So I had never heard of 1440 in Scotts Valley, CA until my sister in law suggested we check it out. There was going to be a speaker there that she loves. I just agreed, because I love her, but still had no idea what I was in for.

Turns out, not only is the facility absolutely incredible and vibrating with energy, the food is phenomenal, the people are full of depth, and the speaker was exactly what I needed to hear.

Sharon Salzberg led us in deep discussions about compassion and love and kindness and tied it up in a nice package of meditation.

There is nothing better than getting an epiphany about something that’s been buzzing around in our heads. That’s exactly what I got. I realized that I’ve been associating doing  with being kind. I’ve gotten myself in a situation where I’m doing too much and now I’m drained. In the midst of all of this, hearing Sharon say that we can’t be giving if our vessel isn’t full, I had this realization. As much as I love to give, and I love to help out, if I end up doing more because I feel obligated, than I’m not giving from a good place. If I’m not doing things out of a place that feels good to me it certainly isn’t going to be good for anyone else.

I have known this intellectually, I know that. But something about the way she worded it, totally put me in a place of empowerment. Yes! That’s it! Because I love to give. Me giving isn’t the problem! But when the intention is to ‘make up for someone else,’ that’s not true giving, and that’s why it doesn’t feel right. A ha!


By the way, if you’re needing a place to replenish your body mind and spirit, check out 1440. It is truly amazing. I can’t wait to go back!!

Play = Me

This is a little fluid piece that I was playing with in my art book. Like I mentioned before, I am making it a goal to incorporate more painting and pen play into the big pieces I am doing. It doesn’t make sense to have this fluid easy play in my art journal, and not just make these ideas into bigger pieces.

I think I still struggle sometimes with keeping the flow alive. Once I know I am ‘creating art,’ I tend to lock up a bit as if I’m afraid of making a mistake. However when I am PLAYING in my book, the fear of mistakes is gone.

So like I have said before, the only way out is through. That must mean I just need to make more WORK.

I know that my true voice is the voice that rings out in my moments of sheer joy, and total flow. So incorporating the parts the naturally show up when I’m not trying at all, is what I am aiming for.

My intention is to live my truest self, in my art and in all areas of life….

Sending you all love and light, and hope that you’re feeding your inner artist…..

xo Jax

KwangHo Shin

The first time I saw the paintings by this South Korean artist, I was intrigued. The facial details are mostly gone, and yet it’s as if they are alive in front of us. Swirling with emotions and intentions, as if the people are real behind the colors.

I love that the literal parts of the faces are covered in this almost childlike splattering of colorful paint. And yet, regardless of the bright bold colors, there is something almost haunting about losing the details of the faces. Our minds fill in the space… What an experience.

Kwangho shin painting




The Dance of Creativity, the Dance of Life

It’s funny how life moves, ebbs and flows. Sometimes I am buzzing with this luscious creative energy pulsing through my body.

Other times I am a bit listless. My mind bouncing back and forth on a certain piece, playing through different actions I could take to get me back to that place of deliciously vibrant energy.

I always get back, but sometimes the journey is uncomfortable. Right now, I see images in my head over and over again and once I start creating them, they disappear and I’m left with only a sliver of what I saw. So there’s the anxiety, the flipping of my brain to figure it out, to solve the mystery.

As I sit here at the computer, reminding myself to be PRESENT with where I am, and that I will get back to creating soon enough, I am also remembering that part of the process IS the trial and error. It IS the moving closer and closer to who we are at the depth of our core, and then sometimes in the next second being washed back onto the shore unsure of what just happened.

Maybe this is what it feels like to be an artist.

Maybe this is what it feels like to be human.

The glorious blissful moments where everything connects, and then the constant yearning for that when it’s gone.
Maybe I don’t need to yearn.

Maybe I can breathe through the not knowing, and remember the process, remember that curiosity must remain in order for work to come alive at all.

I want my pieces to not only have color and movement, but to be full of feelings and heartbreak and power and vivid streaks of beauty and pain. The only way I can do any of that is to be there, dancing with it. Holding on to and letting it lead, allowing it to move to it’s own beat while I step out of the way and gracefully allow creativity to lead.

Something New

Here is something new I’m working on. Ahhhh! I’m loving the process, enjoying the journey of delicious play!

This is on 18×24 paper, so I have a long way to go. Ahhhh



Whenever I am gliding a pen across the paper, and someone makes a comment, I uncomfortably always say ‘Augh it’s nothing, I am just doodling. I am just playing.’

Which,… is true in a sense. Creating art this way by allowing my mind to relax and trusting the pen to move as it must, is the ultimate restorative, gentle, emotive activity that brings me right back to who I am where I feel solid and full and alive.

However, the words that come out of my mouth sounds as if what I am doing is suddenly so minuscule, so silly, a time waster. Which is exactly what I always felt it was,

This got me thinking….

What is the actual definition of ‘doodle’ anyway?
Well, I looked it up.

Doodle: To scrawl aimlessly, to fritter away time, to scribble absentmindedly.

Huh. Wow. That doesn’t sound amazing. So I looked up absentmindedly so I could get a complete view at all of this.

Absentmindedly: So lost in thought that one does not realize what one is doing; preoccupied with something else. Absent, inattentive.

No wonder I haven’t felt ‘doodle’ suits me! None of this is true! Sure I am relaxed when I am creating, but I am buzzing with joy and gratitude and play and I am definitely AWARE of what I am doing. There is no part of the definition that is about being in a place of bliss or meditation or even being remotely creative. And ABSENT!??? Uh no.

Wow. Isn’t this fascinating how words carry so much energy? Some words don’t fit at all even though we keep using them. This is so funny, I have felt such a disconnect from that word which has made me feel like I’m not a real artist, like I’m such a silly bullshitter.

I think I am going to eliminate the word DOODLE out of my vocabulary entirely. I mean, I can do that. The word has made me feel small and insignificant and there is no reason at all for that.

From now on I am CREATING.

I am an artist, I am not a silly doodler.

New Leaf New Life

Over the past year I’ve written plenty of posts about stepmomming and not knowing my role, blah blah blah. I know, it’s a super uncreative heavy topic. But it’s been a huge part of my life for a long time. Every time I’ve started to feel like I’m IN CONTROL finally of the situation, something else happens and I feel back where I started.

There’s been the whole feeling that:

  1. I need to do everything. It’s my job to teach them everything their mom can’t/won’t.
  2. They have a mom, so what exactly is my role??????????????????????? Even though they are at OUR house quite often, and even though I’ve been in their lives for 6 years.
  3. I feel like a failure. The kids have developed habits and beliefs that I don’t think are healthy. I SHOULD have influenced them enough to where they are on the right track. (Obviously MY WAY is the right track. I know.I can see what’s happening as I write this all out.)


Ugh. Can I just say a big fat UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH right now? None of these top 3 things feel good at all to me. In fact they make me feel pretty shitty about myself and my situation.


Believe it or not, I WANT to be in a place of joy and ease. 

I love them, and the more that I run around teaching, I am realizing that the absolute most important thing I can do is help them to know/feel that they are loved just as they are.

It won’t matter if I mention to them over and over again to eat vegetables, or to have compassion for others, or to remind them to be polite, or ways they can make friends. What will they really remember by the time they are adults?? The reality is, they will learn what they need to learn REGARDLESS of me constantly making



As I write that I’m realizing how crappy that sounds. Double ugh.

So… new plan.

I will love them.


My intention now, is to love them fully as they are. Which means: 

I will ask questions genuinely and listen and remember.

I will play with them.

I will notice parts of them that I admire.

I will tell them what I love about them.

I will ask them to help out, because I need the help. Not because I feel I need to teach them to help.

I will be present in the moment with them and have fun.

I will show up for them, because I want to, not because their mother may not.

I will still be clear about boundaries in our house.

I will laugh with them. Not to teach them to laugh, but because I like to laugh.


I’ve been in this better place for the past couple weeks. Meeting them where they are, and not feeling so much yucky pressure to FIX THINGS. It definitely takes practice. I can feel my stomach tying in knots still when I see or hear something I don’t love. But I’m getting better at saying to myself ‘It’s fine Jackie, just love her.’ And then my voice is full of love and my eyes are full of love. And then I feel good. I want them to know without a doubt how much they are loved for just being them.





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