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

 

Feel This

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thursday morning!

Right when I think ‘Sheesh! The universe has been giving me so many lessons lately, I’m sure there will be a nice break,..another one pops up. Ha!’ I hope I always feel that way about my life.

I can CRY easily and often so I’ve always known that I’m just really expressive with my emotions. I’m this wet well of feelings and I’ve learned to accept it. However, I’m seeing now that there maybe more to the story.  I’ve recently started to get some coaching on personal stuff and I’ve come to find out that just because I CRY it doesn’t mean I’ve cleared the emotional experience out of me. Whhhhhhhhhhhat.

So. My assignment for the next couple of weeks is to do this feeling meditation to release past feelings that did not get fully felt. It’s actually pretty scary. Surprisingly there are so many experiences that I’ve dreaded looking back into. So I’m grateful that I’ve been able to muster up enough courage to do this. Something that helps is when I remind myself that FEELINGS CAN’T HURT US, they are meant to be felt. They can only hurt us if we don’t feel them. Hm.

Because I’m in the feelings mode, I’ve decided to take it a step further and become aware of when I’m avoiding feelings in my everyday life. It looks like nothing on the outside:  ‘Oh shoot, I feel annoyed, so I’m going to go paint. Or. ‘ Yikes I feel angry,  I need to go to the gym and forget.’ I usually do healthy things, but they are still a way of attempting to alleviate the pain of FEELING, instead of just embracing the feeling and letting it go.

And then I had the craziest realization.

I even do it with JOY! There are times when I have avoided even feeling the DEPTH of my joy. Can you believe it??? Seems crazy I know, but since I’m working more towards being PRESENT with everything I’m doing, I discovered this sad truth.

There are many times when I’m painting, and just as I’m settling in and feeling the warm elation of doing what I love, I’ll distract myself by NEEDING TO TEXT SOMEONE RIGHT NOW, or

SUDDENLY NEEDING TO CHECK ON AMAZON FOR A PRODUCT.

I know it’s not like I’m doing heroin, this is obviously much smaller scale. But I don’t want to shut off my joy in any way. If I’m used to shutting off my sadness or my anger or my hurt, it makes perfect sense that JOY could get squashed as well.  What about you? Does this resonate with any of you?

Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! I love getting these realizations because then I can make a tweak!

Yesterday, I put my phone away when I was making art. I sat in the silence so the only sound was my breath, and the paintbrush sliding across the paper. And. I. Was. In. Bliss.

I’m just going to believe that the more I embrace feeling my feelings all the way to the bottom, there will be more space for clarity, focus, connection and creativity.

xo

 

Jump Scared and Grow into Brave

For years I knew I wanted to do super awesome things and for some reason I thought they were literally going to be dropped on my porch. Like someone would maybe even stop me on the side of the road and say, “Excuse me, are you Jackie? We have an exciting life for you! Just follow me!”

Obviously that didn’t happen, but I spent a lot of time WAITING FOR IT.

I knew the things I sorta kinda wanted but my FEAR was way too great to do anything physical about it.

Slowly through the years I’ve realized a bit about getting what we want. Even if we have the best intentions for receiving the life we want, but we refuse to take any risks at all,.. WE WON’T GET IT. We won’t.

If we refuse to quit the job that is draining the life out of us, or say no way to standing up for ourselves, or taking a class to learn a new skill we have really been wanting,.. if we aren’t willing to RISK, and to be BRAVE,….

WE. WILL. NOT. CHANGE.

I’m totally in my element now, making art. Making art for me, isn’t a risk, it’s a necessity. But I am DEFINITELY making sure to take little risks everyday.

Here are the risks I’ve been taking lately:

  • Writing this blog – Puts my voice out there! My innermost feelings and joys and pains. It feels vulnerable and not always that comfortable.
  • Making a Facebook business page of my art – I literally cringed when I started inviting people to like it. Ah! I feel so exposed! ughaserk!
  • Posting Doodle-a-Day photos for Instagram – I’ve never never been one to show my work, it feels like I’m being a show off. And yet, art is my heart and soul, and I’m no longer going to hide.
  • Saying I’m an artist – There’s a part of me that feels uncomfortable saying I’m an artist, and yet I know that BEING AN ARTIST sings through my veins, and so I suck it up, and say it anyway.

With each of these circumstances, my heart starts racing, my palms get sweaty, I feel nauseous and fiercely anxious. None of them are easy for me. And yet,… I know that this is where I will grow. I think back to all the times that I thought I might take a jump and then quickly replaced that thought with this one:

‘That sounds really scary, I think I’ll wait until I’m braver.’

I realize now, that we don’t just become brave. Bravery doesn’t just appear so the jump is easier.

If we jump scared, then we grow into being brave.  

Looking For Art

Before I started this blog,

before I was waking up every morning excited to create ART,

I was attempting to get a couple other business ideas going. I’ve always been severely passionate about many things and it seemed like I could swing quickly from one idea to another.

This would cause a lot of stress for me. I thought I SHOULD have been the kind of person that decided what I wanted to do at 18, went for it, and then that would be my life.

Life wasn’t like this for me at all. I have been all over the map! I’ve had plenty of corporate jobs with sales and recruiting and marketing and customer service. (I secretly wished I loved them enough for them to be ENOUGH), and then I’ve also had different kinds of jobs off the normal job scale, working for a spiritual healer, and in a trendy shop in Venice, California. Jobs that seemed kinda kick back and not very ambitious. And yet, I learned parts of myself that I didn’t know existed. As I look back, any of these jobs that I had where I was working FOR someone, no matter what they were, they were based on providing me with either enough resources to make art, or time to do it.

All of that is fine, except that I judged myself horribly for this. I thought “What is wrong with you, Jackie, that you need to create?” “Can’t you just find a CAREER and stick to it?”Even though my heart LONGED to create, I felt like needing to make art, was kind of in the way.

Life would be easier if I was simpler. 

It’s funny that I’ve longed to have one career, when I know many people change what they are doing or wanting to do throughout their lives. But we are always evolving anyway, so it makes sense that how we want to show up in the world changes as well.

So back to my own businesses I was in the middle of… They were based on things that I like, and one was even concepts that I was PASSIONATE about; when I was working in a corporate setting. And yet, the actual work, the planning workshops, the research, not that horrible, but not super fun. The whole time I was doing this WORK for these businesses, I secretly wanted to be making art. Isn’t that funny?

And then I realized:

I decided to do these other businesses because I thought they would MAKE MONEY. And then if I was successful enough, maybe

I’D HAVE TIME TO MAKE ART.

What I really wanted to do,…

WAS MAKE ART.

It’s always always been that, but because I didn’t trust that I’d be taken care of, that I have been given these gifts for a reason, I’ve searched for YEARS to find JOBS and my own BUSINESSES that will give me the joy and fulfillment that art does.

So there’s been this part of me that feels embarrassed that I’ve changed my mind so many times, and yet,.. as I look at it, I haven’t changed my mind at all. I’ve known all along that I wanted to make art, I just didn’t allow myself to do it.

Yet another lesson I’m seeing, is to use the gifts that I have been given to create the life that my soul longs for. I am doing that! I am starting to believe that the more I fill my heart with love and do things that genuinely bring me joy, the more the right people, the right situations will find me.

 

Messy

My dear sweet warm loving hubby told me yesterday that I am messy,

and he’s right.

I am messy.

Before I lived with him, I thought I was laid back. I thought I was nonchalant and super chill and I was so wrong. When I lived alone, I’d hide away in my house when I had FEELINGS so no one knew I did. I was so embarrassed about having them, I sort of forgot myself.

But when you live with someone, they SEE IT ALL,

and I. Am. Messy.

I can go from 0-60 in 2 seconds flat. I can be calm and then freakin’ lose it.

I can jump to conclusions, interrupt, burst into tears, and shut down completely. He doesn’t know what he’s going to get at any moment in time and I’m sure it’s totally annoying.

But just like everyone,  I am trying to figure it out. Sometimes I feel like I’ve got life under control and I feel enthusiastic, and uplifted and ready and alive. Other times I feel incompetent and petty and wrong.

Maybe I’m way more emotional then others. Maybe I’m a little bit scarier than some. But we all have STUFF and I’ll continue to learn and grow to become the best version of me that I can.

More stress, more Jackie time

So I’m very much in the thick of some really deep stuff. This year started out with my hubby and I asking the universe for some MOVEMENT in many areas of our lives.

We cut cords of old beliefs that were no longer working for us,

We felt our feelings fully,

We made lists of what we want to feel and experience in the year 2017.

Anyway, there was a lot of stuff. A lot of work, and shifting ideas and beliefs and starting fresh. So it’s no wonder that so far this year has been full of

TRANSITION

CHANGE

GROWTH,.. oh so much, so much growth.

Everywhere I look has been another huge epiphany.

So I was thinking, what do most of us do when we are in pockets of life that are extremely stressful?

Most of us have been taught to:

HUNKER DOWN,

Put our nose to the grindstone,

Push harder,

Get less sleep,

Literally shove ourselves THROUGH THE STRESS.

 

Hm.

Well how’s that working for us? Not great, at least not for me.

So I’m taking a different approach. The more change, the more stress, the more crazy life gets, the more I will take CARE OF MYSELF. It’s already stressful, why make it more so? If I can give myself more naps, or breaks, or laughs, or doodle moments, I will come back renewed and in a great place full of creativity.

If I push without feeling, drained and exhausted, my work and my life will not be very good. I won’t be able to come up with solutions, and I’ll end up so annoyed and disconnected and irritated. What a horrible way to use my energy.

Never underestimate the power of being in a good place. The more time spent taking care of ourselves automatically will put us miles ahead of someone that is just hanging there by a thread.

So, I’ll be listening to my body and my heart. What do I NEED to do to get into an empowered fun open place? That is my priority so I can actually accomplish.

this mountain

 

 

Accidental Art

I used to think only specific things were art. They need to have

A PURPOSE!

A MESSAGE!

A POINT OF VIEW!

A REASON (at least)!

But now,… do I really believe that? There are many things that I notice every single day that are unique and fascinating maybe even grungy and raw and wild and full and explosive.

Why can’t they be art as well?

Maybe anything that stops you in your tracks, or causes you to feel, or take notice, or want to play or create is art….

Accidental Art. ahhh!

Here is a collection of some accidental art I found in Mexico about a month ago. Love the chipped paint, broken locks and old newspaper ads! Ahhhh

Creativity Circle, uh yes please.

This morning while I was taking a shower, I was thinking about what to write today.

My love of almond butter?

My attempts at shutting up my super loud, (sorta cute) kitten from meowing me off a ledge?

My present situation with my step children?

My sudden 80’s ballad outbursts?

On one hand, I’m really enjoying getting down my thoughts about life and art and my kitten,.. hahah And yet on another hand, it feels really really yuckily self indulgent.

Normally, if you’d met me in real life, I would tell you less about myself, and I’d be asking a lot of questions. I am very fascinated by people and want to know ALL. OF. IT.

You know what I’d like to do? I’d really like to have a creativity circle where everyone comes, brings the thing they are working on, we each take turns discussing our FEELINGS and our FEARS and we RELISH in the fact that we GET TO CREATE. We can all hear and SUPPORT and VALIDATE each other. Ah!

Doesn’t that sound amazing?

 

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