The Heart Epiphany Part 3

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I want to talk to you about the DIRTY, GRITTY, PUT ON YOUR STEEL TOE BOOTS SIDE OF SELF LOVE. SURPRISE! SELF LOVE IS HARD WORK AND HEART WORK. It’s a mind heart body soul spirit connection.

Are you sure you want to REALLY, REALLY love yourself because if you do, you are going to have to REALLY, REALLY WORK.

Self-love requires CHANGE and CHANGE is HARD WORK. It’s easier to stay the same and say “What? This is just the way I am.” If the way you are is not a reflection of love or self-love is it really the way you are or just the way you have grown accustom to being and responding?… You might have to change circles. You may lose a few friends. And though you are loyal, it means nothing if you are loyal to people who don’t respect or value you or use you. If they are using your mind, they are using you. If they are using your heart and emotions, they are using you. If they are using your body, they are using you. Change is hard work. Self-love requires change.

~Nikki

“You’re not stuck. You’re just committed to certain patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past. Now those patterns have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can’t move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life. Change the formula to get a new result.” – Emily Maroutian

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The CIRCUS of Life

 

The circus usually comes to town once a year. Sometimes, two or three times a year because there is more than one circus company. And let us not forget, the circus has a schedule of dates as it travels city to city. The circus, chaos, confusion, drama, confusion, whatever you want to call it, comes to all of us occasionally. Some of us live under the big red tent. Some of us look for big red tents. Some of us are drawn into it by the sounds, the smells of popcorn and cotton candy, or the weird music. It’s not until they bring out the animals we smell the poop.

Here we are in a big global circus. Shrink it down to your country, your state, your city or town. How much control do you have over what others do? Some want to to control because of the false sense of power they feel, but I believe some want to control out of a false sense of peace they feel. You see there are some of us that want everyone and everybody to be calm, at peace, happy, so that we can be calm, at peace, happy. Therefore, we try to control situations, people, influence their choices, etc. We get angry when we can’t. We get upset, anxious, we worry compulsively at times. It is okay to feel these feelings but I don’t recommend making it a lifestyle.

Here is what I know about the “Circus” or Chaos outside of my home, outside of my personal being:

  1. I cannot control other people.
  2. I can control my response.
  3. When I see what I feel is chaos, madness, and I cannot do ANYTHING about it, I repeat these words: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

The Circus inside is also filled with worry, concern, fear, and you have to find the root of that. Perhaps someone you love died or became ill because of something someone else did. Maybe, you didn’t have control over what happened to you, a loved one, etc. as far as an illness, accident, tragedy. Perhaps you, a child, someone you care about has an autoimmune disease, weakened immune system, or they are elderly and you are concerned for their well-being. Maybe you are just that person that worries about everyone. That worry, that fear, anxiety can be a barrel of monkeys on the inside. You are the Ringmaster of that circus. These thoughts, those fears, are your monkeys.

Here are a few ways I help myself:

I did what I needed to do to keep myself as safe as possible. I am at peace with this.

I did what I needed to do to protect my family. I am at a peace with this.

I did what I could, said what I needed to say to my family outside of my home, my friends, and associates. I am at peace with this.

I don’t have to agree with the actions of others in this matter, the choices they make. They don’t have to agree with my actions and my choices. I am at peace with this.

What they do or don’t do can affect me, it can affect others. However, I will choose peace by choosing prayer, meditation, affirmations, disconnecting from social media, turning off the news, making healthier choices, exercising. I choose peace by connecting with those that feel the way I do or those that are encouraging during this time. I am at peace with this.

When approached peacefully about my stance, I choose to engage peacefully or not at all. When attacked or approached negatively, I choose to respond with silence or wisdom. Silence is an answer and it is also wisdom. Do not go to their Big Red Tent. Do not buy tickets their circus. Do not be pulled in. I am at peace with this.

I can’t meet everyone at their level of understanding. If you argue with a fool, there are now two fools arguing. Do not be curious about this noise coming from the tent. It is a monkey. It is not your monkey either. You’ve seen this show before. You’ve been to the zoo. I am at peace with this.

~Nikki

 

 

 

The Heart Epiphany: Part 2

 

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Photo taken and the property of Nicole Jackson

There are many definitions of self-love and many philosophies. But today I want you think of it as this: SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION. SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION. SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION.

Self-preservation is the act of protecting, looking after, and caring for your being.

You cannot shop away sadness. You cannot massage away a bitterness. You cannot eat away dysfunction. You cannot MAC make up away the tears. Baby, you have got to do your work.

Self-love is not measured by how many pair of shoes or purses you have, but how much respect you have for your heart, sou,l body, and spirit. I urge you to put some respect on your mind, heart, body, and soul. Self-love is reflected by what and who you allow in your life. Self-love shows up in how you treat other people.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Protecting Non-Traditional Space

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I’ve chosen a beautiful, peaceful, Sunday and it has chosen me. You are responsible for the energy you bring to my space (home, conversation, social media pages, inboxes), but I am responsible for removing it. Even if that means removing the source. I am responsible for setting the boundaries and enforcing them.

I believe that everything is energy. I believe you can feel it, observe it, and absorb it. If you can put it out, you can take it in. We often think of protecting spaces like our home, our office, and this invisible space around our being known as our personal space. But what about our social media spaces? What about our timelines, comment sections, inboxes, and DMs (Direct Messages)? What about the people we like, but we have a stark contrast when it comes to what’s funny, what’s moral, beliefs, ideals, etc.? Some things are just too much for me. Even if it’s too religious. Yes, if it’s too religious, too political or too dark for me, I will either remove them, snooze them, hide the post, unfollow and unfriend. I will delete what I don’t want to see or what is causing ruckus. I cannot stand bickering. I do enjoy a respectful discussion. I have control in my space. You have control in your space.

Everyone has their own stage, platform, and microphone. Your page is your venue. It’s up to you what type of crowd you want to have. Who stays and who goes. Who is muted and unmuted. It’s disrespectful for you to grab the mic on someone else’s stage when you haven’t been asked up. Even on open mic night, there is an order.

It would be nice if we THOUGHT about “how”, what energy we are bringing, when we do respond, inbox and DM. I personally bypass things I don’t agree with 98% of the time. I usually wait for a “What do you think?” or an “opinions, thoughts?” I read the comment section to see how the person is responding before I jump in. “It is better to be asked up, than to be asked down.” -Bible. If I know you personally (your energy, your personality), I know whether we can dialogue or not. By wisdom, I know there is a time and place for it, too. Rarely, is the comment section the place. An open rebuke is given by a friend (Bible) and even in that, it doesn’t necessarily mean in public. Once again, wisdom. Who, what, when, where, and how.

I don’t care if it’s outrageous to me, I have learned and I am learning to respond without a like or an angry face because you’re expressing “what’s on your mind” and I have a space for “what’s on my mind”. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I scroll on. You’re not a news outlet (That is an entirely different beast). I also don’t follow people or businesses I don’t like just to comment with negativity. That is a very low form and a waste of energy. It is also the planting of seeds I don’t want to harvest. And just like buildings that are VISIBLE to the public, not all are open for the public. Some have dress codes and rules. My social media space is public, but I decided what I tolerate and how I respond. AND YOU DO, TOO.

You log onto your social media sites with this good vibe (well those of us that are creating good energy and vibes) and it can easily be dampened when you start to scroll or you read insulting, mean spirited, brash comments to your opinion or positive post. Some have made me say silently “WTFudge? or Who asked you? I know there was not a question mark at the end of my post. I know I didn’t solicit your thoughts, opinions. You don’t know me like that.” But I just either leave what I deem ignorance blowing in the wind or I delete it. If the comment differs from my idea, it’s all about how you word it. Your delivery matters to me.

Lewd memes and videos are not my style. Being badgered with bad news, negativity, anger, political news, conspiracy theories, religious dominance, is not my vibe. I am part of several groups and thank God I can snooze them, too. I can’t hear about depression, anxiety, Rheumatoid, etc each time I log on. I have those things, battle those things, etc. and enjoy supporting others in it. I am grateful for the support of those groups. But it can be overwhelming. Certain things in my inbox and DM I don’t want to see. If I don’t hit a like or respond with a smile, yet you keep on hitting me up with it, I began to think you are a bit slow at grasping that I am not feeling it. Therefore, I am learning to say, “Please don’t send me things like this. Thanks.”  or “I’m not interested, but I will reach out to you when and if I am. Thanks.” I’m not someone’s vibe. I expect them to govern themselves accordingly. In all things, with love and peace.

~Nikki

 

 

The Heart Epiphany Series: Part 1

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The Heart Epiphany by Nicole Jackson 

Love is in each one of us. You are love and you are loved by the Most High, the Creator, God, the Universe, angels, and ancestors. Yes. I said ancestors. You are a walking living breathing temple, sanctuary, goddess, and your heart is a sacred place. Of course, the temple needs maintenance. We should take care of ourselves. Spa days, manicures and pedicures, the beauty shop, deep tissue massages, and “me times” are wonderful. Traveling the globe, a girl’s night out, and going on shopping sprees are fun. We should be able to do these things without being attached to a mate or friend. This is self-care and self-care is a part of SELF LOVE. Self-care is more like the maintenance of the outward appearance. But SELF LOVE is the inward maintenance. Self-love is an inside job.  “Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself, that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”-Psychology Today, Dr. Deborah Khoshaba.  And while self-care does make us feel good at the time that it is happening, SELF-LOVE can make us feel good about who we are as a person for a lifetime. “If self-care is a sparkler then self-love is an eternal flame.”-Nicole Jackson

~Nikki

My Personal Thought Reflections During this Pandemic

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My thought REFLECTION during this pandemic: 1.What does God, the Universe want from me? What is God or it saying to me? 2. What does God want from Christians? Pastors? Leaders? 3. What does God/Universe want from each country, continent, government, the world? What is God, the Universe saying?
REthink, REbuild, REflect, REpent, REvise, REplace 2020 Number 4 energy (Also working the 2 energy, 20 energy)

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Mastering Anxiety. How I Survived a MRI

 

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Photo from Paris Trip

If you have ever had a MRI then you know how narrow and claustrophobic the huge machine can be. I didn’t have anyone to drive me so I could not take a sedative. But I really needed this testing done and I knew I would have to go all the way into the machine for almost an hour.

I didn’t sleep with my cpap machine on that night in the hopes that I would be drowsy enough to dose off once in the machine. Well, that helped. Once I was in the machine I quickly closed my eyes. I could feel my arms against the cold machine and I knew my face was only inches from this confined capsule. My first thoughts: “What if I get stuck? What if they can’t get me out because the table that I am malfunctions?” This may seem funny now, or to you, but to a person that has anxiety it is a very serious matter at the time. No matter how irrational it is to you. This is also where things go wrong with those who “don’t understand it” and the religious sector. This is the “Oh that’s sounds ridiculous. Now you’re talking crazy. Just pray. Think Positive.”

Mind you I am still learning how to deal with my anxiety. It hasn’t been long in my opinion since the diagnosis and when I look back over my life, if I only would have known that this is what was happening to me, I think I would have been so much better off in dealing with life. Instead I was labeled, emotional, a cry baby, weak, dramatic, and while I am proudly emotional now, and definitely can be dramatic (Hey, it’s part of my zodiac and artist DNA!) , it did not help me to understand what was happening. I suppose the double barrel is, “Black people don’t need therapy and if you are a Christian, you just pray about it. Use your faith.”

Back to the story. It is at that junction, of what ifs that I take deep deep yoga breaths until my heart rate starts to slow down. I focus on the breath. Then I address the thoughts. If I get stuck in here the table moves manually. What if the table doesn’t move manually? How do you know that? Did you ask? You should have asked. If it doesn’t, I can scoot out and they will help me. Whew, problem solved. Thank God I have been semi working on my weight. I do actually chuckle here.

I was aching that morning from joint pain, fibromyalgia, and muscle pain. I didn’t take any pain medication. I decided to first pray in the MRI tunnel. I prayed about everything and then I prayed for people, the Covid 19 plague (is what I call it). I prayed and gave thanks about my destiny, calling, lack of a love life, etc. I cast my cares and concerns on God. Then I meditated. I was at the beach. I envisioned my life, the way I wanted to see it. Then the lady interrupted me saying, “Okay. First part is over. You are doing well. Now, the table is going to move you all the way into the machine.” Me: “Okay.” Heck, I thought I was all the way in!

Part two: I finished meditating, never opening my eyes. I thought now what? I guess I will think about what I will do when “outside opens back up” and that means, when quarantine is over. I did that and then I did some affirmations. I know I dosed off several times during the hour I was in there.

I was so happy to hear the lady say, “That’s it! You did great for someone who is claustrophobic and has anxiety.” I told her, “I am surprised. In the past, when faced with tests like this or similar, I don’t always fair so well. I will take this victory. I did a lot of work in that machine to stay still and not panic.”  I just started telling myself days before the appointment that I could do it. I had to do it. I need to know what is causing constant pain in my hips, legs, shoulder. I need to know.

TRUTH: I didn’t just do a lot of work in that machine. I have been doing the work all along. I have been practicing meditation. I have been practicing the techniques from therapy. I have always prayed, but I have learned and I am learning to improve my prayer life. I have been listening to more positive videos, reading more positive things. I mean over years on the prayer and positive things. I can tell you that I have dropped off, “failed” techniques, just didn’t use them at all. It works more often than it doesn’t. It is because we are human. It is because we are faced with some things we have never been faced with and scales we have never dealt with. Yet, we get back on path. Crawling or walking. We get back on with life.

So let us, me, rival in this huge victory. Because last night, I had a battle with anxiety and it wasn’t pretty at all. Yet, I rise to focus on this victory from Thursday. One battle at a time, but I felt like Thursday’s MRI was a battle for the history books. It was like the movie 300! and I was fighting on that thing in the middle. I won. 🙂

~Nikki