Jackie VanCampen's Blogs

Jackie VanCampen
I’m standing here in my kitchen reading a message I received from a friend about how my book impacted her life. She said she had no idea how much I had gone through because I was always so full of light… As I thought about what she said, I began to think of the struggles and circumstances in my life and how I had decided to step out of being a victim to be being in charge of my happiness…

We often say that certain situations make us a better a better person, and, although I agree with this statement, I feel that it’s not so much our circumstances that make us a better person; rather, it’s the choice we make to win over our circumstances that makes us a better person. I know many people who use their struggles to keep themselves victims and disempowered.

When my daughter chose to move with her dad to Brazil, what came to me was that this was the time for her to be his teacher; for her to show him another way of being; for him to connect with something deeper within himself… I knew that she had been the main reason why I chose to go on a journey of healing and transformation. I wanted to give her a better life. I wanted to show her what self-love felt like. I wanted to show her what a good relationship looked like. Then tonight, as I thought of her mission to be her father’s teacher, it hit me that perhaps her mission those many years back, when I decided to go on my healing journey, was to be my teacher. What if she actually was the catalyst for me to know what self-love felt like? What if she came to show me what a good relationship looks like?

What if she truly were that powerful? What if our children were that powerful? Often times as parents we think we are the ones teaching, when in reality, we are the ones being taught. Now that’s an interesting concept!

As her father now gets to be blessed with having her full-time as his teacher, it’s my hope that he will take full advantage of the learning opportunity and begin his own journey of healing and transformation.

What would it take to acknowledge our children for the gift they bring to our lives; for the lessons and the experiences we get to have with them, even the ones we deem painful and impossible to change? How grand it is to intertwine the relationship we have as parents and children! How can we gift that to our communities and the world?

I will end with an excerpt from my book – Letters to My Daughter: A Mother’s Journey of Healing and Transformation

” Marla, your presence in my life has always been a healing presence, but this journey of watching you make your choice to go to Brazil has taken my own healing to all new places.

As I’ve watched and supported you in making your own choices and listening to your heart, I have been able to look back and further heal my own story.

You and I are being led along a magical journey, and we get to choose how we see, feel, and behave while on this new adventure.

You can fly. Strengthen those wings, Baby. Learn how to let the wind carry you. Learn to trust it. Your purpose is bigger than you can imagine. This is just the beginning.”

Jackie VanCampen
What if everything that shows up in your life is by your own choosing? What would you choose? What is your wise heart within asking you to choose that you have been ignoring and that if you did choose it would give you more ease, joy, and glory?

For me it's choosing my own truth and acknowledging the contributions and gifts that I be to myself and others; and choosing awareness so I can break the limitations I have been locking in place which cause me to choose to block myself from receiving from others.

This morning I was thinking about this class I want to take and I kept asking, "What would it take for the money to show up so I can take this class?" The thought of asking my parents kept coming up, and I kept resisting it. "Well, the couple of times I insinuated I could use their support with something that involved money, I received a gentle 'I wish we could help you with that, but we're not really in a place we could do it.'" To which in my head I would respond, "I'm not asking you anyway." So I decided there's no way I'm asking now for them to invest in me so I can take this class.

Then I went into resentment of them; how they put my brother and sister through college, but not me. How they kicked me out their house because I chose my boyfriend instead of what they wanted for me. How they prefer my brother and sister because I'm my father's daughter with another woman. I had so many points of view locked in place.

The wise heart within kept nudging me to go deeper and keep asking where I have been locking these judgments in place and why I perceive I can't ask them for anything.

Then I got hit in the head with a ton of bricks! Holy crap! When I left their house, I determined that I would never ask them for anything even if I were starving and didn't have a place to go. I determined that I was going to make it on my own without their support and that I didn't need them anyway, and that if I ever asked them for anything I would be putting myself under their control once again. It's no wonder I haven't been able to receive anything from them even when they want to gift me! I have a wall with a huge neon sign that says, "No Gifts Accepted from You!"

That's crazy, right? But that's how many of us are choosing to live - from some point of view that we have locked in place and that we have completely shut off from our awareness making it unable for us to choose a different reality.

As a mother, I’m always asking myself, “How can I raise my daughters to be in more consciousness? What tools can I offer them that would leave them empowered to choose for themselves and choose their own truth?” The question also goes in my asking of what I can choose for myself so they can see what choosing looks like. It’s an interesting place to be in as I as a parent because I know that it’s a lot more about how I choose to be versus what I say to them.

So what would it take for you to start asking the questions that would unlock your points of view that keep you from receiving from you and others?

So now that I just had this aha about my own points-of-view I created about my parents, I can choose to receive from them freely, and that’s what I want to emulate to my kids, that receiving is a choice that is ever present for them.

So, mom and dad, what would it take for you to gift me everything that you have been trying to gift me that I have been refusing to receive? I now receive your gifts with the utmost gratitude! Thank you!
Jackie VanCampen
Recently my book coach posted my message/blog on her website and I was ecstatic! There it was – my message and next to it the cover of my upcoming book! I felt so proud of myself; it has been a long journey, and now to see it posted on her site just made it all more real.

I spent a long while posting and reposting it on Facebook and sent e-mails to my friends. I was so excited to share my story and the cover of my book! Suddenly, just as I had been swept by all the excitement of sharing my message, with that same strength I felt heaviness inside my heart. Where is this coming from?!? What points of view am I choosing right now? I asked myself quite caught by surprise by this heavy energy I was feeling.

The first thought that popped in my head was, “Why are you positing all this stuff? Are you just seeking acknowledgment from people? Seriously, I think you’re actually boring people with it and saying, ‘hey look at me; look at me!’” Whoa! I could feel the surge of limiting self-talk wash over me as I kept feeling heavier and heavier. At the same time, I kept trying to be the observer of my own emotions so I wouldn’t get completely caught up in my downward spiral of negativity.

As each emotion/point of view kept coming up, like, I’m not good enough. Who’s going to listen to me anyway? I don’t have anything to contribute, etc; I went into my heart and asked what was true for me while trying to listen to it through all that mental chatter. I went to bed feeling somewhat lighter, but still with some of the emotions lingering.

Then the next day, while listening to some very empowering tools, I heard, “What if you could bake the cake and eat it too? What if you having and being more of you could actually facilitate transformation on the planet?” Wow! What if me being me could cause transformation on the planet?!? Sure, I will take that!

When you can be who you truly are and you can allow your light to shine ever so brightly, not only can you transform your life by leaps and bounds, you also give others access to do the same for themselves.

We’re so caught up in wanting to be accepted, we forget that the only person who needs to accept us is ourselves. What if you could be as magnificent as you truly are? What if you didn’t have to worry about being so bright because you are worried you will outshine others? You know what? They can always get darker shades if they are not willing to have their light shine!

What if your heart is saying to you that you are powerful and empowered? What would you create? What kind of life would you be living? There’s only one person powerful enough to stop you from achieving your magnificent life, and one person powerful enough to give you all of you. And it’s not me. Smile

Celebrate who you are. Have gratitude for what you have accomplished and been so far. Then ask, what’s next? What else is possible?

Once I was able to ask myself those same questions, my whole world opened up, and because I was no longer in judgment of myself, I could now become the contribution to myself and others that I know I can be.

So, I’m definitely baking my cake and eating it too! Oh, and it tastes soooo good! Oh yeah, and here’s my message on my coach’s website! Smile

Jackie VanCampen
At 8:45 tonight I kissed and hugged my thirteen-year-old good bye as she walked through the security gate at LAX. My daughter Marla just took a quantum leap for what’s possible in her life. She is moving to Brazil with her dad and grandma for, at least right now, two years.

Up until the this point, I have been actually doing pretty good, considering I’m sending my daughter off to another country and won’t get to see her much when I’m used to seeing her every day. This weekend was rough. Friday I had a surprise “World of Possibilities” party, as I like to call it since it seems more joyous than Going Away party, and she was totally surprised. I had about 35 13/14 year olds. It was awesome and as we opened the door, all her friends threw confetti at her and shouted, “Surprise!!!!” Even though I did not get to see her expression, since all these kids pretty much swarmed her, she told me she almost had a heart attack! How’s that for excitement!

Yesterday must have been the hardest since I got to pack all her stuff, while she played with her friends all day and spent the night with her cousins. All I could think of was when I left Brazil to come back to America to live with my dad. I was nineteen years old. I remember the last few days all I wanted to do was hang out with my friends and I think I barely spent any time with my mom. As I spent these last few days with Marla, I went back to that time 19 years ago, when I took the leap of faith to move here for a world of possibilities. Now as a mother I started wondering what my mom must have felt when I left or when I chose my friends over her. She never made me feel guilty about it just as I didn’t make Marla feel guilty about it, but I’m sure it hurt just as it hurt me. Not that she spent time with her friends, but that a piece of me was leaving, even though I know that this is going to be an amazing opportunity for her. I think in a way, this was an opportunity for me to heal whatever regrets I had about those years ago with my mom that I didn’t even know were there until this weekend; and as the anniversary of mom’s passing approaches tomorrow, I feel even more present to these feelings.

I was suppressing my emotions all day yesterday to the point where I yelled at my three-year-old for doing what three year olds do. I then realized that I had to connect to my heart and let my emotions flow. I hugged her as I cried and said sorry for yelling at her. I knew I had been pushing my emotions down and avoiding them at all costs. My chest started to hurt as I could feel my heart contracting. As I burst into tears I could feel my heart feeling more spacious and the sadness dissipating some. I felt released and light.

“Never mind I’ll find someone like you…” The radio was playing Adele as we got in the car to go to the airport. I started to cry since that’s one of Marla’s favorite songs. Then as we picked up a few of her friends to go with us, one of her friends, who wasn’t able to go with us, gave her a big hug. I completely broke down. I turned my face away so she wouldn’t see me sobbing, but it was impossible for her not to notice as I started sniffling and breathing with more intensity as I wiped my face over and over again. She held it together well. I hope she’s not learning to shove down her emotions…

I cried at least half way to the airport. I started to relate to the parents who send their kids away to college. You know they will be fine; you know you will see them again, but there’s an element of letting go that is quite challenging. It’s like a rite of passage into adulthood. They have been your child this whole time and then suddenly they are off on their own. It’s a feeling that only those who have experienced it can actually understand. It’s a desire to hold on and yet, there is a joy inside and excitement for what they will get to accomplish next. Although Marla is not there yet, if she does choose to stay the full two years her dad wants her to stay, she will be almost sixteen by the time she comes back. She will have grown so much and probably changed so much too. And then there’s the possibility she may really love her new life and choose to stay. One day at a time…

As we headed back home, my seven-year-old started to cry. She was sad to see her big sister leave. It also reminded me of my little brother. When I left Brazil he was two months shy of being five years old. I never really thought of what must have been like for him to have his big sister go. I wonder if he really ever understood why I was leaving. I wonder if he missed me as I see Jasmine missing Marla…

I see so many parallels between my life and Marla’s. I’m her twin as she likes to say. The difference now, however, is that when I left Brazil, it was more because my mom felt there were no opportunities for me there. The economy was terrible, there were no jobs, and she didn’t feel I had future that would really expand my life. With Marla, she has opportunities in both places and now she gets to go so she can experience her culture; become fluent in another language; expand her mind; and get to know her relatives better.

I wrote to her that home is where the heart is and she’s fortunate to have many places she can call home, and that this home is always open for her whenever she chooses to return.

I’m missing my big baby girl already and I know it will take some time to adjust; however, I’ll be plenty busy with my other two little ones and putting the finishing touches on my book which launches in March, which has been written to Marla.

This year has been quite the year with major events happening and I’m looking forward to an even greater 2012. More opportunities to travel to Brazil and beyond!
Jackie VanCampen
Gifts Wrapped in Chaos
Posted October 18, 2011 by Jackie VanCampen in Family & Home
Bedtime at my house can, at times, feel like a prison sentence. It’s always the same rushing around – feeding the kids some snack (15 minutes after they had dinner AND dessert), getting them to brush their teeth, reading a bedtime story, and the latest, ballet recitals.

I feel like I go into a time vortex – every minute counts! My three year old has recently decided to add a ballet repertoire to the bedtime routine. I have to sing ballet-type songs (whatever that means) while she twirls and points her toes and leaps like a true, professional prima ballerina. As fun as it is to watch her dance, there’s a part of me screaming for her to just get into bed and go to sleep already!

During my childhood, going to bed meant, I read a story, had a glass of milk, brushed my teeth, and went to bed and didn’t make a peep. No, water after the lights were out was definitely not allowed! Now I feel like I have been hijacked by my children. That would’ve never happened with my parents!

One day while driving home from work, I set an intention that all I wanted was a quiet, peaceful evening. I really just wanted to take some time to sit and meditate. In reality it was more like wishful thinking. I knew very well what was ahead of me.

We started the nightly routine, just like many nights before, where I had to come up with some Disney princess songs that I probably only knew one verse, battle the dragon that spat fire and had Princess Isabella stuck in the highest tower of the highest castle in all of Dragonland, sing every children’s song Barney has ever done a cover, sing itsy bitsy spider really fast while going up and down her back, and then sing it slow, and then when I thought I had exhausted all possible forms of entertainment and I could now kiss her good night and start to leave, I heard the inevitable whine, “I want my mommy!”

By this point I can feel my blood pressure rising and my blood boiling. I’m approaching the red zone. I take a few deep breaths and start telling her how I still need to help her older sister with her homework, how her other sister needs her to go to sleep, so she can go to sleep (they share a room and Jazzy usually can’t go to bed until Izzy is asleep otherwise all Izzy wants to do is talk), how I still have to take a shower, all to no avail. She cries and I feel like I too want to cry. So I give in and I sit in her toddler bed.

Suddenly there’s silence and in that silence the dark clouds in my mind open up to reveal the sun of wisdom and that’s when I get my AHA moment – the intention I had set for quiet and peace had been granted, but I was too busy with my mental chatter to notice the gift. When I finally became present in the moment, I realized that some gifts come wrapped in obscure ways and it takes one really being in the now to notice them. I sat there and basked in the silence and quietude of her room. I was probably in there for ten minutes and I actually got to do a short meditation.

I then noticed that she had finally fallen asleep. I got up, thanked her for being the bearer of that wonderful gift, kissed her good night, and walked out of her room feeling refreshed.

Moral of the story – be present to the gifts life is bringing you. It doesn’t always manifest in a logical kind of way, but if we are really aware, we will notice the gift even in the midst of chaos.

Do I still get triggered during bedtime? Of course! But I can always choose to shift my perspective and see the gifts and lessons each moment can bring.
Displaying 1 to 5 of 6