God Imagined It

I began to write a ‘Happy New Year’ post on Facebook, and it formed into a letter as the words poured out. And so I find myself here, with so much I wish to say. The irony of this moment is that I was here just this morning, ‘Add New Post’ screen open and ready for all I held inside to fill the page. But nothing happened…

It’s the quote Oprah has shared several times that got me:

God has so much more for you than you could ever imagine for yourself.

My fingers were dancing across the keyboard, thoughts and images coming in waves. What am I thankful for? What changed? How am I different now from January 2012?

Lauren and Cliff – TWO of our beloved children are now off to college. Lauren recently said this is no longer her home, it’s now her parents’ house. She’s found so much of herself this year, a mirror of her own mother who’s been doing the same. She at 19, as I melted into being 40. Clifford becoming a young man as he steps off into his much desired independence. That’s been his gift to me, his quiet spirit guidance – ‘Mom, let it be.’ Jordan, who wasn’t so sure she would like being an only child for the first time in her life–this beautiful young lady (I want to say ‘girl’) unaware just yet of her impact on this world. I realize sometimes I don’t allow myself to sink into what it is to love, to know and to be mother to these three children of ours. It makes me weepy to sit in it for a moment. They’re amazing, these human beings.

Soul Journey

I feel my inner critic reminding me how sappy this must be. But this is my blog, my space, my heart. This is her voice, here. Now. I couldn’t have imagined this life I have. I wouldn’t have thought to expect or ask for all that 2012 brought my way. It’s been an incredible journey deeper into our lives, into my self, my spirit, the interior of my soul. What I felt on January 2–Breaking Down the Box–became the theme of much of my year. Let go, release, liberate, allow. As Summer faded away and Autumn made her presence, the shift had occurred and was finding her way to the surface. With our family in transition and at ‘rest,’ I felt the call. It wasn’t what you might expect. There wasn’t any bolt of lightning. Steadily I’d felt it growing these last six months. And I couldn’t have imagine it this would be how 2012 ended.

Our children are nearly grown. Our marriage has strengthened – again in that quiet, subtle way – and our love has deepened. My heart is more open, although I would have thought it hard to believe that was possible. And not only my heart, my energy, my whole SELF. There’s a peacefulness I didn’t have a year ago. I’m content. (A little laugh here, remembering that ‘Contentment’ was the topic of my graduation speech, although I struggled to find any at 18.) I’ve created a business of my own, having desired and written about this in my journal for a couple of years. And this business is one that I love, that is of service to so many and creates a space of grace and collaboration–very fulfilling. We live in a new time, my friends. We’re alive at such an incredible time of our history. I am loving life and all She has brought to me in 2012. Every moment of heartache, every tear, kiss, smile and fit of laughter–I wouldn’t change a thing.

I couldn’t have imagined it. Ever. But here’s what I know–God imagined an extraordinary life for Jackie L. Robinson. I’m excited and so open to the moments of 2013–the ‘year of the soul.’ I’m in awe of this energy that has woven its way into my life, and I welcome all it has to offer.

Very deep gratitude to each one of you who is reading this, who’ve been here reading my words from the beginning and those who have recently connected. I’d love for you to leave a note so we can reconnect at the start of a new year. May 2013 bring your dreams to life, stir your heart with love, heal your pains. May you experience what it is to be at peace, to merge with the sacred, to feel abundant joy. May you open to all that awaits you. Believe in the most beautiful of who you are and trust there is a Force greater than you holding the rest. May it all be so. Much love to each of you. Happy 2013, my dear friends.

What IS ‘me?’

Every time I come back here to write, I tell myself the words will all sound the same. And yet, there seems to be an unending cycle at work in my life: seeing that which is no longer ‘me’ and letting it go. It begs the question: What IS me??

I had an interesting experience today–wholly with myself. I’m taking part in an upcoming project of  ‘adopting’ LGBTQ children who are feeling unaccepted and unloved this holiday season. Our daughter is part of this community, and fortunately well loved and received within our family and her community. Many are not so blessed. Upon hearing about the project, I knew instantly I wanted to take part and so have been working on my written and spoken words. Writing has not been a challenge for me–it comes easily. There is a rhythmic flow to the words, they carry their own vibrations of love and grace. But when it came time to read out loud the words I’d written–it didn’t feel so comfortable. For one, the rhythmic flow of my writing seems painfully absent when I’m speaking. All the self-conscious triggers flow in. I was relieved to feel much more at ease reading out loud today than I did the first time I had to speak over a microphone via the web. 

What I found troubling, though, is that my beautifully written heartfelt words felt empty as I voiced them. The magic was gone. I wasn’t flustered or upset, but the Observer within took notice. What resulted was a repeated edit and re-read of my letter, taking out what felt empty–surprisingly some of the sentences that talked about love most prominently. I’ve always been able to write about the deepest feelings of love in my heart, they’re REAL. But when I try to speak them, they fall out misshapen and without emotion behind them. FEAR perhaps? ‘Fluffy’ expression? I’m not certain yet. Thus far, I’m only the Observer in this game of seeing ME.

So I wonder, if you all feel this way at times too. Sometimes I’m frustrated that I don’t just GET there–living fully authentic, feeling at ease in my skin, able to be ME. Ugh. I can feel the angst within myself. And I also know that holding on to that angst and all the feelings that go with it only gives it power to grow. So I’m looking at it. We’re standing here together, my discomfort and me. What I realize now, at this point in writing this post–is that BOTH are part of me. Seeing my discomfort, recognizing and acknowledging the angst rather than railing against it–these bring it into the light. Otherwise it remains tucked away in my shadowy places. 

This is my desire: to allow my voice to speak my truth. Not in a playground bully sort of way. I want to speak my truth with confidence, from a place of authentic expression, infused with benevolent grace and honoring myself and the Life Force present in us all. THAT’s what I want. 



I’m going to let you all in on a little secret – are you ready? This has been an incredible year of transformation, healing and opening up for me. I pride myself on being someone who is true to what she believes, able to stand in it fully and not live a ‘double’ life behind what is shown to the world. And this year has certainly brought with it an excavation of places where that hasn’t worked, isn’t happening–or just simply can no longer exist. 

The secret? I’m not guilty that our children are growing up and leaving home. I’m not worried that they won’t be ok, nor am I feeling empty with two children gone off to college. I’ve started a new venture, and I don’t feel afraid of how it might turn out. What I have realized I AM worried about is saying these things out loud. So much of what is ‘right’ or ‘supposed to be’ has been stripped away this year. 

From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a
container already built for us to fit inside: A social security
number, a gender, a race, a profession or an I.Q. I ponder
if we are more defined by the container we are in, rather than
what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could
expand beyond our bodies? Would we still be able to exist
if we were authentically ‘un-contained’?
‘Expansion’ sculpture & quote by Paige Bradley

Our son struggled to get through his last year of high school, feeling he was ready to be independent, to move on and to make all his own decisions. I, in turn, struggled terribly with how to let go of trying to parent responsibly and force him to do it ‘our way.’ That’s what a ‘good parent’ would do. She wouldn’t leave it up to a senior in high school to determine how much of the usual ‘recreational activities’ he can manage for himself. A ‘good mother’ wouldn’t allow him to come and go all hours of the night as he chooses. The battle within myself was to try to figure out how on earth to get a handle on this situation before it railed out of control in all directions that fear could throw in our path. ‘What if’ and ‘what will people think?’ I had to let go of those fears. Mine was to step OUT of what I believed to be societal conformities and INTO what I have said is my truth: There is purpose to everything. With our son – even if those ‘what if’s’ came to pass – wasn’t the Universe still infusing purpose into each experience? Yes. So be still and know, Jackie. He is intuitive, intelligent and connected to something greater than ME. How on earth can I say at this stage in the game I’m the ONE who knows what’s best? So much of that was about ME, not him and his journey. 

It comes around again, now in a whole new way. As my vision for this next venture projects into the future in ways that amaze me, I find myself needing to step out of worrying how it will be perceived. Oh, yes, it’s ok to share it, to be excited about it, to open up to it fully in my ‘safe space.’ But now the call comes to allow the crossover. Some of the pieces of my personal, interior life are becoming larger and larger pathways of my exterior, more public life. Somehow, even now, it’s easier to tell you about what’s happened with my son than to claim out loud how much I believe in this work. To let it be known across a vast audience that I am fully behind this work. 

You see, I’ve very neatly kept my writing in this space and on its allocated FB share page. Rarely do I allow it to crossover to my actual personal FB page. Some of those people actually know me from different times in my life. What on earth are they going to think? Jackie the party girl gone all spiritual? HA! They’ll laugh me right off the page. Or perhaps, someone thinks I’m full of fluff – and what if I offend them? Oh gosh, doesn’t it even sound silly to say OUT LOUD? 

Well – here’s what’s true. As uncomfortable as it may be initially – I’m DONE with all that. I’m living OUT LOUD now. I am who I am. If 2011 was my year to own that truth, 2012 is my year to LIVE that truth…OUT LOUD. I’ve mastered it in my own private, safe spaces. (Well, perhaps ‘mastered’ is a strong word, but I’ve found a synergy with living it on an interior level.) No more ‘secrets.’ This is me. You can approve or not. That’s ok. I’m not my past, I’m not someone else’s opinions and I’m not what my own fear suggests I become. I hear clearly my own inner guidance, and THAT, my friends will be my compass. Up until now, it’s not been a conflict within myself to keep some of these pieces separate. But I don’t feel at peace with that anymore. Time to integrate, to be fully me – no apologies or ‘holdbacks.’ 

And let me just tell you – it feels so LIBERATING! (I have another story to tell you on this note, but that’s for next time.) It feels like twirling around in a field – like Maria von Trapp in the opening scene of The Sound of Music. The box has fallen apart…and no longer will I choose to live ‘contained.’ Bit by bit, the pieces have fallen away….and continue to do so. I’m answering the call that comes so clearly – I’m choosing to live ‘UN-CONTAINED.’ 

I invite you to join me, let it all go, share your truest, purest self. The desires, the loves, the fears, the dreams, the visions that define the way you’re living your life. Let’s come together in a voice that speaks OUT LOUD!

I’ll be sharing more here about the new energy in my life–Sacred Circle Retreats. Here’s just a short preview of the work we’re doing there: http://sacredcircleretreats.com/calendar-of-events/. Would love for you to join us for one of our events, sign up for our newsletter, or just stop in and say hello. xo 

Loving Out Loud

Why is it that we find it so difficult to share our feelings of love openly? I’m not someone to hide how she feels, nor am I successful when trying. And yet, there’s some kind of natural filter we have allowed to take over when it comes to being vulnerable enough to share intimate truths. This feels to be true both in interactions/conversation with others as well as when feeling my connection to the Divine. 

I’ll begin there–my relationship to the Divine. The raw, pure, deep love I feel in this regard sometimes feels awkward to speak of openly. To say how much I love God, to allow anyone else a glimpse into that sacred space feels so very vulnerable and unsafe. There’s an added sense of ‘she’s crazy’ that seems to be woven into the truth of it, stepping in at times to quiet my thoughts and words. I’ve felt embarrassed to let anyone know the depth of adoration, passion and devotion I feel for the sacred. This untethering of my deep truth has been very much a part of what 2012 has brought to the forefront of my inner life. I’m not sure we’re supposed to keep it secret, to allow it out only when we feel safe and are alone with ourselves. I’m also not sure it’s meant to be paraded as a label of who we are. But what feels a bit more certain is that it’s real, and we are being called to be and live authentically. Part of who we are as Divine beings IS Divine–so to allow our souls to love the sacred so deeply and purely is infused into our being, it is indeed our purpose. 

We’ve somehow forgotten along the way. Locked a part of ourselves in the closet, tucked away safe from the harm experienced by our ancestors–and by ourselves if you believe in past lives. However it came to be, we are still carrying those fears and wounds in our DNA and I believe we are in a time of healing and releasing them–for ourselves as well as those who came before and will follow after us. We are letting go of old ways of being. The buried pains we’ve carried for too long rise to the surface to be seen in the light of day, which in itself allows for them to heal and become whole. 

This trickles on down to our connection with others, those whom we love dearly as well as those whom we ‘just meet’ each day as we go about our lives. Oprah’s ‘Super Soul Sunday’ recently featured a conversation with Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh in which he shared four affirmations for us to live mindfully in our relationships: 

1. Darling, I am here for you. 

2. Darling, I know you are there for me. 

3. Darling, I know you are suffering and that is why I’m here for you. 

4. Darling, I suffer. I try my best to practice. Please help me. 

Say them aloud to yourself, imagine yourself sharing these affirmations with the ones you love in moments they are most needed, as you look into one another’s eyes. Feel the depth of presence you are offering. Can you imagine yourself having the courage and humility to say these words?

I’ve tried….and although I can say them in my mind, I haven’t yet been able to use the one that feels most prevalent thus far. Number 4. It’s a statement of feeling hurt or struggle, and letting your walls down enough to allow your loved one to be there for you and SEE that you hurt. Oh, the pride that so wants to hold on! But even while I’ve been unable to say the words to that other person, I was blessed enough to feel the impact of someone else saying them to me. My brother sees right through the stubbornness and hurt feelings, and in the midst of our conversation said to me ‘darling, I am here for you.’ I can tell you, my friends, there is much power in those words to melt even the hardest wall of protection. The frustration, the pride and defense all crumble in the midst of true Presence, compassion and love. 

When we dare to love out loud, we change the world. We let go of the years of programming we’ve taken on as part of our own ‘well-being’ and instead begin to lean on the Divine to carry us through. We SURRENDER. And so it continues, this seemingly subtle but powerfully healing energy of 2012: Surrender. Let yourself go, move through the fears and hurts and dare to be authentic in the midst of it all. Remember that ‘No Comfort Zone Challenge’ we began in 2012? She continues her work, beneath the layers, behind the scenes, she carries us through our own sabotage and into the sacred. 

My challenge to you is this: Dare. Dare to love out loud in whatever way your heart whispers to you. 

Feeling Through the Layers

It’s happening again. I hear the screaming woman in my head which means something is about to break wide open. There’s a struggle within myself: heart or mind? Knowing or feeling? Truth or status? ‘Good’ or real? 

I didn’t trust it for a moment
but I drank it anyway,
the wine of my own poetry.

It gave me the daring to take hold
of the darkness and tear it down
and cut it into little pieces.


And so 2012’s theme for my life persists. It was January 2 that I wrote Breaking Down the Box, followed by this comment back to a fellow blogger: ‘That’s where I’m heading in 2012…into the space where the mind becomes the observer and the deeper part of myself is the author.’ Little did I realize how prophetic that statement truly was. The dismantling of my ‘self’ has continued. What has felt safe and ‘good’ for so long no longer holds appeal. Unknown wounds appear out of nowhere. An emptiness endures which cannot be fed. The challenge is on–let go, surrender or satisfy the self with proving my point, being right, being ‘good.’ It’s ugly to even see in print. 

‘Dark Night’ by Fosforix

The beauty, however, is that amidst the darkest night of our souls there is always light. While this year has brought tremendous angst, inner turmoil and struggle–it’s also been one of connecting so deeply and intimately with truth and sacred presence that those experiences almost seem to intensify the dark moments. To have merged with the Divine in oneself so deeply in a very pure and real way is a gift. One that we expect and hope will last or reoccur upon awaking each day. I daresay there is a depression that sets in when we cannot repeat the connection. It’s a rare thing to glimpse the face of God, to be in the presence of such radiant sacredness. It’s where the soul longs to be in every moment of every day. And yet….we ARE human, too.

So comes the balance, the harmony of allowing oneself to be fully present in THIS world. It feels very much like a death, this unraveling combined with a perceived absence of the Divine. I *know intellectually what appears to be taking place. Yet there is no way to make the heart step over what lies in her path. The only way ‘out’ is through. The only answer I know is to be IN it–to let the truth of it be my voice. And believe me, my friends–it’s very uncomfortable. Being so transparent, sharing such deep intimate feelings is a vulnerable place to be. Still, I feel to be in good company. For I’ve talked with, read and watched many of you go through your own unraveling in the midst of a dark night.

Vulnerability and openness connect us. We see ourselves in the face of another. It raises our ability to serve as compassionate human beings, to be honest with ourselves and each other. And to drop the facade that ‘everything is ok.’ Because even though I trust fully in the Divine purpose and order of our lives, there are times as a spirit living in a human body that everything is absolutely NOT ok. That’s my truth dear ones: everything is not ok. But somewhere beneath the layers of ego, fear and pain is the truth that I am Divine and I am always fully held in the arms of the Divine. It’s just going to take some time to release the barriers to FEELING that truth. 

~ * ~

I came across these related posts while searching for a photo and wanted to share with you.  

Dark Night of the Soul by Jacque Keil

The Dark Night of the Soul by Chris Duel

And Then What Happened?

It feels as though this is the lingering question inside myself. ‘Now what?’ 

We all feel it, don’t we–that thrill and warmth of deep, intimate connection with the Divine. And then what? What happens when we desperately long for it–but seem unable to ‘find’ it? 

It’s true that the Divine is ALWAYS there. I do *know this. And yet I’m wondering ‘why can’t I feel you?’ The question begs contemplation. If the wind is blowing and I can’t feel it–why not? What stands in the way?

These are the thoughts running through myself of late. Then there are moments I have a crisp clarity, realizing focusing too much on the ‘why not’ removes the possibility of it. 

Just now–those words, ‘crisp clarity’ brought insight. What is my vision? It’s like being a seer who can gaze into a crystal ball and always ‘see’ something. Only….suddenly you can’t….and you’re not sure why. 

What’s the vision? ‘Now what?’ 

These are the places I find myself these days. And perhaps focusing on the void keeps us IN it. 

Writing, opening, sharing–feels wonderful–ALIVE! Yet every time I’ve thought of writing, there’s nothing there…and so I don’t. Thank you Janece for your post touching upon the art of writing–and allowing ourselves to do so: The Write Stuff. Allowing. Surrendering. Here they are, my companions of truth once again. 

So, my friends….what happened next is that she picked herself up, stopped focusing on the emptiness and instead welcomed her vision. The magic begins once again…as I look up to see the Red Headed Woodpecker out back again. He’s been around a lot lately and serves as a reminder to ‘march to the beat of our own drum.’ His red head signifies passion, life force. Time to look inward once again…allow the vision to breathe and begin her rhythmic dance. 

Red Headed Woodpecker in the backyard

And as it all unfolds, the 2012 journey to which I DID commit–‘No Comfort Zone‘–continues to shine her light and move us all forward. xo

Willing to Surrender, Opening to What IS

Just read this on Oriah Mountain Dreamer‘s Facebook page…and it was exactly what I needed at this moment. 

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I gain the embrace of the universe;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.
Each condition I flee from pursues me,
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed
Into its radiant jewel-like essence.
I bow to the one who has made it so,
Who has crafted this Master Game;
To play it is purest delight – 
To honor its form, true devotion. 

~Jennifer Paine Welwood, “Unconditional”
Keep walking