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.

 

I need a Change NOW

These past couple of weeks have proven to be some of my most difficult. Probably ever in my life. But through them, like icicles glimmering in the sunset, there are always nuggets of realizations and moments of discovery. This time is no different. I guess what gets me through the tough times is knowing without a doubt that there is SOMETHING for me to learn.

Something for me to deepen as a human.

Something that I may have missed before but that I am now ready to learn. 

 

So here goes.

The thing that has by far taken up most of my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy right now is BEING A STEPMOM. I know I know I’ve written about it a lot lately. I’ve done google searches and researched books that could maybe help me feel more empowered, more at peace, more in a place of joy. And yet most of what I read is pretty depressing. I mean it’s nice to see that I’m not along, but there isn’t a lot of ACTION ITEMS to try, which is what I am truly craving.

The truth is, I haven’t liked who I am lately. I’ve felt so tired and annoyed and irritated and quite honestly stuck. It’s a horrible feeling, and because there is probably nothing I dislike more than feeling like a victim, I know there is a way out.

There is always a path to empowerment, I just need to find it. 

This weekend was another one of those hard times. I spent most of it in tears, and exhausted from attempted to guide, and teach, and ask questions, and create plans, etc. etc. etc. and I’m left buzzing around from one thing to the next completely drained and unhappy. I don’t like feeling angry. I’m so sick of being upset and near tears so much of the time. This isn’t the way I want to be, and I know that my core is not.

Things need to change and I am so so so ready for it.

One thing I have learned from past experience is that the CHANGE I’m talking about needs to come from me. It doesn’t work to be waiting around for the ex wife to change, or the kids to change or the situation to change. They all have their own agenda and course to run.

The change NEEDS to come from me. 

But what is it? Hmmm…
I know I can meditate more.
I know there are a handful of things that I probably need to let go of.
I know I can’t do everything.

But how do I make these adjustments? 

Amidst all these questions running through my brain, I got this funny little realization. Perhaps it’s the title that is screwing me up the most. Since I’ve titled myself as a MOM, and the kids STEPMOM/BONUS MOM, there is instantly this pressure to do everything I can to encourage!  To shape! To question! To inspire! To lead! To guide!

Is it the word, MOM?

Though when I say it to myself I feel full, powerful, maternal, warm, and like I have a place in this world. But what comes out is burning weights of pressure.

If the kids don’t learn their manners, it’s my fault. If the kids still don’t have goals, or interests, I didn’t do something right. If the kids are horrible at time management, I must not have carved out time to teach them. If the kids are lazy, I screwed up.

I have just realized the terrible voices that run through my mind all. day. long. No wonder I’m exhausted. No wonder I have this anger hiding inside my body. No wonder I’m feeling small and yucky and not enough.

I was realizing all of this after my husband pretty much required me to go out to the garage to meditate and paint. Both of these are things that I love and center me, but usually when the kids are here, I have a difficult time doing them.

Anyway, after a good hour of Jackie time, I realized something else. Though it’s obvious I need to make ME wayyyyyyyyyyyy more important than I have been. In fact, I need to be the first one that gets attention. I also realized that I don’t need to say the word ‘MOM’ to myself. It’s fine whatever the kids see me as, but to me,… I can be just Jackie.

If I am just Jackie, then I get the FREEDOM to show up as me. NOT as someone that needs to teach them or guide them every minute. NOT every second should be a teaching moment anyway. What if we are just a couple of souls that are hanging out in this lifetime learning from each other?

What. Woa. This just took the pressure way off.

Now, I still see myself as a MOM, but what if I am more of a universal mother, NOT NECESSARILY THEIR MOM?

I walked back into the house, and noticed right away the change in the energy. I felt a desire to chat with them and laugh and it felt easy.

I was being Jackie.

I let go of the PRESSURE to do anything else. The kids and I hung out and watched Project Runway. Ah! It felt so much easier and smooth, and we were chatting and discussing the whole time. I felt myself being interested in their observations and enjoying myself the way I am with anyone else.

I know everyone has a way that works best for them, but this might actually be mine. I’m seeing that even if I had my own kid, the pressure to BE SOMEONE’S MOM, can be overwhelming. And yet, they are on their own journey just like we are. They are here for their own reasons, and maybe I’m only here to softly guide and continue along my path side by side. I don’t know, I haven’t worked all this out yet, but it definitely feels better, and I like just being Jackie.

Live Your Truth They Always Say

I am in the middle of an interesting situation and had some thoughts about the concept of ‘living our truth.’

This is something that we always teach our children, remind our friends of when they have forgotten, and tell ourselves under our breath when life gets a little crazy,…
Live your truth. Live your truth. Live your truth. No one else is going to look out for you, so you must live your own truth.

Though I stand behind that 100%, I am suddenly in the middle of a predicament with a client. What my heart wants is now different than what she wants.

What do I do?

Do I stand up for who I know I am and the work I know I can do and say no to her?

Or…

Do I see that maybe the Universe wants me to push myself beyond my own limitations?

 

In the past, there were plenty of times that a creative situation didn’t SEEM like I would be ‘living my truth,’ so I bailed. I straight up walked away. Though I thought I was fearlessly standing up for myself in the face of possibly losing myself, what if I also didn’t give myself a chance to learn something new about life, or myself?

It just sort of struck me that if I only LIVE MY TRUTH, and only get involved in projects, people, experiences that I 100% KNOW for a fact will be amazing, how will I grow? Also when has anything, anything in life worked out completely the way we think it will?

Uh never.

Sometimes things work out better, but they are never exactly like we have them in our brain.

What is comfortable for me, may not be the best way for me to always grow. I want to learn more about myself, always, I truly do. So this realization that only moving forward when I can see the WHOLE path and it resonates with me FULLY AND COMPLETELY, doesn’t actually make so much sense.

So I am keeping my heart open. I realize I might have accidentally stepped into some uncharted (and currently undesired) territory, but I’m going to trust that it’s here to teach me something.  Maybe it’s to not try and have all the answers all the time, or let go of control, or play my way through it, or trust intuition. Lets be honest there are any number of LESSONS I could have lined up to learn. But for me, the important thing is to always be learning. Even if I hate this new situation. At least I said yes and put myself out there, and finished what I started.

What are your thoughts on sticking to your TRUTH versus allowing the Universe to sometimes guide? Do you go for that? Or does that feel like giving in?

Also, for me I am realizing that it’s not about the answer that I decide to give, yes or no, to this project. It’s only about the intention. I could say YES and then hold a grudge and feel totally put upon. Or, I could feel my anger and sadness, release them, and then say YES because I am ready for a new unexpected experience. In both instances I SAID YES but the last one is way more empowered. I know that when I have felt my feelings fully, I can move forward with a clear head.  I am going to take my time working through all these feelings so my answer can come from a strong, powerful, authentic place.

 

 

Answers are Sometimes Hidden Gems

I’m sitting here on a Tuesday earlish afternoon and thinking about trust. It’s so funny how when things are going great or even well, trust isn’t much to really think about. But what about when things are rocky? That’s the real test.

You know when you’re in the right place at the right time but you aren’t sure of all the logistics? When you don’t see how the pieces are going to possibly fit together?

Most people freak out.

Ahhh! I don’t have all the answers! Ahhh! I’m not in control. I can’t do this!

This is:
scary or
hard or
daunting or
NEW and I want to run away!

I think where I am definitely seeing this show up the most right now is trusting that there is

ALWAYS A SOLUTION.

Always. I’ve struggled in the past with thinking in black and white, it’s either all this or all that,…etc. And yet the older (and hopefully wiser) I get, I am realizing more and more that

LIFE ISN’T LIKE THAT.

I think life, in all situations has solutions that are these hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Sometimes we may need to step away and take care of our basic needs before we can see them. But they are always there, lingering in the shadows ready to be revealed if we are open to jumping and trusting.

I’m being tested a lot regarding many new mom responsibilities with my step kids and cray cray stuff coming up  in regards to my husband’s ex-wife. Lately I feel like I’m barely coming up for air. It’s scary and a lot of work and I have a lot of feelings to work through , oh and by the way, where has my own time gone??

But I really do believe there are a lot of hidden gems along the way for me to experience as well.

I’m expecting to become better at trusting the universe, but also:

time management,
patience,
being present,
remembering the purpose,
remembering my purpose,
making sure that taking care of me is most important,
feeling my feelings, and
knowing that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed because I know I know I know that there will be solutions right around the corner.

My Life as a Bonus Mom

This all used to be really hard. In my head, these two little beings already had a mom and a dad and I was this new person swimming somewhere in the middle of everything. I didn’t know what I was doing and constantly felt like I didn’t have a place.

For so long I did not see myself as a mother. I felt like more like an imposter, a projected image of what I thought I should be and yet having no clue at all. I also felt that they would never love me as much as their ‘real parents.’

I was embarrassed that ‘real’ parents would see me as a fake mom or that I just couldn’t possibly understand what it means to be someone’s mother.

But I held on.
I breathed.
I asked for help.
I believed deep inside that this must be for a reason. I must be here for a reason.

And then, fast forward 5+ years and here I sit a completely changed woman.

Without a doubt, I have become a mother.

I have rocked both of them when they have been in tears.
I tell them no, respectfully.
We have worked through some really really tough situations together.
Sometimes I have to remember to be kind.
They roll their eyes when I sing 80’s ballads at the top of my lungs.
There are moments when they are upset and needing to hear something that will help. I open my mouth and pray that I will show up.
I fiercely stand up for them.
I am learning to be more patient.
I hold their hands and remind them I will always love them no matter what.
I teach them consciously but they teach me unconsciously far, far more.
My intention is to truly see them as best as I can. And when I’ve done that, I will learn how to see them even better.

I had no idea I had what it took to be a mother and yet here I am. And you know what? It doesn’t matter at all anymore that they already have a mom. Who says one mother is enough anyway?

Every single day, hard days or easy, I thank the Universe and God for this family. My ‘place’ had been waiting for me all along, and there is no ‘place’ in the world I would rather be.

Doodle Ideas

I’ve been leafing through my art journal for inspiration for painting this gaga pit. Here are a couple of ideas that I’m going to springboard off of for the project. I love to draw with tiny black pens, but I’ll be PAINTING instead. Not just painting, but LARGE AND IN CHARGE PAINTING. Can I do it? Hmmmm Actually having some ideas helps me wrap my head around the project.

Yes, I can do this. Breathe Jackie.

SOUL

Ah! I’m back! 2 vacations, so much change personally, and now here I am. It feels like a lifetime ago that I actually sat down to WRITE. There is so many cool leanings and inspirations and aha moments that I WANT to jot down here, but I need to remember to chill out. I don’t need to do it all in one day. I’ve got time. As long as I’m being dedicated and diligent, there is always time. So… what do I write about first?

*******DRUMROLL*****

Ooooo! I know! This is something that I have AVOIDED writing about on this blog. It just wasn’t the right time to open up freely about it. See, that’s another lesson I’ve learned.

Even when I’m excited about something, that doesn’t mean it’s the right time, space, or place to talk about it. HA! Sounds like such a simple realization but it’s huge. I’m usually bursting like a volcano with news, so it takes a lot to HOLD BACK. Which is exactly what I’ve done.

I haven’t written much about my step kids. I don’t know why exactly, but here goes. My step son is this amazing techie kid that has this incredible brain for computers. However the PUBLIC schools he’s been in have not been helpful. He doesn’t learn by sitting still and taking notes. I can’t stand that they keep trying to get him to comply, to be more like him, to learn in the ways that they teach. I’ve known public school wasn’t working for him for awhile, and it’s been devastating to watch him time and time again struggle not only with the work in school but seeing his self worth take such a toll as well.

If he were my SON (my actually son son) I would have changed his school years ago, but because he’s not exactly, I had felt like my voice just didn’t have a chance. Two years ago my husband and I attempted to move him into a different school, but his mother wouldn’t have it. I was broken-hearted. I had done so much work on finding an environment that would (hopefully) work better for him. But she flat out refused. It took me a long time to work through that.

Fast forward to this year. We went at things very differently. My hubby and I have both changed in so many ways, and one of them has been to become much more firm in what we believe. But be able to do it in a loving, kind way. We were able to have a conversation with my son’s mom, and she finally HEARD. I can’t believe she finally got it, after all these years! And the funny thing is, is that we had thought SHE was the problem. In reality, we were all involved in the dynamic. It’s taken us growing into who we are to be able to stand strong, that provided the foundation for her to say ‘Okay lets move him.’

After 4 months of meditation and prayers and research and phone calls, and many many many school visits, I was constantly wavering between anxiety, and stress and fear that she would change her mind or that we wouldn’t find the right school and he’d have to just go back to where he was last year. I put a lot on my shoulders, probably more than I should. It felt very personal to me because I had also felt misunderstood in my time in school. So I think little Jackie was getting a chance to possibly be healed as well.

But then, in the middle of all of it, a miracle happened.

We got a small lead of a new school opening up called SOUL Charter School. It was like a little crack in a window pane, something I could have ignored, but I didn’t. Instead, I thought, ‘What the heck, what do we have to lose? Lets check it out. With a name like SOUL, this has to at least be interesting.’
So I brought up the website.

All at once I saw in front of me exactly what my hubby and I had STATED we wanted for our son. There it was plain as day. Ah!!! And! They were ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR 7TH GRADE. Just like that it was there in front of us, just what we wanted. So I filled out the application right away and crossed my fingers.

After attending the parent meeting and talking to the co-founders, we were both buzzing. The schools intention is to focus not only on teaching academics, but also on EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, SOCIAL SKILLS, AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. They even have courses on becoming an ENTREPRENEUR. Woa. What if school doesn’t need to be a horrible place where everyone feels mistreated and misunderstood? What if it can inspire the joy of learning and teach inclusion and taking risks and that we all have unique talents? This is what the founders talked about! Ah!

This was it. We both knew it, but we had one more hurdle. The ex-wife needed to be on board. Besides the fact that I was completely bursting at the seams with so much joy, I had to keep it under rap. I had to keep it logical. So my hubby and I wrote up straight information for his ex-wife. I actually left out my emotion, can you believe it? ahahhaha It was a really hard exercise. We wrote it up and sent it off.

I felt sick and scared and a little hopeful. Well, a lot hopeful but that was only from the constant meditations and feeling that we had the Universe on our side.

Anyway, we were visualizing her wanting this school. We were visualizing and feeling how nice it would be to have some ease where we weren’t convincing her of anything.

And then it happened. She said, “I think SOUL is the way to go. Can we get him into that one?”

I can’t even describe the feelings I had when my husband told me those words. I just cried. All this time and energy and years and pain and knowing without a doubt that something needed to done, all of it FINALLY PAID OFF. We will now be able to do this.

I don’t think it’s sunk in even yet. I feel so so so very honored and grateful for this opportunity to be involved in a new school with an entirely different message and focus. To have a curriculum that can be tweaked for every student with teachers that genuinely want kids to love learning. And we get to do this, together. I have so much respect for my sons mom, that she trusted us enough to do the research and that she’s willing to give up control and take a risk. Because anything that we don’t have all the answers to is a risk.

So I just have to say this: If anyone in your family lives in the San Diego area and is struggling in a regular public school, and you don’t know where to turn, please check this out. The school is starting with 7th and 9th grade, but each year they will be adding a grade, so it’ll ultimately be a 7th-12th grade school. There is still space available! Ah!! There are still parent nights and space for your kids. I think we owe it to them to have a place where they feel celebrated and validated and want to learn more about themselves and the world.

Here is the website below if you’re interested:

http://soulcharterschool.org/
https://www.facebook.com/soulcharterschool/

 

Power of the Restart

I woke up feeling lethargic and blah. I feel like the past couple of weeks have been a lot of fun, but I’m not moving forward in my LIFE. Everything feels stagnant and sort of sad. I had been doing really well for the first 3.5 months of this year, but mixed with a lot of family hurdles, birthdays and travel, I’ve been feeling a little off track. Or rather a LOT off track.

As my hubby and I ventured out on our morning hike, we were both feeling stuck in this thick haze.

Here were some of our yucky thoughts:

Where is my motivation?

I feel so behind with all the goals I set for myself.

I just want to go back to bed, I don’t want to face any of this right now.

My body is too tired.

I want to paint, but I know I need to clean the house and do laundry as well. There isn’t enough time for it all.

I feel overwhelmed.

Does this look familiar? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traveling, and taking a break from everyday life. But something happens when I’ve had too much of a break. I start to feel like I am DOING NOTHING and that’s a horrible feeling.

Now all those feelings may really be there, they aren’t illusions,.. but they ARE just feelings.

I can restart.

I already had some nice goals in place awhile back, so I can start over and rediscover them. Why not? What if it’s that easy? There’s no sense in being mad at myself for where I am at. That’s not going to help anything.

Today can be the restart day, even though it’s Friday midday before a long weekend, I can still begin getting back on track.

I just realized something else, I don’t even need to DO anything to get back, it’s only a mindset. And I can change my mind. I have that power. I don’t have to do anything except be willing to reconnect.

So today is that! Today I restart, reevaluate, reconnect, recharge and recommit into the last part of May! I’m feeling better already. Ah!

S

 

 

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

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