When the struggle is real

Friday, October 7, 2016

When the struggle is real, we all have our MO. Mine:

Jump in the car and drive. I don’t know who I’m kidding…this is never really a serious option for me because I never know where to drive to and it just seems like a lot of work trying to figure it out.

Listen to sappy songs that bring back beautiful memories (Squad: Cat Stevens, Frank Sinatra).

Sit in my closet and write, because can’t a girl just sit with all of her pretty things?

In this particular instance, I went with option 3. So there I was, sitting in my coveted corner of the world, journal in hand, paging through old entries when I discovered a little love note...to myself. Here it is, the little dime-piece that I wrote three years ago.


Dear an older me,

Be calm. Give your worries to God. Love Him and know he wants the very best for you. He loves you more than you can ever imagine. (Hi God, remember me?)

Don’t do something purely because all of your friends are, probably by now, getting married or having babies. Pursue these beautiful moments on your own timeline. 

Don't judge others and live in the moment. Don’t assume your age should correlate with a job title or salary. 

Take life as it comes and let God guide your heart (and don't forget to listen). You know when something isn’t right.

Love with all your heart and trust instead of question. You will find love will enlighten and fulfill you once you let go and let it in.

Let in the sun of each new day, even if it brings unpleasant moments.

Love, love, and love some more. 

Have faith and believe. 

xo, Jacqlyn

Have faith and believe (even if you have to find it in the corner of your closet).

How to crush self-doubt

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Self-doubt and insecurity were my new BFF’s last week, following me around like I was the popular kid. They gossiped about my vulnerabilities and laughed at my confusion of the future. They were without a doubt, MEAN GIRLS. 

All of us experience less-than-stellar moments when negative self-talk eats us alive, and yet, the realization doesn’t make it any less crushing.

If a friend confessed the presence of false truths, we’d give her love, grace, and patience. So why don’t we give ourselves that in return? It’s a bad habit we need to shake, like, yesterday.

Next time, when you get caught between perception and reality, try this:

1. Make time to talk to yourself (nicely) 

2. Seek out your values. What do you value? How do you want to be perceived? I want my presence to exude charisma, intelligence, kindness, and grace. 

3. Find perspective. 
What are you beating yourself up about? Call it out, grab hold of it, and pit it up against your values. Did you approach the situation with your values? If so, you’re living the life you envision for yourself.

I had an interview last week. At some point in that meeting, my confidence got shy and my self-doubt got loud. I beat myself up over it. My ego was heartbroken and searching for answers to burning questions. Where do I fit in? Am I doing what I was meant to be doing? Did they like me?

I can’t answer those questions. I can say that I approached the situation with kindness. I worked hard in preparation. I was friendly. And I expressed gratitude in having had the opportunity. My values were all present.

We won’t always have the power to control the situation, but we do have the power to face it in the way we choose.

4. Share your struggles. Play with perspective; share your struggles with someone you’re close with. Come out with it. Give a sigh of relief. Deflate. You’re not in it alone. Soak in a new perspective. See the situation in a new light.

Here are the words a sweet friend offered up when I did just that:

"You are one of the strongest people I have ever met and that's one of the best qualities you posses. But you don't always have to be strong. I can be strong for you when you have a weak moment. You just have to trust me to be there when you need it."

When your confident inner goddess is having an off day, giver her a pep talk and trust your friends will do the same. Together you can tell those MEAN GIRLS, you can’t sit with us.

Why I Cry a Lot These Days

Friday, March 11, 2016

I cry a lot these days (happy cries).

I remember growing up and seeing my parents cry. Worry stricken, I’d ask why they were sad. “I’m crying because I’m happy," they would say.

My younger self was confused. My present self gets it.

As we ride the good ride of life, we’ve involuntarily been statistics and eyewitnesses of the bumps and bruises life gifts. To be the recipient of fleeting moments of joy is the best medicine. Side effect: tears.

Recently an episodic cry session visited while I was running. I turned into a breathless hot mess of sweat and tears. I welcomed my raw thoughts and emotions to run alongside me, accompanied by heart pumping, bass beating symphonies. In a magical moment, my mind and body were fiercely fighting for me in a release of ultimate spirit-soaring power. Gratitude and time correlate on a steady upward curve, and in that moment, I made the most beautiful realization: I was on the upswing.

Inquiring hardships is no wish – we throw our hands and hearts up to God and ask, why us? These same heart-wrenching hardships glorify simplicity, evoke compassion, and unite humanity. We’re meant to be brave messengers, sharing our unique experiences that have gifted us wisdom that we can then cast out like a life vest to souls drowning in similar situations.

Life is a tough teacher, using despair as ammunition to put holes in our hearts, but that only makes more room for light to shine.

And as I wrap up this post I can honestly say I haven’t shed a tear…but then again, I haven’t gone running yet.

Throw Out Your New Year's Resolution. Try This Instead.

Monday, January 5, 2015

January is a strange dance. New years resolutions are dreamed up and followed with quick precision accompanied by the most upbeat rhythm. As days pass, January, along with our lists, lay tired as they get swept away with our best intentions.

I’ve been flipping through the pages of The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, who planted this bud of promise within me:

Rather than filling a blank page with foreign far off places, or vows to reel in more money or friends, I’m making a different kind of list. One that fills this blank page with emotions I want to feel and using them as a roadmap in making (daily) decisions that will make me feel those emotions in the next 365 days ahead.

How do you want to feel in 2015? At work? At home? With friends? With yourself? With God?

Here's my list.

In 2015 I want to feel …


My word for 2014 was resilience. It’s funny, how one word can so perfectly catch indescribable emotions that were set free this past year of my life. The human spirit is strong. With each hurt, it doesn’t break but bend. It’s almost our super human power, right? It fuels off of pain, and before you know it, this beautiful thing goes through a process of becoming someone new, which I bid my 2015, transformation. 

Wishing you all nothing but happiness in the year ahead. xo

10 things i learned after losing a parent

Monday, December 29, 2014

On April 23, my dad made his journey to heaven.    

St. Patrick's Day, Detroit, 2014                                                            

He was life. 
He was a ray of light in a dark room,
a joke when words were stuck somewhere between our hope and reality.
He was patient.
He was family.
He was hope.
He was strong.
He was FAITH.

He is Home.
He is free.

I am in a subgroup, one I never asked to become a part of: having to witness a parent battle an unknown enemy – cancer.

There is nothing quite as frightening as unanswered questions never being put at bay, even after receiving foreign medical terminology spitted from doctors in white coats. I became the receiver of bundled statistics falling short of my heart-dropping question: what will happen to us?

I fearlessly took on the part of caregiver while my dad’s starlit role was downcast. And yet, in this mixed up role reversal, we together stumbled upon a beautiful finding in uncomfortable uncertainty: the human spirit is strong. It doesn’t break but bend. The pain acts as fuel that allows it to shift and align with a greater purpose.

We were wide-eyed and heartbroken, rediscovering the world together through a string of tiny, once overlooked moments that would ultimately end in a time sensitive portal.

The world was upside down, and yet it made perfect sense. In a twisted lesson, death brought me life. I was enchanted with the belief that maybe life isn’t about the big moments, but rather, a million little ones that accumulate to be big: a smile, a kind word, the gift of being present.

As my dad made his exist from this world, I am left with advice to those who are left with one less parent:

  1. My life suddenly became unrelatable to anyone else in my life. It was a scary place to have to sit and wait out the grief.
  2. I was angry with God. I wanted answers that didn’t exist in this world. Friends, family and strangers genuinely wanted to help. I was reluctant to let them in such a private battle. Let down the walls. Find solace in all of the people who are embracing you with support.
  3. Many were there for me. Few were not. Surprises ensued both ways.
  4. Many tried to relate my experience to their own. They knew someone who had cancer, or lost someone they loved. I would caution to remember each story is uniquely our own and comparison is a thief that threatens every story. The most comforting words were the ones that sang of recognition of tragedy and praise for my bravery.
  5. I admired those who just sat with me. The ones who asked how I was doing and waited patiently for the words to pour from my heart.
  6. Life on Earth is not eternal. We have someplace far better to go. We sometimes forget that though, don’t we? 
  7. I began to reevaluate my life. Was I wasting time? If I spent every day like today, would I be happy?
  8. Laughter is the best medicine; a small voice sharing a joke detours the mind from heartache, if only for a momentary mental getaway.
  9. I learned to accept and recognize every emotion that tap danced into my soul. I couldn’t blame myself for feeling a certain way. Grief can morph into different disguises, latching on to you before you can see it coming. I couldn’t control that, but I could call it out by name.
  10. I heard people complain about the tiniest of things. At first, I wanted to fight back with words. I (slowly) learned that everyone is fighting his or her own battles. Mine wasn’t worse than anyone else’s, as hard as it is to believe in a tangle of sorrow.

In the deepest of sorrow is a beautiful transformation of gratitude; for that silver lining in a cloud of grief, I am reinvented. An in between the words in the last sentence is the word we all need, hope.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

The band was fired up. A large woman let her voice loose in a crowd of people waiting to catch it. She slowed her tune as the crowd began counting down the seconds to the birth of 2014.

I'm not moving forward in the New Year with eagerness spilling like the champagne in each partygoer’s hand. Rather, I am looking 2014 in the eyes knowing it will challenge me and test my faith. I had to grow up fast in the past two years, both a curse and a blessing. I am a strong believer that in times of tribulation there is a deep transformation within the mind, body and soul.

While I have a string of small resolutions in the New Year my biggest is to not be afraid, for God is within us. I didn't realize how precious time is until it is taken away.

As confetti poured from the ceiling I lift my glass and make a toast to cherishing every moment without fear. And when the woman began to pick up the tempo, so too did my faith.

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