You Have It All.

I am obviously on a goals kick in my writing right now. 

I am sitting on my front porch surrounded by pine trees and potted plants (a new obsession, total plant lady millennial stereotype a la this article) in Colorado with the mountains gracing my horizon view and a big belly with our second daughter on the way and a home to call our own. 

One of my childhood best friends came to visit a few weeks ago and as she walked up my front porch stairs, she said, 'Wow Jacki, how does it feel to have it all?".

I chuckled and nearly scoffed. What!?

I was in the midst of a weird month with money drama keeping me up at night, scarcity beliefs creating anxiety in my body and adult acne on my skin and unnecessary snap judgements towards my husband. Messy on verge of internal shit show, to say the least. 

And her words caught me off guard.

Way off guard.

And those words also caught me deep in the muck of my own bullshit. You know that mental bullshit we craft out of old stories, old dramas and that space where we feel comfortable but not great? 

Right there.

Because damn, she is so right. I have a f*cking beautiful life. Like stellar. You just read about the front porch, mountains and all the plants, come on now. Add a hot husband and babies and I have zero to complain about. 

And I start to think about how I got here. What twists, turns, teachers, dreams, goals, big conversations with others and with my own self that had to take place and risks and all the failures and celebrations that got me to this front porch spot. 

And I realize that goals are the key for me. I set goals as a way to create the life I want, as a way to ask for what I want of myself, of the World. I dream on vision boards so that I can see it, what could be possible if I stepped out of limiting beliefs and into that dream space of marriage, babies, entrepreneurship, happiness, avocados and dark chocolate are on there, too....

And I know goals get a bad wrap at times. They can create unnecessary pressures, a perfectionist model of thinking or an all too easy way to label ourselves as 'failures'. But honestly, that is our own bullshit creeping in again.

Goals can also create stepping stones, possibility and move us into action towards the life you want. 

If you can define and see the why of your goals. THE WHY OF GOALS. 

And I realized that in the midst of my downward spiral a couple of months ago, I was sitting on some logistical goals that did not excite me. I was actually in a space where I was somewhat goal-less and rather complacent. And that is okay, some days/months I do not have a clear vision or super great goals. 

And yet, the times my goals are clear,

The times that I am pushing myself beyond my comfort zone,

The times I am scaring myself a bit to a life I didn't even know possible - because you know goals are never cookie cutter in how we get there or even in how they actually come to fruition - all the twists and turns and lessons we have to learn to get 'there',

This is when my goals are most alive.

This is when I am most alive. 

THIS is when I have it all, even if my bank account is a little scary in a moment, or my health goals might have taken a back seat for a moment or my adult acne is flaring. I am alive. I am moving forward, failing forward, celebrating forward. And I have choice always to set new goals, speak them up (up being to Universe, up being in my mind, up being out of my mouth to people who support me) and live it bold. 

What goals are you speaking right now?

I am meddling and crafting a program all about speaking our goals. Just wrapped the first beta test with an incredible group and more to come in July with two more beta offerings. 

Stay tuned.

Keep goaling.

 Photo X  Matt Meyer

Photo X Matt Meyer

The Grit of Goals: Put a Date On It

I speak with a lot of people about goals. It is pretty much 'my thing'. And when asking people about their dreams, their desires, their big goals, we often time run into this exact follow up question:

When? When is that happening?

ON CUE: the eyes widen. Look side to side to avoid my excitement. A bit of the shoulders start to creep up to their ears, a change of position in the chair and this idea of adding a deadline feels like...well, death. 

The idea of a date on the dream is too much pressure, a set up for failure or creates anxiety. 

I so get it.

I think about this when I was prepping to bring my first child into the World. Her due date was set for Earth Day, April 22. And you know what, I LOVED THAT DATE. I was like oh we can play the 'Earth Angel' song or call her our little 'earth muffin'. How fun. And then, that date came and went and my little girl stayed put.

Mind you, I was ginormous. Uncomfortable. And ready and actually attached to that date, that song and the nickname. 

So, as you can imagine, I got mad.

And then the anger turned to disappointment.

And then back to anger. 

Similar to that of goals when they do not happen just when you thought they would or as they were placed beautifully on your goal sheet. (Psst, do you have a goal sheet or goal board? 

So why place dates? Why even bother?

Well, here is the deal? I found the date creates reality for me. When I share a goal out loud without a date, I feel this pull to 'whenever' or 'someday'. For me, that creates inaction, stagnancy and this notion that I don't really care. This is, of course, personally speaking and how I rock my goal style. This might not be how it feels for you.

However, I have learned that when it comes to my goal style, I need some grit in there to light a sweet fire under my sweet butt. I need a date on there to create action and honestly, to make it feel real.

And, a big AND. There is space for grace when you set the date as a goal, a desired outcome on time. You get to collaborate with TIME. Similar to that of my missed due date, did I give up the goal? Haha, no. That baby was going to come eventually, on her own time. And I feel this way about the goals that really matter, they are going to happen because they call to us, they itch, they keep showing up in our dreams or psyche or 'what if' thoughts. The space for grace is where we can reflect, move the date up or back and see that our life is dynamic, ever changing and not always on the exact time frame we write down.

NOTE: I do say, careful with language like 'it has to be this way OR ELSE'. That 'OR ELSE' can really get us into trouble and actually throw our entire goal sheet out the window.

Let's talk some of my goal examples:

I always set goals in the affirmative present tense with a by when date on there!

I birth our second daughter into this World by May 23, 2018. 

I speak the goalSPEAK motivation speak 15 times this year by December 28, 2018. 

I sign up for a YIN yoga training workshop by December 25, 2018.

I launch three new creative beta goals programs November 1, 2018. 

Ohhhh snap, those dates feel good and real and on purpose and so alive. Am I attached to them, nope. Am I so committed because they feel fun, so me and on purpose, YES! This is where goals come to life for me when I start to visualize how they look, when I speak them out loud and see how they vibrate in my body and specifically my spine. 

What are your thoughts on Goals and Grit, add some of that sweet Grace? Can you set a date and start to move towards you goals? Can you be so open, not attached and yet so committed to what you will learn along the way and the grit and grace it takes to get there?

Let me now how it goes, how it feels and what you see!

Goals Alive! XO, Jacki 

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On Goal Failure

I posted this on my Instagram recently....

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...With this long (really long) caption below about failing forward in my goals and it resonated and I want to be in conversation and action about it way more.

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So hi. I am a goal setter. And hello, I am a goal fail-er.

You know this. 

I have a vision board literally sitting on my desk and one glued in my notebook. I have goals written and scratched out and celebrated and rejected and even forgotten then remembered. And that right there, are goals ALIVE.

I have been in deep inquiry the past few months about my own goal setting practice. Moreso because it started to feel stagnant and well, I was failing a lot. Questions like: How I set them and my own goal setting style. How I ask for help and really, how I fail and restore? How I want to teach them and coach them?

Recently I finished Gretchen Rubin's book 'The Four Tendencies', have you read it? A great read and it has an online quiz! Like a good student, I love a quiz! And yes, I just took the quiz again and got the same answer. My tendency is OBLIGER.

From Gretchen, "Obligers respond readily to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. In other words, they work hard not to let other people down, but they often let themselves down. Obligers may find it difficult to form a habit, because often we undertake habits for our own benefit, and Obligers do things more easily for others than for themselves.
For Obligers, the key to forming habits is to create external accountability."

Sound familiar? Take that quiz!

I won't lie to you, I was annoyed by my results. I wanted to be an UPHOLDER so bad. I mean, so bad!

And then, I softened into the reality and honestly, I softened into the truth of the matter. I love human contact, human connection, human accountability. 

And my goal style really is best when shared out loud, when someone is watching me or cheering me on or checking in on me. It is true. And vulnerable. And emotional. 

Sharing goals out loud is not for the faint of heart. It is real and raw and bold. 

And yet, I started to think about what happens when I don't have that accountability, that check in partner or that boss giving me a promotion or feedback to be better and I realized when I fail goals, or when I miss a date I set for myself, I feel goal shame. And then, oh man, and then the stories start to follow about how I am not good enough, smart enough, making enough money or in the right time on Earth...

It is a weird vortex, that goal shame.

And as I shared on Instagram, I came to realize that failure is part of the process. Failure is part of the goals game. It is part of what made me reach for Gretchen's book, learn more about me and see that perhaps the failure is on purpose so I can lean, ask, speak and connect even more about my goals than I have been doing. Or try a new way. 

I recently read in this amazing book (I know, another book, I am on a reading binge) on creativity called 'Wired to Create' by Scott Barry Kauffman and Carolyn Gregoire, that most creative people fail way more often than we think. Even though instagram might be tricking us not to believe that, it is the truth. The book hit a point for me when it said, and this is my understanding, that creators create, it is what they do. And they keep doing it, again and again until something sticks, rocks, works for them and the World. They don't just stop because they failed, they keep creating.

And I was like yes, duh. I have been wrapped up in this story that I have to have everything perfect or look like the perfect goal setter to even be a goal coach. A new limiting belief I have been dipping my toe in, eww. And my goals have felt, lame, small and well, forgotten.

And in reading that book and reading again and again that creators are going to create, I realized that goalers are going to goal. And they keep goaling because that is being alive, that is offering up our gifts and learning every single step of the way.

It is in that learning that putting ourselves out there and speaking our goals out loud that we create a bridge to allow others to join us, roots for us, be inspired to goal, too. This is the OBLIGER way. 

And I am creating a program around literally this. I am calling it goalSPEAK and it is about speaking our goals out loud, celebrating failure, asking for accountability or support and learning, together. 

It is in a 3 week beta phase and yes, you are invited to explore it until the full 6 month program is robust in 2019. We start this month and I would love to have you join at this amazing rate to get down and dirty with our goal practices. ALL THE DETAILS ARE HERE.

Let's learn our goal style, get in a practice of speaking our goals way out loud, fail forward and be bold, together. 

Old Friends. Old Vision.

I have had a lot of conversations lately around friendships. How friendships ebb and flow, how they change, how some are meant to be in your life for only a certain amount of time and how some you are currently transitioning out of, bringing closer, making new. 

Especially in this time now. When we move a lot...for love, for jobs, for our vision boards. When we interact online more than offline. When we don't marry our high school sweethearts anymore or go to church every Sunday.

Times. They are a-changing.

And with this conversation, I have been thinking about my friendships. The people I choose to spend my time with, share my life with and have fun adventures with and experience life's hard stuff with and celebrate with. 

I realize looking back I have had such an eclectic mix of people. From elementary to high school to college to my Hollywood life to my lululemon life to married life to Rocky Mountain life now. WOW. And some of those friends are still close, some are nonexistent, some are broken friendships and some are on pause while others feel like family.

And for some reason, I have been focusing on the broken friendships. The ones that are gone now, for whatever the reason it was that it all shifted and they are no longer in my life. Was it me? Was it them? Where can I place blame to feel better? But you know, not better. 

Of course, in this moment, I see my fair share of responsibility in the matter. And I see my fair share in the realization that it wasn't all them, I changed and thus, we changed. 

When it comes to letting go of a friendship, I have found the part that was and is hardest for me to let go of was the future I had created with that friend. The trips we might take together, how my children might call them 'Aunt' or 'Uncle', and who they would be for me down the line.

Perhaps this feeds into my big picture thinker, my right brain ways, the dreamer in me. And whoa, do I paint the picture in the future and usually it is a beautiful piece of work. Full of color, connection, adventure and so much loyalty.

And then, as if painted on glass, the image shatters. 

And you know what, that is okay. 

In letting go of friendships, I realize I have to let go of the future I had written. And take the time to feel the loss, mourn the lost vision and truly let go (and cough, most likely forgive...). And then, only then, I see I actually get to rewrite it with perhaps new characters, space for a different friend, a different 'Uncle' or 'Aunt' friend-that-feels-like-family. 

Our only constant in this life is change. When I fight this notion, I create so much stress and drama in my mind, body and my goals. If you, like me, are in transition and exploring the ebb and flow of friendships (because I believe it just might be happening at all times), it is nothing to take personally. Honor the space, honor the ebb and flow and perhaps, let that old vision go to make the space. 

It can all be in love. It can.

 Photo X  Tayler Carlisle Photography   X Sand Dunes National Park

Photo X Tayler Carlisle Photography  X Sand Dunes National Park

The Art of the Chameleon

As I have written about often, I was a shape shifter, a people pleaser, a fit the mold-er human. I did this often in friendships, at work and definitely in relationships or potential make out sessions. And some times I still do. Not the random make outs, but the shifting of personality shapes. 

Did you?

I believe there is a space for this in our lives, be it our teens or the 20s I wrote about in the last post or if you are in the thick of it now. However, there has to be a time and a place where all the chameleon-ing has taught us the lessons we need to know and we then see the choice, the truth, and the realness of who we actually are and we make the choice to honor our individuality, all our unique gifts and all our weird and amazing. 

But. How do we know?

Well, your body will always tell you when you are in alignment and when you are out of sync. It sounds a major alarm. Not that guy, alarm alarm alarm. Not that friend, alarm alarm alarm. Or hell yes that guy, peace, peace, a little sweaty palms, elation, butterflies. Or yes too her all the secrets, peace, peace, trust, connection. 

Also, your intuition. And this is a tricky one for me, as I am a known mind over matter human, so I like to force and push and prod and overanalyze versus flow, listen and feel. Trusting in the guts is something I had to learn, unlearn, relearn and am still in the process of. Your soul knows. Creating the relationship of listening is our work. Oh too woo woo for you, holler in a couple years when ready.

Lastly, there are true experiences in life that will start to almost pinball you to where you need to be. I was speaking with a friend today about rejection. Oh the glory of rejection, I actually cringe writing the word. Me and my ego, we hate rejection. I heard Jia Jang speak on rejection at a conference once and it was super enlightening, check out his TED Talk on Rejection here. Because rejection can be the protection. And what I shared with my sweet friend is in the era of chameleon life that some of us might stumble into, we are actually rejecting our true selves. So it only makes sense that rejection from friends, work and lovers would follow suit. The puzzle pieces do not fit, round peg, square hole. 

These moment of listening to our body, trusting our gut and actually being open to getting rejected are truly pointing us in the direction we can be heading, if we allow ourselves to see it that way. The perspective is clutch in that regard. You are not late. You are not a failure. Nope, you are not unloveable. Damn, listen to all that mental drama. 

I have been there, too. Hell, I was there last week.

And yet, if there is something we are not listening to, and you know exactly what I am talking about right now in this moment (yep, that, whatever your brain just went to, that is it), it will continue to show up. When we are forcing versus flowing, when we fear rejection, when we chameleon to belong and fill a void with that terrible make out session IN PUBLIC at the end of the bar, we will feel it. And it is a major practice to have the awareness and then make a new choice. 

And yet, all this time we are learning our own way to go. 

Pivot. Take a new course. Learn from your (many) rejections because holy hell, I have so many rejection stories that still make my stomach ache and my ego cringe ... in the best way. And take the time to reflect on moments you felt joy, moments you felt so alive, moments you felt home in your soul, in your body, in your being.

And let the practice be so human. We are all in it together. 

 Finding the balance in my identity. Day by day. Photo X  Tayler Carlisle Photography

Finding the balance in my identity. Day by day. Photo X Tayler Carlisle Photography

My Crazy 20s. I Made it Through.

I had a moment alone this weekend where I told my husband I was going to take a nap but the mind, well she was a-racing, so I didn't nap yet took some time with my journal. 

I sat down in this chaise lounge thing by my unlit fireplace and I listed per page age 20 through age 29. And I started to explore the moments that made up each year. To name a few....The nicknames I acquired, the boyfriend I broke up with via email before leaving to study abroad (I had reasoning, I promise), the time I wrote a tutu for my entire 22nd birthday day (get it, tutu, as in 2-2), my Hollywood life and passing out caffeinated mints to strangers in nightclubs to make extra cash, or starting my lululemon life and (over)drinking that spandex kool-aid and getting so lost again and again yet finding myself along the way, writing a blog about riding a bus in LA and getting on the cover of the LA Times for it (so crazy), all the duck face pictures (ugh), that time I got lip injections....on reality TV, getting a dog, launching my own businesses, meeting a tribe of women that have changed my life, falling in love with my husband, all the karaoke, ... SO DAMN MUCH.

Probably enough to fill a book and make me laugh, cry, scoff and want to crawl under a bed and hide foerver or stand on a mountain top and yell "I AM BADASS" all at the same time. Because wow, I got through it.

And so did you.

Or if you are seated right there in the shitshow that can be 23, you will get through it. 

I promise. 

And that is my note to you today, take a moment to look back. Look back say 10 years into the past. The many job titles you have held, or the embarrassing nicknames, the people who were there and the people who have stayed and some that have majorly left and probably for good reason, the lessons you learned and the way you handled things then versus the way you handle things now.

From this recognition of my growth, and my oh my have I grown, do I start to look forward and see how much change is possible in 5 years, 10 years, 50 years. From this place of embarrassing moments and holy shit wake up calls to hell yes, look what I did, I see that possibility and dreaming is so important.

From this place, I begin to craft a vision with no constraints and a lot of wisdom. 
And you can too. You will, too. Go create the future. 

 Roughly 23. What. In. The. Hell.

Roughly 23. What. In. The. Hell.

Perspective at a Coffee Shop.

I had my space all set up.

Computer. Donut. Coffee. Headphones. Notebook.

Ready to work at the local coffee shop and get down to business. I was nestled between a woman with her headphones on and her computer ablaze and a homeless man and his croissant and Coca-Cola can he kept adding some secret alcohol to. He wasn't very sneaky in even his sneakiest attempts. 

And this is our modern day co-working space. Isn't life so interesting?

And my phone lights up. You know I don't have it on ring, does anyone every have their phone on ring anymore? 

I answer. I listen. My face and my heart drop. I stand up, walk outside to take the rest of my call in private. I receive sad news across the line, my own tears begin to well and I pace back and forth in the couple of feet I have made my own personal phone booth.  

As the conversation ends, I take a few deep breaths and come back to my 'office space'. 

I take a seat back at my barstool. And I look around at the coffee bar and all the tables filled. Some people busy at work on their computers, some people in the midst of a meeting - who knows what for...a business deal, a friendly catch up or a job interview. My neighboring man hacking a terrible cough and eating his croissant so slowly as to stay a little longer in the warmth of the coffee shop inside. The woman next to me still tap, tap, tapping on her computer. This one guy lingering at the front to grab an open spot when it comes available, his eyeballs on scan and looking somewhat over-caffeinated. 

And I wonder what they are all feeling today?

I know I feel weighted with the news from the other line of the phone. I feel sad and almost lonely in this space, working next to him and her and they. Surrounded by humans yet staring at a screen.

And it is such a perspective shift. 

All these people. Sitting in this place. So close to one another. Churning and burning. And yet, what are they feeling today? I have no idea what news on a phone call they just got, be it this year, last week or earlier this morning. Is she going through a break up? Is he celebrating his new promotion? Do they like their job? Are they engaged...in their work, to a human, in their own life? 

Such a simple shift in my own energy that morning at the coffee shop to realize and remember that we have no idea what another is going through. Unless they choose to share it with us in a sacred exchange that is communication. And we have no idea how their heart is?

So tread lightly. 

Smile. Say hi. Be gentle. 

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Love.

I have been spending some time thinking about love. 

The sappy kind.

The cheesy kind.

The PDA kind.

I recently posted on my Instagram feed that 'falling in love with my husband began a huge shift in falling in love with myself. He showed me the way and I am so grateful'. And someone said, tell me more. 

So driving home this morning I thought about falling in love with my husband, moreso in the beginning and it ebbed to meet me in the now. We are ever-changing, ever-evolving beings so the falling in love is continuous - not past tense but ongoing. And I cried. Tears of gratitude and immense humility as this journey of love is never rainbows and unicorns. And yet it can be so cheesy and wonderful and reflective.

Chris was one of the first boys I met in college, we were both 18 and on the brink of freedom living in the dorms with no parents, a meal card and friends that bought me Smirnoff Black Cherry vodka (I just totally cringed and my stomach hurts reading that). It was a wild time and I was loud and totally amp'd and Chris was reserved, a baseball player with early practice and discipline. I adored him. A secret crush for sure and totally not our time to be lovers. So we became friends.

Chris saw me through those years of college and beyond. He knew most of the boyfriends I dated from 18 on and he took notes. We would talk about our separate love lives, me more than him because he was a bit more secretive. And we would chat on AIM late at night and he would send me music. He still does. The music, not late not chats on AIM, we upgraded early night chats on the cough by the fire.

It was years later that we finally were in the right time to start our dating life, to become lovers. How fun to say 'lovers'? And we did in the most magical of ways, as I have shared before. One of my favorite things Chris always says is that he saw all the other boys doing it wrong and the mistakes they made with me. And he always says this, 'they were all out to change you, every single one of them'. He was right, they were trying to have me fit the mold, their mold. 

And Chris said when he made his move, he loved me for me. For all my weird, for all of my many selves and for whomever I wanted to be at that time and this time and next time. He never judged me and he truly honored our differences.

I remember hearing him say that to one of our friends and gushing a bit, as you do. And I remember in those moments with Chris in the early stages starting to really embrace all my weird, all of my many true selves, my own core values and all the aspirations I had. 

And to be honest, he showed me that. He did. 

Some times, we have to let someone show us the way. Let them take us by the hand and say, try it this way. 

I often hear people talk about getting to know themselves, dating themselves before they get into a relationship. Amen, I did that for most of my early 20s. I honor that devotion to self and unraveling to truly get clear on who you are and what you want. And yet a word of caution, we are even changing beings, and if we date ourselves forever or choose to stay there too long, it can get lonely. Confession: I was so scared to fall in love with Chris, most likely because I had never truly allowed myself to fall totally in love with...me. I thought I needed more time, more excavation, more clarity.

To this day I am still falling in love with me, and Chris and my body and our home and our family and our life we have created. It is a moment to moment choice I make to keep learning, falling with grace, failing with grace, and being all in as all of me and all my weird, with grace. 

So grateful.

On 34.

Good morning birthday day.

Today, I am 34. 

Now that I have given birth, I actually see birthdays in such a new light. I think of my parents delivering me Earthside at what was something like 2am today. I feel that shock and awe that they must have felt as they were looking at me, a human they created. I have so much gratitude for them, their courage and resiliency. 

Thanks Mom & Dad. 

And I embark on 34, I took a moment last night with my husband to think about all that was 33. We deemed it the year of adulting. 33 was intense. I became a Mother at 32, however, at 33 I lovingly became 'Mama' and now 'Mommy'. There is a difference. 

I learned about balance and getting lost. And then found. Again. (and again)

I learned about deep connection while navigating a life shared online and offline. I should note, totally still navigating here with the always intention of deep connection. 

I learned about putting myself out there and asking for help. Yet again. 
And I learned how to knit. 

I learned about money and energy. Again yet in a new way.

And I learned that community, connection and building something new always takes time, patience and a permission slip to be a beginner. 

I learned that my husband, my children, my family and favorite friends are the ones I want to impress and get all the 'likes' from in all the forms. Be it hugs, kisses, text messages or trips together, this is goals alive. 

And I learned that your vision will take command, some times faster than you thought, other times ways slower than you thought. And of course, some times a complete and utter overhaul to allows for your own inner evolutions to create something you never ever had seen before. Of course. 

I learned from experience. I learned from being open. I learned from embracing growing older as truly growing wiser...while eating humble pie every other day and scoffing at some of your old habits, thoughts, beliefs and tendencies. 

As I look to this year, which feels very organized in terms of numbers as the 3 actually goes before the 4 in that order, I am excited. Chris and I will welcome our second daughter into the World and continue to expand our family and our hearts (major heart strech marks). I will speak on stages and mountains about goals setting, boundaries and bliss because this is what I love to do. My friends and I will explore together, both our ever-changing lives as Mothers, lovers and human beings doing the best we can, as well as camping outdoors and sharing deep belly laughter over dinners. I will hire a babysitter more so Chris and I have date nights...like way more. And I will trust trust trust my guts, leaning deeper in my intuition and less into my 'shoulds' and social ideals that I continue to unlearn.

So.

Happy birthday to you, self. Good job so far. Keep it up.

Love,
Jacki  

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