Purpose

After each traumatic experience, we always have to find it within ourselves to pick up & start over again. Many times it takes a lot to dig deep & find the things that inspired us to be great in the first place. But what I discovered is the most difficult is not allowing the effects of the trauma to keep us from our purpose. If we lose our purpose, we lose fuel & we lose desire to keep going. What many people fail to realize is that we are called to be so much more than what we give ourselves credit for. Although our experiences make us who we are; they do not define us. So if we consistently allow those experiences to deter us from the things we are purposed to do; we have given our trauma the upper hand.

Nothing that has happened or will happen is by happenstance. However, keep in mind that all the miracles that you will partake in (known & unknown) didn’t happen by a coincidence either. There is a greater purpose with a greater picture. After the trauma passes, you will have a new appreciation of life that will allow you to make the impact on this earth that you were destined to have.

But first, heal.

Take all the time you need but make sure you take the time to invest in yourself so you jump back in like you never left. Unfortunately, trauma is inevitable. We can’t control what people do or say to us. What happens to us is not always fair & we surely don’t ask for it. We don’t always understand the effects the trauma we experience will have on us; but certainly every single time we are faced with a choice; we can actively choose to win.

You must actively choose to win. Your purpose is counting on it.

Healing is Hard… Heal Anyway!

Happy Sunday Ladies! Y'all have no idea how excited I am today! Not only is this the first Guest Inspiration that Nickkie&Co. has had in a long time; the first one in 2022! But this Guest Inspiration, Yaazmyn Rosa, is very dear to my heart. Yaaz is a phenomenal woman. Mother, sister, nurse, podcast co-host (Tap into it: Shot of Discourse) & friend are just a few titles she holds.  She is what one would describe as fierce, strong & inspiring. But what has been exciting about her has been her willingness to be super transparent about her need to heal & her desire to be a better person to herself FOR herself; FOR a change.  I am truly honored to have been on the sidelines watching her journey as she questioned the things she thought she knew, challenged new perspectives & required herself to put herself first. So ladies, please welcome our first Nickkie&CO. Guest Inspiration of 2022 with open arms; she has a testimony. 

Who knew the journey to healing was going to be this hard? I always liked to think of myself as being strong. Growing up I had no choice but to be strong due to the cards God dealt me. The problem with that is, I wasn’t taught to be strong for me, I was taught to be strong for everybody else. I had to be strong for my mom because she had lost everybody close to her (my uncles, her mom, my great grand-mother) and all she had left was me , her only child. I mean she had my aunt too but not really because addiction had her. I had to be strong for a father that chose his addiction over me. I had to be strong for my great-grandmother when she lost my great-grandfather and when she became I’ll. Crazy, isn’t it?! So there I was a little girl taking on such a huge responsibility not knowing what was to come. All that being strong for everybody else cost me the most important strength of all, my own.

By my adults years, I had grown so accustomed to making sure everyone around was good that I never made sure I was good. As a matter of fact, let me change that, if everyone around me was okay, so was I. My strength and happiness became reliant on everyone around me. When they were good, I was good but when they were down, I was down. The co-dependency on others landed me at this exact moment with these feelings of not knowing who the hell I am and not knowing how to choose me and put me first. I only know me when it comes to others, smh. Here I am at my big old age trying to figure out who I am, what I like, what I dislike, what I want without anybody else’s input and when I tell you this has been the hardest thing ever, mannnn listen.

God forced me to begin to really do the work in the last 6 months of 2021. Life started spiraling and I felt like I was having a breakdown or breakthrough, depending on how you look at it. I hit rock bottom and was just stuck. Depression was not new to me but this time it just felt different. This time I couldn’t shake it. I had to do some deep soul searching to get myself out of this dark place. It felt like I began to question EVERY thing, my purpose, my faith, my friends, my family, my career, myself, literally everything. Nothing was fun to me anymore, nothing was bringing me joy anymore, it was just pure darkness and heaviness. Not even my daughter could get me out of this funk. I remember crying everyday and just asking God to make it all stop. I remember asking God to let me just feel light or not feel at all. I was so tired of being strong, I wanted to be weak. But I also felt like being weak was weak and that’s not who I was raised to be. So I began to break that generational curse and challenge myself to think and act differently. I am far from where I need to be but I am doing the work to get there. Healing is not linear.

I say all this to say give yourself grace! Please choose yourself every time! It’s okay to not be strong in times of weakness! Only rely on God and yourself because most people are always going to choose themselves.

I’ve spoken on how I came to begin my healing journey, now I am challenging you (in a positive way) to begin yours. It doesn’t matter how old you are or where you are in life, that hardest part is always starting, but just do it! You owe it to yourself to value yourself and pour all the love for everybody else into YOU! I pray whoever reads this gets inspired to dig deep and start their healing journey. Understand that some days will be harder than others, maybe even most days but do not let that discourage you from continuing to do the work. Let’s break these generational curse together. Let’s love ourselves more than anything and anyone besides God. Let’s live like we’ve never lived before! I wish you self love, self understanding, self worth and self peace.

Xoxoxo – Yaaz 💙

I pray whoever reads this gets inspired to dig deep and start their healing journey.

I Was Ungrateful…

It’s so amazing to see how God has been using me and we just started the New Year. I am seeing confirmation that when you stop trying to do things your way & let God take control he will elevate your life in ways you’ll wonder why you didn’t let him do it his way from the beginning.

Twenty twenty-two just started & I already can recognize the difference in the way that God will & is using me. Last year my perspective was different & if I was truly honest, I will admit that I spent the majority of last year truly ungrateful & resentful. I was so unappreciative of the little things that even the larger things didn’t have the impact that I needed them to have.

Do you understand what it feels like to have to admit that? That although everyday I try my hardest to walk in gratitude, something that typically came easy to me, no longer was. I found little joy in the things that made me recognize God’s presence. As a result, I spent most of last year, lost, unsatisfied & disgusted. Even as I started each day new, I still sat in the past resentful & frustrated. I was even untrusting. Everything I trusted, I stopped trusting all because, unbeknownst to me, I made an active decision to be ungrateful, to stop taking in the little-BIG things that kept me going, humble, eager & enlightened.

As I reflect back, I recognize, I can never let that happen to me again. People often think that the worst things that you can experience come from experiences imposed by other people. But sometimes the worse thing we can ever experience are the inflictions we inflict upon ourselves. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own experiences that we don’t even realize that sometimes we are the reason for our own destruction. The mindset we set forth when we face a new situation really will makes a difference. I’m grateful now that I can see it & that I am actively willing to make decisions to change last year’s trajectory this year.

I never want to feel like I felt last year; null & void & purposeless. I surely will never want that for you. I pray that my desire for more never makes me ungrateful again. Instead I pray it keeps me humble enough to remember the grace on my life.

I wish the same for you. Pay attention to the nudges that remind you that you are still alive; there’s still a journey to be had. Don’t let yourself get so discouraged that you become blind to the blessings around you. Take it all in. The good, the bad, the amazing, the ugly. God will surely turn every single thing in your favor. Let the fact that the best of your life is still approaching upon horizon & use that to keep you motivated. Do not forget the things that make you feel alive. Appreciate your creative instincts & sit in them; enjoy them; share them. Use life to give you purpose, not to take it away.

And graciously experience your experiences.

Esther 4:14

Today Nickkie&Co. turns 4 years old & although I will extend myself some grace, I recognize where I have short changed myself & what this platform represents. I created Nickkie&Co. to be a voice for those still looking to step into theirs. With all that has been going on, somehow, I have let life stifle me of my most fierce weapon, the reason why this platform has been so powerful & why it even exists.

I let life silence my voice.

My voice is my light.

I actively live my life deliberately making a decision to make an impact on the life of another. However, at some point I made a conscious decision to stop doing so. I let the chaos of the world take my peace, the things that bring me comfort & the motivating factors that propel me to keep going. So today, I encourage you to not only extend yourself grace but to remind you to never let the happenings of the world rob you of your light. Your light is so beautiful & unique & it would be horrible if the world never got to experience it again.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the things that are happening around us that we forget that we need our light too. Don’t be the reason it’s dull. YOU need YOU too. Actually, this is the time when WE & YOU need YOU most.

You were created for such a time as this. -Esther 4:14

Happy New Year Everyone & Happy Birthday to my love child, the platform for my light.

We have some work to do.

Choose YOU, First. Always.

If the pandemic put anything into perspective it is that life can be going at a 100 MPH but at any moment life can put you right on your arse. Many of us were forced to reflect & re-prioritize our goals and the things most important to us.

Prior to the need to isolate- we often put our families, our self-care & individual goals to the side for the sake of our employers, careers &/or ambitious long- terms goals that kept us from being present in the moment. We attached our self worth to our titles, our employers, our bank accounts or the various things people have said to invalidate us.

Being forced to slow down & sit still has given us the ability to pay attention to what really matters. It resonates with us now that there’s so much more to life than titles & the superficial things that kept us motivated & inspired before. We understand now that once our life is over the only thing left behind is how we have made people feel. What will be left is solely that memories people have built with us.

So today —

I boldly state the obvious —

Eff anything that limits you from being who you are supposed to be for you, for your family & your loved ones. That job will replace you, that ex will continue to hinder you & that toxic friendship will limit you. Though the time has been put in, it doesn’t mean you need to keep sowing the seed.

Plant elsewhere.

Stay where you are wanted. Stay where the vibe is alive. Stay where there is joy & comfort. Find peace & sit in it. Prioritize the things that matter to your soul first. All the other stuff will come. As we enter the time of gratitude, be grateful & give yourself grace. Anything not aligned with your soul is not for you, regardless of how good it feels. Keep focused.

Learn YOU.

Most of us have a basic expectation of what we desire in a relationship – support, understanding, encouragement, companionship, marriage, happiness, peace (the list continues). However, despite those expectations we fall short when receiving it because we know very little on how to apply & provide it to ourselves, how to recognize it when we have it &/or how to sit tight until we receive it.

Unfortunately, we settle.

& we settle often.

However, understand that it becomes increasingly more difficult to obtain what we desire romantically if we keep giving ourselves the short end of the stick. We need to stop settling for relationships not suitable for us, establish our hard nos; while learning, establishing & sticking to our boundaries. Learning how to love ourselves first & foremost before striving to love anyone else is the best gift we can possibly give ourselves.

Once we master this, we will be equipped to teach others the way best way to love us. But until we do, we can’t possibly
provide the vision of what loving us looks like because the foot work to get there is missing.

Taking the time to love ourselves first & to learn who we are in & out of a relationship; allows us to make full & whole decisions when deciding who is worthy of what we have to offer.

We are done with one sided, unfulfilling, uneventful, experience-less relationships.

Today we declare to stop being part of the reason we do not receive what we deserve. Today, we begin taking the time to love & care for ourselves first without conditions while setting the standards for who and what we deserve. When we learn to love US first & truly; we walk in our our authority & establish standards for those that may pursue us.

We stop settling. We stop turning a blind eye & most importantly we stop skipping the healing process. We need it. After every heartbreak, after every encounter, after every experience we owe it to ourselves to heal & learn ourselves again.

Any time we put into ourselves is time well invested. We are our best investment.

You Made It…

Hey Loves,

Today is the start of a new week. Despite all that happened last week, we made it. You made it. That alone is something to be grateful for. As you maneuver through the week, keep in mind that you did not allow last week’s obstacles to defeat you. You did more than survive. You made it until today & you will keep on making it.

You are awesome.

Strong.

Empowering.

Inspiring.

Safe.

Alive.

Enough.

That alone is enough. Keep thriving baby. You got this.

Sunday Morning Jumpstart…

Let’s start the week off with some affirmations!

I will devote the first 15 minutes of my day preparing myself mentally, spiritually & physically for the day.

I will be gentle & kind to myself when I make a mistake.

I will embrace each error as an opportunity to learn, readjust & reflect.

I will show up for myself, in my best state, every single time.

I will vocalize & remove myself from situations or things that make me feel uncomfortable.

I will not walk in shame & I will stand firmly in my truth.

I will laugh often, anger slowly & rationalize before reacting.

I will be proactive & engaged in the things that matter & benefit me.

I will evaluate what self-love means for me this week because I understand that it varies based on my current state.

I will not accept mediocre engagement but will open myself up to new opportunities.

I will be the best version of myself, for myself, first & foremost.

I will evaluate how each situation makes me feel but I will not dwell on the things I cannot change.

I will radiate the energy I am deserving of.

I will find balance between my spiritual, business, financial & social life.

I will find time to do something to enjoy myself even when it doesn’t appear possible.

I will listen to what my body tells me & I will take heed to what she needs.

I will not receive the negative projections people will try to put on me. However, I will recognize that many things we experience are often larger than us.

I will be kind & will make a positive influence in every room I walk into.

I will stand firmly on my no’s & confidently on my YES.

I will live my life confident in who I am & the light I shine in the world.

& lastly, I will love freely however my heart sees fit.

Mental Health, First. Success, Second.

For forever we have been told the standards in which we should gain & pursue success. Whether it is to go to school, start our own business or obtain a 6 figure job someone has always projected the image of what success should look like for us. Despite the various avenues we take to obtain that success; the overall expectation appears to remain the same– work yourself to the ground, because if you don’t, you don’t want it bad enough. But let me tell you, this way of thinking is outdated & it doesn’t respect you as an individual.

Unbeknownst to many of us, we push theme often because the message is everywhere. It is even in the “inspirational” memes we continuously repost on social media. But today, I am telling you to define your own success & how you obtain it. Narratives that shame you on how you utilize every waking hour of your life is probably one of the most toxic narratives you can receive. Because as you’re hustling to keep up; your mental health is depleting & the reason for your hustle gets forgotten.

What value does your success offer if you lack wholeness? How much can you contribute to your purpose if you are mentally & spiritually depleted? If achieving success at the expense of your mental health is the only option you have, have you actually achieved it?

I say the same thing over & over throughout these memoirs. Live your life by your standards & do not feel bad when you live outside of the confines someone else has imposed. There is nothing wrong with working hard. However, if working hard requires that you sacrifice everything- including yourself; I urge you to re-evaluate your steps.

Life is meant to be lived fully. We are supposed to enjoy the journey we take to get where we are going. If our noses are to the ground & we do not take a moment to enjoy all beautiful things around us; we lost the thing that’s most important…

US.

Nothing, not purpose, not finances, not anything is worth that.

You are the priority.

Imposter Syndrome

Let’s talk about Imposter Syndrome. There have been many times I have experienced this in my lifetime. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to recognize that the feelings I had associated with this actually had a name. Imposter syndrome is a phenomenon that causes people to doubt their abilities enough to make them question if they belong at the table they are seated. These emotions are often feelings that cause people to invalidate their successes as if their hard work was not enough for them to be deserving of where they are. So many of us work so hard throughout our lives to ensure we provide the life we desire for ourselves and our families. However, despite how hard we work or how prepared we are; many of us combat (at some level) the anxiety associated with imposter syndrome.

Today, I am here to tell you to avoid succumbing to this warped perspective & claim the things you worked so hard for. You don’t have to work harder than the next person to prove you belong there. The fact that you are there, sitting at the same table, in the same room is all the confirmation that you need. You are not there by coincidence or happenstance but because God’s favor opened the door you chose to walk through & that’s enough reason to be where you are; doing what you’re doing.

Baby girl, those late nights & early mornings you invested were not for nothing. The education, the brainstorming & the creating got you there. No one knows the sacrifices you have made to be where you are & no one lays down at night being accountable for your choices and actions but you. Everything you ever wanted & received became a manifestation that you worked for. Don’t take that from yourself.

They told you the world is yours. Don’t doubt it.