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Off the Top by C Nicole

"Your Voice is Your Power"

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About C Nicole

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C Nicole is a wife, mother, sister, friend, aunt, and so many other things. I created "Off the top by C. Nicole" to take you on a journey of my inner thoughts. Growing up my parents always told me I say whatever comes to mind without thinking. I must say, they were absolutely right. The older I became the more I realized I journaled my thoughts but never released them. The people closest to me would only get a snippet, but now the time has come to share with the world. My blog is a place where you get to hear the thoughts I have as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and human being. 

 

So grab your coffee, tea, and it's five o'clock where you are, grab your adult beverage!

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When you hear the word influencer nowadays, the first thing most people think of is social media. You see influencers on Instagram, Tik Tok, Twitter, podcasts, and other platforms often receiving income; however, many aren’t. They are the people that have an impact on not only us but our children as well because of their presentation, whether good or bad. We often hear our children reciting what they are saying and even impersonating us to the point in some households. They will listen to social media before they listen to their parents; however, some of the things they ingest are unhealthy. As an adult, I have learned some great tools from influencers and heard things I thought were toxic. Now if I notice that it left a bad taste in my mouth, I have to do my part to ensure I not only monitor the influences but make sure, as a parent, I’m the example. This very thing is what my pastor Father-in-law preached about today. He spoke about how we live our lives in front of children as the example they will have, AKA influence.




My parents were some of the biggest influencers in my life. The way they lived their lives and the things they taught us is what shaped us. Talking was common in our household, but I didn’t always take heed. Don’t get it twisted. Just because they were positive influencers didn’t mean I always made the best decisions. I started the application when I became an adult, and when encountering negative influences, I would somehow remember our conversations. I can honestly say this helped me to get out of situations and be more aware of others, but what if I didn’t have positive influencers in my life? The outcome could have been different.



Negative influencers in a house typically will make a child resentful or resilient. I have had plenty of conversations with people whose mothers or fathers were present and volatile or not present, and the impact is significant. The children typically decide early on in their lives that they will be nothing like them, or they naturally encompass the same traits no matter what their bad example had an impact, whether positive or negative. The decision to not deal with their parents happen based on if they feel like they will not be impacted by their interactions which has to be hard because these are the people who were supposed to be the positive examples.

In conclusion, our children are watching us, and although they may appear not to be listening, they are. It may take a little longer to see, but trust what you have taught them. Be the examples they need, so they don’t have to look for it in others.


I challenge you to ask yourself these questions!

  1. How can you be a better influence on your children?

  2. Do you want the world to be their example?

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On June 12th, my mom turned 67, so we took her to Tupelo Honey, a local restaurant, the weekend before because she would be out of town for our family reunion the following weekend. My mom is a person who doesn't require anything; however, she is grateful for everything. Tell me why she was ready to cry as soon as we sat down and put our napkins on our lap. She said I can't believe how much you'll have grown up. I said to my sister; I need a drink already, lol. I was not joking because I know how my mother is, and baby, we were all about to have waffles full of tears. In our family, we have experienced many things, from happiness to pain, so she was basking at the moment, but what she said that pierced my soul was that we 'Grew Up' I digested that as I drove home because it impacted me. My mama could see us from where we started from her womb to 2023, and I know the work it has taken to get to this point. So I thought about how she admired our growth chart as a mother.

What's Measured?

Doctors check the baby's growth when a woman becomes pregnant, from the first appointment to birth. They do ultrasounds in the womb and can see the baby's size. The first thing they do upon delivery is disconnect the umbilical cord attached to the mother, which is how they get their food and oxygen, and waste. The checking of vitals follows, weight and height measured, along with a first bath. The doctors do all of this to establish the history of growth. Tracking is to see what's going on and as a guide for the many doctors who will treat you throughout your life. They are documenting to know where you started to where you are going so they can address anything that needs to be on track for growth. I hope you didn't think that when your 30-plus self went to the doctor three months ago, and they questioned your weight gain, it was for discussion at dinner. The doctor asked the question because they needed to know what had changed to get you back on track, not for your height but for your health. After all, you were no longer growing in size but in width. My mother's observation was primarily about mindset. Myrtle has lived through our bad decisions, perseverance, the high moments, and the lows to appreciate the moment.

Growth is not just about going up in height but also about your mind. Just because you turn another age doesn't mean you are wiser because many seasoned fools are roaming this earth that has not mentally grown. I come across people in my age group whose mindset is still stuck back when we were teenagers. The same thoughts, ideologies, and things they did over 20 years ago are the same. When you channel them to think a little deeper, they become defensive because they think their way is the only way to do things. I've experienced this with peers and mostly with family.

The family wants to keep doing things the way Grandad and Grandma did in 1950, which is why the version of the family in 2023 is a hot ass mess. The look of confusion on their face when the one person comes around who calls it out and now that person is toxic, but the truth is they are just that and are continuing the generational toxicity. I've seen businesses not grow because they think the old way of doing things is the only way when they could tap into something that will help them tremendously. I've seen churches not grow because the Pastor thought that hearing from the congregation and applying morally good things was not beneficial. I've seen marriage fail because growth was needed and identified, but no one or only one person wanted to do the work. During change, be teachable and get out of your way to grow. Growth is simply elevating and moving past things that keep you in the same place to become a better parent, friend, Pastor, employer, hell neighbor. Growth is okay and may be scary, but it can be the best thing to happen to you.


In conclusion, no matter your age, someone will continuously track your growth, and you will have moments you get off track. The people in your corner will be happy about it and always let you know when you are off track. The people who are not will try to diminish your growth, so they keep seeing you for who you once were. Don't allow others to hold you to who you used to be but appreciate where you are now, but you have to do the same for them as well. Embrace those becoming the best versions of themselves and those who want to be but haven't figured out how to. Mama, thank you for appreciating our Growth Chart.



I challenge you to ask yourself these questions.

  1. What areas of my life need some growth?

  2. Have I grown, or am I stuck in my ways?

  3. Do I see others for who they are present-day or who they were?



If the area of growth you need is within your relationship with your spouse, significant other, or partner, check out a resource below that has been very helpful for my marriage: Love Minus Limits, which has a Public and Private page.


Love Minus Limits Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/loveminuslimitsllc


Love Minus Limits- Maximize Your Relationship Connection-Private Facebook Community

https://www.facebook.com/groups/maximizeconnection





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Have you ever driven past someone's house and noticed they had a lot of weeds in their garden? Hell, have you ever been that person who let the weeds in your garden grow out of control because I recently let mine get off the chain? My mom warned me to get them while they were forming, but I insisted on waiting. I am not the type of chick that plants flowers or likes landscaping because bugs and snakes are not my friends, so getting out there in my flower bed was challenging. So, I put on some long pants and a shirt and started to pull up the weeds. I'll be honest I stood there first doing an evaluation and instantly wanted to quit, but in all honesty, no matter how bad it was, it needed to be done. Baby, I was out of breath, and you would have thought I was running on a treadmill. I had to wrap my hands around most of them to get to the root. I was so damn tired and sore after, but as I lay in the bed, I thought about how deeply rooted some of our weeds (issues) are.



What Are Weeds?

Weeds are seeds in the ground that grow from their environment. You can look in your flower bed one day and see nothing; however, they lie dormant until they move above the soil. If not addressed promptly with a solution or by physically pulling them up, they will continue to grow, and the next thing you know, they are all over the place. They take little to spread and grow in other areas. Once removed, they will continue returning with a vengeance if you don't create a barrier and do maintenance. The crazy thing is most people know and yet still let them grow.


In our lives, we allow weeds to take over our flower beds (minds). The forming of them starts with something a person has said or done to us. We start digesting it and begin to water them. We call everyone, tell them the situation, and invite them to do an evaluation. The reasoning behind it because are trying to find a way around what we already know needs to be done. Instead of getting to the source, we dwell in them.


In conclusion, we can control the weeds if we get a handle on them early on. Stop allowing others to assess your problems when you know how to get to the roots yourself. In getting to the sources, be open-minded and understand that it won't always be easy, and you may experience some pain after. Do what you must to heal yourself because your flower bed will be much better.


I challenge you to ask yourself the questions below!

  1. What weeds do I need to pull up in my life?

  2. Do I need to re-evaluate my environment?

  3. How can I take control before they spread?

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