What A Freakin’ Year

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Good Evening Sunshine and a Happy New Year!

Did you know that today is my favorite day of the year?
It’s the day when we ALL get a reset.
When the whole world sets off on a mission to dream bigger and be better individuals.
And our collective energy for GROWTH radiates everywhere we turn.

It’s basically the day when everyone around me is as obsessed with their personal development as I am.

2019 is going to be a tough year to follow as it wasn’t just any year for me. It was the BEST year yet. Not because epic things happened to us in our career or marriage. But simply because this year, I found what I was looking for!

Let me backup…

Last December, I was in one of the most unexplainable funks I’ve ever slipped into as an adult. It was a tough year no doubt losing my dad, but this sadness felt different than grief. It was almost like what I imagine a mid-life crisis feels like…deep confusion and overwhelm for the life I had been creating and busting my ass to live out.

I knew some serious changes needed to take place moving into the New Year. Without having any real understanding of where I needed to go next in life, I relied on the one thing that’s ALWAYS worked 100% of the time. No matter how long I’ve been away. No matter how deep the funk:

Exercise.

After falling off that wagon for some time, on December 30th, 2018 I joined a new gym, and on January 1st, 2019 I took a life-changing yoga class. The kind where you cry like a baby and feel an undeniable sense of joy, confusion, and relief, all while trying to balance on one wobbly foot with the rest of your limbs far from the ground.

It was in this class where I finally figured out what I desperately craved:

Contentment.

I was so tired of chasing my life and my dreams, never feeling like I was able to just sit and enjoy all that I had built already.

It felt like I could never just be satisfied and grateful.

So CONTENTMENT would become my theme for 2019.

For a year, I worked to balance my goal-getting personality (which I love and never want to change), with calming-the-f*&k-down!

I did this re-adaptation process in phases.

At the time, it felt like I was just winging it. But now as I reflect back, I can see that there were clear steps taken in order to feel successful in this venture.

Phase 1: Getting Real with My Decision Making.

I first had to get really honest with my EGO. I learned to tell the difference between a good decision and an ego driven one. This was essential because it allowed me to finally see where I ACTUALLY wanted to go next as opposed to where I thought I was SUPPOSE to go next. If this struggle sounds all too familiar to you, I wrote an entire blog about this topic that you might be beneficial.

Phase 2: Keep it Curious.
Shoutout to my brother for trying to teach me this concept years before I really understood its immense value.

I stopped assuming I knew what I liked and what I didn’t like, and instead I began retesting fixed-ideas I had been carrying for years (if not a lifetime). This was a fun child-like process where I got to reengage with things I hadn’t tried in a very long time. Like bike riding and taking a storytelling class at Dallas Comedy House.

I also got to engage in new adventures I had never attempted before, like a ropes course a million feet in the air (slight exaggeration but only by a little), and running outside, which transpired into running a freakin half-marathon.

Now, I didn’t like EVERYTHING I tried, but I found so much joy in the exploration and curiosity of it all 100% of the time!

This process also help me find my golden mantra that I now use on a daily bases (which you are more than welcome to steal):

FULL OF FEAR, DOING IT ANYWAY.

This little phrase pushed me past tons of ideas and limitations I had put on myself somewhere along the way, and helped combat many of my excuses and fear-based blocks.

So, with no more doubts about the REASONS behind my decisions (aka no longer letting my ego have an opinion),
Curiosity to explore anything that seemed interesting,
And the ability to do scary things

I discovered my last big piece.

Phase 3: Finding Clarity.
See it turns out, when you actually commit to working your way through all of the clutter in your head, the truth starts to revel itself. Sometimes it’s a beautiful truth that you want to run right into the arms of, and sometimes it’s a painful one. But most often, it’s just a wake-up call to do a little course correcting.

I realized that I needed to shake things up and develop new skills and talents far beyond the full-time musician I had proudly identified as over the last 5 years. It’s time for me to add even more contribution to the world!

Figuring out what exactly that contribution is and how to best bring it to life has been no easy task.

The plan has changed about a dozen times, but I welcome the exploration of it all because I now know the feeling I’m chasing.

And that to me is contentment. It’s the ability to feel satisfied and comfortable with the very process of working towards our goals and our dreams, rather than waiting for certain milestones to occur first!

It still blows my mind that one word like contentment could be so transformative. It’s made me realize the power that words and language have on us for both the good and the bad.

It’s also put the pressure on to figure out my theme for 2020! 😬

I’m diving into that next week.

So here we all are, at the starting line of a ripe new year and decade, running no one else’s race but our own.

How are you feeling about it? Have you spent much time dreaming of what could be and set some new expectations for yourself to start activating said dreams?

Perhaps you’re still unsure.

That’s ok.

I certainly was this very time last year.

Which brings me to my last point…

If you aren’t sure of what you want or where to go next,
go back to what you know that’s GOOD for you!

Do you like hiking? Playing your guitar? Reading with a hot latte? Researching at a coffee shop? Cooking with music in the air? Taking a group fitness class? Rearranging your house? Framing photos? Organizing your closet? Free writing(🙋🏻‍♀️)?

Then do it!
No, Seriously – It makes no difference if you haven’t done it in years or if you can’t do it consistently. Who cares, just do it… take the next few minutes (you’re clearly not busy if you’re still reading this) to pick one thing and within the next 48 hours, commit to doing that singular activity that you know you will enjoy once you start!

There is boundless power in making a promise with a due date to feed your soul with something that feels good – and doing it.

You’ll know where to go next. Trust me.

Welcome to the 20’s. We’re here, so let’s make it matter!
❤️ Jackie

P.S. You know once you pick your good-for-you-activity, you HAVE to reply to this email and tell me!! 🙏🏻

P.P.S. You know once you tell me, I’ll MAKE SURE you get it done! 🙋🏻‍♀️

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