Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Layers To Freedom

I’ve wrapped my head around the idea that I have more work to do on myself as far as releasing the painful past of childhood. What I did not know was that there were layers to freedom. I got this thought from my own spirit as I was in conversation, meditation, or prayer with God (whatever you choose to call it is fine with me). I was venting that I just want to be free to enjoy and live out my full potential from here on out. I vented “I thought I was free! Who knew that there were so many layers to freedom!!!” And it hit me, “layers to freedom.” Like and onion.

Onions are just fine sitting in the produce section piled up on top of each other. But once you get them home and peel back a layer, you open up the strong smell that creates watery eyes without your consent or control. And so it is, with opening up old wounds that have never healed. Layers and layers of years have gone by. Years and years of masking the uncomfortable that manifest in mood swings, meanness, sadness, arrogance, nonchalant-ness and irritability for no apparent reason. Layers of hurt, embarrassment, inadequate feelings, and shame concealed by one thin layer.

When you have experienced some sort of trauma or continued drama, the emancipation of your soul may take a very long time. I don’t know if it can be sped up. I think maybe it can and I am going to find out if that is true. All week long the spiritual things from my daily devotions to meditation and wisdom from spiritual leaders have centered around freedom. Coincidence? No. I am calling this freedom in and that is why it is showing up. Even in numbers.

Sandhguru said, “Freedom requires courage.” I listened to one of his talks this week. It does require courage and I have taken some courageous steps in peeling back the layers. But, this step, requires “a whole heap” (as my Granny would say) of courage. I feel like I have to muster it up. Get up the nerve. Face it. Deal with it. Defeat it. I feel as if this will be the last barrier to my own freedom. I am tired. I am weary. I am ready. So maybe the speeding up the process is to DEAL with it HEAD ON knowing it’s going to get messy, become tiring, and hurt. But…I need my freedom. I need to live my FULL, UNCHAINED LIFE. I am ready to peel back every layer, chop the onions up and use them to flavor my life. God is my help, my strength, my source, and I feel as if I have not only God, but angels, my angel, and my ancestors on my side. I need all the help I can get. I need all the love I can receive. I may need many shoulders to cry on. But victory…victory is mine.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: What Can You Do?

A few weeks ago I posted in a rheumatoid arthritis support group a tip on relaxation. One of the tips involved soaking in a tub to help relieve tension. And that is where the drama from the trauma began.

I define it as trauma because you must be experiencing some type of trauma that pushes you to release drama on unsuspecting strangers. Sadly, people that deal with you on a regular basis know you are about dramatization. They know that when they see you, you bring the drama. You see, in the comment section there were responses to my post like: I CANT SOAK IN THE TUB! HOW IS THAT RELAXING? I CAN GET IN BUT I CAN’T GET OUT. HUMPH, THAT IS SURE TO CREATE TENSION AND NOT RELAXATION. I AM TOO LARGE FOR A TUB. I HAVEN’T SAT IN A TUB FOR YEARS. NO WAY THIS CAN WORK. One lady even said to me I should have modified the post. I wanted to say, “Ma’am, I didn’t write the article. DUH. And you should have modified your thinking.” BUT…I respect my elders most of the time (because I don’t believe it’s okay to be 80 and say whatever you want to people). Also, the Spirit told me to be quiet. She’s traumatized by Rheumatoid and many other issues. This is her sadness, pain, hurt, gushing and lashing out.

Pause. When you see a post of something that you don’t like such as one that reads: “I love strawberries.” Do you hop on and respond: STRAWBERRIES ARE DISGUSTING. I HATE THEM. THEY ARE THE WORST FRUIT ON THE PLANET. CAN’T SEE HOW YOU EAT THOSE. Has it ever occurred to you, that post was not for you? I see people raving about things that are not for me. Unless I see a “what do you think?” I don’t bother UNLESS they are family or close friends. Many times, I don’t bother then. It’s one thing to say you don’t like berries or I am allergic but I wish I could eat them. It’s whole other thing to BASH and INSULT and have a total meltdown over nothing. A simple positive post or someone’s opinion over if they like pumpkin spice lattes (ugh).

Press play. I wonder did those people stop and think, I can do ALL of those other things except soak in the tub. Great article. No. They saw the ONE thing they couldn’t do and “went to town” about it. They didn’t think: “Gosh, I can follow all of these tips in the shower, in my shower chair, or however it is I get clean.” Nope. They honed in on what they could not do. The trauma of what I cannot do. The trauma of WHAT I USE TO be able to do.

This trauma is VERY real. I know about it. I live it and if you keep on living, as the elders say, you will know it, too, in some shape, form, or fashion. Sometimes, I think about my life B.R. (Before Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease) and B.F. (Before Fibromyalgia) and MY GOD! I miss ALL of the things I could do. Even the simplest things. Sometimes I stay in those memories a little too long and I become sadden, blue, depressed, compressed…oppressed. And then I have to free myself from those thoughts with therapy, journaling, talking to a friend, or…THINKING ABOUT ALL OF THE THINGS I CAN STILL DO and even if I have to modify them or have help they still can be done! “Glory to God!” in somebody’s southern church goer voice (:-D). You can heal yourself, or get some help, from the trauma of what has happened to you, whatever it is. The trauma produces the drama and quite frankly, people get tired of it. We know you are hurt but, there is a more EXCELLENT way to deal with it and release it. It’s called prayer, meditation, yoga, sound baths, therapy, Yeshua, Yaweh, spirituality, your choice of religion, forgiveness, etc. It’s called reading a books about it. Going to your temple, church, mosque, and REALLY walking in your religion. Developing a relationship with your Creator. SOMETHING! Something other than bringing the drama, spreading the hate and hurt. Lashing out has cause your relationships to be severed or strained.

What can you do? Huh? THINK ON THOSE THINGS. Think on the things you can do! Those things are TRUE, too. Those things are lovely. Those things “are” admirable. Those things “are” excellent and praiseworthy. Think about such things!

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Summery (End of Blog Series)

Artwork by Nicole Jackson This piece has been sold.

It’s hard work, but you know what? It’s the best, most rewarding, hard work you could ever do for yourself. It builds this amazing confidence and resilience. It builds this relationship with yourself that is not built on lies. It makes you better for those YOU love, those that love you and those who are yet to love you. It makes you choose peace over pain. It teaches you to be less judgmental and more mind your own business. It strengthens the law of attraction. It sets you up to receive the greater goodness of life. It teaches you to let others be as free as YOU want to be. It’s a dangerous thing to be religious without self-love. It’s a dangerous thing to be spiritual without self-love. You know why?  It creates a self-righteous stench. Self-love can illuminate your path. It can make your journey so much clearer. It can make your purpose so much clearer. Self-love is dynamic; it grows through actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept our weaknesses and own our strengths. We have less of a need to explain away our shortcomings. We have more compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning. Self-love helps us to create a more centered life. But you must do the work that brings a gratification like no other.

~Nikki

Thank you for reading and following The Heart Epiphany Blog Post Series! This was my lecture at the first conference/gathering I hosted in March.

The Heart Epiphany: Part 9 “Boundaries”

Artwork by Nicole Jackson and is available for sale. It’s actually one of my favorite pieces.

Self-love is setting boundaries and enforcing them. SETTING AND ENFORCING boundaries is hard work. Especially, when you love that person. Especially, when people don’t understand your journey or your vision. And let me just say this, they don’t have to, and you need to learn to be okay with that. Self-love and setting boundaries is hard work. You have to stand your spiritual ground.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Practicing With Polluted Hearts, Thoughts, and Actions

Think about it for a minute. You define yourself as spiritual (insert your faith or belief or non-belief) but, deep down inside, you don’t like (or take issue with) certain groups of people. You don’t really like certain races. You may not HATE them or maybe secretly you do, once you clock out of your role as yogi, preacher, teacher, yoga instructor, therapist, reiki practitioner, massage therapists, etc. you are not doing your work with the right heart or mind. In the religious sector, YOU HAVE AN UNCLEAN HEART, THE WRONG SPIRIT (MIND, INTENTIONS) and the SPIRITUAL REALM, YOUR CHAKRAS ARE OUT OF ALIGNMENT, CLOUDY (HEART AND MIND/CROWN, THIRD EYE). So there is no way you are PRACTICING, SERVING, at your highest, purest, level.

Sit with that. Let that marinate. After you say, no not me. Think about it. Think about how you interact with other people that are different than you. Think about the things you say when a murder flashes across the evening news and it’s a different race than yours. What do you think and say out loud in your home when the people you dispense your gift to are not around. What about the conversations you have with your friends about other races? Even the small dismissive, subservient energy you give to servers at the Chinese restaurant or the Vietnamese workers at the nail shop. What about the eye rolls you give when Mexican children are being children in Target and acting out? What about the when you see a Black mom with 4 children at a store do you automatically assume she is single and the children have different fathers? Does that thought cross your mind ever when it’s a White woman at the grocery store with 4 kids? Surely, she must have a husband with a good job and she’s a stay at home mom. Kudos to her.

Even as a minority that practices some religion or spiritual gift. How do you feel, what do you say, how do you act towards those that white? When a cop takes off his or her uniform off and is ready for deep tissue massage what subtle energy is flowing through you? What run in, mistreatment, discrimination, wrong doing that you see, felt, have experienced first hand, are you projecting onto those standing in Mountain Pose as you look over your class, checking their form? When the white woman tries to interact with you after class, do you smile and give her the script, and say “I’ll let you know when we get together after class again”, but you say to yourself, “Nah. I know how “they” are.” As a minority speaking to a congregation, do impart only negative energy about a group of people? What stereotype do you speak to the people?

In short, we need to deal with these spots, wrinkles, blotches, remnants of dark energies, mountains size ignorance, present in our everyday walks of life and interaction with other people. I mean if you want to get CLEAR in your practice. If you want to reach a higher level of pure love and light. As my community says, “You need to check yourself.” You need to think about what you are thinking about when see or interact with other races. What did your parents, friends tell you that you assume to be true about ALL races? What type of thoughts (energies) rise up in you upon dealing with another race? Is it we know better than them? Poor African American or Asian? Is it automatically, “She is white. She thinks she knows my craft better than I do” when she gives you a tip or correction. These things ARE ENERGY that penetrate or float around your aura or being.

When you think it, ask yourself: WHY DID I THINK THAT? Correct yourself. Forgive yourself. Heal yourself.

When you feel it, ask yourself: WHY DO I FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT THIS PERSON IN FRONT OF ME? What interaction with someone else am I basing this on? Go within. Is it what you see on the news? Is it what you have experienced through out life? Forgive that person or at least recognize you haven’t that interaction with this person in front of you.

When you take an action towards another race based on the fact that they are not your race, ask yourself: Was that right to give them my money as if I didn’t want to touch their skin? Was it right for me to assume the Asian in my class understood better than the Mexican in my class? Why did I ask the White nurse after the Indian nurse told me my results? Why do I think this way? Why did I act this way? Correct your thinking. Correct your behavior. Forgive yourself. Heal Yourself.

Basically, get to the root of what you do, say, and think!

Whew. It’s work. You are spiritual. You are use to it.

~Nikki

“Create in me a clean heart, Oh Creator, and renew in me the right spirit.”-(Psalms 51:10a)

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the river of life” (Proverbs 4:23)

“The heart is the place where we live our passions.  It is frail and easily broken, but wonderfully resilient.  There is no point in trying to deceive the heart.  It depends upon our honesty for its survival.”
–  Leo Buscaglia 

“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible.  From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”
–  Dalai Lama

“Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.”
–  Mahatma Gandhi

“In our deepest moments of struggle, frustration, fear, and confusion, we are being called upon to reach in and touch our hearts. Then, we will know what to do, what to say, how to be.  What is right is always in our deepest heart of hearts.  It is from the deepest part of our hearts that we are capable of reaching out and touching another human being.  It is, after all, one heart touching another heart.”
–   Roberta Sage Hamilton 

The Heart Epiphany Part 3

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I want to talk to you about the DIRTY, GRITTY, PUT ON YOUR STEEL TOE BOOTS SIDE OF SELF LOVE. SURPRISE! SELF LOVE IS HARD WORK AND HEART WORK. It’s a mind heart body soul spirit connection.

Are you sure you want to REALLY, REALLY love yourself because if you do, you are going to have to REALLY, REALLY WORK.

Self-love requires CHANGE and CHANGE is HARD WORK. It’s easier to stay the same and say “What? This is just the way I am.” If the way you are is not a reflection of love or self-love is it really the way you are or just the way you have grown accustom to being and responding?… You might have to change circles. You may lose a few friends. And though you are loyal, it means nothing if you are loyal to people who don’t respect or value you or use you. If they are using your mind, they are using you. If they are using your heart and emotions, they are using you. If they are using your body, they are using you. Change is hard work. Self-love requires change.

~Nikki

“You’re not stuck. You’re just committed to certain patterns of behavior because they helped you in the past. Now those patterns have become more harmful than helpful. The reason why you can’t move forward is because you keep applying an old formula to a new level in your life. Change the formula to get a new result.” – Emily Maroutian

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Protecting Non-Traditional Space

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I’ve chosen a beautiful, peaceful, Sunday and it has chosen me. You are responsible for the energy you bring to my space (home, conversation, social media pages, inboxes), but I am responsible for removing it. Even if that means removing the source. I am responsible for setting the boundaries and enforcing them.

I believe that everything is energy. I believe you can feel it, observe it, and absorb it. If you can put it out, you can take it in. We often think of protecting spaces like our home, our office, and this invisible space around our being known as our personal space. But what about our social media spaces? What about our timelines, comment sections, inboxes, and DMs (Direct Messages)? What about the people we like, but we have a stark contrast when it comes to what’s funny, what’s moral, beliefs, ideals, etc.? Some things are just too much for me. Even if it’s too religious. Yes, if it’s too religious, too political or too dark for me, I will either remove them, snooze them, hide the post, unfollow and unfriend. I will delete what I don’t want to see or what is causing ruckus. I cannot stand bickering. I do enjoy a respectful discussion. I have control in my space. You have control in your space.

Everyone has their own stage, platform, and microphone. Your page is your venue. It’s up to you what type of crowd you want to have. Who stays and who goes. Who is muted and unmuted. It’s disrespectful for you to grab the mic on someone else’s stage when you haven’t been asked up. Even on open mic night, there is an order.

It would be nice if we THOUGHT about “how”, what energy we are bringing, when we do respond, inbox and DM. I personally bypass things I don’t agree with 98% of the time. I usually wait for a “What do you think?” or an “opinions, thoughts?” I read the comment section to see how the person is responding before I jump in. “It is better to be asked up, than to be asked down.” -Bible. If I know you personally (your energy, your personality), I know whether we can dialogue or not. By wisdom, I know there is a time and place for it, too. Rarely, is the comment section the place. An open rebuke is given by a friend (Bible) and even in that, it doesn’t necessarily mean in public. Once again, wisdom. Who, what, when, where, and how.

I don’t care if it’s outrageous to me, I have learned and I am learning to respond without a like or an angry face because you’re expressing “what’s on your mind” and I have a space for “what’s on my mind”. If I don’t have anything nice to say, I scroll on. You’re not a news outlet (That is an entirely different beast). I also don’t follow people or businesses I don’t like just to comment with negativity. That is a very low form and a waste of energy. It is also the planting of seeds I don’t want to harvest. And just like buildings that are VISIBLE to the public, not all are open for the public. Some have dress codes and rules. My social media space is public, but I decided what I tolerate and how I respond. AND YOU DO, TOO.

You log onto your social media sites with this good vibe (well those of us that are creating good energy and vibes) and it can easily be dampened when you start to scroll or you read insulting, mean spirited, brash comments to your opinion or positive post. Some have made me say silently “WTFudge? or Who asked you? I know there was not a question mark at the end of my post. I know I didn’t solicit your thoughts, opinions. You don’t know me like that.” But I just either leave what I deem ignorance blowing in the wind or I delete it. If the comment differs from my idea, it’s all about how you word it. Your delivery matters to me.

Lewd memes and videos are not my style. Being badgered with bad news, negativity, anger, political news, conspiracy theories, religious dominance, is not my vibe. I am part of several groups and thank God I can snooze them, too. I can’t hear about depression, anxiety, Rheumatoid, etc each time I log on. I have those things, battle those things, etc. and enjoy supporting others in it. I am grateful for the support of those groups. But it can be overwhelming. Certain things in my inbox and DM I don’t want to see. If I don’t hit a like or respond with a smile, yet you keep on hitting me up with it, I began to think you are a bit slow at grasping that I am not feeling it. Therefore, I am learning to say, “Please don’t send me things like this. Thanks.”  or “I’m not interested, but I will reach out to you when and if I am. Thanks.” I’m not someone’s vibe. I expect them to govern themselves accordingly. In all things, with love and peace.

~Nikki

 

 

The Heart Epiphany Series: Part 1

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The Heart Epiphany by Nicole Jackson 

Love is in each one of us. You are love and you are loved by the Most High, the Creator, God, the Universe, angels, and ancestors. Yes. I said ancestors. You are a walking living breathing temple, sanctuary, goddess, and your heart is a sacred place. Of course, the temple needs maintenance. We should take care of ourselves. Spa days, manicures and pedicures, the beauty shop, deep tissue massages, and “me times” are wonderful. Traveling the globe, a girl’s night out, and going on shopping sprees are fun. We should be able to do these things without being attached to a mate or friend. This is self-care and self-care is a part of SELF LOVE. Self-care is more like the maintenance of the outward appearance. But SELF LOVE is the inward maintenance. Self-love is an inside job.  “Self-love is not simply a state of feeling good. It is a state of appreciation for oneself, that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.”-Psychology Today, Dr. Deborah Khoshaba.  And while self-care does make us feel good at the time that it is happening, SELF-LOVE can make us feel good about who we are as a person for a lifetime. “If self-care is a sparkler then self-love is an eternal flame.”-Nicole Jackson

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Discernment & Distraction

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Discernment is the ability to judge a situation well or to judge a situation well for the obtaining of spiritual knowledge or guidance.

I had to make some changes that would affect my ability to pay my bills. I mean it would make paying them more of a challenge. The weeks before the day of the change there were quite a few distractions that made me want to change my mind. And on the day of change, there was a REALLY BIG DISTRACTION.

I felt many things like anxiety, confusion, and jealousy. I second guessed myself a few times. I second guess my “hearing” God (What you may call, self, the Universe, Creator, Divine, etc.). However, I came to recognize this as a test of my faith in myself and of faith in the God I serve. YOU MUST THINK and OBSERVE what is going on when you make decisions to change. Why does negativity seem to surround a change that is good for you? Why does fear arise? Doubt? Where is this coming from? You must not only ask the questions, you must answer the questions HONESTLY. And if you pray and meditate, you must do that, too! You need clarity.

  • In my religion it says God is not the author of confusion. For me, the confusion was coming from within and without.
  • Also, God spoke to my spirit, however you want to explain that, “I would never use negativity to keep you in a situation that is not good for you. I would have been sending obvious signs of positive change and improvement.”
  • I know God to be my provider and protector. There is scripture in my religion that says; “Put your trust in God, not man.” In other words, trust God that cannot fail because sometimes, many times, people and jobs will fail us. We will fail ourselves at times. No matter what is happening, God will provide, protect, and preserve. This is what calms my fear. THINK: There is not only scripture that shows God’s provision, but I have so many examples and proof in my own life of God’s provision, preservation, and protection. Also, of God’s increase and blessings. THINK. REFLECT.
  • Each time I prayed, something negative would happen as a sign of why I had to make the BIG change. I was restless. I was without peace.
  • What about OBEDIENCE? I had to obey what I heard and what I felt. You know what you hear and what you feel. You know that “something”, that gut feeling or wherever your intuition hits you. You must obey it because if you don’t there are consequences and if you do obey it, there are rewards. Those rewards can be blessings, a peace of mind, a promotion, etc.
  • Prayer and meditation, talking with Godly counsel, and even you-tubing some of my favorite spiritual leaders and teachers is what helped me stay clear. And trust me, I am not just a Christian that listens to preachers only. I seek wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t have a religion.

I am here this morning. I slept good. I am taking it day my day. The energy in my home is peaceful. A person may be responsible for the energy they bring in your space, but you are responsible for letting the energy remain.

~Nikki

Put the Hook Down, Breathe and Stop.

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1. I miss the freshman that’s away at college
2. I want to go somewhere beautiful
3. It’s a challenge for strong single women. We can’t settle for less than we give or give ourselves
4. Knock and the door shall be opened Seek and you will find (I’M READY)
5. I’d like to wake up to inboxes or emails about my book being published from a legitimate publishing company. I just need that one pearl. That one opportunity.
6. I feel like I’m about to be pushed and that means I need to be prepared. But for what?
7. Should I post my legs if I’m saved and in ministry? The saints will deem it inappropriate. I think I’ll post it.

My thoughts from yesterday as I forced myself to take a break from crocheting. I am getting ready for a few vending spots. Also, I battled anxiety yesterday and I had to take 5 deep yoga breaths, put the hook down, and relax.  I was thinking about all of the things I needed to make. Would I make them on time? Would I sell anything or enough? I needed to clean up. I need to pick up my meds. I need to exercise. ETC ETC and more and more. I was becoming overwhelmed. I reminded myself “I can’t do it all in one day. I am doing the very best I can. It is enough.” (No matter what others think)

~Nikki