What does it mean to be an artist

This morning, in the quiet, dark morning, I was drawing in my art journal and reflecting on this past week. The kids are off in Europe with their mother for a summer vacation, and you’d think I’ve had a lot of art time. But it’s been a busy week full of lots of errands, and some family time. Parts have been fulfilling experiences and others that are just,.. you know,.. necessary.

Anyway. As I was allowing my mind to relax, I realized that I feel a bit uncomfortable. I’m feeling a bit muddled right now. Starting a new piece but not sure where it’s headed or what to do next. There’s been this gnawing anxiety inside as I work out what to do and how and if it’s even going to work.

I’m not feeling like an ARTIST. 

I hate to admit that but it’s true. I feel like a fake. I feel disconnected from whatever I thought I was and it feels yucky.

In that moment I jotted down some notes for myself.

Why is it that I only feel like an artist when I have the answers? 

Because when I think about it, being an artist isn’t HAVING the answers, it’s relishing the questions. And I’ve known this, I’ve felt it in my body before. But intellectually it’s UNCOMFORTABLE to be in a murky place, am I right? In a place where I’m feeling a bit tired and listless. But am I only an artist when I’m bursting into flames of passion and frothing at the mouth with excitement? Does being an artist really come and go just as quickly as my emotions?

No! It can’t! What if all of this is being an artist. All of it. Regardless of if I am in a buzzing bursting swirling place of joy or if I’m cloudy and unsure. I’m still a creator, I’m still searching and open and moving forward.

So this was a good reminder to have faith. Faith that there is always an ebb and flow to everything, and creating is just another part of existing. So have faith. I know I can do things to foster my creativity better than I have been.

  • I can meditate at 2 pm everyday like I planned, I can make that a priority.
  • I can remind myself to feel the sensitivity of creating when I draw. To let it absorb through my skin into my heart.
  • I can breathe through the murkiness and know that the bubbling film of questions will only lead me to the answers when I am ready to receive them.
  • I can go outside and notice everything around me that aches with beauty.
  • I can remember that being an artist doesn’t mean all I do is create. An artist must live, and it’s my job to feel, to see, to acknowledge the sacredness in all of life. That must be done outside of my little art studio.
  • I can focus on being present in more moments than I have been. Being fully there, with my eyes and heart fully open. That is the kind of artist I want to be.

Maybe it’s okay to sometimes feel lost. To sometimes not feel all that we truly are. Maybe those are the moments when we get to learn more about ourselves, and our strength then we ever knew possible.

 

 

Yes!

I’ve been working on this piece for awhile now, and I’m relishing every moment. When I start feeling like I need to hurry it up, I remind myself ‘what am I doing this for?’ Do I want to rush through what I absolutely love doing? How is that going to be the best thing for me? So I’m soaking in creation and trusting that it’ll be finished when it’s supposed to be finished. Ahhhhhh

From victim to straight up powerhouse

Whatever we need will be brought to us.
Whatever we are ready to learn, we will hear.

I woke up this morning with a strong realization that I have been a victim. I don’t mean the victim that has gotten her purse stolen or had some creepy dude yell something out from across the street.

I mean like a life victim. It’s funny because I know people that are total victims and I can smell them a mile away. The complaints and the whines can drive me insane and I’ve figured that I am so much different. I am so much more evolved.

And then I woke up seeing the truth.

My inner voice: Ah shit. (feeling like a slap in the face) I’m a victim.

I’ll admit, sometimes I feel like I can’t do it, can’t figure it out, can’t make it through, feel stuck. It’s a thick mucusy sensation like bobbing in the middle of the ocean without a life preserver.  And the thing that’s funny/sad is that I didn’t even REALIZE it. I mean I had mild sprinkling doses of it, but I didn’t REALIZE that my LIFE has been splattered with it. Wow. How did this even happen???

So I’d give off this ‘poor me’ vibe, which we all know is ultra sexy, and my truly sexy hubby would come running.

He tried to help by offering to do more, but I wouldn’t feel better, I’d only feel more pathetic.

He’s amazingly caring and warm and ready to do anything and everything to make life better and easier. For everyone, especially me.

But this morning when I got up at 4:25 am, I heard this:
 I am so capable. I don’t need to be saved.

It’s hard with men sometimes. We tell them we don’t need them to FIX IT.

If we have a great listener for a man (like I do), they ask what we need and do their best to EMPATHIZE instead. ‘Oh, that’s got to be really hard.’ But it doesn’t sound RIGHT. In fact, when my would do it, I almost wanted to laugh because the inflection was all wrong. The words came out awkwardly like a bad movie line. Do you know why it doesn’t sound right? Because they are MEN! They are supposed to FIX things! My man is a brilliant idea guy with millions of fresh ideas lined up for everything under the sun. Why would I want to squash those ideas and force him to say things that only girlfriends can get away with? ahhahaha

So back to my realizations… The ‘victim victim victim’ words rang out in my head as clear as day, because I am now ready to hear them.

So I ask you, blog world… Have you checked in lately to how you’re showing up? Even in the dark moldy pockets where it’s super freaky? This is not easy to admit to myself or anyone for that matter, but I must say being able to speak (and now write) openly takes the power away. I don’t need to be ashamed, I can just make the change.

I know what it feels like to be empowered. To know I’m in charge of my life and that I can handle anything that comes my way. I’m recognizing that the slap of seeing the truth only hurts for a bit. I can decide to do things differently and I am so so so grateful for that.

I feel free already. Yay! I am Jackie making my decisions and livin my life. Ha!

 

 

 

Back to the art

One of the things I know I need no matter what,
is to create.

If I’m feeling full of joy, I still long to make things. If I’m having a hard time, there is almost nothing I want to do more than sit down with a cup of tea and get lost in a doodle or drawing.

It’s funny, the more that I’m serious about FINISHING pieces, the more I’m craving to curl up and play with my art journal. The place that doesn’t need to look ‘done’ ever. Because it never is.

Here’s something I’ve been working on the last couple of days. Ahhhhh I could do it all day long!

Power of the Restart

I woke up feeling lethargic and blah. I feel like the past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun, but I’m not moving forward in my LIFE. Everything feels stagnant and sort of sad. I had been doing really well for the first 3.5 months of this year, but mixed with a lot of family hurdles, birthdays and travel, I’ve been feeling a little off track. Or rather a LOT off track.

As my hubby and I ventured out on our morning hike, we were both feeling stuck in this thick haze.

Here were some of our yucky thoughts:

Where is my motivation?

I feel so behind with all the goals I set for myself.

I just want to go back to bed, I don’t want to face any of this right now.

My body is too tired.

I want to paint, but I know I need to clean the house and do laundry as well. There isn’t enough time for it all.

I feel overwhelmed.

Does this look familiar? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling, and taking a break from everyday life. But something happens when I’ve had too much of a break. I start to feel like I am DOING NOTHING and that’s a horrible feeling.

Now all those feelings may really be there, they aren’t illusions,.. but they ARE just feelings.

I can restart.

I already had some nice goals in place awhile back, so I can start over and rediscover them. Why not? What if it’s that easy? There’s no sense in being mad at myself for where I am at. That’s not going to help anything.

Today can be the restart day, even though it’s Friday midday before a long weekend, I can still begin getting back on track.

I just realized something else, I don’t even need to DO anything to get back, it’s only a mindset. And I can change my mind. I have that power. I don’t have to do anything except be willing to reconnect.

So today is that! Today I restart, reevaluate, reconnect, recharge and recommit into the last part of May! I’m feeling better already. Ah!

S

 

 

The Happiness Lie

I had this realization a couple of days ago while I was in Vegas with my hubby, surrounded by lots of emotions and some craziness.

We were never taught how to be happy.

I know we’ve been seeing signs and products for years that promised happiness and some of us bought into them in hopes that we would become happy.

But what about true happiness? Does it even exist? 

I lived for YEARS with fake happiness. I was a great smiler and knew when to laugh and what questions to ask. But I had an extreme fear of being seen as anything BUT happy. So I worked overtime so everyone would think I was 100% HAPPY all the time. If any other real emotions were to pop up like sad, or angry, or scared, or jealousy, or embarrassment, I would be ASHAMED and disgusted with myself and then stuff them all way down.

I went through stages with happiness. First I felt like I’d be HAPPY if I got fake boobs. They would give me everlasting joy and happiness.

Then for many years I felt that if I made a lot of money, I would finally KNOW true happiness because I wouldn’t have anything to worry about anymore. Ha!

During that time I also felt that if I did art everyday, I would suddenly just easily be happy and that would be that. That would bring me true happiness.

I didn’t realize that NOTHING brings happiness. Nothing. Deep down to the core happiness? I had no idea what that even was. No one taught me that.

No one taught me that happiness isn’t brought to us. Happiness is WORK. And it’s fuckin hard work.

For me, the only way to feel happy is to allow myself to FEEL the other feelings that aren’t so fun. I also have to be very tuned in to what I need for me, what I can do to take care of me. Take right now for instance. I do not feel HAPPY. I’ve been weepy all morning, and have no energy and want to cry like a baby for a handful of reasons. And yet! I know that happiness is possible.
But here’s what is not going to help:

  • PRETENDING to be happy
  • PUTTING ON A HAPPY FACE
  • Finding something to distract myself from feeling my yucky feelings.

None of those will bring me to happy. For me, here’s what eventually will:

  • Crying my face out. Allowing myself to FEEL sad, mad, afraid, hurt, all of it.
  • Allowing myself to not be happy, and having compassion for that.
  • Naming off what I am grateful for.
  • Taking a long bath in the quiet.
  • Painting in the quiet and putting all my attention on the paint.
  • Meditating or praying

Oh my gosh happiness isn’t just work, it’s a full time job. The only times it starts to feel less like work is when we have good systems in place that BECOME HABITS. I have some great habits, but I still forget them and need to start over from scratch.

I wish we were taught in school to learn about ourselves enough to FIND OUR OWN PATH TO HAPPINESS.  How would that be? If we all started to learn what we need when we are in a tough place, we would probably get closer to feeling what actual happiness feels like.

I’m going to go cry against a wall until I’m all dried up and then take a long hot bath. Ha!

xo

 

Thank You Universe

Ahhhh! Can’t believe it’s already Friday again! Seems so crazy I was in Utah a week ago. I had this really great yoga class this morning. It felt so good to go back to basics (without all the torture and weights). It was back to deep breathing and acknowledging my body moving all by itself. Anyway, sometimes the yoga teachers have cheesy messages about life that they throw in during the practice. The messages can seem a little forced as if they thought of it on the drive over out of obligation, so then I do a little bit of a mind wander. Other times you can tell that the teacher’s had an epiphany of their own that they are sharing. These times their message seems deeply rooted like ancient wisdom being passed down.

This morning was one of those times.

What she said was simple but it was just what I needed to hear.

She said, ‘I believe everything that happens in our lives, even if it’s difficult, is for a reason. It is to teach us something. So it’s important to thank the universe for all of it, even the hard lessons.’

I also believe everything happens for a reason, but I haven’t done the second part very often. It was a great reminder to be sincerely grateful for the parts of my life that I don’t yet understand, and the faith to know that I will someday.

Ah! I love finding tidbits of inspiration throughout the day. I can feel myself becoming so much stronger and wiser and easier on myself. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Love this quote and this fierce powerful artist! Ahhhh! Her words shoot right through my soul!

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