because life doesn’t fit in a file folder


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I’m celebrating the one year anniversary of my website! Seems like a good time for a giveaway!

To receive $20 in credit towards any inventory currently in my shop ~ and, believe me, I’m stocked for the holidays, just follow these simple instructions:

To enter:

1) LIKE RASJACOBSON ORIGINALS on Facebook or FOLLOW me on Instagram at @rasjacobson
2) On either/both pages, LIKE this photo
3) TAG 2 friends

Giveaway ends November 25, 2017 at 11:59PM PST. Winner will be announced by November 26th on IG, Facebook and on this blog. Winner will be chosen at random. Fake or giveaway accounts will not be considered. Giveaway open to residents of the continental US & Canada only.

This giveaway is not sponsored, administered, endorsed or associated with Facebook or Instagram. By entering you confirm that you are 18+ years old, releasing Facebook and Instagram of any and all responsibility & agree to Facebook and Instagram’s terms of use. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary.

 Have fun!
Every time you share my post, you help me spread my reach! I’m so grateful to all of you!

Just Keep Dancing: Musings From a Misunderstood Girl

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Dancing is when you tear your heart out and rise out of your body to hang suspended between the worlds. ~ Rumi

JUST DANCE is a 16×20 original multimedia piece featuring acrylic paint, vintage papers and stamps, oil pastels, colored pencils and itty-bitty gemstones (on the bodice of her dress). Interested in purchasing this piece? Leave a comment or message me on my CONTACT page.

People who know me well know I dance wherever I go. Because I’m always shaking and shimmying, people think I’m showing off. I’ve been accused of wanting attention.

The truth is I can’t hold still.

Dancing is my oldest coping mechanism. Before there was art or writing, there was dance.

These days, I dance at the gym. All the time.

I can’t help it. Whether I’m in the dance studio, the weight room, or the treadmill, I simply have to move.

Dancing is who I am.

(I may have forgotten about my body for a while, but I’m back in it now. Full force.)

Yesterday, I was talking to a trainer at the gym who told me I exude “amazing positive energy.” He said I appear confident and happy and like I have it all together. Even on Facebook, he said.

“If that’s true,” I said, “how come no one talks to me? Or asks me out?”

“You’re intimidating,” he said.

It’s a terrible irony. Stunning really.

To fill myself up, I dance…but because I feel comfortable in my body, I end up isolated because people see me as unapproachable. Intimidating.

It’s a weird kind of “splitting.” The world does not see me as I truly am. They don’t see me as insecure, or wounded. The world doesn’t see how I’ve been hurt. It’s invisible. It’s always been like this, and I think it’s why I often feel so misunderstood.

As a kid, many of my teachers had low expectations for me. My intellect was neither valued nor appreciated. But I‘m not stupid. I’m smart and ambitious. I have aspirations, and I continue to move in the direction of my dreams.

Learning about the way I am perceived helps me realize I have to work hard to be seen and heard. I suppose this means I’ll spend the rest of my life swirling in circles, squawking out my desires & scribbling out my words in hopes of being better understood.

Where have you been misunderstood?

Barn is Burnt Down

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Last night, I was feeling really good about the way my students’ writing is progressing. On my drive home, I noticed the moon hovering in the sky, like a giant apricot. The evening felt ripe and delicious.

I remembered a snippet of verse from the 17th century poet Mizuta Masahide.

the burn is burnt down


i can see the moon.

In the elevator on my way up to my apartment, I began to feel it.

My muse, kicking in, nudging me to paint from these bits of inspiration: the moon & the verse.

Over the last 4 years, there have been many losses.

Benozo withdrawal and divorce delivered serious blows resulting in enormous personal losses.

But I see it now.

How, if you just hold on, eventually things begin to change.

My health is returning, and I’m seeing the blessings that come out of the wreckage.

Like this painting stuff.

It’s still miraculous to me, this becoming who I am stuff.

So last night, I was up until 1 AM painting this:

I felt good about her, but I knew she wasn’t finished.

Something was missing.

This morning, when I looked at her, I knew exactly what needed to be done ~ and it is with this new clarity that I added a few extra touches. Do you see the difference?

It feels right, this intuitive way of painting.

These days, I apply what I learn in my painting practice to my life.

And I know this: If I’m feeling stuck, after a short break, the answer will come.

(And isn’t that always the case?)

What lessons have you learned recently?






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My First Gallery Event: THE HEALING of RASJACOBSON

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I’m going to be one of those artists who actually gets some love while I’m still ALIVE!

The opening is set for Saturday, September 16, 2017 between 6-9PM. at Whitman Works Gallery in Penfield, New York.

A small reception will be held, and – if I know me – there will be much weeping and hugging.

My greatest wish is that every person who is currently suffering the debilitating effects of benzodiazepeine withdrawal will see this and continue to hold on with the understanding that, eventually, the suffering ends. It ends. Healing is real, and it is proof that the Universe is truly looking out for each and every one of us.

I’m sharing the formal press release information here, in hopes that you will save the date on your calendars. I hope you will schedule me into your fall plans.

I am truly grateful for your support as I continue to rebuild my life.


Whitman Works Company in Penfield, New York is pleased to present “THE STATE OF UNDRESS: THE HEALING OF RASJACOBSON”. This exhibit represents Renée Schuls-Jacobson’s on-going journey to mental health after becoming disabled as a result of improper treatment and withdrawal from a powerful anti-anxiety medication.

During her illness, Renée realized there was a profound disconnection between how she looked and how she felt. In speaking with others who admitted that they, too, were struggling to overcome invisible obstacles of their own, she became interested in the tension between outward appearance and internal reality, creating impressionistic portraits based on the stories people shared.

Renee’s art reflects the duality between appearance and reality. Her colorful crowd of characters is enigmatic. Despite her use of a cheerful color palette, her subjects often appear to be deep in thought, even a little sad. For the full story, read her bio at

The artist will be in residence for the opening of the exhibit on September 16, 2017 from 6 PM to 9 PM. The show will continue in the Whitman Works Company Gallery through October 7th.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM – 6 PM. For additional information please visit the gallery shop in person or online.

More information about the paintings is being made available on My Patreon Page where, for a minimum of $1 per month, you can read my entire story, as I write it, and receive special content that no one else can see.
















BAGGAGE: First Chapter of my Memoir Posted on Patreon

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Wanna buy this clock? Click the photo to be magically transported to

I just posted my first chapter, BAGGAGE, on Patreon.

In this piece, I write about early childhood trauma that confused me and made me feel home was not a safe place. I couldn’t have been more than 8 years old, and was already inadvertently set on the path toward putting other people’s feelings/needs before my own.

For $1 a month, you will have access to all the chapters that I post.

I’ve posted a PREVIEW chapter for free.

My art is there, too ~ and people who subscribe to different level will receive some cool perks, including recognition on Facebook, coloring book pages, original art, framed prints as well as the opportunity to win prize packs up to $25 in fun WHIMSIGIRL stuff.

Check it out.





The Girl Inside: Wordless Wednesday

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Look at this girl. This girl loves full-length skirts and fearlessly twisted her long-sleeve shirt into a halter top. This girl raises her chin at a jaunty angle. This girl is sassy. This girl still lives inside me, and from time to time, she comes out to play.

Look at that belly.


So who lives inside of you?

tweet me @rasjacobson


Friday Dance Party: A Birthday Dance For Dad

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For as long as I can remember, my father has sent me a birthday limerick. These poems are never naughty (because that would be creepy), but they definitely rhyme – and I always get a kick out of them.

My father’s birthday falls just a few weeks after mine.

This year I’ve decided I’m tired of giving him pajamas.

This year I’m feeling more creative.

So I’m giving him a dance.

(Not that kind of dance. That would be creepy.)

Let me explain.

Growing up, I remember my father singing two songs. The first is called “A Song of Safety.” Actually, I don’t know what the song is called. That’s just what I call it. Somebody must’ve created a public service announcement for children back in the day to make sure they weren’t crushed by cars. You know, “Always use the crosswalk and look from left to right” that kind of stuff. Because my father used to sing this wacky song me, I know all the words in the first stanza.  I don’t even know if there is a second stanza.

Anyhoo, I scoured the Internet in an effort to find this song, but absolutely nothing came up.

And we all know if it’s not on the Internet, it isn’t real.

The second song I remember my father singing to is the one I’m featuring today.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 11.01.15 AM
Click on my nose to see me dance.

Happy B’day, Dad.

Hope you enjoy the song and my dance of appreciation and adoration.

And my big ole mane of hair.

What are some of your favorite birthday traditions? 

tweet me @rasjacobson

Do you BREATHE deeply?

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It’s Monday again, and – like last week – I’m back to offer a new 4×4 mini-canvas and share a little anecdote.

One of the things I’ve become good at over the last 15 months is meditation. Seriously, I can sit quietly for a ridiculously long time. That’s not to say that my mind is always quiet, but sometimes I actually get to stillness. When I first started my meditation practice, I was instructed to take 3 deep breaths. I was all, “Whatever. How can this possibly help me?” So I inhaled and exhaled and inhaled and exhaled.

I was hardly in a Zen place.

My teacher put my hand on my stomach. “Breathe so your belly inflates like a balloon,” she said.

Apparently, I’d been breathing backwards all these years.

Once I mastered inhaling and exhaling, I was able to relax more fully.

BREATHE is a 4x4 mini-canvas featuring acrylic paint & texturizing medium. Just $20. Interested? Type SOLD in the comments or email me at
BREATHE is a 4×4 mini-canvas featuring acrylic paint & texturizing medium. Just $20. Interested? Type SOLD in the comments or email me at

Who would have thought it was possible to breathe wrong?!

So how do you begin a meditation practice? It’s easy.

1. Sit or lie comfortably.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.

4. Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly. Make no effort to control your breath; simply focus your attention. If your mind wanders, simply return your focus back to your breath. Maintain this meditation practice for 2–3 minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.

Sounds easy, right?

Mindful meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. The intention is not to get involved with the thoughts or to judge them, but simply to be aware of each thought as it arises.

Through meditation, I’ve been able to see how my thoughts and feelings move in particular patterns. I have become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge experience as “good” or “bad” (“pleasant” or “unpleasant”). With practice, an inner balance develops.

In our hurry-hurry-rush-rush world, we sometimes feel guilty when we aren’t doing something.

I’ve soooo over that. Some people pray and some people meditate. Sitting silently is one of the greatest gifts I give to myself each day.

I encourage each of you to try it. Go ahead. Do it right now. Sit quietly and feel the chair beneath you. Feel your feet pressing against the floor. How long can you sit quietly without opening your eyes?

It’s important to take a few moments each day to let go of stress and, to that end, I’m offering BREATHE today for $20.

Have you ever meditated? What was your experience like? What was the biggest surprise for you? What was the biggest frustration?

tweet me @rasjacobson

Anxious About #BlissDom? You’re Not Alone!

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In a few days, I’ll be attending BlissDom, a blogging conference in Grapevine, Texas.

I’m excited to network and meet some cyber-buddies, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to being nervous, too.

For weeks, I’ve read posts about what people are doing to prepare for this thing. Some bloggers wrote about how they plan to get to the conference early so they can have their nails done & have their hair cut and colored before the keynote on Thursday night.


Some women posted pictures of what they plan to wear to the conference. Others mentioned they received sponsorships from clothing companies that not only paid for their tickets to the conference, but also gave them cute outfits to wear the entire weekend.


I’ve read how about how important it is to pack properly for this conference. Apparently, I need earplugs and Band-Aids and duck tape and snacks and comfortable {yet stylish} shoes. And an iPad. And gifts for my roommates.

Holy moley, Spicolli.

I know y’all mean well, but y’all are making me want to hide at the pool, and I haven’t gotten on the plane yet!

For those of you who haven’t met me yet (and that would be everyone since this is my first blogging conference), I figured I’d come clean right now.

I will not be the girl with the make-up or the nails or the pretty outfits.

Coming from Rochester, New York, I live in a puffy, black sleeping bag coat between November and April. We all do. It’s a thing.

So I probably shouldn't wear this, huh?
So I probably shouldn’t wear this, huh?

Also, I operate under a probably misguided belief that I look adorable in jeans worn under a sundress.

With cowboy boots.

So I will probably be wearing something like this:

This works, right?


I might also be wearing a hat.

On account of my crazy hair.

Here are some things I would appreciate if you would do when you see me at BlissDom:

  1. Check my teeth. I have this one area where food always gets caught. Friends generally tell me if there is something nasty up in there. Seriously, I will love you if you lean over and discreetly tell me my lunch is stuck in my grill.
  2. Dance with me.  I plan to tear it up on the dance floor. I don’t need any alcohol or drugs or anything to get out there. If you want my drink tickets me to love you forever, dance with me. Don’t say you need ten drinks first. Just come join. I promise I won’t make you stand on the bar. Probably.
  3. Ask me if I know where I’m going. I was not born with an innate sense of direction. When traveling alone, I am 100% dependent on Google Maps, which probably won’t help much inside the Gaylord Hotel. If you see a woman weeping in a corner, chances are I have to pee and I can’t find a bathroom. If you can just point me in the right direction, I’d be much obliged.

Help me on any of these fronts, and I’ll pretty much do anything for you.

I’ve got my business cards and my iPad.

This Yankee is packing her big girl panties and her cowboy boots.

I promise to bleach my mustache for you.

But I’m not getting a spray tan or micro-demabrasion or liposuction or Rejuviderm or Botox.

{Unless someone is offering to sponsor that. In which case I totally am.}

Get ready, BlissDom.

I’ll be the 45-year-old shaking her badonkadonk on the dance floor.

What are the most important things you have ever brought to conferences — writing or otherwise?

tweet me @rasjacobson

The Best Card My Son Received For His Bar Mitzvah: When Hilarious Meets Holy

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A small sampling of the most popular cards Tech received for his bar mitzvah.

Apparently, there are 7 different store-bought cards a boy can receive for a bar mitzvah.

And don’t get me wrong; they are all lovely.

Friends and family wrote wonderful messages to Tech, who insisted on reading each note before looking at the gift.

After a while, we did start to keep a little tally to see which card would be designated the “most popular card to receive on your bar mitzvah day.”

This was the one.

Tech got a lot of those.

There were waaaay more cards for a girl celebrating her bat mitzvah.

Like this one.

Tech received this card from his grandmother.

I don’t think she was trying to be funny.

But it was extremely funny. *smiles*

Hands down, the best card, came from one of my husband’s oldest friends.

Neil is known for his kooky gifts. It’s his thing. He once gave Tech a sushi stapler; the child looked like he had won the lottery. Another time Neil had just returned from a trip overseas and gave our son a black baseball cap that had “Fukuoka” embroidered in white on the back. Wearing it, made Tech feel like he was getting away with swearing when really he was simply advertising a city in Japan located 1,100 kilometers from Tokyo. More recently, Neil brought us an enormous jar of Polish pickles.

So of course, it should have been no surprise when we saw Neil’s card.

Yup. He penned it on a rubber chicken.

It was awesome.

Especially this part:

In case you can’t read it, it says: “Butt seriously, pardon the fowl humor. Congratulations on your Bar Mitzvah.” Very punny, no?

When I told Neil how awesome it was that he took the time to find a rubber chicken, that he even had the idea to write on it, he waved his hand dismissively.

Like it was no big whoop.

Except it was.

He found a way to make Tech’s bar mitzvah – which was already amazing – even more memorable.

In Judaism, we are taught to be mindful and pay attention to the smallest details because G-d is everywhere and in everything.

Though Neil would shrug and call me meshugganah, I believe that in paying attention to the smallest details, Neil helped remind us even the most seemingly insignificant act can be something that connects us to G-d, to the rest of humanity, even the universe.

The chicken card was a small detail.

It was hilarious.

And holy.

I know Tech will never forget it.

None of us will.

What little things have people done for you that have stuck with you?

Tweet this Twit @rasjacobson