Clarity is Coming

Went round for round yesterday with anxiety. I’ll have to admit it was a draw. I struggled all day trying to stabilize and to do things that needed to be done. Here’s something for us spiritual folks, if you have anxiety or depression God, the vast Universe, is intelligent enough to recognize your thorn (challenge) and compassionate enough, wise enough, providing grace and mercy to get you through these episodes. By whatever means. And sometimes it’s just your day to struggle. Clarity came at the end of the day. It wasn’t me. It wasn’t them. It simply (complex-ly) was anxiety. Today is a new day. Let’s work.

My thoughts from yesterday:

When does a breakthrough happen? After the the struggle. So if there is a struggle in the mind today, repeat: A breakthrough is coming.

If you are not clear in your mind, struggling in your mind, anxiety, uncertain: CLARITY IS COMING.

My affirmations:

Clarity is coming.

I will get through this day.

A breakthrough is coming.

God’s grace and mercy are sufficient.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Carrying False Guilt

Voluntary Transparency: This morning I had to deal with some FALSE GUILT. I didn’t know it was false guilt at first, I was just feeling really bad about it. But I thank God for the tools in my toolbox. Some put there before birth. Some put there by life experiences. Some put there by spirituality and religion. Some put there by education. Some put there by a therapist. Why do I feel so bad about this? It must be wrong because I feel so bad about it. Why do I feel so bad about it? Man, I don’t feel like doing this. I have to make myself do this. No, no, I am not. I cannot. Ugg. Just do it anyway. Why do I feel so guilty for not wanting to do this??? This is so negative. “It’s bad Nicole. You are not a good Christian if you keep doing this. People can’t believe you have a problem doing “that”! Shame on you!” This is the dialogue I have with myself. Take the clothes out. Put the clothes up. Take the clothes out, look at the clock, put the clothes back.

Why do I feel so guilty? Wait. WHY DO I? WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM? This morning I received a text to come to church to so that I could help. I ignored it because I did not want to tell the person I did not want to come. I really wanted to tell them to stop asking me because it is not a pleasurable experience for me when it comes to a certain part of the service. I literally must prepare myself to go mentally, and I often lament over it the night before and the hours before. Pushing and dragging myself. Sitting through that segment of service is torture for me so why did I feel so guilty this morning for not responding and not going?

I listened to a TedTalk about authenticity. That helped a little bit. Then I turned to affirming myself: “I am not going to HELL for not attending church. It is okay not to support something or someone that I don’t believe is right. I can still love them but, not support them in wrongdoing. It does not mean that I do not believe in God. It means I have a strong dislike and distaste for falsehood and fakeness. It is a part of me no matter what or who perpetuates hypocrisy. I don’t expect perfection, I do expect truthfulness, honesty, and one that is truly trying to live the life they portray.” 

I was trying to resist the guilt. The bad feeling. Until I remembered to listen to it. To explore it. To sit with it. To really think about why I was feeling it. I needed the source or sources. Guilt is a negative emotion or sad emotion. I came across this video that really confirmed what I was trying to do.

  1. Why do I feel so guilty? I feel guilting because people say you should support your love one NO MATTER WHAT. EVEN if they are WRONG.
  • Where is this guilt coming from? We are taught not to tell people that we love they are wrong. We give them a pass because of their roles in our lives and we suffer under their continuation of wrongdoing. Yet, as Christians, we have scripture and an obligation to tell the ones we love when they are wrong regardless of their roles in our lives. We the freedom to not support something that we don’t like or believe in.
  • Should I feel guilty? Did I do something wrong? I should not feel guilty for something I have not done, or for someone or something I cannot control. I am not responsible for the actions of others. This is FALSE GUILT. I have not done anything wrong by not supporting this person in that area of their lives as it will compromise staying true to who I am and my beliefs.
  • What is it that I really feel bad about? I feel bad that they don’t love themselves enough to be okay with who they really are. I feel sad that they don’t know who they are, and they have to put on this cloak of falsehood. I feel embarrassed that they do not know that people are talking about them and that people can see straight through them. I feel bad that they have some people fooled. It is okay to feel sorry for that person, feel bad for them, but to also go on with my day, life, mission, and journey. Their life is not my life and it is between them and the Creator.

It is one thing to feel bad or sorry about a situation or a person but, it is another thing to carry false guilt! It’s an unnecessary weight we place on ourselves. It is a spirit that comes to us because we’ve been told how to feel about certain situations and things. We’ve been taught not to be loyal to the world and others that don’t look or think or feel or serve the same God we serve but, we have been taught to close our eyes to leaders that are not true, to parents that are doing wrong, to older siblings and family members even when what they say and do harm us and others.

It is okay to draw a line and to stand by it. It is okay if you stand alone. We can still meet at the dinner table. We can still spend time together. We can still live, laugh, and be merry but when it comes to that line it is one, I cannot cross. I cannot compromise my authenticity, my moral compass, to support something or someone I believe is wrong.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Pleasant Surprises

My first cup of coffee at my new home.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! It’s a snowy morning here in Memphis, TN. and according to our southern-ness it will be a week where we will be snowed it. If we were up North this would be a regular work and school week.

All this week I have experience “pleasant surprises” from financial blessings unrelated to my chocolate strawberry hustle this week to coming home and finding flowers with Valentine’s Day Wishes.

There has been hustle and bustle in between. There has been restlessness and wanting to get it all done in a day. What I needed was all of the pleasant surprises to remind to stop, look, listen, breathe, and appreciate the gifts or blessings life offers in the midst of being busy. Everyone has been saying you can’t unpack in a day. You can’t do all of the home improvements and decorating in a day. It’s going to take time, they say. Life is saying through pleasant surprise, “Here you go. Enjoy this moment and put that other stuff down for a while. Organize. Say no. Relax. Rest. Sleep. And at a decent hour.” Pleasant surprises say you are being supported as I saw others support my chocolate covered strawberries that have never purchased them before. When I saw the flowers it was saying to me, “You are being thought of.” I haven’t received a Valentine’s gift outside of family in seven years.

I hope you take the time to enjoy the pleasant surprises that arrive in your life. I mean to really slow down and savor them.

~Nikki

Whatever Wednesday: Moving On Up

Good Morning friends! I have been busy busy as I closed on my home two weeks ago. It was indeed a rocky journey that finally ended with a blessing. The home that is now filled with boxes and bags that need to be unpacked, is a home that I grew up next to. It is the home of family friends.

So, I got a call in July with Mrs. Dorothy asking me if I wanted to buy their home. She was moving back home to get the help she needed from family to take care of her sister. I’d just finished working on my credit to get it in fair standing. I thought it would be difficult but, I had no idea the turmoil that would unfold for the both of us trying to get this house into my hands. I cried. I gave up several times verbally but, never gave up mentally. My faith was tested is an understatement. However, something inside of me kept saying “This is mine. This belongs to me.”

My anxiety reached new heights. My depression, new lows. Yet, I persevered. I let go when I needed to let go and I held on when I needed to hold on. AND I didn’t always get that right either! I had family and friends that encouraged me along the way. It seems as if they never gave up. They kept saying it’s yours. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to work out. It did. I couldn’t really celebrate on closing day because so many things had happened along the way I was bracing myself for another “We need this or that”.

While I was at the closing, the closing attorney asked if I would like a new Bible for my new home and I said yes. Also, I was gifted $100 that day. My realtor gave me a card at the end of my signing and when I opened it a $50 Home Depot card fell out. I was able to use this money to buy paint for my kitchen area, laundry room, hallway, and my daughter’s room. I am on a very tight budget and wanted to brighten up the home. It was truly a blessing. Plus, my brother painted it for me.

I will be blogging more about this journey soon. Until then, take care.

~Nikki

Hello February

My word for February is FAITH. I feel that it’s not so much about me having it but, about me USING IT! Last month my word was QUIET. I learned to listen to people and to be quiet. I learned to be quiet about things that were out of my control. I simply prayed about it as the solution. I learned to be quiet when I wanted to convince a person they didn’t have to put up with what they were dealing with if they would set boundaries. I realize they have chosen to deal with it in their own way. It is what it is. Be quiet and pray about it, Nicole. I told myself. It’s not your circus and they are not your monkeys. You are not the Ring Master.

So, I got my word by listening to Spirit. You can get your word by sitting quiet, reflect, and listen. It will come to you. I thought quiet was strange but, I rolled with it. Accept the word that come to you and roll with it. Why faith for me? I know I don’t use it properly in all of the areas of life that I should. The type of manifestation I want to see in my life this year is going to require FAITH WITH WORKS. It’s going to require BIG RISK TAKING FAITH. It’s going to take DETAILED and STRATEGIC planning FAITH. I’m must adapt the JUST DO IT and YES, YOU CAN attitude this month. I know I will be glad I did in the end.

What’s your WORD? Think on it. Share with me if you so desire.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Keep On Ticking

We’d like to think we are like the watch that takes a lick and keeps on ticking but, in reality that is not the case. Some times we can only take so many lickings before we need rest or restoration or something repaired and replaced. This morning I was suppose to have a breakfast date. It didn’t happen. I was not surprised. I was not surprised because I just had “that feeling.”

As I started to make breakfast at home, I thought about the live session Iyanla Vanzant had yesterday via Facebook. The part that came up was “Say Yes.” Of course saying yes to things going your way or well makes sense but, saying yes to things not going your way or things that do not make sense isn’t easy. And well, it doesn’t make sense either. I am familiar with this line of thinking. So, getting the toaster off the shelf, I said, “I don’t like being stood up or ghosted for breakfast this morning, but yes to it. Yes. I can remove him from the list of possibilities. I saw he had removed himself from my friend’s list. Welp. But…not. 😀 One thing about life, it goes on.

I took a lick. I stopped ticking but, shook myself and poof…ticking again. In life, in love, in dating, we take licks of various sizes, distances in drops, even spills and we continue to tick. Fascinating. Aren’t we.

~Nikki

Whatever Wednesday: TIME KEEPS ON SLIPPING…

Time management. I know you have heard it as a student, employee, or employer. It’s your time and you decide what you want to do with it.

Do you want to achieve your dreams and goals? Use your time wisely.

Do you want to get more out of your day? Organize and Prioritize your day and the week on Sundays.

Say no to distractions and get back on track. Make it a habit of putting yourself on track each time you get off and remember if you derail the day, tomorrow is a NEW DAY! DO OVER!

If they ask you to do it today and you don’t have time, TELL THEM THE TRUTH. People expect you to drop what you are doing and put them at the top or add them to you’re already loaded day. It can wait along with their attitude if they get one! Also, explaining to them it will be best to ask and make arrangements with you ahead of time. Constant last minute requests wreck havoc on your day and mind. Tell them so.

Don’t overload yourself. You can’t do it all in one day. You can’t do a week or a month’s worth of activities in a day. BREAK IT DOWN and it will get done. It will get done properly and in order.

~Nikki

Whatever Wednesday: Pep Talk on Actions, Commitment, and Change

You can write your goals, map out your plans, and dream about traveling the world. But unless you put some ACTION to your goals, it’s not going to happen. Create an action plan to each of your goals. How will you travel the world? How will you be healthier? How will you create a podcast? How will you be more active on your blog? It’s in the how!

I exercise better in the mornings but, I would rather watch CBS Morning News. It’s a 2 hour show and I am usually doing other work while it’s on. I also have my breakfast. It comes down to what am I committed to? I have three options: I can exercise before it comes on which will require me to get up earlier. I can take the first 30 minutes of the show to exercise since, there will be a recap anyways and I won’t miss much. I can exercise afterwards which means I would have to change my routine. I have options that require actions and commitment.

I have discovered that I need to “do” something thing different in order to achieve my goals. I have to make some CHANGES to my thinking and my routine. I have become comfortable in my routine. It has to change. Change is also an avenue to making achieving goals. Changing plans, changing actions, changing your mind about the direction your going in, changing your routine. What’s going to help you change what is not working or what may serve you better is the ability to ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE. I have to adjust to the new routine for exercise and understand that this is better for me. I have to adjust my thinking that CBS Morning news is not more important than my opportunity to exercise.

Oh, and being a person with a illness, I have to remain flexible in my schedule. Some nights I may not get much sleep and that affects my plans. Some days, I may be in too much pain to exercise. Some days I may not be there mentally due to brain fog, anxiety, or depression or all three (quite the roller coaster). Some may have a family or work obligations that come up. So we all must have that FLEX in our plans and ADJUST. I like that: FLEX and ADJUST.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Setbacks & Perseverance & Birth

It seems as though this week, this year has been filled with setbacks. Individual setbacks and when you look at it, setbacks across the nations. It seems as if we take a step forward and two steps back. It’s a push against some invisible force. It’s what I talked to you about in the beginning of the year. It’s the tearing down and building up. What’s it going to take to clear the debris of this year, or the last four years for some, is perseverance.

Perseverance

noun

  1. persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

I know you must rest. You must rest and get adequate rest in order to clear the debris. This is hardcore labor. This is blood, sweat, and tears, It’s ugly and you can’t be cute or handsome with this. You are going to need some perseverance. You need determination. Make up your mind and set your face like flint. This means: Whatever comes your way, don’t change your mind about the outcome. Don’t change your mind about the business. Don’t change your mind about education. Don’t change your mind about your goals and dreams. Set your face like flint. Get it done in the face of the harsh winds that may blow.

I was worried about my big birthday plans. I was worried about not being able to travel. I was worried about my business and not making money. I was worried about not being able to gather with friends. I HAD PLANS! BUT…

Thank God, I knew how to adapt. I knew how to adjust. I knew how to accept. IT WAS HARD. BUT I DID IT. YOU DID IT. AND NOW IT’S TIME TO REMOVE THE DEBRIS. I also learned what and who was really important in my “plans”.

I found out who I was this year. I found out who others weren’t. I found out what I was made of and I found out what I wasn’t. And now it’s time to clear out the debris. It’s time to wash away the losses and look at what has been born. What did you birth? What came out of this? What can you do with what’s left and what can be toss? What can you clear out?

Make way for the new. Take off the sackcloth and get on with your “it” in a NEW and PROFOUND way.

~Nikki

We’ve Got This and If Not, That’s Ok, Too!

Sometimes I go to bed feeling defeated. Sometimes I rise with power and sometimes I rise with a press in my spirit. I do not know why some of our lives have more obstacles than others. It’s not because we are special as we have been told (I don’t believe that). It’s not ALL because of the choices we make. But it’s always about the response. I believe it’s simply because this is our lot. This is our path. This is our journey and everyone’s journey is different. That’s it. I got this today with the weight of the world on my shoulders and tears in my eyes. I got this.

~Nikki