resilience

 Six months ago, I was at my absolute worst.

I remember laying on a cold metal operating table, hearing Bob Marley play on the speakers in the background in the operating room. The anesthesiologist put the oxygen mask on my face and told me to count to 10, I closed my eyes. Afraid. But believing that everything would be all right.

Me in my hospital room 1 day after my laparotomy and oohorectomy surgery.  

Me in my hospital room 1 day after my laparotomy and oohorectomy surgery.  

Now, looking back on that, today I realize that I have been given a second chance on life. Literally. I could’ve been dead. I could not have woken up from that surgery, the tests they performed while I was under anesthesia could’ve came back to let me know that I had ovarian cancer. I could’ve had my entire womb removed instead of just my right ovary and right fallopian tube. I could not be here. But I am. And today I chose to live my life the best that I can. I chose to live my life fully as if I have been given a second chance. Because I have. I chose to live unapologetically. I chose to be the best me I can possibly be. And most of all, I chose never to go back to that place. Never to go back to that pain, the anguish, the embarrassment, the watchful eyes. That feeling of being alone and as if no one could understand what I was going through. The lack of self-confidence. The pure unhealthiness in my mind, body, and spirit. I refuse to be put back in that situation. I am determined to be the best me. Share my story and help other women to not have to experience what I went through.

The memories are there. I now have a 8-inch scar beginning from the top of my belly button going all the way down to my womb reminding me of just where I came. And that beautiful scar is a sign of my strength, my resiliency, my perseverance and most importantly, my purpose. It is my story, my journey. I’ve been through the fire and came out so much more beautiful than I ever could have ever imagined.  

Grassy

I am feeling so incredibly blessed right now!

I had this beautiful grasshopper ride with me all the way to work this morning for 35+ miles going at 80 mph! Little did I know this grasshopper and this ride to work was going to teach me a few lessons.

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I didn't notice it on my windshield wiper this morning until it was almost time for me to get on the highway. When I saw it, I kept trying to get him to fly away by turning on the wipers because i knew I had a long ride ahead of me and I didn't want him to be stuck on the car for so long. From my experience I know that flies hold on to cars for dear life. But he didn't budge, so I proceeded to get on the highway.

When I first got on the highway, I was listening to the friend zone podcast. But I kept looking at this grasshopper that was literally right in front of me, I've now named it Grassy. 😊 Something inside me was telling me to turn off the podcast and just ride in silence and observe. So that is what I did, I watched Grassy the whole ride.

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But as I was driving, I began to feel a deeper meaning behind this. I didn't know the significance behind grasshoppers, but I knew Grassy was here to tell me something.

Watching the grasshopper hold on and stretch its 'legs' to get a better grip and maneuver its body and wings to stay put, I began to see the the significance of holding on from a totally different perspective. I saw this grasshopper not letting go no matter what and using all that it had to succeed. Enjoying the ride as much as it could. The lesson I got from this is that no matter how windy, difficult, turbulent or long the ride, hold on and never give up. Cuz Grassy sure was holding on. I watched it move down the wiper very slowly at times, appearing to fly off at any moment. I assume it was trying to gain a better grip. And even at one point he appeared to try and turn back around to go in the opposite direction, perhaps he thought it was safer there, but he didn't, he just kept moving forward.

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This whole encounter was so significant to me. I'm at a pivotal point in my life right now, on the cusp of making some major changes and and decisions in my life. And this grasshopper showing up in my life today reminded me that I'm on the right path. No matter how difficult the path may be continue to walk it with confidence in knowing you will make it to your destination. I'm more determined now than ever.

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When I pulled in the parking lot at work, I got out so fast to snap some photos before he flew away.

So of course after this happened, as soon as I got in to work, I looked up the meanings of grasshoppers and now feel even more blessed and connected to my spirit and the universe. Here's what I found on my quick search:

"When the grasshopper appears to us we are being asked to take a leap of faith and jump forward into a specific area of life without fear. Usually that specific area is one that we have avoided and is often connected to change on a larger scale. This can represent a change in location, relationships, career or just in the way we perceive ourselves.

Grasshoppers can only jump forward….not backward, or sideways. So, when grasshopper shows up he could be reaffirming to you that you are taking the right steps to move forward in your current situation. Or it could be that he is telling you to go ahead and move forward, getting past what is hindering you. This is why grasshopper is the symbol of good luck all over the world. Grasshopper’s ability to connect and understand sound vibrations is why he is also a symbol of your inner voice. he could be telling you to trust yours."

read more here:  http://www.answers.com/mobile/Q/What_is_the_spiritual_meaning_of_grasshoppers#ixzz2l9s7BEfE

This a pure sign to show me that when you start paying attention to even the smallest things, greater and beautiful things come out of it. I'm just on a high right now. I feel like nothing can and will stop me.

Holy Ground

A few nights ago I was laying in the bed, trying desperately to fall asleep. I was unsuccessful. I was troubled by the thoughts of feeling unguided. I was having feelings of wandering aimlessly with no real direction and no one to look up to for direction or oversight. It's interesting because I know these things not to be the case, or at least I think so, but yet a part of me still feels misguided or alone …see the thought itself is hard for me to even categorize in a word.

The past couple of years I have been journeying on a spiritual path. I've been deconstructing past engrained one sided paradigms of religion and spirituality and re-discovering spirituality for myself. Kind of like Audre Lorde’s quote about defining yourself for yourself. In a sense I’m defining my spirituality for myself. The spiritual construct that I was indoctrinated into no longer fits my personal philosophy and paradigm on life. After growing, and changing and learning in life – you know the usual growing up – I began to see what fit and what didn’t and what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense – Christianity is one of those things that just doesn't quite make since to me anymore. Don’t get me wrong, it has it’s good parts and the basic foundations are great – like the concepts, do unto others as you would want others to do unto you and the one about as a man soweth, so shall he also reapeth—and ask and you shall receive is another great principle….but there’s a lot of other stuff that I  just can’t get down with and be forced to believe anymore – don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging; but this topic will definitely be discussed further down the road, but if I brought it all up now, this post would no longer be a post and it would be a book and we don’t want that now do we? Lol

And without going into a tangent, I will just touch on my religious  background. I was raised in a pretty strict and straightforward Christian { Pentecostal Assembies of the World, aka, PAW} household. Thank God for my mom, because if it wasn’t for her, things would have been a lot more difficult for me as a kid growing up. But I don’t fault my parents for any of it, because even though it was difficult growing up and I wasn’t awarded the same freedoms that many of my friends were, it did build an excellent foundation for my spiritual life and introduced me to God at a young age. So we been rolling together for a long time. However, as a woman now, I have been uncovering what Christianity means to me, what place if any it has in my life and creating the best world I can have for myself which includes spirituality and a strong spiritual practice.

And in this whole discovering and reconstructing phase, I'm at a place where I sometimes feel a little uncertain of how to identify god. But then I have to remember that there is only one god. There is only one supreme being. And I don't necessarily need a name, or figure of a person or image of that god in my  head. I can just speak to her/him. I can communicate with her/him easily. There need not be hang ups and confusion of who, how or what to define god is. God just is.

But that shaky ground on which I once believed in so strongly has me out here feeling alone sometimes. I’m still feeling a sense of disconnectedness. I don’t always feel connected to the divine creator. I don't always feel connected to the divine energy. How do I connect? In what ways do you connect with your higher power? There's no book or program or workshop that can teach you how to connect to the higher source,butI believe  we are meant to learn and figure that out on our own. I know that God is in me and will never leave me, even if I decide to walk away. But I don’t always know if I feel the spirit so to speak, or am totally connected. I feel the most spiritually wise in my life right now, yet I feel disconnected. Does that even make sense?! 

**** Update**** Since I wrote this, I have gotten a prayer journal and it’s been extremely helpful. I starting writing my prayers in it pretty often, and I let go of my hang-ups of what to call god, and how to categorize my creator. And just began to talk freely, openly and honestly. I still have some discovering to do, but I’m well on my way to rekindling that feeling of connectedness. Thanks for reading my story! What about you guys? What has your spiritual journey been like? Have you ever felt a disconnected? If so, what were your ways of getting back to the source?

 

Flat Tummy, not the tea.

Ok, allow me to be vein here for a moment. I’ve always wanted a flat stomach. I haven’t had a flat, toned stomach since my high school track days. Those were the best shape days of my life. But they have been a member of my far distant past club for well over 15 years now. I want to bring those days back to the future. When I was dealing with my fibroid, endometriosis and amenorrhea I was eating the healthiest foods of my life – notice I said the healthiest foods and not necessarily the healthiest diet. Because, I have learned, there is a difference. So I was eating these healthy foods, but I had a growing 10cm fibroid in my abdomen, which eventually grew to 18cm. so despite my healthy eating, and lack of eating I wasn’t able to reap the benefits of my diet in that of a flat stomach.

So now that that wretched thing is out ofme and long gone, i have my period back and no longer suffering from endometriosis, I have picked up old and bad habits again with my eating and it’s time to stop once and for and finally get that flat stomach that I’ve always wanted. I don’t even need to have abs I just want the 29/28 inch waist-- with all of my curves. And I’m determined to get it! I went through this surgery to have a flat stomach, dammit and i'm going to get my flat stomach. So I’m making some changes, I’m being proactive and I’m going on a flat tummy journey. Who’s with me?!?! Lol. Well if you’re interested in this journey, I’ll be posting and keeping up to date here.

Here are some before pictures below ...I can't belive I'm even posting this pictures, but this is all about transparency right? and sharing my story right? (I do have some other's but I'm not that transparent just yet! lol)

My waist is currently at 30 inches. My goal is to get to 28. Somehow, some way! 

My waist is currently at 30 inches. My goal is to get to 28. Somehow, some way! 

My hips/butt is currently 40 inches...I'm trying hard not to lose that, I like those curves! lol

My hips/butt is currently 40 inches...I'm trying hard not to lose that, I like those curves! lol

I am too grand for your box.

I'm multifaceted creative woman.  I am a lover of many things. I am creator of many things. I love to write. I come up with beautiful words unexpectedly, randomly and out of the blue often. I write them down. Sometimes I share, sometimes I don't. But they are my words, my voice, my story to share. 

This is a part of a prayer  that wrote and posted for the new year in 2016.  

This is a part of a prayer  that wrote and posted for the new year in 2016.  

Life's experiences has made me a lover and a super enthusiast of holistic health and wellness. More specifically women's health and wellness and divine femininity and goddessness (idk if that's a word but fuck it) and queendom. I find so much joy in researching health and wellness, herbalism and holistic living. So much so, I am in the process of obtaining my masters degree in nutrition.

And then I am am also a jeweler. I love creating jewelry. I design beautiful one of kind pieces of wearable art that sparks the senses and speaks to the soul and reconnects women to their divine nature.

This is an image of using a soldering tool to make a sterling silver ring with moonstone  

This is an image of using a soldering tool to make a sterling silver ring with moonstone  

I also love to draw/doodle and paint. This was my first creative love. I remember when I was first introduced to painting by my dad. He also loves to paint. He went out and bought a bunch of canvases and oil paints one day and started painting and so did I. And I loved it. I was probably 11 or 12 then. I still remember the first painting I ever made. I painted two brown faces. One of a woman the other of a man. With a forest green and black background. It was simple but It was my piece of art. I am still in love with art now just as much as I was then.

One of my doodles.  

One of my doodles.  

I am realizing and understanding it is ok to be a lover and creator of many things. I am also learning that you have different phases in life and some of those passions and gifts may obtain more attention and energy at various times in your life depending on phase you are in. I do believe it is true that you can't be a master ofmany things at one time if you are simultaneously spreading your self in various directions. But you can be a master of many things because life brings you different challenges and different opportunities to focus on your passions and loves. You don't have to focus on all of my loves at one time. When life happens you are drawn to certain areas and passions. Your expertise in that medium will develop then. You can keep creating in that medium if you choose or move on to learn and achieve something new. Either way is great as long as you are honoring yourself. I am a master of many of things and they all receive individual attention at the times that they need and require and I get better and better.

Life is about creating your world. Creating a life that works best for you. Not being put into a one size fits all box. That is not life. That is not what was intended for us. So yes I am a lover and creator of many things and that is all right with me. I am honoring myself the most when I am honoring all of me.

This is a part of a prayer I wrote back in 2016.  

This is an image of me using the soldering torch to make a sterling silver moonstone ring

musings: healer in me

I have a vision, hope, and purpose, even though others have told me it is impossible; it's only a dream. I keep right on living to birth my purpose. Even when there is no more water for my garden to grow and my vision seems about to die, I continue on my path of rebirth. Hopelessness and anger are leaving. I will give birth to a liberated peace filled, radiantly vibrant life. The sun is rising through me. Sunlight is shining through me. I AM RECLAIMING THE HEALER WITHIN ME. I am free to birth a world of wellness.

More than what meets the eye

Connecticut isn't all that bad. I had this notion that this state had nothing to offer me as an artist and creative being when I moved back here and have pretty much stuck with that notion ever since. Which ultimately resulted in me abandoning one of my greatest loves - creativity. But now as I'm starting to explore outside of my bubble I'm beginning to see that there is much more than what meets my artistic eyes and reawakening my lost long love with creativity.

A few weekends ago I went to the City Wide Open Studios at Erector Square and was completely blown away by the depth and breadth of art and creatives that I encountered. My little ole' eyes were certainly not expecting to be open to a 3 story 11 building brick industrial converted warehouse, housing hundreds of artists studios in all mediums. I was completely blown away as I waded through this underground metropolis of artists in the Elm City. No cheesiness intended, but I literally felt like I was home. I had found my reservation.

the building was really one of the most beautifully artistic and old and antique buildings i've ever seen. i took this image when i was walking through the building. it's just an image of the radiator system, but the i throught the structure of it was pretty cool. :-) 

I have been immersing myself in all things arts and creativity lately. Having a whole month off from social media --yes, after listening to this podcast, I decided to sacrifice social media for a month. I'll do a separate post on that once I've finished the month -- has really allowed me some time to get to know myself more and reawaken my creative connections. I've been listening to podcasts all day at work and in the car during my commute and visiting open artist studios and attending workshops.

i thought this image was so cool and creatively interesting. it was inside of one of the pottery studios.

As was mentioned in a big magic podcast, I am allowing for creativity to happen. No more stipulations, no more pressure to create. No more hang ups or pressure to be financially secure and stable from my art at this time. I am simply creating because I need to, because without creativity I die. My spirit dies and I become sick, literally. So I have decided to peruse my love of creativity with reckless abandonment. I also got that term from big magic as well - what can I say the book is amazing! And quite fittingly, it is my motto for the rest of the year and into 2017.

Creativity has me so open! Nose wide open. We are working on our relationship. And I must say it is getting stronger every day. I get those little butterflies in the pit of my stomach when I think about us. I have even scheduled daily morning dates for us. It is so real. I am better for it, therefore I am better to everyone else around me for it as well.

I'm thankful the creative fullness in the elm city that has in some ways helped to wake up my and rekindle the relationship between me and my past love. I never would have expected it to come from New Haven, CT, but it was and i'm going to roll with it.

Me and creativity are in this for the long haul.

here's me and 'creativity'. :-) 

Trust your vibes

I was sitting in my car today on my break. I was reading Gary Zucav's, The Seat of the Soul. Then my vibes gave me a thought, " you know exactly what to do to heal your body. " then they told me to write and I obeyed. Below is what my higher goddess spoke to me. I hope that it is also a blessing to you.

 

You know exactly what to do to heal your body. There is no need for constantly trying to find new remedies. New supplements to take. New herbal teas to concoct. Where you are, right now at this very moment, you know what to do to heal. You have gleaned all of the necessary information that is needed to heal and have already begun putting those tools into practice. You have already begun the healing process. If you really knew, you would be utterly amazed at how far along you are in your healing process. You need an internal mirror to visually see the progress. But I'm going to tell you, just know. Just know that you are progressing along this healing journey beautifully and wonderfully and keep up the amazing work! You are almost there. You are accomplishing your goal. You are healing your body. There is nothing new, nothing different that you need to do. Just continue to show up for yourself and your body every single day. She is responding. Quite frankly, she is enjoying all of the attention that you've been showing her. Don't stop. Keep it going! You are already there.

Surrender.

Surrender to whatever ailment is going on in you. Don't let it scare you to the point you forget that you have healing powers. Understand its purpose? Why is it there? Almost 100% of the time it is there to teach you. Teach you to slow down. Relax. Take time for yourself. Nurture yourself. Nurture your spirit. Your mind. Understand your purpose. Give birth to your ideas. The lessons go on and on. Eat healthier. Take immaculate care of your body temple. They are there.  It is up to you to discover the lessons though. Understanding and mastering the lesson is synonymous to your healing.

lessons learned: #1

First I must say, that I truly have an amazing partner. Last night, I was all the way in my feelings. The negative thoughts were beginning to overshadow my usually positive outlook. I was feeling defeated, overwhelmed, underwhelmed and kind of like I just wasn’t progressing. It’s funny because one moment, you can feel like you’re on top of the world, making great decisions and choices, and checking off the forever growing checklist. But then, that very next minute, you’re feeling like you’re not doing anything that you should be. You’re slacking and failing miserably at life. Oh, the things we tell ourselves at times! But, my beautiful beau listened to me last night and reminded me that I am exactly where I need to be, in a only a way that he could.

Sometimes as healers and love givers, we’re often giving the very same advice that we need, but when it comes time for us to take heed of that advice for ourselves, we are not able to take it. But thank god for the voices of peers, loved ones and our tribe for being there just when we need it.

So that conversation had me thinking today about what’s important in my life right now. What are my non-negotiables for living a happy life? This is what I came up with…

1. Spending quality time with my boyfriend
2. Connecting with my friends and family more consistently
3. Getting a formal education in nutrition so that I can really heal and love on my community the way my purpose intends
4. Creating!!! Designing jewelry, and  writing/blogging, and painting. 
5. Maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit

I know that if I focus on these things no matter what comes up in my life, everything else will just fall in line and make since. Sometimes we get caught up in the bigger picture, or what I like to call “the what”. Whatever it is that we want to accomplish or achieve. Whether it be a flatter stomach, a better job, or a bigger house. We focus all of our attention on that, and forget about everything that makes us who we are. And then we become stressed out, unbalanced and joyless. Because we are not honoring our true self. And yes there is a place for focusing our attention on our wants and desires, but not to the place where that is the receiver of all of our attention. Our minds and body crave balance. We don’t operate effectively if we are not in balance. We can’t bring joy to our lives and the lives of our loved ones if we are not in balance.

What are your non negotiables for a happy life? What makes your heart stir and beam with excitement and love? Whatever you come up with, they are your non-negotiables. I’m sure if you focus on those instead of “the what” the how will happen effortlessly.

P.S...I heard this Rumi quote somewhere, to this day I don’t remember, but I’ve been repeating and chanting it when life seems to get me down or things just don’t seem to happen the way I think they should, “Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor.” When I say this I'm reminded that everything will work out, just as it is supposed. As long as I show up for me and my life.

warmly,
nicole

****Lessons learned is an ongoing monthly series where I share my experiences and the little nuggets and gems I’ve gleaned from those experiences whether good or bad, there is always a lesson to be learned.****

 

 

why #100dayshappy?

 

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Happiness is a treasure. Happiness doesn't always come to everyone. But I'm happy! And I've been happy for consistently about a year now. So let's see if I can keep it up for 100 more days. 

Come along with me, maybe there will be some not so happy days along the way but will push through them every day. 

Keep up with my #100dayahappy over on Instagram @nicolecreatea_.