Last week was a week for the books. I held my 4th Woman emPowered Up Conference online and according to the numbers, it was a flop. My speakers were top notch. The very last night no one showed up and it was my turn to speak. I recorded the talk and then my daughter came on as I was wrapping it up. The challenge wasn’t remaining satisfied with being obedient and going forth, I didn’t care about the numbers as if I needed numbers to validate me or the conference. If that is the case, then why was I so sadden? Why was I angry?
I didn’t even know I was angry until I did a heart chakra guided meditation and it spoke about being angry. This is when Spirit spoke to me and said you are angry. I knew I was sad but angry? Let me figure out why I was sad first and then I will figure out why I am angry. I continued to do meditation. I did yoga while listening to music for the heart chakra. As I was doing yoga, I got these messages:
You are sad because you wanted people to receive the valuable information you had to give. You wanted more people to share your passion of wisdom and knowledge with. And for this you will be blessed.
You are angry that your family and friends didn’t show up but, you should not be angry with them. You can’t always be there for them, remember? And they can’t always be there for you. Extend to them the same grace and mercy you extend to yourself. Give them the same understanding and compassion.
What do YOU want? Not what your family wants, not what your friends want, not what society wants, not what your religion wants, and not what your significant other or spouse wants. But what do YOU desire for your life? What does your life look like for you?
It’s important to know what you want because how else will you create the life YOU, emphasis on YOU, want to live? Self-love requires satisfying YOUR soul. Is your soul satisfied with the life you are living? Is it satisfied with the job, the environment, with others’ dreams for you? Is it satisfied in the church, temple, or mosque you attend? Is it satisfied with the relationships in your life?
If you don’t live your life according to you and the Creator, how will you ever truly satisfy your soul? I was MAKING myself to attend a church, I was getting very little spiritual nourishment from because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I didn’t want to embarrass my family by going somewhere else. I was feeling guilty. I loved the community it was in. I loved the people there but I wasn’t getting much out of the messages. I was so miserable the night before church and bored out of my mind during certain parts. I was happy to be actively involved with projects but I was sacrificing my soul at certain points of the service. I had outgrown this place.
Why was I feeling guilty? There is nothing wrong with being where your soul feels at peace. I had to learn that. In many religions we are made to feel guilty about not carrying out certain practices and rituals. Was I to be loyal to everyone else and what they wanted for me or was I created to be loyal to MY soul’s desires for my life? Loving yourself deeply means tending to your soul and the desires of your soul. What makes your soul happy? Not your flesh but your SOUL?
Take some time. Block out some time. Get away from everyone. Get you a notebook and pen. Dream. Fantasize. Think about what you would like to do with your life. This is judgement free time so it’s not a time to think about what others want of you. If they would be happy or not. WHAT WOULD YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE IF YOU WERE LIVING THE WAY YOU DESIRE? What would you be? What would you do with your time? Where would you go? What’s your hairstyle? What’s your hair color? What’s your clothing choice? What kind of jewelry are you wearing? What are your friendships like? What is your significant other like? What does your home look like?
Satisfying your soul by living out your dreams, YOUR dreams, is an ACT of self-love. – Nicole Jackson
When I was in my 20’s I showed up to work wearing all black one Valentine’s Day to show my UN-appreciation of this holiday. I was single. I was bitter. I was OVER IT. I knew I had to be at work for 10 hours as flowers, candy, bears, baskets, and balloons were delivered to the job. It was laughable then as we all laughed about it on the job and it’s laughable now because I can say I was honest about how I felt at that time. (I told them days before I was going to do it).
It’s funny and not funny how things and days can affect how we feel. We allow it to. We choose it. Sometimes we can’t help it. The next day I went out to get the half off Valentine’s Day candy for myself. Happy Valentine’s Day to me! The next year, I passed out candy to all of my co-workers. I didn’t want anyone to have that feeling as gifts rolled in.
Those that love “love” like to express it. Some that are withdrawn, can’t stand mushy lovey dovely stuff, once loved or need love. I began to appreciate ANY DAY that brings GOOD, POSITIVE, HAPPY, LOVE ENERGY. I don’t care if it’s man made. I started to like how the colors of pink, red, white, purples, filled the drab warehouse that was often filled with stress. It also said to me, you may not be loved or appreciated on the job but, someone out there, in the world, loves and cares about you. And they are showing it. I learn to be filled with love in appreciation for the love others were receiving. Seeing others happy and smiling made me happy and smiley lol.
So, every year I celebrate Valentine’s Day by gifting myself, my parents, and a single friend something. I have a daughter and I give her something every year as my parents did my younger brother and I. Sometimes, they still give me something! Send a card. Send or give flowers. Call someone and tell them how much you appreciate them. Do something for your nieces and nephews on that day. Run the love meter up!
“Maybe if you weren’t so closed off and boxed in, you could just enjoy the moment.” He said.
I won’t tell you what proceeded this statement because it may not be embarrassing to the person but, it is definitely embarrassing to me. I got over the embarrassment quickly because the words “closed off and boxed in” is what cut me deep. Why? I am glad you asked.
I was very shy growing up. I also grew up in a home that was more reserved based on Christianity and simply being taught manners that went beyond “Yes ma’am and No sir.” We were taught how to conduct ourselves in public to the best of my parents ability. And there were certain things I learned on my own and through others throughout my life in certain settings and culturally. Some things I learned by error and embarrassment. There are things I had to “unlearn” but also continue to do. In some countries, eating with your hands in considered a loving thing to do. It’s connecting with food. For the African American, the colonizers deemed many of our practices “uncivilized” instead of simply different culturally. Funny how this thought pattern continues to foster in American thinking.
Back to “closed off and boxed in” and why it deeply hurt my feelings. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood (different financial statuses and classes of people) and going to different schools outside of my neighborhood, often got me labeled as, “stuck up” and later relabeled as “bougie”. My natural shyness and quietness didn’t help. I never was a wild child in the sense of being adventurous like skipping school, doing drugs, or fighting. I never cared for loudness as it was often too loud in my home with complaints and arguing. BUT it was also loud with laughter and sibling shenanigans. I also grew up in a loving, protective, and caring neighborhood.
But many times in school and in other neighborhoods, in other family dynamics (cousins), I was often told I was too shy. Too quiet. Too stuck up. Too bougie. I must think I am all that. I must think I am better than everyone else. I often wondered “What did I do?” “What did I do wrong?” I could never understand what was so wrong about being who I was. Let me tell you as I am sure you must know, it’s still the same way in adulthood. A few years ago I was told by a classmate, “I was too quiet for her.” Well guess what? “She’s too loud for me” but, I never said that to her because I allow her to be who she is. I just want the same respect. Some people are loud. Some people are quiet. It is who they are. They did nothing wrong.
But when you start to tell me that poor manners, lack of respect for others feelings and space, being obnoxiously loud and rude, that not caring about people’s property, or not having self respect for yourself and others is being “closed off and boxed in”, bougie, stuck up, well I vehemently disagree. If you tell me that because I am unwilling to bungie jump, I am not adventurous enough, then screw you. It’s more about my level of adventure and risk. I have been told I am not spontaneous because I didn’t want to take the road less traveled into some dark deep woods. I am spontaneous. Just not venture off into “don’t go there because it’s not safe for Americans” spontaneous.
It hurt my feelings because it made me feel as if something was wrong with me. Weird because you try new foods and cultures. Weird. Because you’re a black girl that paints abstract art. Weird because you want to attend things other than movies and chain restaurants. Weird. You’re black and you enjoy…history. Weird. You only have ONE child. It hurt my feelings because I felt rejected.
I really had to work at NOT feeling so hurt about what was said to me and my “sensitive ass” as that has also been said to me. I guess they never considered they may be an “insensitive ass”.
You are weird = You are unique. One of a kind.
You are closed off and boxed in = You are sophisticated.
You are too quiet = I am too quiet for you. I am me. I like quiet.
You are not adventurous/spontaneous enough = “to you”. You for got to add, to you.
You are bougie = Yes. I am “hood” and “classy”. Yes. I have been exposed to things, places, cultures, outside of my immediate neighborhood. Yes. I like the finer things in life. Yes, I like a fried bologna sandwich and I also enjoy an upscale fancy smancy restaurant overlooking the city. Yes I may go to war and pray afterwards. You’re welcome.
You are stuck up = Yes. I am sometimes prim and proper. I know how to conduct myself in many circles. I am diverse. I eat with silverware. I’ll eat with my hands in cultures where that is the norm. I don’t pile my plate up at buffets because it’s a buffet and I can always go back and get more. I don’t do loud and public drunkenness (okay maybe in Vegas lol). I think about my attire and if it’s appropriate for the occasion. Yes. I am stuck up.
I don’t think I am better than anyone else. They probably just “think” that I “think” I am better than others based on their own feelings of inadequacies or perceived thoughts about me because I do things different. Perception of yourself and how a few see you doesn’t matter if their perception contradicts who you are. Am I friendly? By enlarge, yes. Am I loving? By enlarge, yes. Am helpful? By enlarge, yes. So, DON’T forgive me if I am sensitive to the needs and feelings of others, don’t get loud in quiet settings, don’t pick my teeth at the table with a straw, slaps bones (play dominoes) at the cookout but, will try croquet at Martha’s Vineyard, drink sweet tea from a mason jar and turn my pinky finger up with tea and tea cakes. Please, DON’T forgive me if I try my best to do right and improve myself. I love me some me.
Intuition can be described as a “knowing” or a “feeling”. Sometimes you “just know” and sometimes your body gives you a “feeling”. I don’t want to dive too deep into intuition, but I am here today to say a few things to us.
Sometimes we search for advice when we already KNOW the answer. Even if we get advice contrary to what we “know” deep down inside or how we “feel” about the situation, the answer will remain that which you ALREADY KNOW. You can’t (I mean you can but…) talk yourself into it or out of it, it will still be what you already know. You can go in circles asking friends and wise counsel. You can do all of the things such as pray, meditate, wait, listen, search and research but, when you know, you know. And yes, you should do those things to a certain extent except for the RUNNING YOURSELF in circles, turning the situation over and over in your mind. It’s not good for you mental health. It creates stress. Why do we do that? Seek and seek and seek? I believe it’s because we don’t want to be wrong. We don’t want to be right. We don’t want to mess up. However, we have to make a decision sooner or later or life will make the decision for us. It is far better that you make the decision within a reasonable time frame.
Yes, we will wrestle with some decisions in life because some decisions are more complex and have lasting effects. It’s okay to be right about something and it’s okay to be wrong. I am learning to TRUST my intuition, forgive myself if I make the wrong move or decision, and to listen more to the KNOWING and the FEELING.
Recently, I met a nice guy that seemed to check most of my boxes but, each time he did or said certain things, it didn’t make me “feel” good. I would cringe. It was off putting. I tried to ignore it and we talked about it but, the off putting feeling was still there. There was nothing wrong with him per se, it was that our personalities did not click. It’s just that simple but, I began to think TOO MUCH and that made it more complex. How important is it that personalities match or compliment each other at least? What if I don’t find those qualities in him I like in someone else? Am I being superficial or shallow?
I was beginning to think people were thinking I wanted someone perfect. I know that’s not true because I have accepted imperfection and I know it comes with dating, relationships, friendships, and marriage. As I said to one friend, “It’s not about perfection. It’s about who’s the mature choice for me.” So what was my problem in listening to the KNOWING and adhering to the FEELINGS? I wanted to be wrong. So, I held on longer than I should have. I asked around. I prayed, meditated, listened…REPEATEDLY getting the same answers. I asked anyone that would listen, and got conflicting information and confirmation. I created CONFUSION. I also didn’t want to be right because I thought it meant, “You can’t seem to get it right when it comes to men, AGAIN.” It’s like all of the circling around the KNOWING and FEELINGS creates a centripetal force that will have you going no where. But, oh when it stops (when you are forced to make a choice or life chooses for you) you’ll be flung across the room! BAM!
The Divine will give you all the confirmation you need but, only for so long. Trust the KNOWING. The FEELING. Be willing to be wrong, again or sometimes. Be willing to be right even if it’s not what you wanted to be right about. The ability to do either is part of vulnerability. Vulnerability is being willing to feel the depth of being. It’s also a wonderful teacher.
In her new book, Daring Greatly, Brené Brown describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” It’s that unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control.
Last week, I had a very bad fibromyalgia flare. I mean the kind that brings tears to your eyes. I was the chairperson of an event and I had things to do and very little help to do it. I pressed my way through by pacing myself, resting, and getting things done. As you may have read a few blog posts ago, I lost another loved one to Covid. This month has seem to be a month mixed with a variety of sufferings ranging from loss of loved one, increased physical pain, emotional challenges, and a few missed targets of gossip and misinformation.
It has also been a month of blessings and gratefulness. I feel it has been the turning point for me spiritually. Some parts of me that were dead to Christianity are showing signs of life and there seems to be some solid foundation in what I believe to be true about God. So, what is with so much suffering? The question is not why must we suffer but, why do we suffer?
I say we it’s not about a “must” suffering because there are choices we make that lead to suffering. The solution is to simply make better choices. However, there are things we are just going to go through that causes us to suffer. Incidents and accidents. The loss of love ones. Sickness. A not so good childhood. Relationships turned sour and rancid. Pause. Deep breath. I was sitting with my eyes closed listening to a Christian meditation, which was more like a reading of scriptures, and I heard this:
Suffering produces perseverance. It does? It does. Well, how does that work if the person suffering dies? The defeated suffering by moving into a realm where there is not suffering. To stay here, would have meant more suffering. Ok, but what if they suffered and lived and as they lived, they still suffered because of their illness or injuries? They persevere by pushing through, by treatments, by taking on each day, by adapting and attitude of positivity and gratitude. The persevere to and develop character that can help someone else to get through what they go through, something similar, or life all together. They learn a thing or two about suffering and pushing forward. They learn some things about weeping may endure for a night but, joy (enlightenment, understanding) comes in the morning. They learn about getting through it. Either hope seems to just appear for some and others make a conscious choice to hope. Hope for better days. Hope for a cure. Hope for new treatments. Hope for the suffering to end.
I got through those terrible flares like I got through some of the others. Perseverance. I get through some by suffering through them because no amount of pain meds, heating pads, or ice can help. I suffer through the hours to get to the next day and they subside. I persevere through it with prayer. That’s all I have sometimes. All I have is “hope”…hope this ends soon. Hope tomorrow is better. I “hope” they can figure out how to treat fibromyalgia soon or in the future so others will not have to…suffer.
It’s inevitable you will reach some point, some situation, some loss of a loved one where you will think or say, “I wish I would have done more.” Maybe, “I wish I would have done differently.” These thoughts are natural as we are beings with the gift to look forward and backwards. We look back for many reasons. Looking back can be helpful as well as a hindrance.
If we look back to measure how far we have come, that could be good if we rejoice about it. If we look back to see what we can learn from a situation, that is helpful for our present and future. However, it is when we look back and realize that we can’t fix the past and become filled with regret. “We wish we would have done more or differently.” How do you not let that consume you? How do you live with the guilt? I can tell you that you must find a way or it will eat you alive. It will gnaw at your conscious. Here is what I know and I hope it can help you.
Forgive yourself and know that you are forgiven by a Higher Power.
If the person has passed away and you wish you would have done more, made amends, or did differently by them, just know that they forgive you. Amends have been made. There is no “space” in the hereafter to hold grudges and unforgiveness. There is only peace. There is only joy. There is only bliss.
Do differently NOW with the time and the people you have left.
If the person is here now, go to them and ask for forgiveness and CHANGE your ways. The best apology is changed behavior.
If the person will not forgive you, that is on them. You have did your part. Forgive yourself. Continue with changed behavior. And remember, you are forgiven.
My oldest brother passed in February of this year and I can say with ease and peace, there is nothing I wish I would have done more about. We had a great relationship as sister and brother. My godmother transitioned yesterday and I wish I would have given her more. I wish I would given her more on her birthdays and mother’s day. I intended to have her and my god sister over at my new home for dinner soon. I won’t get that chance. I wish I would have made that pineapple upside down cake she suggested I make as I have began baking. What can I do about these things, now? I can’t do much about these things now. I can be grateful for the life she lived and the impact it had on me. I can invite my god sis over. I can give more to my god children. I can bake and perfect the pineapple upside down cake. I can cherish all of the invaluable lessons, that are precious gifts, she gave me. For a woman that went through so much, she not only displayed resilience, she had a joy about life that shined like the sun on a clear blue sky fall day.
Have you ever thought of taking the time to align your life with nature and the seasons? It’s important to pay attention to what is going on in nature as it can be a cue, a clue, and a solution to what is going on in our own lives. I mean we do it automatically by switching out our wardrobes . We know to put away sweaters and to pull out shorts and short sleeved shirts for the summer. We know to stay hydrated with water. We know how to seek out shade. We schedule our vacations for the summer. It’s the optimum time for family gatherings and reunions. We go swimming. It’s summer. More sunlight. Longer days.
But what about aligning your spiritual life, your soul, your life to the TIME and SEASON? What should you be doing in the Summer season? What a wonderful time to ENJOY life. What a wonderful time to TAKE IT EASY. Yes. Relax. Rest. Recuperate. Enjoy the fruit of your labor. But summer is also ENERGETIC. It offers the most energy. So, it’s the time we are mostly on the go. So many things to do and places to go. Concerts in the park, farmers markets, travel, family, etc.
Spiritually speaking, the SUN representing the symbol of many things and many gods to certain people or religions, is high in the sky during the summer. Think of it as a time to really, really, pay attention to HOW you serve your chosen religion. No religion? Take note of how you serve HUMANITY. Who and what is guiding you? Who and what is motivating you? Are you driven by rewards and accolades? Are you driven by social media posts? Are you driven by religion meaning, this is what WE do because this how we have always done it? What if YOU don’t want to do that anymore? What if it’s time for a change? What if it’s time to move on from that position in Church or on the job? The sun is saying to you, eyes on me (YOUR SOURCE). Spend time with me (YOUR SOURCE). Spend time in me (YOUR SOURCE). What about me (YOUR SOURCE)? What about what I am calling you to do? What about the book? What about the flower shop? What about opening your own practice? Not only with your God, but what about you? Steal away this summer into some ME time. Sit on the porch in the early morning with your coffee and without your spouse. Get in the hammock and take a nap. Dream about the things you want to do. Write out a plan or ideas. Immerse yourself in your favorite hobby alone. What about God? What about You? What about God and You?
See the sun. See through your routine and remember your commitment to God and Self.
Let the sun shine within to illuminate the lost things within. Let it shine a light on your calling, dreams, and purposes.
The sun is giving you TIME to do some things for you but, also to do some things with other people. Call an old friend. Spend time with a friend. Make a new friend. Spend some time with each child alone. BONDING TIME.
HYDRATE. So important to get WATER in the summer. Your grass needs water. Your plants need water. YOU NEED WATER and more of it in the summer. Especially, if you are active.
HYDRATE YOUR SOUL and MIND with a book. Hydrate your soul with meditation. Hydrate your soul with exercise. Hydrate your soul with prayer. Hydrate with stillness and mindfulness. Hydrate with intentional living and actions.
I was listening to Abraham Hicks and she was talking about ACTION without effort or resistance. She also talked about knowing your hang ups, blocks, snares. I asked God to show me where my blocks were and what exactly were they. Well, let me tell you, one of my blocks came as a surprise but, I could see how that was the case.
I have done the work in the past to uncover my authentic self. I have been on a journey walking in, getting comfortable with my authentic self. However, Spirit revealed to me that I was too busy trying to PROVE that I fit in by SHOUTING that I don’t fit in BECAUSE deep down inside I want to be accepted by the Christian population and peers. It’s TRUE I said as soon as it was revealed to me.
I thought I was forewarning people so they wouldn’t be shocked or think I wasn’t “saved” or a believer because I didn’t think like them or look like them or follow the rules. I have questions about the Bible. I have disagreements about the Bible. God let me know that it was no longer necessary to announce or to explain ANYTHING about OUR business and WHO I AM as one that believes in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. But, also one that gravitates towards spirituality (worshipping Him in SPIRIT and TRUTH). I tend to like, and I am drawn to the deeper things of God. The superficial, egotistical driven side of Christianity really turns my stomach. I often say to God, can we just meet at the ocean every Sunday and you bring a message and I go home or into the world? That would be great. Maybe some music. Maybe some teaching. But, I am just not into “religion” and “theology” and positions. I don’t like the politics. I don’t mind a prosperous church. I don’t mind a small church doing work in the community. I just don’t like all of the fat. I’d like it trimmed. But that’s not my call. That’s not my business or my ministry.
When I look back deeper into my life, I can see where I developed the need to announce I am different. One, I was told something was wrong weird or different about me as a child by a parent, siblings, and family. I was told by peers. I stood out as a red headed black child. It was made known from the day I was born I was different. So, I guess I begin to let people know that I was different BEFORE they could tell me. And I can see how announcing, “I am not traditional or religious” before I get ready to speak or post or blog is a way of wanting to be accepted in spite of my thoughts, ideas, truths, beliefs NOT lining up with tradition. No one likes a rule breaker. And my Christian peers can be quite judgmental and gossipy. I don’t so much mind the others but, not the people I chose to be part of. I have come so close to being done with CHRISTIANITY and just flowing with God.
Anyway, I can no longer be hesitant about who I am. I have to be the Nicole, inspired by John the Baptist mixed with some David and Peter with the fashion flare of Lydia (the seller of purple cloth that had ships coming in and was a businesswoman and believer). I have to accept I will be denounced, talked about, and shunned by many. But as long as I am loved, accepted, and cherished by the Creator, all is well.