2019: Soul Lessons

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I look at 2019 like a game of chess. It was long and it ended in a stalemate. However, I’ve got the lessons, the diamonds, the nuggets, to prove I am still the champion of my life! I know the importance of counting my blessings in life and looking on the brighter side of things! Let’s start with the BIGGEST lesson.

  1. Listen to your GUT, INTUITION, THE HOLY SPIRIT above all other voices of advice. It’s good to seek godly counsel and good advice, but at the end of the day YOUR intuition is what knows. In fact, you already know the answer most of the time you are seeking “what to do” advice. You just don’t want to do it. You don’t want to be wrong. I didn’t. If you must look, look for confirmation to what your SOUL is saying.
  2. YOUR SOUL is where your intuition is. It comes from deep within. Your brain is your logic. Your heart (emotions) is your feelings. BUT your soul is what knows. So when it comes to matters of the heart, relationships, your heart and brain may be at war, but your SOUL knows. I have to listen to my soul more. MY SOUL WAS SCREAMING, but I was trying to rationalize and feel my way out of a bad situation.
  3. PEACE of MIND, a re-enforced lesson this year, IS EVERYTHING. What can you do without a peace of mind? Well, you may be able to function and get things done, but how much easier it is with a peace of mind. I am a creative being that requires a peace of mind to work. I know it’s my job to protect my peace of mind, but what I learned is that the wrong person in your environment can disturb and destroy your peace of mind. I feel so sorry for those who are linked up, living with, in a relationship, and married to a person that wreaks havoc on their mind and heart.
  4. IT WON’T GET BETTER. Them pretending to do better, do right, etc…nah…You’re not their JESUS (savior) or their THERAPIST which they so desperately are in need of both. Mental illness is real and comes in all shapes and forms. If you have a Narcissist or a Habitual liar on your hands, get them out of your hands, mind, heart, and life. They are only sowing hurt and harm into your life and reaping it in their own lives. It’s a big cycle of UNNECESSARY PAIN AND DRAMA.  Which leads to…
  5. TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST. If you have a mate that only wants to eat junk food, fatty food, overly seasoned food, you may find yourself at the same table and in the same situation health wise they are in. You can nag all you want, but you can’t control other people’s habits. So literally, TAKE CARE OF YOU. Exercise by yourself or with friends. Buy healthier food. Meditate and seek a REAL spiritual connection daily. Actually, that REAL DEEP SPIRITUAL connection may be the thing that helps you move a way from an unhealthy relationship. BACK TO….
  6. MENTAL HEALTH. Go to therapy and don’t discuss what you discussed in therapy with a crazy mate. They will only try to discourage you and manipulate your sessions. It’s like the parable about seed being sown into the right type of ground. “How did your session go? What did your therapist say about us? Did you talk about us?” These are the questions they ask. They want to CONTROL your emotions and thoughts. They want to throw it back in your face and make you feel bad. They will even compare it to you sharing business. They will justify their conversations with other people. Namely the opposite sex. Don’t fall for it. The people they talk to aren’t professionals. Your response: “It went well. I have work to do. I don’t want to talk about my sessions. It’s personal. It’s private. Respect that. I am speaking with a professional. Why don’t you try therapy? I am sure they can refer you to someone.”
  7. TIME RESTORED. It’s just like reclaiming your time. I wasted a big portion of my year on a relationship. I felt bad until God reminded me that time can be restored by the Creator of Time. Time can be added. God has a RESET button. Hallelujah for that! I can get on with the business of dreams and goals like I never missed a beat. Keep it moving.
  8. YOU DIDN’T LOSE WHAT YOU NEVER HAD. You just created space for the RIGHT ONE. THE GOD SENT ONE or OPPORTUNITY.
  9. “IN THE DARKEST HOURS OF YOUR LIFE, USE YOUR NIGHT VISION”-NICOLE JACKSON. One of my favorite quotes dropped in my spirit from me.

Reflect on your 2019 and Release anything, everything, that hindered you or hurt you. Open up your heart to 2020 so that it may be filled with GOOD, PEACE, REAL LOVE and PROSPERITY.

~NIKKI

 

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Anxiety; Time & Space

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What’s the last thing you need when you’re coming down from a big disappointment? You guessed it.  Another disappointment. Granted it was minor in the bigger scheme of things, but I also look at the fact that I am a highly sensitive person that feels things on levels many do not. I also factor in that it takes me longer to “be okay” about certain things, to process it all. Even small things.

I first decided that I was not upset, but that I was disappointed. The infraction appeared to be unintentional. There’s this quote that says “Accept the fact that some people didn’t intend to let you down. Their best is just less than you expected.” -Thema Davis. I think the person could have handled it better and I sense there is something else going on. When this happened I was really disturbed and plagued with all sorts of negative thoughts about myself, life, and this of course spurred anxious thoughts. I went to bed after meditating only to be awaken by noise in the attic (A squirrel. I guess.) Yesterday was tough, a beast to deal with. I cleaned, washed, cooked, but all day was a battle of the mind and mood swings. I was glad my daughter was invited to a party later in the evening and spent the night with friends. This is the holiday season, a joyous time, and I was growing weary from trying to “be okay.”

I can’t rush my feelings to get to the I am okay segment. But what I can do is do everything I can to assist it to an at peace state. Challenge or question the thoughts in my mind. Are the thoughts true? If they are then what is the solution, action, to change them? Maybe the action is to “not do that again.” Maybe the solution is to remove the person from life. Maybe, give the person the benefit of the doubt, extend grace and mercy. Maybe the best thing to do if affirmations aren’t working, scripture isn’t working, meditation isn’t working, etc. is to SHOW MYSELF COMPASSION AND PATIENCE. DING DING DING.

Compassion and patience is what I need to get to the other side of this. It sounds like this: “My god Nicole. It’s no wonder you’re taking this so hard. Look at what happened to you this year. That was tough to deal with and you’re not even quite done digesting that! It’s like chewing with a mouth full of food and squeezing one more piece in. You’re choking. Sip some water. Breathe. Let that little bit go down. I think it went down the wrong way, but it’s okay. You’re still alive. The hurt will lessen. You know you are extra sensitive with all of that creativity pumping through your veins. So, give yourself some time to be okay. You need space to heal and deal.”

It looks like: Getting up. Getting dressed. Eating. Deciding what things on the list of the day are the simplest to do. It looks like temporary distractions such as TV or Music. It looks like sleep. It looks like positive YouTube videos, meditation apps, affirmations, and maybe chatting with friends. It looks like crying because that is release. It looks like forcing myself to church or an event or not forcing myself.

Time and Space.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Drive.

What happens to the “drive”, the internal force that propels some of us forward when something happens to us we never expected? Some have this “drive” naturally that seems unstoppable. Some have to develop the drive and others have to force the drive. I’ve seen stories of terrible things happening to highly driven people and they power through, make the changes and keep going. I have heard stories of the opposite as well.

I don’t think I was born with a drive. I think it developed over the years. I never “needed” to win, to be the top of the class. I wanted to. If I didn’t, I remember feeling bad about it. I could only imagine how bad others felt that were not even in the “smart and gifted children” section. I wasn’t gifted in the sense of “smarts” but I was gifted. We all are. I had to learn how to lose gracefully. I had to learn how to be okay with giving my best. I had to learn that some have a gift that exceeds my gift of logic and smarts and that’s okay because I have things they don’t, do things they can’t, understand things they don’t, it makes us all DIFFERENT, UNIQUE, WONDERFULLY made. Uh, individuals.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to turn my drive off once it’s on. It doesn’t matter if I am writing, studying or researching an interesting subject, painting, crocheting, cleaning, fixing something, etc. I find it sometimes difficult NOT to do, to let it be, to give up. I first realized this when I use to repair laptops. We had to meet a quota and pass quality inspections. I would get stuck trying to fix a laptop, determine the problem, and get behind on my other work. I did not want to give it up and pass it on to engineering. And even after it went there, I would follow up. So much so, they rolled out a policy where engineering had to let us know what fixed the machine. It was a wise coworker, that said to me, “Nik’, you can’t fixed them all as good as you are. We are engineers and we can’t even fix them all. You have to know when to let go and pass it on. You’ve done all you can do.” It sure was hard to learn this lesson. I am a problem solver, a quality over quantity (but also how can I have both) type of person, a highest form of service type of person. If I don’t get a hold of myself, I will crash and burn. I will become overwhelmed. Burnt out.

I use to be this way until Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease hit. I went through depression. I wasn’t immediately the “Oh, well, let’s beat this, keep going, person.” My type of drive died the day I got the diagnosis that it was back, out of remission, and kicking my ass. The struggle was real. My drive had to be revived, put on life support, and weaned off. My adjustment was rocky. It was and is a spiritual journey that took a sharp left turn. It really seems more like reached a cliff and drove off.

I notice the drive a few years ago when I started to paint again. The need to FINISH it, perfect it, for hours, or in the late night or wee hours of the morning. I noticed it when I started writing again. The “I must finish this chapter, this number of words, this goal.” I noticed it in my need to create quality crocheted items, meet my deadlines, have excellent customer service. I also, noticed the obsession to do these things when I am on the verge of crashing. I would ignore my body and common sense. I would crash, burn, and be in pain. I would cause a flare up of pain and swelling, unnecessarily.

I said yes to some events this year, way more than I did last year and I was overwhelmed because I didn’t expect to be received so well. (I am spontaneously SPONTANEOUS.) I didn’t realize I needed as much inventory as I did and that I simply couldn’t create it fast enough because it takes time and I do have physical limitations. It was one night before the first event and I had driven myself into a frenzy that I simply GAVE UP. I said, “I HAVE WHAT I HAVE AND THAT IS ENOUGH.” This has been my mantra this season in creating. It has been my saving grace. It has not prevented pain or swell ups, but it has lessened my actions being the cause of them. I have hurt more from the activities, late nights, stress, no help, etc. I am hurting now! It’s that taking it to the edge, when necessary, but not going over knowledge that kicked in like the technology that tells you you’re about to back into the garage lol. Beep, beep, beep beep beep beeeeeee…. Overall, this has been the best learning experience in a long time. I needed it. I had to quickly adjust, improvise, make peace with having what I have and letting that be enough. I had to say no to other things, people. I accepted it. I am better for it. I feel like I am being prepared for something AMAZING and something that requires me to be able to manage my illness, peace of mind, and health on a very controlled level. Also, these business skills I have learned, have been priceless.

~Nikki

Day 5: RA/RD Blog: Buddy

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Buddy – Who’s your RD buddy?

I don’t have a pet or object, blanket, etc. that helps me, perse. What I do have is a Rheumatoid Disease group that I am a part of. This group is very interactive and supportive. There are people in it from all over the globe. For it to be so large, it seems tightly knit. It has it shares of woes, but those fires are usually extinguished by the administrators of the group. GREAT ADMINS is what keeps a group GOOD.

I found this group upon the return of RD, when it came out of remission. The Arthritis Foundation and Creaky Joints kept me informed. But, it was the community of Patients Like Me and RD Online group that is more like a buddy. I also go there not only when I am at my lows, but also at my highs and to uplift, support, others. It’s a give and take, an ebb and flow of the group that keeps me going.

~Nikki

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DAY 4: RA/RD: Community

 

Community – Our community is often hard on each other, even going as far as accusing others of not having RA when they can physically do more than others. How can we educate our own community on RA and how it affects each one of us differently?

I find the ones who seem to do the most accusing are the ones that are:

  1. Uneducated about Rheumatoid Disease and only know the basics, if that
  2. Have not learn to accept the spectrum of which they fall on as it relates to RD

We can educate our own community by blogging and joining RD groups and posting informative information as it relates to RD and from credible sites. We have to stick together and celebrate those who don’t have it as bad as one of us may have it. Also, there is someone that has it worst than you do and one must be grateful. We must learn to find the silver lining in our diagnoses. Sometimes, that means just being glad that we are still alive and here with our loved ones.

~Nikki

 

 

Day 3: RA/RD Blog: Disability

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Discuss your feelings about our position within the disabled community with variable disability.  How do you deal with limitations that are present some days and not others?

It’s a strange thing. One moment you’re seemingly okay and the next you’re in pain. You never know when you’re going to have a good day, a good few hours, or when pain and brain fog is going to kick in. You don’t know what part of your body is going to hurt and for how long. It’s enough to drive some mad, to depression, to anxiety, to God. 🙂

When I perceive I am going to have a good day or a good few hours, I start to do things I normally don’t do and sometimes I do them in a hurry just in case something swells or starts to hurt. A few weeks ago, I woke up feeling normal. I mean after I moved around, I still felt normal. I don’t know how to describe it, except feeling like I felt before RD. I didn’t know how long it would last so I started some intense cleaning of the kitchen, the downstairs bathroom and I made it to the living/den area before I began to lose stamina.

I deal with it as it comes. I no longer get angry. I do however, get upset sometimes. Especially, when it’s really something I want or need to do. I have to put it off or cancel. It’s hard to make plans, but I am a firm believer in making plans and following through. When I can’t follow through is when I am the most disappointed.

We also have to deal with people who may see us doing “regular things” or enjoying the life we have and question if we are really disabled. Disabled people have a right to enjoy their life, family, take vacations, shop, and do whatever they can on the level they can, when they can. You have no idea the things people go through in 24 hours.

~Nikki

Day 2:RA/RD Blog Week ADJUSTING

Adjust – How do you adjust to the affects of RD on your career, dreams, goals?

Wow! What a loaded question. In the beginning it was devastating thinking about all of the things I may no longer be able to do. My exact thoughts as I had a melt down were “What about all of the traveling I wanted to do? What about sewing and fashion? What about writing my books and traveling as a motivational speaker?” How on earth would I be able to do all of that if I can’t even hold down a 9 to 5 or 9 to 1?

I first acknowledged my disappointment and sorrow as some things died and somethings were modified. I was in awe when hidden gifts and talents emerged, came to life,  such as my abstract art and crocheting. They both happened on a whim although painting was always in the background. I was in Hobby Lobby exploring the option of crocheting after I saw someone with a crocheted scarf. There was a woman in Hobby Lobby, a customer, that was in the same department and I asked her about it. She was so happy to share with me how to get started. I worried about my hands so I researched and reached out to a community of crocheters and knitters and they recommend so many crochet hooks to use and so much advice on what to do about hurting and swelling hands. It dawned on me that there are crafters who have RD and other illnesses that have blazed this trail. I am not alone.

The biggest challenges I face when writing and learning patterns is brain fog and I have a hard time connecting things in sequence or remember directions that I read or are being shown to me. I have to sometimes read it over and over. It can be VERY frustrating. Like throw the crochet hook against the wall or crying because my hands are swelling and I am trying to type a chapter for a new book. The best thing about working on my career as a writer is that I get to decided when I can write. I keep a notebook in my room and I use my phone’s note pad to jot down ideas that come to me. I am looking into voice typing software as well. At times I may be experiencing concentration problems, anxiety or depression. I can decide not to work on a project or to write or paint. However, painting is therapeutic. I like to wrap the spongy tape around my brushes or crochet hooks to make them comfortable for my hands. I pave myself.

Being disabled has limited my income, but it has not limited the God I serve. I work on my writing and try to re-invent myself as a speaker and author. I take it day by day and try not to worry about if I become successful will I be able to do it. What if I have a flare and can’t make an event, or show up on set, flying can drain me, etc. etc. I dial it down a notch and remember I am not at that bridge yet.

~Nikki