The Art of Suffering?

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I don’t know if I will master the art of suffering, but I know that I have suffered a lot in this lifetime. My suffering is not to be compared with others. I don’t believe in who suffered more because as I have said my whole life, “We all have our own personal hell(s) to live through.”

Speaking of hell, I had a migraine last night that could be considered and EF4 if it was a tornado. It was a 9 on a scale of 1-10. As I lay on the couch in darkness, a lavender candle lit, I thought to myself, “Why do I have to suffer so much? I have suffered my entire life physically and with matters of the heart. I want this suffering to be over. I deserve more peace, love, and joy the rest of my years.” And then I said to myself, “You can endure this. You can get through this. This pain will not last forever. You just have to wait it out. You’ve done everything you could in the natural and spiritual. Wait it out. Think of things that bring you peace and comfort.” It took seemingly forever, but after a migraine that started with a suddenly stiff neck around 4pm and turned into a full blown migraine around 7pm, after 11pm I could finally sit up without the feeling of severe nausea. I got up from the couch and went to bed.

When I woke up this morning I saw this quote. How true I thought. Even though I get tired of suffering, it is better that I work with the suffering, instead of against it. Working against it only makes it worse. I get upset about the migraine, start to go into why and my heart rate raises. Blood pressure goes up and the pain worsens. I go into panic when what I am doing is not working fast enough. It only makes the pain worse. I let go last night and just endured. I have decided not only to not compare my suffering to others, I have also decided to not accept that I suffer more because I am stronger than others. Hell, I get tired of being strong. I am also weak in my suffering many times in private, but it is my God that is stronger during those times. God sends angels and earthly angels to help me through my sufferings. I am thankful and grateful for them. I may never know why we suffer more than others. I accept that it just is and this is why I cherish the simple things in life as if they were the most valuable because many times those are the only things I can focus on in times of suffering.

~Nikki

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A2Z: No, I Will Not. My Personal Self Empowerment Journey

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No, I will not sit here and wallow in self pity. No, I will not lay in bed and think myself into depression. No, I will not resort to old habits when things do not go the way I hoped. Last night, I had to get up, go back downstairs and wash the dishes. Something didn’t go the way I thought it would and I was disappointed. I turned off the lights and almost let the feeling stew. Then, I began to think about if this was the way to handle what happened. There was nothing I could do about it. It wasn’t major. Even though, it was feeding into my fear of being lied to and played. Breathe.

You can’t control people and their actions. You can, control your response and what you allow them to do or continue to do. If you want POWER over a situation you have to take action. You have to do the small normal things and this will propel you into doing the major things like ending the saga of a not so good relationship. It will propel you into avoiding anxiety and depression for that day. Life goes on and you don’t have to give your power over to others, situations, and depression. I sit here disappointed, but remarkably at peace. I feel, but I have things to do and things I can do. Of course there will be times you give in, but let’s just celebrate the times that you don’t because the more you move forward in spite of your feelings, the more empowered you become to heal those feelings and get back into living and loving.

~Nikki

A2Z: Meditation: Self Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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I can’t express to you the power of meditation. There is a saying in my generation, “Get your mind right!”, but I am sure this meant something else in the beginning (lol). And in the church there is a saying that God is a “mind regulator.” What can you do without your mind? Nothing. If your mind is cluttered, filled with memories or trauma, an ongoing to do list, thoughts that provoke anxiety and depression, and if you can’t sit still, you need more than just prayer. You need meditation.

Meditation and Guided Meditation sessions are ways to empower you to regulate and control your mind. Every action, feeling, and word is formed in your mind before it ever shows up in your life. Something happens, you think about it, you feel, and you react or respond. When you begin to meditate you monitor the things that pop up in your mind, you learn to “take captivity of each thought” (found in the Bible 2 Corinthians 10:5), and you decide what to do with that thought. You decide to let it pass and redirect your thoughts to the present moment. One powerful quote or concept I recently learned is “You are not your thoughts, you are the observer of your thoughts.” – Eckhart Tolle

Meditation is powerful because you can “So as a man thinketh, meditates on, so is he. So he or she becomes or will have.” Meditation can help you manifest dreams and goals. Meditation can help you to rise about your lower thoughts and to “think  on these things.” Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8- The Scrolls aka the Bible. When you think on these things life is empowered and so are you!

~Nikki

AtoZ: Loving Authentic Me. Self Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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When I began the journey to excavate my authentic self I thought it would be fun and adventurous to discover who I really was/am. It was. It was also shocking at times. It was like re-introducing myself to a self that I vaguely remembered. I felt disoriented at times. The feeling of shock and disorientation often happened when I admitted to myself the truth about what I thought and felt about things I learned or was taught growing up. It really bothered me at times admitting the truth about how I felt about my religion. It was a going against the grain. It was fear that God would “strike me down” and keep note of all the thoughts and feels I had about some rules, regulations, and doctrine. I was like, “Oh, you really don’t agree with that. You never did like that explanation. Nah, that’s not what that means. No, I don’t believe that.” UH-OH, you’re in big trouble. You’re going to be called a fake Christian.

I had to sit with this uncomfortableness as I made a decision whether to walk in ALL of my AUTHENTICITY, or partially or to hide some parts. Nod my head and go along to get along with the masses. The first thing Spirit gave me was to LEARN TO LOVE this old/new part of me by accepting that it is what it is. It is what I think and what I feel. Right or wrong by others standards, it is what I understand on my spiritual journey. “LOVE ALL OF IT. Get so comfortable with it, when you are called too modern or too out there or FAKE, you’ll be okay with it because you’ll have a peace about it because of your own personal relationship with the CREATOR and yourself.” So, John the Baptist…locust and honey-ish in the wilderness, yet at home. (LOL)

Recently, I read Dr. Martin Luther’s King theory on Jesus and my mind was blown to pieces and put back together again. It wasn’t very “Christian-like” to say the least. But, I loved that he spoke “his” thoughts and theory. I don’t have to agree and I don’t have to call him fake or a non-Christian because he had his own thoughts, ideas, and theories. Even if it did go against the Bible and Scholars.

Loving my authentic self empowers me to keep growing and moving towards my own goals, dreams, and destiny. It gives me POWER to walk my own journey and not to worry too much about yours. Oh, and to stand the criticism. I’ll uninvite myself, thank you very much. I was feeling kinda’ trapped in there anyways…

~Nikki

A to Z: Keep it Moving. Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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The ability to move on after a set back, after a break up or a break down, calls for courage and the building up of self esteem. Also, the ability to move on, ignore, deal with the small fires that poop up, the rude comments, the opinions and attempted sabotage on our reputations or goals is empowering. Why? Because you don’t exert energy into the small things, the minors in life. Why major in the minor annoyances of life when you can put your energy into dreams and goals or the other things that need to be done that day? Reserve your energy for what really matters.

Keep it Moving. You have things to do, places to go, and people to see.

~Nikki

A to Z. Jump. Empowerment, My Personal Journey.

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I had researched enough. I had practiced enough. I had thought about it long enough. I had stood on the sidelines watching and observing others. It was time to JUMP. TRY MY HAND AT IT. LEARN AND LIVE THROUGH THE PROCESS. RIDE THE WAVES. It was writing a book. It was putting it out there. It was learning to crochet, selling it, and doing festivals. It was working on a mini-series. It was taking sewing lessons. It was creating abstract art and putting it out there for the world to see.

JUMP. It’s scary. It’s nerve wracking. It’s exhilarating. It’s freeing. It’s fun. It’s faith building for sure!

~Nikki

Introspective. Empowerment, My Personal Journey

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in·tro·spec·tion
[ˌintrəˈspekSH(ə)n]

NOUN
the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.

Observing what I am THINKING behind what I am saying and doing, checking my OWN EMOTIONS behind what I am saying and doing is forces me to examine myself. LEARNING to this BEFORE I say and do is the POWER in the EMPOWERING myself! In order to do this you must be honest with yourself about what you are really thinking and feeling. Before you “lose it” at the person behind the counter for getting your order wrong, what are you REALLY thinking and feeling before you arrived at the place? On the job? Home? Is it s right thought? Is it a right action? Are you mad about what happened on the job? Are you stressed about bills? Are you unhappy in your relationship? And you go out into the world already “feeling and thinking” about something. So, when your child gets in the car and forgets to tell you they have practice you “lose it.”

We are often good at reading others, but can we read ourselves. Checks and balances with yourself through introspective empowers you to be a better person. For me, it works for me because I can locate my mental state and emotions and MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION about what I am really feeling. Therefore, I can handle the wrong order at the counter better. I can avoid having to apologize to coworkers, a child, or a mate about your outburst or sudden mood change. I  have the power to address the real issues on my job instead of taking it out on other people that have not a clue about my money problems. I learn my triggers. I also have the power to address my mental and emotional state to solve the real problems. I place my energy where it needs to go and not on the nearest person or distraction.

~Nikki