Your Musts

I was listening to Tony Robbins the other day….

Okay lemee explain. First of all I’ve KNOWN about Tony Robbins for years. All I knew about him what that he is this huge loud dude that resembles a G.I. Joe. But I’ve been looking for a bit of inspiration lately, I thought I would broaden my horizons.

Normally I love a little Abraham Hicks in my life, but you know, it’s easy to get complacent and it’s nice to veer down other paths.

I’ve set GOALS for a long time, and unfortunately have a difficult time sticking to them. I want to move forward, I want to look back and FEEL like I’ve accomplished. And yet, that has been an area I’ve really struggled with in my life. I used to not finish art pieces like I know I’ve written about before. Now I do that, but there are so many awesome ideas I have where I don’t have a PLAN, and they end up never getting created.

Anyway, I turned Tony on, and though he is a bit loud and pushy for my taste, there was some great nuggets that I can try for transformation.

One of the things I heard was that we don’t get our goals, we get our MUSTS. He says that if we just ‘set goals,’ it’s easy to not follow through. But if we really ask ourselves what we MUST do, then we will find a way.

Woa.

Like you guys have heard me mention a 1000 times, it’s much easier for me to spend all my time and energy choosing things that can help the kids, or even Andy. It’s much easier to do all of that then to
CHOOSE JACKIE. 

But at the end of the day, what are my MUSTS? 

I don’t want to look back at my life and see that I ONLY did a lot of the kids and others that I love but that I NEVER fully lived to MY POTENTIAL.
I know I have a whole world of things inside me to create,
and be
and do.

It’s my JOB, it’s my DUTY to do them.

So those have to be my MUSTS.

What are you here to do that you haven’t been doing???

I realized that if I can picture myself as a little girl, it’s easier to show up for me. The little girl with the dark eyes and the super chubby cheeks.

I’m not going to let her down.

I MUST create,

I MUST allow my creativity to flourish.
For her,
for me.

So what do you guys think? Does goal setting work for you? What do you think about the concept of getting our MUSTS? I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts as well!

xo Jax

 

 

Opinions Beliefs Baggage Oh My

So this may come as a surprise, but I had no idea I am so damn opinionated. I guess being around kids must bring it out, all these hidden feelings and beliefs about how kids should be raised, how people SHOULD BE treated, how CONSEQUENCES SHOULD go, how lessons SHOULD BE learned, etc.

Obviously being so highly opinionated in a very unpredictable, sometimes dis-empowering, confusing, sometimes overwhelming situation just makes it all the more difficult.

But is the situation the problem? 

Or is it because I’ve come into the situation with all kinds of my OWN baggage and crap and beliefs and opinions and I’ve felt like it’s
my DUTY!
My JOB!
My NEED to sprinkle them along until everyone else
believes,
acts,
reacts,
and chooses the way I think they SHOULD.

Oh shit.

This feels very very yucky to write, but unfortunately it may be true.

Now, I know I can’t just allow people to take advantage of me anymore. That’s something I have definitely gotten under my belt.

And yet, I also can’t
MANDATE,
or CONTROL,
or DEMAND things to be different.

So maybe it doesn’t need to be so black and white? 

The more that I sit and meditate and concentrate on my breathing, allow myself to relax, I am finding the space within. The small whispered gap that says it doesn’t need to be either extreme.

I am not here to be hyper vigilant for everyone else, running around teaching, and validating, and predicting and researching and making sure everyone has what they need, and everything is running smoothly. All the while slowly (or freaking quickly) falling apart.

I’m also not here to hide away in my meditation closet with my fingers in my ears totally unaware of what’s going on while my power slips through the door and I’m left a shell of a human.

Wow. I just realized that BOTH EXTREMES leave me only a portion of who I really am.

Ha! How freakin’ fascinating!

With either extreme, I lose myself.

Like I’ve mentioned a zillion times before, I know I am here in this place, in this space, in this house with these humans for many reasons. But it’s not TO CHANGE THEM the way I thought it was. Oh gawd I actually did.

It’s to change me.

  • Can I allow the world to move as it will?
  • Can I allow people to make their own choices, minus me JUMPING IN TO SAVE THE DAY?
  • Can I allow life to teach the lessons it naturally teaches? And if they are learned, great. If they are not, that’s okay as well.
  • Can I still speak my truth, desires, and boundaries and make sure that I am following through with them to take care of ME in the very best way?

Because (here’s the clencher) I have a ton of my own lessons to learn, and don’t need to be so concerned with what everyone else is learning!!!

DING! DING! DING!!

It’s not my job to be LIFE’S LESSON TEACHER. ahhahahahh Sheesh. Sometimes just jotting down my feelings is the best way I can find out what is really going on.

I can learn to swing from tree to tree, trusting that life gives everyone what they (and I) need to learn.

Just stay in your own lane, Jackie, stay. in. your. own. lane.

 

 

Intention

I know, it’s been forever since I’ve written on this blog. The last couple of weeks have been extremely stressful, and I’ve gone back to the basics, meditation and making art. Sometimes I feel like I’m not doing enough. Enough marketing! Enough working on my website! Enough learning Photoshop. But honestly, I am slowly learning that getting myself into a good place is more important than writing on this, or sending my art out into social media. I just need to reclaim Jackie, and I know how to do it.

Anyway, this is a piece I made while thinking of the concept of ‘Intention.’ The way a direction, an intention moves through us, sinking into our reality. This is what happened when I painted intention. I appreciate the movement of it and the way it feels like it’s burrowing into something, planting. These current pieces I’m working on are showcasing the paint instead of letting the pen stand out. I feel like my style is coming out of this. ah!

This was so much fun and I can’t wait to create more based on feelings and affirmations I want to experience more in my life. YEsssssssssssssss

Clear That Space, Woman

Geez, a New Year is here! Ahhhh! Isn’t it amazing to start a fresh chapter? I know I keep mentioning it but I still can’t get over it. The luster is hopefully going to last far into the year for me because it’s keeping me going.

I’ve been doing a lot of checking in with myself these past couple of weeks. I didn’t like how I was starting to feel pretty regularly by the end of the year last year. Sort of tired, and put upon, and constantly feeling like TIME IS RUNNING OUT,.. you know, all of that. None of which makes me feel
EMPOWERED or
PASSIONATE or
CREATIVE or
ALIVE.

So I knew I needed to make a change. 

thumbs up

One of the adjustments I am making is HOW I can take care of myself better.

Now, I know better than anyone that I require a lot to feel my best.

I need:
To do feelings meditations super regularly, and deep breathing, and go to bed early, and make art, and cry, and see friends, and connect with my hubby, and eat protein often, and write, and exercise until I am covered in sweat, and take baths, and visualize solar light, and wake up at 4am, and speak my truth, and have conversations with depth, and I am sure there is plenty more.

I’m pretty good at all of these, but one area I’ve been struggling with is creating spaces that feel good to me. Spending time figuring out how to make spaces clutter free, or warm, or full of love so I feel good in them.

I realized this with my sacred meditation space. I’ve appointed a small walk in closet as my meditation room, but have allowed it to fill up with junk (probably just like my mind), and haven’t bothered to fix it up. Every morning I trip over a bunch of crap in order to close my eyes and attempt to meditate.

How ironic is that? 

After New Years it dawned on me that IT’S UP TO ME to create the space exactly the way I want it. And really, if I have it at all, why not make it feel good? Isn’t that the point?

Again, WHY DO WE MAKE LIFE HARDER THAN IT NEEDS TO BE? 

Ah! So I am in the process of creating my meditation space so I feel clear and vibrant and at peace when I am in it. Yesssssssssss! And THAT FEELS like I am taking care of me!

 

I will show pics when it’s done!

xo

Fresh New Year 2018

Ahhhh! There are few things I love more than starting a fresh new, blank chapter. An unlined, crisp, white papered chapter just gleaming with morning dew and ready for me to dip my brush in it.

Ah!

That being said,…wow. Can you believe it’s 2018???! What a crazy year full of learning and growing and the absolute unexpected last year was. Ha! I am grateful for the trials and tears and growth but I must say, I am so so so ready to start this new year. Last year proved to be far more difficult and immerse than I would have ever guessed. But I have the power to figure out why and make the changes necessary for this year.

Every New Years, my hubby and I rent a cabin in Idyllwild for 4 days and work through everything from the year prior and bring what we want into the fresh new year.  We create lists of all we experienced, the learning from it, old beliefs that no longer serve us, and anything else that needs to be healed. We talk and cry and discuss for hours. Then the magic begins… We spend the next half of our visit creating the year the way WE WANT IT.

What feelings do we want to experience?
What new experiences do we want to have?
What are the intentions we have for this new year?
I have learned that if we create everyday with INTENTION, we get closer to what it is we really want.

My favorite realization over this New Years visit was that our habits, priorities and intentions need to be aligned in order for us to create the life we want. If one of those is off, life becomes a lot harder and usually we end up not where we want. Ah!

I am so ready for this year, and so ready to dive in to the unknown, even when it’s not always fun or easy. My intentions will guide the way, and part of that is writing more frequently on this blog. Yesss.

I am sending everyone lots of love and light…., and I hope that you’re all ready to move full force into this new year as well!

xo Jax

What the HELL is my role

The biggest question of my life right now,…

What is my role????

I’ve told myself I am confused about this question because

I am a stepmom.

Right away the words STEPMOM fill the room with hazy smoke, the kind where you can’t see 2 feet in front of you, and you suddenly have no idea where you even are. Just THE WORD is full of questions. 

But then for some of us, the role gets even stickier.

I’m not ‘just a stepmom.’

In fact, I am the kids main emotional support. I am the instigator, I am the listening ear, I am the one figuring things out, communicating with teachers, connecting the dotes, finding therapists, locating new schools, discussing, giving consequences, and driving all over the place.

It’s a strange dynamic because I enjoy being a part of a family. I love being relied on and knowing that they can trust me to follow through.

But,… I’m not the mom. I’m just a stepmom.

Right?

Am I only doing these extra things because their MOM can’t? No,… that’s not entirely  true. My love for them continuously grows the more I do. The more I learn about who they are and what they need, the more I want to show up.

Because I love them.

And then again there are times when I get super annoyed that their ACTUAL mom doesn’t know even a morsel about them. I get angry, and I feel taken advantage of, and I want to step down.

But what would I be stepping down from when my ROLE was never established in the first place?

What would I do if I ‘stepped down?’

Who would fill these roles if I didn’t?

So I go back and forth between feeling obligated and then really wanting to show up. Sometimes I have lots of energy for it and I feel empowered and strong. Other times I’m seething with anger and want to scream at everyone.

My feelings go back and forth, just like the hazy, muddy, slightly skewed title of ‘stepmom.’

I was thinking about this today as I was doing yoga.

MY ROLE is all over the place and nowhere and has no definition and is yet all encompassing. I was starting to get anxious just thinking about it.

But then I realized something else.

Why am I so special?

I mean, am I the ONLY one that doesn’t have a clearly DEFINED role?

I’ve been so caught up in my STEPMOM identity and what that means or doesn’t mean, that I didn’t give myself a chance to check out everyone else.

Maybe the reason this has been so confusing for me, is that we ALL seem to have some weird idea that our ROLES, any of them, should be clearly defined and explained.

We must feel like we SHOULD know exactly what it means to be a good wife, or good friend, or great sister or daughter, or excellent employee.

We SHOULD have learned what the parameters are, what is expected, what isn’t, how we can EXCEL, etc.

The more I think about it, there isn’t one single thing in life that is surrounded by clearly created black and white boundaries and definitions, right?

What if the very concept of ROLE is just bullshit?

What if it completely depends on who the person is and their intention for how they want to show up in the world? Wow. That just took a lot of pressure off my shoulders. Seriously, I felt them just fall.

What if I don’t need to do ANYTHING to perfect my ROLE. 

What if I just get to be Jackie? I can do more or less depending on what I feel, but I don’t need to have all the answers, and I certainly don’t need to FEEL like I have to do anything. I’ve just decided while writing this that my only requirement is that I’ll do everything with lots of love. Love for the kids, and my husband, and his ex-wife, and my family, and my friends,…

But most importantly, I can have a lot of love for myself, and let myself OFF THE ROLE HOOK!

 

Live Your Truth They Always Say

I am in the middle of an interesting situation and had some thoughts about the concept of ‘living our truth.’

This is something that we always teach our children, remind our friends of when they have forgotten, and tell ourselves under our breath when life gets a little crazy,…
Live your truth. Live your truth. Live your truth. No one else is going to look out for you, so you must live your own truth.

Though I stand behind that 100%, I am suddenly in the middle of a predicament with a client. What my heart wants is now different than what she wants.

What do I do?

Do I stand up for who I know I am and the work I know I can do and say no to her?

Or…

Do I see that maybe the Universe wants me to push myself beyond my own limitations?

 

In the past, there were plenty of times that a creative situation didn’t SEEM like I would be ‘living my truth,’ so I bailed. I straight up walked away. Though I thought I was fearlessly standing up for myself in the face of possibly losing myself, what if I also didn’t give myself a chance to learn something new about life, or myself?

It just sort of struck me that if I only LIVE MY TRUTH, and only get involved in projects, people, experiences that I 100% KNOW for a fact will be amazing, how will I grow? Also when has anything, anything in life worked out completely the way we think it will?

Uh never.

Sometimes things work out better, but they are never exactly like we have them in our brain.

What is comfortable for me, may not be the best way for me to always grow. I want to learn more about myself, always, I truly do. So this realization that only moving forward when I can see the WHOLE path and it resonates with me FULLY AND COMPLETELY, doesn’t actually make so much sense.

So I am keeping my heart open. I realize I might have accidentally stepped into some uncharted (and currently undesired) territory, but I’m going to trust that it’s here to teach me something.  Maybe it’s to not try and have all the answers all the time, or let go of control, or play my way through it, or trust intuition. Lets be honest there are any number of LESSONS I could have lined up to learn. But for me, the important thing is to always be learning. Even if I hate this new situation. At least I said yes and put myself out there, and finished what I started.

What are your thoughts on sticking to your TRUTH versus allowing the Universe to sometimes guide? Do you go for that? Or does that feel like giving in?

Also, for me I am realizing that it’s not about the answer that I decide to give, yes or no, to this project. It’s only about the intention. I could say YES and then hold a grudge and feel totally put upon. Or, I could feel my anger and sadness, release them, and then say YES because I am ready for a new unexpected experience. In both instances I SAID YES but the last one is way more empowered. I know that when I have felt my feelings fully, I can move forward with a clear head.  I am going to take my time working through all these feelings so my answer can come from a strong, powerful, authentic place.

 

 

My Life as a Bonus Mom

This all used to be really hard. In my head, these two little beings already had a mom and a dad and I was this new person swimming somewhere in the middle of everything. I didn’t know what I was doing and constantly felt like I didn’t have a place.

For so long I did not see myself as a mother. I felt like more like an imposter, a projected image of what I thought I should be and yet having no clue at all. I also felt that they would never love me as much as their ‘real parents.’

I was embarrassed that ‘real’ parents would see me as a fake mom or that I just couldn’t possibly understand what it means to be someone’s mother.

But I held on.
I breathed.
I asked for help.
I believed deep inside that this must be for a reason. I must be here for a reason.

And then, fast forward 5+ years and here I sit a completely changed woman.

Without a doubt, I have become a mother.

I have rocked both of them when they have been in tears.
I tell them no, respectfully.
We have worked through some really really tough situations together.
Sometimes I have to remember to be kind.
They roll their eyes when I sing 80’s ballads at the top of my lungs.
There are moments when they are upset and needing to hear something that will help. I open my mouth and pray that I will show up.
I fiercely stand up for them.
I am learning to be more patient.
I hold their hands and remind them I will always love them no matter what.
I teach them consciously but they teach me unconsciously far, far more.
My intention is to truly see them as best as I can. And when I’ve done that, I will learn how to see them even better.

I had no idea I had what it took to be a mother and yet here I am. And you know what? It doesn’t matter at all anymore that they already have a mom. Who says one mother is enough anyway?

Every single day, hard days or easy, I thank the Universe and God for this family. My ‘place’ had been waiting for me all along, and there is no ‘place’ in the world I would rather be.

SOUL

Ah! I’m back! 2 vacations, so much change personally, and now here I am. It feels like a lifetime ago that I actually sat down to WRITE. There is so many cool leanings and inspirations and aha moments that I WANT to jot down here, but I need to remember to chill out. I don’t need to do it all in one day. I’ve got time. As long as I’m being dedicated and diligent, there is always time. So… what do I write about first?

*******DRUMROLL*****

Ooooo! I know! This is something that I have AVOIDED writing about on this blog. It just wasn’t the right time to open up freely about it. See, that’s another lesson I’ve learned.

Even when I’m excited about something, that doesn’t mean it’s the right time, space, or place to talk about it. HA! Sounds like such a simple realization but it’s huge. I’m usually bursting like a volcano with news, so it takes a lot to HOLD BACK. Which is exactly what I’ve done.

I haven’t written much about my step kids. I don’t know why exactly, but here goes. My step son is this amazing techie kid that has this incredible brain for computers. However the PUBLIC schools he’s been in have not been helpful. He doesn’t learn by sitting still and taking notes. I can’t stand that they keep trying to get him to comply, to be more like him, to learn in the ways that they teach. I’ve known public school wasn’t working for him for awhile, and it’s been devastating to watch him time and time again struggle not only with the work in school but seeing his self worth take such a toll as well.

If he were my SON (my actually son son) I would have changed his school years ago, but because he’s not exactly, I had felt like my voice just didn’t have a chance. Two years ago my husband and I attempted to move him into a different school, but his mother wouldn’t have it. I was broken-hearted. I had done so much work on finding an environment that would (hopefully) work better for him. But she flat out refused. It took me a long time to work through that.

Fast forward to this year. We went at things very differently. My hubby and I have both changed in so many ways, and one of them has been to become much more firm in what we believe. But be able to do it in a loving, kind way. We were able to have a conversation with my son’s mom, and she finally HEARD. I can’t believe she finally got it, after all these years! And the funny thing is, is that we had thought SHE was the problem. In reality, we were all involved in the dynamic. It’s taken us growing into who we are to be able to stand strong, that provided the foundation for her to say ‘Okay lets move him.’

After 4 months of meditation and prayers and research and phone calls, and many many many school visits, I was constantly wavering between anxiety, and stress and fear that she would change her mind or that we wouldn’t find the right school and he’d have to just go back to where he was last year. I put a lot on my shoulders, probably more than I should. It felt very personal to me because I had also felt misunderstood in my time in school. So I think little Jackie was getting a chance to possibly be healed as well.

But then, in the middle of all of it, a miracle happened.

We got a small lead of a new school opening up called SOUL Charter School. It was like a little crack in a window pane, something I could have ignored, but I didn’t. Instead, I thought, ‘What the heck, what do we have to lose? Lets check it out. With a name like SOUL, this has to at least be interesting.’
So I brought up the website.

All at once I saw in front of me exactly what my hubby and I had STATED we wanted for our son. There it was plain as day. Ah!!! And! They were ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 7TH GRADE. Just like that it was there in front of us, just what we wanted. So I filled out the application right away and crossed my fingers.

After attending the parent meeting and talking to the co-founders, we were both buzzing. The schools intention is to focus not only on teaching academics, but also on EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, SOCIAL SKILLS, AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. They even have courses on becoming an ENTREPRENEUR. Woa. What if school doesn’t need to be a horrible place where everyone feels mistreated and misunderstood? What if it can inspire the joy of learning and teach inclusion and taking risks and that we all have unique talents? This is what the founders talked about! Ah!

This was it. We both knew it, but we had one more hurdle. The ex-wife needed to be on board. Besides the fact that I was completely bursting at the seams with so much joy, I had to keep it under rap. I had to keep it logical. So my hubby and I wrote up straight information for his ex-wife. I actually left out my emotion, can you believe it? ahahhaha It was a really hard exercise. We wrote it up and sent it off.

I felt sick and scared and a little hopeful. Well, a lot hopeful but that was only from the constant meditations and feeling that we had the Universe on our side.

Anyway, we were visualizing her wanting this school. We were visualizing and feeling how nice it would be to have some ease where we weren’t convincing her of anything.

And then it happened. She said, “I think SOUL is the way to go. Can we get him into that one?”

I can’t even describe the feelings I had when my husband told me those words. I just cried. All this time and energy and years and pain and knowing without a doubt that something needed to done, all of it FINALLY PAID OFF. We will now be able to do this.

I don’t think it’s sunk in even yet. I feel so so so very honored and grateful for this opportunity to be involved in a new school with an entirely different message and focus. To have a curriculum that can be tweaked for every student with teachers that genuinely want kids to love learning. And we get to do this, together. I have so much respect for my sons mom, that she trusted us enough to do the research and that she’s willing to give up control and take a risk. Because anything that we don’t have all the answers to is a risk.

So I just have to say this: If anyone in your family lives in the San Diego area and is struggling in a regular public school, and you don’t know where to turn, please check this out. The school is starting with 7th and 9th grade, but each year they will be adding a grade, so it’ll ultimately be a 7th-12th grade school. There is still space available! Ah!! There are still parent nights and space for your kids. I think we owe it to them to have a place where they feel celebrated and validated and want to learn more about themselves and the world.

Here is the website below if you’re interested:

http://soulcharterschool.org/
https://www.facebook.com/soulcharterschool/

 

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