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.

 

Flow

I started this piece a couple of weeks ago when I was in the throws of extreme anxiety. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I was obsessing and my heart wouldn’t stop pounding.

So I picked up the paintbrush and let my hand lead. Usually I get super stiff when I attempt something large, but I was in such a state, I hardly noticed that I was working on a 16 x 20 canvas.

As I continued through endless hours of painting movement, I realized the lesson here. Life is always in motion, always in flow; if we allow it. The more that I can remember that, and allow the bigger picture to come into view, I can rise above anxiety.

So here is my first finished piece of flow.

ahhhhh I will be finishing my next very soon! xo

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.

Unorthodox Mandala

If you look up the definition of ‘mandala,’ you will see that it represents the search for ‘completeness’ and ‘self-unity’. Though I love these concepts, I am realizing in my life, that the search for that, or rather the experience of them is NEVER a perfect evolution, a perfect circle. There is a constant ebb and flow and one step forward and two steps back. I feel like it’s much more accurate to demonstrate our lifelong journey of learning and growth in a form that is a bit more organic. This is something I am in the process of creating, and I’m not sure if I should fill the page, or leave it as it is. I will add the final photo when I decide. I would like to do more of them!

Green Universe

Here is another one of the tiny pieces I’ve played with. Ah there are so many fun creations I am in the middle of. I will share more when they are finished!

 

Breathe It Out

Everyone has stress in their lives, no matter who they are. Some stress can be helpful buzzy excited stress that keeps us moving from appointment to experience to family to growth. But lately I’ve had the kind of stress that is unfortunately thick anxiety. It’s like a heavy cloud of nerves rumbling and shaking over my head, in between my shoulder blades, around my fingers. It’s been swirling around my eyes and filled my head with jitters and sheer exhaustion. This has been so so so stressful.

What is the line between helpful stress and horrible anxiety?

I know everyone gets stressed. I know LIFE can be stressful no matter what is going on. But what I am in the process of figuring out is HOW I can show up, be present, feel the fear, and then allow myself to let it go so I can FUNCTION like a human.

How do other people do it?

I mean I meditate.
I breathe deeply.
I take walks.
But lately this anxiety has surpassed all of that.

I’ve been remembering that I am in charge of my thoughts. I don’t NEED to be a victim to the chatter in my brain. Who says it’s the truth? Who says I need to listen to it. I guess that’s the helpful part of doing this writing. I have the opportunity to pour it out instead of letting it scald my insides.

I think if I look inside the anxiety, it’s not just the shell of ‘stress’ that is causing me to feel this way. Inside at the core, is shame. It’s this dread that maybe I’m not enough, not capable, not worthy. That something inside isn’t quite right.

It’s funny, LOGICALLY I know that none of that is true, I really do. I know that I am moving in the right direction, I know I am here for many reasons, I know I am enough. So is it just the human condition that we question those things?  Are these deep rooted fears that ALL humans have? Are they old childhood fears that just poke their head up every now and then? I don’t know, but it’s so fascinating.

What I do know is that the concept of SHAME isn’t felt with just me. I know I am not alone with it. But is it a societal experience? Or from our families? It’s like, just because things aren’t going super smooth or maybe our bodies aren’t doing exactly what we would want, why do we have SHAME around it? Why do we feel oh no what is WRONG with me?

I must be:
Different
Bad
Wrong

In reality we ALL have stuff to work on, work through, work around. All of us. And I know that. I know I’m not the only one.

This is really helpful to write through. Remembering that we are all on this journey together and no matter what it is, we do experience similar feelings of stress, isolation, loneliness, sadness, exhaustion, shame.

We are far more alike than different. 

I think if I remember that, if I sit in that, the shame starts to diminish and the stress feels like it’s lessening.

I can take more walks, I can allow space for meditation and writing and be EASIER with myself. I can do that.

I am doing the best I can. My body deserves ease. I can live my life with more ease and trust.

What are ways that you ease anxiety?

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.

 

 

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