Saturday, September 8, 2018

My Precious

I'm a bit obsessed.

About books.

Really... it's a weakness of mine.

Do you see what I mean.  T-W-E-L-V-E books.

WTF.

Who else LOVES to read as much as I do? My TBR List just quadrupled πŸ˜‚
 
On another note SLC FANX was amazing! It's been two years since my last rendezvous with them and I had forgotten how much I LOVE the local and small vendors.

I purchased a ton of treasures and I'm excited to read ALL these books!

And well... #STARWARS or better yet #DARTHVADER

And then there is #HANSOLO. Seriously, this was such a heartbreaking moment in Empire Strikes Back. I hated watching it when I was younger. He was too badass to be frozen in carbonite. I really am crying inside in this photo. Really.

BUT...

There's BUTTER BEER.  And it's super sweet and sugary, and my body is cursing my choices.

DON'T DRINK STRAIGHT SUGAR!

But it's Butter Beer and when in Rome...
 
PLUS, my cute daughter and her boyfriend were running the most sought after Butter Beer booth, making them celebrities in my eyes.

And my step-daughter and I enjoyed the show. We filled up on sugar, pizza, and sushi, then plowed down the rows one at a time, conversing with the vendors and avoiding the mass amount of cosplay wings gallivanting through the crowds.

It was an eventful night.

AND...

I met some amazing, talented, and wonderful folks.

Jo Schneider... seriously, I bought EIGHT of her books. I'm so freakin' excited to read them! Cheers to being a fellow Utah Indie Author 😍

And C.L. Olsen, you had a lot to say and what appears to be a marvelous story to entertain and quench my book thirst.

AND Jean Booth from Nevada. We will meet again. Because Zombies.

Good grief. Who let the bizarres out.

GOLLUM!

MY PRECIOUS!

He's my friend, as you can see. Our relationship is a little dysfunctional at this moment, but he caught a fish and we are going to fry that lovely up.

No he's not going to eat it raw. We are too civilized for that garbage. Oh wait.

SUSHI πŸ˜‹

Happy Saturday, folks 🍻

Friday, September 7, 2018

Coffee For Blondes

Friday's are my favorite day of the week. The work is winding down, the moods are lifting, and wine bottles and sushi bars are dancing in our heads.

And I'm here to tell a story. A tale to be reckoned with, and a small, tiny glimpse into my superb life.

Preparing the coffee pot the night before is the norm around my household. Most of the time, my hot fireman does that dirty work, but when he's on shift or I'm lucky enough to serve him first, I make sure I get all the glory.

On this one, marvelous night I was tidying up the kitchen, when my seventeen year old son arrives home from work. As I pull out the container of coffee, we begin a lengthy conversation about his day, my day, and what I needed him to work on the next day while I was working.

Shut off the light, turn on the alarm, and up the stairs we head to our bedrooms. For me, I was asleep within minutes. My man was on shift, but would be home in the morning, and I had the coffee set to start brewing at 6:30 A.M. Goodnight, world.

Morning always arrives too quickly. I was up and moving by 5:30 A.M. and strolling downstairs by 6:40 to fill up my coffee mug and grab my breakfast, before I headed out the door to work.

Splat.

WTF.

I peer down at a puddle of water on my kitchen floor. A sparkle catches my eye and my gaze wanders across the floor to find it drenched with the glistening liquid. As my mind thunders with confusion and worry, my eyes dart over to the coffee pot. It's on. BUT...

The coffee pot isn't sitting in its usual spot.

I haven't budged from the spot on the floor where my shoes met the first puddle of water, but my gaze has now traveled the entire length of the kitchen and has landed on my water filter faucet next to the sink.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

Coffee pot located. Filled to the brim with water.

Well, isn't this just fantabulous. I had left the water running all night.

#FAIL

Lucky for me, it was the reverse osmosis water filter and it only can produce so much over a period of time. However, my kitchen floor was submerged in water, along with half of my counter, and I really wanted to be to work early.

Dropped my purse on the counter, found the beach towels hidden in the laundry room, and suddenly I'm scrubbing the kitchen floor and cursing myself for my overstimulated, busy mind.

And even though I thought I had cleaned it all up, I failed to think about other areas of the house.

A few hours later I received a text...

My man: Did you spill something in the kitchen?

Me: Ummmm, whatever do you mean?

My man: The carpet is wet next to the kitchen.

Me: Oh that. It's a long story.

*facepalm*
I didn't check the carpet. Duh.

Lo and behold, when I arrived home, he proceeded to tell me that the contractor who was building out our basement couldn't figure out why there was a few puddles of water downstairs. I reluctantly divulged my faux pas. He laughed. HARD. Then he called me cute (I deserved that) and left the room chuckling to himself.

I'm sure him and the contractor enjoyed a barrel of laughs, courtesy of yours truly.

You're welcome 😈😎😝

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Take the First Step

Hi everyone!

It's been a while, but I'm working hard to return to blogging and create a stronger online presence πŸ˜€Plan on hearing more from me!

Today is all about books. And more specifically, my books.

Who has read my Epic Fantasy series, Theia's Moons?


If you haven't read them, don't fret. I'm not here to give away the story line. This post is all about the symbolism and how I've intertwined Malkia's life into our ordinary daily struggles. I was inspired to post this because of a readers questions on Goodreads, and the message at the end makes more sense if you read the entire article, so don't stop now!

#TheiasMoonsThursday

Her life was never meant to be easy. She was not born to play small. In the first book, Eyes Wide Shut, the story begins with Malkia living in a small town where she unwillingly had been appointed the leader after the Great War ended. Although she had never intended to walk down the leadership path, she was a natural in the position and easily gained her people's love and support.

But the peace in that town and those years of serenity were never supposed to last. She had a bigger future that included staring into the faces of the people who should have been protecting her, but had instead thrown her out for the wolves.

Now let's venture down the road of why I chose the title, Eyes Wide Shut.

Malkia believes she has figured out life and what it means to her. She lost her entire family, with the exception of her sister, in the Great War. With the end of that tragedy, she was gifted the role of leadership over her community and she thrived in that position. Her adventures across the lands of Esaki created even more confidence within herself, giving her the illusion that she was really in control of her life.

As the story begins and she leads her people away from their homes, racing from the barbarians, she continues to believe her eyes are completely open to the facts of life, the conditions of the moon she lives on, and the universe around her.

But nothing is what it seems in this story of hers. And although she believes she's fully aware and conscious of her surroundings, she is in fact completely shut off from the truth. Thus, Eyes Wide Shut seemed like the appropriate title for this book.

What does this mean in every day life to the ones who chooses to read this story?

Most often than not, we as a civilization make assumptions based on the little information we possess, and forget that our perception is not always accurate. Even when we have the experience, the title, or even the "inside" scoop, we can still be mistaken. Essentially, we all believe we are right and the rest of the world is wrong, but if we opened our eyes and became conscious of our true state of being, we would realize being "right" isn't really important.

When frustrations and hardships weigh us down, and other people create even bigger messes in our lives, it may be difficult to take a step back and gain a wider view. However, for me personally, when I choose a moment of stillness and introspection, I usually gain better insight on the circumstance I am currently facing. With a little more knowledge and/or a broader scope of the subject, the issue becomes less troublesome and easier to digest.

Although Malkia's journey is far from over once Eyes Wide Shut ends, she does have a better idea of what she's facing, and because of this knowledge she is better able to prepare for her next step. If you haven't read this book, do it SOON! I want to continue discussing the stories and why I wrote them the way I did. U.S. readers grab your signed copy below, or otherwise the link to Amazon is on my website as well!

NikiLivingstonAuthor.com

πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡
Choosing to take the first step toward your goals and dreams is my message today. Don't play small. Because once you take that step, BOOM, the next one will show up.

Until next time, my loves! Cheers 🍻

Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to Cure a Booty Tickle

Here we go!  I'm just going to hurdle myself right into this one!

Curing a Booty Tickle
  1. Get back into your car (skip this step, and jump straight to #3 if you never left your house).
  2. Drive home and go inside, locking the door behind you.
  3. Turn off your phone and all other electronics.
  4. Peel off your day clothes.
  5. Slip back into comfy pjs or sweats or your birthday suit. Whichever feels best for your soul.
  6. Crawl under you blankets and snuggle into their warmth.
  7. Go back to sleep. 
  8. AND/OR
  9. Surround yourself with high energy people and rise to their level.
For those who don't know...

Booty Tickled = Butt Hurt

Reference is courtesy of my dazzling friend, Deyra.

This is exactly where I found myself on the morning of my birthday, this past Tuesday, January 2nd.  I had an extreme case of the booty tickles and I was flabbergasted on how to halt its assault on my wounded heart.  I thought the first night's sleep would help, but I tossed and turned, unable to prevent my booty tickle from growing to an agonizing consumption of my logical mind.  By the next day, I was lashing out at everyone around me, buried neck deep in a pity party prepped just for one 😑

I stomped into work, frustrated and angry, wanting to avoid all contact with the people I worked with. Luckily, they weren't having any of my garbage.  First, my wonderful and talented friend roasted the owner of the company, and I couldn't help myself but to laugh and smile, temporarily vacating my inner party.  So, if you don't have the luxury of returning to your house right away, surround yourself with happy people and just sit back, allowing them to satiate the air with their good vibes.

And as my good fortune continued, despite my rotten attitude, my co-workers surprised me with a well-rehearsed serenade of the Happy Birthday melody, followed with a massive chunk of chocolate bundt cake, leaving me in a sugar induced, but overly satisfied coma.  I realized in that moment, my life experiences its extreme downs, like everyone else in this world, but I'm still surrounded by some fantastic people. I'm one lucky gal.

I arrived home to a family who loves me and acknowledges their own shortcomings, wrapping me in a warm cocoon of affection.  My final piece to my get-over-it remedy, was that night when I finally did crawl into my bed and was able to sleep away the rest of the hurt. In the morning, I stepped out of my cocoon, inhaled a grateful breath of relief and spread my wings to my renewed sense of life.

My step-by-step advice on how to cure a booty tickle is legit πŸ˜€  Practice it!  I highly doubt it well fail you.  And yes, surrounding yourself with happy people might be all the medicine a person needs, but in my experience a good night's rest will almost always provide a clearer perspective.  Honor your feelings, but know when to adjust them.  And always love yourself enough to step away from the situation until you're able to bring clarity to your mind.

Cheers, my angel friends 😘

P.S. If you love books, stop by my website and check out my books!  There's more coming and if you want to stay up-to-date, sign up for my newsletter.  I promise not to spam!

Website - www.NikiLivingstonAuthor.com
NewsLetter - http://eepurl.com/cjPM5b

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Rest for the Weary

"Give yourself credit. You've got a big heart, you've made it through this far, and you are always, always, always stronger than you think." - Brendon Burchard
I broke mentally this past week.

And honestly, I knew it was coming, but I pretended it wasn't happening as my task list is so long, I didn't have time to acknowledge a mental break in my life.

But that's the funny thing about our minds. It doesn't give a rat's ass if you ignore it or not. It's going to take a break if it's reached the point where it can no longer take your shit. And that, my friends, is where I landed Thursday evening.

At first, I did my best to not acknowledge what was happening, but as the night wore on and I became more and more withdrawn, I had to stop and figure out what was happening. Even then, I battled it, refusing to give in and continuing to push myself to the max.

You see, the past two months I've been on a determined and focused journey, pushing against my own limits and defying them, rising up this monstrosity of a mountain. I've had my Rise And Conquer project going full steam ahead, pressing forward with my writing projects, and working non-stop at my day job as a Buyer. Not to mention everything that's needed to keep myself healthy, along with taking care of my family and home.

I've loved every minute of it and riding on cloud nine has been my viewpoint for the majority of these past two months. And quite frankly, when my mind was having its "fuck you" moment, I was doing the same to it, as I didn't want to stop the ride that I was flying on.

Until it started to affect the ones around me.

I paused.

And shifted.

Really diving into WHY I was experiencing this downfall. And when I woke this morning, I knew. I had literally shoved myself off the edge and my mind was exhausted. It was why I couldn't think clearly the past few days. It was why I felt twisted into a knot, overwhelmed by all my sudden responsibilities.

I had become so consumed by the end goal, that I forgot about the journey. My meditations had been lacking, I was less present during my workouts and overall life, my writing was suddenly difficult to put onto paper, and my family was seeing it, even though I was determined to deny it.

I was forgetting that I have a relationship with my body and in order for us to work well together, I deserve to honor all the boundaries, including my own.

Today I rested. I meditated. Soaked in a hot bath. Listened to some gentle music. Pulled out my Shaman drum and connected with my source. And although I still feel low, my soul is calm. And I'm stronger. Tomorrow I'll rise up again, ready to take on my tasks, goals, and dreams with a reminder to honor myself and the body that houses me.

For those of you who are reading this, what do you do in those times where you are mentally falling? Do you remember to stop? Or does it take some time to grasp onto your circumstances?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Rise And Conquer Project - Months 5 & 6

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
I'm still at it, despite my lack of blogging these past two months. My project hasn't flitted from my mind for more than a day, here and there and I've continued to work on myself, even though the exhaustion from my long days of working and being a mother, partner, chauffeur, cook and writer have nearly convinced me to quit.  I've persevered, despite my failures, which was one of the many reasons I began this journey.

September was a bit of a joke 😏  I had every intention to work on "Communication" as my goal that month, but I didn't focus as much as I needed.  Because of my failure for most of the month, I decided to make it a two month project and after all my work, I think my coworkers and family are delighted I did!  Maybe... hopefully...

The end of September and the entire month of October, I made it a point to communicate clearly and purposefully, giving power to my voice and to those around me.

If you read my last blog post, you would know that my intention, at that time, was to be less reactive.  And I believe I conquered that goal, even through the month of September.  It was tough and I definitely had to remind myself that it was better to take a lot of deep breaths, then sputter obscene replies that I would've regretted once I'd cooled off.

I chose to change my emotions in the moment.  It might seem impossible, as I used to think, but when I paused, took a few deep breaths, I was able to shift the energy and internally change the way I was feeling.  It's a work in process, but every day that I'm able to control my emotions, instead of the other way around, is a day of victory in my life.

Listening was another part of my communication goals.  I have a habit of listening with the intent of responding, instead of just hearing what others have to say.  Sitting back and hearing their words, watching their expressions and digesting their entire message, I was able to see others in a new light.  It's amazing how easily it becomes to love others, as they are, when you truly stop to see them for the soul they possess inside.

Going back to September, it wasn't a complete lost cause.  I did have the opportunity to attend the Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Colorado City and witness an overabundance of love, compassion and comradeship.  These women and men, who serve our cities and towns, are filled with a love for humanity and I'm grateful to have been able to see the unity of so many strangers from across the United States and Canada.

As well, I attended the SoulSpark seminar at Thanksgiving Point in Utah.  It was a blessing to be near so many powerful and fierce women, who are determined to rise in love, unity and strength.  Being among them awoke a spiritual passion inside me that has assisted in spiraling me upwards, towards my goals and dreams, reminding me that I am a beautiful, passionate, inspiring, loving, woman of light.

Thank you for sharing in my journey.  It's cheesy at times, but I hope I can give inspiration to anyone who will listen, as they choose to break through the boundaries and confinements of our rigid society.  My goal for November is already in full swing and I plan on documenting it better than I have for the last few months.  I'll return soon.  Until then, cheers 😘

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Choosing To Be Less Reactive

πŸ’‹ Deep Breaths πŸ’‹

It's kind of my thing. If you know me in person, you've probably heard me say this to myself, to you, or to someone else in our vicinity. Especially recently, as I've been working on being less reactive towards the people around me. My kids are familiar with my tactics to calm their storms and this is by far the most effective.

Whether it's in person, in an email, or on a text, I've failed on a multitude of occasions to correctly interpret what is being said. There are times, after I've reacted, that I've reread an email or text and groaned from my ah-fuck moment. It wasn't them, it was me!

One of my goals this year, is to learn how to be less reactive and more patient. I have my Rise and Conquer project in overdrive, as I careen up and down these slopes, encouraging myself to take "DEEP BREATHS" and they have made all the difference! Sometimes it's all I need to clear my head and realize how close I was to making a complete and utter fool of myself πŸ˜‚

Not everything I interpret is correct. My perception is mine alone, and when I don't take the time to properly understand what is being said, I create a conflict that was unnecessary and unwarranted. Sometimes, it really is best to ignore what is being said, take the deep breaths and greet the issue with silent and internal introspection. Not everything requires my response, especially if it only creates more havoc and toxic energy in my immediate surroundings. I'm learning to love myself enough to realize, I'm better than this and I won't allow myself to dim my light just so I can be right.

It's a positive energy high when I choose to turn the other cheek and move on with my life, without allowing others to yank me down to their level. Let that be their karma. Let them bathe in the sorrows of their choices. But don't join them. This is your journey, your life, your choices, and it is far more thrilling the higher a person rises, then staying stuck in the filthy muck of life.

I chose "Rise and Conquer" as my motto, because every day I want to push myself to continue to rise, even when I'm surrounded by failure. Rising doesn't exclude those moments, as long as I take them as lessons learned and not for reasons to give up. I conquer not only my goals and my day, but I conquer myself. Every single day I choose to be better than I was the day before.

So, take the deep breaths. Rise to new and more exciting levels. And conquer the person you were yesterday, in order to create a better you.

Give my blog a follow. Join in my journey to Rise and Conquer and I will see you on the next level of life πŸ˜

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rise And Conquer Project - Months 2-4

What a summer! Right?!?

Where has the time gone and why have I not been blogging?

Honestly, it's been a whirlwind these past three months and I'm thrilled to say, I've accomplished so much!  My first month of this Rise and Conquer project was all about me.  I spent the entire month soaking in and absorbing self-love, and it went beautifully.

June was Completing Unfinished Projects and July was Working on Relationships.  Did I succeed?  Not entirely. So, August was all three of the past 3 months.

I continued to bath in self-love, while connecting more with the people in my life and working on the dozens of projects I have started.  Like I said, it's been a whirlwind!

Completing Unfinished Projects
- Finished and published Damon's story in the Theia's Moons series.
- Nearly finished painting all the doors, door frames, and trim in my house.
- Moved my older son into his own room.
- Cleaned and organized the laundry room.
- Finished Wicked Heart, which will be appearing in the Anti-Valentine Anthology.

I have a few other projects that I didn't have the chance to start, but cross your fingers and toes they will be finished before the end of 2017.

Working On Relationships
- Less reaction and more patience
- Meditating to clear my mind of frustrations
- Speak kindly to others, even when I'm irritated
- Listen to concerns about myself without being defensive

This one was difficult for me, but each day I worked on it more and more, and although I know I still have more work, I believe I've come leaps and bounds since July began.  And I really hope that my friends and family have noticed a positive shift in how I speak with and love them.

I'm moving into September and I've accomplished more than I thought I would, but now I have to pick my next month's project.  Stay tuned for what that is 😏

One thing I have taken away from all this, is patience with myself.  I have pushed my body and mind to their max and some days I've beat myself up for not being able to do better, but last night as I was getting ready for bed, I pulled out my tarot cards and said a silent prayer to my spirit guide or guardian angel. I believe in an after life, but my vision is very different from most religious people. Tarot cards are a guide or answer to prayers and last night I believe I received my answer.  I pulled this card:

It was given to me in the Challenger position and this is what it means...
The Well Watcher comes to let you know that you've run out of steam. Self-will alone isn't enough to make things happen.  All cannot be yours at this time.  If you feel you're going nowhere, it's because you're meant to stay put.  Willfulness can lead to your becoming like the bull in a china shop, creating havoc as you push forward.

Remember the sacred, creative Source of the water in the well.  Drink some, be still, and contemplate the true origin of power.  It isn't you.  So drink deeply of the Wisdom of the Divine, and listen to the beautiful music playing through you life.  When you've made conscious contact with your higher power you can move forward again, replenished and renewed.
Yesterday I felt stuck and frustrated, because I wanted to accomplish more than I possibly could, in a short amount of time.  I sat in front of my computer, wanting to write my stories, but my imagination was not connecting to my fingers.  Everything I began working on, wasn't going as planned and when I read that card, I knew they were right.  I was forcing myself to keep going, even though my mind and body needed to relax and connect with my Source.  So, that's what I did.

This morning I woke feeling different.  And when I sat down to write, the words that had been so difficult to write yesterday and most of this past week, flowed without restraint.

I don't always receive such a direct answer, so I'm grateful when I do and I'm happy to know there is some kind of energy or source out there, that is willing to still guide us arrogant and ungrateful humans 😁😈 Peace out, until next time.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

He Loves Me

Dear Diary ~

I was three when the universe ripped him away from me. A child, innocent, ignorant, and heartbroken. How could a God take my favorite person away from me. And on Christmas day of all days. That’s a cruel deity, if you ask me.

The dream… it brought me comfort, and has never been erased from my mind, but to this day I miss him. He was my calm, my solace, and my best friend. He bounced me on his knee and then snuggled and kissed me afterwards, making me feel safe and loved in a family where I was so often forgotten.

I think of the dream the angels sent me… or was that him, coming to me in a way I would understand? Lava? Why would he allow himself to sink into lava right before my eyes? He did say that he loves me… But then he was gone and I was left petrified in place, clutching the doorknob and knowing I couldn’t save him. Those three words continue to tear at my heart, over and over again, year after year.

He loves me.

Then why did he leave me alone.

I was only three. And even now, so many years later, I still don’t understand. And to the day, I miss his laughter that rang happily into my ears and his gigantic smile, lighting up my world. He was my protector, my angel before death…

He was my grandpa. And I will never forget.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wild Dreams

Who else has the most wild dreams???

Some mornings I wake, shaking my head at the universe and think, am I ever going to receive a well rested night again? Nearly every night my mind goes on an adventure, but in the morning I rarely can recall what happened. However, I always remember the feeling of my dreams.

This morning I was all out of sorts. Not in the, "woke on the wrong side of the bed" sorts, but more that I felt unraveled. The pieces of my life were refusing to fit back into their tidy little spots and I know it had something to do with my dreams. If only the memories would stop eluding me.

What message is the universe attempting to deliver to me this time?!?!

I've had several people lately, out of the blue, tell me it's important to listen to the messages in my dreams. I write them down when I can recall them, but how do I remember the ones that seem to flit off with the morning sun, abandoning me with the residual feelings of my forgotten adventure??

Who else has unknown messages from the universe, dancing through your dreams?


Photo artist Unknown.