Rich and Wealthy Now

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My heart is just filled with gratefulness and love this morning. Like up to the top. I even feel a little misty eyed. Thinking about how rich and wealthy we already are if we would take the time to stop and smell the roses. Totally immerse ourselves in the moment of a conversation with a friend without looking at our phones or immerse ourselves totally in the pleasure of a cup of tea or glass of wine. If we would look into the eyes of our family when we see them and hug them each time with all of our might. If we would reminisce about the fun times of childhood we would laugh and feel good about all of those good memories…rich irreplaceable moments with friends and cousins. Wealthy in our small homes and apartments surrounded by objects we adore and that are priceless and meaningful to us even if we got them from a dollar store or if it were passed down to us or given to us by a friend. Wealthy in the events of accomplishments big and small, public and private. Wealthy in nature. Yes, money cometh. Yes, wealth and riches is in your house. But just know, we are rich and wealthy in the now. -Nicole Jackson

RA Blog: All Eyes on Me (Thee)

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It seems as if everyone else is whizzing right past you as you “mosey” along or perhaps you are not moving at all. Maybe, you are stuck. Well, I have goals because I set goals. I have dreams and new dreams, new visions, things I want to see happen in the face of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia and all of that other noise that seems to slow me down and sometimes get the best of me.

In the effort to lose weight, to achieve my other goals as well, it seems as if the well abled bodied people are just flying right past me. Soaring to their goals, and I, I am left behind in their dust. Me? I’m struggling to stay motivated. I can’t walk that fast, like I use to. I can’t use my hands very well today, I can’t stand as long as I use to, the fatigue…it’s what some call excuses, but it’s a reality for many of us. We are not who we use to be and oh if we would have known this was coming, we may have did the 5K or went back to school sooner.

Q: Dear God, Universe, Creator, Self, Spirit, how do I deal with all the feels of being left behind?

A: Take your eyes off others and put your eyes on me. Keep your eyes on “your” prize. Stop the comparison. It’s unfair and foolish to compare yourself with well abled bodied people and it’s unfair to compare yourself to the old self. You can’t be in the past and present at the same time. This is why you are not progressing as fast or at all.

So, with that revelation, I invite you to meditation and prayer. Center yourself during the times when you are “feeling” so much despair and disappointment. If I keep watching others I will fall. If I keep comparing myself to others, I will fail. If I keep living in the past, I can’t work in the present to prepare for my future. All eyes on the Creator. All eyes on the scriptures, affirmations, practices, that center your heart and mind.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Patience

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Patience, beloved. Every piece of the puzzle will be put into its place. This is the message that came to me as I dreamed about 1000 and 3000 piece puzzles I saw laying on the table. Before this, I’d visited with our second family in Iowa. We went there to pick up my nephew from college. In the home was a big puzzle laying on a table. I sat down and tried to match pieces and quickly was reminded how tedious this could be.

Well, all week long I’d been anxious, irritable, not feeling my best, and just ready for things to smooth out in my life. It was a Thursday night and I dreamed about puzzles on a table. I heard a voice in the dream saying, “Patience, patience.” As I saw a second puzzles in progress, the words were repeated again. This was a simple message. I want to rush a particular process I am going through. I am ready for it to be over so I can move on with my life. I am ready for it to be over so I can build and have more independence. This part of my life is the biggest stressor!

So, there it was. God, the Divine, sending out a message to my psyche. “Patience, beloved. Every piece of the puzzle will be put in its place.”

~Nikki

Life is In (A Life and RA Blog)

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Whatever or whomever you believe to be your higher power is what sustains you in times of despair. I live a life that is often filled with physical pain, continuous doctor appointments with specialists, an ongoing fight mentally and emotionally to stay grounded, steady, and balanced. Add in your regular and unpredictable life plans. I am sure you have your own battles. So, you know where I am coming from to some degree we can agree that things get hectic.

One scripture that comes to me when life seems to put pressure on me, when the thing I am dealing with at hand attempts to snuff out my life (my joy and happiness, my optimism, my faith), suggest I’d be better off dead, or just weighs me down is this one: “In God I live and move and have my being.” It empowers me. It says, whatever it is that is making you “feel” this way, has no power over you and it is not what sustains you or keeps you alive. It says, “Move in me, with me, within you there I am, giving you this energy and power to LIVE (AND NOT DIE), MOVE (KEEP GOING/PRESSING FORWARD), AND BE (EXIST).

The ability to tap INto your source, God, and connect to something higher than yourself or your higher self (I’m not big on defining God for people as I believe in freedom of choice), in difficult times keeps your feet grounded to the Earth and your head or thoughts aligned with your divine mission. The fact that you have to reconnect or reaffirm, only suggest that you got so caught up in what was going on around you that you had a brief disconnect from Source. You “almost” forgot that God, Source, Divine sustains you. Or perhaps, your connection was weak and had gotten loose by the yanking and moving around of the cares of this world. Your thoughts. It happens sometimes.

I went for a walk today and walks are suppose to be peaceful. Yet, as soon as I stepped out of the car I felt pain in my left hip which I’ve been having trouble with at this young age of 42. My walk was not as fast and then my hands swelled half way. I was agitated and frustrated and please don’t tell me not to be because I think it’s necessary to feel so you can address it. As I thought “I am so sick of this! Sick of it! Sick of it! Sick of it!!!!” I really wanted to yell that out at the park. I kept walking and speaking to walkers and runners, the few that were on the trail. “I just want to give up.” I was walking my normal pace. And by giving up I meant trying to improve my health. “Flush all the pills. And just let RA run it’s course. Why would I get this at 8 years old. Like…for what?” Then, the scripture that caught my attention from the first time I heard it, and that comes to me often “In him, God, I live and move and have my being.” Next thought was “Right. RA has no power over me. It does not determine my destiny or “run” my life. It is not the boss of me. It does not get to take me out without a fight. It is not my life sustainer. I am. God is. I do my part. God does God’s part. I finished my walk.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Building Inner Strength

What good is learning a lesson from life and you decide not to apply it to your life? Well, that’s like knowing touching a hot stove will burn your hand and the opportunity presents itself the next morning when you turn on the stove to place your hand on it. It’s not wisdom. What you have is knowledge and how you convert knowledge to wisdom is by applying it to your life. On the outside many are strong by appearance, but when the shades go down in their home, they are weak on the inside. A person with great physical strength, muscles, and who is lean, looks like they take care of there body, but if they are hitting the gym and then hitting the bottle or fast food joints well the inside is still weak. It’s funny how the mind can be strong enough to subject itself to physical strength and not enough for the person to eat well. Actually, it’s just an area they are weak in and it needs to be strengthen by right action, choices,  and discipline. The mind will do what your spirit tells it to do, if YOU decide to do it. It’s true the spirit is willing, but the flesh, not so much. -The Bible.

If you are going to build your inner strength it is going to take discipline. It’s going to take depositing spiritual things into your spirit and applying them to life. It takes thinking back onto what happened the last time you did that, said that, and how it affected you and others. It takes caring about the outcome of your actions. You’re going to have to go through training. Don’t you worry, life has been training you all along by presenting the same obstacle courses over and over. You don’t necessary receive a grade if you fail, you receive the consequences and the opportunity to try it again or improve. Even if you pass, you may encounter the same situations again. This perfects and matures you spiritually.

So, if you want to build inner strength take heed to the lessons life has/is teaching you. Let wisdom manifest in your life by applying what you know. If you don’t know, there are so many avenues available to learning. Do you want to learn? Someone has written a book about it. Someone is teaching and preaching about it. Someone is having a seminar or lecturing about it. Eat up, digest, manifest. Practice the art of no and yes. No to what you don’t want and yes to what is right for you.

~Nikki

“You convert knowledge to wisdom by applying what you know to your life and life situations.” -Nicole Jackson

Finding Power While In Poverty

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There is a stigma in America that those who are impoverished are people who never had any dreams and aspirations. They assume those who use an EBT card never worked or don’t work. They assume all of the impoverished people are lazy. They never stop to think many are elderly people who have worked their entire lives. There are those that are having hard times for whatever reason and are working towards coming out of their situation. There are veterans and the disabled. Yet, many enjoy making assumptions as if they are facts and they love to insult those who are in holes so deep they have given up.

I can tell you one thing, giving people HOPE and INSTRUCTIONS goes further than stereotyping and bashing. Using your “spirituality” and looking beyond their situation, giving them a hand up and a hand out (because sometimes you have to feed people so they can hear your message and instructions). Believe it or not, inspiration works better than insults.

I’m currently living on the verge of poverty. If I did not have a relationship with God, a connection to a place (church) where I can fuel up, the love of reading, and the gift of being inspirational to others, I too would drown in my sorrows, my mistakes, my illness, my misfortunes. If I did not have others that speak into my life and if I didn’t have parents that are able to help me as I rise out of the pit. You find power in the midst of poverty by GUARDING YOUR MIND and your HEART. You find power by being thankful and grateful for what you do have. You find power by creating a plan to get out of the situation. You create in you a will to not just survive day by day but you put into action a plan to thrive. You don’t let the insults keep you down. You don’t let the stereotypes keep you in shame and angry. These things will keep you hopeless. This is why I believe you have to surround yourself with people that are inspiring and disconnect from the ones that are not . You have to purchase books and watch programs that motivate you, that change your emotions and thoughts. It may be a long time coming, but with these things in place you can make it. You may have to wait until the baby is older, but in the meantime you can better yourself spiritually and mentally. You can choose better relationships. You can save. You can search for a better job, create a side hustle, work on your credit. In other words, you can prepare yourself for better days. Because IF YOU WANT THEM, better days are created by you and what you do NOW and NEXT! Be patient with yourself and keep moving forward.

~Nikki

How I Feel About Turning 42. It’s my Birthday!

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When I think of the number 42 I think of Jackie Robinson. Iconic. Breaking barriers. Bold. Brave. Outspoken. Skilled. Hard-working. And last but not least…legendary. 42 is a good number. It’s the number of a legend. In the spiritual realm it’s about pursuing your passions and life purpose, doing the things you love and putting your heart and soul in them as angels readily assist. I want to make it legendary. And in the words of Jackie Robinson “A life is not important except in the impact it has on others.” You see, most of all I want it to impact the lives of others in the most positive, inspiring, and mind shifting way. It is going to require discipline, bravery, skills, dedicated hard work, the breaking of barriers, boldness, and to be outspoken when necessary. My # last year was #40and1, but now it shall be #42Legendary. Today is my birthday! Hello 42!

~Nikki