Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: You’re Life’s Work Is Your Life

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.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Hope Deferred For Singles

Whether you are waiting for love (for Christian women, waiting on a man to FIND you), or if you are out there actively looking for love, what happens when your hope is continuously deferred? What do you do? The Bible reads when hope is deferred (the hope of finding love, hope of love finding you, hope of maybe this will work out in this case), the heart grows sad.

To seek or not to seek, that is no longer my question. The dating pool is filled to compacity and overflowing. And it needs to be cleaned! Or maybe, one needs to get out and wash, rinse, disinfect their chakras (spirit, thoughts) sit on the side lines and sunbathe (soak up some positivity) for a while. What I am saying is, sometimes, MANY times, you need to take a break! Take yourself off the market for a while when your heart grows sad.

Deferred means what you want, desire, is delayed and not denied. It means it has not come into manifestation when you think it should have. In my case, today lol. It hard to focus on the “not denied” part when you are constantly disappointed. Therefore, I urge you to take a break. Refresh yourself. Unplug from the dating scene. Come up for air, sis! You do not want to drown in disappointments. It will make you bitter. When you start feeling that gloom and doom, that “No one wants me. I am never going to find love, or it is never going to find me”, this is the time you need to STOP. BREATHE. Shut down every avenue of dating. It is time to refocus on the truth and those thoughts are not the truth. They are feelings manifested from hope deferred.

Focus on your spirituality, your connection with the Creator. It is time to read some things that will give you HOPE again and CONFRM the truth about what it is you are hoping for. I will not say you should be working on you as a woman because men should be working on themselves, too. Which, this type of thinking is part of the problem. Women have read every book, showed up at conferences, listened to leadership harp on being a good wife. While in the meantime, boys will boys. Well, newsflash! They are no longer boys. They are grown (growing) men. And in the Bible, it says when I was a child I spoke as a child, understood as a child, thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things. Woosah! And I breathe. The imbalanced pressure has produced more mature women and has left the men to be boys in their thoughts and actions. This is an overall statement. I am just being truthful and honest.

Now, back to helping ALL of us. Hope may be deferred, but when that longing is fulfilled it will produce a tree of life. It will give you life. Okay, that is great but, what about that in between time BEFORE the longing is fulfilled. Well, when you run out of hope, remember to use your faith. FAITH in your High Power, FAITH that the Universe will give you what you desire. Build your hope back up with faith, affirmations, reading, praying, meditating. And do you know the biggest thing that helps me? I refocus on my dreams and goals. I give more time to my purpose and plans. I get into it. Then when I am ready, after I have had a good breather, sat on the sidelines sunbathing, I open myself back up fully to dating. I rarely shut myself all the way down. I just remove myself from the pool. There is this saying, “Get your weight up” and it means many things. But, in this situation, it means get your hope up. Get stronger. Get your weight up. Get your faith up. I just heard Jim Carey say, “Hope walks through the fire, Faith leaps over it.” Sometimes you must walk through a fire, sometimes you must leap over it. Leap over this despair and look to the hills(up) which comes your help. Look within, look beyond your despair to the truths about yourself. Maybe you have work to do on yourself, but it is not so you can find a man and be a good wife. I think good people, mature people, spiritual people make good mates period. And I hope we begin to shift that narrative in the world today. Men have some catching up to do.  

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Summery (End of Blog Series)

Artwork by Nicole Jackson This piece has been sold.

It’s hard work, but you know what? It’s the best, most rewarding, hard work you could ever do for yourself. It builds this amazing confidence and resilience. It builds this relationship with yourself that is not built on lies. It makes you better for those YOU love, those that love you and those who are yet to love you. It makes you choose peace over pain. It teaches you to be less judgmental and more mind your own business. It strengthens the law of attraction. It sets you up to receive the greater goodness of life. It teaches you to let others be as free as YOU want to be. It’s a dangerous thing to be religious without self-love. It’s a dangerous thing to be spiritual without self-love. You know why?  It creates a self-righteous stench. Self-love can illuminate your path. It can make your journey so much clearer. It can make your purpose so much clearer. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses and own our strengths. We have less of a need to explain away our shortcomings. We have more compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning. Self-love helps us to create a more centered life. But you must do the work that brings a gratification like no other.

~Nikki

Thank you for reading and following The Heart Epiphany Blog Post Series! This was my lecture at the first conference/gathering I hosted in March.

The Heart Epiphany Part 8: Reflect & Modify

Self-love is reflecting on your behavior and modifying it. This means you must think about why you did what you did, said what you said, and allow what you allow. You might have to get some help from a therapist to help you to help yourself. Yep. Self-love is hard work.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Happy In A Time of Trouble?

A few Sundays ago, my dad stood up to preach. He said, “What a time to be alive! It’s a good time to be alive in a time of trouble!” I immediately thought “What????” He went on to preach his message and I pondered this exclamation for the past two weeks. I called him yesterday to make sure I was on the right track as to what I thought he meant by this “being alive in a time of trouble” as a good thing.

He said “It was terrible to Esther to be alive with all that was going on. All the things that were happening to her people. It was until she understood that she indeed was appointed, anointed, for “such a time as this.” In Isaiah 61 it speaks of Jesus, being anointed with an oil of gladness, which is the Holy Spirit. We are anointed to with an oil of gladness for these troubled times. Even in my sickness, I have Parkinson’s, but it’s a good time to be alive. We are equipped to deal with the times, the trouble we are in.”

I was “near” the right track, but after speaking to him, I was on the right track. I get it. I have mild to severe Rheumatoid and Fibro, but it is still a good time to be alive. With all that is going on in the world, I am well equipped for this “such a time as this” moment (or moments as we seem to be having plenty of birth pains in the world) in history. I have the oil of gladness to endure my mission, my part, my role. And you too, are equipped with your faith, to endure, to play a role of your calling or choice, for these times of pandemics and civil unrest. In fact, I think I feel some joy about all of the changes, all of the exposure of broken health care systems, judicial systems, political uprooting, change in minds and hearts. In all of our getting ahead, getting promotions, getting things, getting of monopolies, most people and businesses are trying to get an understanding. “In all your getting, get an understanding.”

As I read Isaiah 61 I quickly realized the parallels of then and now. Amazing…

Oh and Psalms 45:7 You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Part 7: The Imperfect You

This is my artwork. It is for sale.

Self-love is loving the imperfect you. Believe it or not, you’re not perfect. You don’t and you won’t always get it right. It’s not always easy to forgive yourself. It’s not always easy to love yourself when you are not your best self. And it’s not so much that some of us want to be perfect, we just want to get it right. Don’t forget we are human, too. Give yourself unconditional love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Give it to others. Self-love is loving the imperfect you, while you are striving to be the best you.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Cost Effective Conversations

My art for sale. Visit The Confetti Shop on Facebook or The Confetti Shop by Nikki on Instagram

“My errors give birth to my knowledge.” -Steps to Knowledge, Marshall Vian Summers

The other morning I was talking to a brother (friend of mine). He called to express his thoughts, feelings, and concern about the societal sickness of America and the World. In the conversation, he said something to me that was enlightening at the time and would become something I was suppose to add to my knowledge “kit”. He said, “You cannot have a conversation with emotions, but you can have a conversation with intellect.”

Three times between Thursday and Saturday, I tried to have a conversation with people that were emotional. As I am typing this, Spirit also made me aware that three times, I backed off and came to the recognition that I was dealing with an emotional person. Three times I became AWARE. Two times I had that hesitation to NOT respond just because I was invited via post or what I saw! I was getting ready to type that I failed, but no. THREE times I became aware and I learned. Practice makes mature. Practice makes growth. Whatever that person was feeling would dominate the conversation. It would be skewed to support their emotion. Backing off is seen as a weakness by the carnal, the fleshy, the ego, and a child like mentality. But knowing when to back off is WISDOM. It’s knowledge. It’s smart. It can save your life, energy, and time. And those are three things you can’t get back (You can get more of them, but that’s another blog).

Cost effective conversations is something I came up with after this happened to help me again Saturday. I need to ask myself is this conversation cost effective? Is it productive as it relates to my time, my energy, and my life? If they have their minds made up, why are we talking? If they are biased about the subject, have some ill will towards a group, why are we talking? If they are telling you from the jump, I am being petty, why engage? They are saying to you, “I am emotional and I am not willing to have a conversation based on intellect. I can’t even harness my emotions to have a conversation balanced with intellect.” This is a waste of my time, my life, my energy. I do not need to engage and if I can recognize this before I even get into a conversation, the better! If not, I at least need to be able to make a U-Turn before I get to far down the road.

What’s down that road? Frustration. Anger. Arguments over nothing that has to do with the main topic. You’ll never be heard or understood with a person that are in their feelings and out of their mind (lol! That was a good one!). You’ll never be heard or understood with a person who has already made up their mind and is not open to listening or understanding. This is where I call Shift into Reverse. Cars have a reverse for a reason and so do conversations. There is no weakness in backing off or up when you realize the road you are on is named Petty or Ignorance is Bliss. Sometimes you may notice a sign that says, Children at Play. Get out of there quickly!!!!

The knowledge that I present to you today has been brought to by my errors on this week. Wisdom will let you know, hence it was that hesitation for me, if there is an opportunity to talk, grow, learn or if you are headed nowhere fast.

And Note: You also can’t have a real productive conversation with someone that lacks the knowledge on a matter. Sometimes people don’t have the education or wisdom to have a conversation about certain things. I mean, I can’t talk to you about calculus or get to deep into a subject on global warming. I know I am limited in those areas. This is where you may hear me say or type: “Hmm. Tell me more.”

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Un-churched and Unhinged

My artwork. It is for sale but not my mug.

“They are going to back to church! Can you believe it?!” and “We are going back to church! We have faith over fear!” this is the talk of social media. Some are stating their thoughts (opinions), some are stating their overly righteousness, and some are stating their concern or outrage. You’ve got those that use to go to church, never been to a church, against going back to church. And those that use to go to church and those that have never been all for people going back based on freedom. You’ve got churches against other churches for going back, and you’ve got churches beating other churches over the head with faith over fear rhetoric.

Christians are people first. People are allowed to have difference of opinions. It’s obvious by the many denominations and divisions of churches. However, most people do not realize that their opinions are not facts even if they present them as facts. You can form an opinion (or draw conclusions) based on facts, your faith, your experience and your belief. What gets to me is when either side presents their opinion, laced with insults or superiority. When I see they have their minds made up, there is no need to engage in a “what do you think?” because if they can’t present their thoughts without insults or superiority I highly doubt they can engage in a respectful debate.

How do you quiet the noise of two toddlers arguing over a blue ball? One is saying the ball is round and the other is saying the ball is blue. Guess what? You tell them they both are right. Blue is a color. Round is a shape. They are essentially arguing over two different things and on a higher perspective, they are arguing over nothing. You know this.

First rule of maturity, “I cannot control other people. However, I can control my response and my OWN actions.” If gathering is permitted with guidelines for a church what can I do about it? If that church doesn’t implement or follow the guidelines based on “we have faith over fear” (which makes me cringe and I will be happy to tell you why), what can I do about it? I can NOT go to that church. People don’t determine my faith or how much of it I have if I don’t do what they do. They don’t get to call it fear. I can call it wisdom. You remember, we as Christians are always saying call it how you want to see it in your life. I can continue to worship on line, drink my coffee or tea and mind my business. I can put on my mask, wash my hands, and keep my distance because I may come into contact with the “faith over fear” crowd. Also, I can’t say ALL of the churches will not follow the rules because I can’t visit ALL of the churches to see what they are doing. I can however, SEE if my place of worship is following the rules and go with that. It’s actually easier for smaller congregations to do. Especially, if you have a leader with some respect for the law of the land, wisdom, faith, and a plan. Faith without a plan, works, is dead. Dead is not so good if you still have work to do.

Secondly, on the road to maturity, SONS and DAUGHTERS, you put away childish things. It’s childish to argue over something that is going to happen whether you like it or not. It’s not childish to have an opinion, to discuss or debate it. It becomes childish when you shout, insult, demean, and stink up the room with your arrogance. It’s not a sweet smelling fragrance at all. It doesn’t smell like Teen Spirit. 😀 Sons and daughters understand their duties to their collective and individual calling. It’s not to sit around and go back and forth with children about a ball. Sometimes sons and daughters get caught up, but they quickly realize they are trying to discuss calculus with elementary students. There is nothing wrong with elementary students. We all were elementary at some point and well, some of us still are. Hence, the constant bickering over much to do about something that you can’t control. We ALL have some childish ways and there very well may be some mature people going toe to toe about this issue.

Thirdly, recognize a hot topic. This is a hot topic. You don’t have to tell people how you feel or what you think just because they ask you. I learned from one of my great spiritual teachers when someone asks you as a leader or Christian about a hot debatable topic to pull you into a heated discussion, you can simply say “I don’t think about it or I don’t.” Nikki, what do you think about people going to church?” I don’t think about it. “Nikki, do you feel they are right or wrong?” I don’t feel about it. You see, I’m not going to go back and forth because I have already processed it in my mind and heart or it could be a topic I truly care less about. Furthermore, I can’t “be living my best life” if I am going back and forth. Back and forth means I am going nowhere! And neither are you!

All I know is you can be about your Father’s business, your life work, your journey in a building or outside of a building and both. All I know is, I can continue to pray for those I don’t agree with, for their safety and protection just like I do for those I do agree with.

I’ll say this, I think the phases of opening up in some cities are moving too fast and without caution or plans. This is very American arrogance to me. In some cities, I think they are taking the appropriate time. This is very American Care to me. The four sentences before this one are all…opinions. The fact in that is cities are opening back up.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Part 5

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Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.

~Nikki, from the Heart Epiphany Lecture March 2020