The logo for Nickkie&Co. is a butterfly woman who is slightly looking back at what she has come from. Who took the time to let life take it’s course in order to acquire her wings while moving forward to what appears to be a transition into more of her potential. To me, a butterfly is symbolic of the evolution we take as a women & as human-beings. Butterflies do not originally start as the bright, vibrant & beautiful creatures we recognize them as. They spend a large portion of their lives ugly, disgraced & undesirable only to later evolve into something mesmerizing to the human eye. You see, people see the beauty of the butterfly & forget… the butterfly was once a caterpillar & before that larva & before that an egg. Had it not been for the fine tuned patience of that very butterfly to persevere, evolve & invest in itself we would never see such a prepossessing miracle. See, had the butterfly not been naturally conditioned to relentlessly endow itself in its potential, we would be missing out on a wonder that is so symbolic of a woman’s beauty. Beauty that is enhanced when she takes the time to patientlyinvest in herself & her journey.
The life cycle of a butterfly can take up to a year for full evolution. However, it is steadfast & consistent in its process because the bigger picture (reward) is ahead of it. It’s patience is to be admired & its ability to be isolated (cocooned) for an extended period of time should be sought after & replicated. In the butterfly’s patient isolation is when the magic happens. That is why today I urge you to be patient with yourself.
Embrace your journey & allow yourself to make mistakes. The scars you feel make you ugly, in fact, contribute to what makes you beautiful. Life is about maneuvering through our transitions with patience. We are not supposed have all the answers for everything – right away. It is a process of growth & investment. Too often we are so hard on ourselves by imposing standards that require us to move too fast & avoid the scenic route. Life does not have to be a hectic drive on a busy highway. We need to begin to relish in the experience as we keep our focus on the bigger picture. It is amazing what is noticed/taught when we take the time (a second) to stop & smell the flowers along the way.
Welcome back another SUNDAY! Today I am honored to share with you Guest Inspiration, Taneesha. I have watched Taneesha raise her children with such love & precision that I appreciate her realistic description of motherhood & the sacrifices mothers make for their babies (you know all the stuff that people do not talk about- lol)! This memoir is laced with satire & sacrifice. If you’re a mother you will resonate with her testimony & if you are the child, this memoir will have you looking at your mother saying- “Thank you for loving me, regardless of how tired you have been.” So, let us welcome her with open arms & appreciate what she has depicted below.
So there you are pregnant with your first child and super excited, yet nervous about every little thing. You keep up with all the mommy blogs, register for the best items on the market and pray you have it all figured out. Fast forward to birth and OUCH, not just the physical pain but also the mental. As a new mother, you have to heal from labor and figure out motherhood at the same time – not easy. This being your first baby, everyone wants to see the human you created and just like that… you don’t matter anymore. There’s no “hey, how are you doing?” it’s “where’s the baby?”, “how’s the baby?”, “”can I come see the baby?” scratch that, more so, “I’m coming to see the baby.” After a couple weeks, when all the hype dies down, it gets real. Your life consists of feeding, changing, comforting, repeat. But as soon as you get into the swing of things, behold! You have a crawler and soon after a walker. Mobile babies are ruthless! They want every little thing their little fingers can grab and don’t you dare try to stop them. Everything is going straight to their mouths too so you really have to watch them like a hawk.
Fast forward to running and talking toddlers. Chase that baby if you want to, they will cross you over as if they’re the greatest NBA player in the league. That little baby that you couldn’t wait to start talking, now talks and their favorite word is NO. “No mommy, no! I don’t want it, I can’t do it.” They’re so negative. Bedtime becomes your favorite part of the day. They have the nerve to be the cutest when they are sleeping; as if they didn’t run rampant in your home just hours before wreaking all kinds of havoc. You think you know what messy is, but a toddler will give you a whole new definition of the word. Now you’re at a crossroad— “do I clean this up or go watch my favorite night time drama?”, the latter always wins for me. You clean up just for the little rascal(s) to do the exact same thing, again. It’s never ending.
So they grow up a bit more and life is smooth sailing now. You got this mom thing down. It just all got easier. I suddenly didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night to get his sippy cup. The separation anxiety had stopped. Being able to take a nap while he watched his favorite cartoon was pretty awesome too. My son has always been a pretty easy going kid. Quiet like his mama, calm and cool. I get all the compliments about this one. People even offer to take him off our hands because he’s such a delight. Even though he’s not so high maintenance, mothering is still hard. I still worry and get frustrated like the best of them. I still get tired, but I have to carry on despite having worked a full day. We have extracurricular activities we have to attend to. School routines, ugh, as much as I love him getting away to learn, I hate it too. Having to get up and take him when I don’t have to be out the house sucks and homework…. [every cuss word that exists, insert here]…. most days I just CAN’T. I do, but I just can’t.
Then it comes… yup… that feeling that stupid feeling. The thought pops in, “I should have more.” Now, pause sis, really think long and hard about that. Remember breastfeeding and pumping, teething, diaper blowouts, all the outfit changes while potty training, how long it took him to sleep through the night, all of your sleepless nights. Remember? That is usually the revelation when some people say “nah, I’m good”, but silly ol’ me, disregarded what I knew and said “it’s ok, it’ll get better later, I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel. My child needs a sibling now!”
After having to convince my husband and making sure finances were good, baby number 2 became a reality instead of a dream. Labor was better, breastfeeding was better, I didn’t experience baby blues, I was more knowledgeable… the greatness stopped there. All those visitors I had the first time didn’t happen again, thank God though, they were annoying. Baby number 2 threw me for a complete loop. She was and still is a crybaby. A crying child will drive you completely insane, it’s draining. However, here I am with this beautiful child I hoped and prayed for— who was said to be hard to conceive but here we were and I was not happy. Luckily, I remained sane. She’s 2 now and still cries and whines, but not as much. I have mastered shutting it down now. Thankfully, I go to work and it’s my escape. As much as I complain about her I love her dearly. She’s my life size doll, dressing a girl is so much fun. She doesn’t like getting her hair done too often but I enjoy it when she does. I enjoyed our 19 month breastfeeding journey, surpassing my son’s 12 months. She’s funny and super smart. She walked at 8 months and you know the saying ‘they’re moving fast to get out of the way for the next’, well it was true. Three is coming and I have to go through the ups and downs all over again. But I will always remember and never forget, while it does get better, it ain’t easy.
Today, it is important to speak on the concept of perspective & how having a positive outlook could be one of our most powerful superpowers. Studies have shown that those who work diligently to have a positive mindset thrive in areas of love, stress management, social interactions, work performance & life expectancy. It is the power of our outlook that determines how well we overcome the inevitable obstacles that may deter, disappoint or discourage us from our goals. However, it takes practice to use this power to its maximum ability. Regardless of how much I advocate for a positive perspective, I sometimes require reminders because, lord knows, it is a heck of alot easier to think the world is falling off its axis at the first sign of discomfort.
Well today, as I have said before & will continue to say time & time again, there is power in your mindset & a positive perspective can do more for your well-being than anything negative you may think, feel & manifest. When you think positive with a firm understanding that any & everything will work out in your favor; you have the potential to make mountains crumble in front of you. If you are not careful, a negative outlook can have you looking at some blessings like a curse & harping on situations because they could be better. A few years ago my uncle passed away from stage 4 cancer & although it hurt like hades to have him leave us, I coped with his passing better than I imagined. Why? Because it was one less day that he was suffering, one less day that he was tired, one less day that he had to cope with preparing to leave us & one sure day that he gave himself to God. Because of this, I know where he is & that I will see him again. Now, every time an anniversary of his approaches (sunrise & sunset) I do not wallow in sadness, instead, I rejoice that he found his way home & his life of torment is over. It is this perspective & this reversal of understanding that I try to practice in my day-to-day. I encourage you to do the same.
Life is so much more than being crippled by experiences that have the potential to take us out. We must not let them. It is all a cycle: what we think influences how we feel & how we feel influences what we attest out of our mouths; what we say out our mouths is heard by the unseen. Therefore, even when you feel it is all falling apart around you keeping a positive mindset is the key. The positive mindset, despite how you feel or your circumstance, is a testament to your faith.
If you have been following Nickkie&Co for some time, you know I generally do not discuss politics or riveting current events unless my heart is moved to do so. However, I would be naive to ignore the suffering that has occurred to Americans within the American border. Although we received notification that the government shutdown has ended, the truth of the matter is, the government was still shut down for over a month. This resulted in over 800,000 people effected & a US deficit of 6 billion dollars. Based on conversations I have had, it is evident that regardless of our own individual political views, the concensus amongst us is disgust. Disgust because there was an attempt to prove a point on the backs of Americans. Someone’s hatred/distaste for one group resulted in the oppression of US citizens.
For weeks, government workers have had to struggle with maintaining the livelihood of their families. The shut down not only effected their income, it effected health insurance benefits & the various ways that people have ensured the survival & advancement of their families. There was a political massacre taking place at the expense of the American people. This is utterly unacceptable because regardless, a hardship was deliberately placed amongst us by the very person in place to unify us. Although better days are coming, this does not erase what has occurred to these families & the steps that would need to be taken to pick up the pieces. There will still be a delay in the repayment of their funds & this will always linger over the heads of American people. Therefore, it is now more than ever that I urge you to come together in kindness. Let us exemplify what it is to be united even if our “leader” is attempting to divide us. There was a total disregard for how it effects us as a nation. Therefore, our best bet under these circumstances is to rely on each other because together, we can enforce change.
As a Philanthropic organization, I struggled with ways to assist due to my own lack of knowledge & my inability obtain access to resources that can really help people. Therefore, this time (praying this is the final time) I can offer word of mouth, encourage people to seek resources, & extend my individual hand for assistance. If you are a family effected by this political uproar, I encourage you to reach out to food banks & local churches for food, resources & benevolence packages that can help you get on your feet. This is a time in which you should speak up & watch God place you in the path of people who can help you. Below, I have included a link that directs you to resources in NJ able to provide assistance. Although, some of you may not be located in NJ, if you reach out, I’m sure there is someone who can direct you to your state equivalent in some way. Under these circumstances, do not be discouraged, prideful or embarrassed. Allow us to show you what we can do for you. The best of people comes forward during times of distress. We are here. Obtain the resources created for your utilization & be empowered by faith. ♥️
Society has conditioned us very early on to be content being everyone but ourselves. Our true selves. In one way or another media reminds us that who we are & who we want to be is not enough. Unless, of course, it fits their idea of perfection or success. In many direct & indirect ways, we are told how to dress, how to talk, who to love, how to love, what to like, what to dislike, what is important, what to dismiss & what we should do based on what society thinks is important. This has resulted in so many of us unsure of who we are, what we believe in & what we represent. Well today, I encourage you to start the journey in learning exactly who you are, what you stand for & what is important to you because despite what you are conditioned to believe –there is not one single person that is on this earth just like you. You were made special, as one of a kind, limited edition — that is the beauty that is you.
The most beautiful thing I have ever witnessed is a person who found true, genuine joy because they were willing to be rebellious for the sake of discovering themselves. They live in joy because they outgrew society’s standards & are living outside of such restrictions. So many of us are walking around with a mask that perpetrates us in a different way than who we really are. This is dangerous to our self-care because we are too busy living for the likes of someone else– so much so, that we forget who we are & dislike ourselves in the process. To be ourselves unapologetically is the best gift we could ever give ourselves & to the world. We spend so much time of our lives being loyal to other people & we do not realize that being loyal to ourselves & our identities is even more important.
Remaining yourself, regardless of the circumstances you face, is a miraculous talent to have. Even under the worst situations you still remain true- true to you. That is the quality to having a good life that will impact, not only yours, but the lives of others. Like I said, there is no one like you, once you are gone there will never be another you. There is no one better at being you than you — embrace you. That is the least that you can do for yourself. Be you, always, all the time, regardless– Forever.
I usually struggle to write about topics like this out of concern of appearing bitter, irrational or unrealistic. Anyone that knows me, knows I have been through my share of heartbreak; some more crippling than others. However, the truth is, people (notice I said ‘people’) need to hear this. On a regular basis people are living tied to toxic, dysfunctional & unhappy relationships. They find themselves lost in the antics & associate with insecurity, discomfort, uncertainty & defeat. So, today, regardless of my own reservations it will be said. Despite what people think, this situation is beyond one individual person, as there are people that need empowerment before & after leaving relationships that no longer suit them.
I will be the first one to tell you that I have walked away from relationships still in love. I will also tell you that regardless of how visibly stubborn I have been; internally I struggled with whether or not I made the right decision to preserve myself & walk away. Truth is, I wanted so badly to believe that someone can change & that under the right circumstances they can change because of me. Too often, afterwards, I ended up raising an amazing man for someone else to enjoy. This often left me disappointed, heartbroken, angry & remorseful for the time I invested & lost. My story is not one of its own. In talking to other people, circumstances may differ but the situation is very much the same. So this memoir is for the person having a hard time getting away. For the person who looks at their partner & wonders what happened & who looks in the mirror & is unsure of themselves. This memoir is for you— because, I have been there too.
I will not tell you why you should get away because realistically, we leave when we are good & ready to. All situations are not just cut & dry. Some situations are more complicated. However, what I will tell you is this– you are not stupid for staying. You are not a fool for forgiving. You should not be ashamed for being hopeful things will get better. Instead if you do not understand or believe anything again in your life– resonate with this– you are powerful, mighty, worthy, beautiful, a gift & a blessing. Anyone who takes that for granted is unworthy of you. You are deserving, you are admirable, you are amazing, you are smart & you are blessed. Anyone willing to risk that does not deserve you. You are breathtaking, you are creative, you are endearing & you are phenomenal. Anyone who can not see that has already lost you. You are strong, you are smart & courageous. If YOU cannot see that, you have already sold yourself short.
See, you are a gem to be loved & cherished. Sadly, we do not always find ourselves tied to people who understand that, however, that still does not negate our worth. You are loved & cherished by the most high. You are loved beyond compare & there will never be anyone to grace this earth like you. You are you, miraculously & wonderfully, you. No one can ever take that from you. With each passing obstacle you become more resilient, more notorious & more victorious. Please believe the words as I wrote them. I do not have to meet you to tell you. I was you. I have been there. We are cut from the same cloth. Drape yourself in pride & confidence, love. The rest will follow. As I always say, you are deserving of all that is coming for you. It is yours & yours alone.
Happy New Year Conglomerates! Writing for you, loving into you & encouraging you has been a fun & empowering journey. I am so grateful you have been with me & I pray that I can continue to empower you one year at a time. I can not express my gratitude in words, but I thank you from the depth of my heart for joining me & sticking with me.
Don’t forget to subscribe to partake in the Nickkie&Co. Birthday Giveaway!! Details are in my previous post.
We hear often that life is all about taking risks. If we fail to take risks than we fail to truly live. However true that may be, I for one like to play most things safe. I am a very consistent person & any changes too far off from the grid make me uncomfortable. It is interesting because regardless of how extreme in nature I may be, risks & I usually do not come hand-in-hand. However, it was not until the last year or so (2017-2018), that I learned the importance of taking chances on myself, even if the risk does not initially make sense.
For the most part, I did things the way it was expected I should have. I graduated high school, went to college, excelled, had enough graduations for a lifetime & always had a job to make ends meet; whether I was happily employed or not. So, one can only imagine my discomfort when I decided to leave my well paying job with awesome benefits, & an amazing schedule for a job that imposed a $5,000 pay cut & a commitment of more days (possibly long hours) all for the sake of experience. I struggled often with the decision & spent the first 5-6 months of my employment concerned that the risk I took was in vain. Well today, I tell you that taking the risk was one of the greatest things I could have ever done for myself. Exactly one year later, I was promoted to a position that affords me peace of mind, given a salary that surpasses what I left & opens me up to so many opportunities that will elevate my career.
So please listen when I tell you, risks are a necessary part of life. Risks showcase the magnitude of your faith & is an unexpected, yet empowering example of self-care. All risks do not make sense & they often are not suppose to, but if you can envision the road in the long run than it is likely worth taking the chance. From my experience, what you envision does not even scratch the surface of what God has in store for you. Sometimes it simply takes a small leap of faith & a whole lot of courage. Every week, I take a risk when I send out a memoir for public review & scrutiny — leaving myself exposed to unwarranted comments, grammar & spelling corrections & recommendations on how “said memoir” could have been better. However, the good far outweighs the tedious & elevates my heart from the fruits of my labor. But I would never recognize this if I was not willing to take the risk each & every week by making myself vulnerable & accountable for the chances I am willing to make.
Do not place limitations on yourself out of concern that a risk will not work out in your favor. There is always a way out of no way & you are worth the investment you put into yourself. Life has many lessons to share with you & it is not limited to negative experiences. There is magic in keeping a little faith & treasure hidden in your risks. Claim it & I can promise you that what you risked will be small in comparison to what awaits you. To obtain our hearts desire it requires a willingness to stand firm in what we believe in & a high jump for the opportunity. Life is way too short to have to sit around & wonder “what if”. “What if” is beneath you.
Happy New Year! Just popping in to share with you the details of the very first Nickkie&Co. giveaway!!!! I am super excited!
To commemorate Nickkie&Co.’s first birthday ··· Nickkie&Co. has teamed up with @imancosmetics to give two amazing subscribersa special gift for their support. For 2.5 weeks, everyone has the chance to subscribe in order to win 2 high quality, luxurious highlighters & 2 bold, long lasting lipsticks to have for a special or not-so-speacial night out. This is just a token of appreciation for your support as we tread into the new year with enthusiasm. By subscribing with your email to the website you’re immediately entered into the drawing. Winners will be drawn and announced on 01/20/2019 🙂
In the meantime, don’t forget to wish my baby a happy 1st birthday.
Emotional vulnerability is the ability to emotionally “exercise openness”. People often think that being emotionally vulnerable is a bad thing. Society has conditioned us to think that the exposure of too much emotion is in fact a negative attribute that no one should aspire to have. As a result, we are forced to live our lives amongst people who lack the ability to express themselves- resulting in a slew of dysfunctional relationships & misunderstood behaviors. I, for one, was one of those people. Growing up in the city taught me some very flawed ways of communication, which in turn severely effected how I maintained my relationships. Aggressive behavior was praised while any expression of vulnerability was chastised & frowned upon. So to avoid being the subject of ridicule I embraced this perspective. So much so, it became natural for me to behave in ways that hurt others while rejecting those who did not act as I did.
It is no secret that I have made some unintentional, yet welcomed changes as of the past year. My ability to reflect on my past & change of perspective has allowed me to recognize the flaw in my previous way of thinking. I can say to you with certainty that the benefits of allowing myself to be emotionally vulnerable have truly surpassed the benefits associated with how I was living my life before. My willingness to accept my emotions, how they affect me & how I manage them has been the biggest saving grace in my life. My outlook & perspective has done a complete 360 & I say pridefully that the things I took for granted are now appreciated beyond measure. I now realize that people are not disposable. People make mistakes. If I am unwilling to recognize this, then I allow myself to miss out on amazing experiences with amazing people. I find beauty in the most minor things, live a life full of genuine joy & find substance in simple day-to-day activities. I have taught myself better ways to communicate & I love freely without condition. This all would not be possible if I refused to allow myself to succumb to my feelings without being ashamed. My willingness to embrace my emotions (good or bad) along with my ability to think logically has opened so many doors for me that I know would not have been opened before.
Many of us are looking for a drastic change to occur in our lives. We wait forever for the “ah-ha” moment that will reshape things for us. However, sometimes our inability to fully embrace what is going on around us keeps those moments from happening. I have learned that our perspectives have a big influence on the way we live. Therefore, the best way to live is to allow ourselves to feel so that we may experience life’s little blessings. Today, I encourage you to stop shutting down your feelings out of fear of being vulnerable. Start allowing yourself to feel, engage & relish in the moments that makes life great. Life is too short not to feel all of its wonders. There is magic in the freedom you will have once you let yourself be free—without constraint. Give it a try.
“You have to be mature enough to understand that you have some toxic traits too. It’s not just the other person.”
These are the words etched in a meme I discovered on Instagram this week. Of course, I reposted it because the substance in those two sentences can not & should not be ignored. Weekly, I advocate the importance of preserving our energy & recognizing when certain people or situations do not work in our favor. However, I have never addressed the importance of being accountable for the things we may have done to others. I, for one, can recognize that I am not perfect. I understand that in pursuit of finding myself & navigating through the different stages of my life I have caused pain to others; whether intentional or not. I would be utterly naive to believe that I am the only person who has walked away from negative situations hurt. I must even recognize that I have hurt & caused pain or damage to others I am unaware of. Therefore, it is important to acknowledge the roles we have played in someone else’s pain. As adults, we must acknowledge the facts – we are not perfect; nor were we created to be. However, acknowledging that we have had a hand in the experiences of other people, whether good or bad, would give us the most realistic platform for self-reflection.
If we fail to be accountable for our actions & the roles we play, we still leave those we love susceptible to pain while further crippling our own ability to grow. In hurting others & failing to remain accountable, the cycle of pain is never-ending because the opportunity to learn from past behavior will becomes non-existent. Furthermore, those interactions & experiences have the potential to ignite a plague of dysfunction that spans through the lives of many people if not dealt with appropriately. So the last thing we should want is for our behavior to have lasting negative effects on people that inhibits them from evolving past negative experiences they may have had with us. People, regardless of how amazing or horrible they may be perceived, deserve the right to heal. More specifically, from pain we have foisted upon them.
As I write this, I am able to reflect on my healing process & what I needed to receive in order to heal sooner. Although I could not identify it then, in hindsight, I realize that my struggle to fully move past what was done to me (without anger) was significantly hindered by my inability to accept the other person’s disinterest in recognizing the role they played in my dismay. Though I have learned that I have total control of my healing in it’s entirety; in those phases of my life, I would have appreciated solid recognition of the situation instead of the offerings of sweet nothings, broken promises & cruel & dismissive behavior.
However, please recognize that in being accountable, I do not prescribe that we carry the burdens of someone else’s pain like bolders on our shoulders; nor do I believe that we should drag them behind us as if they were shackled to our ankles. We should never be slaves to our past. However, if given the opportunity (directly or indirectly) it would be most conducive to growth if we understand that some of our traits are toxic too. Having toxic traits does not make us bad people, it simply just makes us human. We owe nothing more than that to anyone but ourselves. We are not required to be anything more or anything less than– human. Not perfect. Not a superhero. Just human. Just the best version of human we can be.