Teach Treatment

I have always said, that you have to teach people how to treat you. However, I often got remarks from people who look at this statement at the surface. They assume I am implying that one is to endure mistreatment for a certain period of time in the “teaching” process.

In fact, I mean the exact opposite.

So I will say it again. You MUST teach people how to treat you & you have to be consistent when you do so. This is equivalent to setting boundaries & it ensures self preservation. People will go as far as you allow them to. They will push limits & stretch boundaries as far as you can take it. Even without clear intention; it happens. People have to understand there are consequences to mistreatment & based on what that consequence is, people who care; will avoid it.

For instance, there is a difference between someone who has been cheated on once & a person who has been cheated on multiple times. The behavior after finding out sets a standard for what happens next. Although this is not full proof (a dog will be a dog- male or female), when a person feels the consequences of losing you they will think twice about doing it again; if given the opportunity. This holds true in all relationships whether romantic, friendly or professional- people learn & they are quick learners.

I see too many of us walking around NOT using this method & enduring treatment that could have been addressed, dealt with & eliminated long before. This is an imperative method to ensuring you take care of yourself & set the standard. Do not be scared of the consequences of this. It only goes up from here. Be bold, deliberate & consistent. Eventually, your reputation will proceed you & you will recognize when choices that are not available to others are available to you. Do not accept anything less than the type of treatment you would want for someone you love dearly & want the best for. Expect to be loved & treated at the same magnitude. Do not let people take YOU forgranted. Accept nothing less than royal treatment because that IS what you are- royalty.

Teach that.

Blessed Encounters

Hello Loves!

Today is just a reminder to be a blessing while here on earth because you never know with who or where you have left an impact. If anyone is to remember you for anything, let it be because you made them feel good.

I was informed last Sunday that a lady from my church passed away. I will be honest enough to say I did not even know her name & I don’t think she knew mine; but I remember how our few encounters made me feel. She helped me reach a spiritual milestone that served to be difficult for over a year; but she stepped right in & helped me. Afterwards, she never forgot me. She will hug & greet me every time she saw me & ensured to encourage me to keep going. I can reflect now & say with certainty that she will never know the impact our encounters (especially that one in particular) had on me.

You see, every morning I wake up with the intention to make a positive impact on someone’s life. Impressions are lasting so it matters if they’re good or bad. When you are no longer here, we only ever have what memories you have left behind. Those memories matter. Leave behind something beautiful. You don’t have to be perfect but at the very least be a good person that helped, loved, cared & poured into people (strangers too). Let someone look at you & recognize the God in you. Represent him well. Show love. Be love & spread love.

Love is the blessing.

Disappointments Happen…

Life is unpredictable. However, you can be certain that it will have its highs & it will have some pretty crappy lows. Many of those lows will be associated with disappointment in yourself, various circumstances & people. Knowing this, disappointment in people has been one of the hardest things for me to accept as part of life.

I tend to take those forms of disappointment personally. But what I have learned to tell myself is this- carrying the weight of disappointment & wondering why it had to happen to me is too much of a burden to carry. Instead, how someone treats me (especially when I don’t deserve it) has more to do with them then it does with me.

Therefore, I share the same perpsective with you. We do not need to know why. All we need to know is that it happenened & we feel a certain way about it. How the person feels about their behavior & how they feel about treating us a particular way is not our problem. Our responsibility is solely in ensuring that we bounce back from this, take the lesson & strive forward. This method ensures the best result for us. Because that is what matters, how we rise out of this.

Disappointment is inevitable. But so is the bounce back.

Relishing in Singleness

Here’s a fun fact about me. I have spent more time single than in a relationship. Not because no one wants me but because it was & still is my choice. With the few who slipped through the cracks, I have always ensured that I was selective about who I allowed in my circle; regardless of the type of relationship I chose to maintain with them. However, I always relished in the fact that being single has always looked good on me.

Let me preface this by saying– I am not discrediting anyone for their realtionship choices & their desires or actions in settling down early. I am a firm believer, what is for you, is for you & thus far singleness has been for me & settling down has been written for others. But aside from that, I am simply offering a positive perspective to what society refuses to accept as something positive; singleness. In my singleness, I have been able to pour into myself in a way that only I could have– educationally, spiritually, recreationally & professionally. In being able to focus on me & solely myself; I have been able to manifest everything I ever wanted without having to consider anyone else. My time single has been a blessing that has allowed me to learn so much more about myself & what my expectations are when I finally do settle down.

Do not be confused. More than anything, I want to be a good wife to a good husband & have a good family. But, at the right time with the right person. This does not mean I have not kissed a few toads along the way because I most certainly have. I dated multiple people, sat in the midst of some toxic relationships & ran at the first sign of discomfort. However, what I learned along the way is that; any relationship, of any sort, with anyone, are learning opportunities that require a moment to recover after separation.

Relationships are work. They take a lot of compromising, adjustments & create new standards of living. In ending romantic &/or intimate relationships, we need to learn to be single again. But what is the point of being single if you cannot relish & enjoy it. Nickkie&CO was founded after a rocky bout of too much fun with horrible people. I made a conscious decision to take time off from pouring into dead end relationships & into myself, God & other women who needed it.

& here we are.

Years later & it has been the best decision I have ever made.

If you are single & disappointed, I urge you to consider a new perspective. Sit back & evaluate all the opportunities that are available to you. Are there business endeavors you always wanted to consider? Did your last relationship provide gems that can be beneficial to someone else? Are you able to see where there are areas you need to grow for the next one? If so, this is the time. This is the time that matters & makes it worth it. Singleness can be so fruitful to your life if you let it. An active choice to be single does not mean you are alone. They are not one in the same & the moment you recognize this; relishing in singleness will be your new relationship status.

I Bought A Home!

Hey loves, happy Sunday!!! It has been almost a month since I have made one of the biggest commitments of my life; I became a home owner. However so, I am still adjusting to the changes & getting acclimated with what new bills look like since this is an endeavor I decided to take on my own. While in the process, I am amazed how much I did not know & how much other people want to know. So I decided to, of course, share what I learned & show my realtor (Hey Aspen!) some love. Her contact information will be included at the bottom of this memoir. Thank me later because she’s ahhh-mayyy-ziiiinnnnggg!

  1. It is never too soon or too late to see where you stand financially. Many times, what we think we know about our finances varies in the mortgage process. If homeownership is a goal of yours, it does not hurt to speak to someone (loan officer) to determine if homeownership is a goal you can accomplish now or later. If now is not the time, don’t feel bad. I inquired last year about my status; last year was not the time for me. However, I knew exactly what I needed to work on so I could be prepared now.
  2. Good credit isn’t enough. Your debt-to-income ratio can be a pain in the butt when trying to get approved for your loan. Your loan officer not only ensures that your credit is sufficient; they also ensure that you can own your home. They don’t like risks.
  3. Savings are important but there are grants out there that can help minimize the upfront cost on your end. You will never know until you ask! For instance, after speaking with my loan officer, it was determined that FHA wasn’t the best option for me in the long run. So she found some Conventional Loan options that suited me best.
  4. Once you get approved for a loan, the home searching process begins. Understand, you can be approved for a loan that is higher than what you want to spend on a home. That’s ok. Don’t spend what you do not feel comfortable spending.
  5. Ask all the questions you need to ask. This is a huge commitment. I drove my realtor & loan officer crazy because I apologized so often for asking questions. They like questions. That want to be sure you are sure about what you are committing to. So, the more questions you have, the more likely you are to vocalize concerns.
  6. When actually looking for a home, the best thing I did in this process was write a list of my non-negotiables (must have or must not have) & my flexible desires. This allowed me not to get distracted when looking at various homes. If you share your list with your realtor, she/he will keep you focused.
  7. Once you find your home & the offer has been accepted it moves quickly. Most realtors attempt to close within a month or sooner after the offer has been accepted. I closed in 3 weeks.
  8. Upon offer acceptance, there are other expenses that you pay to protect yourself such as: a Good Faith Deposit ($1000-1500 deposit to the seller, committing to purchasing the home; no worries you get it back at closing), Lawyer for contract review, Termite inspection, home inspection & home appraisal. All these things ensure that you get the best deal when purchasing your home. In fact, these can give you some negotiation power.
  9. You sign a lot of documents throughout this process but if you are efficient, it makes it easier for all the parties involved trying to see this deal to the table.
  10. Getting to the table is the easiest part. Because it’s done. If you do what I did, you sign all e-documents before you get there & you sit at the table all of 10 minutes then you take cute selfies. lol

Being scared is normal. I am almost a month in & I am still scared. Just enjoy the ride. This is a big accomplishment. With the right people, you will not be stirred in the wrong direction. God will not give you anything you can’t handle recognize the blessing & continue on.

Reign & Rule

Revelation 5:10 (KJV) confirms that God made us kings & priest to reign & rule on this earth; in every encounter- EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Therefore, today, as you begin the Monday morning hustle & bustle; keep this in mind. Be mindful of your voice & your actions. Do not submit to any of the behaviors that compromise your position & make you anything less than what you are; royalty.

With the political & social climate we are currently in, establish your position & stand firm on it. Use your words to speak life into yourself & others. Use your actions to show love & use your experiences to be a testimony to someone else. Times are difficult. But they are not difficult enough to defeat us. However, now more than ever, it is imperative that you be what you were created to be. Do not coward when times become less desirable. Do not zip your lips when you see injustices & do not run when you witness adversity.

Your strength is needed. Your wit is desired. You intelligence is required. Use it.

TUNE IN…

We have grown up in a society that requires us to keep moving. This same society encourages us to ignore the nudges & do whatever is necessary to advance forward. A valuable lesson I have been learning is there is beauty in being still & tuning in. When I am still, I become mentally & spiritually full & I hand over the platform to allow God to do him & show off!

So many of us run ourselves ragged & wonder why our relationships suffer, our mental health is teetering & our momentum is depleting. However, instead of paying attention to what these things mean; we keep running the rat race wondering why the limited silence around us is so loud. The truth is, we can do any & every thing; BUT we limit ourselves when we do not give ourselves the opportunity to sit in silence & reflect before making important decisions & exposing ourselves to certain endeavors.

Our bodies are natural born survivors. All it cares about is surviving. All aspects of our being is created to do so; down to our physical, spiritual & mental being. We, however, push against our natural survival instinct with the constant demands we put on ourselves & the failure to listen when our body is talking to us.

Therefore, today I encourage you to tune in. Do not fill the gaps of silence with tasks that keep you so busy you fail to notice what your body is asking you for. Begin to appreciate those times & just sit still so that you can recharge & be fresh. You will notice, once you give yourself & your body the time you need; you will become more equipped to handle day-to-day tasks that once felt tedious, difficult or unenjoyable.

You are too valuable not to allow yourself a moment to tune up. Make it a requirement. Trust me, your body & those who love you; will thank you later.

Set Boundaries. Periodtttt!

Boundaries are “lines that mark the limits of an area” & although this term is used in various ways – particularly in relation to self care & preservation – very few of us truly understand it’s importance. I have been diligent in ensuring that I assess & re-asess my behaviors, responses & reactions to how I am feeling & how others make me feel on a consistent basis.

However so, I continue to learn that establishing boundaries are not my strongest suite. Sure, I advocate for myself & speak up (not always the best way) when I need to. But by then, opportunities in which I should have established clear boundaries have come & gone. Being able to speak up & advocate for yourself is NOT the same as establishing clear boundaries that says “this is where I draw the line.” I have learned now, more than ever, that people will always do what you allow them to do; they will even test their limits to see how much further they can go. If we fail to establish those boundaries we cheat ourselves from peace. What is peace if we are unable to preserve it for ourselves? We cannot require things from people if we do not set the standard of the expectation.

So as you start this week, I urge you to take the time to evaluate your interactions – what makes you feel great & what doesn’t– & learn what boundaries you need to have in place. You need to care for YOU before you can be productive doing anything else. Stop trying to heal everyone & fix everything before tending to the your body is telling you it needs. Pay attention. Many times, your initial feeling is the guide to establishing the boundary that needs to be set in place. If it does not feel right than it is not right. Draw the line.

Moms, Remember This…

Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers, soon-to-be mothers, attempting mothers, mothers in heaven & those who play motherly roles! Your influence is appreciated & your love is unmatched. Although motherhood has not graced my life yet, I am aware of how hard you are on yourselves on a regular basis so…

Life (physically & mentally) could not happen without you.

You have super powers that being someone’s mommy affords you.

You bring comfort to those who need you.

You inspire those who watch you.

The world does not always appreciate you but it would not go round without you.

You are multifaceted & play many roles.

You are a Chef.

A nurse.

A teacher.

A therapist.

A chauffer.

A referee & mediator.

A best friend.

A sister.

A protector.

You are strong beyond measure.

You serve those you love to perfection.

You defend with precision.

You provide experiences & memories to cherish.

Your love is the midas touch. Everything it touches turns to gold.

You birth new life every day by simply being you.

You support without question & provide wisdom in your statements.

You organize a life that may not have been provided to you…

…But you do so without hesitation.

You are power & bliss.

Sunshine & a calming rain storm.

You are fire & ice.

A force untouchable.

A testament of LOVE.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Spread Life NOT Gossip

Sitting at home we have a lot of extra time to invest our energy into a variety of things. Depending on where our mindset is, we will either choose to devote our energy into positive or negative things. It is imperative now more than ever to speak beauty into life instead of contributing to the ugliness there is by gossiping.

Regardless of how much we deny this- we are all guilty of it. We spew out negative energy that is not of us. We were not created to thrive off the shortcomings & inconsistencies of others & we surely were not meant to spread it, either. However, if we spent more time being conscious of our own we would be able to manifest that energy to becoming a better version of ourselves.

Because the truth is, gossip is poison. We hurt people when we spread negative statements about their character & fail to give them opportunities to redeem or defend themselves against what is being said. Keep in mind that what we say not only effects the person but it effects the people who love them. This could have lasting effects that make it significantly difficult to get past. People’s character will show others who they are; they don’t need our help. We get caught up with people kicking our own backs in but fail to recognize the irony when we do it. We receive what we give out to the world so now, more than ever, we need to mind our business & not speak life into things that are not becoming of us.

We are light. When we do anything other than spread light; we lose. We demote ourselves when we engage in things that are beneath us. We are above this. Although it may take a conscious effort not to engage; our abilities far extend past a negative statement that we give life to by passing it on.

“On the day of judgment, people will give account for every careless word they speak” Matthew 12:36

& we should prefer to be praised for the life we spoke into others when we face our father. Period.