Many years ago, I inherited one of my grandmother’s plants: a heavy pot of thick roots and tens of long, robust green leaves with rounded tips. At first, I thought it was an orchid, but after showing it several florists who could not identify it, I decided to love my weird, unknown plant, no matter what it was.
I’ve had this plant for forty years now, and I remember how – just a few days after I moved into my first house – eight gorgeous orange blossoms appeared clustered atop one tall, flat stem. I hadn’t seen the stem growing or noticed any buds, so it was a complete surprise when it arrived on the scene.
Before that day, I had no idea the plant ever bore flowers, and I remember feeling a strong connection with my grandmother, a complicated woman, to whom I was always very close.
Despite the fact that I fed and watered it dutifully, decades passed and my plant never flowered again.
In fact, I kind of forgot that the plant flowered at all…
…until June 2016.
I was moving through a difficult divorce…
…when my plant burst into color for the first time since 1997.
At the time, I posted a photo of it on Facebook, asking if anyone could identify what it was.
Almost immediately, my friend Regina sent me a link about a rare African lily, Clivia Amaryllidceae, which – according to the article – stated that the plant normally blooms once every 20-25 years.
And as you can imagine, I was beside myself and I spent way too much time telling everyone about my amazing rare lily. I loved seeing my plant bloom again, and I made peace with the idea that its beauty would be impermanent.
A week later, as each petal shriveled and fell off the stem and onto the floor, I thought about how grateful I was to have been able to enjoy such a simple pleasure so fully.
I resumed regular care of my lily, which meant watering it on Saturdays, and I figured I’d have to wait another 20 years or so before I’d see it bloom again.
But guess what?
It has bloomed again EVERY SINGLE YEAR since.
So much has happened in the last ten years.
I’ve experienced the most intense physical and psychological pain that I could have ever imagined while coming off the powerful anti-anxiety drug, clonazepam. The terror that I experienced daily for nearly 2 years is almost indescribable. I cannot believe I survived it.
There was a period where my brain was so damaged that the concept of beauty was just a memory of an idea. I could feel nothing at all. If a friend tied to touch me, her hand was too rough. If the sun was shining, it was too bright. If children were laughing, it was too loud. I was certain people were trying to hurt me. I was certain my food had been poisoned.
Trapped in a pain cycle, all the highly paid “experts” told me I was crazy, that it was “absolutely impossible” for me to still be experiencing withdrawal symptoms after 24 months.
And while the best conventional minds told me I was mad, there were others who knew better. People reached out to me and told me that I would be okay. That I just needed to hold on for another moment.
And another moment.
They reassured me that all the tiny moments would add up.
They said the moments would grow into minutes.
Which would grow into hours.
Which would grow into days.
They told me there would be days where I would go backwards, where my symptoms would intensify. They told me it was all part of the healing.
They told me to trust the nature of things.
Nature knows what to do, they told me.
I’ve always believed in angels, and I believe — more than ever – that we are all surrounded by a powerful, invisible magic. I’ve tried to speak of this many times while I was growing up, of my intense connection to something beyond the visible, a cosmic force that I have experienced directly many times, but I was teased and laughed at.
Today, I’m in touch with something beyond this world, something that other people don’t seem to be able to access as easily as I do.
These days, I am certain that my grandmother is communicating with me via this plant that we share, this tender life that we have spent over 100 years nurturing, separately, yet together. Today, she is telling me that I’m on the right path, reminding me that beautiful things happen when we aren’t looking, or waiting, or expecting or trying to control everything.
I know that many of you are going thru something hard right now.
As someone who has been there, I hope you will allow me to share something with you on this most beautiful, sun-filled May day.
WHENEVER YOU ARE IN THE MIDST OF SOMETHING DARK, WHENEVER YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THE MIDST OF SO MUCH UNCOMFORTABLE CHANGE, UNDERNEATH ALL THE FEAR AND THE DREAD, I CAN TELL YOU WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE OKAY.
You will bloom again, too.
I am so looking forward to Festival Season 2023! I have bins *filled* with brand new work to share, things that aren’t even on my website yet! I hope you’ll check out at my schedule and consider coming to at least one of these amazing venues to support your favorite artists & makers. And if you aren’t local, be sure to find the festivals in your area! We can’t do it without the support of our art patrons!
NOTE: This page will be updated throughout the season, and I will do my best to provide my exact location at each event as soon as that information becomes available.
April 1 & 2
Makers & Shakers Market
140 Lee Road
Buffalo, NY • 10am-5pm
Figgy Shop & Studio Pop-Up
251 Park Avenue • Rochester, NY • 5pm-8pm
May 5-13 • JOYfilled Online Art Market •
This event takes place in the JOYfilled Facebook Group & it’s a great show for people who live on Pacific Standard Time because as of the vendors are out west! I know it *sounds* weird to do a virtual art show, but this one is top notch! There will be giveaways & treasure hunts, auctions & interviews! Click HERE to join us!
Syracuse Crawfish Festival
100 S. Salina Street • Syracuse, New York • 11am-7pm
Mind Over Metal Fest • House of Guitars
646 Titus Avenue • Rochester, New York • 1pm-6pm
June 3 & 4
Fairport Canal Days • Fairport NY • 10am-5pm
Keuka Arts Festival •
Keuka Outlet Trail, Penn Yan, NY • 10am-5pm
June 18 • PENDING
July 1 & 2
Lavender Festival •
Ol’factory Lavender Farm •
12973 Upton Road, Red Creek, NY • 10am-5pm
July 8 & 9 • 55th Annual Corn Hill Festival, Rochester, NY • 10am-5pm
July 29 & 30
Spencerport Canal Days • Spencerport, NY
Jack Craft Festival • Larkin Square • Buffalo, New York • 11am – 5pm
Remsen Festival • Remsen, NY
My website is open 24/7 & I’m happy to fulfill your order! Be sure to use coupon code RASJ10 to save 10% off your purchase of $100 or more.
For the last nine years, in lieu of New Year’s resolutions, I’ve intentionally selected a single word to help guide my focus in the upcoming year.
- Between 2014-2016, my word was BREATHE. I was in post-acute benzodiazepine withdrawal, and it was all I could do was hold on. I divorced & moved into an apartment. Everything was scary and different. My only goal during those years was to survive.
- In 2017, my word was HEAL. I painted one piece each day and I’d taken a very part-time job at a local community college helping students with learning challenges. I did whatever I needed to do to support my central nervous system. I did my very first art show where my work was warmly received by the public.
- In 2018, my word was CREATE. I started a website and began to share what I was making with the world in a more intentional kind of way.
- In 2019, my word was GROW. I purged old relationships & made space to let in new people. I began singing again & meeting people within the recovery community. I offered emotional support to people coming thru psychiatric medication injuries.
- In 2020, my word was CLARITY. By the time of the COVID quarantine, I knew that I could handle solitude. I used the varied strategies I learned during withdrawal to help me thru. I realized my strengths and figured out how to marry my interests and skills: writing, art, coaching, organizing and grew my social media platform in an effort to help others. I started writing my memoir.
- In 2021, my word was PURPOSE. I published my memoir & continued to speak about the harm that is occurring to many people who take prescription psychiatric drugs long-term.
- In 2022, my word was EXPAND. I made a conscious effort to say ‘yes’ to new opportunities. I was interviewed on several podcasts, and most recently, Nat Kucko did a story on my healing journey that made it to CBS News here in Rochester.
In 2023, my word of the year is COLLABORATE.
In September 2022, I started Square Dancing on Tuesday nights, and having that to look forward to has been life-altering. The community has been warm and welcoming, and I am enjoying learning a new activity that I can engage in for the rest of my life.
That got me thinking about how long it’s been since I’ve felt a sense of connection to something bigger than myself and, in 2023, I want to do more to foster those feelings of friendship and belonging, not only for myself but for others, too.
To that end, I’m excited to announce that I am collaborating with Dr. Kendra Campbell, a holistic psychiatrist who has started a movement called Free Range Psychiatry. Members of The Free Range Fellowship understand that true healing means discovering and addressing the underlying cause of any disease, and not just attempting to medicate away the symptoms. We understand that mental health symptoms are often related to trauma and psychological issues; hormonal and other medical problems; medication side-effects; gut issues; environmental toxins; vitamin deficiencies and imbalances; food sensitivities; as well as other issues. As a result of this collaboration, I will now be able to confidently connect my clients with benzo-wise prescribers who can help them with their tapers! I’m over the moon to be part of this amazing collective of enlightened souls & even more thrilled to be able to offer art classes as well as other offerings to individuals who are willing to learn to live a new way.
GOALS FOR 2023
Many things are happening behind the scenes that I hope to continue to work on in 2023.
- SCREENPLAY – Most of you know that my memoir is available in paperback, ebook & audiobook formats, but you might not know that with the help of my amazing writing partner, Marty Medina, PSYCHiATRIZED has recently been converted into a screenplay! We are so excited about this. I’m working on the next steps, and I promise to report any and all developments on that front as they become available to me.
- WEBCAST – In 2022, Scott W. Fitzgerald & I started a weekly webcast called Things I Learned This Week. We met on random Fridays over at RocVox Recording Studio to record our thoughts on topics that range from the banal to the sublime. Frankly, we’ve been happily surprised by the amount of positive feedback we’ve received from people, and we plan to collaborate more in the upcoming year.
- FRIENDSHIPS – I’ve worked hard to develop & maintain friendships this year. I’ve been more willing to let go of the people who can’t communicate clearly, aren’t feeding my soul, or just plain don’t show up for me in one way or another. Ending relationships is hard for me, so I’m patting myself on the back for making progress in that area.
- WRITING. Aiming for one blogpost a month. Happy I’m feeling inspired to write again!
- SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS. I’m speaking to medical students & medical professionals to help them to reconsider their current prescription practices & teach them better protocols to help patients who want to de-prescribe from mood-altering medications.
- PERSONAL GROWTH. I’m feeling a desire to do something new in 2023; something that will require me to take a risk and invest time, energy and money on myself. More on that later. Just know I’m excited about this!
- TRAVEL. In 2022, I got to explore a little bit of Wisconsin, Chicago and Florida. This year, I’d like to visit Colorado & Oregon! Friends who live in those places, I’m coming for you!
What are you being intentional about in 2023? I’d love to know!
Wishing you all Health & Happiness in the new year & beyond!
Anyone who purchased anything from me in 2022 was automatically entered to win & additional entries were added when people joined my mailing list, liked, shared or commented on certain posts.
This year’s lucky winner is #679:
I met Erinn at the Naples Festival, and I will reach out to her privately to let her know what she’s won!
Okay, big exhale.
I’m off to take a much needed vacation.
See you in 2023.
I am glad to say that 2022 has been good for me, both personally and professionally. Once again, I’m truly grateful to everyone who has lifted me up this year. While I always prefer words, I have to admit this is the one time of the year that I actually like doing a little math.
MY YEAR IN NUMBERS
5,000+ • Rough number of my memoir purchased in paperback & ebook. Honestly, I’ve lost count.
86 – Amazon reviews. (If you’ve read my book & have not yet left a review, it would be a gift to me if you’d write one!)
98 – Audiobook downloads
13,229 – Combined followers on all social media outlets
3,658 – People on my mailing list
350 – Unique pieces of artwork created* this year
949 – Unique sales
12 – Private commissions
121 – Formal ZOOM Conversations with People Experiencing Psychiatric Medication Issues • This number may seem small, but over the last 5 years, I’ve had over many hundreds of conversations with people who have been injured by psych drugs. Tens of thousands identify as being personally injured by SSRIs, benzodiazepines & antipsychotic medications. I continue to offer emotional support to people coming thru prescription psychotropic harm, and I will continue to pull back the curtain to reveal what’s actually happening on this front. It’s my mission to spread awareness and to help grow a radical movement of holistic health consciousness. To the individuals with whom I have spoken in 2022, thank you for sharing your stories with me.
45 – In-person art classes taught
39 – ZOOM art classes taught • Classes resume March 1, 2023. Click HERE if you’d like to learn more.
32 – Memoir classes taught
4 – Interviews • Thanks to August McLaughlin at GirlBoner Radio; Jack & Linda Mazur from Once Shattered Podcast, the folks at Lake Affect Magazine; and Natalie Kucko from CBS Local News for the opportunities to share my story with your listeners. To see them all, click HERE.
19 – Best selling image: FOUR-LEGGED LOVE
19 – Shows/Festivals • It was a pleasure to have a robust in-person festival season again! This year I showed at: The Powerhouse (Buffalo), Fairport Canal Days, Lavender Festival, Corn Hill Festival, Sharkey’s, Themata, Jack Craft, Long Acre Farm, Lucky Flea, Purple Painted Lady Festival, Naples Grape Festival, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Plowshares Craft Festival (Syracuse), Radio Social, & Balsam Bagels. I also did my End-of-Year Liquidation Sale virtually via ZOOM.
WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER
I’ll be Announcing the Winner of my End of Year Free Art Bundle Giveaway on 12/25/2022 at 1:11PM on Facebook. Anyone who purchased anything from me in 2022 is automatically entered to win & additional entries were added when people joined my mailing list, liked, shared or commented on certain posts.
So far there are 994 entries… but there’s still time to enter! Simply go to www.rasjacobson.store and order something. I can guarantee it’s NOT going to get there by Christmas, but you’ll be entered to win right up until 12/25 at 1:10PM EST.
Feel like supporting your friendly neighborhood artist? In 2023, I’m looking to purchase:
- Liquitex Paint ($225 for 60 tubes)
- A Vat of Molding Paste ($30)
- Many Canvases ($600)
- Large sheets of 1/4″ wood panel for a brand new, super secret project ($30 each)
Feel free to send a donation in any amount to me via Venmo at @rasjacobson or via Paypal . And I’m saying thank you in advance as I truly appreciate each & every gift.
Ask and you shall receive, right?
Which accomplishments are you proud of this year? What are your numbers? Am I the only weirdo who keeps track of things like this?
I’m working on my Annual Year in Review post for 2022, and I am curious about how y’all are doing.
What has worked for you this year? What has gone to pot? What are planning to work on in 2023?
Feel free to share your thoughts here, on Facebook, via DM or email. It always helps me to read your words, and – if you post publicly – chance are, your words will help someone else, too.
And if you leave me a comment, I’ll enter you to into my LAST FREE ART GIVEAWAY of 2022.
WHAT THE HECK IS A FREE ART GIVEAWAY?
A few times a year, I like to put together a little bundle of goodies which I package up & send out to one lucky person — for free. It will have original work, stickers, a handwritten note & other random stuff.
I’ll be announcing the winner on 12/25/22 LIVE on my Rasjacobson Art FACEBOOK Page at 1:11 PM EST! Anyone who made a purchase in 2022 is automatically entered to win, so if you’d like to find out if you’re the lucky winner, be sure to follow me there! (PS: I’ll also announce a few other totally random facts like who made the first purchase of the year and who made the last purchase of the year, weird trivia like that.)
Also, I’ll be at Radio Social on 12/11 between 11am-3pm for my last Lucky Flea of the year.
Hope to see a bunch of you there.
A few night’s ago, right before I went to bed, I thought about how the weather had suddenly changed from bikini season to tree-turn season, and how I haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped to on my outdoor landscaping project, started back in 2020 during the COVID Quarantine.
“I wish I had three big rocks!” I said aloud before turning over to go to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up and started my daily routine: I made my bed, showered, ate breakfast, laid out all the necessary supplies in anticipation for my first art student of the day.
On that particular morning, I had enough time to go outside to check my mailbox, which is attached to a cluster of several other mailboxes located in front of my next-door neighbor’s house, a short distance down the road.
Freshly showered and wearing only my bathrobe and towel-turban, I’m standing there, barefoot, when I hear the familiar rumble.
For the past month the guys from Greenlight have been in my neighborhood, digging up people’s front lawns so as to install new fiber-optic cable which will ostensibly help to give us faster Internet speeds (as well as give us a choice outside the current near-monopoly held by our current internet provider).
By now, I can anticipate what’s coming: the excavator, the DITCHWITCH drill, the vehicle that holds the enormous spool of blue cable, and several other trucks barrel up the street and stop directly in front of my house, blocking my driveway.
Knowing my client will be arriving a short while later, I walk up the road to have a quick conversation with the head of the crew, who kindly reassures me he will move his gynormous vehicle.
Suddenly, I get an idea.
It can’t hurt to ask, I think.
“Hey,” I say, turning around and calling to the Project Manager, a guy with a thick reddish beard, dark sunglasses and some major muscles. “When you dig, do you ever come across any really big rocks?”
“Big rocks?” the PM asks.
“Like boulders,” I say.
“Boulders?” he asks, shaking his head. “We don’t usually come across those kinds of obstacles in newer neighborhoods.”
I nod and start to back away, careful to hold my robe closed. “Well, if you happen to find any really big rocks, I’d love to have a few for a garden project.”
Back at my house, I continue to think about my unfinished garden project. For months, I’ve considered purchasing a few large rocks from a local landscaper but they were charging hundreds of dollars to have them delivered — and, call me crazy, but I just couldn’t justifying paying exorbitant prices for a slab of fused minerals.
Suddenly, the doorbell rings, and, upon opening the door, I am surprised to see the bearded PM from Greenlight standing there, sunglasses in his huge hand.
“You won’t believe this,” he says. “We just hit a rock. Not quite a boulder, but definitely a big rock.”
I follow the PM outside, the two of us heading toward a pile of dirt on my neighbor’s lawn.
And then I see it.
It’s a rock.
A big one.
Exactly the kind of rock I’ve been hoping for.
Clapping my hands together a little too enthusiastically, I shout: “It’s perfect!” — then add, “Can I have it?”
So PM gathers his crew around and somehow they locate a wheelbarrow (cuz Lord knows I don’t have anything like that in my garage), and it’s game on.
It takes three burly dudes to pick the thing up, which they do — and after depositing it with a loud CLUNK into the old wheelbarrow, they transport it to my backyard, dropping it into the desired spot.
Over the course of the day, the crew come across several additional “big rocks,” which they gladly deposit in my backyard.
“Seriously, this never happens,” the PM insists.
Now, some people might call this a ‘coincidence’ or a ‘stroke of luck’, but I believe in the power of manifestation.
The Law of Attraction knows no bounds — and we really can control a lot by the way we think about ourselves and the world.
The ability to manifest doesn’t happen overnight, but over the last nine years, I have learned to shift my energy, to focus on attracting people who are attracted NOT to the person I used to be, but to the person I am becoming.
These days, I know if I see it and feel it, I will achieve it.
And sometimes, as in the case of those garden rocks, it happens almost immediately.
How do I do this?
– I think clearly about what I want.
– I envision myself getting exactly what I want.
– I write down exactly what I want.
– I say out loud what it is that I want.
– I believe I deserve the thing I want.
– I believe the thing I want is on its way.
Then I practice patience & wait.
And while I may not get everything as quickly as those garden rocks, I receive and acknowledge everything that comes my way with gratitude, no matter how big or how small.
What about you? Got any stories about how YOU are intentionally manifesting your destiny?
I am soooo looking forward to Festival Season 2022! I have bins filled with brand new work to share with everyone, things that aren’t even on my website! I hope you’ll check out at my schedule and consider coming to at least one of these amazing venues to support y0ur favorite artists and makers. And if you aren’t local, be sure to find the festivals in your area! We can’t do it without the support of our art patrons!
Festival Schedule 2022
April 9 & 10
Makers & Shakers Market
140 Lee Road
Buffalo, NY • 10am-5pm
Turning Stone Casino
Verona, NY 13478 • 10am-5pm
June 3 & 5
Fairport Canal Days • Fairport NY • 10am-5pm
July 2 & 3
Lavender Festival •
Ol’factory Lavender Farm •
12973 Upton Road, Red Creek, NY • 10am-5pm
July 9 &10
Corn Hill Festival •
I’m on Frederick Douglas Street, 08-202 on the map. Rochester, NY • 9am-5pm•
Sharkey’s • 7240 Oswego Road, Liverpool, NY
Culver Road Armory • Rochester, NY
August 6, 2022
Jack Craft Faire • Outer Harbor, Buffalo, NY 14203• 11am-5pm
Long Acre Farm •
1342 Eddy Road, Macedon, NY
Art in the Street / Jazz in the Pubs
Webster, NY • 6pm-9pm
The Lucky Flea
320 N. Goodman (across from Good Luck), Rochester, NY • 10am-4pm
September 17 & 18
Purple Painted Lady Festival
845 Yellow Mills Road • Palmyra, NY 9am-5pm
September 24 & 25
Naples, NY • 10am-5pm
November 18-20, 2022
Rochester Museum & Science Center Bazaar
Friday: 5pm-9pm Saturday: 9:30am-5pm Sunday: 11am-4pm
November 27, 2022
The Lucky Flea at Radio Social
20 Carlson Road, Rochester, NY • 11am-3pm
November 30, 2022
Mendon Academy • 16 Mendon-Ionia Road, Mendon, NY • 5pm-8pm
December 3-4, 2022
Plowshares Festival • Nottingham High School
3100 E. Genessee Street • Syracuse, NY • 10am-5pm
December 8, 2022
Holiday PopUp at Reservoir Creek Golf Course
Naples, NY • 3pm-9pm
December 11, 2022
The Lucky Flea at Radio Social
20 Carlson Road, Rochester, NY • 11am-3pm
December 17, 2022
Local Author Day at Irondequoit Public Library
1290 Titus Avenue, Rochester, NY • 1pm-4pm *NOTE: books & magnets ONLY
December 18, 2022
Balsam Bagels & Baubles • 288 Winton Road N, Rochester, NY
Can’t make it in person? No problem! My website is open 24/7 & I’m happy to fulfill your order!
I was recently interviewed about my benzodiazepine journey by August McLaughlin of Girl Boner Podcast. August and I “met” each other waaaaaay back in 2012 and became blogging buddies. She has stuck with me during my entire healing ordeal, and I feel like this is probably the best interview that has ever been done because she approaches the topic from a totally different angle, which speaks to the problems asscociated with Western medicine and how doctors are getting it very wrong when it comes to women’s health. So many women find themselves “psychiatrized” after postpartum experiences, and August’s non-judgmental focus on the way I made my way to psychiatric medication is nuanced, compassionate and especially revealing, I think.
The episode is called Becoming Unf*ckwith-able, and here’s what August had to say:
After a difficult pregnancy, traumatic childbirth and near death experience in the hospital, Renée Schuls-Jacobson (Rasjacobson Art), endured “next level insomnia.” Little did she know the dark places her attempts to feel better would gradually lead to. Her story is also one of mighty healing, hope and vibrancy—in the Girl Boner department included.
Renée hopes the episode will “offer hope to those moving thru #benzowithdrawal & #iatrogenicillness.” And I was personally so moved by the self-embracement and sexual empowerment she’s cultivated.
There are several places where you can listen to the podcast.
The links are included below.
Blog (includes a transcript):
I’d love to hear what you think and if any of my story resonates with you.
*** NOTE: This episode contains mentions of traumatic events and suicidal ideation. If you’re struggling with such thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 ***
Click the link to check out my book, – Psychiatrized: Waking up after a Decade of Bad Medicine.
Thank you all so much for your continued interest in my healing journey and my artwork.
As I tap out my Annual Year-in-Review blog-post, I am in quarantine for what feels like the millionth time.
How did this happen?
Well, in late November, I made plans to help someone who claimed to “not have anywhere to go” over her holiday break from college. For those who have read my memoir, you will remember that I benefitted immensely from the kindness of a stranger who took me in when I was at my lowest low, so – in an attempt to “pay it forward, ” I invited this person to temporarily reside with me.
As Julia Roberts said in the film Pretty Woman: “Big mistake. Huge.”
This girl showed up to my house with a raging case of COVID, and then, upon realizing she was sick, promptly remembered that she did, in fact, have a place to go: HOME. So she packed up her stuff, leaving me with bedding to wash, a bathroom to disinfect, and a direct exposure to COVID.
Anyway, tomorrow, it’ll be five days since the exposure. According to the latest CDC guidelines, asymptomatic people who have been exposed can self-test after five days, and – given a negative test result, folks can go about their merry way, as long as they continue to mask everywhere they go for the following 10 days.
I feel fine, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a negative result.
• • •
But I digress.
For those of you who have been following me for the last few years, you know I like to do these End-of-Year Reflections during which time I do a little look back. In fact, if you really want to be creepy thorough, you can check out Year in Review 2018, Year-in-Review 2019 and Year-in-Review 2020. While some of the things I reflect upon are pretty subjective, the numbers don’t lie.
I have to say that 2021 has been a surprisingly good year for me. After many years of suffering, I feel like everything suddenly turned on a dime and all of my cosmic debts have been paid. I have been reborn and I am truly grateful to everyone who has lifted me up and helped me to arrive to see this day which I never thought would come. While I always prefer words, I have to admit this is probably the one time of the year that I really like doing a little math.
MY YEAR IN NUMBERS
1 – memoir published
(Click HERE to purchase PSYCHIATRIZED)
1,000+ – paperbacks sold
1,584 – ebooks downloaded
56 – audiobook downloads
Thanks to my friend Scott W. Fitzgerald at Roc Vox Recording & Production!
59 – Amazon reviews
9,588 – combined followers on all social media outlets
Up 921 followers from last year, I’m hoping to hit 10K followers in 2022!
2,727 – people on my mailing list
365 – unique pieces of artwork created* this year
383 – unique pieces of artwork sold* this year
318 – unique client sales
12 – private commissions
42 – Benzo Warrior Emotional Support Calls
52 – ZOOM art classes taught
Classes resume February 9, 2022. Click HERE if you’d like to learn more.
32 – memoir classes taught
4 – public readings/speaking engagements
Many thanks to Tracie Glazer at the Hillel School in Rochester, NY; Renee McLain at Center of Grace in Manlius, NY; Tricia & Steve Kuntz at Fig Hollow Barn in Palmyra, NY & The Pittsford Community Library.
19 – best selling print: DO EPIC SHIT
9 – shows/festivals in which I participated
What a JOY to have been able to show in person at Fairport Canal Days, Themata, Bishop Kearney, Riveter Festival, Jack Craft, Purple Painted Lady Festival, Crafted and virtually via the JOYfilled Holiday Online Artist Market.
0 – First dates I went on
I had no idea how to do it before COVID, and I’m at even more of a loss now.
Some people make New Year’s Resolutions, but I prefer to select a single word to help guide me.
Between 2014-2017, my word was HEAL.
In 2018, my word was CREATE.
All I wanted to do was make and paint and sell and promote.
In 2019, my word was GROW.
(And I did!)
In 2020, my word was CLARITY.
Then COVID hit & I think many of us are finally starting to see how much we need to do to heal individually & collectively as a nation.
In 2021, my word was PURPOSE, and I truly feel that I stepped into my power in 2021. I know who I am and the reason why I am here on this planet. I’ve found a way to marry together all my interests — my writing and my artwork, my teaching skills & my editor’s eye, my creative spirit and my desire to help people into one incredible platform of goodness. Thanks to John Kissling for helping me to revamp my website!
In 2022, my word is EXPAND.
There are a bunch of things happening behind the scenes that I hope will come to fruition in 2021.
It is my intention to allow myself to move into these new opportunities without fear.
Last year I asked two questions:
- What can I change, realistically, given that COVID restrictions will likely continue for some time & the future is uncertain?
- How can I continue to thrive personally & professionally in this extremely challenging climate & culture.
I think I’ve done a really stinkin’ good job of thriving during these difficult times. I’ve managed to grow my business, maintain friendships, and even meet a few new people, too. I’ve been more willing to immediately let go of the people who can’t communicate clearly, aren’t feeding my soul, or just plain don’t show up for me in one way or another. Ending relationships is very hard for me, so I’m going to pat myself on the back for making progress in that area.
I am curious about how y’all are doing. What has worked for you this year? What has gone to shit? Please share your thoughts with me here, on Facebook, via DM or email. It always helps me to read your words, and – if you post publicly – chance are, your words will help someone else, too.
ONE LAST THING
I’ll be announcing the winner of my FREE ART BUNDLE GIVEAWAY on 1/1/22 LIVE on my Rasjacobson Art FACEBOOK Page at 1:11 PM EST! Anyone who made a purchase in December 2021 is eligible to win, so if you’d like to find out if you’re the lucky winner, be sure you are following me there! (PS: I’ll also announce a few other totally random facts like who made the first purchase of the year and who made the last purchase of the year, weird trivia like that.)
Until then, I’m wishing you all Health & Happiness for the rest of the year!
See you in 2022.