Self-love is setting boundaries and enforcing them. SETTING AND ENFORCING boundaries is hard work. Especially, when you love that person. Especially, when people don’t understand your journey or your vision. And let me just say this, they don’t have to, and you need to learn to be okay with that. Self-love and setting boundaries is hard work. You have to stand your spiritual ground.
“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.
A few weekends ago, I did something I’ve always wanted to do. I held my first public gathering for women. A seminar? Luncheon? Empowerment? Yes, all of that, BUT so much more. My goal was for it to be non-religious, more spiritual and diverse experience. What I mean by that is you’re free to be yourself, say what you REALLY say to your girlfriends when the cameras are off and Sunday is over. The speakers were allowed to TRULY be themselves. The women were free to come as Buddhists, Christians, nonbelievers, etc. It was all inclusive.
It was impressed upon me by Spirit to have the purpose to be something of an “epiphany” of the HEART, MIND, SOUL, BODY, & SPIRIT. Each speaker addressed that area with complete honesty and authenticity. One spoke on SEX and HIV. Safe sex and the high rate of HIV we have in the city of Memphis. This was the Body Epiphany.
Next was the Soul Epiphany. This speaker spoke on the “SOUL of a WOMAN” and the Power that is embodied in that soul. It is the fuel of life! The power of the soul of the woman changes the atmosphere it is in and out changes lives.
The Heart Epiphany was about self love and the hard work it takes to TRULY love yourself. It’s important to know the difference between self care and self love. You can go to a spa for a week and come home to the same chaotic relationships, family-ships, and friendships.
The Spirit Epiphany…wow! Merging the traditional religion of Christianity with WHO you really are and WHAT you really believe is something that takes courage and authenticity. And this speaker has them both. She gave us a glimpse into her journey.
What can you do without your mind? The Mind Epiphany was about the importance of mental health, well being, redefining the narrative, and what to do if you discover…YOU ARE THE PROBLEM?
ALSO on deck was a very important agency in my city, Memphis, known as THE CORNER. Free testing for STDS and HIV, information, and the help for anyone who finds themselves in this situation. This organization is vital in our community and one of their representatives, Queen was a jewel of knowledge!
Queen on her knowledge of facts on facts! Stats on stats!
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to step out into my own. I may not have gotten the chance to do everything I wanted to do for my birthday month, but I got to do the most important thing and this was it!!!
The vendors were spectacular! I’m sure they made their vendor fees back and enjoyed the event. I can’t wait to improve this for next year. Let’s GROW!
The amazingly, creative, mind blowing artwork of Gerald Chukwuma is on display in my city, Memphis, TN. at Art Village Gallery. The show was entitled Out of Africa: The Art of Fashion and was put on by the creative being, Khalifa Kofi. There was a fashion show, a live body art painting, and artwork on display. I cannot wait until she puts on more shows and to see the rest of what she has in store for us.
Ephraim Urevbum, is an artist and owner of ART VILLAGE GALLERY. We met her last Friday night and what a beautiful being! I can’t wait to bring my daughter to the gallery. As most of you know, both of us are artists.
After the show, a friend and I walked across the street to Spindini’s for dinner. We didn’t know they had a live band that was playing some of the smooth jazz classics. The lady that was singing had a beautiful voice. I ordered the B.B. Queen cocktail and got the pizza I was craving. As two single ladies in Memphis, there was plenty to chat about. But, also plenty of other things to laugh about! There is plenty to do in Memphis and it’s time we all broaden our horizons and enjoy it.
Me the closer it gets to my first public event. I have done private events, conferences, empowerment seminars. But this is MY FIRST. I am always nervous during these events. I have decided to call it butterflies. This is my newborn baby project. I don’t expect it to crawl, walk, run, feed itself, change itself. I DO expect to be rewarded by the Universe as I am obedient to the Creator. Nicole, you do “alot” of things. Sometimes TOO MUCH and the MOST. But so did B. Smith and Martha Stewart. I can’t help who and what I am when I am operating in my AUTHENTIC vein. Check out my blog nikkisconfettilife.com and FB page Nikki’s Confetti Life
Last I attend this same show and had such a wild and crazy good night, I wanted to do it again this year. This year was the 10th Annual Forever Loving Marley (Bob Marley Tribute Show). It did not disappoint!
The show is hosted by the band Chinese Connection Dub Embassy (CCDE) and the venue was Railgarten here in Memphis, TN. The artists of the night included Yubu, Kween Jasir, Black Cream, and CCDE. This is not just a tribute, it’s an experience! It’s an experience right here in the city of Memphis. A city that births not only the blues, rap, hip hop, but births music…period. We birth artists of all genres. We’ve got roots, baby.
Here are my photos from the night. I shared this night my very good sister friend, who’s birthday was celebrated, and one of BFF’s & her hubby that surprised me by showing up. They were out on a date night and in the area. That was cool.
Last year I had the opportunity to sale and show my work at an art event for African American/Black artists in the Fall of 2018. The B.A.E (Black Art Experience)! It was the first showing of my art and I sold three pieces I believe. In the city of Memphis, and many other cities, there is not enough exposure or outlets for people of color and their art. Well, this young lady created an event that did just that.
Fast forward to this year and here she is opening up her own art gallery, teaching art to children in a school system, and with many more things on the horizon for all things art!
This was the GRAND OPENING that houses several artists in the city, including her beautiful art of black women and girls. Hopefully, I will be able to get a piece of my art in there soon. I marvel at the artists and their works. I got to speak with one of my favorite artists at this opening, Mosal Morszart, and met many more new artist.
Seeing their work on the walls really inspired me and talking with Mosal gave me a confidence boost in my own lane as an abstract artist. Jennifer, has also been very supportive and encourage of my work. This means so much to the black girl inside of me who’s work was shunned by an art teacher in High School. Up until then, many teachers were supportive and I was asked to take on many creative projects in school. I stopped painting after that teacher in High School. It wasn’t until about two years ago I put the brush to the canvas and it was like I never left.
Each artist was able to speak about their work.
Not only is there art for purchase, there is also art to wear and art for your home. I really like this space and I am really proud of Jennifer, a sister that has opened up another door for artists. Click the link for more Orijennal Art!
1. I miss the freshman that’s away at college
2. I want to go somewhere beautiful
3. It’s a challenge for strong single women. We can’t settle for less than we give or give ourselves
4. Knock and the door shall be opened Seek and you will find (I’M READY)
5. I’d like to wake up to inboxes or emails about my book being published from a legitimate publishing company. I just need that one pearl. That one opportunity.
6. I feel like I’m about to be pushed and that means I need to be prepared. But for what?
7. Should I post my legs if I’m saved and in ministry? The saints will deem it inappropriate. I think I’ll post it.
My thoughts from yesterday as I forced myself to take a break from crocheting. I am getting ready for a few vending spots. Also, I battled anxiety yesterday and I had to take 5 deep yoga breaths, put the hook down, and relax. I was thinking about all of the things I needed to make. Would I make them on time? Would I sell anything or enough? I needed to clean up. I need to pick up my meds. I need to exercise. ETC ETC and more and more. I was becoming overwhelmed. I reminded myself “I can’t do it all in one day. I am doing the very best I can. It is enough.” (No matter what others think)
My mom is the primary caregiver for my father. He has Parkinson’s Disease which is a result of being in contact with Agent Orange when he was in Vietnam. He also has other illnesses and diseases that have developed after Parkinson’s. Imagine you retire and you develop a disease that DRASTICALLY changes your outward appearance and your mental and emotional well being.
My dad has always been this strong guy with muscles. I remember him lifting weights and hanging from his biceps. I remember the big round weights that go on the weight bench. I remember the children in the neighborhood racing against him and they would lose. So, if it’s hard for me to see all of that, his mobility, his muscles, his strength disappear, it must be incredibly hard for him to deal with. He’s stubborn, but I think by now he realizes he needs help or assistance. Yet, he fights to keep most of his independence because he doesn’t like anyone doing anything for them. Especially, if they make it known they really mind doing it for him or that it’s a problem. I get that and the stubbornness from him. My dad has always had a sharp mind. He still has it. He is like a walking history buff and Bible. He is still pastoring and this is his last year as his health has really declined. Last week when he was in the hospital for rehab, we talked about poetry and just when I thought I knew it all about poetry he throws out poets I never heard of. He recites some lines. This is my dad.
This week my mom was out of town on church business and I was “hired” to take care of my dad. Even though my mom is the primary caregiver, all six of us children are there to do our jobs. We all chip in. Some more than others because some work full time and others have illnesses of their own (like me). We seem to take on our roles and fill in when needed of roles of the others. It just worked out that way. I took care of Dad this week and I got to see him in a different way. I got to see the struggles in a different way. I heard the yelling as he napped. It was something about war. I got to see the depression that he sometimes denies. I got to experience the moodiness and irritability that we rarely see. But, I also got to see the determination to wash his own clothes, put his dishes away, wash up, and put his clothes without my assistance a few days. I saw the sweat pouring down his face and the tiredness that followed those simple tasks.
My favorite part of the experience was getting him out of the house to sit on the porch as he likes to do and we listened to a famous sermon on YouTube by Reverend C.L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin’s father). He was unsure he could get out of the house or go anywhere with his new fancy walker (which he calls the Cadillac). I had to encourage him and he made it to the barber shop with his new walker.
Even though it was really hard work taking care of him all week from 7 am to 7 pm it was time well spent. The pain and exhaustion that I felt daily, the pain meds I had to take, the willing myself to get up, the swelling and the joint inflammation, the mental battle, reminded me of why I had such a hard time working my last full time job. By the time you recover, it’s time to work again and creates an endless cycle that worsens your health. However, all that I experience this week was worth the quality time spent with my dad. Care giving is a job. It’s a job for the one doing it all the time and the ones who do their parts regularly and the ones that have to fit it in. However, it’s rewarding knowing that you helping someone you love and it has it’s moments that will someday become memories.
Once we made it to Paris, the stress began to melt away. We put our bags down and opened up the windows to our hotel room. It was like a boutique hotel and the view of the Eiffel Tower was amazing! Also, just to be able to open up those windows and watch the every day life of Parisians spill onto the streets made me feel at home.
Our first night we discovered that it doesn’t get dark until 10 pm!!! We had dinner reserved at an Italian restaurant one door down from our hotel. There also was a little mom and pop store in between that I went to everyday for Schweppe’s Mojito flavored ginger ale, water, and snacks. I learned to count my euros! However, I mostly used my debit/credit card which is what is suggested and accepted by most. I needed euros for some of the other places we went as tours.
I love the décor and the food was AUTHENTIC and the dessert was my favorite! So delicious. Every dessert I tried in Paris was DELICIOUS!