Beautiful

I would love my bonus daughter to feel good in her own skin. To enjoy who she is as a human, and know that she is enough.

But I also know that she is 13, and just at the BEGINNING of weirdness and possibly a push/pull relationship with her body.

So how can I help? What can I do to make it better or guide her to see her beautiful spirit and not just the fact that she doesn’t fit the societal MOLD of what is considered beautiful?

I know I need to talk to her more about it than I have been.

But there are a lot of different thoughts running through my mind. I don’t know if SHOWERING her with compliments is the way for her to see her true power.

  • I was given a lot of compliments on my looks as a kid, and I didn’t believe any of them.
  • I felt ugly even though I was told I was beautiful.
  • Feeling truly beautiful is when we don’t need to be TOLD them from other people, we just feel our own power. So telling her a lot isn’t necessarily going to convince her.
  • I know I had a very different experience related to beauty growing up than she is. And yet I didn’t feel good about myself at all. I’d like to share more with her, and maybe remind her that one day, as she’s living more her truth, she will see her pure beauty.
  • I like the idea of using the compliment of ‘beautiful’ related to being kind and loving, like I read someone blogging. That it doesn’t need to only represent outer appearance.
  • Maybe I can remind her that as I have gotten older, the times when I actually FEEL beautiful are when I just stood up for myself, or when I am doing something where I am so present and immersed in it, I lose myself. I feel solid and enough and beautiful.
  • Maybe I can also tell her that just having people think you are ‘pretty’ isn’t that helpful if you don’t believe them.
  • People will always have different opinions about beauty anyway. If we are swayed back and forth if someone sees it and the next person doesn’t, we won’t feel beautiful. Beauty starts deep inside US.
  • I can also remind her that the times when I feel ugly are when I don’t speak up for myself, when I swallow my feelings and when I am trying to be different than I am.
  • Some of the most beautiful people I know do not fit societies standards of beautiful. In fact, 99.9% of people don’t fit those standards, and we can find beauty in everyone.
  • Remind her that there have been so many times that I would see someone and be swept up in their beauty and then created a story in my head about how their life must be so much better than mine, etc. And how loved they must be, etc. Once I got to know them I realized that they were going through similar things as me. There life wasn’t any better because I thought they were pretty.

Those of you that have girls, what is your experience?

I can see that not telling someone they are beautiful because of the fear that they will think that is all they are, may not be the best decision either. Maybe there is a happy medium where they are told they are beautiful but they are also told their are brave and kind and loving and strong.

 

I would love to hear your thoughts!!

xo

 

Tiny Mountains

Here is one of the tiny pieces that I’ve been working on. Sort of a quirky, colorful way of depicting the mountains that we must climb everyday. I love the idea of bringing joy to the mountains in our life. With struggle, we gain strength.

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?

Under all the Art

First of all, I am so so so so so appreciative that I get to create. That I have SPACE in my life to create. I am so appreciative that making art fills me up in such an incredible way. It’s like this warm hug, right from the universe. I feel empowered and connected and powerful and it’s all from the act of sitting down with my paintbrush. Just opening a can of my favorite paint melts my heart and sometimes I can’t stop myself from bursting into tears.

This is the best parts of being an artist for me.

This is the part where no matter what my life looks like, I can say with everything I am that I am so so so grateful I have something that fills me with this much passion and joy. I am truly grateful.

With every ounce of my being it’s not about what other people think AT ALL. AT ALL. For me it is so personal, and it is entirely the process, the in-the-moment creating that makes me feel so full.

That leads me to a slight issue.

I said I want to BE AN ARTIST. Be the artist I know I am.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, if I had my way I would be painting and painting and painting for hours on end with sore fingers and an open heart. I would be immersed in doodles and sketches and shrieking and giggling and crying as I create, all day everyday. All the time. But I said I’d like to also make money as an artist. It’s funny, saying the word ‘money’ along with art physically twists my stomach into knots. I don’t really care if people want to buy my stuff or not, I don’t.

I create solely for myself.

That being said, I also know without a doubt that we are given gifts and abilities to SHARE.

As you can see, I’m sorta stuck here. Stuck between what is comfortable and replenishing and what I know in my heart we as humans are here for.

So what do I do? 

 

I do know that I have always wanted to make a difference in peoples lives, and now is no different. I love community service, and random acts of kindness, and smiling at strangers, etc. etc. etc. If this really is the case, would I really want to hide away day after day creating and bursting and feeling and playing and making all in secret?

That’s not me living my truest self. 

If SHARING who I am means SHARING my art, how can I do that authentically?
Without feeling like a jackass?

All marketing is a painful, repulsive venture for me. I literally have to force myself to post on Instagram or Facebook, or even show my work here.

Wow. Okay. So I am noticing as I write that I have a LOT of emotions, way more than I thought, and it’s making me I want to shut down and cry and make art.

I realize that if the idea of showing my work is making me this upset, I must have a lot of fear underneath. 

Maybe it’s fear that I’m not good enough.

Maybe it’s fear that I won’t make money.

Maybe it’s fear that I WILL be seen as someone that needs to be acknowledged for her art.

Maybe it’s fear that someone will actually LIKE my work.

I’m not sure, but because of all these extreme reactions, I’m going to investigate. Ah! I love discovering more things about myself to release.

I guess this just means I need to share, I need to post, I need to expose myself anyway.

I don’t need to BE COMFORTABLE.

I can jump even if it’s terrifying and feels gross. In the end I will grow and that is what matters to me.

Creating For Me

Hello! Happy Monday! The sun is out and it’s going to be another hot day here in San Diego.

I know I wrote a blog about a creative women’s group I wanted to start someday.  I remember writing it, and then being even more inspired from what I wrote.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, right before I left on vacation….

I was telling one of my girlfriends the concept for the group. ‘Wouldn’t it be great to get a group of creative women together that all have these ideas that they want to do. We can talk out loud about them and THEN hold each other accountable for everything we say we want to do!’

Anyone that knows this particular friend, knows that her response to ANY new idea is always, ‘Oh my gosh you should TOTALLY do it!’ That’s exactly what she said, and this time I was ready.

In 10 minutes I had created a Facebook event and we were planning on our first meeting. It’s funny, even a year ago I would have been plagued with ‘oh my gosh I can’t facilitate this sort of thing, I don’t know what I am doing,’ or ,’ I need more time to RESEARCH what I want to say and do,’ or ‘I’m too busy,’ or ‘I’m not the right person for the job,’ etc. etc. etc. I would have been freaking out. But now, for some odd reason, I wasn’t. It felt organic, and just like the next step. It was almost shocking how NOT scared I was. I felt empowered and full.

The meeting was a complete success! It was full of magic and laughter and these super awesome, weirdly synchronized events with wildly magnetic, bursting, creative women. The whole time I felt strong and powerful and as if I was completely in the right place at the right time.

It’s pretty interesting to feel worlds different than I would have even a couple of months ago. Why?

Here’s what I think:
I needed this group FOR ME.

I didn’t set out to:
INSPIRE OTHERS.
Or TEACH THEM SOMETHING.
Or CHANGE THEM.

This was purely for me. I was in a place of realizing that I need ACCOUNTABILITY and I DESIRE being around creative, compassionate, warm, open women. But I created this group for me, and that took all the pressure off. If other people end up getting what they need along the way, that’s great, but it’s not the reason I am doing it.

HA! I can see how I can apply this concept to all areas of my life. It’s not my JOB to teach people or get them into places I want them to be or I think they should be. It IS my job however, to live authentically and create what I WANT AND NEED FOR ME. What what a relief! I don’t need to save the world after all. Ha!

From victim to straight up powerhouse

Whatever we need will be brought to us.
Whatever we are ready to learn, we will hear.

I woke up this morning with a strong realization that I have been a victim. I don’t mean the victim that has gotten her purse stolen or had some creepy dude yell something out from across the street.

I mean like a life victim. It’s funny because I know people that are total victims and I can smell them a mile away. The complaints and the whines can drive me insane and I’ve figured that I am so much different. I am so much more evolved.

And then I woke up seeing the truth.

My inner voice: Ah shit. (feeling like a slap in the face) I’m a victim.

I’ll admit, sometimes I feel like I can’t do it, can’t figure it out, can’t make it through, feel stuck. It’s a thick mucusy sensation like bobbing in the middle of the ocean without a life preserver.  And the thing that’s funny/sad is that I didn’t even REALIZE it. I mean I had mild sprinkling doses of it, but I didn’t REALIZE that my LIFE has been splattered with it. Wow. How did this even happen???

So I’d give off this ‘poor me’ vibe, which we all know is ultra sexy, and my truly sexy hubby would come running.

He tried to help by offering to do more, but I wouldn’t feel better, I’d only feel more pathetic.

He’s amazingly caring and warm and ready to do anything and everything to make life better and easier. For everyone, especially me.

But this morning when I got up at 4:25 am, I heard this:
 I am so capable. I don’t need to be saved.

It’s hard with men sometimes. We tell them we don’t need them to FIX IT.

If we have a great listener for a man (like I do), they ask what we need and do their best to EMPATHIZE instead. ‘Oh, that’s got to be really hard.’ But it doesn’t sound RIGHT. In fact, when my would do it, I almost wanted to laugh because the inflection was all wrong. The words came out awkwardly like a bad movie line. Do you know why it doesn’t sound right? Because they are MEN! They are supposed to FIX things! My man is a brilliant idea guy with millions of fresh ideas lined up for everything under the sun. Why would I want to squash those ideas and force him to say things that only girlfriends can get away with? ahhahaha

So back to my realizations… The ‘victim victim victim’ words rang out in my head as clear as day, because I am now ready to hear them.

So I ask you, blog world… Have you checked in lately to how you’re showing up? Even in the dark moldy pockets where it’s super freaky? This is not easy to admit to myself or anyone for that matter, but I must say being able to speak (and now write) openly takes the power away. I don’t need to be ashamed, I can just make the change.

I know what it feels like to be empowered. To know I’m in charge of my life and that I can handle anything that comes my way. I’m recognizing that the slap of seeing the truth only hurts for a bit. I can decide to do things differently and I am so so so grateful for that.

I feel free already. Yay! I am Jackie making my decisions and livin my life. Ha!

 

 

 

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