Day 3 of Day 12 of My 2021 Journey: Lessons and Reflections

  • Can’t rush time or growth. It takes time to grow all though you may get the water (lesson) today.
  • Be quiet. Go to or create quiet spaces and just sit there and look intelligent or stupid. Quiet the mind. Be quiet and work. Less responding and more observation.
  • Have a good relationship with the people you say you love. And remember, that relationship doesn’t have to look like other people’s love. They may give more money and you may give more time. They may give better gifts and you may give more thoughtful gifts. They may call every day and you may show up to run errands for them. It doesn’t have to look like their love language. You may have boundaries with that person and others may have none.
  • Noisy, chaotic, toxic, loud, high energy is not a beautiful relationship to me. I like peace. I like calm and I have to that kind of environment. I like spiritual guy. I like a guy with some class and manners. I don’t mind the good ol’ country boy. I just need him to be able to dress up and mix in any environment.

~Nikki

Nature Walks and Thoughts

There is provision on the journey, on the path of life. It may not seem like it but, it is. There are wide open spaces to make mistakes, to play, to explore. There are narrow paths that squeezes things into you and squeezes things out of you. There are places to rest and recoup. (The benches along this path).

There are hills. The challenges are not the hills. The challenges are the doubts and fears in you. Challenge them and win.

There is water (saw a fountain) on the journey. Oh water is sooooooooo good. Water is wisdom. Water is encouragement and enlightenment. Water helps cleanse your body and nourishes your soul. Water is on the journey. You can find water in books, in church, in a mosque, among friends, and with spiritual leaders. Did you know you are 70% water? It’s in you!

There is a playground. Oh yes. On the journey you are suppose to have fun. Play. Laugh. Make friends. Find friends. On the journey, you are to play!

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Housewarming

It finally happened. I had a housewarming for family and family-friends. And it was GREAT. We had a really good time fellowshipping with one another. Most of my immediate family is vaccinated and if not they have had their first shot.

It took me two weeks to prepare for one day because of physical limitations. Really, I started to prepare three weeks in advance. The last two days were brutal on my body and I had a few days along those weeks that were bad days and many sleep issues at night. However, I persevered. I also had help from my brothers, my daughter, and parents. I am grateful for that.

Today, I begin the process of recovery. It takes about a week and sometimes two weeks to recoup from an event like yesterday. Today, I feel like I have been hit by a ton of bricks. My body is exhausted. I am fatigued. I have a huge amount of pain and soreness. So, I have cancelled all plans for this week. I only have one goal, each day, for the next seven days that require my physical energy. I am also not taking any phone calls or dealing with any negative energy. It’s just not happening this week. No extra tasks for anyone else. This is the epitome of self care for those with autoimmune diseases. We must heed the lessons learned and the good advice given to us by others in order to preserve and improve our health.

Take Care!

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: A Clean Slate

Photo of the Mississippi River and Sun by Nicole Jackson

Now is the time to empty yourself of all of the negative energy, trauma, and drama. Why? Because Winter really is coming. The Winter Solstice, or the First Day of Winter is December 21. In order for us to have winter, the Earth and the Sun must shift and we should follow suit. These are the signs in the sky the Bible and other books speak about. Often times in Christianity we ignore these things although, the Bible speaks of and suggests we pay attention and seek the deeper things of God.

It will be a time, on that day, we will experience the longest period of darkness and the shortest period of light. Now is the time to understand and to sit with your own darkness. None of us are all light. We have parts of us that need work, that we hide from others (or think we do) and ways that manifest itself in public. I’m talking about our ugly and our weaknesses. These things are like our shadows that follow us around even in the light and seem to disappear into the dark. They disappear as we ignore them or we push them down into the subconscious. We pretend we don’t see them or it’s not there or make excuses.

It is time to sit with your darkness because when the light comes, the season changes, and it will be time to move forward WITHOUT all of the baggage from the dark. It will be time to do a new thing and to have a CLEAN SLATE all the way around, in every area. So what good will it do for you if you drag your baggage of darkness with you onto a clean slate? It will do you NO GOOD! It’s time to do some shadow work.

The ENERGY if winter is about going within. Are you ready to go within and to do the work? Are you ready to face your darkness, understand it, so that you can walk in the fullness and greatness of who you are? Understand your sadness, anger, meanness, uncomfortable feelings about yourself and others. Face the residual emotions of the divorce, failed relationships. Explore your connection between your behaviors, reactions, in connection with your childhood. Go within. Don’t worry about what THEY are doing or what THEY did. This is your path through darkness into the light that awaits us. Call it enlightenment or a spiritual awakening but, neither one can happen with darkness. Welcome the dark (the unknown, the knowing it’s not right, the negative feelings, emotions, and behaviors. The ignorance (not knowing). Bring it on fear! Get ready to work! It’s the way to light.

I’ll share with you one of my shadows I want to address. It is the one that gravitates towards the emotionally unavailable (sometimes emotionally unstable) relationships. I have been shrinking this shadow for years. But now I want to get rid of it for good! It’s not as dominant as it use to be. It use to hold on to the pain and suffering those relationships offered. It mimicked the pain in suffering of childhood. While I now seem to be able to avoid and detect these traits, I am still appalled at the fact that I still attract these people. So the work is what is it in me that is leftover. What are residual thoughts and emotions I need to address and heal?

SO there. I let you in on one of my shadows. It took courage. It took vulnerability. You can’t have success without either one.

~Nikki

October’s Energy: Experience LIFE

October’s energy is calling for you to experience every morsel of life. Put your phone down and your devices away and experience life by ENGAGING in conversations without distractions. Engage the people in your space. LOOK at them. ADMIRE their beauty, intellect, smile, and laughter. Have dinner with someone and enjoy the flow of chatter and silence without having to fill that silence with you picking up the phone to “hop on social media right quick.”

EXPERIENCE nature and observe it. Take it all in. EXPERIENCE your walk in the park or the neighborhood. WAVE to people. SMILE at people. NOTICE what has changed in nature or your environment. What smells waft through the air? What insects or animals do you see? Have the leaves changed? Jump in a pile of leaves. Yes. Even at your age remain playful always!

Experience life by, brace yourself, TRYING SOMETHING NEW! Yes, try the new restaurant. Yes, try something different on the menu. Shock your mate lol! Yes, drive a different way to work. Walk at a new park. Try a new thing like baking or try your hand at keeping a plant alive. Take an online course about something! TRY! TRYING brings about new experiences that birth ideas, new likes or confirmed dislikes, and experience! You never know unless you…try.

October invites SPONTENEITY. Change it up. Change it all up. Change a few things around. You don’t always have to nail down every detail. Call up a few friends for a zoom cocktail party. Invite a few over practicing social distancing and Covid 19 practices. Set up your area such as chairs around a fire pit or outdoor setting. You can set up the inside depending on how comfortable YOU are with this and how well you know your FRIENDS. Do something spontaneous with your mate. Buy flowers for no reason. Bring home their favorite dessert. Bribe yourself to listen to an opera or to watch the romantic movie they love so much but, have seen 100 times. You can make it a night with movie snacks or healthy snacks. You can make it like a picnic. How about an indoor movie night picnic?! How about a real picnic in the park?

Yes…October is calling for you to EXPERIENCE LIFE!

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Hold Please

Smokey Row in Oskaloosa, Iowa

Wednesday we headed up to Iowa to visit extended family and my nephew. We spent half of our time in Oskaloosa and the other half in Cedar Rapids. Today we are on our way back home to Memphis, TN. I’m always excited when I get to travel and when it’s to certain places because of what it offers. Although, traveling to me has been a challenge since Rheumatoid and Fibromyalgia, I still enjoy it. Some places offer shopping, outlet malls, great places to eat, all forms of entertainment from concerts, plays, and museums to live sporting events. There’s the party atmosphere, site seeing, and adventures to get into. And some places, I look forward to simply do much of nothing while gaining much. Oskaloosa is one of those places. A very small town with character. Here I gain perspective, introspection and seem to re-center easily.

I don’t know many who would pick this place or many who have heard of it but, there are numerous of hidden gems and sanctuaries of peace and quiet all over the earth including the United States. What I like about visiting with my brother, his extended family that became mine is the way it pulls you into a slowed down way of life almost immediately. There is no business to take care of and there is no busyness. There is no party to get dressed up for and not a stitch of make up needed. I was in my jeans and 49ers T-shirts every day. There is no hustle and bustle of city life, malls, and outlets. But there are thrifts stores and consignment shops to take your time (my brother may disagree) to stroll and sift through. There is no real agenda or itinerary. We eat with our family and after most meals we play a board game. We sit and watch sports. We have silly and meaningful conversations. We try to put puzzles together that are on a board (I rarely have luck with that.)

The one thing I really enjoyed this time is that I wasn’t obligated to anyone. I was too far away to hear or care about the drama and nonsense of church business, power trips, and antics. I am just being as honest as always and exercising MY decision to be transparent for helpful purposes. It’s okay to be tired of religious STUFF and the business of it. I felt free while I was away and now that I am back, I still feel free. In this small town, I felt off the grid and kept my social media to a minimum. I like being in my room in their house on a comfy bed of quilts with a big tree to gaze at in the day and opened blinds with the moonlight seeping through at night. I liked existing without millions of things to do. It was like an extension of a Saturday evening from my childhood for three days.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: You’re Life’s Work Is Your Life

I don’t know if I told you that I was dumped by my therapist but, I think I did in one of these blog posts. I laughed a bit on the inside as I typed that because I have a weird sense of humor at times. Odd maybe. I quickly thought about my reaction and how hysterical I was. How angry I was. And that made you laugh Nikki? It did because I reflected on how I could not see myself working with anyone else, being as open and honest with anyone else, and especially because my then therapist had one of my personality traits. Chill.

I recently went to a new therapist and she is not like my old one (shocker). She is retired from the military and you can tell that she is structured, but very “real” and “raw” in her delivery. So, I thought I was going to waltz in there with my credentials (all of the work I had done previously) and we were just going to pick up where I left off. NOPE. She could tell that I had done the work. She could tell that now was the time of doing the work of RELEASING. Releasing? I thought that’s what I was doing. I thought I’d already did that. I know how everything is connected. “Yes. But you don’t know how to let go and it’s time that you do. Are you ready to work? Because this, is going to be work.” She said. Hades no. I am not prepared for that because I didn’t realize that I had not been releasing. I have sat with that all week. I have processed it and I can see she is right. It’s crazy to be stuck and not know you are stuck and to realize you are stuck. How long have I been stuck? How did I not know? Oh man, more breaking down mental and emotional barriers. MUST THERE ALWAYS BE SOMETHING ELSE I HAVE TO DO OR FACE ABOUT MYSELF?

God was like: “Nicole, you know the answer to that. The answer is the same it always is when you ask this question. Yes. ” It’s never going to end and I know that. Will the debris of our lives lessen? Yes. It will be much easier to see once we clean up. But, just like cleaning up the clutter, there are things you have to “let go of” and there are things you keep. Even with the things you keep, they have to be cared for, dusted, moved, in other words, tended to. Cleaning up once and for all doesn’t happen because a home is not like that and neither is life. Life has to be tidied up, decluttered, cleaned, bleached, dusted, power washed with the truth from time to time. We form new attachments. We experience new hurts or familiar hurts in new ways. It’s like my yard. One year, there are the same kind of weeds. The next year there are hardly any. The next year, there a mixture of different weeds. This year, we killed the yard and now this beautiful grass is springing up with patches of dead grass around it.

Your life is your life’s work. Your calling and destiny is a huge part of your life. You want to be doing what you love and living the life you wan to live. However, there is the maintenance of YOU. The mental, the emotional, and the spiritual. Even the physical. These are what you come home to. Home has to be taken care of.

~Nikki

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 7: The Imperfect You

This is my artwork. It is for sale.

Self-love is loving the imperfect you. Believe it or not, you’re not perfect. You don’t and you won’t always get it right. It’s not always easy to forgive yourself. It’s not always easy to love yourself when you are not your best self. And it’s not so much that some of us want to be perfect, we just want to get it right. Don’t forget we are human, too. Give yourself unconditional love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Give it to others. Self-love is loving the imperfect you, while you are striving to be the best you.

~Nikki