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 More

I appreciate being able to work things out with my relationships.

I appreciate recognizing that I can improve my confidence.

I appreciate learning lessons everyday.

I appreciate all the gifts that continuously come into my life.

I appreciate the silence.

I appreciate that my kitten knows when I get up in the morning that it is our meditation time.

I appreciate watching this beautiful hummingbird flutter in front of me.

I appreciate trusting that my emotions are all safe to feel.

I appreciate my bravery.

I appreciate that it’s okay wherever I am emotionally/mentally/physically.

I appreciate having a really awesome morning workout.

I appreciate allowing the tears to come out.

I appreciate a hot bath.

I appreciate good rest.

I appreciate that I am learning to trust my intuition better than ever.

I appreciate knowing that my body is doing the best it can.

I appreciate being capable of love.

I appreciate being loved.

I appreciate being ready to work through issues.

I appreciate my willingness to be vulnerable.

I appreciate my desire to show up for myself, for people I love, for strangers.

I appreciate leaving small gifts for random people to find.

I appreciate the slight rustling of trees in the breeze.

I appreciate the smell of my kittens when I stick my nose in their fluff.

I appreciate tiny beautiful moments that make up a day.

 

Making Art

Sometimes it’s like crawling into a dark cave that I’ve found. I have my backpack and flashlight, and I’m totally by myself. I am elated! My heart pumping, my hands a little shaky, my body is buzzing with electricity. I can literally taste this journey! Ahhh!!

After awhile of joyfully exploring, my flashlight suddenly goes out and I am alone in the dark. The darkness is unexpected. I don’t know why it always is, but it is. At first, it’s fine. My heart skips a beat, but then I calm. I am sure it was just a small mishap.

But the light doesn’t go back on, and panic consumes me. Instead of allowing it to bleed through me, I fight it. I bang my flashlight against the wall, I jump up and down screaming for help. But nothing happens. I am alone.

After a bit, I start to walk forward with no light. The excitement of a new creation, of discovering a hidden world has been put on hold, because it’s all about survival now. I can’t see one foot in front of me, so every step is a moment of trust.

I survived. I am still here, but I’m growing tired. I long for a piece of clarity, a tiny aha moment, maybe an ounce of belief. As I rub my eyes, a dim light slowly begins simmering through the flashlight.

I can see! I can see! Even if it’s vague and diluted, it’s there!

My heart starts beating faster and faster as I fill with relief and then joy and finally passion. This unbelievable passion. I galloping in the darkened cave.

“I can do anything,” I whisper as tears sting my eyes.

It’s like everything in the world is making sense. I can do this! I feel my mind sharpening and my body is electric. Everything is right, everything is beautiful. The cave walls seem to shine with iridescent colors, beckoning me to continue.

But suddenly the light goes out again.

What? This can’t be! I knew where I was going! What happened?

“Okay Jackie you can do this, you did it before.” I say out loud. And then I wait, expecting the light to go on. But it doesn’t.

So I trudge forward once again, deep in the blackness, holding the walls to keep myself from falling.

Now this is the part where I used to sit down in the cave waiting for death, or if I wasn’t too far in, I’d turn around and go back home.

This is again where it is scary and uncomfortable.

But I’m not leaving this time.

When I close my eyes, for a split second, I saw the end of the tunnel! I swear it was there, lit up with warmth. I need to keep moving forward until I see it for real.

The light will go on again to guide me, right?
If so, when?

Regardless,… I will keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other. Focusing on the image in my head, stamped on my heart. I can follow that.

I can trust what I see inside.

Without My Art Journal

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my art journal is a bit of a safety net for me. I feel SAFE taking risks on it. It’s fluid and playful and scribbling and messy and yet I get a chance to be a bit daring and then I can close the book and no one has to look at it.
I’ve known for a long time that the freedom I feel from ‘playing’ as I call it, in my art journal NEEDS to come out on actual pieces. If I want to show anything ever, I would like to be more comfortable with myself so that I can just make something without the journal. Something that has the same playful, effortless feel as working in that book.

It’s starting to get easier.

Lately I’ve been in the middle of a lot of little things OUTSIDE of the art journal. Yessss. This one I started out a bit cautiously. I could feel the apprehension building in my hands and arms as I worked. But when I have my art journal open close by, I’m reminded that I can create, I am an artist, and I just need to trust and relax. The more I worked, the more I began listening to those little intuitive hits that always bubble up when I’m working in the journal. I began relaxing into it. It felt so amazing to conquer that! I can feel easy and light no matter what or how I am creating. I can feel confident about myself and what I am doing. Ahhhh!
Ah! So so so appreciative of all the ideas that are spilling over in my brain. I am loving experiencing each and every one of them!

Sending you all love and joy on your creative journey!

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.

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.

Gaga Pit Galore!

My attempt to write in this blog every single day hasn’t quite been working out. ahahhah But I think the minute that I get hard on myself, I need to remember that I haven’t quite taken all the other things on my list into consideration. And! On top of that, I can adjust my goals at anytime. If they aren’t reachable at this exact moment, that’s okay, lets tweak them.

Something really exciting happened over the last couple of weeks. I know a woman that founded a private school. I don’t know her well, but she came to my first Creative Women workshop and I connected with her a little bit. She told me that she’s got a gaga pit at the school that the kids love, and she’d like to HAVE IT PAINTED.

Whhhhhhhhat.

Normally I would have listened to that sadly familiar, mean little voice inside that said things like, “You’re not good enough for this project…’ or ‘You never finish things, how could you possibly commit to this,…’ or ‘You’ve never done anything this big, there’s no way you can do it well.’

But I decided not to.

It’s not that I didn’t HEAR the voice, I most certainly did. But I didn’t hear it as the truth, I heard it for what it was.

It was fear.

It was the voice of a frightened little Jackie trying her best to protect me. That’s how my fear generally looks to me, when I really give it a chance to be seen.

Why is our fear there anyway? Is it always to protect us? For me I would say usually, yes. It knows situations I’ve been in over the years that were risky and she’s gunna show up again and again to warn me to STAY SAFE.

Now if I remember that that is all she’s doing, I can be loving towards the voice. I can listen for a minute, and really feel her inside of me. The angst, the anxiety, the fear,.. but then it’s up to me what I do next. Lately I’ve been sending her love and thanking her for protecting me, but that I’m not going to let her call the shots. And then I go out and take a risk.

Back to the story. Normally I would have put off calling this person to discuss the gaga pit because the voices would have been too loud telling me not too. Reminding me I’m not the person she wants. But this time I called her right away and arranged a date to meet. After I saw the project I knew it was for me. It was so wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy out of my comfort zone and yet there was this funny little glimmer of joy that kept creeping up.

What if I’m ready? 

The gaga pit is an 8 sided octagon that is 15 feet across. It’s used for a game where an entire class can fit inside the walls of the pit. Each side (panel) is about 4 feet x 3 1/2 feet. Now I have never painted on something so large in my life, but I wanna try. I believe I can.

The funniest part of this is that I would do this for FREE. No matter how many hours I may spend sitting on a little stool tediously painting each panel, I would do it for nothing. Ha! In fact I’m honored that someone is allowing me to ‘play’ with the pit. ahahha It doesn’t seem fair for someone to pay me for doing something that I will just devour with joy.

Anyway! This is the next project! Can you believe it? I can’t wait to get started, and even though I have moments of fear still seeping in from time to time, I am trusting that I. Can. Do. This. And then I will. 🙂

 

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/

 

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. 

 

 

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