Hello September: Day 1 of Vacation

Hello September. Our day one of my month long vacation started strangely. The energy in my home this morning seemed “sticky” and “stuffy” and “stale”. I could not seem to get up. As I dozed off again into a dream like state, I felt a really hard push. I opened my eyes and lay there startled! I rolled over but no one was there. I said aloud, “Well, that was rather rude.” Of course I will do research on that later. I got up and got myself together but, still not feeling together. Groggy and foggy I remembered, “Oh, I had some pain last night and tossed a bit through the night and early morning.” I also went to bed very late.

As I did my morning routine, I tried to find peace. Finally, I decided the energy in the home and around me, within me needed to be cleared. I put on a binary beats negative energy cleansing from YouTube. As soon as I did, I heard the buzzing of chain saws. The trees in my backyard were being trimmed. They are still at it. I lit sage and after it burned out down stairs, I lit it for upstairs. I received three phone calls from one person today that did not help the energy about me. However, after that last call, I was able to recenter, and find my peace.

As I was researching, I came across one of my favorite spiritual teachers, Sadhguru. I watched the video which I will leave below. What stood out to me, the lesson MY DAY 1 of Vacation:

PEACE SHOULD NEVER BE THE GOAL IN LIFE. PEACE SHOULD BE A REQUIREMENT FOR LIFE.

I never intended to blog today or to take you on this September Vacation, yet here we are. It was when I turned 30 I made the statement that “A peace of mind is everything to me.” It has taken me over 10 years to prove it. However, I realize today two things: If I would have known that peace should have been a requirement for life, I may have not taken so long to prove it to myself. Two, I must require it not just for relationships but, for the sustainability of my life. For my goals. For my dreams. For my health. For my wealth. The rest of my days. In all I do. Not in a crazy, obsessive, demanding way but, in the same manner I breathe air. Naturally.

Peace should be a requirement, not a goal.

~Nikki

Pathway in the autumn forest

Sunday Morning Coffee Musings: Like People, Like Priest

There is this saying, “Like People, Like Priest” and it is often used in reference to leaders and their followers or the people they are over (govern, lead, etc.). The saying is from the book of Hosea 4:9. Where do we start? Let’s start with the truth. However, your energy is as a leader, in whatever capacity you lead (home, work, church, relationship) will dictate the energy of those you are over. Even the ones that do not like you. If you don’t care they won’t care. If you show favoritism to some, the ones you don’t will retaliate in some sort of way. They will not support your efforts. They will not show up when you need them. And you will need them. I can’t tell you how many times in my little big life, supervisors, managers, operational and general managers have waltzed in with EGOS that could hardly fit through the door throwing their weight around and in the end were either humbled or cut down like a weed.

If a leader is evil, divisive, nonchalant, childish, ignorant, filled to the brim and then overflows with ego, self serving, with the inability to be inclusive and caring, mentally unstable, then it’s safe to say it creates a toxic environment and gives power to those who’s hearts resonate with such a leader. On a grander scale, the people that resonate with him or her have called for this type of leader by cultivating their energy. They have synchronized. The leader is a reflection of the people, the people are a reflection of the leader in general. We are divisive. We are selfish. We don’t care about others outside of our family or circle or race. I mean we say we do, but actions speak louder than church hymns, sermons, shouts, and words.

People that support corrupt leadership and close their eyes to the damning reality of the results of such leaders, are one with those leaders. They are just as broken as that leader because in order to be vile and filled with such terrible attributes, you must be broken. If you are broken you are weakened. If being this way makes you feel strong and powerful, you indeed are very weak, very sad, very hurt, and very broken. You are very sick. You need help with your mind and your heart. You need a deep healing. If hurting others makes you feel good or you can ignore it, something is wrong on the inside. There is no way to support evil and to be “good” because you are not all the way evil. You can’t play in the mud and claim to be clean because you washed your big toe.

In closing, I’ll leave you with this. Anytime America desires to change its energy, its course, it can. Anytime we want to yell out, MERCY! We can. We are already on our knees. Anytime those with light hidden under a bushel want to take their lights out and set them on a hill for all the world to see, they can. Oh yeah, and the first step to recovery for those that support evil, is to admit that they are broken, hurting, or simply are wrong and want to change. You can’t be helped, if you don’t admit you have a problem. How do we know you have a problem? It’s obvious. You are wearing a snowsuit in the dead heat of the summer. And not just that one time, every day. I’d say something is very, very wrong here.

~Nikki

It will be, like people, like priest; and I will punish them for their ways, and will repay them for their deeds. Hosea 4:9

A country is in for trouble when its ruler is childish, and its leaders party all day long. Ecclesiastes 10:16

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

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

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

Train Wreck Ahead

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It’s okay to back that train up and switch tracks, too. It’s no shame in making a mistake no matter how big or small. The shame is staying on a path with all of the signs of a danger ahead JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG or because you are WORRIED ABOUT WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK. Drop that load and keep going or change directions. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better moving at the proper speed and on the right track.

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: I Don’t Want A Seat At That Table

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I had the displeasure of meeting a person last night and the hostility in the air was so foul we chose to leave rather than to stay and be TOLERATED. I was glad the choice was made because you could choke off the energy in the air. I am really proud of myself and how I am handling the aftermath of the situation. I was prepared because I realize the opposition I am facing being the NEW as the OLD fades to black. I realize it’s a ride to  paradise, but not without turbulence! So, had some helluva turbulence last night. Still headed towards my destination.

One thing I have learned in life is to go where you are CELEBRATED and not where you are tolerated. The quote by Maya Angelou above also popped into my mind. It’s funny when you are experiencing a quote, wisdom, or the truth in real time. I won’t forget how I was made to feel. REJECTED. It’s not the first time and even though it’s a negative feeling I also know that I am ACCEPTED by so many others. Why let the negative ride? I won’t. I came home, poured my water, hugged my friend, and lit the Gardenia scented candle that reminds of my “Big Mama” and my childhood. It reminds me that I am well loved, I am beloved, I am accepted by those that matter.

#44Presidential

~Nikki

Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: It’s Not Personal?

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Before I saw this quote the other day, I received a phone call from someone and they were telling me about something very important they misplaced. This person misplaces numerous things on a regular basis. As I began to try to have a conversation about them needing to slow down, pay attention, which is something even strangers have said to them, they did what they usually do to me and a few others they don’t “seem” to value much, they got offensive.

I continued to make my case in a non-threatening, caring way and I got off the phone. I almost became irritated. I almost took it personal, but I remembered what I have been drilling in my head for the past year, “It’ not me, it’s them.” “They have the problem. I can honestly say I didn’t do anything wrong. I am going to continue with my pleasant morning.” Sometimes it is personal. Sometimes it’s not. You just have to know when and decide what your response will be. I read this quote over and over until something else stood out, “compulsion to react.” I’ve been compulsively reacting to this person’s madness, with madness, ever since I realized I was old enough to do so. I reacted with madness and anger because that is all I knew. It is what I was taught to do by this person. (I didn’t even know that until therapy). You hurt me with words, I hurt you with words. Especially, since no one can stop me or I can’t be punished for talking back. In that moment when the person became defensive, I could have became offensive, but I didn’t. I didn’t compulsively react. THIS IS SOMETHING I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PRACTICE and it was effective that day for me. In other attempts, this person would get more and more belligerent and obnoxious. And I would explode!

As I navigate this complex family dynamic, with more knowledge and practice, I hope to gain for myself the peace I have so rightly deserve from childhood until the present moment. I hope to be able to not compulsively respond, not take it all personal, to rightly respond, to insist on my boundaries, to protect my peace, and to not beat myself if I don’t “always” get it right (another burden placed on me by the same authoritative figure).

~Nikki

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Turning 43. It is Well Within Me.

Yesterday I turned 43.

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For the past 3 years I have been struggling, wrestling with life and gaining this invaluable wisdom. I often have to create happiness and it doesn’t come easy in the trenches of this journey. However, something about 43 seems promising and that in itself makes me feel effortlessly really, really good about 43. I feel this easy optimism concerning my life. There has always been a light at the end of the tunnel and as I say I am the light in the tunnel. I think I am just closer and I can feel fresh wind. I can breathe fresh air. Soon, I will have a 360 degree view of a better life and more work to do as I build something new.

And what I also feel about 43 is the fullness of the responsibility and freedom of this is my life. I choose. You don’t choose. My religion doesn’t choose. I choose. I get to boldly live it. I get to boldly do it. Psalms 43 talks about a vindication by God. I am feeling I just may very well be vindicated by God and if I can be vindicated by God then what would I need with anyone’s approval? Whew….

43. This odd number. This oddly refreshing stage. This reset. This work of manifest destiny. This optimism. This love by design and choice. This freestyle. This get all back and make some more. This nope, I don’t want that. This nope, I don’t want to do that. This nope, I change my mind. This yes, above all things I prosper and be in peace.

I call 43-“The Journey is Well Within.” Enough soul work has been done so that I might LIVE peacefully among myself. Yet, until we leave this realm there will be more to do.

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~Nikki

Adults Who’ve Survived the Critic Parent

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The artist name appears on the photo. 

Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments and some of us did not. Some of us grew up in loving and caring environments that were flawed on some level. Sometimes deeply flawed or sometimes tumultuous depending on the problems the parent or parents had. It could have been an ill parent, an unfaithful parent, it could have been arguing all the time, or the parent could be one that came and went. Today I want to speak to those that grew up with the Critic Parent. The one that ALWAYS had something negative to say or critiqued everything you did or every choice you made.

I grew up with one. Every choice you made, there was a better one. When you did your chores, there was always something you could have did better or forgot. When you did things to try to impress that parent, they were not all that impressed. Each time you did your hair or got dressed, they would frown up at your attire or choice and I am not talking about the typical parent-child disagreement about clothes and hair. This is beyond that. This is a tear down of the child. A ripping of their power to make choices and to feel good about their choices and themselves. All of this is about that and the child needing to be supported, guided, and free to be an individual. I felt singled out from all of my siblings. The boys in the family didn’t have this problem, but the only sister I had said she would experience it from time to time, but as soon as she was able to she left the house.

The constant stares, criticism, correction, and questioning of everything I did, said, or chose literally destroyed my self esteem. I was already an outsider with my red hair as an African American child, my brainy self, my extreme shyness, and artys personality. I wasn’t accepted in many circles and to be home and not accepted was traumatic to my sensitive soul. Did you know, that those who are artists and creative types have a spectrum on the emotional scale as more sensitive than normal and that can swing to more depressed than normal? I had no idea until I started seeing a psychologist. My mother always said “If you just look at me, I would start crying.” I wonder if she created that insecurity within me or fostered it. I don’t know.

I second guess everything I did, said, and every choice I made as a young adult. It caused me to be paralyzed with fear. I had no confidence. If this is normal mines was twice as bad. Even after choices were made I worried that I was wrong, I didn’t know what I was doing, there you go again…not getting it right. I was surprised when things worked out. An even then, I was not sure that things would be okay.

Many things contributed to my bouts of depression and need to want to escape this world by suicide. I know this was one of them. I equated a wrong choice in anything I did as a reflection of how I could never and would never get it right. Even the simplest things. I was beyond self conscious and not just in the way I look, but in the work I did. Even now I have to say “Hey, it’s good enough. You did your best.” I also had to learn to not do what was did to me to others and when I had my daughter, I vowed to not utilize that aspect of my parent. I did take all of the good from that parent, which was a lot, and use it.

I believe there are many reasons a parent does this. I think we expect parents to be perfect or to know better, but the truth is they are not perfect and they do not know “how to” always do better. Hurting people hurt other people. When we are children we don’t know or think about the fact our parents have lived some type of life before us and has experienced some type of childhood…both of these things either good, bad, or traumatic. These things have an effect on the parent as a child, as an adult, and as your parent. Many hurt parents have know idea of the psychological effects of their behavior on their children and we grow up to think many of the things we experienced were normal and acceptable until we meet other children and other adults. If you can’t recognize the signs of your behavior as detrimental to the shaping of the child, then you as the parent continue to do what you do. The generation before me were not privy to psychology or child psychology. They were too busy trying to make a living. The way they dealt with things were to not talk about them. But, guess what? Buried feelings and events of our lives are still alive if they are not dead. However, we as the children who grew up in some sort of tainted or warped environment, now have the privilege of that knowledge that we may be better parents and better human beings. We also have the work of healing ourselves from these scars.

I am now realizing that I survived by learning through trial and error, my commitment to not repeat those mistakes by taking different actions, some education about parenting, my relationship with God, the wisdom of the Spirit, other wise souls, and yes, therapy. I survived by accepting the relationship I have with that parent, sometimes calling them on their behavior and holding them accountable, and other times letting it go. I survived by releasing my anger and hurt. I survived with knowledge of the effects of trauma on people who never admit or talk about what’s really going on, but instead choose to respond with some outward action or to remain silent and bottled up.

However, for this leg of my journey at 42, I am here to be liberated this year and to be legendary in my doings. I need to THRIVE and not just survive. I thrive by forgiving and by forgiving I am free (liberated). I thrive by realizing that parent may never seek counseling, deliverance, or healing, but my choice to not feed into it or to have some compassion for the hurt child inside that parent, is liberating my emotions to choose happiness even if they are miserable. And all of that is a legendary step for my soul’s journey.

~Nikki