Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: A Forced Smile

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Unicorns & Coffee 11/18/2018

Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful wedding ceremony of my nephew and his girlfriend officiated by his father (my brother). Everything was simply was beautiful. I love short and sweet ceremonies and that is exactly what it was. However, as my heart was happy to be there, something occurred the 15-20 minute ride that changed my mood completely. Even though I fought to keep my mood high all the way to the bitter end, the bitter person won that round. I had to sit in the car to get myself together and force a smile.

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I looked at the selfie I took and thought about a forced smile. There I am decked in costume jewelry, fabulous sparkly heels, and a fur trimmed wrapped and reeling with anger at the person sitting a few seats down that acts as if they have done nothing wrong. As the ceremony proceeded I was happy to see my nephews come down the aisle and to see many of my family members I don’t get to see often. For those few moments of socializing, my mood and heart was lifted. But then it was time to get back in the car with the person and their behavior persisted. When they said they wanted to go out for dinner, my heart sank. I would have to spend more time with craziness. I sat there the whole time trying to remain silent or indulge in small talk with others at the table. I tried to laugh with others.

When I finally did drop off the person, I thought I may find some peace. But no, another person in the car continued the criticism and we had words. For the first time since a time I can’t even remember, I had to go for a ride in my car alone. This for me means I reached my limit in composure and before I do or say anything I regret, I need distance. I need to get in my car and say everything that I REALLY wish I could say, but if I did it would DAMAGE the person in such a way it may not be reparable. In my car ride, I can say what I truly want to say and say what I truly want to do. In the car ride, there is no judgement. There are no interruptions or no one telling me what “Thus said the Lord” except the Lord and the Lord (God, The Creator, The Divine ) is just there being a sounding board. Allowing me to “get it all out, let it all out” profanity included. There is no ZEN, no YOGA, no MEDITATION, no 10 deep breaths needed. There is the beating of the steering wheel, the tossing of a sweater, the throwing of a purse (in which I will have to pick up the contents later). Yes, the DO GOODER, the GOODY TWO SHOES. the PREACHER’S DAUGHTER (titles in which people assign to you with obligations, morals, and rules they make up basically assigning you to perfection) is a real human being just like you. Yes, she has anger issues that she has mastered on many levels but also reaches a boiling point. She also believe that anger should be acknowledge and all that comes with it. It should be understood as perfectly normal and not to be stuffed down into the fibers of your being.

I don’t like it when I have to force a smile. I don’t always like it when I have to restrain myself. But in the course of the night, in my bed, searching that app for a meditation or talk that would help me to settle down, I discovered a talk that should be a TEDTALK about anger. It blew my mind! And I have decided to do a series of blogs on it. Can’t wait to share.

~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Talking to Your Higher Self

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Yesterday, I waited to pick my daughter up from taking her SATs (yes my one and only is a Senior!). Well, I got there and realized after looking at the email that she would be coming out an hour, maybe an hour and a half later than she told me. It was a beautiful fall day yesterday and as I sat on the campus of an amazing private school, I opened up my meditation app (after playing word games and surfing the web lol). I recently started back meditating last week. I found an app I first started with and my has it really developed! I chose a guided meditation which was not even an option years ago.

I chose the guided meditation of 11 minutes, “Connecting To Your Higher Self.” The invitation to connect with my Higher Self is exactly what I needed. I think maybe I have neglected my Higher Self  or just put it on the back burner. Maybe, even muting her. You know, the Higher Self means many things to many people. It could mean a higher power, the Holy Spirit, or it could mean your spirit. For me, it means my spirit. You know, I believe our spirits do know some things! I believe when we appeal to our higher selves, it’s the self that says “No, don’t do that.” or “Yes, do that!” It’s the pull within us and the shrinkage within us and I believe it’s who God or Holy Spirit and spirits communicate with. I mean, our body’s are vehicles that house our own spirits.

Well, in this guided mediation before the yogi ever got to listening to what Higher Self is saying via this session, mines was shouting with a whisper, “This way! This way!” It was like a soft lit path and then as things were in a distance you could envision a ball of soft light. “I will guide you. I will show you which way to go.” I can tell you that I knew exactly what Higher Self was talking about. I have been feeling a bit lost and uncertain about the things I love to do. The artsy, writer, crochet-er, learning to sew disabled due to Rheumatoid Disease and other issues and “at my age” has been uncertain of not what to do with what I have but HOW to do and WHERE to go and WHEN. Which way? What process? Whenever I am doing what I love or enjoy, my spirit, Higher Self is in harmony. Whenever I am doing things or when I was working at my jobs, my Higher Self, my spirit was in turmoil. If I were headed towards a bad relationship, or in one, even friendship, my spirit was in knots or heavy. It needed the Holy Spirit, a good friend, a leader, a mentor, a book, a series of sermons, dreams and visions to reach it. I also think this spirit vibrates on higher frequencies when you are in tune with the Universe or God’s Plans or Your Purpose than when you are out of synch or off path.

I was delighted to recognize my Higher Self, the Intuitive One, on yesterday.

~Nikki (43, The It Is Well Within Me Tour)

Insight Timer is the App I use and the Guided Meditation was “Connecting To Your Higher Self.”

A Season of “At Ease”

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Leviticus 25:4 “But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”

Is it just time to be “at ease” about it all? Is it time to rest from your life’s work? Is it time to go a few weekends without movement, toiling, schedules, a to do list? I see many of us worrying about the same thing over and over. The same situations, the same people, when will we ever let them go? They are already gone from our grasp, but still are taking up residence in out heads and hearts. We have to be doing something or we are being lazy is how many of us were raised, what we were told, or what we saw. Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end we quote, but yet we prolong by holding on.

There’s a transition of the seasons. Just because it’s an official date for summer doesn’t mean summer comes on that day. However, summer doesn’t transition all of fall either. Are the leaves turning or have they turned in your life? Have the leaves fallen from the tree and are you still trying to get as much shade as you would from spring’s tree? Is it time to be “at ease” ? Straight backs and a stiff upper lip, chin up, tummy in, forward march or sit down? The parade is over. The war is over. The season is over. Take some time off or take off and never look back. At ease.

 

~Nikki

Why I Don’t Like Arguing & Why I’m Explaining

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“I love to argue. I like getting a rise out of people.”

“I like to argue because it makes me feel like he or she loves me.”

“I like to argue because it’s passionate and it means they must really love me.”

“I like to argue and I get upset if my lover does not argue back.”

“I start arguments just to break up and make up.”

I’ve heard these things and more. I am always baffled by a person that likes to argue and even more baffled when they describe this in a relationship as “passion and love.” I have heard it so much over the years I ask myself from time to time, “Am I crazy? Is not arguing all the time, over any and everything not dysfunctional? Is there not something wrong with equivalating negative energy with passion and love?” I always thought people that like to argue are just miserable people.

In another scope of this crazy idea (well, crazy to me) is that constant arguing is a normal thing. I guess if you grew up in a house where arguing or creating division among family members was normal, either you do this or you do the complete opposite. Perhaps, it was or is a learned behavior in relationships.

I don’t like to argue. Some associate that with weakness. They associate a loud mouth or constant bickering as strength and power. Maybe, they think I don’t love them or lack passion. I won’t love you very long if you enjoy arguing I can tell you that. I won’t want to be around you much either if you argue every time we are together. Here is why:

  • I grew up in a house where there was constant complaining/nagging
  • I grew up where arguments in my younger years were traumatic for me (maybe not so much for my other siblings). IT CREATES MAJOR ANXIETY FOR ME to be in a room or near people arguing and yelling.
  • It zaps my energy to argue. Especially, over small things.
  • My temper is better than it use to be, but when you start insulting my intelligence or calling me out of my name I have a tendency to 10 up you and then I’ll be accused of going overboard.
  • Arguing in general brings about a bad energy, it takes me forever to calm down.
  • Arguing every day would wear me out. I wouldn’t be passionate about seeing you every day and I would not be in love with you long if all I did was see negative vibes coming when I saw you. You’d look better leaving than you do coming.
  • It would get old quick in relationships and friendships if every time I had an opinion, made a statement, you would want to question it, debate it, create an unnecessary heated, inflammatory argument so that you could prove our friendship is solid or our relationship can stand the great debate of the left or right TWIX.  BULL…

These are just a few reasons as to why I don’t like to argue. Do couples, family, friends, argue? Yes. Does it need to be every time we get together, or every other day?  Over any and every thing? I don’t think so. You can call it weak or sensitive. I’m going to call it sanity.  I’m for a discussion or a healthy debate, I am not for contention and contempt.

~Nikki, It is Well Within Me-The 43 Journey

 

Morning Routines: Mind & Spirit

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It started Wednesday with excruciating foot pain, but if we want to be honest it started way before that. It started with taking on Vocational Bible School when I really didn’t want to and doing most of it on my own with the nitpicking, complaining, and subtle “bitching” of others. Yes, I did use the word bitching and I could have used barking, but IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU AND YOUR COMFORTABILITY right now. I also had little sleep due to the oven light going out which we usually leave on. I discovered it has a shortage. Then the smoke detector went out. There was a power outage in the wee hours one morning on top of a night I was already tossing and turning. I didn’t want to take a sleep aid because…what if the house caught on fire and the smoke detector doesn’t work? (I have anxiety and this how the anxious mind goes into overdrive). I was thinking about all that I had to do. Major issues with my mother and minor ones with my sister. Drama and trauma.

So, I try to sleep better last night and I was irritable before I went to bed. Oh, and someone stole my bank card from church! I tossed most of the night and when I finally woke up it was from a terrible dream.

What am I doing wrong? What is going on here? Good things are happening and all of these inconveniences are also happening like the gnats that seem to have invaded our area. Small and irritating as hell. I had a great therapy session last week. What am I missing?

I am not centered at all. I am not thinking clearly and it is showing up. I have been fearful, angry, and peace-less. Fearful of the future, fearful of walking in purpose and marrying my authentic self to my purpose. Angry at the things said and done by family. Peace-less about a future relationship.  I am overwhelmed by household chores (tired body, achy body, little to no help, and a teen with lazy summer bones) and wanting to have a gathering, but not really wanting to be bothered. I  am missing intentional and thoughtful prayer. Meditation. A morning reading. Yoga. Either one or all of these things would do me a world of good because I need centering every day and sometimes several times during the day. I am missing the voice of Spirit and Self. I am ignoring it. And my body, my mind, is fatigued.

This morning I pulled myself up. Opened to a passage in the book: God’s Healing Power: Finding Your True Self Through Meditation where the above excerpt was pulled. I had breakfast. I watched a food documentary. I still don’t feel well. I wanted an instant fix. I still feel overwhelmed. I wanted energy. This is the beginning, Nikki. The RE-establishing of routine. It’s going to take some time and patience and effort. I think I will read this same passage every morning until…

~Nikki

 

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Walking the Line Between Religion and Freedom

 

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I don’t own the rights to this photo but I wish I owned the rights to this guy in it.

 

Last night I went out with a friend to see Australia’s Thunder from Down Under. And this made me think, I am just kidding, I wasn’t thinking about much of anything at the show except how good looking those men were and how much fun I was having. I screamed the entire evening. Conversation and laughter, food and the flirts from the opposite sex, none of my same race, but thankfully of the human race (same race lol ) was quite refreshing. A bit bewildered as I was definitely rocking my natural zig zaggy coiled red hair. Not society’s definition of good hair or beautiful hair. I decided to post some photos and my whereabouts. Anyone who truly knows me, which are few, know I like to take walks on what I call the wild side. My wild side is pretty tame compared to most I suppose. I have no need to compare though others do. Shrugs.

So, I know that social media is a rumor mill, gossip train, for the small minded and the super religious. In my world, you don’t get to do too many things and still be called a Christian by Christians or by non-Christians. I find that amusing. I know there is a definition and in keeping with a Christ like spirit but, do we blot out and mute our own spirit until we are martyred? Solemn? Sad? Unhappy? Blank slate? Dull? Robots? Mindless Sheep? Then why give so many diverse personalities, life journeys, backgrounds…woosah.  I am 43. I have taken a few intentional journeys since turning 40. And the more I clear my own path I have no need to be called anything by anyone. I have no worries if I will be able to speak at a church, in a church, do work in a church, etc. and etc. The burden of “Oh, if you do that, you may mess up someone else’s walk or you could lead someone else down the wrong path” has been given a TRUE revelation to my eyes.

Hey, I like rules in relations to right and wrong. Do no harm. I don’t think all rules should bend to fit one person’s religion but, society as a whole.  I don’t like being confined. I don’t like being bound. I don’t like others defining me. I like to tell you who I am and what I am about. I think God knows me better than anyone and reveals myself to me throughout life. I am right on the edge of being completely free. I wasn’t happy at the larger nondenominational church I was at but, I was being fed good spiritual food for my soul at that time. I was called back into a time warp the last year to help my home church and I am there now. I am there to assist, plant seeds, serve in and the community, to grow more in patience, grace, and mercy and to eventually leave the church but, never to leave God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. It’s the only way I’ll be able to live a life of freedom without religious chains. I prefer worship in spirit and in truth.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Suicide, Self Love, Love for Others and The Creator’s Love

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With two people I admire in the world, Kate Spade for her vibrant fashion and Anthony Bourdain for his honesty, adventurous spirit, and good looks, gone through the chosen vehicle of suicide, I had to speak up and out just a little bit louder.

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say and what I wanted to share. Let me start by saying from experience, depression is hard to live with. From experience, anxiety is hard to live with. From hands on experience with mentally challenged adults, bipolar disorder is very hard to live with. I feel as though people who “just don’t understand” it, don’t want to understand it. They don’t want to take the time to understand it because Google is right at their fingertips for everything else they don’t understand. If they can read, comprehend, then they can understand depression and anxiety. There are different types of depression and anxiety.

I’ve attempted suicide at least three times in my life and I use to think about it all of the time. Society didn’t make it better. Being African American made it worse. Anxiety and Depression is “crazy talk” in my community. We are slowly coming around to understanding that many of us, many African Americans, many people in our family, past and present, lived with untreated depression and anxiety. All because of the stigma that African Americans are strong and we don’t get depressed or have these mental issues that White people have. This is the dialogue I was fed for years. I think to myself, “Right, because slavery alone couldn’t have carried any long term, generational, mental and emotional consequences. And not to add just being a part of the human race alone and living life…nah, we couldn’t possibly show any signs of mental and behavioral disfunction. We made it through slavery, civil rights fights and Jim Crow laws, of course none of that affected any of us. And if we can make it through that how could we have depression and anxiety. Right?” Wrong.

There is so much I could I delve into but, the main things I want to convey is how I stay anchored to this Earth living with depression and anxiety. I went from not knowing I had it, to denying that I had it, to acknowledging I had it but, dealing with it on my own for years to finding a good psychologist that helped me understand depression and anxiety. In the midst of all that I took a journey of self love. A true and growing, deep, deep dive into self love coupled by actions that proved I loved myself that moved beyond manicures, pedicures, and shopping. It involves making choices that reflect my love of self and always remembering that “Self love is self preservation.” Self preservation also involves preserving my peace of mind and body.

Somewhere in this journey I began to understand and to feel God’s love for me. Oh I song it as a child, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” But, could I feel it? I couldn’t. I couldn’t understand it either. How could God possibly love me and allow all of these bad things to happen to me? It was not until I began to understand love from a Higher Power is different from this earthly love. It wasn’t until I began to make sense out what it is to have life and what is life. I am talking about what makes sense to me and not what others have fed me. I gathered my own information about life from a spiritual perspective and learning hard lessons from my own poor choices and just life experiences. It wasn’t until I started looking for my purpose. It wasn’t until I realized that my perception of life and it’s meaning was personal and universal. It wasn’t until I realized my idea of life will change and broaden. It wasn’t until I had a solid perception of death. It wasn’t until I understood that in order to feel God’s love I had to have a personal and deep relationship with God and that my relationship with God wouldn’t look like the church or others told me it would or should look like. God, the Creator, the Universe, loves me and that love is greater than the love I have for myself and the love that others have or do not have for me. Other’s not having love for me, falling out of love with me, does not give me a right to take my life. My precious life. Nothing, no pain, no tragedy, none of these illusions that make me think I can’t handle it, gives me a right to take my life. Not anymore. I didn’t say I don’t think about it, I said it does not give me a right. I choose life.

But it gives me understanding, why others do.  It gives me compassion for their souls. And I do not see them as weak. I see them as strong, fighting all of this time. I see them as not understanding things as I do or as others do. They are not me. I am not them. We do not, did not, will not, have the same experiences and carry them in the same way. We have other factors that weigh in. It is not my call. It is not my trial to judge. And I don’t do sending people to hell well either for suicide.

All of the love, all of the sadness, all of the inspiration from these two souls, that touched people from all over the world, they couldn’t see it or feel it. They couldn’t see it or feel it from their own friends, associates, and family. I couldn’t either. So, I understand what it’s like to be blind to all that is around you, to walk empty and to smile, to go through life like a robot. I understand how pain and not knowing how to deal with it, manage it, thinking irrationally, can send you to the edge over and over and over. So many things factor in. Too many unseen and unspoken for me to judge.

I anchor myself with love for myself (which includes therapy!), love for others, and love from God. I unhook that anchor sometimes…I get out there in the deep, but love…one or all of these loves bring me back in.

~Nikki

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