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

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Cost Effective Conversations

My art for sale. Visit The Confetti Shop on Facebook or The Confetti Shop by Nikki on Instagram

“My errors give birth to my knowledge.” -Steps to Knowledge, Marshall Vian Summers

The other morning I was talking to a brother (friend of mine). He called to express his thoughts, feelings, and concern about the societal sickness of America and the World. In the conversation, he said something to me that was enlightening at the time and would become something I was suppose to add to my knowledge “kit”. He said, “You cannot have a conversation with emotions, but you can have a conversation with intellect.”

Three times between Thursday and Saturday, I tried to have a conversation with people that were emotional. As I am typing this, Spirit also made me aware that three times, I backed off and came to the recognition that I was dealing with an emotional person. Three times I became AWARE. Two times I had that hesitation to NOT respond just because I was invited via post or what I saw! I was getting ready to type that I failed, but no. THREE times I became aware and I learned. Practice makes mature. Practice makes growth. Whatever that person was feeling would dominate the conversation. It would be skewed to support their emotion. Backing off is seen as a weakness by the carnal, the fleshy, the ego, and a child like mentality. But knowing when to back off is WISDOM. It’s knowledge. It’s smart. It can save your life, energy, and time. And those are three things you can’t get back (You can get more of them, but that’s another blog).

Cost effective conversations is something I came up with after this happened to help me again Saturday. I need to ask myself is this conversation cost effective? Is it productive as it relates to my time, my energy, and my life? If they have their minds made up, why are we talking? If they are biased about the subject, have some ill will towards a group, why are we talking? If they are telling you from the jump, I am being petty, why engage? They are saying to you, “I am emotional and I am not willing to have a conversation based on intellect. I can’t even harness my emotions to have a conversation balanced with intellect.” This is a waste of my time, my life, my energy. I do not need to engage and if I can recognize this before I even get into a conversation, the better! If not, I at least need to be able to make a U-Turn before I get to far down the road.

What’s down that road? Frustration. Anger. Arguments over nothing that has to do with the main topic. You’ll never be heard or understood with a person that are in their feelings and out of their mind (lol! That was a good one!). You’ll never be heard or understood with a person who has already made up their mind and is not open to listening or understanding. This is where I call Shift into Reverse. Cars have a reverse for a reason and so do conversations. There is no weakness in backing off or up when you realize the road you are on is named Petty or Ignorance is Bliss. Sometimes you may notice a sign that says, Children at Play. Get out of there quickly!!!!

The knowledge that I present to you today has been brought to by my errors on this week. Wisdom will let you know, hence it was that hesitation for me, if there is an opportunity to talk, grow, learn or if you are headed nowhere fast.

And Note: You also can’t have a real productive conversation with someone that lacks the knowledge on a matter. Sometimes people don’t have the education or wisdom to have a conversation about certain things. I mean, I can’t talk to you about calculus or get to deep into a subject on global warming. I know I am limited in those areas. This is where you may hear me say or type: “Hmm. Tell me more.”

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Part 6 Authenticity

Shot with my android

Self-love requires the excavation of your authentic self. Who were you before the pain? Before the heartbreak? Before the trauma and drama? Who were you before you were told what to do, what to think, what to be? What really makes you happy and brings you joy? Who were you before the events of life and your environment shaped you? Did you know you could shape and handcraft your own life? You are not bound by bad experiences. Ask the potter to shape you into the best you, the real you, the authentic you. Ask the “Universe” to reveal to you who you were. It may be painful sometimes remembering how happy, joyful, trusting, carefree, full of hope and dreams you use to be as a child or young adult but, it’s who you were before negative impacts. It’s hard coming back to life. You know why? The you, you think you are must die first. Self-love requires you to dig deep, knee deep, get dirty, and to excavate your authentic self. It’s messy. It’s hard work.

Note: When I read the book, Excavating Your Authentic Self, it was sad thinking about how I use to be as a child. I thought about playing outside on sunny days, laying in the backyard, coloring and painting, ice cream trips on Sunday evenings, and not knowing what was to come once I started school or once I realized the differences made between me and siblings, before I experienced being made fun of at school, etc. It was sad and it was scary to fast forward through some of the things that shaped me not for the good. But you do it to reveal to you who you truly are and how to bring that person back to this life equipped with experiences and wisdom.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany Part 5

20200326_141052

Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.

~Nikki, from the Heart Epiphany Lecture March 2020

 

The Heart Epiphany Part 4

benefits-of-black-tea

Self-love is about being HONEST with yourself about yourself, and about others. You may have to admit that you are selfish, petty to the 10th power, maybe you do let people walk all over you, maybe you do think you are better than others, maybe you are lonely, maybe you do have insecurities. MAYBE they don’t love you or respect you. Maybe it is just about sex. Maybe you never wanted to be a physical therapist, nurse, warehouse worker and you really wanted to open a bakery. You may have to admit that you were wrong and that you hurt someone. The truth will set you free but only if you tell the truth to yourself and others. It is hard work.

~Nikki

The Heart Epiphany: Part 2

 

20190501_192115
Photo taken and the property of Nicole Jackson

There are many definitions of self-love and many philosophies. But today I want you think of it as this: SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION. SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION. SELF LOVE IS SELF PRESERVATION.

Self-preservation is the act of protecting, looking after, and caring for your being.

You cannot shop away sadness. You cannot massage away a bitterness. You cannot eat away dysfunction. You cannot MAC make up away the tears. Baby, you have got to do your work.

Self-love is not measured by how many pair of shoes or purses you have, but how much respect you have for your heart, sou,l body, and spirit. I urge you to put some respect on your mind, heart, body, and soul. Self-love is reflected by what and who you allow in your life. Self-love shows up in how you treat other people.

~Nikki

 

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Protecting Non-Traditional Space

28d912cc48c736fb210f64c8309c25e3

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