October’s energy is calling for you to experience every morsel of life. Put your phone down and your devices away and experience life by ENGAGING in conversations without distractions. Engage the people in your space. LOOK at them. ADMIRE their beauty, intellect, smile, and laughter. Have dinner with someone and enjoy the flow of chatter and silence without having to fill that silence with you picking up the phone to “hop on social media right quick.”
EXPERIENCE nature and observe it. Take it all in. EXPERIENCE your walk in the park or the neighborhood. WAVE to people. SMILE at people. NOTICE what has changed in nature or your environment. What smells waft through the air? What insects or animals do you see? Have the leaves changed? Jump in a pile of leaves. Yes. Even at your age remain playful always!
Experience life by, brace yourself, TRYING SOMETHING NEW! Yes, try the new restaurant. Yes, try something different on the menu. Shock your mate lol! Yes, drive a different way to work. Walk at a new park. Try a new thing like baking or try your hand at keeping a plant alive. Take an online course about something! TRY! TRYING brings about new experiences that birth ideas, new likes or confirmed dislikes, and experience! You never know unless you…try.
October invites SPONTENEITY. Change it up. Change it all up. Change a few things around. You don’t always have to nail down every detail. Call up a few friends for a zoom cocktail party. Invite a few over practicing social distancing and Covid 19 practices. Set up your area such as chairs around a fire pit or outdoor setting. You can set up the inside depending on how comfortable YOU are with this and how well you know your FRIENDS. Do something spontaneous with your mate. Buy flowers for no reason. Bring home their favorite dessert. Bribe yourself to listen to an opera or to watch the romantic movie they love so much but, have seen 100 times. You can make it a night with movie snacks or healthy snacks. You can make it like a picnic. How about an indoor movie night picnic?! How about a real picnic in the park?
Yes…October is calling for you to EXPERIENCE LIFE!
Why did I decide to take a month long vacation? And no, it’s not a vacation it’s to one of my dream locations like Costa Rica. It’s not a paid vacation. It’s not a vacation away from my city. It’s not even a stay-cation. It’s time away from church. Church. Not God. Church.
I was being pulled into, sucked into, staying on board when I really wanted to leave. I knew my time was up. But, because I felt “sorry” for the person I stayed on. They are in over their head because they are in a position they forced their way into. I need to finish this year strong and I can’t do that when I am in a place and space I don’t belong. Plus, it’s stressful and I don’t enjoy the atmosphere.
What do I plan to do? Well, because I understand numbers and I have relationship with my Creator, I have a clue as to what needs to be done for me personally. Yet, I stay flexible for directions and shifts.
Collectively this is a time for turning limitations into strengths. This is a time for getting systems (immune systems, financial systems, spiritual systems (ding ding ding), legal systems) and the (further) expansion of mind. And much more. If you want a Biblical reference (some of you are like, “No, I don’t” 😀 ) Then the passage I was given was Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8. So, we are talking fluff or fu-fu. We are talking energy, time, sign of the times, things in the sky that God put there. But, that’s another in depth study you can do on your own. P.S. We are entering into a season of flu virus and Covid hasn’t disappeared so really hone in on boosting/helping your immune system out and body by eating properly and physical activity. Operate in wisdom.
Personally, this time for me (based on my life path number, other numbers, coupled with a relationship with my God) is about introspection and assessing the self knowledge I have gained thus far this year. It’s about looking at where I am and what changes I need to make or table. It’s about preparation for next year. Yes, next year. It’s also a time for me to see if there is anything I can celebrate. I feel behind because I have been caught up in church business and not my Father’s business for my life.
With that being said, I need not beat myself up, go into depression, or increase my anxiety. Of course, that will be a battle of the mind and emotions. I have to ground myself constantly. It is what it is BUT, all is not lost or wasted. It’s time for what I KNOW to become WHO I AM. It’s as a great modern day philosopher, teacher, Moojiji says, “It’s where knowledge becomes not what you know but, what you do, how you are, being.” You can know scriptures, quotes, texts, and spew them. You can know right from wrong. You can know what you “should” do. But if what you know doesn’t become WHO you are and WHAT you do, if it doesn’t become more than knowledge, you will never become all that you already are.
God has made everything beautiful in it’s own time.
Affirmations to heal painful childhood memories: I know what is best for my life. I trust my ability to make decisions for myself. I reinforce boundaries. My gifts and talents of art, of writing, of creating clothes, are an important contribution to this world. My pain has been witnessed by Heaven and Ancestors (Spiritual Realm Stuff). I am comforted by Heaven and Ancestors.
It takes some money to make some money. A little of it can go a long way. Invest in yourself spiritually, physically, educationally, and career or as a business owner. You will get a return in due time. It takes some TIME and EFFORT on the spiritual front and sometimes money if you are going READ books to help further your growth or attend seminars to listen to invaluable messages from certified leaders like myself lol. Eventually, you see a return. Put in nothing, something, or much but, it is up to you.
I am most happy when I am creating. Most people are most happy doing what they love and enjoy.
Stay positive and optimistic. Do not give up. This does not mean you will not waver, become upset, but USE the tools of BREATH, WISDOM, EXPERIENCE, WHAT YOU HAVE READ, SKILLS FROM THERAPY, PRAYER, MEDITATION, ETC to remain positive, optimistic, and determined. Oh and sleep. Sleep schedules matter.
All bad things must come to an end. If you are out of line, life will align you. If you can, line yourself up. It hurts less and saves valuable time.
Still The Temple each day to fill it with the Divine and watch your become powered by the Divine and not your own physical power that wears down quickly. God’s power flows through you unhindered by your outward circumstances and your physical and mental limitations. Even your finances. My summary from a devotion in the book, In His Presence by Eva Bell Werber
All the lovely qualities of peace are to be found in your own being. For there is My Throne, and there do I dwell, ever ready to take you out of a place of confusion into a place of quiet and loveliness. -In His Presence, Eva Bell Werber
I’ve wrapped my head around the idea that I have more work to do on myself as far as releasing the painful past of childhood. What I did not know was that there were layers to freedom. I got this thought from my own spirit as I was in conversation, meditation, or prayer with God (whatever you choose to call it is fine with me). I was venting that I just want to be free to enjoy and live out my full potential from here on out. I vented “I thought I was free! Who knew that there were so many layers to freedom!!!” And it hit me, “layers to freedom.” Like and onion.
Onions are just fine sitting in the produce section piled up on top of each other. But once you get them home and peel back a layer, you open up the strong smell that creates watery eyes without your consent or control. And so it is, with opening up old wounds that have never healed. Layers and layers of years have gone by. Years and years of masking the uncomfortable that manifest in mood swings, meanness, sadness, arrogance, nonchalant-ness and irritability for no apparent reason. Layers of hurt, embarrassment, inadequate feelings, and shame concealed by one thin layer.
When you have experienced some sort of trauma or continued drama, the emancipation of your soul may take a very long time. I don’t know if it can be sped up. I think maybe it can and I am going to find out if that is true. All week long the spiritual things from my daily devotions to meditation and wisdom from spiritual leaders have centered around freedom. Coincidence? No. I am calling this freedom in and that is why it is showing up. Even in numbers.
Sandhguru said, “Freedom requires courage.” I listened to one of his talks this week. It does require courage and I have taken some courageous steps in peeling back the layers. But, this step, requires “a whole heap” (as my Granny would say) of courage. I feel like I have to muster it up. Get up the nerve. Face it. Deal with it. Defeat it. I feel as if this will be the last barrier to my own freedom. I am tired. I am weary. I am ready. So maybe the speeding up the process is to DEAL with it HEAD ON knowing it’s going to get messy, become tiring, and hurt. But…I need my freedom. I need to live my FULL, UNCHAINED LIFE. I am ready to peel back every layer, chop the onions up and use them to flavor my life. God is my help, my strength, my source, and I feel as if I have not only God, but angels, my angel, and my ancestors on my side. I need all the help I can get. I need all the love I can receive. I may need many shoulders to cry on. But victory…victory is mine.
We must grow up in our thinking and reasoning. All through the Bible, God is constantly talking about our thoughts and our minds. Why? Because our thoughts determine our moods, our actions, and the words that come out of our mouth. Our thoughts determine how we deal with each other. In Philippians 2: 1-8, Paul says let this mind be in you. What mind is he talking about? The mind of CHRIST. He says to ALLOW this mind to be in you. Once again, we are faced with a choice. It’s our choice to change, it’s our choice to grow up in mentally and spiritually. It is our choice to allow the mind of Christ to be in us and to work through us. Purging out all of the negative thoughts. Purging out all of the pain we have been through so that we can become Better Women, instead of Bitter Women, and essentially becoming BETTER CHRISTIAN women.
If we are going to do anything in the body of Christ, if we are going to serve, if we are going to serve our purpose in life, if we are going to go to work and tell folks we are a Christian, we must actually do the work to become CHRIST LIKE. If you are determined not going to work in the body of Christ, not to participate in anything, then you especially, need the mind of Christ because Christ was all about doing the father’s business. In case you missed the memo, none of us are exempt from our Christian duties and responsibilities. There is plenty of work for you to do! The harvest is plenty, but the laborers are sleep in the bed and the pews. As women, saved women, sisters in Christ, it is high noon and high time we wake up and get to work!
How do I stabilize my emotions? Sadhguru says become a mountain. I acknowledge the fluctuation of my emotions. I am responsible for my emotions and my responses. I can neutralize the threat of drama brought on by others by CHOOSING no response, a response in love, or a higher level response. I choose to work through my day focusing and refocusing on the tasks at hand. I choose to unwind this evening doing something I enjoy.
I am by nature a quiet soul. I love the quietness of the morning, of the evening, and of the night. It was very noisy growing up but mostly in good memorable ways. I liked growing up with all of my brothers and my sister in the house. And when they were older, sometimes they came back home as they got their lives together. They were much older than my younger brother and I. That to me is good noise in memorable ways. I was shy. I was quiet. I could sit outside for hours on the porch or lay on a towel on the patio staring at the sky until I was told to come in. So, as I began to have to “speak” in front of people in church and in school, I began to develop my voice and muster up courage. As I was required to write essays or answer “what do you think questions?” in school, I was force to share my opinions. When asked to write short stories or poems, I was forced to share my true thoughts and opinions.
I was quiet but, I was a rebel. I realized I didn’t give typical answers. I realized I had some sort of wisdom that the teachers marveled at. I gave my Sunday school teachers something to think about. I read the Bible for fun and talked to God about some of the fascinating stuff in there and some of the scary stuff. I asked questions. I asked so many questions my dad was sometimes stumped and he had to look things up and get back with me an answer. “But why?” I would ask. “What if?” is another lead in. In church, preachers would visit to preach and if their sermons were boring, I would read the Bible or draw. Sometimes, a preacher would preach and I would say to myself, “Uh, I don’t think that’s what God meant, but okay. I’m just a kid.” And then there were those that were DYNAMIC. They came with research and insight. Those are the ones that honed their craft and studied to show themselves approved, not for clout.
As I grew up, I became more rebellious towards the norm. I wasn’t normal as a black child with natural red hair. I had to learn to live with that. I had to learn how to be seen and stared at. I was fashionably rebellious. If everyone was doing it, wearing it, I wore it different or not at all. As soon as it went out of style or trend, I brought it back with “my style” added to it. If the crowd went left, I went right or at least questioned why are we going left? I needed to KNOW. I needed to KNOW many things. What does that word mean? My dad, “Look it up.” READ. I love to read. I love to know. This rebelliousness, lead me down some twisted roads coupled with my stubbornness and I was met with some very, very BIG LESSONS. Until, I heard God say to me, “Use your rebelliousness for me.” And that is where GOOD TROUBLE began to grow. (Note: Even at work I was known as “Trouble” because I challenged policies, supervisors, managers, and even H. R. I hated the mistreatment of others and the misuse and abuse of authority).
I laugh when I think that this quiet girl by nature, was created to make some noise and to get into some good trouble. It’s funny as I am now coming into some confidence to SPEAK what I think and how I feel about Christianity and spirituality. I mean, men have been doing it since the beginning of time. I wonder how many women philosophers there were back in A.D. and B.C. that never got the exposure that men did. (As I type that, I am not going to research that lol). Maybe at the watering holes and rivers they could share with each other their TRUE thoughts and FEELINGS. The wisdom we will never know, yet I would like to think it was whispered to their daughters and sons.
I’ll never forget a minister telling me that I was “controversial” and I should stop being that way and just preach. I told him Jesus was controversial and he did more than “just preach”. He thought. He taught. He upset the scholars. He upset the religious. He shook things up. He healed. He delivered. Etc. He was crucified for being who he was created to be, yet he rose up from that death (darkness) and successfully completed his mission. Here I was thinking, that we should be like Jesus as a Christian. I wasn’t made to just preach. I don’t even like that word. I like teaching. I like speaking. I don’t like titles, either. I don’t like boxes and I’m not fund of rules that attempt to box me in. And let me say this, when it comes to the notion that we should be “like” Jesus, we cannot be like Jesus as in the sense of copying his personality and his exact mission. It was his. Being like him, should be understood as having the same or similar morals and values, doing what God has called you to do, and mirroring the God like, Jesus like characteristics. I have turning over table tendencies. I have drawing my sword and using it tendencies like Peter. I have war like vibes like David. I have Lydia goals. I have Vashti rebelliousness. I reach for Jael nerves if an enemy comes to the house.
Everyone is called to make some noise in their “own way” and to get into some “good trouble” and that takes guts for some of us timid by nature people. I don’t know if I could have done what those like John Lewis and Rosa Parks did. I do think I would have been who I am. Somewhere behind the scenes, strategizing and organizing. I don’t think I could have been Harriet Tubman. But I would have been one to follow her for my freedom. I think I would have hid slaves for sure if I was white. I think I would have use my privilege at the expense of the hatred and disowning of my family. Making noise and good trouble cost and I am willing to pay the price. I pay the price with side eyes of men and women in ministry. I pay the price by being called, “not a real Christian” and not being invited to speak at some churches (and I am good with that). I like my freedom to move about and to be among the people. I like service and to have my hands dirty in creating change. I don’t mind being Queen but, I don’t need to have my crown on 24/7. It’s for special occasions. Not for every day grit and grind. It’s not for construction work. Some just want to the crown for the jewels, power, and position to fulfill their egos or to band aid their bullet wounds of insecurity. I am mostly, wow, this crown is pretty!. I like it. Do I have to wear it every day? No. I like the crown of humility adorned with humanity, compassion, love, peace, empathy and sympathy. It’s invisible as it sits on the head and can only be seen through words and actions of the heart.
As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)
Let’s jump right in! Here is my new Thursday series that is based on a “lecture” I “taught” one Sunday morning. Although I am primarily speaking to a group of Christian women, if you are truly spiritual you can connect with this series and get something out of it. The original was titled “Becoming a Better Woman with the Christ Mind.” But for this series I decided to define the word Christ which is a title that means “the anointed one.” It was not Jesus’s last name. It was and is a title, but has become a name synonymous with Jesus.
Becoming a Better Woman, with the Anointed (-Consecrated, Sacred, Christ) Mind
Philippians 2:1- 8
1 Corinthians 13:11
To become better sisters to each other within these four walls, in our friendships, on our jobs, and as we interact with other women in our daily comings and goings, we must first become BETTER WOMEN. It is difficult, to strengthen and encourage each other, if we are selfish, complacent, full of criticism and complaints, malicious, keeping up mess or sowing seeds of discord, on an ego trip that we never seem to come back from, goals of selfish ambitions, and throwing fits of rage. Basically, we are too tired, too broken down, too busy and knee deep in flesh, to encourage and strengthen each other. If we are going to reach across the aisles and become better sisters in church and in the community, we need to become better women. And we can start by becoming better Christians (women, men, children, young adult, human beings!).
Now, can God use a broken vessel? Of course, he can! Can you use a broken cup or bowl? Of course, you can. But it’s going to be messy. It’s going to leak. It’s going to possibly cut you in the process. That is what it’s like for women and men who are broken and trying to do the work of God, without transforming and renewing their minds. We are saved, but we can be messy because we are broken. We are saved, but we are hurting each other, because we are broken. It’s the potter’s job to put you back together again, but it’s your job and your choice, and therefore your responsibility to get on the wheel.
Side Note: We need to be broken so that that which is not light in us can run out and that which is good can remain.
I don’t know if I told you that I was dumped by my therapist but, I think I did in one of these blog posts. I laughed a bit on the inside as I typed that because I have a weird sense of humor at times. Odd maybe. I quickly thought about my reaction and how hysterical I was. How angry I was. And that made you laugh Nikki? It did because I reflected on how I could not see myself working with anyone else, being as open and honest with anyone else, and especially because my then therapist had one of my personality traits. Chill.
I recently went to a new therapist and she is not like my old one (shocker). She is retired from the military and you can tell that she is structured, but very “real” and “raw” in her delivery. So, I thought I was going to waltz in there with my credentials (all of the work I had done previously) and we were just going to pick up where I left off. NOPE. She could tell that I had done the work. She could tell that now was the time of doing the work of RELEASING. Releasing? I thought that’s what I was doing. I thought I’d already did that. I know how everything is connected. “Yes. But you don’t know how to let go and it’s time that you do. Are you ready to work? Because this, is going to be work.” She said. Hades no. I am not prepared for that because I didn’t realize that I had not been releasing. I have sat with that all week. I have processed it and I can see she is right. It’s crazy to be stuck and not know you are stuck and to realize you are stuck. How long have I been stuck? How did I not know? Oh man, more breaking down mental and emotional barriers. MUST THERE ALWAYS BE SOMETHING ELSE I HAVE TO DO OR FACE ABOUT MYSELF?
God was like: “Nicole, you know the answer to that. The answer is the same it always is when you ask this question. Yes. ” It’s never going to end and I know that. Will the debris of our lives lessen? Yes. It will be much easier to see once we clean up. But, just like cleaning up the clutter, there are things you have to “let go of” and there are things you keep. Even with the things you keep, they have to be cared for, dusted, moved, in other words, tended to. Cleaning up once and for all doesn’t happen because a home is not like that and neither is life. Life has to be tidied up, decluttered, cleaned, bleached, dusted, power washed with the truth from time to time. We form new attachments. We experience new hurts or familiar hurts in new ways. It’s like my yard. One year, there are the same kind of weeds. The next year there are hardly any. The next year, there a mixture of different weeds. This year, we killed the yard and now this beautiful grass is springing up with patches of dead grass around it.
Your life is your life’s work. Your calling and destiny is a huge part of your life. You want to be doing what you love and living the life you wan to live. However, there is the maintenance of YOU. The mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. Even the physical. These are what you come home to. Home has to be taken care of.