Self Portrait # 28


The other night my dad came over. I was cleaning out my fridge while crying ugly tears, because I’m learning to let the sadness out. I asked my dad if he was disappointed with me. That I have to start over, from scratch. And he looked at me and said, “I’m proud of you. I know how I felt when your mom died and I didn’t have little kids to take care of or a battle on my hands like you do because of how hard he’s making it. Just my sadness of losing your mom. And I’m still dealing with that. You made a really hard choice, but you have so much happiness ahead of you and that’s what is important. The happiness you will find at the end of this. I’m proud of you.”

My family doesn’t really say these things to each other, you should see my sisters face when I tell her I love her, or try to hug her. So these words mean so much to me. More days then not I want to ignore and pretend my life is not upside down. I want to cry. I want to stay in bed. I want to retreat from everything and everyone. I want to wallow in my self pity of losing my beautiful house, beautiful studio, beautiful property, beautiful dream I worked so damn hard for. But instead, I remember why I’m doing this. And when the sadness comes, I look at my four kids and remind myself what I’m showing them. When my heart aches, I pick up my guitar, or play the piano, or paint, or go put my feet in the grass, or dance, or read a book or get in the bath, or talk to friends, or play with my kids, I write in my journal and try to figure out where the root of my feelings come from and how I can improve myself. I do yoga, or exercise, or eat a bag of cookies. Life is hard. It is so easy to find the negative, to feel the want to give up. To wallow and ask why and feel sad for myself. But what a waste. I have too much light to give. There is still so much happiness to feel and make and be part of. Starting over is my chance to do it my way. Less material things, more love. Less anger, more adventure. Less fighting, more peace. Less fake, more raw realness. Thank you dad, for telling me you’re proud of me. That’s all I needed to hear.

Self Portrait # 27


Darling, believe me. You don’t need saving. You just need someone who will stand by you while you save yourself. – Ruby Dhal

These past three weeks have been extremely hard. I feel beat down and exhausted. I am angry, and I have now been pushed to the point, where fighting back is the only option. Thankfully I have a strong backing of amazing people that are behind me, encouraging me to keep moving, keep pushing, keep surviving. Today I looked in the mirror after I peeled myself off the floor from my panic attack, and said: enough. Time to save yourself and claim your life back. This is a pep talk I have had to give myself a few times, but today was different. I can feel the anger rising that I have been pushing aside. My light I carry is tinged with red flames right now, and I can accomplish a lot when I am angry. I’ve been controlled and beat down long enough. No more. I deserve better. I will no longer believe that I was not enough. I was damn more than enough.

Never stay with someone that makes you wonder how you feel about yourself. That makes you feel like you are never a priority. That tells you to turn the other cheek instead of standing up for you when you are wronged. That doesn’t show you fucking special you are to them. Don’t stay if there is no laughter, no warmth or comfort in their arms, no support. It is never worth it. You are worth so much more. As r.h. sin says, “one day you’ll mean something more and everything to someone better than whomever made you feel like nothing” and until you find that person, be that person for yourself. Love yourself hard. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made. And remember, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Everything that has happened brought you to the place you are supposed to be in. All of the poor choices, the wrong turns, the crappy people had a purpose. Without the dark you can’t see the light. So, no looking back. you have your life to live. Enjoy it. Laugh and love and learn and repeat.

Self Portrait #26


This has been part of my life for a long time. I have always ignored it, to push it aside and continue on. I had heart surgery at 26, after a cardiologist looked at my heart and said I should be dead for what it was doing.

I don’t ask for help. I don’t like people thinking I am weak. I don’t stop when it literally hurts to breathe or move. I don’t like when people try to do things for me because I’m having and off day and it shows. I don’t like burdening people with my problem. I don’t like talking about it because then I have to think about the fact that this heart might not be enough to last me this lifetime. But, I am tired. I know big changes need to be made. The first step was choosing an authentic life for me, even if it meant stopping the dream I had spent so many years building. Even if it meant a broken heart for this chapter in my life. Even if it meant starting over, creating myself from scratch. Even if it meant losing so many things that I thought were important to me.

As hard as it is for me, I’m realizing it’s ok to feel weak sometimes. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to let someone care for you. To open up and trust others with one of your biggest weaknesses is a humbling experience. I can’t do it all, although I try to.

Sometimes, I want to feel like I can lean into someone and they tell me, I’ve got you. Let me take care of you today.” Which is why I’m thankful for the tribe I’m building. If there is one thing I am learning, it is, surround yourself only with people that truly care about you. That adore you and support you and push you to be the best you. People that save space for you in their lives. Surround yourself with people that genuinely love you, and are happy for your successes, and supportive of your failures. People that you know will look at you with open arms and say “I’ve got you”. Let the others fall away. Don’t waste your precious time on them. The people that surround you are a reflection of yourself. Make sure it’s a beautiful, loving one…

Self Portrait #25


Sometimes you learn you can’t play nice when you’re playing with a narcissist.

Magic happens when

you do not give up,

even though you

want to.

The universe always

falls in love with a

stubborn heart.

I’m honestly too angry to write anything else today.

Self Portrait #24


A small list of bad habits:

  • zero impulse control
  • not willing to share my chocolate
  • eating cookies in bed
  • never untying shoes
  • pretending things are fine
  • loving all the way to the quick
  • making checklists for checklists
  • buying too many agendas, but never actually using them
  • not being aware of my surroundings
  • dancing wherever when a good song comes on
  • tunnel vision with my goals
  • giving in to my kids too easily
  • leaving laundry in the washer too long so have to rewash it
  • killing all house plants
  • being real with people
  • giving too many chances
  • emotional shopper
  • multitasking too much so nothing gets done
  • jumping to assumptions too quickly
  • never saying no to a bet/challenge
  • playing practical jokes on friends
  • eating junk food instead of veggies
  • treating my pets like they are my family
  • giving too much of myself to others
  • snorting when I laugh too hard
  • loving hanging out in bed
  • ignoring my health issues
  • not answering my phone, ever
  • throwing out things when cleaning, then having to rebuy them
  • And….I’m not changing any of them. Ever. I’m learning to embrace the good with the bad. These are the things that make me, me. And nobody else can do as good of a job as me then me. And one day, someone very lucky gets to put up with all of this

Self Portrait # 22


“If you love hard, that’s what makes it all worth it. Your heart dances when you open yourself to life” -the better an project

I believe that the worst thing you can do after you have been hurt is shut down and turn off. This was my first reaction, and I have to fight it hard sometimes, but I am learning to find things that I really enjoy, that bring joy and happiness into my life, and to do more of that. I am learning to find the right people and lean on them, as well as help them in their healing process. I believe you heal by helping others heal. But most importantly, I believe the best thing to do when you are hurting, is to open up. When you do this, the right people will find you. But if you keep yourself closed off, you will miss out on all the wonderful and amazing things happening in this moment.

Life is about the journey, not the destination. You will never fully reach your destination. You will always set a new goal, you will always think you will be happier once you move to a bigger house, or get a raise, or have a nice car. You will never find happiness this way.

When you are hurting, you have to forgive, or you become a slave to the past. You will relive something that you have no control over changing. To be free, accept what happens in your life. Accept it, learn from it, then let it go. Move on. It happened for a reason. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. So open your eyes to the gifts around you, the people and experiences that make life worth it. Don’t stay stuck in the prison you have built for yourself. It’s as easy as every morning, waking up, and choosing to be happy. Choosing to live the life you want. Living it like you’ve got everything you want. And it will come, there is no other option. I truly believe this. You are worthy of all the abundances you want. You just have to decide to put the work in. Start doing things that bring you peace and joy, even if it is hanging from a sling upside down in the ceiling. Let go of the anger at yourself for the “mistakes” you have made. Mistakes can turn out to be the most beautiful thing you ever did.

Self Portrait # 20



I am learning how important it is to quiet your mind. That the overthinking, over analyzing and doubt causes so much havoc on the body, mind and soul. Being married into a very Christian family, meditation was always frowned upon. So I never really explored it. Now, I realize how much I was missing out on. For 20 minutes, everything is quiet. I don’t think of anything that is happening in my life, I don’t make my check lists, I don’t beat myself up for doing so much wrong. Instead, I listen. I find praying is when you are asking, but meditation is when you are listening.

This has probably been the best thing I have added into my life. I realized this morning while I was doing this, that I hold a lot of guilt for being happy (most of the time) right now when my children are sad. I didn’t even realize I was doing this. And I know that eventually this will balance out, that when the dust settles and life moves on that they will be ok. But it’s amazing what we block out and try to ignore. So many are afraid to sit and just listen, for maybe they know what they will hear. But if you have healing to do, then I suggest you start here. People can help you in you journey, but you have to make the first steps to want a better life.

Healing takes courage, and we all have courage. It just depends how deep we want to dig.


Self Portrait # 19


Today is heavy.

And I know the next while will be. I fall apart this time of year. I’m coming up to my moms anniversary of her death. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. Right now I feel like there are so many directions I want to go. I am happy to be independent, I always have been. I don’t ask for help which can be a flaw, but it has made me strong and resilient. I have found peace in my decision. I am excited for all of the doors that are opening and the people I am meeting. I get daily texts and emails from women saying I am inspiring them….

But right now, things are heavy, empty. And for once, I know that’s ok. It’s ok to not feel ok. To breathe into that and feel it and sit with it. My daughter told me the other day that she will be sad for the rest of her life because her family didn’t turn out how it was supposed to. My son told me it’s his fault his beloved Louie died. My daughter told me it makes her sad that her mom and dad would never be in the same place with them again. My son told me he is sad that he has to move and leave his best friend. I don’t know what to say or do to comfort them. I let them cry in my arms and I hold them until they stop.

I struggle with the want to change my name back to my birth name. I don’t feel like a Bickle and I am sure they would prefer I wasn’t one. But my children are Bickles. But a wise friend pointed out, names are just letters, just different parts of our stories. I was born with one, and then I changed to another, but I am still me. My children started off not being able to call me anything, then it was momma, then mommy, then mom, all different names, but they all meant the same, it is the sentiment behind it. They know who I am, whichever name is used.

My brain is scattered right now. I want to be strong, but I also want a person. Someone that will put their arms around me and tell me it will be alright. That will tell me I am enough. That I can call to ask stupid questions that I need a second opinion on. Someone that wants to help carry my burden. Someone that gets me. I miss this, even though I never really had this. And I miss my mom. God, I miss my mom.

*This self portrait was taken in March of this year

Self Portrait # 18


All we have is now.

Don’t think.

It complicates things.

Just feel, and if it feels like home,

then follow its path. – r.m. drake

Oh the lessons I am learning. I am an overthinker, an overanalyzer. I get tunnel vision and get set on a path that I think is the only way. So many people have been brought into my life the last little white that are testing me to the core. That have opened my eyes. I am learning to detach. To send love to the outcome, but not one that I want, one that will be of the utmost good to whoever is involved. I am learning to trust and let go. To breathe. One of these people that I have recently met, who listens to my crazy texts and tells me to breathe on a daily basis, told me to go put my feet in the grass. He pointed out that as an empath, I need to ground myself daily.

I thought he was crazy, but it turns out he’s very smart. Every day, I walk into my back yard, take my boots off, stick my feet in the grass and turn my face to the sun. I stand here, and I give my thanks, because there is so much to be thankful for. I also sometimes get mad and curse, but that’s ok, ying and yang baby. Life is hard. Right now is hard. Today I want to scream and run away, but instead I stick my feet in the cold damn earth, and I breathe, I curse, because I don’t want to have to keep doing this fight, but then I say thanks for all of the good that is coming from it.

If it feels like home, if it feels right, then follow it’s path. We try to say, once I have this and this and this….then I will be happy, then I can do that. But if we wait for this and this and this…we will always be waiting. There is no check list for life. Put your feet in the ground, and push back. Take what feels good. Or else you will always be waiting for the right time, and it will never come. All we have is now. Now is the right time.

Self Portrait # 17



So this is you standing at the brink of your own chaos, arms out, holding back the floods and the hurricanes. This is you falling apart, breaking to pieces during earthquakes of trauma. This is you hurting, heaving and trying to heal. This is you, in the messiest part, right after it has happened. And you are asking why, why did this come to be? How could all this earthly chaos happen to me? To you I say, love, this is your growth, this is your survival, this is the result of the universe’s incantation, this, this is how that magic happens. – Nikita Gill

I have learned to no longer ask the question why. I refuse to take the victim role. To get angry and say it isn’t fair. That this was not how it was supposed to go. Instead, I listen. I feel the dull ache in my soul, the gentle humming around my heart, the longing for something without a name. Because there is a lesson to every single thing that happens to you. Instead of asking why, ask, what will you have me do now? What do you want me to do differently? Why is not a question that needs to be answered. It is a burden you will carry forever if you do. Feel the hurt, but find your authentic self, and push back. Lean into the discomfort. Lean into the unknown.

As things start to progress for me in my journey, I find my throat tightens and my anxiety hits hard. I feel like I am constantly balancing on a ledge. One side I am a fighter, the other side I am scared and lost. Each day determines which way I lean. Today I push back, today I lean towards the fighter, knowing that tomorrow I may be lost. But luckily, there’s always another day…