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.

Goals Smoals

In the midst of a lot of movement these past 6 months, I have felt like I am just keeping my head above water. Literally. It’s like 4 or 5 different things have been in the works at a time.

What do you do when life is like this for you?

Sometimes I feel excited and ready. Other times after I’ve been buzzing all over the place, I feel like I am literally falling apart. It’s like I don’t have any energy to listen to another person, or write a blog, or even pick my clothes up.

This morning as I got up, I felt that way. Super emotional and overwhelmed. And it wasn’t that everything is a disaster and imploding. In fact it’s the opposite. This is the beginning of a whole new book for my husband and I. His work is finally in the process of completely transitioning, which is such incredible news.

I can see the goodness all around me, I know it’s there. But because of how busy and buzzy and emotional everything has been, I’m not feeling the joy yet. I need to feel the other parts first. The sadness, the endings, the relationships that suffered, the physical emotional mental energy that was extended, the strain on my relationship with my hubby, etc. It’s like before I’m ready to jump off the cliff and into the next book, I need to honor this one.

I need to apologize to my hubby for being snappy and shutting down.

I need to make amends with myself and some of my friends.

I need to give myself a big hug and tell myself it’s okay to be human. It’s okay to have a hard time. It’s so funny, isn’t it? You guys probably aren’t that different than me with this. I sense that I am depleted or sad or overwhelmed or even angry and then I get MAD at myself for that.

‘Jackie! What is wrong with you! You shouldn’t feel that way! Stop!’

How could me being MAD at myself for having emotions possibly bring me ANY CLARITY or PEACE or SELF LOVE at all? Why do we do this?

Now, I am getting better. I can at least recognize the voice AFTER it has spoken. I can hear it clearly and after the shock that I’ve ‘wronged myself again,’ has worn off, I shake my head. How is that HELPING ANYTHING???

The thing I really need is to love myself. I need to tell myself all the things I would want to tell my little child. That  it’s okay for me to be where I am, and that I just need to rest, and breathe, and love the parts that feel unlovable.

I know I want to start moving forward with a ton of goals. But maybe today isn’t the day. Maybe today is for a big cup of coffee and lots of tears and hugs and sadness and breathing through and knowing there are many many more days for goals coming up.

Thank You Universe

Ahhhh! Can’t believe it’s already Friday again! Seems so crazy I was in Utah a week ago. I had this really great yoga class this morning. It felt so good to go back to basics (without all the torture and weights). It was back to deep breathing and acknowledging my body moving all by itself. Anyway, sometimes the yoga teachers have cheesy messages about life that they throw in during the practice. The messages can seem a little forced as if they thought of it on the drive over out of obligation, so then I do a little bit of a mind wander. Other times you can tell that the teacher’s had an epiphany of their own that they are sharing. These times their message seems deeply rooted like ancient wisdom being passed down.

This morning was one of those times.

What she said was simple but it was just what I needed to hear.

She said, ‘I believe everything that happens in our lives, even if it’s difficult, is for a reason. It is to teach us something. So it’s important to thank the universe for all of it, even the hard lessons.’

I also believe everything happens for a reason, but I haven’t done the second part very often. It was a great reminder to be sincerely grateful for the parts of my life that I don’t yet understand, and the faith to know that I will someday.

Ah! I love finding tidbits of inspiration throughout the day. I can feel myself becoming so much stronger and wiser and easier on myself. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Feel This

Hello everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thursday morning!

Right when I think ‘Sheesh! The universe has been giving me so many lessons lately, I’m sure there will be a nice break,..another one pops up. Ha!’ I hope I always feel that way about my life.

I can CRY easily and often so I’ve always known that I’m just really expressive with my emotions. I’m this wet well of feelings and I’ve learned to accept it. However, I’m seeing now that there maybe more to the story.  I’ve recently started to get some coaching on personal stuff and I’ve come to find out that just because I CRY it doesn’t mean I’ve cleared the emotional experience out of me. Whhhhhhhhhhhat.

So. My assignment for the next couple of weeks is to do this feeling meditation to release past feelings that did not get fully felt. It’s actually pretty scary. Surprisingly there are so many experiences that I’ve dreaded looking back into. So I’m grateful that I’ve been able to muster up enough courage to do this. Something that helps is when I remind myself that FEELINGS CAN’T HURT US, they are meant to be felt. They can only hurt us if we don’t feel them. Hm.

Because I’m in the feelings mode, I’ve decided to take it a step further and become aware of when I’m avoiding feelings in my everyday life. It looks like nothing on the outside:  ‘Oh shoot, I feel annoyed, so I’m going to go paint. Or. ‘ Yikes I feel angry,  I need to go to the gym and forget.’ I usually do healthy things, but they are still a way of attempting to alleviate the pain of FEELING, instead of just embracing the feeling and letting it go.

And then I had the craziest realization.

I even do it with JOY! There are times when I have avoided even feeling the DEPTH of my joy. Can you believe it??? Seems crazy I know, but since I’m working more towards being PRESENT with everything I’m doing, I discovered this sad truth.

There are many times when I’m painting, and just as I’m settling in and feeling the warm elation of doing what I love, I’ll distract myself by NEEDING TO TEXT SOMEONE RIGHT NOW, or

SUDDENLY NEEDING TO CHECK ON AMAZON FOR A PRODUCT.

I know it’s not like I’m doing heroin, this is obviously much smaller scale. But I don’t want to shut off my joy in any way. If I’m used to shutting off my sadness or my anger or my hurt, it makes perfect sense that JOY could get squashed as well.  What about you? Does this resonate with any of you?

Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! I love getting these realizations because then I can make a tweak!

Yesterday, I put my phone away when I was making art. I sat in the silence so the only sound was my breath, and the paintbrush sliding across the paper. And. I. Was. In. Bliss.

I’m just going to believe that the more I embrace feeling my feelings all the way to the bottom, there will be more space for clarity, focus, connection and creativity.

xo

 

Passion!

Here’s to the bursting buzzing excitement that is stored in all of us. The giddy deliciousness that bubbles over into explosive gasping pieces of joy like confetti in a windstorm.

Here’s to the fire pulsing at the bottom of our guts vibrating, moving, seething,.. ready to boil over.
And the hot sticky tears, overwhelmed with laughter!

Ahhhh!! Passion!

 

 

Finding the Tribe

As I find myself, I find my tribe.

It’s funny, I’m looking back through my life, and at certain times I thought I’d found MY TRIBE that would last a lifetime. Maybe I had. Maybe the ‘lifetime’ just ended before my life did.

It seems like people have this fascination with having great friends for a long period of time. However, if we are all ever evolving there is a very good chance that two people do not change at the same time.
Or even in remotely the same way.

Maybe our TRIBE is always shifting.

Even a year ago, I thought I had MY TRIBE. My lifetime tribe. I never would have guessed in a thousand years that my friendship base would have changed so much in just a year. I had some close girlfriends in my life that I’ve known for a really, really long time, through so many breakups and breakdowns and breakthroughs. We knew pretty much everything about each other. It’s hard to believe that only 9 months later we don’t even talk.
Sure I was sad for awhile, very sad and hurt when I felt that the relationship was changing.

Then I realized something.
What if we were in each other’s lives when we needed it?

But what if the relationship doesn’t make sense anymore because we’ve learned what we needed to learn?

Is that so bad?

I’m really not angry about this. I am who I am right now because they were in my life. Because I had someone to share my pain with, my joys with, my fears, and my love, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. In so many ways they taught me what friendship was, in the capacity that I could experience it.

I send them love almost everyday, and though we will probably never be close again, I am not angry. I am grateful. I am also astounded by the constant evolution of life. The constant movement that we could never expect.

So as my current tribe is being created, I’m fully aware of who I am bringing closer and why. In the past, maybe I was drawn to people for a variety of reasons unknown.

But that is not who I am anymore.

I know exactly what I am seeking and attracted to. I know what I want more of, and what feels good. My tribe is exactly what I need now in my life.

I guess I feel a little nostalgic for my dear old friends right now. I’m sending so much love to all those wonderful people that I loved and cherished throughout the years. Thank you for all the friendship and tears and I hope you find everything your heart wants.

I hope you are surrounded in the tribe that your soul needs. 

 

 

Biscuits and Trout

I was just out on a beautiful long hike with a good friend of mine. I love the mixture of deep talks and nature, there’s sort of nothing like it.

Anyway, she has recently gotten her real estate license for California and I was asking her what the PLANS ARE.

I love what she said!! She started with, “I’m really checking in with myself every day to feel where I am and where I’d like to be. I’m heading in one direction, but who knows, I may end up heading in a different direction. But I’m going to move where my heart feels it should go.”

I love this for so many reasons. First of all this crazy society we live in is all about ACCOMPLISHMENT. We set out on a path (any path) and if we decide along the way that we don’t like it or want it anymore, we usually either:

A. Push even harder! I must conquer! I must win! I will ACCOMPLISH these dreams! (Even if they aren’t anymore, but don’t tell anyone.)

B. I’m going to quit everything and then feel super shitty about myself. Oh gawd what is wrong with me? I can never finish anything. I’m so scared to START something, I may decide I don’t like the path I choose.

What is it that has terrified us into making the WRONG decision? What if we are really here to experience and expand and check in with what our soul needs?

What if the word accomplishMENT is really what are we MENT to accomplish? What if it’s not whatever we can get our hands on. What if it’s what our soul is truly MENT to do, not all the anxious buzzing bullshit that only looks great on paper but feels empty inside.

I loooooooooove that my friend was able to articulate her feelings about possibly migrating from one thing to the next. Knowing what she’d like to do now, but also honoring herself for the inevitable changes she’ll make along the way.

 

My girlfriend went on to say that she is not sure what her next venture in life will be, but she knows that she will NOT be pulled to do something just for the money.

She also said that she is OKAY NOT KNOWING where will end up.

She is comfortable in the unknowing, of trusting that the answers she needs will show up when she needs them.

Woa. How would it be to live like this? To gently move from one truth to another, from one trusting moment to bliss to passion to joy and back to trusting?

What if life can really be like this? 

So I’m checking in with me.

All the parts that have felt embarrassed or vulnerable for passionately starting ideas and businesses and friendships and projects and relationships all to find out that they weren’t really for me in the long run. That I was seeking them for the wrong reasons. Is that so bad? Hey I’ve been doing things! I’ve been moving forward, and getting my hands dirty and making messes and gaining experiences!

I am going to spend a little time apologizing for all the times that I was angry at myself for NOT FINISHING WHAT I STARTED, NOT CONQUERING!

When maybe, just maybe I was listening to my heart all along. Maybe I got what I needed and then it was time to have a different experience.

Maybe I am whole just as I am, and maybe my heart can (and does) guide me better than I realized. 

 

 

Focus Focus Focus

What if everything has the potential to work out if we stop focusing so hard on it?

I have sort of a funny example:

I’ve always disliked my arms. They were never the shape I wanted.

Through the years I started paying more and more attention to them until it became a total obsession.I was constantly thinking about them, and noticing other people’s arms that I was envious of.

Looking back, I can also see that my fixation caused me to assume that EVERYONE ELSE was also aware of my arms.

What is wrong with me?

Oh my gosh I look so horrible!

My arms are so noticeable and disgusting!

I found weight classes with the determination of getting them THE WAY I WANT THEM. I pushed myself to make this happen, but nothing seemed to be working!

The ARMS had become this HUGE problem.

I worked out even harder.

But still nothing happened.

About 4 months ago, I was peering at them, grabbing the areas I felt should be different, and I thought of something. If my arms suddenly WERE exactly what I wanted, how would my life be different?

Would I still do the same things?

Would I still have the same people in my life?

Would the same things still make me happy and sad and excited?

Yes. Of course, the answer was yes.

So…

Who cares?

I mean really, what if my arms are just the latest obsession that is keeping me from totally accepting myself, but they are fine? What if they are fine just the way they are. Can I love myself exactly as this, if they never do change?

I decided that yes, I can and I stopped thinking about them. I started sending them love when I saw them in the mirror, and being grateful they were getting so strong from all my weight exercises.

I stopped noticing the size.

 

The other day I was in the middle of my brutal yoga class and I happened to glimpse at my arms in the mirror. I realized that they were starting to take the shape I had always wanted. But I hadn’t even noticed!

As I examined them more closely that evening, I realized something else. It’s great they are toning up, it really is. And yet I don’t care nearly as much as I thought. Their size, their shape isn’t what determines my happiness.

So I was wondering, is this how it is in all areas of life? If we are super focused on something, and running in circles demanding it to BE DIFFERENT, do things suddenly change? After all that grueling work?

Or if we build up some sort of ideal into this fantasy that will make our LIVES BETTER AND MORE ENJOYABLE AND HAPPIER, is that ever true?

This was a great epiphany, because I’m involved in some heavy life stuff right now. Maybe instead of running in circles SEARCHING FOR THE ANSWER, I can surrender to what is, and LOVE who and what I am and who and what everyone else is that I am involved with.

Maybe this can create the space for miracles to occur.

 

 

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