Daily Rituals

I’m in this cool space right now where I’m getting into reading everything about honing creativity. I want to embrace WHO and WHAT I naturally am more than I ever have done in my life. I’ve been learning some really interesting things along this journey. Many of the books talk about the importance of having daily rituals that you do every single day without fail to create the space in your mind for inspiration.  I love this because all too often I am running from one thing to the next, without space in between, and then wondering why I’m not getting hits of inspiration and new ideas and moments of clarity. Hmmmm Maybe I need to create space for them to come through! So here is a list of my new daily rituals that I am adding to create a home for creativity.

  1. Take time to write down my thoughts and feelings. Ah! I used to write morning pages from Julia Cameron’s ‘Artist’s Way,’ book years ago, and had unfortunately gotten anxious from the time involved, and just stopped all together. But after reading from numerous articles about how clearing it can be, have taking it up again. It’s kind of fun to just let the words come out in any jumbled disaster, and have that be fine. No fixing them, no adjusting them. Just throw them on paper, for 3 pages every morning. This is really helpful for anyone suffering from perfectionism. You don’t read the pages and no one else does either. It’s just a way of clearing the fog so you can feel more creative during the day.  Incomplete sentences and spelling errors and scribbles are fine!  Yay
  2. After I write those morning pages, I meditate for 20 minutes. I have uped this from 15, and it’s sort of a struggle sometimes. But that’s how meditation sometimes is, no matter how many years I’ve done it. I’ve realized lately that holding an image in my head is relaxing me a lot more than just concentrating on my breathing. Sometimes I picture bright globs of paint, or my baby’s smiling face, and I can feel my body just relaxing. I think the reason meditation is so interesting, is that it is a PRACTICE. It’s not something you just start and then feel instantly better. It’s trial and error, it’s sitting when you don’t want to, it’s noticing thoughts and then starting again,…  When we struggle during meditation, we aren’t doing it wrong. That is the meditation. It’s making the commitment and sticking through it even when it’s hard, so much like life. I think the practice has helped me recognize in life when I want to give up, and then have the choice, just like meditation.
  3. Of course exercise! Exercise has been a huge part of my life for almost as long as I could remember. I love the endorphin rush, I love how my muscles and my heart feels. It’s been an interesting journey with this pregnancy, because I’ve had to slow down, and that’s been really tough for me. But here I am in my 2nd trimester, and my body is loving to exercise. This is our time to give our bodies a gift, to cherish what they can do, and love them into movement. I love to be at the gym, I love yoga, and I love dancing naked to music in my house. This baby is going to be dancing all the time with me. Ahhhhhhh bring on the endorphins! 😉
  4. Daily walks, preferably in silence. Noticing everything I see. Letting my mind wander,…  Paying attention to how my body feels, how the air feels, what the sun feels like, what catches my eye. I’ve been hearing that not only is taking breaks a must, but being outside is one of the best things you can do to enhance creativity. Ahhhhh
  5. Reading or listening to stimulating, positive words. Sometimes I want to just lose myself in some horrible murder trial on You Tube, and yet, what I’ve noticed, is that I feel a 1000 times better when I’m instead listening to something that is INSPIRING/ MOTIVATING/ and reminds me that I can make a change in every moment. After this I always hold my head up a little higher and feel a little more like I am becoming more of the person I want to be.
  6. Grateful lists. I’ve done these many times through the years, but over the past couple of weeks have become more conscious about listing continuously for 3 minutes or 5 minutes or whatever I decide. All too often we can get stuck in the buzzing parts of life that we forget to notice all the tiny moments that are amazing, all the miracles that are happening right before our eyes. I’ve made a deal with myself that I want to acknowledge these more than I have been. I want to not only notice, but fill myself with deep appreciation for all of the wonderful things that encompass my life.
  7. Writing down what I have learned. Sometimes I use my art journal for this, or a daily 5 minute journal that my husband and I have. I want to use that more than I do, but I don’t have the habit quite yet. But when I do write down what I’ve learned, I feel like the day is more successful. Especially when it doesn’t go as planned, it’s easy to feel like it was a waste, or nothing got accomplished. But there are lessons every single day. I want there to always be a place that I can acknowledge lessons, no matter how big or small they are. This shows me how much I am growing and changing and developing, which is something I NEVER WANT TO STOP.

I am sure I will have more adjustments later in the year, but for now, these are my rituals. I’d love to hear yours, and if they are inspiring you to show up as your best self.

Have a wonderful week,

xo

 

 

Today I appreciate

I appreciate listening to Oprah’s words of Wisdom while I work on this book I am creating.

I appreciate these moments of silence in the library with my noise cancelling headphones.

I appreciate hearing Will Smith say that ‘Self discipline is the definition of self love,’ and seeing the places that I can work on my own self discipline/love.

I appreciate getting some great Ah-ha! moments with art!

I appreciate choosing to write 5 things I’m grateful for every evening before bed.

I appreciate visualizing the way I want to see my life.

I appreciate hearing Oprah say that we become what we believe.

I appreciate that I can make new choices for showing up my most authentic way.

I  appreciate that my muscles and mind are strong.

I appreciate that I am starting yoga again soon.

I appreciate that taking deep breaths usually relaxes me right away.

I appreciate hearing my bonus daughter say that I’m one of her favorite people.

I appreciate that I am capable of showing up my truest and most authentic self.

I appreciate late afternoon walks with my hubby.

I appreciate taking kitten out for a walk and watching him bask in the sun.

I appreciate that our house usually smells of homemade food.

I appreciate  nourishing my body with healthy food.

I appreciate that I am drinking a gallon of water a day. Yikes!

I appreciate the feeling of being loved for exactly as I am.

I appreciate loving and enjoying my siblings.

I appreciate deep meditation.

I appreciate new, thick art paper.

I appreciate that I am here in this reality, on this planet, for so many reasons, even if I don’t know yet what they all are.

 

 

Becoming Younger

Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I try and get on here at least once a week on Monday’s. But last Monday my hubby and I were visiting his parents, so I wasn’t able to. 😦 Sheesh, it feels like it’s been FOREVER since I’ve written!

I was thinking about something a couple of days ago that I wanted to write about. I remember turning 25 and feeling this horrible rolling pain of insecurity, disgust, and panic. I was so afraid that I was getting OLD, running out of time and had nothing to show for it. It’s so funny to look back and realize how young I actually was.

Society (and social media lez be honest) tells us (subconsciously and blatantly) what we SHOULD have:

  1. Accomplished
  2. Experienced
  3. Purchased

by the time we are 21, or 25, or 30, or 35 or 40 and so on.

I know most of us get involved in some way or another in this anxious fear that:
Where we are isn’t right.
What we are doing isn’t enough.
Who we are isn’t okay.

Something that I am grateful for lately especially, is paving my own way, and enjoying it. I’ve always paved my own way, I’ve always created my own path, but I usually felt ashamed about doing it. I usually felt embarrassed and different and wrong.

Lately, I am seeing my creative veering spirit as a gift. I am finally acknowledging that I have never followed the herd, and that maybe that is okay. Maybe that is in fact PERFECT,.. for me. Maybe I have everything I need right now in this moment. Slowly, all of the yucky phrases I used to say to myself like: ‘You should have done more, you aren’t doing enough, you are wrong, you are bad, you must be lazy, you are different, you are ugly…’ are fading.

If I had to guess, I would say here is why that is happening:

  1. I’m making self care my top priority. I am constantly checking in with how I feel, and treating myself the way I would to a small child. If I am tired, I will take a nap. If I feel emotional, I will cry. I don’t need to know why, I don’t need to figure it out. And I certainly don’t tell myself that it’s silly.
  2. I’m allowing myself to feel the depth of my joy when I am doing the things that I love. For some reason this has been a hard one for me! Even when I am doing art, there is a tendency to check my texts, suddenly do a google search, or look through my email. Making art brings me so much unbelievable joy, but there has been a part of me that didn’t feel I deserve it. So instead, I stop messing with my phone, tune into what my soul is saying and what my an immense amount of joy actually feels like.
  3. Meditation. Okay so I’ve said that I meditate every morning. But that’s not entirely true. Every morning I have gone into my meditation closet with the intention of meditating. But also every morning my super sweet, yet annoying cat also comes in with me and spends the whole time climbing across my lap and meowing into my face. Most of my ‘meditation’ time has been used up quieting him and inside getting so so fucking irritated. Anyway,… now, I am spending the early session (with him climbing on me) acknowledging and listing everything I am grateful for. He loves the energy in my meditation room and eventually relaxes, but I am no longer pushing against him or needing him to be different. A little later in the morning when Nova is sleeping, I sit down to do my actual meditation. This way I can have a really wonderful meditation with no interruptus. 😉 Also I am using Deepak Chopra’s 30 day challenge that I found on YouTube.

It’s so funny how I felt so terrified and old and wrong when I was 25, and in this moment I am 13 years older. 
I actually feel a thousand times more
grounded, more grateful, more creative, more solid, more reverent, more brave, way more attractive, and with a knowing that gifts are continuously coming from the Universe.

I feel like it really is true that age is just a number, and we can become younger, calmer, stronger, lighter, and more patient.

Return From Cuba

I just returned from a very long vacation to Cuba. It was informative and interesting and fascinating, and yet sometimes difficult.

We were on a small ship, and my hubby and I were the youngest ones. ahahh Most everyone was at least 70 yrs. old.

One of the things I witnessed about myself along the trip, was that I didn’t take as good of care of myself as I could have.

There were times when I:
went along with things I didn’t want to do,
kept my opinions to myself,
felt put upon and victimized.

Those were the difficult times.

I only got home a couple of days ago, and both my hubby and I unfortunately caught some horrible cold/flu on the ship so we have been in bed late Friday night. I can’t help wondering if our inability to check in with our desires, our need to go along with plans that we didn’t like, and our sometimes dis-empowered feelings contributed to our immune system being lowered enough to get this sick.

Or maybe it was just being stuck on a bus 3 days in a row for 9 hours each, with a bunch of sick humans. ahhah

Whatever it is, what I do know is that when we aren’t being fully ourselves, and not speaking our truth, listening to what WE NEED, life can feel harder than it needs to.

I meditated at home Saturday morning, and just sitting alone in quiet, I realized that I didn’t give myself any of that on the ship. There was a lot of going going going, but I didn’t carve out the space, the time. I didn’t make ME more important. In fact, I somehow fell to the bottom of the list.

It showed me how easily it is to slip away from feeling good. But if we just LISTEN to what’s going on inside, if we honor what we truly need, and speak our truth, suddenly things fall into place. Life feels easier, more enjoyable. I know I feel more sure of myself, more confident, more alive.

So it’s just another lesson, and I can start over any time I need.

Even Though

Even though life has been really busy,

I can decide to take a break.

Even though I feel like I’m running out of time,

I can choose to sit in silence and feel my feelings.

Even though there has been so much emotional pain lately,

I can decide to be gentle on myself knowing that I am doing the best I can.

Even though I feel overwhelmed,

I can trust that my body mind and spirit need rest in order to rejuvenate.

Even though I would love clarity,

I know that searching impatiently won’t bring me closer to what I want. I can enjoy where I am and trust that the answers will always show up.

 

Appreciate Again

I appreciate writing in the silence.

I appreciate that I trust I can move through my feelings.

I appreciate that I am resilient.

I appreciate that these noise cancelling headphones keep me wayyyyyyyyyyy more focused.

I appreciate that my hubby is always trying to support me any way he can. Even when I push him away.

I appreciate having a schedule.

I appreciate actually getting things done.

I appreciate trusting that the solutions will come, probably when I stop worrying about the problem.

I appreciate how bright blue the sky is.

I appreciate knowing I can pick my battles.

I appreciate these exciting, creative ideas.

I appreciate being out of the house.

I appreciate that feelings no longer cause shame.

I appreciate that it is okay for me to feel sad.

I appreciate that I can make the changes I want/need at any time.

I appreciate that I can see all these rows and rows of books.

I appreciate that our December looks like your May.

I appreciate that I have fuzzy kittens waiting for me at home.

I appreciate hot tea all day long.

I appreciate recognizing that maybe I feel shitty because I didn’t do my writing this morning. Maybe I can’t just skip something like that.

I appreciate having the fireplace on, once the temperature hits 68.

I appreciate remembering that I am powerful.

I appreciate noticing so many things I am grateful for.

I appreciate that I am creating!

What do I need?

I’ve had an interesting weekend. Actually, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Well, if I was REALLY honest, I’d have to say these past 5 months have been ridiculously stressful, interesting and full of twists and turns. It seems like everyday is filled with so many highs and lows. How can they possibly pack into one day???

It’s funny how certain times in our lives are like that. And then there could be years where it feels like there is hardly any movement at all.

In times of a lot of change, I used to be harsh on myself. Feeling like I needed to buckle down, push harder, do more. Being annoyed at myself that I was TIRED or ANGRY or SAD. And that I needed to SWALLOW those feelings down and push.

Now I am (FINALLY) realizing that the chaos is hard enough. Being mean to myself, or expecting so much of myself ends up not helping at all.

So I take a different approach.

I tell my body it is doing awesome. I breathe deeply. I sit in silence. I tell myself I know it’s been stressful and it’s going to all work out, I will be fine. I tell my heart that it is safe and that love surrounds me. I ask myself, “What do I need?” And I listen.

Then I take a nap.

Sometimes life is hard enough. We don’t need to make it worse. In order for me to see the gifts, I need to take care of myself first. Or I will miss all of them!

Sending you all love and light that you will take care of YOU first.

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

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