Mother’s Day: Fish & Bones

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There is this saying: You have to learn to eat the fish and spit out the bones. It’s a secret to some and obvious to my bloggers, that my relationship with my mother can be described as turbulent. I am not ashamed of this. Many mother and daughter relationships are at it’s best, “complicated” and I speak on behalf of some of those women. Here is the post I posted on Mother’s Day about my mom and photos from my day as a mother.

My mom and I are like oil and water sometimes. Some say it’s because we are alike and some say it’s because we are different. At the end of the day we love each other. I get my strong value for family from my mom. I get my strong work ethic from my mom. I get my cooking skills, my creativity, my fashion sense & need to have a lovely home from my mom. The idea of the finer things in life yet making the most of your lot in life. I am a giver and will try to help everybody and will feed everybody. I get that from My mom. My mom has her own big personality and it gives us many laughs. My mom is the best because she’s going to put family first and she’s going to protect it. She’s going to come through and this is why we come through for her. I love it when I make her laugh and she says “Nicole, You’re so crazy.” That’s us. That’s family. That’s love.

 

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Thinking Bigger

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I’ve been thinking bigger. I am just as great as Oprah, Tyler, James Patterson, Stephen King, Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Jay Renee etc. I see their methods. They have laid out their blueprints. And you know what, it’s all about determination, belief in your self, shutting out the critics, focus, never giving up (faith), drive, being prepared for the opportunities, going against the grain, walking away when it wasn’t right for them, taking risks and learning from it all. I love to hear Stephen King on interviews about his writing and career. He gives inspiring advice and so does James Patterson. Yes, I know sometimes as an AA it’s harder for us. Some people can get a deal on mediocre content based on their skin color and who they know (But I know somebody, too! ). But that doesn’t stop my flow or kill my vibe. It doesn’t put my fire out. Some want to help, some want to hinder, all I need is discernment and to trust my gut. This year, I am going to give it all I got and let my Creator and Angels do the rest. I’m going to push the envelope pertaining to my beliefs. #44Presidential

Alma Woodsey Thomas: My Inspiration

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Today I want to take a moment to honor Alma Woodsey Thomas. She was an African American Abstract/Impressionist Artist. She is the biggest influence on my art. She is an inspiration.To find a black woman, who painted abstract art, gives me confidence in myself and my artwork. I put a link to the article in the comment section. Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891-1978).
“Alma Woodsey Thomas developed her signature style — large, abstract paintings filled with dense, irregular patterns of bright colors — in her 70s,” writes the National Museum of Women in the Arts. “Thomas became an important role model for women, African-Americans, and older artists. She was the first African-American woman to have a solo exhibition at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, and she exhibited her paintings at the White House three times. https://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/11/weekinreview/11cotter.html

 

 

~Nikki ❤

 

Disability and Reality Head on Collisions

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If you have been following my blog, then you know I am real, honest, and sometimes raw about what I think and how I feel. I am not here for the shock value, I am here because I love people that are honest about their thoughts, feelings, etc. Honest, not rude or mean or nasty. Just the plain old truth. So let’s dive in.

I hate being disabled, but I am grateful that I won my case. I hated my last job, but I was grateful that I had one and it could provide some income. I wasn’t making much and that job was killing me on every level. Yesterday early in the evening I thought I was having some sort of breakdown. I was going down slowly and then boom! I was falling down a dark hole that seem to never end. I reached out for help to a friend that wasn’t available. I reached out to a professional associate, she answered and provided a rope to pull me back to ground. I realized AGAIN yesterday, just how being disabled can restrict, constrict, and confine you financially. It can halt your endeavors. It makes me angry. It makes me sad. It makes me fell worthless. It makes me irrational. It brings up things from the past and shoves them in your face. Sometimes, down your throat. I felt like I could not breathe yesterday. It was anxiety mounting up to a panic attack. And depression was hovering around like a drone.

Before this episode, I had an encounter with a relative. Then I discovered just how limited I was  because of my disability with an endeavor I was trying to start up with a friend. And there came these waves of tears in my eyes that I fought back. By the time I talked to my professional associate, I told her 1st of all, I am crying. Secondly, I am ashamed that I am crying. Crying in my childhood was often made fun of or pointed out by my mother. “She’s so sensitive. She will cry if you look at her.” I thought something was wrong with crying. I also didn’t think it was funny. So crying to me can sometimes bring up a need to apologize for crying. In essence, apologize for being sensitive and weak (according to society, some friends, and in relationships). I do know a good cry is cleansing.

Rules and regulations for disability are necessary. They keep most people from getting over on the system. However, for those of us that wish to do things to help ourselves, it’s often a challenge to figure out exactly what we can do. It’s also a shock sometimes to find out you can’t do certain things and therefore you can’t reap the benefits or joys of those things.

This morning my ground is shaky. But, I am still here. I am still fighting and coping with my thoughts and emotions. This is REAL life. This is a MOMENT that I have to work through. I am fragile in this state and I know I have to protect my mind.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy does come in the morning,” -Bible

I am really ready for morning.

~Nikki

Prepared To Be Myself

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Prepared to be myself and only myself. I have done the ground work in the previous years and now I am building upwards. Who I thought I was, I was not ( I discovered this when I turned 26 and had my daughter. But, that was all I did. A shocking truth, but it would take another 10  plus years to ACT upon that revelation). And that is the case for most of us living in this world. We really believe we are who we are. But, I am here to tell you unless you have taken a real journey within yourself you may be surprised to find out you are not who you think you are. You’re more than likely a product of what you have been taught and what life has shaped you to be. I am not saying all of that is bad, but I am not saying all of it is good either. How about it can be neither bad or good? It just “is”. You can take the journey by force or by choice. And even by force you still have a choice not to examine yourself and the situation. There is much more to you than you know. Much more authentic power. Much more than a body. Much more than a religion or not.

Question your actions, examine your choices in life, and ask what was my part in this situation? If you did that and answered yourself honestly, you may not like who you are  or you may discover something wonderful. It takes work to discover who you really are and for me it took Divine guidance from the one I call God or Creator. I am talking about REAL HARD WORK. UGLY, DIRTY WORK. GROUND BREAKING AND HEART BREAKING WORK. BEAUTIFUL and AWE INSPIRING WORK. HEALING AND REVEALING, REFLECTIVE WORK. STILL WORKING. It takes faith, courage, and strength. It’s why some don’t like me and why others don’t know what to think about me. HA! Prepared to be called not a real Christian by my peers and prepared to be welcomed into a circle by those who “get me.” Michelle Obama said in her book, Becoming, “You have to learn to live with the doubters. The great ones always do.”  (Something like that).

But let’s talk about this pretense. The ability to walk into a room without pretense means you are not pretending to me something or someone you are not. You are the same in the room as you were in your car, on the job, at home. You are not trying to impress anyone by being something or someone that you are not. The best impressions are made by being yourself. If not, you will have to be that other person each time you are around that group and it is exhausting. I’ll never forget the day in recent years I thought I knew someone and was developing a good friendship with them and was shocked to see another side of them once we were in close quarters with another group. I expected the bitchy behavior from the others, but not that one. I was more disappointed and honestly hurt. I got over it. If I don’t know who you are, I just don’t deal with you because I don’t have time to figure it out. So, be who you really are. If you are not a “mean girl” don’t become one in front of other women who are. If you are not a gossiper, then don’t become one in front of others. If you are any of those things, seek help soon. (hahaha).

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From the movie “Analyze That” 

I am prepared. Even with fear, anxiety, or what ever emotion moves through me, I am prepared to be me. Unapologetically, nice. Kind. Emotional. Sensitive. Chill. Weird. Artsy. Nerdy. Sexy. Spiritual. Open. Closed. Reserved. Wild. Quiet. And more. Dispensing those sides of me however and whenever I feel comfortable or necessary. I think that harmony with one’s own spirit is a merger that is sometimes out of focus. I hope to become completely in harmony with my spirit. I use to think that meant being a certain way all the time. It doesn’t. It fluctuates sometimes as you learn and are presented with situations to grow. And that, too, is okay. You can always come back to the core of who you REALLY are. You can always refocus or re-center and ground yourself.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: What You Have Need Of

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You’ve been blessed with an inheritance, a lump sum of money, you won the lottery, or you have a good job or career and have managed to put away for retirement. Yet, you worry from time to time or constantly about the future and if you will have enough. Maybe, you are young or old, have a large family or a single parent, and you are doing the best you can. Let me tell you briefly, about my situation.

I am in my early 40’s, approaching my middle 40’s ha! (No, I don’t look it and thank you!) Well, I happen to become ill, could no longer work, blew through my savings to survive and raise a daughter that will be graduating from high school next year. I found myself in the disability process for three grueling years. I won my case. And I thought it would be a sigh of relief and it was. However, like any person that has to start from a setback, start from rock bottom, I worry. But and on my anxiety and man, it takes on a whole other form or worrying. How can I make it off this? What will I do when the surplus runs out? Will my other dreams ever take off so that I don’t have to be on disability? What happens in 3 years when I go for a review? What if they say I am okay and I don’t need it? What kind of job will I be able to do at 46 with my illnesses? Will I ever get the home I want? You see where I am going and then loop that in your head all day. That is anxiety. Go to bed and wake up thinking about the same thing.

This morning I heard this in my spirit, “There is no sense in worrying about tomorrow. Tomorrow has enough trouble of it’s own. You can’t add one day to your life by worrying.”

And then I thought, but don’t you have to plan for the future?

Spirit:”Be wise like the ants. But they don’t worry. And consider the birds in the air, the are fed everyday. The flowers are clothed and they don’t worry.”

Me: “But, what about my dreams, and goal, and plans, and life? What about that abundance? What about prospering? I don’t want to struggle until I die!”

Spirit: “God knows the plans created for you. God knew you before you existed in the womb. God molded and shaped you. You are carefully, and wonderfully me. The Creators plans for you are to prosper and to be in good health. You have choices. Choose life. Choose the things that will better you. Go for it. Do it. Be wise. Use knowledge. And God  knows the number of hairs on your head. Not one falls without his (her) knowledge.”

Me: Let me blog this and hope it helps someone else.

God, the Creator, the Universe, knows what you have need of. God’s plans are always for you to triumph, be at peace, be in good health, and to prosper. But you do have to do your part and if you’re doing your part, researching your part, then do not worry. God will do the rest. The Universe is working for you, always and never against you.

~Nikki