Know the Signs: Inner Work

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

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

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

What To Do When It’s a Loved One or Friend with Anxiety or Depression. Pt 2

Be Socially and Emotionally Supportive

What it is

People show emotional support for others by offering genuine encouragement, reassurance, and compassion. This might include things like verbal expressions of sympathy or physical gestures of affection.

Emotional support can come from other sources, too — religious or spiritual sources, community activities, or even your pets. Whatever form it takes, this support can improve anyone’s outlook and general wellness.

Some people have a knack for being emotionally supportive, but this skill doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

ASK AND LISTEN

Ask…

When you want to provide emotional support to someone you care about, asking a few questions is a great place to start.

“How can I support you?” can sometimes work, but it’s not always the best approach.

While good intentions lie behind questions like these, they sometimes fail to have the impact you desire.

People don’t always know what they want or need, especially in the middle of a difficult situation. So, this question can be so broad it leaves someone unsure how to reply.

Instead, try asking questions tailored to a situation or the person’s state of mind, such as:

  • “You seem a little upset today. Would you like to talk about it?”
  • “I know your boss was giving you a tough time. How have you been holding up?”

If you know someone has faced some challenges and aren’t sure how to open a conversation, try starting with some general questions, such as, “What’s been happening in your life lately?”

Try to keep your questions open-ended instead of asking questions that can be answered with a “yes” or a “no.” This invites an explanation and helps keep the discussion going.

… and listen

It’s not enough to simply ask questions. Listening actively, or empathically, is another important part of providing emotional support.

When you really listen to someone, you give them your full attention. Show interest in their words by:

  • displaying open body language, like turning your body toward them, relaxing your face, or keeping your arms and legs uncrossed
  • avoiding distractions, like playing with your phone or thinking about other things you need to do
  • nodding along with their words or making noises of agreement instead of interrupting
  • asking for clarification when you don’t understand something
  • summarizing what they’ve said to show you have a good grasp of the situation

Using good listening skills shows others you care about what they’re going through. For someone who’s struggling, knowing that someone else has heard their pain can make a big difference.

healthline.com

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/emotional-support#active-listening

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Oh? Is That a Harvest?

I had a hell of a Tuesday. I had two huge financial hits. The person I was dating “ghosted” me. In retrospect, that should not have been part of the bad day. It is a blessing that he moved on! AND THAT is part of the beautiful harvest I want to speak to you about today.

My response to these things were so phenomenal, I was in disbelief. I didn’t have a melt-down. Anxiety didn’t ramp up and depression didn’t creep in. I was upset. I did briefly think, “What am I going to do about my finances? I was trying to save. God that was 75% of my SAVINGS!!!” But seemingly immediately after those feelings manifesting as thoughts popped up, they were met by a voice (thought), “It’s okay Nicole. God will take care of your financial situation. It will be replaced and built up so much more. Do not worry. More money is on the way to you. Money you will manifest, money owed to you, and money you never expected. It is okay,” I did cry. I felt terrible because part of the reason one of the expenses occurred is because I forgot about it. I shed some tears because I was in the process of building my savings back up. But when you think about it, I purchased a home this year. I had some home repair expenses. I had some car repair expenses. I took a much needed and deserved vacation.

I don’t regret any of those things. I am appreciative of the fact I had the money to do those things considering my financial standing. So, to settle my emotions I kept repeating, “It’s okay. It’s alright. Things always work out for my good.” We must remember in times like these, “I am one with the Creator. In the Creator or God, or whatever your name is for the Divine, there is no lack, shortage, or insufficiency.”

I feel as if my response to all three situations in a time span of hours was a beautiful harvest of seeds sown for years. It felt like something took root and blossomed at the same time. You may recall some of the blogs I wrote previously about intuition, clarity, and so forth. The Spirit (Holy Spirit) was guiding me all along. I heeded the voice to not put too much stock into that relationship and to hold back to SEE if things could be worked out. I needed to wait to see if our differences could merge. Obviously, they cannot. And I am okay.

This weekend was supposed to be one spent with the guy I was dating but, life had other plans. Some family came from Illinois and we went to Mississippi to visit my brother’s grave site. He transitioned this year from Covid. That was a rough moment for them and some of my other siblings. But after that, it was nothing but love, laughter, and creating memories. My dad, a retired pastor, preached an incredible sermon from St. John 14, “Another Friend”. It was indeed a anointed message. Our guests went with us to a Trunk or Treat. We had a blast. Then dinner and conversations. Visiting other family and breakfast together before they left Monday morning. WHEW.

I am tired. I really had a rough night last night with insomnia and Rheumatoid Disease pain. Yet, it was worth the pain to spend time with family. I can rest this evening.

~Nikki

Friday’s Flight & Fright

You’re still a rose

Guess what? I had a healthy breakfast. I prayed, meditated, affirmations. My mood still hasn’t stabilized. I ate chocolate chocolate chip cookies and milk. My snack for tonight so, I can’t have that tonight again. 😩 What’s wrong Nicole? What’s the matter, Pooh Bear( family Nickname…don’t you call me this lol)?
I’m frustrated. Why? Because there is too much to do, too much happening in my world and the world, I can’t keep up, and I can’t seem to get all of what I want in a man and things (people, men) keep showing up that are almost what I desire. I’m sure I have somethingto do with all of this. Plus, another trip coming up and while I’m cool with going as the fabulous third wheel, would be nice…(stares in singlehood).
Listens.
1. Take him or leave him, you’re going to have a wonderful time.

2. You don’t have to accept who shows up, remember? And if you choose “almost” you’ll “almost” be satisfied. Plus, I’ve given you several signs that this is not the time for a relationship. Remember? Either relax and enjoy the company or enjoy your own company. Breathe deep.

3. Yes. You have something to do with most of this but, not all of this. You have nothing to do with the events you have no control over like Afghanistan and the passing of your godmother. Your part, to pray, was and is done perfectly.

4. You can organize. You have lacked discipline. It’s true. You have procrastinated. It’s true. Why? You have been ill. You have not wanted the responsibility of some things. You haven’t enjoyed a particular environment. You haven’t done the ONE major life thing because of fear and THIS is what is clouding your mind. If you want clarity to come easily, DO THAT FEARFUL THING.

5. Make no commitment to any man right now. I repeat, it is not time for a relationship. It is time for your soul’s purpose.

6. Take one step. I’ll take two. Move towards destiny and I’ll create waves of manifestations. We are a team.

I shall be with you always. Even until the ends of the earth.

~Nikki

PS: Stop saying yes out of obligation to things that I’ve disconnected you from. Stop inserting your help where you have not been lead to help. You cannot help everyone or every cause. You can’t sign up for every thing and then say you don’t have time for your own soul purpose, dreams, goals, duties. That’s fear. Explore that fear of success. You can’t want and not want success. Love, Spirit. 💋

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Toxic Masculinity in Christianity. Examining the BEAM.

Plant Name: Hustle n Flow

Yesterday (Wednesday), I had a yellow plate, eggs, and lemon cream yogurt chosen without thinking. I said to myself, once I noticed, I must be eating for the solar plexus. For my fellow Christians, it’s the place where we say “I felt that in my belly!” or the place where you get “butterflies”. Little did I know I would have to assert myself today. It’s the place of personality, ego, and identity, as well as personal freedom, choice, and authenticity. You see God and I have this language, when I say, “God, let them do this or let xyz happen and I am going to say what I really think or want to say.” I can tell you that 99% of the time, God doesn’t let it happen. On the rare occasions that it does, I have learned to say what I need to say tempered (controlled) and direct. Most times. Today, I had to assert my personality, my ego, my identity, my personal freedom, my choice and my authenticity in DIVINE ORDER to one that is considered a leader in ministry. This toxic masculinity in Christianity must go and will go.

There is something to be said, that I won’t say, about people that only have something to say when they disagree with what you say or have something to say behind what you say when you are a woman in ministry. For one, there is something wrong within when one has a argumentative spirit. A critic spirit. A spirit that seeks out an opportunity to argue or to show off their knowledge (puffed up is how the Bible refers to them). There is an ill skill to the manipulation of another person’s words and to use your knowledge in such a way to dominate a conversation in such a spirit of negative ego. It’s the equivalent of over talking or yelling and feeling like you have “won” when there was nothing to win. The Bible speaks about adding and taking away from the Word. I don’t like it when people add or take away from what I say. Furthermore, I don’t like it when people tell me what I meant by what I said. ASK for CLARIFICATION before you ASSume. 🙂 I also don’t need a male counterpart to “second guess” or to explain what I say or my ideas or my philosophy. I’ve seen it over and over and again on social media. A male minister/pastor says something outside of the box, either other male ministers celebrate or approach with reverence for further clarification. WOMEN in ministry do the same and they come like a brood of vipers.

This “I know more than you” or this need to assert authority in places it does not belong has been something that has “irked” me from the beginning of my journey as one considered a woman in ministry. This need to control or monitor women is so unlike the God and Christ I am associated with. It is toxic. I was not created to be your personal assistant, maid servant or child. I was created to create. I was created with the intellect, too. I was created with a purpose, too. I receive dreams and visions, too. I know how to research, search, go to school and the same education you get, too. I think Jesus, in my religion, leveled the field. I’d appreciate it if some of the men in ministry would come off their high horses (pride comes before a great fall) and into the field. The harvest is plentiful but, the laborers are few.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Middle Ground

When you are healing or getting over a situation there is a middle ground. A gray space. A partly cloudy with a chance of rain. In this rarely talked about space, you can see sunshine and then clouds. You can see a beautiful sunrise and sunset and then out of seemingly nowhere, heavy rain. Here is the comfort: You are almost there. You are almost to the closing up of the wound. You are almost to the healing phase. You just have to rest and keep moving.

In this middle ground, this gap, do you know what you need? You sincere, specific, meaningful prayer, meditation, and affirmations. Stand in the gap of this moment. This where you go in deep. This where you stand in the corner and pray. This where you lay prostrate and wail if need be. This is where you lose your self in the silence of meditation.

This is also where good flows in. The sunshine, the sunrises, and the sunsets. This where light comes into the cracks. You get ah ha moments, deep revelations, vivid visions, and waves of goodness. It’s where nature speaks and heals. It’s where messages come from the strangest places and things. Embrace it with your whole mind and heart.

May the Lord (the Law) bless you. May the Lord (the Law) keep you. May the Lord (the Law) make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord (the Law), lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. The Bible, Numbers 6:24-26

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Energy of May

I know we are 16 days into May but, this may help you to make it through the rest of the month. There is nothing like understanding the “season” we are in or the signs of the times. Why? Some may say. Well, it’s because knowledge is power and you can govern your actions and responses accordingly.

The “energy of May” brings us independence, confidence, and new beginnings through the number 1. Biblically, it represents God. God is self sufficient, needing nothing to do what needs to be done except energy. We, being like gods in the earth, are self sufficient. We need nothing but energy to thrive. It’s the whole “We lack nothing. Everything we need to succeed is within” thingy. 1 is motivating. 1 is the number of the pioneer. It’s time to break new ground. Take a different path. Start a new project. Do something you have not done before. That type of energy is in the air.

This is not the time for drama, chaos, or confusion. If this is anywhere near you, get away from it. Shut it down and do not be pulled into conflict. You do not have time for it. The 1 energy is focused! It is ready to take control of it’s future. It’s ready to create or to embrace new beginnings.

The 1 energy is confident and independent. It will not wait for the approval of others. In fact, it is not concerned about who is for it or against it. The 1 energy will ride alone. 1 has a plan and is ready to execute it. If it fails, it learns. If it succeed, it learns. This it the mindset of the 1 energy.

Goals are being achieved with this energy. Advances are being made. It is self motivated and has self determination. There are no excuses and innovation is used to overcome obstacles.

What’s your passion? What’s your purpose? Begin the great work! You’ve written the vision, you’ve made it plain, and now it’s time to take action. Do your part and let the CREATOR take care of the logistics. A positive attitude and optimism is required in this season. Total faith and trust in yourself and in God, the Creator, the Universe, or whatever you call the Higher Power is how you move in this season.

Godspeed,

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: A Total Gut Job

I watch a great deal of HGTV and I know what it means when they say, “It’s going to be a total “gut job” for this room. It means heavy demo. Everything must go. It means this will cost much more money than they estimated. The definition? It means completely removing everything in a building down to the studs and can include removing the floors and all interior walls as well.

Imagine a gut job being done on you. Completely removing everything inside of your being down to the (heart, mind, spirit) soul and can include removing polluted belief systems and people, and all interior negative thoughts or energy. Gut jobs are a lot of WORK. They go into the space and tear it down with sledge hammers, jack hammers, drills, and all sorts of tools. It takes manpower to get the job done. It’s noisy and messy and sometimes dangerous. You may find rot and mold in the walls and underneath the floors. Sometimes, old wiring is bad or configured wrong and not up to code.

So what about us? What about all of the things that are in us that need to be uncovered and removed. You know they say Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter so this should sit well with some Christians as well as those that claim spirituality (I claim them both. Don’t worry. God and I are at peace with this choice.) So, I found in the Bible, like you may find in other books, scriptures about removing “factious” people from your life after the first and second warning. (Titus 3:10). WOW. This is exactly what has unfolded before me. I am on the second warning and I have decided to remove it completely. A total gut job. Ouch!

But this goes for any factious (divided, schismatic, contentious, argumentative, quarreling, tumultuous, rebellious, seditious) person. You would be wise to remove them with the first and second warning (if you missed it the first time).

Do you think a spiritual and mental gut job feels good? No. It doesn’t. But it’s necessary for the remodel. It’s necessary for the NEW. The book of Ezekiel talks about God, the Creator removing detestable things and abominations from the people of Israel. I’d like for you to see this as some of the old, antiquated, biased and prejudice belief systems you have being removed. Demo is in full effect and here we run into rot and mold. Hazmat suit up and allow spirit to remove by guiding your thinking into current times. It’s time to gain a greater perspective with all of the information we have available to us now.

It’s all coming down and being torn apart. Nothing but the bare bones will be left. Breathe. It will get you through the demolition and the installation of the new. The Creator will bring your inner being up to code. But, you are the manpower. You have to get it done with the power of choice. You get it done with prayer and some deep meditation. You get it done with exercise. I really prefer yoga or tai chi. While walking you can focus on nature. Nature is healing. You get it done with wise counsel and a therapist. Yes sit and ma’am. I said therapist. Pretty soon, you will be whole with a completely new outlook on life, love, dreams, and relationships. Your path will be brighter and clearer. And the reveal will be stunning! The before and after you will amaze the world and you may even shock your self!

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: The Logistics of What You Desire

I’ve been reading this book, The Sacred Yes, and it’s one of those books you have to read a little at a time because it’s so mind rearranging, you must sit with it. In the book it talked about moving from the DESIRES of your HEART to INTENTIONS. This in it self is powerful because while desires give you visions to hold onto, the also can keep you wanting, longing, and yearning. When you move into intent, a determination to do your part to assist in the manifestation of your desire, or when you move to an attitude of “No matter what it looks like, no matter what is going on, it is going to happen.” then you began to generate energy on another level. Intent is action and attitude.

It took me a moment to grasp the concept of intentions in the area of love and relationships. I’m still tweaking it. But, that is not my biggest challenge. In the book, it says we get boggled down in the “how and when” of things. We even try to tell God, the Creator, the Universe how to do things and when to do it. I found myself guilty of this and surprising guilty of this when it comes to love and relationships. God is the one that handles the logistics of our desires and intentions. The logistics is the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many people, facilities, or supplies. You can also say it’s the detailed coordination of a complex operation involving many things WE DON’T CONTROL.

Shouldn’t we be relieved to know that? I was. I also found myself wrestling with changing my ways of trying to control the logistics. I also found it difficult to change my attitude from “I see this and look at that! Oh no, it’s not going to happen. I must be wasting my time. No way after that situation am I in the right place or getting what I desire.” It’s been a challenge to stand in the face of something that looks nothing like progress or promise and say, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, it will happen. It is happening.” I don’t know where the line of wisdom is at times but, I do know how to ask for wisdom. I have to check to see if it’s my intuition, Holy Spirit, or fear telling me what to do. How do I check? I become still. I pray. I meditate. I mess up. I learn. I ask for signs and directions. I look for signs, too. I also try not to read too much into things and just remind myself God is handling the logistics, I need only do what I am led to do and what I need to do. I don’t have to orchestrate anything. Whew, what a relief.

~Nikki