The Liberation Journey: Transitioning to Levels of Freedom

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From the Nicole that life had shaped, to my AUTHENTIC SELF, to this current LIBERATED JOURNEY so that I can be LEGENDARY, I can truly say you will be looked at strangely and misunderstood and not understood at all. If you take this journey or are living this journey you will be called weird and funny acting. My now Authentic self cares nothing about that! Once you are free, you are FREE INDEED. The Son sets you free, you set yourself free, or however you become free it is liberating to the soul. I believe there are different levels of freedom happening in our lives. Sometimes you have to free yourself. Sometimes you need help from a Higher Power and for ME that is God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Angels.  Sometimes it is just granted to you. Boom! You are free!

You are so free you will not let anyone deter you. You are so free, if it threatens your peace and love for yourself you will let go even if it hurts. You are so free, you only have time to help others and not to tear them down.

~Nikki

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Makeup Haul

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I love to go makeup dumpster diving! You walk in to get groceries and there in the middle of the aisle and a shining light from a makeup angel in heaven…ah yes, divine intervention! lol

I got this Maybelline lipstick, violet vixen 830, for 2.00! The regular price was 5.99. I loved it so much I had to take several selfies as you can see.

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Is that all Nikki? Of course not! I checked my budget and made room for these other goodies. All of the lipsticks/glosses were 2.00 and the lip glosses were originally 8.99! I love the midnight blue color. Yes, very bold. Well, that’s it for the makeup dumpster dive! I had makeup all over my hands when I finished searching! It was a dirty job, but someone had to do it!

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Waiting and Doing

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One morning when my daughter was a baby and I was on my way to work, I recall being extremely upset.  I don’t remember what my daughter’s father said or did to make me so upset that early in the morning, but I do remember driving on the expressway fighting back tears and anger. I do remember wanting to wish ill will on him, but holding myself at bay. I remember feeling immense mixed emotions. And I said “I am so angry, I can’t even pray!” Immediately, I heard a voice saying: “I will pray for you.” I wasn’t sure if it was the Holy Spirit or Jesus or an angel. It really doesn’t matter.

Yesterday and this morning I am dealing with depression and some anxiety. It was late when I got up and I laid there and just prayed some. I said, “I just don’t know what to pray anymore as I feel I may say the wrong things out of frustration.” I did not have an appetite yesterday, but ate dinner. I don’t have one today, but I have eaten lunch as I was urged to do in my spirit. I asked the Holy Spirit to pray for me and then I began to do my part. I wait for strength and change of mood and I “do” as much as I can. Yesterday, I could just do the basics and today, I am typing, sharing this with you. I have eaten.

Here is something, the entire time you are in a dark place of depression or anxiety, God is sending you messages. God is in touch with you. It could be the call from a parent, something that makes you laugh, sun on your face, an angel number with a message, a quote, something that you read, things brought to your remembrance…a number of small brief things. Inches of rope in your hope that “This moment too shall pass.” I want to encourage you, and hopefully others that have love ones that have moments like these, to let them wait and do as much as they can. Even if it is very little to you. Encourage them for the simple things. “That’s great you sat outside for a while. That’s good you got something down to eat. Eating will give you strength.” You don’t have to run over and slap oil on their heads or pray demons away. Sometimes just waiting with them, praying on your end, and encouraging is enough. My soul is waiting.

~Nikki

Does Weather Affect RAD(Rheumatoid Arthritis Dis-ease) and Fibromyalgia?

 

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The hurricane is influencing the weather here in my city. I can feel it and it doesn’t feel good at all. I really need my hands today. You can’t tell me weather doesn’t affect joints or muscle. I don’t understand after all the research and patient information, discussions about humidity and barometric pressure, why doctors have yet to admit this and state it as fact. What more evidence do you need? It may not affect everyone, but it is a fact for many of us.

Yesterday, I took every unnecessary item out of my purse and I still could not put my purse on my shoulders very long. Switching it back and forth I felt like throwing it across the store. But, that may get the attention of security and brand me a “crazy lady.” I don’t want to be the talk at the table of employees of my local grocery store.

As I pray and donate to the victims in Houston, I put my pain in prospective. I think of all of the autoimmune warriors there who are experiencing a stress I pray I never have to feel. And today we pray for New Orleans. We do not want it to be Deja Vu. As for me and my unpredictable, growing pain in my hands, wrists, forearms, feet, and ankles today, I sit aside many things on my “to do” list and whatever I accomplish today will be enough.

~Nikki

RA Blog: What’s For Dinner?

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One of my favorite, simple, and easy things to make for dinner is pizza. We all know cooking with RD (RA) or any other autoimmune disorder can be tough and almost impossible. We want it to be quick, easy, and as healthy as possible. You want it now as well if you have had a prednisone dose (most of us are extremely hungry because of this steroid for pain)!

Well, this may or may not be healthy depending on what you put on it and what type of crust you use. In the one above it’s a veggie pizza. You can buy veggies already chopped or chop your own. You can look in the fridge and just throw whatever veggies you have on the pizza. Think outside the box and take a chance with veggies like carrots and cauliflower. You can buy any type of crust you like or even make your own with cauliflower. I used a flatbread crust for mines. You can choose your sauce and add cheese. The one below is a buffalo chicken pizza topped with bacon. Pizza nights for us are usually on the weekend or it can be whenever you are just not feeling up to cooking a big meal. Add a salad and enjoy.

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When making the buffalo chicken pizza, I bake a boneless chicken breast (season it with Tony’s seasoning), cut it into pieces (slices or chunks, most of the time my daughter does this because of my hands), and let it soak in a buffalo sauce. Any buffalo sauce will do. I let it soak for about 10 minutes and then I toss them onto the pizza. Baking times are usually on your crust package. Once it’s done, I top it with bacon (optional of course) immediately so it can stick to the cheese as much as possible ( I cook the bacon while I am baking the chicken).

~Nikki

Crosstown Concourse: Memphis, TN

Crosstown Concourse, formally known as the old Sears building, has been rehabbed and remodeled! It has given life to the Crosstown area which businesses and neighborhood committees have worked tirelessly over the years to revive. They are still at it and we appreciate it because this is the inspiration Memphis needs.

The shell of the old Sears building, which holds memories for many Memphians, is still there in it’ massive form. The photos that line the building of the renovation are astounding. On level one there are shops and restaurants mainly. On several levels are businesses and health facilities such as the Church Health Center and the YMCA. There are dental offices, tech companies, educational and nonprofit organizations, and….residencies!

It’s an artsy building and that is one of many of Memphis’ niches. It is architecturally appealing and spacious. It has local bars serving beer and cocktails and a coffee shop for all of us coffee connoisseurs.  So much more is on the way!

 

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Artist painting a mural and the photographer of the day

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This will be amazing!

~Nikki

That Old Eclipse Feeling…

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Photo by and Property of Nicole Jackson

I still can’t put into words the “magic” or “amazing energy” that was in the atmosphere on the lawn of the Dixon Gallery and Garden yesterday. I was there almost two hours before the event started. I retrieved my lawn chair, a book to keep me company, and my snacks. I made a donation and I got my ticket. I got my eclipse glasses and now…where to sit amongst strangers?

I plopped down in the shade next to a young lady who seem to be there by herself, too. It was not moments after my settling in conversation began to flow, laughs, and the sharing of our lives. I knew I’d made the right choice when she offered to share her almonds…I love almonds! There were so many “Me toos” and so many things we had in common as two women, two different ethnicities, sharing an exciting moment in space and time. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease and she is a PTA in school who recently learned about about autoimmune diseases a few weeks ago. It was refreshing not to have to explain that it was “not arthritis.” Stories of travel, hopes of travel, life, gardening, family, and bugs! Lol! There was much encouragement to each other in our pursuits of happiness and to continue the journey.

 

 

We talked about how it was great to see the eclipse bringing the city together and sharing in the moment, the good vibes in the air, and people of all races, ages, backgrounds, careers, political parties, etc. in one place and not any of that mattered. How I wish that we could see how nature brought us together and that it’s only natural to work in unison as one. Anything else is disruptive not only to us as human beings, but also to nature.

Soon after the eclipse the weather changed. It became cooler and then we felt a rush of cool air. It gave me goosebumps. It began to rain…a cleansing rain I’d like to think. I sat my intentions as the eclipse passed (ancients say whatever you feel will be magnified. So I chose “good energy” and love of course!) and I think the rain was washing away the remnants of negativity that day.

~Nikki