I’m so excited to be introducing all of you to Jackie Loughlin, who is not only a friend of mine but a beautiful soul. Jackie practices somatic coaching, which means that she helps women focus on the connection of mind, body, and soul in all aspects of life. Think of her as the life coach we all need! Jackie wrote an incredible introduction along with her amazing answers to all of your questions, so I’ll let her take it from here.
From Jackie: Have you ever felt like your every day is a hamster wheel and you just can’t seem to get off? Spinning in perfectionism and people-pleasing? Exhausted from pretending and feeling the need to perform all the time? Checking off every single box life has offered? College degree, check. Stable job, check. Promotion, check. Spouse, check. Kids, check. House, check. You get the picture. You find yourself believing that once you check the next box THEN you will feel different, so you get up every day and do it all over again. Hi. I’m Jackie Loughlin and that isn’t just another analogy or something I read in a book- that was my life.
So I began a journey. A journey where I made a defining choice. It was in the middle of the holiday season (typically when the hamster wheel speeds up) and I didn’t get on. I didn’t take the kids to see Santa, I didn’t deck the tree, I didn’t send out Christmas cards, or attend Christmas parties. It was unbelievably hard for me on so many levels. I just couldn’t keep the picture-perfect image together any longer. In so many ways I felt like I was suffocating in silence. My marriage was a disaster, my motherhood felt like total chaos and I just wanted to stop spinning in my thoughts.
It was in the pause of a week-long trip (no kids), and through receiving support that I was able to experience all the pain that I had pushed away for so long. Feeling my pain allowed me to clear my path and has now fueled my purpose. I am here to let every woman who comes my way know that there is SO MUCH MORE available to you then the life you are living. That a life exists beyond your doing and just simply in your being. To empower you to unleash your fullest potential in your mindfulness, in your marriage and in your motherhood. To offer you healing in body mind and soul through somatic experiences and coaching.
So I thank YOU. Thank you for your vulnerability, for the courage you chose in submitting these questions. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts, experience and gift.
Q: I have a hard time enjoying the moment and seem to always be focused on what’s coming next. How do I become less task-minded and grounded in the present?
A: Presence is both an invitation and a daily practice. An invitation to find calm within our bodies. To truly feel at home. Settled. In these moments where we get caught in the winds of what lies ahead we get to remind ourselves that through breath and compassion with our selves that the storm inside can also be settled. It takes far deeper courage and bravery to pause and still the storm within than to autopilot our days. I would highly recommend exploring meditation.
Q: How can I know that my friends are “true” friends? I seem to have trouble making and maintaining authentic friendships.
A: My experience is that the deeper you go within YOUR heart the farther you will be able to go within the heart of another. So the question then becomes how do we go deeper within ourselves? How do we love ourselves? Radically accept ourselves? How can we affirm within ourselves the things we seek from others? My relationship with myself is often equivalent to my relationship with others. It starts with you! Author Rupi Kaur says it best, “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”
Q: I am struggling to work up the courage to make a big career change. How can I become more confident?
A: One of my favorite quotes says, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” I would invite you to put language to the fear. My feeling is that this isn’t about your confidence but rather in the fear crippling you from what you know you need to do in your heart. Everything you want is on the other side of fear.
Q: I have trouble maintaining work/life balance. I would love to hear your tips for setting better boundaries!
Answer part a: First on work/life balance. What if balance is bogus? What if instead we could multiply our time? There are so many things grabbing at our attention. Time is our most valuable resource and yet it is one of the most underappreciated and misused.
What I would invite you to do is track your time spent for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks take inventory. Place things into categories of elimination, automation and delegation. Elimination meaning what things am I doing that aren’t really necessary, what things am I doing that can be put on an automated system, and what things in my life can be completely delegated.
Answer part b: Boundaries. So the topic of boundaries is its own onion with so many layers to speak into. Instead I will offer you some language to support you in saying no. I always like to acknowledge or show gratitude first. “Thank you for inviting us to the party, we feel so special. However, we will be unable to attend.” PERIOD. “Thank you for thinking of me, tonight I just plan on laying low.” It will get easier as you are in the practice of setting these boundaries. Give yourself the permission to say yes to you always!
Q: I’m an adult, but I still feel like I need my parents’ approval on everything I do. Is this normal?
A: Parent pleasers often become people pleasers. If you find yourself still seeking the approval of others this is often an indicator of people pleasing from childhood that has transitioned into your adult being. This does not make your parents wrong or bad, or you! We get to become aware of this and choose different in the form of healthy boundary setting.
Q: How can I get over mom guilt and take time for myself?
A: I could write a book on this one! However, I’ll say this, guilt only works if you allow it. It feels so uncomfortable and counterintuitive but truly your power in motherhood is in making yourself a priority. I always invite mothers into maximizing the micro-moments. That means that you get to sit down and eat a hot meal. You get to take an uninterrupted shower. You get to drink a cup of hot coffee. All of these things are available to you. You get to be supported so that you can show up as your highest self. I know for me, when I traded in my badge of depletion in motherhood I felt like I could breathe again.
Q: My partner is going through a rough patch in all aspects of life and feeling very down on himself. What can I say to encourage him?
A: What if you didn’t have to say anything? What if you could just listen to him? Allow him to feel your support. One of the greatest gifts we can offer another is the gift of generous listening. Listening to RECEIVE and not to RESPOND. To receive someone’s words is to put ourselves in their shoes. To feel their inadequacies, their frustrations, their hurt.
Q: I feel like I’m always losing my patience around my kids. Do you have any tips for staying calm and in control?
A: I would offer mommy a time out. Moms get to take a break. We can not pour from an empty cup. I often equate motherhood to the safety protocol offered on a flight. If an emergency occurs during the flight, you are required to put on your own oxygen mask first. We can not show up present and calm if we are not in the right headspace. Take five! What a beautiful gift to show our children.
Q: The comparison game can get so overwhelming. How do I stay above it all?
A: For me, comparison was rooted in what I call a scarcity mindset. It is feelings of inadequacy, not enough, and heavily competitive. I truly held tightly to the limiting belief that there wasn’t enough room for “her” to be winning and for me to be winning. An abundance mindset unlocks the belief that there is more than enough time, resources, energy for everyone and everything! Also remember that no one is you, and that is your unique superpower!
Q: I’ve got a great job but consistently feel like I’m not competent, or don’t deserve to be there (which affects the way I present my ideas and engage with my coworkers). How can I get over this?
A: What I’m hearing you say is that you feel like your voice doesn’t matter. I’m here to remind you that you do matter. That you are worth your weight in gold right here and right now. Remember that the way you feel about yourself is subconsciously teaching others how you want to be seen. They are simply mirroring back to you how you are choosing to feel.
Q: I’m really feeling the struggle of being everything to everyone (mom, wife, boss, sister, friend). How can I stay balanced?
A: “If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” Author Brene Brown. It’s time to protect you and your energy, in doing this you will find the balance you seek within yourself. Stand in your power, you’ve got this!
Q: I’m not sure I know my purpose in life. What questions should I be asking myself?
A: I love love love this question. I hold the belief that our life is either by design or by default. For me, this question is about legacy. Think about the roles that you play (wife, daughter, sister, mother, friend). What feeling do you want others to say you left them with? What contribution would you like to leave? We often get to the end of our lives and are filled with regret. The late Kobe Bryant wrote a beautiful note to basketball and in there he said, “you asked for my hustle and I gave you my heart” I promise if you start living and leading from your heart your path to your purpose will unfold.