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/

 

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

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. 

 

 

Victoria Erickson

I just discovered this amazing poet the other day. ahhhh! Her words are so powerful! I can’t wait to get her books. Wow!

Check her out if you get a chance.

xo

Jump Scared and Grow into Brave

For years I knew I wanted to do super awesome things and for some reason I thought they were literally going to be dropped on my porch. Like someone would maybe even stop me on the side of the road and say, “Excuse me, are you Jackie? We have an exciting life for you! Just follow me!”

Obviously that didn’t happen, but I spent a lot of time WAITING FOR IT.

I knew the things I sorta kinda wanted but my FEAR was way too great to do anything physical about it.

Slowly through the years I’ve realized a bit about getting what we want. Even if we have the best intentions for receiving the life we want, but we refuse to take any risks at all,.. WE WON’T GET IT. We won’t.

If we refuse to quit the job that is draining the life out of us, or say no way to standing up for ourselves, or taking a class to learn a new skill we have really been wanting,.. if we aren’t willing to RISK, and to be BRAVE,….

WE. WILL. NOT. CHANGE.

I’m totally in my element now, making art. Making art for me, isn’t a risk, it’s a necessity. But I am DEFINITELY making sure to take little risks everyday.

Here are the risks I’ve been taking lately:

  • Writing this blog – Puts my voice out there! My innermost feelings and joys and pains. It feels vulnerable and not always that comfortable.
  • Making a Facebook business page of my art – I literally cringed when I started inviting people to like it. Ah! I feel so exposed! ughaserk!
  • Posting Doodle-a-Day photos for Instagram – I’ve never never been one to show my work, it feels like I’m being a show off. And yet, art is my heart and soul, and I’m no longer going to hide.
  • Saying I’m an artist – There’s a part of me that feels uncomfortable saying I’m an artist, and yet I know that BEING AN ARTIST sings through my veins, and so I suck it up, and say it anyway.

With each of these circumstances, my heart starts racing, my palms get sweaty, I feel nauseous and fiercely anxious. None of them are easy for me. And yet,… I know that this is where I will grow. I think back to all the times that I thought I might take a jump and then quickly replaced that thought with this one:

‘That sounds really scary, I think I’ll wait until I’m braver.’

I realize now, that we don’t just become brave. Bravery doesn’t just appear so the jump is easier.

If we jump scared, then we grow into being brave.  

New Universe

Here is a new piece I’m working on. The more I play with it, the more I like it  I kinda like the different shades of orange and blue moving together.

It feels like an intergalactic universe, where everything is connected to each other. Like life I guess. I love learning about all the energy that bounces off of us from person to person, or how intuition creeps into us from a visceral level. We are all so connected to each other and the universe. Ah!

I usually do pieces like this with only black ink, so it’s really fun to be playing with color.

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