Making History 2020

In a time like this, when it is your duty to take a stand, will you?

Today I did. I took a stand in what will be the history for my children & the continued strides of my ancestors. I walked with over 1000 people from one town to the next- amongst political figures, police officers, white people, black people, adolescents & children. We were all walking in protest for the same thing:

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Quite frankly, I am speechless. I cannot even articulate the thoughts running through my mind & the raw emotions coursing through my body. Even if I tried, I cannot begin to express to you the extent of solidarity & pride moving throughout the protest today. I am full of gratitude for the people who do not look like me but walked with me, talked with me, shouted with me, & supported on the sidelines. The message was clear- real clear.

BLACK LIVES MATTER- TOO!!!

It is extremely important that we do not stop here. That we keep going & we continue to have our voices heard. Not just during this Black Lives Matter protest, that fights back against police brutality & systematic racism; but forevermore in the face of any & all adversity. By utilizing our First Amendment right to assemble; protests have ignited & inspired positive social changes, advancements in human rights & a vast spread of information to be delivered by the masses to the masses. We see this in the examples before now such as the Women’s March, Gandhi’s Salt March, Boston Tea Party, March on Washington, March of Our Lives, Million Man March, Berlin Wall Protests, Iraq War Protest, etc… & even if the desired result was not achieved, people of like-minds, came together & had their voices heard. That alone speaks volumes. Volumes that one individual person cannot do alone.

Make your voices heard. Make your ancestors proud, pave the way for the generations after you & fight for your lives by taking a stand against the injustices so many of us face every day. Do not be deterred. Push forward. Stand Tall & DO NOT GIVE IN.

Sitting idly is NOT option.

Remember their names:

George Floyd, Christian Taylor, Dante Parker, Sandra Bland, Akai Gurley, Oscar Grant, Mya Hall, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Salvado Ellswood, Rumain Brisbon, Eric Gardner, Kimani Gray, Jonathan Sanders, Joseph Mann, George Mann, Eric Harris, Jamar Clark, Natasha McKenna, Michell Cusseaux, Laquan McDonald, Jerome Reid, Anthony Hill, Breona Taylor, Matthew Ajibad, Christopher Davis, Trayvon Martin, Rumain Brisbon, Akai Gurley, Brendon Glenn, Anthony Hill, Samuel Dubose, Philando Castile, Sean Bell, Alton Sterlin, Freddy Gray, Walter Scott, Troy Robinson, Sean Monterrosa, Botham Jean, Oscar Grant, Philip White, Amber Monroe, Ahmaua Arbery, Terrence Crutcher, Aiyana Jones, Ezell Ford, Dominic Hutchinson, Rumain Brisbon, Bill Ray Davis, Ahmaud Arbery, Jamar Clark, Kevin Hicks, La’vante Biggs, Tyree Crawford, Anthony Ashford, Alonzo Smith, Michael Lee Marshall, Michael Noel, Bettie Jones, Frank Smart, Michael Sabbie, Peter Gaines, Patterson Brown, Randy Nelson, Nathaniel Harris Pickett, Felix Kumi, Tony Robinson, India Kager, Miguel Espinal, Richard Perkins

& the countless others I have missed.

Because their lives matter too!

Why Black Lives Matter…

The last thing I wanted to do was write about the climate we are currently in. Not because I want to avoid the topic but because it hurts. I have a tendency to speak out of turn with rambunctious emotion before I have taken a full moment to process all that is happening & has happened. However, I will be a fool & will not be of service if I shy away from difficult topics like this one. #blacklivesmatter & I refuse to be apart of the problem that says otherwise. 

Let me preface this memoir by stating what should be obvious: If you THINK this topic does not affect you; you are sadly mistaken. Because it does. Whether you are brown, black, white, blue, yellow, green- of african decent, hispanic decent or asian decent – IT AFFECTS YOU! If you, yourself have not experienced the effects of the oppression imposed on black & brown men & women in the United States; I can guarantee that someone you love, someone you hold dear to you will not have the same testimony. If by some unlikely possibility, this still holds false– there is still a high probability that THIS will greet you at your doorstep. So do not be fooled. Don’t allow yourself to be oblivious to what is going on around you because THIS MATTERS!

BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Now when WE say #blacklivesmatter, we are not saying other lives don’t. What we are saying is- #blacklivesmatter TOO, ALSO, AS WELL, TAMBIEN. However, the events that have occurred & continue to occur remind us that expressing this is extremely important & in these circumstances- the rest…

DO NOT MATTER.

It is the black lives being targeted & slain. It is the black lives that have to question the trustworthiness of the very individuals in place to “serve & protect” them. It is the black lives who are yelling for their mothers during the last breathing moments of their lives. It is the black lives who have to continue to watch as guilty individuals continue to be acquitted for the murder of their loved ones; while jails are overpopulated with black lives that have done less.

Need I say more?

Racism is very much real & despite the strides of our ancestors; it is still very much a reality. It is this fact alone that has us rowdy, fighting back & unrelenting with various ways of expression. Do I necessarily agree with the looting? Nope. However, can I understand why? Most definitely. People are tired! Fed up! Scared & scarred by a system that continues to profile, victimize & disregard them as individuals time & time again. Efforts for peaceful & silent protests have occurred & have disheartened protestors & supporters when another guilty man is acquitted for a murder streaming all over the internet.

With that being said, you cannot be silent & be a supporter. You cannot be a supporter if you turn your cheek to all that is going on around you to avoid conflict or confrontation. You cannot stand up for what is right if you refuse to speak up about what is wrong. Silence in these very moments speak louder than your words ever could. Speak up! We are in a social pandemic & it is not going anywhere; especially if your silence is all you can offer to “support” in this time.

I am sorry that this even has to be a topic of conversation. I am sorry that my friends & loved ones have to be scared to watch their children grow up; unsure how they will protect them. I am sorry that a script has to be provided to our young men in case they ever get pulled over. I am sorry that people lose their lives in order for us to wake up to the injustices of what is going on around us. I am sorry for all the stories we did not hear about. You know, the ones that happen in broad daylight without the presence of a video camera recording the footage. I am sorry that the criminal justice system still functions with enough systematic racism that justice is hardly served for those needing justice. I am sorry that it is so hard to be optimistic in these times. I am sorry that we have to feel the need for war in order to have peace. I am sorry that despite all that is going on around us- people still do not get it.

I am sorry. So very, very sorry.

But please hear me when I say…

Black Lives DO MATTER!

Learn to do good. Seek Justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. Isaiah 1:17

Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering & oppression? Psalm 44:24

 

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.

Recuerdos.

You are woman.

You are muse.

You are brave.

You are intelligent.

You are light.

You have super powers.

Everything you touch grows.

You give life into all things around you.

Being vocal does not make you “angry”.

Being firm does not make you “mean”.

Being smart does not mean you are not humble.

Accept the lessons in your experiences.

Release love in all interactions.

Love your body. It works hard for you every day.

You are beautiful as you are. You do not need to change anything unless you want to.

Laugh often. Even when you do not want to.

Push fear aside & create something amazing.

Be responsible for your own joy.

Radiate respect.

Be inspired & inspire.

Exude confidence. Always. Even when confident is not what you are feeling.

Define your own standards of success.

Set out what you want your life to look like & go after it.

Favor is on your life. You need not to worry.

Your breakdowns are your breakthroughs.

There is no need to be perfect every day. Be you.

Make commitments & keep them.

Be sure in what you have to offer.

You are entitled to breaks. You do not need to keep going & going & going.

Expect the best from every situation.

Silence your inner critic. She does not belong.

Believe you can & you will.

Be still & know that God is with you (psalms 46:10).

You Are Better Than This

We are on what feels like 100 days of this quarantine. We are currently living in the stark reality that things will never be the same. It will be a long while before people stop wearing masks, feel comfortable shaking hands or hugging love ones. However, what we can strive to do; despite this, is try to make our skill set & opportunities better than what they have been before all this.

For instance, I have taken this time to master different make up techniques, consider doing additional things on my bucket list I never had time to do before & create professional development training for my staff’s advancement. My mother has has become a social media guru overnight, friends are learning to sew & others are learning what it really means to take time for self-care. So although socially things will probably never be the same; I can guarantee that no matter what you decide to do; you WILL be better than when this first started.

Consider writing the book you always wanted to write. Think of new ways to invest & practice some talents you were too busy to keep up with. Read a book, start writing, learn something new or learn the true meaning of Netflix & chill. Whatever you decide to do, do not succumb to the attempted hold of the enemy. Try your best to push forward. You will thank yourself later.

Remember, as I always say – all obstacles are made for your glory. Take advantage of it.

It Begins With A Positive Statement.

Today is a blessing.

I am stronger than any & every obstacle.

I will handle all obstacles with precision.

I am purpose FULL.

I change lives with every encounter; for I am light.

I am strong.

I matter.

I have been created to speak with dominion on this earth.

Anything I dream will manifest into reality.

I may not always feel my best, but a negative thought will not leave my lips.

I speak positivity so that I can receive it.

I am what I put out into the world & it is beautiful.

My errors do not define me.

I am success.

I attract success.

My relationships (romantic & platonic) are healthy.

I am an artist. Brilliant ideas are created in me.

I am a magnet for prosperity.

I will recoup & double any financials I may have lost.

My voice matters.

My faith moves mountains.

I am a well of hope for those who feel hopeless.

I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.

Difficult times are temporary but the skills I gain during these times are eternal.

Illness will not touch me or my home.

I will not succumb to the battle of the mind in these times.

I move in confidence. I am confidence.

I am at peace.

I am free of worry & regret.

I am stronger than anxiety.

I will push all depressing thoughts out of mind; for they do not belong here.

I accept that I have not missed anything that was not for me.

I forgive myself for counting myself out when I shouldn’t have.

I deserve, have & will continue to have – abundant joy.

I will be an inspiration to many; even if they do not tell me.

I will be in a place that allows me to bless those as I have been blessed.

I am wise.

What I say is valuable.

I am loved.

I am love.

I share love.

I trust my instincts to care for myself.

I honor my own boundaries & set them for others.

I deserve the best me I can offer myself.

I am optimistic of what I will gain out of this life.

It is just beginning.

Peace in Quarantine.

Happy Sunday Beauts!!!

What can I say? It’s been a hectic few weeks with all the negative effects associated with the Corona virus & the sudden, yet mandatory, need to be socially distant. Despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding this pandemic; in this time, I have become acutely aware of the blessing in being still, spending time with family & being home. 

This quarantine has given me the ability to put the rest of the world on pause & hit the play button on what was most important– ME. Gratefully, this quarantine, although not always regarded to fondly, has turned off all the noise. It has brought a new & welcomed silence that has allowed me to reflect on my own behavior, my need for constant healing, our ability to be resilient & the wonders of God –even in all the chaos.

You see, this chaos is different, though. This chaos is fueled with fear & uncertainty. It is not the chaos we have grown accustom to. You know, the chaos that requires constant movement, over exertion, limited time for our families, limitations on our ability to self reflect & spiritually align ourselves. Right now, we are not required to run off limited energy. Instead we are required to remember what it is like to go back to the basics so that we can exude gratitude when things are back in motion.

I am not oblivious to how difficult this virus & quarantine has made people’s lives. I also understand that people will need time to recover financially, physically & emotionally. However, I am not blind to the opportunities this has afforded us & the overwhelming peace I have in knowing that God is with us in this; as he promised.

I pray that in this you are able to reflect on what this quarantine means to you & that you use this opportunity to better yourself through rest, peace & love. Because as I always say — this time is no different– all things made to derail you will be flipped for your glory.

Psalm 91:10-11

Caring Through Corona

As we all know, things have been specifically special this week with the rambunctious spread of the COVID-19 virus. Although I understand the seriousness of the virus & the importance of following the necessary precautions; this outbreak has given me disappointing realization over things rather quickly.

1. People’s fear outweighs any ability to rationalize. Faith is almost non-existent at this time.

2. People are mean & self preserving with very little regard for others.

It saddens me. As human beings we would like to believe that despite how effed up things may be; we are inherently good people. Whatever our past experiences entail or what pandemic or outbreak that occurs, we want to believe that the best versions of ourselves will shine through- always. However, that may be the case for some people, but definitely not the standard right now.

In this chaos, we stopped dealing with each other in love & have been functioning simply for ourselves & our immediate families. This is evident when going to our local supermarket & chain stores. The shelves are empty. But not because they didn’t properly equip themselves but because individuals have bulked supplied their homes with little regard to leave things for others. This is a clear misunderstanding of how our faith should function. Yes, we should prepare ourselves & follow precautions but we should know that we will come out of this unscathed. That all things do work in our benefit & that God has had us & still has us through this.

I ask you to think of yourself & think of others not just now but always. We can accomplish so many other things working together & looking out for each other. We do not have to limit resources to ensure survival. This is the time that we should open our hearts to show what love is when people have forgotten.

Show your faith. Shine your light. Share your love.

Shut Up…

This will likely be the most frank memoir I have written since I started Nickkie&Co. However so, it needs to be said. Sometimes we find ourselves in unideal situations because we talk too much! We find our motivations, goals & accomplishments under attack because we do not believe in moving in silence. With social media being a constant outlet for many of us, we subject ourselves to the negative energy & the attention of the wrong individuals. The most valuable lesson I have learned is that although my intentions are genuine- everyone does not have the same heart as I do. With that said, it is ok to not give front row seats to the live action film of your life. Everyone does not deserve the play-by-play. Instead, tread through your journey with close ones & share the testimony when you get there.

When we are not conscious of what we put out for the world to see; we make our lives, families & loved ones the target to the envious intent of other people. Though we should not live in fear & should be able to express when we are proud; the journey is NOT for everyone to witness. We can move silently & be humble. We can be private & effective. We can be proud & be deliberate. We can continue to strive for more & remain humble.

Be selective. Be conscious. Use discernment. Be quiet.