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

 

 

Where the Hell Have I Been??

Oh my gosh I have returned! Sheesh! I can’t believe it’s been almost a MONTH since I was writing on this blog.

Actually it seems even longer. 

I don’t know about you, but the past month has been an absolute blur of change and newness. We had our daughters Bat Mitzvah on Saturday, and the week before, Andy and I were flying all over the country to find the best therapeutic boarding school for our son. Our month has been ridiculously intense, full of travel, note taking, difficult conversations, extreme amounts of planning, form creating, negotiating, discussing, getting screamed at, and running on empty.

I feel like I have hardly come up for air. 

How is it that some days/weeks/months are so action packed?

We always think once this event happens, I can finally be more present.
Or once I get this new job I will be happier.
Or when I have a baby, my life will feel in order.

Adding (or subtracting) any element to our lives is not going to be the quick fix. Life doesn’t have a ‘quick fix.’
It is a constant pruning, backpedaling, moving forward, then slipping back again, forgetting, lashing out, apologizing, feeling alone, reaching out, moving forward again, trusting, choosing a different path sort of experience. It’s full of so many parts that no one wants to talk about, but all they exist!

I’m recognizing again and again that LIFE continues to throw curve balls our way, and it’s our job to figure out how to mindfully maneuver everything with grace and muster forgiveness when we don’t.

prayer

I think for me, my biggest issue is trusting. I still get a crazy amount of emotional overload where I feel like a blown head gasket. I obsess and I get loud and my tone is not always very nice. I can FEEL myself being a nightmare. I can HEAR myself getting lunaticy, and yet, calming myself down is excruciatingly difficult sometimes.

Have I improved?

I guess as opposed to just putting myself down, I can ask the important questions. Have I improved? 

I would say I have in the sense that I can SEE what is happening. I can SEE when I am BLINDED by emotion. When Andy suggests that I meditate or do some art to take care of me, I still bite his head off. But maybe not QUITE as often as I used to.

In the middle of the siren of my emotions, there lately has been a tiny, tiny sliver of light where I can SOMETIMES feel capable of making a choice. This is when I may recognize that I can get in my meditation closet and cry and write and breathe and be. So that is change. I CAN pick my legs up and remove myself (though it’s a super slow process) from where I am into a place that can lead me to functioning again.

Anyway, it’s been a tough month.
I have put myself down a lot. I have felt like I am just doing work for the kids and nothing for me. I have felt like I’m spinning my wheels. I have said mean things to myself. I have cried and cried and cried. I have felt alone and angry. But after these huge events have ended, I can also look back and see that I have learned.

I can see that maybe, even though my intentions were to remain in peace, I didn’t do as well as I could. But I don’t need to be MAD at myself. Maybe I just need more practice, maybe I need more systems in place that I can trust. Maybe I need to walk away more.

Maybe I need to choose Jackie more often. 

No matter where I am, I know I can pick myself up and start over.

Today is a new day. 

So here I sit, only 3 days after this Bat Mitzvah, with piles of laundry around me and a ton of little tasks that still need to be handled.
And I can choose me.

I can make the choice that if I’m tired, I may need a nap. If I need to feel, maybe I do that.

We are so so so much better for the world and everyone in it when we have taken care of our needs first.

One of MY needs is to feel like I am moving forward IN MY LIFE. Writing in this blog, whatever I am writing, makes me feel like I am. Even if no one reads it, I am feeling stronger and better about me as a human. I am taking care of my responsibilities and my desires. I can do that. I can do hard things.

I am strong and capable, and I can move forward, even if it’s in inches.

What Do You Do?

WHAT DO YOU DO? 

Ahhjjajse4vnsedrlflsfv! The question I have dreaded for years seems to creep it’s sneaky little head again into my existence.

I have hated this question since the beginning.

I guess I have just never been sure how to answer it. I mean, when I was working at a large recruiting firm and making great money, I hated the question. I knew that what I WAS DOING TO BRING IN A PAYCHECK, had nothing to do with WHO I AM AS A HUMAN. In fact, I hated my job. I cried almost everyday. I wanted nothing more than to be making art. But when I was asked this ‘what do you do,’ question, I gave a brief, quick, emotionless answer. I didn’t mention that my SOUL is an artist and always has been. I never talked about how I DO yoga, and I DO spirituality and I feel pain in other people’s bodies. I would immediately sum up the job I went to for 8 hours a day into a nice little packet, since I assumed that is what the question called for.

But I didn’t feel seen.
I didn’t feel that suddenly this person GOT me as a human or that we were able to maybe CONNECT on a deeper level. It just became a canned response to rattle off if someone in a half listening haze were to ask it.

Fast forward years later and I was working at a company where I liked my coworkers and occasionally got to use my gifts. I talked to people and got to help them and I laughed and for the most part felt like myself. But then again that sneaky little weird question would come up outside of work. ‘So,… what do YOU do?’ I felt awkward telling my memorized reply of being a project manager for a software company. It wasn’t interesting enough to have anyone WANT to ask a question about it.

In fact, I felt like a liar. 

I WASN’T A PROJECT MANAGER. I am an empathetic woman that is really good at talking to people. I am full of light and joy. I am eternally an artist. (My art journal sat on my lap so I could draw during calls.) I am able to laugh at myself and people feel comfortable talking about their own mistakes. I am a teacher, and enjoyed showing and sharing. And the whole time I wanted to be making art. Just making making making….

Uhhhhh I could never say all that! ahahha

Fast forward again…. My hubby wants me to fully show up exactly as I want to.

So I am making art.

I am working on a website. I am learning how to push through even when I am struggling or don’t understand something. I am an artist, and finally get to be one everyday.

Nowadays when people ask this super surface sad question, I tell people I am an artist. Because I am. It doesn’t matter how much I’ve sold or not. I have never cared about that anyway.
The way I see things is as an artist.
The way I feel things straight to my core is an artist.
An artist may draw or paint or write or create anything, or just notice the tiny little details of life.
Even this is confusing for people.

They don’t know what to make out of this answer because they can’t put me in a box.

I can feel their brain bursting with, ‘WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? DOES SHE SELL? HOW MUCH? HOW OFTEN? WHO KNOWS HER? How many followers on Instagram does she have? What is happening here? SO DOES SHE NOT WORK???’

I guess those are all valid questions for someone that only measures success by money. But if you were to feel that money is just as small percentage of the abundance that surrounds us, you probably wouldn’t get hung up on my answer. By me stating that I am an artist, I am sharing far more with you than just a job description. I am sharing how my soul was made. I am sharing everything I have judged and feared and wished was different about myself.
I am sharing my very essence.
It’s funny how writing all that out is actually teaching me in the moment how I really feel.

But then my stepdaughter asked me the other day, “So what DO YOU DO? I mean like, WHAT IS YOUR JOBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB?” And for some reason my confidence all went away. It’s probably because her mother is a hardcore intellectual, and works 80+ hours a week at a job she hates. So I guess there was a feeling that I was going to get judged. But I was super uncomfortable with the question!

I sort of mumbled something about art and websites and then changed the subject. I felt so out of my body.

Days later I realize that she wasn’t trying to be rude, she was just curious. And if ANYONE is going to lead her to follow her truth, it’ll be me.
It will be.

If anyone is going to show her that she can DO AND BE AND HAVE anything she wants, it’ll be me.

But! I need to OWN my journey before I can properly explain it to her. If I am looking for approval from her, or needing her to get it, or agree, or have what I say be enough, then I am not helping. I need to OWN all of me and then speak from the truth of that.

Ahhhhh…. writing this has been so validating. I love not knowing what is going to come out until I sit down at the computer.

Why do most of us spend so much of our time and energy not feeling like we are enough?

What if we are EXACTLY enough in every way? All these years of wishing I was different, I am just going to start embracing who I am so I can help my daughter do the same.

 

 

Resilience

Lately I have been super into creating these pieces that incorporate both my tiny drawing and acrylic paint. For this one, I had this idea to use my body to add the paint instead of a palette knife or a brush. I love the feel of the paint on my hands. The end result has some interesting elements. As I was watching what I was creating, I felt of the concept of Resilience. Paving a path only to realize that it’s not quite the way. Having the strength to keep going, keep searching, keep open, keep learning, keep curious, keep breathing to find the place where we need to be.

Resilience.

And the paint on my skin just makes it more personal. The personal journey we must all take as we navigate, digress again and again, hope, pick ourselves up, start over, love, hurt, grow, feel.

Boundaries Are For,…

The ones who want to make a freakin’ huge change in their lives! ha

Happy Monday!

Wow I can’t believe it’s already Monday again and the month of August is moving right along. Sheesh…. It seems like so long ago thinking back to last year at this time…. Getting Brian into a new school and preparing to do 3 hours of driving a day. Just to get him into a better environment. I was so willing to do whatever it took. Though I’m grateful I was like that, grateful I put everything aside for that, let me tell you, I am so happy for the lessons I have learned.

I know I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about staying in my own lane and not jumping in to FIX situations/people/experiences, etc. And since then, I’ve really chilled the f*** out.

Not that life has gotten easier by any means, but I feel LESS RESPONSIBLE, and have been pretty good at reminding myself of the boundaries I need to keep FOR ME so I can show up the best for myself and others.

It’s such a funny thing this boundary thing. It’s not about other people (since unfortunately we can’t control them anyway), it’s about ME. I have to stop MYSELF from doing things out of HABIT that I will later regret.

I am the only one in charge of creating the life I want.

 

Cayce Zavaglia

What??!

Wow! I happened to be surfing Instagram when I came across this gem. These are hyper-realistic portraits made from silk, cotton and wool.

I am so unbelievably fascinated!

cayce zavaglia

The part that I found to be even cooler, is that the back of the embroidery is just as incredible, if not more. Wow! There is so much life and power and movement just beyond what we would normally see. Sheesh…

cayce z back side

Check her out:
https://www.instagram.com/caycezavagliastudio/
http://www.caycezavaglia.com/

xo Jax

SUMMER!

Finally! School is OVER, (which means driving 3 hours a day is OVER), our lovely vacation with the kids is OVER as well.

So,.. you know what this means….

I can GET TO focus on JACKIE!!! 

I’ve realized that over this past year, my thoughts, my energy, my mind, my heart has been devoted to Brian. Getting him into a new school, finding a new therapist, having the answers, driving him all over town, discussing issues with teachers, working out consequences for behavior, long convos about behavior, forgiving, meditating, feeling my feelings of anger and sadness, and literally giving as much as I possibly could to the situation.

But now my friends, is a NEW JACKIE.

Maybe I had to go through all of this to get clearer on WHAT I WANT FOR MY LIFE.

Because I have plans for ME. I have plans where I get to be ME FULLY, and I can no longer allow those plans and dreams and desires to be covered by the constant needs of this little boy.

We are reaching out for help in other directions and I am practicing saying NO. 

If anything, this is teaching me that I DON’T NEED TO HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. Oh my gawd tears come to my eyes just writing that out. My entire life I have felt that it was my JOB to have all the answers.

To everything.

And I can’t!

I don’t.

I am NOT AN EXPERT in what he needs.

I am ready to happily hand it over to the actual experts so I can enjoy more OF MY LIFE.

I need to be more important than all of these little things that used to occupy my time. I cannot change the situation. I cannot make miracles with everyone that I think needs to change.

I must matter, and so as I enter the summer of 2018, I am reminded that I will be here for me. If I fail to make decisions FOR ME, that is MY FAULT, MY DOING.

I can take care of me first, practice getting comfortable with NOT having all the answers, allow space for my husband and his ex wife to make important decisions, and remember to BREATHE.

I matter. I matter. I matter. xo

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