Happy Birthday to Me!

Ever since I can remember I have always taken the day off for my birthday. I believe it should NEVER be spent in the office. Anything is better than working on your birthday.  Even though I don’t work in an office any longer, I still like to respect my day to take off and do something that feels new and fun and full.

However, this year is a little different. The last couple of days I have been in the middle of a hormone cyclone, that feels like PMS on hyper drive. I’ve heard this can happen in pregnancy, but wow,… it’s really really intense. I feel like I need to just cry and cry and cry and everything feels like these ginormous issues that I have no control over. I woke up this morning and realized that I just didn’t feel like taking off for the whole day.

So,.. here I sit in the library writing out this blog, moving through my feelings. I’m noticing the shame that I carry around for feeling a lot. Even though I KNOW it’s hormones, and I KNOW it’s pregnancy, the fact that I can’t CONTROL these intense emotions creates an unbearable amount of shame. I did some morning page writing about my relationship to shame this morning, and it’s sort of a fascinating concept, even as I get older. Instead of feeling compassion for myself when I am obviously hurting, why is it so easy to go to a place of shame? Of disgust? Right now I am consciously choosing to see myself as little Jackie that isn’t wrong or bad, just hurting. The way I would want to see my daughter when she’s hurting. I don’t need to be different, and I can’t so easily just push this away. So here I am, on my birthday writing about shame and feelings. ahahha

I think afterwards I’ll enjoy a good cry and a drive and a nap. What a wonderful way to celebrate a birthday. In a place of rawness, especially if I can spend most of the time just loving who I am and trusting that the feelings always move on once they are acknowledged and welcomed. xo

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

 

 

Lines and Joy

What a wonderful thing to recognize that what I create naturally without even thinking, IS my art. I don’t need to be different. I am enough just as I am.

All this time wishing I was someone else, and no more. That never brought me joy, that never helped me feel good in my own skin.

It stops now.

I create in my way, and the beauty is that it’s a natural movement for me. There is no pushing.

So funny how much society tells us we need to be like everyone else, but in reality, what makes us unique is OUR thing. That’s what sets us apart.

Sending everyone lots of love that you are living YOUR truth, and living life YOUR WAY.

XO

Words that make it all better

My bonus daughter is away for 4 days at Lacrosse camp. She just started learning the game a couple weeks ago and now is in an immersive camp with a bunch of girls that have been doing it for years. She was so nervous to go. She is so hard on herself, and will not try new things easily with the fear that she won’t be great at it. It was so brave of her to take this leap and go. We hoped that once she got there and felt uncomfortable for an hour or so,  it would start to get better, and she may even enjoy it.

She texted me this morning to let me know that the girls there are so nice. She was telling them that she’s not as good as they are and she was embarrassed to play. They told her that she is so much better than they were for just starting, and that she is doing great. This made her day!  I love that there are 13 year old girls, in all the awkwardness of that age, that can open up to say exactly what someone needs to hear.  I love that the distaste of middle school years that I still have in my mouth can be swept away by girls that are willing to HELP when they see someone struggling. I want to give them a hug!! They probably know how it feels to feel like the worst at something. To feel different. To feel not as good, or special. I love that my bonus daughter heard them. She was willing to listen to them.  Hearing that you are okay from another 13 year old girl? Oh my gosh, priceless.

It’s moments like these that I feel like humanity isn’t as bad as we think it is. There is still kindness, there is still people (young girls even) willing to reach out a hand to someone that needs it. Thank you thank you random girls for making our girls day.

Play

I’ve been playing around with the idea of allowing the lines and colors and movement to come through me, like they do in my art journal. I know I’ve written before about having that intention and yet the actual art piece feels forced.
I learned an important lesson the other day on a long walk. I can’t create art to FEEL organic and effortless when I haven’t created it that way.

So my practice continues…

I was told so many times in art school that I need to start with a PLAN, a sketch, and then repeat that onto a canvas or paper. I was told that THIS is creating art. This has never worked for me, and I felt like a fraud because of it. I have always loving arriving at an empty piece of paper, allowing my hands to move, opening up to the colors and movement that need to come forth. When I create like that, there is an ease. There is a flow. There is me.

This particular piece started out with me pushing. I was so excited to create something, that I forgot to arrive with reverence and feel first. I created habitual lines instead of waiting for the intuitive swaying inside of me. I ended up feeling lost and in my head. But the beautiful thing is, is that I took a deep breath and started again. I didn’t make a move until I felt guided. This piece is proof to myself that even if I get off track and get in my head, I can fix it. I can adjust it, I can go back to organic creation. Ha!

All is not lost! 😉

Get Lost

After all these years of feeling inadequate because I didn’t follow a concrete PLAN, I am finally relishing my wild spirit that enjoys getting lost.

Maybe not knowing the next step is okay.

Maybe allowing myself to burst with excitement about something obscure and unique is wonderful.

Maybe the dark alleyways and strange curiosities that I noticed and didn’t ignore, but instead:
choose to check out,
look into,
spy on,
research,
investigate,
and experience
helped me choose to finally enjoy the rebellious, inquisitive, marvelous mind of wonder that. I. have.

 

 

Endless Loop?

Wow… It’s been OVER a month since I created a blog post. I can’t even believe it. I knew May was going to be full, and it was. I am just starting to get myself back on a schedule, an even better one, but I can’t believe  it’s been over a month. Sheesh!

Though I’m learning a lot  about myself every day, I’m aware that I don’t feel quite as confident as I would like. Even after all these years of growth and change, and new decisions, and speaking my truth, there are still voices that  show up in my head vicious and irritated.
Wishing that I was:
something different,
something more,
better,
faster,
more involved,
less involved,
more confident,
more of a fighter,
more social,
better in groups,
enough.
That still happens, and I can see my pattern. I can see where the blame and shame shows up, where I feel disgusted at myself, and where I feel like I would be enough if I just pushed a little harder.

I recently had a discussion about this sort of thing with my sister in law. And the question is; what if I don’t need to PUSH harder? Why do I always assume that if something is happening that I don’t like, that it’s my JOB to WORK HARDER to get where I want to go, or get a relationship to where I want it to be?

I don’t know.

I guess that was the way I was raised, right? That our job is to spin our wheels pushing fighting, pounding until we FIX it. Until we beat it to death, whatever it is. It’s so funny writing that out, because it’s not at all how I live my life, and not at all how I would want my kids to feel. And yet, there it is. The feeling that I am not enough and that I MUST exhaust every morsel of my being, and even then there is probably something wrong with me.

What if life gets to be easier than that? More at ease? Even though I resonate far more with ease, there is still a part of me that feels I need to push, jab, fight to move forward.

Maybe this is just a rambling post of me feeling lost and searching once again for a glimmer of my personal power. How no matter how much work we may do on ourselves, the mean self talk can still show up. And something I’m not even AWARE that the voice has stepped into my head.

I just start believing it.

My husband just told me earlier today that he loves every part of me. It  made me so sad, that we can so easily offer that to people we love,  but it is so hard to do for ourselves. Every part of ME? I mean, I accept more parts than I used to. I am grateful for more than I used to be. But there is still a lot of judgement voices. EVERY part of me? How wonderful that would be to just know who I am and accept and love myself fully. Is that even possible? Or is it an endless loop of feeling like we get close and then finding another issue/quirk/problem/mistake/flaw that we need to lean in to offering love to? Are we doing this when we are 90 no matter what? Or is there a way to get to the point of loving all of it?

I have to remember that even though I feel immersed in emotions and negative self talk, that doesn’t mean I am not growing and learning and moving forward. It doesn’t mean I am backpedaling or stuck, or incapable or wrong. It means maybe that there is another level that I can work through to be a better version of me.

Parenting Manifesto

Oh my gosh have you guys seen this? Maybe I am late to the game, but I just stumbled on this a couple weeks back. New plan! I’m going to print this (or write it up myself) for the house. What a wonderful way to live and parent. Ahhhh! I love love love it, and every time I read it, it makes me cry. I’d love to hear your thoughts… .xo Jax

parentingmanifesto

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