Allowing It to Just Freakin Be

It’s December 3rd, I can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday we were headed out on a family vacation in the middle of summer. This last quarter of the year is flying by so fast, isn’t it?

I know I am allowing life to move easier when I suddenly realize ‘oh! This is normally when I would have beat myself up!’

This is the place I would have looked around and realized that I have NOT been working out the way I need to, and I would have been so mad at myself.

This is the place I would have felt a thick blanket of misery with all the ‘should haves and ‘what’s wrong with me’s, ‘I’m so lazy,’ and all the ‘I’m not good enoughs.’

But I don’t feel that way at all.

Yes, I am soooooooooooooo craving working out more than I have been.

Also yes, I am ready to finally get back into creating my SCHEDULE and sticking to it.

But!

I recognize that sometimes LIFE IS STRESSFUL and full AND WE DO WHAT WE CAN.

That right there is huge for me.

We do what we can.

This month and a 1/2 has been more movement and more stress than the entire year combined. We were flying across the country to find a therapeutic boarding school for our son, days before our daughters Bat Mitzvah. This past week we were moving our son out of his wilderness camp and into his new school, 2 states away.

It’s okay I haven’t been going to the gym as much as I’d like.

It’s okay that my website still isn’t done.

It’s okay that the year is moving on.

I think sometimes I need to remember that the goals we set for ourselves sometimes get interrupted by life, and that is okay.

If I had made my goals my ONLY priority, here’s what I would have missed out on:

  1. Being present with finding B the best school for him.
  2. Being focused on creating the best event we could for our daughter.
  3. Being present at her event and feeling so proud of her, and so much love.
  4. Getting a chance to see B right after as he came down the mountain from LIVING in the wilderness for 3 1/2 month.
  5. Being present to hear everything he wanted to talk about.
  6. Laughing as a family.
  7. Getting extra sleep from all the traveling.
  8. Enjoying a moment at an Italian restaurant with my honey.
  9. Allowing myself to feel all of it after we dropped B off at his new school.

And so much more.

There is still time to do what I am here to do. There is still time for my goals and dreams. But I want to be present in LIFE, I want to participate in the events that won’t happen again ever. That is my priority.

 

FOCUS pocus

Hello everyone!

Wow…. can’t believe October is already beginning. Life is moving so quickly.

I have committed to finishing things I start, and handling all of the elements for my art business. I know I have complained a lot about some of these tasks, but… I am doing them!

I am feeling capable!

I am seeing myself transform and it is FROM ME!

So here is something I learned a week ago that is really really helping me. When there is a task that I am not excited to do, I can trick myself into getting way more done anyway. I set my timer for a short amount of time.  It can be 30 minutes, or 20 or even 5. Lez be honest, sometimes 30 minutes seems way too long. But the cool thing is I am getting these incredible moments of being hyper FOCUSED on what I want to work on. It’s amazing how much I can get accomplished in such a short period of time.

Does anyone out there also struggle with focus? I’d love to hear your tricks to getting things done.

Anyway, I’m really proud of myself and am loving feeling like I can do anything I focus on. Yessss!

Starting Over

Sheesh! It seems like every couple of months I realize that I am NOT moving through life the way I’d like, and I need to

START

OVER.

It’s one of those times right now.

It’s actually exciting though. Do you ever feel that way? I mean after feeling the disappointment and exhaustion and like you aren’t doing enough and like you’re NOT GOING ANYWHERE. After all that, there is this glimmer of excitement.

I get to start over.

Again and again. I don’t have to do things the way I’ve always done them!

I can CHOOSE another path.

I’ve realized through my life not just right now, that when things have gotten really hard, I have not only slowed down but stopped. I have a difficult time moving through the things I’m not comfortable with. I’m sure we are all that way to an extent, but in order for ANYTHING to happen the way we want, we need to be willing to do things that are HARD, UNCOMFORTABLE, SCARY.

So today, after years of whining and complaining about having to learn photoshop, I sat down, and fuckin learned some things I THOUGHT were going to be sooooo hard. And it’s 11am, and I’m feeling great. Hellooooooooooooo fear, I don’t need to listen to you. I don’t need to listen to the 16 year old part of me that expects everything to be easy or I don’t do it.

I am resilient, I am strong, I am brave. And I can totally kick ass. It’s my choice.

Wow! I am enjoying starting my week this way.

xo

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

I need a Change NOW

These past couple of weeks have proven to be some of my most difficult. Probably ever in my life. But through them, like icicles glimmering in the sunset, there are always nuggets of realizations and moments of discovery. This time is no different. I guess what gets me through the tough times is knowing without a doubt that there is SOMETHING for me to learn.

Something for me to deepen as a human.

Something that I may have missed before but that I am now ready to learn. 

 

So here goes.

The thing that has by far taken up most of my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy right now is BEING A STEPMOM. I know I know I’ve written about it a lot lately. I’ve done google searches and researched books that could maybe help me feel more empowered, more at peace, more in a place of joy. And yet most of what I read is pretty depressing. I mean it’s nice to see that I’m not along, but there isn’t a lot of ACTION ITEMS to try, which is what I am truly craving.

The truth is, I haven’t liked who I am lately. I’ve felt so tired and annoyed and irritated and quite honestly stuck. It’s a horrible feeling, and because there is probably nothing I dislike more than feeling like a victim, I know there is a way out.

There is always a path to empowerment, I just need to find it. 

This weekend was another one of those hard times. I spent most of it in tears, and exhausted from attempted to guide, and teach, and ask questions, and create plans, etc. etc. etc. and I’m left buzzing around from one thing to the next completely drained and unhappy. I don’t like feeling angry. I’m so sick of being upset and near tears so much of the time. This isn’t the way I want to be, and I know that my core is not.

Things need to change and I am so so so ready for it.

One thing I have learned from past experience is that the CHANGE I’m talking about needs to come from me. It doesn’t work to be waiting around for the ex wife to change, or the kids to change or the situation to change. They all have their own agenda and course to run.

The change NEEDS to come from me. 

But what is it? Hmmm…
I know I can meditate more.
I know there are a handful of things that I probably need to let go of.
I know I can’t do everything.

But how do I make these adjustments? 

Amidst all these questions running through my brain, I got this funny little realization. Perhaps it’s the title that is screwing me up the most. Since I’ve titled myself as a MOM, and the kids STEPMOM/BONUS MOM, there is instantly this pressure to do everything I can to encourage!  To shape! To question! To inspire! To lead! To guide!

Is it the word, MOM?

Though when I say it to myself I feel full, powerful, maternal, warm, and like I have a place in this world. But what comes out is burning weights of pressure.

If the kids don’t learn their manners, it’s my fault. If the kids still don’t have goals, or interests, I didn’t do something right. If the kids are horrible at time management, I must not have carved out time to teach them. If the kids are lazy, I screwed up.

I have just realized the terrible voices that run through my mind all. day. long. No wonder I’m exhausted. No wonder I have this anger hiding inside my body. No wonder I’m feeling small and yucky and not enough.

I was realizing all of this after my husband pretty much required me to go out to the garage to meditate and paint. Both of these are things that I love and center me, but usually when the kids are here, I have a difficult time doing them.

Anyway, after a good hour of Jackie time, I realized something else. Though it’s obvious I need to make ME wayyyyyyyyyyyy more important than I have been. In fact, I need to be the first one that gets attention. I also realized that I don’t need to say the word ‘MOM’ to myself. It’s fine whatever the kids see me as, but to me,… I can be just Jackie.

If I am just Jackie, then I get the FREEDOM to show up as me. NOT as someone that needs to teach them or guide them every minute. NOT every second should be a teaching moment anyway. What if we are just a couple of souls that are hanging out in this lifetime learning from each other?

What. Woa. This just took the pressure way off.

Now, I still see myself as a MOM, but what if I am more of a universal mother, NOT NECESSARILY THEIR MOM?

I walked back into the house, and noticed right away the change in the energy. I felt a desire to chat with them and laugh and it felt easy.

I was being Jackie.

I let go of the PRESSURE to do anything else. The kids and I hung out and watched Project Runway. Ah! It felt so much easier and smooth, and we were chatting and discussing the whole time. I felt myself being interested in their observations and enjoying myself the way I am with anyone else.

I know everyone has a way that works best for them, but this might actually be mine. I’m seeing that even if I had my own kid, the pressure to BE SOMEONE’S MOM, can be overwhelming. And yet, they are on their own journey just like we are. They are here for their own reasons, and maybe I’m only here to softly guide and continue along my path side by side. I don’t know, I haven’t worked all this out yet, but it definitely feels better, and I like just being Jackie.

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.

 

 

Answers are Sometimes Hidden Gems

I’m sitting here on a Tuesday earlish afternoon and thinking about trust. It’s so funny how when things are going great or even well, trust isn’t much to really think about. But what about when things are rocky? That’s the real test.

You know when you’re in the right place at the right time but you aren’t sure of all the logistics? When you don’t see how the pieces are going to possibly fit together?

Most people freak out.

Ahhh! I don’t have all the answers! Ahhh! I’m not in control. I can’t do this!

This is:
scary or
hard or
daunting or
NEW and I want to run away!

I think where I am definitely seeing this show up the most right now is trusting that there is

ALWAYS A SOLUTION.

Always. I’ve struggled in the past with thinking in black and white, it’s either all this or all that,…etc. And yet the older (and hopefully wiser) I get, I am realizing more and more that

LIFE ISN’T LIKE THAT.

I think life, in all situations has solutions that are these hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes we may need to step away and take care of our basic needs before we can see them. But they are always there, lingering in the shadows ready to be revealed if we are open to jumping and trusting.

I’m being tested a lot regarding many new mom responsibilities with my step kids and cray cray stuff coming up  in regards to my husband’s ex-wife. Lately I feel like I’m barely coming up for air. It’s scary and a lot of work and I have a lot of feelings to work through , oh and by the way, where has my own time gone??

But I really do believe there are a lot of hidden gems along the way for me to experience as well.

I’m expecting to become better at trusting the universe, but also:

time management,
patience,
being present,
remembering the purpose,
remembering my purpose,
making sure that taking care of me is most important,
feeling my feelings, and
knowing that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed because I know I know I know that there will be solutions right around the corner.

Doodle Ideas

I’ve been leafing through my art journal for inspiration for painting this gaga pit. Here are a couple of ideas that I’m going to springboard off of for the project. I love to draw with tiny black pens, but I’ll be PAINTING instead. Not just painting, but LARGE AND IN CHARGE PAINTING. Can I do it? Hmmmm Actually having some ideas helps me wrap my head around the project.

Yes, I can do this. Breathe Jackie.

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