Saturday, October 24, 2015

Go Jackie, it's your birthday!

Here we are again. Today (October 24th) is my birthday. I'm 33 years YOUNG and so very grateful to be here to celebrate another year on earth. The facebook posts began before midnight. I woke up to 8 birthday texts and at this very moment, 202 people have taken the time to post birthday wishes on my fb wall.
I don't take birthdays lightly. Some years, I lay low and other times, I party like it's....1982? I always spend some time in deep thought about where I've been, where I am, and where I'm headed. In previous years, I've beat myself up for not being where I "should've" been. I made an effort NOT to do that this year. Truth is, I did have plans of things I wanted to accomplish by now but as long as I'm still here, it isn't too late.

As I continued to read the tagged posts and birthday wishes, I became teary eyed. Is this something that happens at 33? I wasn't ready! I can't help but think about my friend, Jennifer who died earlier this year in her early 30's from health problems or my cousin Ashdon who left us at age 14 by suicide. The most recent reminder has been my friend Kiko who committed suicide 8 days ago. At 35, life became more than she could handle. She leaves twin daughters behind.

As a therapist, I deal with suicide more often that I'd ever choose. When I found out about Kiko though, I was shocked, upset, disappointed, and guilty. For a moment, I wondered how I could've failed as a friend AND a therapist and not know she was battling something. I reflected on every conversation, every text, every fb inbox. I combed through every interaction we had trying to find an answer. I know even though there's nothing I can do now to save Kiko I can continue to be who I am and remain passionate about the work that I do to save other women and men like Kiko.

Today, as I celebrate my birthday and smile at every message received, I know I am loved. I never had a doubt but I can't help but think about Kiko. In her moment(s) of hopelessness, despair, depression perhaps, did she know the world was brighter with her here?

Let us continue to speak up and speak out about mental health. If you are dealing with mental health concerns, please tell someone, a friend, a therapist, call the Suicide Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255 and/or reach out to me via my facebook or email address.

In honor of my birthday, I ask you to donate to the gofundme set up for her here: Kiko.

I need you all to survive and thrive, my friends and readers. Cheers to my 33rd year and beyond.

Big hugs!

And yes that's me in a Mr. T birthday hat! LOL

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Lesson learned

When things happen that I completely don't understand, I remind myself, "One day I'll look back and laugh at this." Perhaps it is a coping skill I've developed sort of like a, "This too shall pass" mentality. As cliché as those sayings are, my track record thus far has proven these statements to be true.

I tell my clients to look for the lesson. Life is a series of events. We always have the option to go through them or grow through them. Anything that has ever happened to you left you with a lesson. I also believe sometimes the lesson isn't discovered for months or years later but it's there. Our lessons may appear in ways we don't see at first. These lessons often come from people we'd never expect.

This past week, I found myself reflecting (again). My son's birthday was on Wednesday. He is now a 6 year old. I looked back not only on how much my life has changed with him but also the lessons I've learned since having him.

Truth is, these six years have flown by. I remember my pregnancy and birth as if it occurred yesterday. I've learned more about myself in the past six years than the twenty six prior ones. In addition to those life changing ones, my son teaches me daily.

Being a parent has been the most interesting ride and I wouldn't change it for the world. I am still learning and joke that I have no idea what I'm doing. When it comes to my son, so far so good. With everything else, I choose to continue to find the lessons, the small and big ones. Every day I am gifted a chance to still be here, I will look for these lessons. Some of these will come in the form of pain, disappointment and anger. Others will come via love, relationships, and pleasure.

The key is finding the lesson no matter the feeling associated with it. This, my friends, is how we grow. Look for lessons in every setting, every moment, and everyone you encounter.

What have you learned? I'd love to hear your life lessons.

Until next time,


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are you ready?

The weekends fly by. Although I'm grateful for EVERYDAY, I must admit I celebrate Fridays with a little more umph. This umph is typically in the form of a dance which may involve limbs waving in the air like I just don't care.

Ever since I stopped working weekends on someone else's watch, the weekends feel better. I loved the extra money, I mean who wouldn't, but the drain of working 7 days a week can leave you with an overwhelming feeling of defeat. The funny part is, I didn't choose to leave my weekend job, they no longer needed me there. That in itself is surely a blessing in disguise because knowing me, I would've still been there. Tired, drained but happy for a few extra dollars.

Back to Fridays.

I love them because it means the two days coming involve not punching a clock, setting an alarm to wake up, or ironing work clothes. It means I don't have to shower at 6 am or shove oatmeal down my throat.

With these two magical days, I have long to do lists. Most of my tasks are related to my business goals because frankly, during the work week, between work and family life, I don't get as much done as I'd like. Some tasks are simpler than others.

Organize desk. Sure. That's doable.

Print worksheets for a business course. Doable as well.

Finish website, schedule posts, branding, edit bio, email potential referral sources, make videos, take head shots, uhm......something about an S on my chest and saving the world?

Something mysteriously happens between Friday and Monday. I have yet to fully understand this phenomenon.

I blink and it's Monday again. There's no Monday dance. I've barely wiped off the sweat from the Friday one. I'm not ANTI monday, I'm just genuinely concerned that yet another 48 hours slipped by and I didn't accomplish everything I intended to.

This past Monday, I walked into work as I mentally reviewed the past weekend or lack thereof. The receptionist greets me and says, "Hello Miss Jackie, are you ready?"

I'm not one to panic but I had a moment. I quickly scanned my brain trying to think what I forgot to do or what major event was happening on this day and how this would impact my job. I screamed internally but calmly said, "What's happening today?"

She said "It's Monday."

I laughed out loud and exhaled. There was no emergency or pressing issue. There was no report due or auditor waiting. There was no meeting I missed or important call I didn't return.

It was Monday! (maybe I WILL come up with a Monday dance after all)

In that moment, she reminded me, like they say, "You have to stay ready so you never have to GET ready."

So with my long to do lists, I'm breaking them down and getting things done so when someone asks me that again.

The answer is YES!

P.S. Scroll up....that lovely clean desk isn't mine. *adds clean desk to do list again*

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Balancing Beam

I admire women who seem to have it together. They look "polished" and "well kept". Their homes are immaculate, their laundry baskets are EMPTY, not even a fork in the sink, and they have time for spa days and mud baths. In the past, I admit I've been jealous of those women for all of these reasons except the mud baths (can mud get stuck in a hole or crevice?). I wondered why my 24 hours didn't run as smoothly as theirs seemed to run. My home hasn't been immaculate since 2 days after never. My laundry baskets are empty on occasion but that typically lasts approximately 5 minutes. I have a 3 year old so toy cars, fridge magnets, and forks are fair game in the kitchen sink. My last spa day was in 2009 and it was a prenatal massage.

On my facebook page this week, we've been talking about balance. Although the ways we balance our lives or notice an imbalance may differ, most can agree we need  balance. Even if you have the perfect family and home, if your work is stressful to the point of major anxiety, life becomes miserable. I've met colleagues and co workers who hate their jobs. They go home and talk about how miserable their day was at work. They walk into the office doors with misery and carry that same heavy baggage home with them.

I can't ride a bicycle. I've mentioned this in a previous blog and said it was on my list of things to learn before I turned 30 (October 2012). It didn't happen. Frankly, I lost interest. My fear of falling and hurting myself continues to outweigh my interest in learning. I found an article in a fitness magazine a few months ago about a woman who learned to ride as an adult. I was excited and tore the article out for safekeeping. Today, I have no interest in learning but perhaps one day I'll want to learn again. If and when I do learn, I understand the concept and know the moment I lose balance, I will have to stop myself from falling (or break a limb). We can look at our lives through the same lens. After a while of imbalance, things will start to fall out of place.

As I type this, Alicia Keys' Superwoman began playing from my itunes. Today, I took the "S" off my chest. Today, I spent the day at home with my son. He was under the weather and I could not send him to school. I like to plan my days off but obviously no one plans to be sick (or home with a sick child). We spent the day singing songs, dancing, and writing. Today's lesson was simple. Sometimes things happen in life that will throw you off and bring you right back on track. Perhaps we needed the day off to slow down and regroup. Instead of spending the day with clients and co workers, I got to hang out with my favorite guy in the world. The only concern he had today was how many stickers to put on each side of my face.

Check out my page at to tell me how you find your balance!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fine Tuning February

I'm sure I've mentioned this before but I have a need to create lists. Maybe I shouldn't say that because now that I think about it, I've probably ALSO mentioned that I'd stop being so obsessed with creating said lists. I will admit I've cut down a TAD on my list creations but I haven't done away with them completely. I mean, do you really expect me to function without ANY lists at all?

So here I return with yet another list but you should be proud of me for this one.

Among my February goals, I've decided to reintroduce meditation. Reintroduce is probably not the correct term as I can count on one hand the amount of times I've meditated in my life. On this one hand, I can say only ONE of those times was done by myself.

I've decided to meditate every weekday starting today. A few friends sent me information for meditation information via you tube and pandora (an internet radio station). I must say I am excited to see the "results". I don't expect to turn into Buddha or anything drastic but I know it can't hurt!

I will take notes of what I meditate to so I can keep you posted.

I will be continuing my raw diet this month and exercising more.

Cheers to a Fine Tuning February!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rawking and Rolling

Well....happy new year!!!

Long time no see! I really must get better about updating these blogs!

I've decided to become a high raw vegan. My friend asked me yesterday, "Why do vegans and vegetarians need so many classifications? Why so complicated?" I laughed. It really isn't that complicated.

A high raw vegan is a vegan who eats mostly raw foods. I feel fantastic when I'm eating raw.

I must rewind to tell you I started off this year on a juice/smoothie fast. I planned to go 31 days...ALL of January! Key word here: PLANNED. I gave up today. Perhaps "gave up" isn't the right term but I was DONE. I was exhausted on the fast. That seems so backwards to me and I lost less than 3 lbs. Yep, that was my true sign I was done!

So I'm eating/drinking raw 100% of the time til Spring! I'm so excited to be chewing again. I'm meeting more and more raw vegans online who are making this transition SO much easier.

Cheers to a Rawtastic year!

Stay tuned for you tube videos, more blogs, and my websites! 2013 will be great!

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Let's see ourselves beautiful again"

 I know it's been forever since I've posted a blog. I have the greatest intentions but don't seem to make it to blogspot as often as I should. However, I HAD to let the world know that I took pictures with the infamous Saddi Khali.

For anyone who has read a previous blog, you know that taking photos by Saddi was on my 29th year bucket list. Well, I did it!

Today (Feb 10), he asked me to write my afterthoughts about the shoot. Here is my reply to him:


Online, I booked an "artistic" shoot and purposely did not click "nude" because there was NO WAY on earth I was doing nude pics at my size/weight. When Saddi called, he asked questions to get an idea about the shoot and advised me on the feelings I'd feel about being "nude". Silently I said "Uhm, i'm not taking nude pics Saddi" yet I said nothing. The day of the shoot, I drove to the photo site knowing i was not taking my clothes off.

When I walked into the room where the pictures would be taken, I exhaled and said to myself "Just do it". Saddi greeted me and instantly i felt a warm presence about him. Something about his demeanor told me there was no judgment here. He was NOT going to tell me how fat i was, how i needed to lose weight and why I wasn't "good enough" for nude pics. He was not going to point out my stretch marks or scars or birthmarks to me. In fact, I began to point them out to him as if I wanted to bring attention to my flaws before he had time to be disgusted by them. Yet in the 2 hours with Saddi, I felt beautiful. In a matter of one photo session, i became someone new. No longer worried about my weight and how many more pounds I needed to lose, i was able to be ME.

In 2 hours, I transformed.

I left Saddi a different person. A new found love of self. An appreciation of every curve. I stared at my pictures in awe. No touch ups, no photo shop, real, raw, ME.

This all took place one week ago (2/3/12). I've had people stop me and tell me "something is different about you". I've had friends tell me I seem brighter and happier. I stand in front of the mirror and smile at ALL of the goodness I see. I recognize I will NEVER be the same person again. My walk and talk is different. I had a random stranger at publix stop me this week and say "You're beautiful". Usually, I would've taken his comment and silently said he was crazy or it "must be the outfit" or the hair. I thanked him and internally said "Yep! I know. If you think i'm beautiful now, you should see me NAKED!"

I fell in love with a woman last reflection in the mirror.

Thank you Saddi for changing my world and my life. I am forever grateful.
“From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines.” ― Walt Whitman


"Let's see ourselves beautiful again." --- Saddi Khali

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

I often wonder if I am the only one concerned with how fast time SEEMS to be going. Yes, there are still 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week, I get that. Yet somehow we blink and lose track of time.

Here we are at the beginning of 2012 already. The world scrambles to make resolutions and a to do list containing 100 things they are going to do this year. I admit, I am guilty of doing this year after year. Sure it's ok to have goals but I encourage you to stop waiting for tomorrow, next year, your birthday, the summer, when you lose weight, when you're rich, etc to START living.

2011 was a year of lessons. I learned BIG lessons and not so big ones but they all got me HERE. One lesson I seem to keep learning is to slow down. I am still working on this but I am at a better place with this goal than I was on January 1, 2011. Although I mentioned this before, the biggest lesson I learned was to take risks.
I found myself in a Women's Empowerment Workshop this year hosted by Katie Lemieux. I found myself taking plus size pictures with Mystic to start a portfolio. I tried out for a plus size fashion show. I was reminded as to what love is (and what it is not). I became a vegan. Most importantly, I remembered how magnificent and wonderful I am and should NEVER be around people who fail to recognize my greatness.
As 2012 begins, I am grateful for all of these lessons. I am wishing farewell to negativity, meat and several people. I am better off without you.

In 2012, I hope you find what you are looking for. Remember happiness and love start from within. If you fail to remind yourself of this often, you will lose yourself (quickly).

For the first time ever, I have chosen to have only one "resolution":

Do things that make ME happy. That's my big picture. The end all and be all.

As for my followers, supporters, and haters, I thank you. I'm up to BIG things in 2012 and you only motivate me to keep going.

Cheers to 2012!

Much love from Jackieonappy.

In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy. -- David Steindl-Rast

Friday, October 28, 2011

In full bloom

 When I was a younger, I had a (delusional) idea of where I'd be at certain stages in my life...married at 24, 2.5 kids by 30, fancy career, making TONS of money, house with a spiral stair case with a piano at the bottom of the stairs. I have never been a huge fan of animals but I would have several fish in a huge tank in my living room.

I celebrated my 29th birthday this past monday (October 24th). I had a lovely dinner with my sister and her other half. No fireworks, cake, or partying all night 'til my feet hurt. I turned 29 and yet the world didn't stop to congratulate me on making it to the last year of my 20's. Not married. Career is (currently) far from fancy. My bank account laughs at the "TONS of money" statement. The only stairs near my residence lead to the condos above me. I don't even have the fish yet.

I admit I spent a few days prior to my birthday wondering what happened. I had this feeling of slight panic questioning WHY I didn't feel successful at all, as if I hadn't done enough. Afterall at 29, people have it all, right? The more I thought about it, I realized my panic was not necessary. Of course I want a lot more for myself in the future but as they would say "I'm right where I need to be".

With that said, I told many friends and family that I wanted to be more daring and bold after a friend dared me to be. As others have done, I decided I wanted a bucket list of sorts. This bucket list would consist of 30  things I wanted to do BEFORE I turned the big 3-0. I asked for suggestions and many chimed in. So here's the list, not in any particular order.

1. Learn to ride a bicycle (Yep, i never learned)
2. Volunteer 30 hours for a cause I support
3. Take a self defense class
4. Run/walk 30 miles a month
5. Do some sort of water activity: parasailing, jet skiing, scuba diving, swim with dolphins
6. Officially start my own company (Born To Fly)
7. Read/perform my poetry in front of a group of strangers
8. Travel out of the country VIA airplane
9. Take a conversational spanish class (I was the only black girl in Advanced Placement Spanish in 12th grade)
10. 10 5k's
11. Submit my pictures to a plus size modeling agency, site or contest just because
12. Blog more often
13. Meditate
14. Visit a gun range
15. Take professional pictures by the infamous Saddi Khali
16. Actually make youtube videos here: JackieONappy
17. Write and publish an article
18. Pose nude for pictures *gasps*
19. Pierce something/ tattoo something (probably the easiest task on this list)
20. Break the rules, make LESS lists and LIVE.

That's it!

Ok ok, so I suppose you've noticed there's only 20 things on this list but I decided, this was my idea and I couldn't think of 10 more things so 20 was sufficient.

I realize the lessons I've learned in my 28th year were all things I've already known but had to be reminded:

Love can be fantastic but isn't enough (by itself) to maintain or substain a relationship.
Most of the "You can'ts," & "You shouldn'ts," come from within. Self doubt can ruin you before you begin.
People will judge you, tell lies about you, and try to break you just to see how you react.
People will dislike you SIMPLY because you have something they want(ed)

The best lesson I've been reminded of though isn't particulary surprising or shocking by any means:

Life is all about chances and taking risks. You only get out what you put in. Be bold. Be beautiful. Be DARING. Life isn't always about to do lists and following the script. It's about getting up and doing IT and writing it down AFTER the fact.

My 29th year's motto: "In full bloom".

I look forward to the journey.

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary. ~ Cecil Beaton

I made it!

I survived the 30 days of raw foods and loved it so much, I'm doing an additional 30 days. I did eat fish on October 24th because it was my birthday.

Hmm. I am thinking back on what I've learned on this "diet".

Well....some things were reiterated for me including:
1. I DO NOT like avocado, cucumber, and squash. It doesn't matter if they are cooked or raw, no bueno and no thanks.

2. I have more discipline than I give myself credit for.

3. MOST people will look at you like you're INSANE when you tell them you're eating only raw foods and INSIST they could NEVER do it.

4. For a woman who used to profess to others "I don't like vegetables," I've come along way.

Now for the hardcore results:
My skin LOOKS clearer to me.
I feel lighter.
I rarely craved meat.
I ate a LOT of fruits and vegs and never felt like I was starving
I lost 12.1 pounds during the actual 30 days. Including the 2 weeks prior where i began to eat raw food meals for breakfast and lunch, I lost 19.4 lbs total.

So, i'm doing an additional 30 days that started on October 25....who's doing it with me???!?

Questions/comments/concerns? Feel free to reply