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

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 Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson 11: Some People Like You But, They Don’t Like You

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I asked my daughter, “Have you ever had someone like you but they don’t like you?” And before I could explain she exclaimed, “Oh my God! Yessss mama!”

I was shocked she understood and I continued to go in depth into the matter. “It’s like they would like you if you they didn’t have a reputation to uphold.” They would like you if they hadn’t been talking about you behind your back so badly or in the same room as they text their friends about you. There are moments when they let their guard down when others aren’t around but as soon as their clique appears or squad the part of them that would be in harmony with you disappears. Deep down inside they suspect you would be a good friend or an asset but their pride won’t let them connect with you. Instead, they find ways to drive more wedges between you and them. I mean after all; they would have to admit they are wrong about you and face the firing squad of their group. They remain two-faced. Two-faced people can never, ever be trusted. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:8 You wouldn’t trust a two-legged chair.

It takes a courageous and mature person to say, “I was wrong about you.” I’ve had people say that to me and I have said it to others. It is usually after you get to know a person or see something in them that indicates you have misjudged or misunderstood them.

Lesson: With great deliberation and intention, make meaningful connections with people that want to do the same with you. Remove yourself from places and spaces you’re not welcomed.

“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” Matthew 10:14

~Nikki

My Top Lessons of 2022 Lesson #8: Fall Out of Love

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A letter to myself.

Dear Nicole,

Please hurry up and fall out of love with things and people that do not love you like you need to be loved. When I say things, I mean habits and ideas or ideals that no longer serve you. And especially, the ones that never served you in the first place. These things are holding up your progression. When I say people, I mean friendships and relationships. Fall out of love with the need to belong to a huge group of “girlfriends”. Please hurry up and fall out of love with that deep down inside longing to be accepted by your religious peers. It’s your need for acceptance stemming from childhood that keeps you bound. You oblige yourself to people that do not want you or really like you. AND you know it because you FEEL it.

It may be easier to say never fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you but, you may be the one that develops feelings first and the other person does a little later. But once you realize that the love is not there or doesn’t reciprocate in the manner designed for you, fall out of love with that person. Walk your feelings back. Pull back and pull off. As a friend once told you, “Put your heart in your pocket and not on your sleeve.” It is okay to and necessary for your growth and progression to fall out of love with things and people that do not love you. You can operate in a love for mankind for those people. A “Godly” love.

With Unconditional Love,

~Nicole

P.S. You cannot make deep connections where there are puddles in people. -Nicole Jackson

My Top Lessons of 2022 Lesson #7: Knowing is Half the Battle

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“All things are already in divine order.” – The Sacred Yes, Deborah L Johnson

As a child, I watched the cartoon G.I. Joe and at the end of the show he would always say, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.” There will be times when you are going through something extremely challenging and difficult. It can be dark. It can be so dark you can’t see your hand in front of you. It can be so dark; you can’t see or find your way out. It can seem like you are going to be stuck in this state forever.

G. I. Joe would review the episode, point out significant things, and tell you the lesson of the episode. This is how he poured knowledge into you so that you may have it in battle. You can have a one up, a two or three up, just by KNOWING some things and bringing those things into remembrance. In my religion, the Book of Isaiah 43:26a says, “Put Me in remembrance”. It has been suggested that when you can’t remind yourself of the truth, facts, affirmations, knowledge, you can ask the Holy Spirit to put you in remembrance of what is true or what you know. Basically, you ask for a reminder from a Higher Power.

I experienced more anxiety and more depression, with greater intensity this year than I can recall. In some of those times, I did not remember the truth about my situation or my feelings. I was overcome with those two things that the Spirit whispered, sleep. Sleep was my affirmation. It was my scripture. It was my escape. It was my knowledge.

However, for the times I was aware of the battle I was in, I sought the Lord. Some may think this is about Christianity and the Bible. You are partially correct. However, to seek what is Lord or who is Lord is to seek something or someone that can give you something to assist you in battle. No matter what your battle is. To seek the Lord is to seek answers. You want to get an understanding. You need some knowledge. You need some wisdom in battle. You need to remember so that you can know!

I sought through prayer. I sought by reading. I sought by searching affirmations and meditations for what I was going through. I searched Google and YouTube for CREDITABLE sources to find out more about fears and phobias, anxiety and depression. One very significant thing that has helped me this year when I question, “Why am I or must I go through or deal with this is something that came from the book, The Sacred Yes; “All things are already in divine order.” “When you exercise your faith, you UNDERSTAND and ACCEPT that all things are already in divine order.” What I am going through is in divine order helped me to HOLD ON because I KNOW if it’s in divine order it’s going to work out for my good. If it’s in divine order, I must learn from it. If it’s in divine order, I can’t control it but, I can control my response to it. KNOWING THIS WAS HALF THE BATTLE.

Choosing (making a decision) to have faith, to pray is a POWER MOVE that will produce POWERFUL results in your life. -Nicole Jackson

~Nikki

My Top 12 Lessons of 2022 Lesson #5: RESET AS NEEDED.NO.LIKE REALLY.

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When you have a week (or weeks) that is seriously overwhelming and you’re on the verge of “exploding or imploding”, one should take some time to RESET and REFOCUS on what you are REALLY supposed to be doing with your life and TIME! Things, life, people, work, social media, will knock you off course if and you won’t realize it until you look up and see the shore of your goals for the year at a distance. You won’t realize it until you are DOING NOTHING you were doing or planned to do.

I took a RESET weekend to get back on course. I extended that weekend to a week. No social media. No running errands for others. I took time to deeply clean my house and spirit. Binaural beets, good sermons, spiritual messages, reading and writing, time in nature daily, and day dreaming was what I needed. I took out my planner/notes and reviewed my goals and got back on track. I detoxed from all of the negativity that was occurring. I didn’t watch the news, either.

So… I need to recognize when things are going off track and I’m involved in the chaos. I need to pull back. I need to RESET and REFOCUS as needed or forfeit my dreams and goals for the year. And that, my friends, is not an option.

~Nikki