other, if we are selfish, complacent, full of criticism and complaints, malicious, keeping up mess or sowing seeds of discord, on an ego trip that we never seem to come back from, goals of selfish ambitions, and throwing fits of rage. Basically, we are too tired, too broken down, too busy and knee deep in flesh, to encourage and strengthen each other. If we are going to reach across the aisles and become better sisters in church and in the community, we need to become better women. And we can start by becoming better Christians (women, men, children, young adult, human beings!).

Now, can God use a broken vessel? Of course, he can! Can you use a broken cup or bowl? Of course, you can. But it’s going to be messy. It’s going to leak. It’s going to possibly cut you in the process. That is what it’s like for women and men who are broken and trying to do the work of God, without transforming and renewing their minds. We are saved, but we can be messy because we are broken. We are saved, but we are hurting each other, because we are broken. It’s the potter’s job to put you back together again, but it’s your job and your choice, and therefore your responsibility to get on the wheel.

~Nikki

Side Note: We need to be broken so that that which is not light in us can run out and that which is good can remain.

The Heart Epiphany Summery (End of Blog Series)

Artwork by Nicole Jackson This piece has been sold.

It’s hard work, but you know what? It’s the best, most rewarding, hard work you could ever do for yourself. It builds this amazing confidence and resilience. It builds this relationship with yourself that is not built on lies. It makes you better for those YOU love, those that love you and those who are yet to love you. It makes you choose peace over pain. It teaches you to be less judgmental and more mind your own business. It strengthens the law of attraction. It sets you up to receive the greater goodness of life. It teaches you to let others be as free as YOU want to be. It’s a dangerous thing to be religious without self-love. It’s a dangerous thing to be spiritual without self-love. You know why?  It creates a self-righteous stench. Self-love can illuminate your path. It can make your journey so much clearer. It can make your purpose so much clearer. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses and own our strengths. We have less of a need to explain away our shortcomings. We have more compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning. Self-love helps us to create a more centered life. But you must do the work that brings a gratification like no other.

~Nikki

Thank you for reading and following The Heart Epiphany Blog Post Series! This was my lecture at the first conference/gathering I hosted in March.

The Heart Epiphany Part 7: The Imperfect You

This is my artwork. It is for sale.

Self-love is loving the imperfect you. Believe it or not, you’re not perfect. You don’t and you won’t always get it right. It’s not always easy to forgive yourself. It’s not always easy to love yourself when you are not your best self. And it’s not so much that some of us want to be perfect, we just want to get it right. Don’t forget we are human, too. Give yourself unconditional love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Give it to others. Self-love is loving the imperfect you, while you are striving to be the best you.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Part 6 Authenticity

Shot with my android

Self-love requires the excavation of your authentic self. Who were you before the pain? Before the heartbreak? Before the trauma and drama? Who were you before you were told what to do, what to think, what to be? What really makes you happy and brings you joy? Who were you before the events of life and your environment shaped you? Did you know you could shape and handcraft your own life? You are not bound by bad experiences. Ask the potter to shape you into the best you, the real you, the authentic you. Ask the “Universe” to reveal to you who you were. It may be painful sometimes remembering how happy, joyful, trusting, carefree, full of hope and dreams you use to be as a child or young adult but, it’s who you were before negative impacts. It’s hard coming back to life. You know why? The you, you think you are must die first. Self-love requires you to dig deep, knee deep, get dirty, and to excavate your authentic self. It’s messy. It’s hard work.

Note: When I read the book, Excavating Your Authentic Self, it was sad thinking about how I use to be as a child. I thought about playing outside on sunny days, laying in the backyard, coloring and painting, ice cream trips on Sunday evenings, and not knowing what was to come once I started school or once I realized the differences made between me and siblings, before I experienced being made fun of at school, etc. It was sad and it was scary to fast forward through some of the things that shaped me not for the good. But you do it to reveal to you who you truly are and how to bring that person back to this life equipped with experiences and wisdom.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Part 5

20200326_141052

Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.

~Nikki, from the Heart Epiphany Lecture March 2020

 

The Heart Epiphany Part 4

benefits-of-black-tea

Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.

~Nikki