The Reemerge

Hello Gorgeous!

 I am excited to announce that another Guest Inspiration has come forward to share her testimony with us. Ms. Subhana Wrights is a warrior who is surviving, serving & slaying daily with a condition that causes her immune system to attack her own body. She is a shield-maiden that takes her condition, Psoriatic Arthritis, head on while still LIVING! Her condition can leave her susceptible to skin lesions, unwanted stares & comments, joint pain, stiffness. swelling, etc. on a regular basis. Although there is no cure for her condition, she has not allowed herself to be defined by it. In fact, she has done the exact opposite. She has defined what it is to LIVE, SURVIVE & CONQUER despite what challenges may discourage her. She understands the weight of her testimony & has chosen to use this platform to share with others. Please read & share this young woman’s testimony & recognize her for her courageousness. Subhana, You ROCK (allat) girl, thank you simply for being you!

 

“If you were looking to be accepted from the world and everyone in it, after what you’ve been through, then you were sadly mistaken & the sooner you come to terms with that, the better”

-Subhana Wrights

Deciding what to wear or what not to wear, which scares to hide and which scares to show. Finally, I got it! I’ll wear this orange off the shoulder dress. It’s not too revealing but revealing enough and I still feel sexy. I get dressed, lay down my edges, put my faux locks in a high bun and head to my best friends hotel. Ding Dong! I’m outside, ready to have a good time.  As I walk in “wow you’ve lost so much weight, are you ok? What are those scars on your body?” Yes I’m ok and I’m stronger than ever. These scars are just symbols of the journey I’ve been through and the strength I have to overcome. These are questions I wasn’t prepared to answer, this was the first time I put on a revealing dress since I’ve been diagnosed. 

In October 2017, my body was 80% covered in black and brown lesions from head to toe. My scalp was covered in dandruff which causes build up. For example, if I were to wash my hair, within 6 hours my scalp would be covered in flakes and the itching caused hair loss. Going from having a head full of hair, acne free skin and a blemish free body sent me in a mental spiral.  The lesions on my body itched 24/7 and burned at night when I tried to get comfortable enough to sleep. My ankles had become so swollen it hurt at night to walk or to even stand for a long period of time. All in all while going to work day in and day out.  A lot of people saw the lesions on my face and thought then said, “OMG!  What happened?”, “Did you use a different soap?” All questions I wasn’t able to answer because I didn’t have a diagnosis yet to what was wrong.

In November 2017, I was finally diagnosed with psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis. I finally had an answer but the journey to recovery was like no other. By the time I was diagnosed I already lost 50lbs and my hair was so thin and brittle with two bald spots due to itching and build up. I was told I still had to wait for treatment to see if my health insurance would approve it. Two weeks later I was notified that my insurance was not approving the treatment due to it being too expensive. One injection alone cost 13,000 dollars which was only a piece of the treatment needed to begin my recovery. Soon after, I was notified of the possibility to be eligible for free treatment through a medication program but I would have to apply first.

During the waiting time my condition worsened and depression started to settle in. My ankles and joints became so swollen that the skin around it felt tighter and tighter every step I took. My liver became enlarged which is a common factor patients with psoriasis. Getting out of bed everyday was a struggle for me. I was contemplating the purpose of living with this condition and if I was going to be limited. In my mind this condition was the worst thing that could happen and since it was passed on through genetics, why not kill myself to prevent it from being passed on to future generations. This was my silver lining, suicide and ending it all.  I went from being a lifelong athlete to being frozen in life. Everything stood still. Each day went by slower and slower. Every day I woke up waiting for a phone call with an answer and every day I didn’t get it drew me closer to ending it. My outlets in life were always going to the gym or playing sports but when my outlets caused more pain than relief I had to let it go too.

In the process of letting go I had to find something to hold on to, to keep me present. I began to dig deep, past my thoughts and my depression. I had to go beyond myself to save myself. While being frustrated about the problems with my chronic condition and the lack of answers; I began to create hope not only for myself for the others suffering in silence too. I decided I can’t be the only person going through this pain, although it’s not a common condition there are other people out there who share the same pain as I do. This is when I decided to fight. The biggest battle I’ve had to conquer yet, the battle of myself. 

 Every day I woke up I verbally told myself to get up and fight. One step at a time, sit up, stand up, brush your teeth, and take deep breaths then fight. I decided to put my mind to use on something positive to keep my mind occupied to fight depression. I created a charity called ”Bhana’s Purple Meals on Wheels”. The Purple Heart represents Auto Immune Disease Awareness. The meals provided were home made by me and were sold for no more than $10.00. Proceeds went to research for people suffering from Auto Immune Diseases. I decided to be the voice I couldn’t find, I decided to shine the light I never had, I decided to fight.

Also, while in the process of letting go, I drew closer to my passion for writing which brings me into sharing a piece I wrote while in this journey but first, here’s what writing means to me. Writing is like painting to me. I can’t paint with a literal paint brush but with my words I can create the reality of which I wish to paint only using words. Every word is a stroke, every placement of my words is an accent. Every statement is a stamp. A stamp with the pigments of my imagination attached. Pieces of my mind painted with words that flow as times goes. The more time moves forward the more pieces of the past I paint using my words of color bringing life to my thoughts, experiences, hopes &  prayers and words of wisdom. I hope you enjoy and know that you’re all stronger than you think. 

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, feel free to email me at :  subhana.wrights@aol.com

The Process of Being Submerged

The process of being submerged

To reemerge taller, stronger, wiser

Having the darkest of days

Trying to find my way

Questioning my way

Thoughts of ending my way

Forced to choose crush or be crushed

Finding the voice

Emerging the voice

Making a choice

A choice to end the battle with me

A choice to carry this battle with the voice I have seen no one have

The strength to carry mountains

Mountains of silence by the millions carrying this

This voices of those who are currently silent, I choose to carry it

I choose to bring life and strength, and light to darkness

I choose to fight with the power of millions silently behind me

See, through this all I’ve realized none of it is about me at all. I was the strength that was chosen to carry this with my natural fighting spirit

I was chosen to fight, punch, and kick, with the power of them behind me

I’ve always questioned my purpose and why I am the way I am before all of this began and now, now it’s all so clear

I’m here to fight

“I decided to be the voice I couldn’t find, I decided to shine the light I never had, I decided to fight”


Promise in a Rainbow

Happy Self-LoveSelf-Care Sunday Loves!

Each week I write a memoir in hopes that someone will be able to relate to the topic or knows someone who can. However, today I have been inspired to empower you in a different way by discussing a topic I am certain we can all relate to. While you read this memoir, whether it is something you have experienced before or something you are experiencing now, you will be able to reflect humbly on this period & hopefully feel empowered to get through, consistently- every time. Today, my heart has been moved to speak to someone who may be suffering, who is  “undergoing pain, distress or hardship” in their own way. Today, I am shouting to you that regardless of the adversity, circumstance, shortcoming, disappointment, heartache or loss you are experiencing — you are fierce, strong, powerful, able & will overcome. Despite what you feel like today, tomorrow or next week, I can assure you that your suffering is temporary. In the pits of your hell you will triumph. Adverse situations, despite how debilitating they may be, are created in your favor. Like a diamond you morphed under pressure becoming something more valuable to be desired. 

As I write this, I am unaware of what you may be experiencing. However, I am a walking testament of someone who has suffered & has watched the people I love suffer all the same.  Though our suffering may not look the same & have lasted different periods of time– all suffering, regardless of the cause, is relevant- including yours. As someone who has fought through storms, who has wanted to give up & who has overcome; I encourage you to have faith & keep pushing. I encourage you to find the glimmer of hope that resides in you & push it forward. The promise is your pain will not be permanent. Any obstacle placed before you will not outlive you. It does not have longevity. What you believe to be your strongest battle has & will work in your favor. The magnitude of the pain you feel does not even scratch the surface of the joy that will come your way. Again, I reiterate — you are fierce, strong, powerful & able. What was created to debilitate you will lose momentum. What was created to defeat you will not find victory. What was created to keep you out of the race has put you in first place because anything you will feel on this earth does not have the strength to take you out. You are anointed & protected by the most high. There is no way you can lose. 

The day will come in which you would reflect back on this time & though all pain does not go away, your ability to become resilient will manifest. What once seemed to cause havoc on your life will be meek in comparison to what you have become. What almost took you out before will crumble in your presence & what will come of you after this will amaze you. You can not even begin to imagine the force you are about to become once this is over. You have no idea what testimony you will testify or the people you will inspire. You just have to keep pushing. Not for anyone else but for yourself. Your storm is almost over, you must not give up. What will come of your life, what will become of you is depending on it. After all, as God promised, …”when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the clouds; & I will remember my covenant which is between me & you & every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh” Genesis 9: 14-15.

In sum, there is no storm placed before you strong enough to take you out. You got this!

Psalms 30:1-5

Happy Sunday beautiful Conglomerates!!! Today, I have a treat to share. Long-time friend, fellow sister in christ, full-time wife & mother has stepped forward as a Guest Inspiration to share her testimony with us. I have watched her growth & admire the woman she has become, despite the obstacles she has overcome. She has evolved past her testimony & is wise beyond her years. To see her now is to understand that her growth has come with great sacrifice. I appreciate her for recognizing that there is substance in her testimony. Together, we pray that what she says will help other women find the strength to step up & speak out against mistreatment- physical, sexual, verbal & mental abuse.
Let us welcome her.  

My name is Nadia Shannon and I’m a survivor of domestic violence. I believe my story began as a child. I was a witness of abuse between the ages of 3-6 years old. My parents were married and I watched my mother get abused physically, emotionally, mentally & verbally.  As a child you really don’t know what’s happening, so at the time it didn’t affect me. Where I was affected, was in the separation and divorce my parents went through; once my mother finally gained enough strength to get out of the horrible relationship. In the years to come, my father was always there for my sister & I. He was and still is an amazing father. Although he didn’t have great characteristics of a husband, my father never separated himself from his children. It wasn’t until my teen years that I started to feel the horrible abuse from my father. Around the age of 14, when I was trying to find myself, entering high school, and showing signs of liking boys is when my father started to become verbally abusive. Many times, as minorities, we write it off as being protective or as if it is acceptable because he’s Spanish but in reality, verbal abuse is never all right. As time went on, I began to grow a dislike for him and started to, in a sense, see what my mother went through. My father still showed his love and affection but when he was angry he was enraged- cursing and very demeaning. I started to hate it so much but somehow I ended up being attracted to that very type of boy.  

There was this guy who I knew from middle school and because I moved we lost touch. One day, I went to a high school basketball game with my cousin and we reconnected. We were freshmen in high school and by then he hit his growth spurt. Furthermore, I had developed assets I didn’t have in elementary school.  We exchanged numbers and my life changed forever. We were on an off from 9th grade to senior year. It was a long distance relationship but because my father lived in the same town we were able to see each other more than a little bit. The relationship was so rocky that my family warned me it wasn’t healthy.  One particular incident I remember was in the summer of my junior year of high school. We got into an argument and he slammed my head into a brick wall. This was the first time he ever put his hands on me. I was in shock. In my mind I tried to reason with myself– “Its no big deal, Nadia.” “Don’t trip, he’s never put his hands on you before.” “You better not cry, it’s not that serious.” But regardless, tears started to fall. He looked at me and said, “Man it wasn’t even that hard, you’ll be alright.” Little did I know, this would open the door to what would become 3 years of hell. Fast-forward 2 years later, I became pregnant with our son. We moved in together and the gates of Hell flew open. He cheated, had women in my home when I was at work, would steal my car, beat me, force me to have sex, break my phone so I had no contact with family and trap me inside our apartment. All the while still telling me he loved me. Somehow, I still believed him. 

This was the darkest time of my life. I felt trapped and lost with no way out. I kept holding on to the thought of “I want my son to have what I didn’t. He needs his parents in the same home together.” So somewhere in my immature, 18/19 year-old mind it was all worth the abuse. On one particular night, I found a thong on the passenger floor of my car. I flipped out and had enough. I hid my car keys in the window seal of our bedroom so he couldn’t steal my car. He beat me so badly. He tore my clothes off me and he trashed the entire apartment looking for my keys. The entire time it was like my conscience was talking to me. One minute I was telling myself to just take the beating, that it will be all right and I reminding myself that I cannot tell him where the keys are. The other part of me was telling myself “Nadia it’s not worth it, give him the keys.” The entire time our son was sleep in his room. He finally got in his own car and left. I was naked in the corner of my room soaked with lotion, hair products & powder. In all of his rage, he was pouring these items all over me. When they ran out he would throw the empty bottles at me, etc. 

I promise you, while this was happening to me I screaming at the top of my lungs but no one came to save me. He threw my phone in the fish tank so I had no way of calling 911 or my parents. When he left, I got into the shower to clean myself off. He came back into the house, kicked the bathroom door in and intentionally turned the hot water up to burn me. I fell out the shower trying to escape the scorching water. At this point, I was yelling for him to kill me. I didn’t want to be tortured anymore. He took a knife to me but the sound of my son’s cry saved my life. He left the bathroom, took my son out his crib and left. I knew this was my time to escape. I dressed myself as fast as possible and left the house. I hid in a bush because he was circling the block and I stayed there for an hour, terrified. I got in my car and drove to a friend’s house. After that night, I knew it was time to get out of the relationship. I finally made it known to my best friend what I’ve been going through and she helped me take the next steps toward survival. I changed the locks in the apartment, kicked him out and started my independence. Three months after I left, there was one more altercation that  landed me in the hospital fighting for the life of my new unborn child. Sadly, it took these life-threatening situations for me to realize LOVE DOES NOT HURT. Love is kind and by the grace of God, I survived. I wanted to share a piece of my story because I believe there are so many young women who currently are afraid to get out. So many young women are believing the words they’re being told by their abuser, just like I did– “You are nothing without me.” “No one will love you like I do.” “No one will ever want you.” I am here to tell you the devil IS A LIE. God took me out of my darkest storms. Beloved he will rescue you as well. 

If you need assistance or some direction please visit or call

https://courage4change.org/

https://www.thehotline.org/what-is-live-chat/

1-800-799-SAFE

There are professionals and resources available to assist you.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalms 147:3

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

 “Love is kind and by the grace of God, I survived.” -Nadia

“I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me. You refused to let my enemies triumph over me. O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health. You brought me up from the grave, O Lord. You kept me from falling into the pit of death. 
Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones! Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the nigh, but joy comes with the morning.

-Psalms 30:1-5 (NLT)

Social Media: Our Lives on Public Display

Social media is an experience many of us relish in for entertainment. With the right momentum, social media can significantly propel our dreams into unforeseen heights, spread awareness at extremely quick rates & contribute to movements that link you to other like-minded people. However, as with many things, social media has a nasty side many of us see all too often. Just as social media contributes to positivity it can, in turn, magnify negativity. Social media is an implosive avenue that allows people to put their mental health, emotions & relationships on display. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I am grateful for the opportunities & benefits that social media makes available to our generation. I have been able to watch social media morph the lives of “regular” people into “celebrities” practically overnight. Hashtags & profile layouts have become the new “resume” that aid in propelling an entrepreneur’s popularity on the specific platform they use. Just as one’s success can multiply over night; the nasty, yet private aspects of our lives can do the same. From experience & observation, I have learned that negativity spreads faster than positivity, especially when fueled by pain & aggression.

Therefore, we must be mindful of the areas we share with the world until we are truly ready to share it. Social media is fun but once people are invited into the entertainment of our lives they will likely never leave. This will make it more difficult to heal & move past difficult phases of our lives. I have experienced this first hand with breakups or friendships that have gone south. Giving the world access during these phases of my life simply added more fuel to the fire & has caused more damage than it needed to. Over the years I have learned to be private in my affairs while dealing with my sadness intimately. Instead of sharing it with the rest of the world, I have taken that time to reflect & love into myself in a way I never knew before. As a result, it has done so much more for my self-preservation than I ever could have imagined. In fact, using that time to reflect & grow is why I can share personal testimonies with you every week on this platform.

I often promote sharing testimonies in order to heal & empower others. However, more than anything, I promote putting our health (physical, mental & spiritual) first. Often times, during extreme periods in our lives, we showcase our pain for the world to see without taking into account that it just may be too early for us to process what these periods mean for us. If we are still processing & healing from our trauma’s having the space to process alone without the prying eyes of others can be most beneficial to us. I believe in full transparency (in due time), however broadcasting our lives when we are most vulnerable leaves us susceptible to hurtful retaliation, negative statements, & abrasive actions that are not conducive to our healing. Granted, our profile is our expression & we should never have to filter who we are or how we feel for the likes of other people. But the truth is, it is not about other people. It is about us. There are certain phases of our lives that people should not be privy to on LIVE. Our lives should never be on display for people to tune in to every week. If it does not add to our growth, spread awareness, or propels our mission live updates are not required. Preserving ourselves for a better version of ourselves is most certainly ideal. After all, caterpillars always morph into butterflies in private leaving the world in awe of their beauty.

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No IS Yes

In pursuing our goals, it will be ideal for us to have the favor of the person who has the ability to say YES, right away. However, life would have it that “yes” may not always be what we hear. In many instances, we will hear “no” more often. Unfortunately, until we have proven ourselves, or peak someone’s interest, it will likely remain that way. We will spend much of our time trying to get people to see & believe in our vision in order to invest, promote or support us. However, the most important thing we could do in our pursuit has everything to do with how we receive “NO” when it is delivered to us. Many of us have become accustom to receiving it, accepting it & abandoning our pursuit off the basis that one or two people said no.  Many times, if we hear it enough, we begin to question ourselves in our abilities & the worth of our journey. Our experiences have programmed us to believe that one person or one group of people have the end-all answer; the answer that will either make us or break us. Well today, I want to share with you a new perspective & it is important for you to hear this: one person’s no is another person’s yes.

Therefore, I urge you not to stop believing in yourself based off of what someone else may tell you. Life is all about overcoming adversity in order to acquire your dreams. Dreams are to be pursued, executed & overcome. Despite what you hear, the courage you use to keep going is what truly counts. I cannot tell you how many times I have been told “no” & have been placed in a better situation as a result. Always remain tenacious in your pursuit, aggressive in your beliefs & humble throughout your journey. You will be rewarded for it. You are the protagonist in your story; do not allow the antagonists to keep you from reaching your goal. At the end of the day, you owe it to yourself to keep believing in yourself. If you take no risks there will be few things worth living for. If there is anything I am right about it is this, you are worth taking the risk on. So the next time you hear no, reflect & keeping going because yes, is just a few “no’s” away.

Keep Striving Babe, You Got This.

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No Need For Competition; I Am My Sister’s Keeper

We have been raised up in a society that puts women against each other to later call those very women, conniving, cunning & b*tchy. We see it with celebrities & we see it with regular, degular women like ourselves. For entertainment purposes, we are encouraged to face off. This in turn causes us to question our talents & become intimidated by the talents of another. I have watched people do horrible things to each other & end friendships under the pretense that we can not all win doing the same thing. It is horrible. It is shameful. It is disheartening. It is discouraging to someone who needs the courage to start a new endeavor & most importantly, it sends the wrong message to our little girls. Because truth is, we can all eat together & become full doing so. We can all pull up chairs to the round table & have a feast. When women come together we can feed ourselves & feed the masses.

Every week the memoirs are woven together by the same thread- empowerment, strength & togetherness. I have advocated for team work & working together to contribute to making the world a better place. But in order to work on the world, we need to form a united alliance that signifies cohesion & fellowship. Instead of trying to be better than the next, it would behoove us to raise up one another so that we can reach others. This includes sharing resources, providing advice & sharing experiences in order to ensure that the next woman gets through without the same errors, set backs or shortcomings you have. Instead, many of us do the opposite. This in turn results in unnecessary distractions & deters opportunities that may become available. We have to be nicer to one another & recognize that we are fighting the same fight while trying to figure out what works for us. Ignoring insecurities, being humbly transparent & praying for the next woman’s success can open a plethora of blessings over our lives because a kind heart, is a heart that is rewarded.

We have made efforts to thrive in a world that taught us to be ashamed to tell another woman she has inspired us. Instead, we have become fooled into shaming other women for just trying to get through their existence like the rest of us.  Being inspired by another woman is an amazing experience that unites us in unimaginable ways. When we keep these moments to ourselves, we in turn, fail to inspire & empower another woman who can benefit significantly from hearing so. I would be lying if I said I am not inspired by other women when I write my memoirs each week. When I write, I do not just envision my own experiences, emotions & improprieties. I see the faces of others who have shared their own histories & knowledge with me. I keep them in mind. Women are the epitome of love. So to love one another whether we “like” one another is irrelevant. When one woman fails, we need to take it personally. The success of one woman contributes to the success & the shattering of glass ceilings for other women. If we go through the day recognizing that what is for us will not miss us; we will recognize that each encounter we have with someone affords us the opportunity to bless, empower & eradicate how we have been taught to behave to one another. No success in the world is worth sabotaging the “come up” of someone else. If we really work together without allowing our insecurities to show themselves, it will become so much easier to say we got this; with action.

Besides, the equation is quite simple.

When one wins, we all win.

1+1= MORE

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Q&A ***Bonus Memoir***

My favorite blogger, Black|Burgundy received the Blogger Recognition Award & asked her subscribers to comment our responses on her blog. However, when I was typing my responses I realized these are responses I can share with my subscribers. After all, to some people, me becoming a blog-her was a surprise. Therefore, here’s a bonus memoir that allows me to give direct responses to direct answers & allows YOU to get to know me.

When did you start blogging? Why?

Well, I officially started blogging on January 1, 2018. I was in a place in my life where I suddenly had so much free time & I felt inadequate. I knew I wanted to do something that inspired others however, I never thought blogging would be how I would do so. Blogging was free with minimal risk. I just had the be willing to put myself out there. I shared the idea with my best friend who is an entrepreneur & she motivated me to give it a shot. Once I started, I realized that in trying to find a way to inspire others, I stumbled upon my purpose & I absolutely love doing this.

How’d you come up with your blog name?

I think I initially was desperate & wanted a name before I launched for the New Year. I played with the name & then I just kind of stuck to it, because it worked. ···· Nickkie&Co aka Nickkie & Conglomerates embodies exactly what the brand/blog represents. “Nickkie”, being myself, is the “mouth piece”/initiator while the “Co.” (Conglomerates, Community, Company) encompasses group unity which helps drive the momentum of Nickkie&Co; team work for a common cause. It is understood that one person cannot do it alone but more than one can have a large impact on inspiring & empowering others.

Do your friends and family read your blog? Where’s the support?

My friends & loved ones try to be as supportive as they can. Though I would love them all to read, I do not obligate anyone. But I will say, the support I have received has taken me by surprise. Whether they read or contribute to Nickkie&Co.’s philanthropic drives, the support has been surreal. My loved ones have been Nickkie&Co. advocates through word of mouth since I started. From what I hear, direct support in regards to reading is not always received so much by loved ones, that has not been the case for me. Even if they do not read every week, they eventually take the time to binge read the memoirs. So, I am definitely blessed. Also, I have noticed that strangers have recently started to ride this empowerment wave with me so that’s really dope.

Who or what inspires you to write?

Anything, really. I can be walking down the street and be inspired. I can be hit with an impulse at any time. Since I’ve started blogging I have left myself open to receiving inspiration & content from anything that speaks to my spirit. I trust my instincts so that I can continue to deliver what I believe to be quality content.

Do you ever think about saying eff it and throwing in the blogger towel?

Actually. No. Not only do I love doing this, becoming a blog-her has made me really aware of myself. It has allowed me the ability to understand how I am feeling, how I am triggered & how I can help others. Besides, what is of God you do not dispose of.

What do you do for inspiration during those creative lulls when nothing seems to come out right?

I don’t give up, I reach out to my tribe for prayer & empowerment & give myself time to walk away & revisit.

What are some of your favorite topics to speak on?

Anything & all things women empowerment. However, men can read a memoir & relate too 🙂

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So there you have it. Do not forget to check in on Sunday & read the new Memoir. Thanks for reading.

Kindness & Dominoes

During my adolescence & early adult years I had a severe chip on my shoulder. I was aggressive, impulsive & very, very defensive. I never gave people a chance to get to know me nor did I give myself the opportunity to get to know people. I saw people at their worst & I kept them there. I did not believe that people could be nice “just because”. I was convinced kindness always came with a price. I believed, that if you were too kind, you left yourself vulnerable & susceptible to being misused, mistreated & taken for granted. I allowed my own pain to dictate how I viewed my relationships. Many people, unless they proved otherwise, were very disposable to me. It is sad, but I believed that before I was kind to anyone I had to put them through hell first. My love was like a thorned rose; beautiful to see but abrasive to the touch. I felt that being “hard” was an attractive quality & that the people meant to stay around would stay; regardless. I was popular & had quality friends who I loved dearly. However, my love often was a bit sour in it’s delivery. Being raised with tough love made me believe that tough was warranted in every & any situation; even though that was not how tough love was delivered to me.

I am twenty-nine now & it took me to be twenty-eight years old to realize that how I was is not at all how it is supposed to be. It is ok to be kind to people even when they are undeserving. It is ok to be kind to strangers even though I do not know them. Most importantly, I learned that it is never ok to allow the people who love me to be the direct recipients of my pain. I have learned to appreciate the people who have stuck around even when my internal scars were expressed in my behavior. I can not imagine where I would be if people always treated me the way I deserved to be treated. I appreciate the kind gestures people have afforded me even when I was less than deserving. It is because of those kind gestures I have been able to make a conscious effort to exude what the Nickkie&CO. platform represents– Love, Kindness, Graciousness & Jesus.

I am proud that I can look back at who I once was & see growth. It is amazing what a few months did for my life & what the following months continue to contribute to my growth. I am more appreciative to those around me. I smile often. I have been open to learning to forgive & I walk up to strangers reminding them how beautiful they are & their importance in this world. All things I would have never done or considered before. Today, as a flawed person still trying to figure it out, I tell you that being kind is a habit that can be easily embraced & replicated. It can make the world of a difference in our lives & the lives of others. We all struggle differently, so contributing to making the world a better place, simply by being kind, can stand out significantly to someone who has lost hope in people; like I once did.

Being kind not only helps improve the lives of others, it is beneficial to us in many ways. Kind gestures feel good. They make us happy, empathetic towards others & it is the most empowering thing we can ever offer someone. Keeping this in mind during your daily interactions will open you up in new ways. You will not get it right all the time nor will you be perfect. Even as I strive to be a better version of myself, I acknowledge that I am not always my best self at all times. I err, & am not always the best representative of kindness when my emotions get the best of me however, I understand that it comes with time. If we join together in spreading love & kindness there will be less people like my adolescent-self & more people making conscious decisions to brighten someone’s gloomy day simply based off of a kind gesture they received from someone else. After all, kindness does have a domino effect– touch one heart to reach many others.

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Beautiful Disaster

We live in a world that emphasizes that women should not be taken seriously because we are too emotional. We live in a world that dismisses our passions & what we feel under the assumption that we feel, how we feel, simply based off of temporary emotions. We live in a world, that tells us to relax or that “we are tripping” when we express distaste, frustration or disappointment. In the event that we cry suddenly or laugh until our stomachs hurt, it is assumed that we are having a menstrual episode. These are all ways to make us feel that there are no grounds to feel how we feel, to say what needs to be said or to be who we are supposed to be.

First thing is first, having emotions or being passionate about something is not a shortcoming to our well-being, at all. If people were more “emotion conscious”, whether being the recipient or the deliverer, situations will be more ideal & the world will be a kinder place to thrive in. Emotions are a part of us so that we can feel. We can not feel the good without the bad. We are supposed to feel happiness, joy & sadness. We are supposed to feel angry, annoyed & peeved. Emotions & their triggers are what make us the unique individuals that we are. They contribute to our stories, our growth & our outcomes. They are the driving force behind our purpose.  Do not allow anyone to shut you up under the basis that you are being emotional. Do not apologize for how you feel. Do not allow anyone to tell you that how you feel is wrong because regardless of the reason, what you feel, is how you feel & that alone makes it valid.

It has become a common consensus that we should be ashamed of robust emotion. Little boys that will one day be men are raised to express little emotion under the pretense that it makes them vulnerable. While little girls are told that their emotions contribute to their inability to function & be rational. But listen, the act of feeling; truly feeling, is such a beautiful thing. Feeling provides the benefit of experiencing joy in raising our children, excitement when we accomplish goals & triumph when a hard time is behind us. Feeling emotions is our right as human beings & in no way should it be ignored. Feeling is the art of being. If you do not feel anything, what are you living for? Therefore, never be ashamed to express yourself. Never feel that what you feel is unwarranted. Also, recognize that nothing is wrong with you if you are unable to express your emotions in the way others want you to. Sometimes it is not meant to be understood by anyone else. Sometimes our emotions are for us & us alone. That is ok. However, in all the chaos of the world, you can be sure of one thing; you are a beautiful disaster. Embrace it.

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Protect Your Energy!

As of this year, I have learned the importance of preserving & protecting my energy. This has included removing people from my life who were not supportive in contributing to it in a positive way. I realize that allowing those who do the exact opposite not only suck the HOPE out of me; they truly inhibit my growth as an individual. I have learned that in their presence, I can never truly reach the highest threshold of my goals because I will continue to provide excuses & entertain the negative energy & situations I have been exposed to. Regardless of how painful removing myself may be, I have to acknowledge situations & circumstances that require me to do so. “There are people who are not going to take responsibility for their energy, so I now, have to take responsibility for the energy that I allow to be brought into my space…

…You are not only responsible for the energy that you bring, you are also responsible for the energy that you surround yourself with.”- Oprah.  So, as you strive to live your best life, you must remain mindful of the people who are not contributing to the direction you are headed. You have to accept when it is time to stand firmly on self-love & eliminate yourself from the equation. People’s insecurities manifest in ways that can hinder you & your goals severely if you do not acknowledge & address it as what it is. Keeping this form of company will have you risking all that you have ever worked for because the only person that has anything to lose in this situation is you. So, please understand that protecting your energy sometimes entails removing yourself from situations &/or people that were once comfortable & familiar.

When it comes to making goals for yourself, it is extremely important that you do not let the negativity of others take you off track from obtaining them. Negative energy serves as a distraction to the things you can accomplish. So for your benefit, nip it in the bud. Bad energy is contagious. It is infectious. If you are not careful, it will begin to cloud all the dreams you have set forth to accomplish. So eliminate the individuals who contribute to it. Just as quick as these people fail to contribute to your positive surroundings, you better believe they are watching your every move. So listen & watch closely to the behaviors that people show you when you begin to reach new thresholds of success. Jealousy will always rear it’s ugly head; even if it is unintentional. Be mindful of the people who put a damper on all your aspirations & those who want to see you do well BUT not better than them. Those people will rather dull your shine & darken your dreams to keep you stagnant. Keep in mind that negative situations are a result of negative people who bring negative energy. When you begin to blossom, the behaviors people exhibit, whether good or bad, will show you more than they ever could tell you with their mouths. So, with that in mind, I urge you to be conscious & aware because someone’s actions will tell you more than a person’s mouth ever could. You are so much more than the hassle that negative energy brings & it is your right to remove yourself from it when it presents itself. After all, self-preservation is an essential key to loving yourself. Therefore, you must remove anything or anyone that puts that at risk. You dreams & goals require it.

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